Today's venerable St. Petersburg Times is awash in whip-smart analyses and brain-igniting features about the way we lived in the first decade of the 21st century. This includes my LOUD reminiscence of the past 10 ticks in music, a rundown you'll find on Page 4E in this very section. I enjoyed gazing back (avec iPod, mais oui), but just between us, I'm more than ready to launch full speed ahead into 2010. Enough gazing at yesteryear, right? There are brave new worlds to conquer — and a rumored Taylor Swift album sometime in the fall.
What? Don't tell me you're tired of Swift. I'm a sucker for her sugar-smacked eighth-grade diary entries, the modern-day version of James Taylor's touchy-gushy nice-guy folk. And the 20-year-old blondie won't be fading anytime soon, either. Her 2010 should be huge, including a very special stop in the Tampa Bay area. (And hopefully a very special 15 minutes on the phone with a Tampa Bay area music critic. Call me, Tay!)
Swift rules our sneak-peek calendar of Hot Dates in 2010. Let's synch our BlackBerrys, shall we?
Jan. 31: With six nominations, Swift battles Beyonce and Lady Gaga for Queen of the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. The glitzy showdown kicks off on CBS at 8 p.m.; Gaga makes everyone uncomfortable at 8:06 p.m.; Swift's Fearless gets named album of the year at 11:07 p.m.
Feb. 5: Buddy Guy and B.B. King play Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. I'm not saying these icons are old, but B.B.'s guitar tech is the Grim Reaper. (Hey, the joke tank's a little empty, okay?)
Feb. 10: The Black Eyed Peas play the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. Am I alone in thinking Fergie looks like John Wayne? It's like one of those Magic Eye books. Keep staring at her. You'll eventually see the Duke.
Feb. 23: David Byrne and DJ Fatboy Slim team up for Here Lies Love, a concept album about Imelda Marcos and her manservant. Guests include Natalie Merchant, Santogold, Steve Earle and Cyndi Lauper. Yep, definitely weird, potentially awesome.
March 4: Swift plays the St. Pete Times Forum. Ironically, this is also opening day of the Strawberry Fest in Plant City, which Swift headlined in 2009. What a difference a year makes, huh?
March 22: I turn 40 and immediately regret that Grim Reaper joke about B.B. King.
April 22: Earth Day turns 40. Expect celeb-stuffed anniversary shows — and just as many sad-but-true jokes about how they all drove Hummers to get there.
MAY 7: Iron Man 2 opens. Not a music-related item, but this would be a good time to admit I subscribe to Wizard magazine. Shame spiral complete.
May 10: Bono turns 50.
July 13: Behold, the 25th anniversary of Live Aid. Can you believe it? I actually flew into Philly on that very day. Not to see the show, but to visit my father. We talked music and watched Phil Collins skip across the globe.
July 23: Vans Warped Tour, featuring We the Kings, invades Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Maybe I'll get a senior discount.
Nov. 8: Okay, I'm guessing on the date. And the album. But this will be a BIG release day for pop music's heaviest hitters. So rest assured a huge album will drop. I'm betting it's Swift's third album, the followup to Fearless.
Nov. 23: Swift's BFF Miley Cyrus finally turns 18. All together now, gents: exhaaale.
Dec. 13: Swift turns 21 and makes everyone (except for maybe Bono and B.B. King) feel like giant lame-o slackers.