EDITOR'S NOTE: All month long we’ve travelled back in time to take a look at the music of years gone by. For the most part one trend has been clear: The more things have changed the more they have stayed the same. One look at the charts will tell you that what is selling in any given year very rarely lines up with what was making waves. In fact it wasn’t until the grunge explosion of the 90’s that there was even semblance of confluence between the two. And while that tide may have retreated back down the musical shore, in 2012 we find it ever so steadily creeping forward once again. Are we headed for the next big music singularity, or are we doomed to repeat the endless cycle? Nobody can tell for sure, but in this, our final entry into our year-by-year Rocktober coverage we take a look into our crystal ball and check in on December 31, 2015 to see what the heck is going on in the world…
While the biggest local stories of 2015 were Japandroids’ two consecutive sold-out shows at FedEx Field and former NPR intern Emily White taking a job as director of marketing for Dischord Records, the music industry enjoyed the usual dizzying highs and terrifying lows in 2015. A review of some of the highlights:
- Animal Collective releases an album of dolphin noises and sound effects culled from the Atari 2600 game “Pitfall.” It gets five stars from Rolling Stone and sells more than two million copies.
- A masked man threatening to detonate a small handheld device on a Green Line train is disarmed and killed by former Husker Du front man Bob Mould. Asked for comment, Mould says “just doin’ my duty.”
- Taking a cue from the lucrative success of John Lydon’s butter commercials, Robert Smith begins selling Purina Puppy Chow, Nick Cave becomes the spokesperson for Disney Theme Parks, and Trent Reznor appears in ads for Home Depot. Reznor also scores the soundtrack to the Wii U game New Super Mario Brothers Galaxy 8, Volume II.
- Music fans are elated and confused as Shakira, Beyonce, and A Place To Bury Strangers are selected to open the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Jack White astonishes fans and critics by writing a song with more than one riff.