2009 and December 2010, we spoke to hundreds of people about the
future. A few dozen of these people were nice enough to make predictions
about the future.
Some of these
predictions took the form of elaborate short stories, or intricate
drawings or maps.
Click on their
names to see what these participants submitted to the project. (Note:
to see these predictions in context, click on "Timeline &
of Somerville Team,
We have enjoyed
reading your historical account of Somerville, detailing the major
events between 2010 and 2100. We found no faults within the listed
facts, the text is well written, and the images are both illustrative
were surprised to find that you omitted one of the most prominent
cultural and economic developments of the 2010's, namely, the belated
rise to prominence of the legendary flatpick guitarist, Dan Crary
and the return of Rounder Records to Somerville.
Crary was a
musical legend, a pioneer of one of the most intricate, yet powerful,
forms of American music, and a master of the guitar; a flatpicking
stylist with an international reputation for innovation, taste and
brilliance. With more than 50 years as a performer by 2010, Crary
was one of the few artists whose work could be said to transcend
the boundaries of style and genre.
talents, however, Crary eluded mainstream recognition until July
2011, when he selflessly agreed to perform for free at Jimmy Tingle's
Off-Broadway Theatre for Somerville's Artbeat Festival . Owing to
faults in the theatre's air-conditioning system (the date coincided
with one of the most severe heatwaves of the early 2010's), the
performance itself was a flop, but when a bootlegged video recording
of this performance was uploaded to Youtube shortly after by an
anonymous contributor, Crary was elevated overnight to the heights
of international stardom, bringing the art of flatpicking guitar
to the masses at last. Over the next decade, until his untimely
death in the early 2020's, Crary would go on to produce seven full-length
albums which would set the tone for popular music for the remainder
of the century, and toured extensively worldwide, gaining critical
acclaim not only throughout the west, but even in unlikely corners
of the world such as India, North Korea and the Middle East.
a native of Kansas, Crary's public image became inseprable from
the city of Somerville, which hosted this ground-breaking performance,
and, as it soon transpired, was also the original home of the record
label Rounder Records, which had recorded his first solo album,
"Lady's Fancy", all the way back in 1977 (cf. http://www.discogs.com/Dan-Crary-Ladys-Fancy/release/2149871
triggered explosive sales of this back-numbered recording that would
last for the remainder of the 2010's - a feat that boggled critics'
minds after a decade dominated by illegal download of music. The
intensity and longevity of Crary's record sales brought so much
unanticipated revenue to Rounder, which during harder times had
moved out to Burlington, MA, that by 2017, the label's finances
had gained enough momentum to move its headquarters back to Somerville.
out the building that housed their original headquarters at 186
Willow Avenue, Rounder bosses Ken Irwin and Bill Nowlin made a career-defining
decision. Instead of investing in a hoard of new and expensive artists,
they assembled a team of young software engineers. Their mission
was simple - to develop a failsafe method of eradicating illegal
download of music on the Internet - a the task which major labels
had struggled with for two decades without success.
odds, a breakthrough came in 2019, when a Tufts University student,
working in the Rounder team as a summer intern, developed an algorithm
that could probe and recognize audio waveforms stored in any digital
format. Rounder dispatched billions of software robots equipped
with this algorithm onto the Internet, and within twenty-three days
had built up a database of all illegal download activity on the
world-wide web, which could be continuously updated for the indefinite
future, while providing access to the database to the FBI, the CIA,
and copyright-law enforcement agencies worldwide.
skyrocketed overnight, and as a result, fresh capitol flowed into
the company, which promptly invested in a state-of-the art computer
farm capable of the gargantuan task of maintaining the music-theft
database. A large plot of land facing the Charles River in Cambridge
was purchased to house the facility, which requires several thousand
tons of water per day to keep the massive processor array from overheating.
a hostile takeover by Google in early 2020, Rounder proceeded to
purchase the remains of formerly powerful major labels such as CBS/Sony,
EMI and Virgin, cementing its position as the new superpower in
the recorded music industry that it would maintain for the remainder
of the century.
We would strongly
suggest adding some account of these events in your historical account
The Dan Crary Fan Club