The holiday blitz is over, the last fiendish remains of killer New Year’s Eve hangovers have finally relented and Burlington’s streets are lined with naked, dried-up Christmas trees waiting to be taken to the great woodpile in the sky. It’s official. It’s a new year — 2008, to be precise.
Most publications tend to shoot their loads — metaphorically speaking, of course — and deliver outrageous predictions for the year to come well before January 1. Why? Because in the dog-eat-dog world of professional journalism, the conventional wisdom is that first is best. And generally speaking, that’s probably true. But prognostication is a tricky business. Those daring to gaze into the future and claim to know its secrets do so at their own peril. To which we at Seven Days say, “No, thanks.”
A new year is like a new pair of jeans. You don’t pull them off the rack and start wearing them right away. You have to break ’em in first and get a feel for your new duds before you add them to the regular rotation. Likewise, you can’t honestly know what to expect from a new year until you’ve walked around in it a bit. Get a feel for the vibe, ya’ know?
As we’re now roughly one-third of the way into January, we feel comfortable enough in our Levi 2008’s to peek into our crystal ball and tell you what we see.
So, without further adieu, here’s what you’ll see in 2008.
Grace Potter begins cavorting with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan. On a particularly rowdy evening outside an L.A. nightclub, a series of scandalous paparazzi photos are taken of the Vermont starlet and leaked on the Internet, to the delight of thousands of lonely middle-aged men across the country. However, the ensuing scandal is such a strain on her band that the group dissolves and Potter strikes out on her own, re-inventing herself as an r&b diva and will be known only as “Grace.”
In other breakup news, The Jazz Guys, citing the ever-ubiquitous “creative differences,” call it quits. Guitarist Max Schwartz retires from music and devotes his energies to studying the effects of really tight pants on lab mice. Meanwhile, twin brothers Maarten and Herb van der Poll grow out their hair and form an ill-fated Nelson tribute band. Drummer Frank Zamiello completely disappears, though rumors of a masked man with drumsticks haunting the halls of the Flynn Center begin to circulate with increasing frequency.
Following the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory in early February, Seven Days music editor Dan Bolles makes good on his promise to friends and family to quit smoking. The resulting flood of angry letters to the editor regarding Bolles’ withdrawal-addled writings over the ensuing weeks sets a new record for the newspaper, shattering Peter Freyne’s previous mark of 342 in a single month. Freyne is rumored to remark, “Sheesh. And I thought politics was a tough beat, eh?”
Lending credence to the long-rumored expansion of Burlington’s Radio Bean, Lee Anderson finally knocks down the wall between his tiny coffeehouse and the neighboring salon, Lovely Nails. Unfortunately, the city council refuses to expand the venue’s liquor license, citing comically outdated puritanical blue laws. As a result, Anderson maintains the nail spa’s operations, spawning a legion of hipsters with impeccably groomed cuticles.
President-elect Barack Obama and running-mate Ron Paul visit Vermont shortly after their landslide victory over the Romney-Schwarzenegger ticket (don’t ask). Vermont is directly responsible for the Democrats’ unlikely win when, mere weeks before the November election, it is revealed that Romney and one-time Senate hopeful Rich Tarrant are actually the same person.
Experimental music guru Greg Davis, tired of constantly being referred to as “weird” in the pages of Seven Days, records the most conventional pop album in Vermont music history. It is so straightforward, in fact, that Dan Bolles’ review of the CD consists of but a single word: weird. It will be the last time Bolles uses the word in reference to Davis.
A prophecy found hidden in newly discovered chapters of the Bible tells of a child of unimaginable musical might who will lead the world to salvation, battling the forces of evil through the power of her songs. A few weeks later, Swale’s Amanda Gustafson and Eric Olsen give birth to a child with a strange birthmark on her inner right arm. The mark resembles a Gibson SG.
WOMM-LP 105.9 FM The Radiator is an unbridled success and sets the standard for free-form low-power radio stations across the country. It is so popular, most of the area’s commercial stations switch to free format to compete. Somehow, Linkin Park’s “What I’ve Done” is still played approximately 74 times per day on 99.9 FM The Buzz.
With the price of gasoline reaching unthinkable highs, national bands cease touring, forcing music fans and nightclubs to turn to local acts to fill the void. Venues such as Nectar’s, Club Metronome, Higher Ground and Red Square are packed every night of the week as more and more folks realize how deep and varied the talent pool in Vermont really is.