Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowan has a nice post connecting some threads (including Paul Krugman) about stagnation in technical innovation, with the example of the kitchen, which has seen surprisingly little fundamental innovation since the microwave was introduced (a device whose application still remains controversial; but then again, I can recall, as a kid in SoCal the '60s that there were still a couple of houses that took ice deliveries for their wooden ice boxes, so even electrical refrigeration had its (non-Amish) detractors in recent memory. (And don't tell me about those fancy sous-vide machines; it's not a big deal to hot-wire your crock pot into a working sous-vide cooker.)
How about technical innovation in new music? While we once could have taken a David Foster Wallace turn and sold off each musical year to the highest bidding sponsor (1961: Year of the RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer, 1967 Year of the Time Point, 1969 Year of the Moog, 1975 Year of the REMO Roto Tom, 1977 Year of Overtone Singing, 1979 Year of the Eventide Harmonizer, 1985 Year of Midi (or was it kelp trumpets or long string instruments or the virgin sample?), 'til somewhere in the 1990's we entered the era of Laptop Gazing, with which the pace of technical innovation seems to have become incremental rather than eventful, and even when eventful (like last summer's fit of stretching) it fatigues quickly. Has anyone noticed any innovation per se of late, or have we fallen into the routines of repertoire niches? If you've noticed innovation, what examples? What are the trends and tendencies? Or have composers simply become comfortable cooking in their old fashioned kitchens? If so, is this for better or worse?
In short, what's novel, lately, about The New Music?