The Day the Music Sucked

2001 bristled with tragedy. There was heart-biting despair, weepy anguish and everything we cared about seemed lost or damaged. And that's just what happened to the music industry.

It was virtually nonstop bad news for music. Album sales dropped like they were kneed in the nuts. According to the tracking firm Soundscan, sales were off almost 3 percent. That's freakin' unheard of in this age of shameless promotion directed towards every demographic niche, when even fetuses shop at Best Buy. Apparently, the record industry strong-armed Napster out of business for nada. Radio stations are mired in an advertising recession, and touring acts play to echoing empty venues. While some of that can be pinned on the wheezing economy and the aftermath of Sept. 11, mostly it's because the music produced in 2001 smelled like ass.

There was nothing of substance to grab on to. No dominant trend propelled the industry. Nu-metal got pushed aside by nu-soul, which got walloped by nu-grunge, which fizzled. When the most talked about musical event of the year was a series of holiday Gap commercials, it's no wonder industry analysts are hunkered down in a sulking whisky-funk.

Where were the summer anthems of years past like "Macarena" and "Mambo No. 5?" Where were those grating jingles that wedge in your brain, sucking up all the airtime and pushing you to the brink of a bouncy and infectious suicide? Want to know who let the dogs out in 2001? No one. The dogs did not go out. They stayed inside gnawing on furniture, urinating on the rug and turning feral and mean. That was the state of music last year.

The good news is 2002 has got to be better. No way it can get any worse. So here now are a few predictions of what to expect from the music industry in the upcoming year.

America will turn once again to romance. And to capture that mood, the song most frequently requested at weddings is "Suck and Let Go" a minimalist punk electro ditty by Peaches. Number two on the list is another Peaches tune, "Fuck the Pain Away." Ah, memories.

Whitney Houston will continue to shrivel. Over the summer the skeletal 46-pound diva will die in a drug related incident. While attempting to snort cocaine she is sucked inside the rolled up $20 dollar bill where she suffocates.

Calling George Harrison's death a wake-up call, Jon "Bowzer" Bauman will rejoin Sha Na Na in the year's most eagerly anticipated reunion tour, electrifying the crowds at county fairs and car shows all across the country. Unfortunately, the gangly greaser's return forces Sha Na Na to dump their current frontman, David Lee Roth.

Jill Sobule releases her long awaited follow-up, "I Went Down on a Girl."

A white and noseless Michael Jackson will release a new album with enough macho posturing and swaggering bitch-slappy bravado to finally convince everyone there's nothing creepy or desperate about him, no sir. Nothing at all.

NSync's Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears will announce their engagement. No wedding date is set but Britney tells reporters she hopes to wed sometime within the next few years and that she intends to remain a ravenous cockteasing virgin until then.

Justin Timberlake dies suddenly in what doctors describe as "a massive testicular implosion resulting from acute seminal fluid backup."

Following the success of cartoon-pop band Gorillaz, The Banana Splits come out of retirement with a critically acclaimed album, "Split for the Coast." All except for Splits guitarist and lead singer, Fleegle who died of heartworm in 1987 and is replaced by David Lee Roth.

Mick Jagger's solo album will finally break the magic mark of 10,000 units sold, when each of his illegitimate children buys one.

MTV announces they will begin airing video footage of rectal surgeries, Congressional procedure coverage and snuff films as part of their ongoing effort to play anything except a music video.

In a stunning upset, boy band O-Town walks off with eight Grammys, including one for Lifetime Achievement. Afterwards a Grammy spokesperson explains, "Big deal. We felt sorry for the talentless little acne-wagons so we threw them a bone. It's not like anyone takes this crap seriously. Come on, we're the Grammys!"

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