HITS Daily Double
While praying for thin thighs, World Peace and two front teeth for my son, I often throw in the wish to have one of the songs I’m working land on a major TV commercial airing through the holidays.


Note: This Advice Applies to Promotion Weasels and Progamming Geeks Alike
BABY GET WORSE: ’Tis the season for playlists hijacked by Xmas shows, while promotion execs are tethered to their desks with no budget to travel except for Xmas shows. Still, new bands are being added, with visions of momentum carrying the project well into next year. It’s a crap shoot, launching a new band in Q4, especially when programmers are distracted by the sparkly new songs they received as New Year’s presents. Shiny objects are very distracting… While praying for thin thighs, World Peace and two front teeth for my son, I often throw in the wish to have one of the songs I’m working land on a major TV commercial airing through the holidays. Like Bill Carroll and his team had with the use of M83’s “Midnight City” in the Victoria’s Secret campaign, or Grouplove, or two years ago, Vampire Weekend’s “Holiday,” heard round-the-clock on every network. I know that the Hanukkah Fairy has visited early because The Lumineers “Stubborn Love” will be used in a campaign guaranteed to make even the most cynical among us (that would be me) weep. If you’ve noticed, we’ve held back on the big push on “Stubborn Love” until next year because “Ho Hey” is still Top 3, and will stay there through the holidays. Turns out, PDs are adding the new single on their own volition, including WLUM, WMRQ and WFRD this week. Who woulda thunk?… My big “takeaway” lesson to you this year (besides “don’t be an ungrateful piece of shit, you ungrateful piece of shit”) is that one of the ways we will remain gainfully employed through 2013 is by taking risks and BEING RIGHT at least a few times/year. This doesn’t mean adding a record, playing it 70 times in two weeks, and dumping it unceremoniously immediately after. Put your reputation behind a project and use everything in your arsenal to make it work. This applies to promotion AND programming. James Steele at WROX has emerged as a bright star in the format, and I closely watch everything he champions. Jeff Regan at SiriusXM’s Alt Nation has become the format’s not-so-secret weapon, and the proving ground for many now-Top 10 Modern Rock hits. The format really does have an abundance of smart, passionate programmers, although some often rely too heavily on counterintuitive anti-passion barometers, like MScores and call-out. One of my favorite times this year was sitting in on the CD101 Music Meeting (although I think I was the most argumentative in the room), during which I fell madly, deeply in love with Django Django. In fact, knowing that Tame Impala’s “Elephant” is working for CD101 helped inform the label’s decision to work it as a radio single in January. As with any batting average, I was sorta wrong more than I was REALLY RIGHT, and those songs that weren’t hits weigh heavily. It’s music, someone’s creative effort, not a pallet of squash we’re selling. At least I can say I tried…. Congrats to Willobee on the relaunch of KRZQ, which also marks the return of Chris Payne! Some of us have known Willobee since his WLIR days, which makes us old…Back when Willobee was at WLIR, I worked at A&M Records at 57th and Madison with Michael Plen, who ran promotion for IRS Records. He smoked his way through his radio calls and I snorted my way through mine (it was the mid-’80s, after all), and his never-say-die attitude continues to inspire me 30 years later. Matt and Kim will finally have their long-deserved hit with “Let’s Go,” as Plen strikes again… Although relatively late to jump on the Hanni El Khatib bandwagon (BOTH KTBZ Houston and 98.7 Los Angeles are playing “You Rascal You” 25x/week), I’m here to spread the word about this phenomenal artist and this HIT SONG. Hanni’s next record, coming out in the spring, was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, but the label, Innovative Leisure, is going to work “You Rascal You” because of how well it’s doing for the early believers… One of my favorite bands, The Chevin, was added this week at KROX, following an early add from Alt Nation and a “New Music Heaven” nod from Mark Hamilton last month. “Champion” is a Modern Rock anthem. I swear… SONG TO HEAR: Tame Impala “Elephant.”… SEND ME YOUR HANUKKAH WISHLIST: [email protected]