HITS Daily Double
Following their SNL appearance, everybody now “gets” the Alabama Shakes, as their ascent to #1 on iTunes and #1 trending on social media might suggest. This is when you tell your call-out to fuck off and rely on your gut.”


You Have to Work a Little Harder and Dig a Little Deeper This Summer, She Urges Programmers
Mercury is in retrograde until March 18, which explains why nobody seems capable of having a direct and meaningful conversation, and why the week has been filled with hurt feelings (mine) and crossed signals (yours). Tempers are hot, rotations are cold and it appears that all of us, except Nick Petropoulos, are having problems activating our superhero powers. For the first time in years, the usual array of options for headliners for radio station festivals has significantly diminished, forcing programmers to spend a significant chunk of their day asking us to solve their problems for them. I know I’ve touched on this before, seemingly countless times, but it would absolutely be in a programmer’s best interest to cultivate a relationship with an artist’s manager and agent. Relying on a third party to do this for you, when it is YOU, dear programmer, who wields the power, is counterintuitive. Managers would infinitely prefer to deal directly with the programmer in conjunction with a label, so that all parties are clear about what they want/need to make a show happen. An oft-mentioned (by me) PD in the Midwest just procured The Lumineers for June, with the help of a preexisting relationship he had with the manager, a willing promoter (and a bit of divine intervention). Unless you’re in market #2, and have built a sterling reputation for creating the biggest and best events in radio, you have to work a little harder and dig a little deeper this summer. Last year, KNDD took a gamble and booked only baby bands for their show, which was a sell-out, bolstered by the commitment Mike Kaplan had made to break these acts. Granted, it’s much harder this year because the chart is still crowded with bands that broke a year ago, and are thereby off-cycle. Speaking of the Lumineers, we did the grand-scale launch of “Ho Hey” at Modern Rock last year after SXSW, and the song is STILL Top 10, with the second single “Stubborn Love” just reaching Top 10 within the last few weeks. So records that deserve to be in the Top 10 are gridlocked between #11 and #20, making it nearly impossible to gain the audience that would enable the songs to cross to another format. The best approach to promotion is to ignore the charts (hah), find your believers, and try to make a song a local hit, connecting the dots market-by-market until the story becomes a national one… Isn’t it thrilling to hear new Phoenix music on the radio? How we all love “Entertainment”! EVERYBODY can play this song (although we’re still not holding our breath for 89X, the lone dissenter on Mumford and the Lumineers). I can’t wait to commence following (stalking) one of my absolute favorite bands… If you were watching TV last weekend, perhaps the Oscars, and heard a song you thought you recognized during a JCP ad but were too lazy to Shazam, it was “Would That Not Be Nice” by Divine Fits. I’m going to take another run at this at radio—this sync could be the key to breaking this record!… Risa Lawrenson from Beggars stopped by yesterday to play us the new Vampire Weekend song “Diane Young,” which you’ll have on March 18. It’s a one-listen SMASH! Love, love, love, love, love… Most of my favorite new songs are on indie labels, like the new Postal Service single, “A Tattered Line of String,” which is absolute perfection. I’m completely obsessed with Tame Impala’s “Elephant,” which has the swagger and the amplitude that screams PLAY ME, and is from a record that has already sold 80,000 WITHOUT airplay! Lynn Barstow is the first Modern Rock PD to add the new Black Angels single, “Don’t Play With Guns,” and they’ll be playing at the Official 101X SXSW showcase at Buffalo Billiards on Wednesday night at 10 p.m., along with touring mate Hanni El Khatib, Feathers, The Chevin (how I love them), Ash (welcome back) and The Airborne Toxic Event. Should be an amazing night (text me and I’ll sneak you in)… I also adore Wallpaper, a record that should NOT be overlooked, and Epic also signed Dead Sara, so they’re working the oh-so-awesome “Lemon Scent” to coincide with the band’s opening slot on the Muse tour… Yes, a song needs to have a good beat so I can dance to it, but a poignant lyric or a clever turn of phrase are critical to a song being a hit (ask Gotye). Listen to the lyrics on Biffy Clyro’s “Black Chandelier.” This is the best rock song I’ve heard in ages, and I know it will be as big a hit as AWOLNation’s “Sail.”… Following their SNL appearance, everybody now “gets” the Alabama Shakes, as their ascent to #1 on iTunes and #1 trending on social media (I heard about it on my CB radio, in fact) might suggest. This is when you tell your call-out to fuck off and rely on your gut… SONG TO HEAR: The Replacements’ “I’m Not Saying”… Let’s make plans to see each other at SXSW and then not follow through: [email protected]