Music's Top Five Hottest Trends For 2011
Every year-end Rocks Off prognosticates the likeliest trends in music for the upcoming year. So far, we've got a 100 percent success rate, although since the FBI made us take down all of our previous predictions, we have no way to prove it.
Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray
So you'll just have to copy and paste these predictions and save them on your own computer, and come next December 30, you can bear witness to our flawless prophesying.
5. Auto-Tuned Vocoder
As music grows more and more computer-generated, actual human voices will become more and more out of place. The previous solution, Auto-tune, is rapidly becoming stale in the minds of flash-in-the-pan pop audiences. So to put a fresh spin on it, Kanye West puts a previously unreleased My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy B-side, which features him experimenting with Auto-tuned vocoder like a modern-day Zapp, on his Web site. Once Kanye has done it, everyone else is doing it within three months.
4. Supergroup Lottery
We're all familiar with the concept of the supergroup: When two or more famous bands split up and their remainders unite, that becomes a supergroup. Examples include Damn Yankees, Audioslave, A Perfect Circle and Them Crooked Vultures.
Although previous supergroup membership was determined by artists' knowledge and respect for one another and consideration for how well their particular talents would meld, it's decided that due to flagging album and concert ticket sales, more drastic measures are needed. Hence, every major or minor artist available submits their name into a lottery pool, from which a band name is drawn once a month, then a performer's name, and that performer must then join that band.
The experiment starts off with a bang in January when Jack White is drafted into the Black Keys, grows into unbridled awesomeness when members of The Black Angels and The Sword are traded, becomes awkward when Miley Cyrus must sing for NOFX, and finally lapses into total ridiculousness around July, when Rob Zombie is forced into Florence & the Machine.
We could literally write about the possibilities all day, so we'll stop now.
3. Glo-wave and Alpha Hipsters
lookatthisfuckinghipster.com Surly Alpha Hipsters will be the terror of every Panda Bear concert in 2011.
Indistinguishable synth-drone genres chillwave and glo-fi will be combined into one genre called glo-wave. Only the douchiest of douchsters will be able to tell the difference, but at least it keeps the rest of us from having to try and suss it out.
Unfortunately, an unexpected side effect causes us to question the wisdom of the merger when a phenomenon known as the Alpha Hipster emerges. Jocks, brosephs, and rappers all across the country find themselves bullied and victimized by the aggressive Alpha Hipsters, who relentlessly mock them for not owning more than one collection of Neon Indian B-sides. Identifiable by their enormous white-boy Afros, ironic sweat bands and extra-short running shorts, Alpha Hipsters are soon the target of a national campaign against scene-bullying.
Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, Royal Pains' Reshma Shetty, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's Charlie Day and several other cable stars record PSAs stating that just because you're really, really into Miike Snow is no reason to push other people around.