I've been at the old records again. Like your Grandad at Christmas who's been "at the whiskey" he has stashed in his shed, I crept into the loft to admire the new speakers I got for Christmas and stayed there until the only thing I had left to listen to was an old Kasabian 12 inch I'd never got round to throwing out - and all because I've been hiding from writing the Tips For 2009 piece.
I get very grumpy about these things now (even, I hate to admit it, the BBC Sound Of poll makes me want to stuff cotton wool in my ears and sleep for a fortnight). But this year it's particularly irksome because, actually, no-one really has a clue what's going to happen in music in 2009.
And I should know because we had a three hour show on 6 Music on New Year's Day and I was frantically looking round for a dead cert to bet on, like a punter who needs a winner in the last race for his bus fare home. But with one or two exceptions - not least La Roux and Florence & The Machine who I would dearly love to triumph this year so we don't have to watch Duffy AGAIN on next year's Hootenanny - the next 12 months is pure mystery. I don't know why no-one else is owning up! Is it just pride?
Why the denial when the reality is actually more exciting? The scene is so wide open that anything could happen this year, but trying to predict the unpredictable is a bit of a waste of time.
Fact: the music business was already in a state of confusion and change before the credit crunch arrived, so surely it'll only be more volatile in 2009. We can probably surmise that the big labels will sign fewer acts and be quicker to drop bands who are failing commercially, but everything else is just speculation. Just so many what ifs?
And the sound of old blueprints being ripped up.
It makes my head hurt to the point where I can't form proper sentences anymore. Instead here's some notes I made in the pub where I went to hide after cowering in the loft. Do I get marks for showing the workings out?
After that I decided not to bother with tips at all apart from the fact that there'll be a shoegazing revival this year (Really! It's coming!) and that British guitar-pop music will once again be pronounced dead in favour of pouting hipsters with computers and DJs adorned with preposterous shades. So instead can I just wish these people good luck and godspeed.
THE XX: Please someone, just give them the keys to the album chart or a lottery grant or whatever they need. If the demos are anything to go by, they deserve it.
THE LOW ANTHEM: Like fellow Americans The Delta Spirit, they could be this year's Fleet Foxes given the right circumstances, but so far - even after two marvellous albums - they're relatively unnoticed.
CHEW LIPS: Eschewing the majors - or at least that's what they said the last time we met - and going it alone, which will make things more difficult for them (anyone notice them in the tips lists? Exactly!). But refreshingly great keyboard-driven pop music with attitude.
VIOLENT SOHO: Nu-grunge. It had to happen.
FIGHT LIKE APES: Album finally out properly this month. Idiosyncratic and shouty; surreal and beguiling. Much as I'd love to picture them in the Big League, I think they are too creatively unruly for a lot people to get a handle on. Maybe if they were less likeable and more enigmatic that would help?
Still, we can look on the bright side. However much the chart reverts to formula, there is now more possibility than ever that you'll wake up tomorrow and find something you like hidden amidst the mush. And if you really want my one prediction for 2009, then it's this.
The new band who will be the story of the year haven't even surfaced yet. They won't be on a list. They'll still be in rehearsal. But they're out there somewhere.
It might even be you.