As 2015 draws to a close, I find myself a little nostalgic for the past year and hopeful for aught16. Even as the world spirals into chaos, and we face an election cycle tantamount to backyard wrestling, I can see light. It’s a dim light, no bigger than the tip of a pin way off in the distance, but a light nonetheless. I mean, there’s a greater chance that Ozzy Osbourne will attend your next birthday party than your being killed by a terrorist. So there’s that.
And most of us, though times can be tough, are doing pretty damn well, and have much to be thankful for and look forward to in the coming annum. It is in this spirit that I present my predictions for 2016. (My record as a sayer of sooth is nearly flawless, and you can trust that much of this list will come true in the within the next 365 days, give or take a few.)
As Freebird Live closes its doors, the community will recognize the gaping hole left in the beaches original music scene and will mount a massive online crowdsourcing “Save the Bird” campaign, in hopes of buying out the current investors and breathing new life into the venue. Perks for donors will include a personalized Confederate flag emblazoned with the Lynyrd Skynyrd logo and the “stars” in the star-and-bars replaced with your Photoshopped likeness ($100 level); five minutes in a locked room with a bound-and-gagged Jax Beach surfer and your choice of various-weight truncheons while “Gimme Three Steps” plays on constant loop ($500 level); lunch with Ronnie Van Zant’s hat ($1,000 level).
Having upset the freestyle hand-drumming community to such a degree with my column last fall, in which I listed a number of reasons why drum circles suck, I will be embraced by said community when it comes to terms with its loosey-goosey gatherings and commits to structured, well-rehearsed performances.
A Northeast Florida entrepreneur will invent a local music app that notifies you when your favorite local band has broken up. Attendant to the notification will be a series of texts about why the band had to call it quits. A random sample of these messages might read: “You never attended their shows, even though your cousin is the bass player;” “Mitch’s mom won’t let us rehearse in her garage anymore, but we’ll let you know if that changes;” “The drummer quit to immerse himself into craft brewing;” and “Dave’s a dick.”
Shad Kahn backpedals on his stadium revamp proposal and instead sinks huge money into the local music community, sprucing up the sound systems at local live music clubs, starting an original-music grant program for hardworking bands, and bringing in nationally known songwriters and composers for lucrative residencies at our esteemed universities and high schools. He also demands that music education be put at the top of the school board’s list of improvements for the 2016-’17 school year. He also shaves off his moustache. (Yep, this prediction is that ridiculous.)
I get a raise … and Shad Kahn shaves off his moustache. (Ahem …)
The current vinyl-and-cassette movement takes it to the next level with a fervent pledge not to listen to any music – ever again – unless it’s released on wax cylinders and played on authentic gramophones. Hipsters nationwide will drive a movement that pushes the price of vintage equipment beyond affordability, and they will be forced to get jobs and stuff to pay for it all.
Shad Kahn … oh, never mind.