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Gazing Ahead into 2009, Part 1

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Can 50 Cent come back? Find out in February...

As another year closes, our thoughts turn to the next 12 months and the musical treasures they stand to offer. Who knows if a small band from Cleveland playing a gig in the back of a pool hall tonight will be selling out Warehouse Live this time next year? A has-been artist, now laughed, could be racking up accolades by the end of the year, his or her face plastered all over the world.

There is hella optimism coming into 2009 for music - if you aren't a music executive studying your floundering bottom line, that is. The beleaguered music industry waits with bated breath to see where the consumer will take it, as compact discs make their long, slow goodbye out of store and into pawn shops. Five years ago, who would have thought you could buy new-release vinyl LPs at most big-box electronics stores?

2008 hasn't been kind to the music industry, but for fans it's been a banner year. 2009 will see new releases and tours from gigantic touring monstrosities and brass-ring grabbing sophomore sets from burgeoning artists. But as we have seen this past year, nothing is a sure thing.

Just ask Guns N' Roses and the homeless copies of Chinese Democracy still sitting around Best Buy - anything can happen. What might be in store for the artists behind some of 2009's most-anticipated releases?

Animal Collective (January 20)

Best Case Scenario: You'll love it from the very first time it leaks on your favorite torrent site.

Worst Case Scenario: Urban Outfitters will play it until you hate it, and you will soon reach for the sweet release of the new Hoobastank record (January 27).

50 Cent (February)

Best Case Scenario: Fiddy takes back his throne from T.I. and unloads a clip in Kanye's auto-tuner with his Get Rich or Die Trying-besting magnum opus.

Worst Case Scenario: No one gives a rat's ass about hearing the same rhymes about selling coke and getting shot up, and by the end of the fall he's hosting a show on E! where he auditions contestants to be his new best friend.

Jay-Z (February)

Best Case Scenario: Hova builds on the utter wickedness of American Gangster and leaves everyone in his dust for the 15th time.

Worst Case Scenario: Anyone ever hear Kingdom Come? Yeah, not so much...

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Spring)

Best Case Scenario: Dicky Barrett and that guy who just danced the whole time come back to take rock radio back from the "Affliction"-studded hordes and make ska cool again for yet another generation.

Worst Case Scenario: Remember Reel Big Fish?

Alice In Chains (Spring)

Best Case Scenario: Layne Staley is summoned from the dead to avenge this crime by strangling his old bandmates with his bony fingers.

Worst Case Scenario: He kills Jerry Cantrell. - Craig Hlavaty

[Note: Come back tomorrow for more scenarios.] 

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