HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

In a summer of few highlights, no vacations planned and a kid who just wants to play video games, I’m grateful that we left the house to see Beck at the Hollywood Bowl. Accompanied by the L.A. Philharmonic, this was Beck at his finest. We’ve all seen him multiple times through the years, including a show at the Bowl 16 years ago, when the kid kicked the crap out of me (in utero) during opening act Spoon’s set. It was hard not to feel emotional during Beck’s two Scott Walker covers (IYKYK), or prideful as the crowd of 20,000 bore witness to Beck’s evolution as one of the most important artists of our (Modern Rock) generation. Orville Peck joins up with Beck on a new single, “Death Valley High,” released today (Friday, 7/12) on Warner. More extraordinary work from Beck! Thank you, Gaby, for the tickets.

It’s been a blast to watch AJR become an arena band. They’re poised to sell out the Forum this weekend, meaning another night out for the kid and me. The last time we saw AJR was during Julian’s b’nai mitzvah two years ago. Mom’s night out is Saturday, with The Afghan Whigs and The Church, two bands I never thought I’d see again. I was talking to Lisa Sonkin yesterday about how huge an impact the Whigs’ Gentleman—a sexy art-rock respite in the midst of grunge—had on us in 1993. We all swooned to Greg Dulli back then, and I’m looking forward to seeing the band again.

Most of my friends went to see The Rolling Stones this week. If you have a chance to see artists you’ve always admired, you should go—it could be your last opportunity. Ever since The Zombies started touring again, I’ve seen them countless times. There is nothing better than to hear the harmonies on “A Rose for Emily” or Colin Blunstone’s impeccable phrasing on “This Will Be Our Year.” Recently, Rod Argent had a stroke and has sworn off touring indefinitely. I’m grateful to have had Colin on my SXSW panel, performing with The Lemon Twigs, and I wish them all a wonderful retirement.

Many congratulations to Amber Miller, most recently the MD at WRFF, on her new on-air gig at WXPN. This is phenomenal news!

Later today, I’ll venture over to Amoeba Records for the Cigarettes After Sex in-store. X’s, their latest album, is out, and it’s my favorite of the three they’ve released. Out next week is the new Glass Animals album, I Love You So F***ing Much, which is absolutely tremendous. Republic’s Amanda Dobbins has a lot going on, including the new James Bay single, “Up All Night,” which features Noah Kahan and The Lumineers, out 7/19. For those of us who have been eagerly anticipating new music from The Lumineers, I’ve been told to circle 2025 on our calendars.

One of the biggest songs on Shazam right now is Eddie Vedder’s version of The English Beat’s “Save It For Later.” Actually, Eddie is doing a cover of Pete Townshend’s version of the song, released in 1986 on Deep End Live! So it’s a cover of a cover, featured on The BearGuster will be playing two shows in L.A., including one with the L.A. Philharmonic. As long as they play “Two Points for Honesty,” I’ll forget what a difficult, COVID-stricken summer it’s been.

While Nick Attaway is vacationing in Provence, ALT98.7 and DC101 come in on Sum41’s “Dopamine.” At this point, my idea of a vacation would be sitting poolside (in the shade), reading a book. I’m excited to read Infinite Dreams: The Life of Alan Vega (with a forward by Bruce Springsteen). Alan’s band Suicide had a huge influence on countless bands, including Depeche Mode, New Order, U2 and Springsteen, who covered their song “Dream Baby Dream.”

We picked a beabadoobee single for Alternative: “Beaches.” We’re very excited for you to hear it.

So if we’ve learned anything this week, (1) You should see every show you can, while you can, and (2) we all managed to function without Mediabase for a day.

SONG TO HEAR: Billie Eilish’s “Birds of a Feather.”


By Karen Glauber

beabadoobee (photo by Jules Moskovtchenko)

On the mend from bout #5 of COVID. Ten days of quarantine, two days of Paxlovid (which helped the first burst of symptoms) and, thankfully (so far), no rebound. Flying home from NYC after Indie Week, I had the feeling I wouldn’t be spared. On the upside, it doesn’t appear I infected anyone, and still managed to see Illinoise and Stereophonic on Broadway, as well as spend quality time with Audacy’s Christine Malovetz, Universal Music Publishing’s Erin Blankstein, super-lawyer Gillian Bar, talent-booker extraordinaire Sandy Alouete and ADA chief Cat Kreidich. My best friend from college had two tickets to see Patti Smith and Joan Baez in conversation at Symphony Space, both promoting their latest books. It felt truly empowering to be around so many incredible women during my weekend in NYC.

Once home, I stayed in bed, with season three of Bridgerton as my companion. The first season coincided with my first bout of COVID, in December, 2020. When Bridgerton ended, I watched way too many episodes of Love Island, pausing to tape the part where Rob extols the virtues of beabadoobee to his island girl, while insulting her affection for Ed Sheeran. Ask Ted—I sent him whatever I taped. I also read a new cookbook called Open Wide by Benny Bianco. I mostly know Benny as the adoring boyfriend of Selena Gomez, whom I know from Only Murders in the Building. This cookbook is a really fun read, kind of like reading fantasy or science fiction for those of us who can’t cook, and definitely worth acquiring.

My taste has always been far to the left of pop music, but I love that KNDD Seattle added Chappell Roan’s “Good Luck, Babe!” While they’ll never “own” the artist in the market, Chappell is wildly talented and a fantastic role model for the station’s audience, especially the post-40-year-old men who make up the station’s core. I’m being slightly facetious, but I love that the station embraces songs that go beyond the third single by aging ’90s artists. Credit to Christine Malovetz and Christy Taylor for keeping things interesting!

So many incredible female artists are available for airplay, including Clairo, whose “Sexy to Someone” is already an iHeart favorite. I also have lots of affection for girl in red’s “Too Much,” The Marias’ “Run Your Mouth,” The Last Dinner Party’s “Sinner” and Billie Eilish’s “Lunch.” We’re waiting for our slot with beabadoobee, whose Rick Rubin-produced album will be out in August. Dave Lombardi is readying another Beaches track, and one should also pay attention to the Blondshell/Bully single “Docket.”

Very happy for Papa Roach who scored their first Top 10 Alternative single in 15 years! “Leave a Light On,” a song dedicated to mental health, first hit #1 at Rock four months ago, which led the way to its success at Alt. Jacoby Shaddix is still beloved by the Alternative audience, as evidenced by a recent promo tour.

Big congrats to Dave Lombardi and his team for reaching #1 on Royel Otis’ “Murder on the Dance Floor.” It’s truly an extraordinary achievement, especially for a new band. Rather than pivoting to “Linger,” they return to “Sofa King” as their next single—which means I get to hear Ted sing the lyric, “You’re so fucking gorgeous,” again to anyone who will listen (me).

Happiness for Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin, who will be heading into the holiday with Hozier’s “Too Sweet” at #1. Amazing song, and this is well deserved!

Sum 41, whose “Landmines” may never leave the Top 10, is back with a new single called “Dopamine,” already added at Audacy last week. This song will go everywhere post-holidays.

How much do you love Myles Smith’s “Stargazing”? This song is everywhere in pop culture—lean heavily into the zeitgeist.

Dave Barbis is doing exceedingly well with Blame My Youth’s “The Break” on Big Loud Rock. His other act, Letdown, is Top 25. I’m always impressed with Dave’s efforts.

My kid wants to see Beck at the Hollywood Bowl next week. I haven’t told them that I got “Loser” added at KROQ when it was a white-label single on Bongload (before DGC). Those were fun days.

SONG TO HEAR: Been Stellar’s “Pumpkin” (added this week at SiriusXM’s Alt Nation!)


By Karen Glauber

Happy summer to you all. I’m feeling a bit of “June gloom” right now, but there’s something to be said for turning on the radio and hearing a song that “lilts,” which is defined by, “a rhythmical swing, flow, or cadence.” Summer just hits different. My favorite example of a song that “lilts” is Good Neighbours’ “Home,” which is nearing 200m on Spotify. I’m obsessed with hearing this one on the radio—it changes my mood immediately.

Also in that category is Royel Otis’ “Murder on the Dance Floor,” which should be #1 at Alt, were it not for Green Day and Imagine Dragons. In a short time, Royel Otis has established itself as the band for the next generation of alternative listeners. Glass Animals is another band that should be considered “core” for the format, and “Creatures in Heaven” is another smash for them.

With every bit of my heart, I believe that Bleachers’ “Tiny Moves” is a radio hit, even if you guys and your ridiculous call-out tell me otherwise. MScores for this song have been incredible, especially as time progresses. None of you are playing songs enough to know what their real potential is, especially when there’s a myriad of “known” artists with new singles each week. Most of you admit that you’re not sure if the new songs by known artists are any good, but it’s easier for you to play them than take a risk on a new artist.

To make matters worse, you’re all a book away from flipping to “Classic Alternative,” which is why it’s imperative on the industry’s side to help radio look as healthy as possible. Artist engagement is key. Bleachers just did a session at 101X in Austin, and Lynn Barstow received 1,200 entries for the 35 slots. The fans loved it. Also, Papa Roach spent an evening on a boat in Washington, D.C., with DC101 listeners, playing songs for the 200+ attendees and presenting Elliot, the morning host, with a signed guitar. The night before Jacoby did the same for WRFF (on land) and began the week at WRRV. The week closed with a session at WKQX, and more happy fans were “meeted and greeted.” Every label and artist has to make the effort to show up for radio. I’ve been doing alternative promotion for 42 years, and I’ve watched the ebb and flow of the format. If the format moves to Classic Alternative, we’re all out of jobs. My intention is to die at my desk, whenever that might be.

If you’re looking for something to do on 9/21, might I suggest the HFStival? Yes, IMP and consultant Bob Waugh are bringing back the HFStival at Nationals Park. The lineup isn’t yet announced, but you can likely expect to see bands that have played the event in years past. I’ve been throwing out band names to Bob all week, but he won’t tell me. I spent every Memorial Day weekend at the HFStival from 1991 to 2006. I remember watching The New York Dolls from the side of the stage with my then-teen niece Emily. Now, she works at Domino Records in London, and will definitely hear the new Wet Leg before I do.

Speaking of Wet Leg, there’s a new Offspring single out today called “Make It All Right,” which features a female vocalist that everybody swears is Wet Leg. It isn’t, but we need Angelo Scrobe to tell us who it is!... This is also the time of year when female voices cut through on Alternative radio. What sounds more like summer than beabadoobee’s “Take a Bite?” It’s already Top 20 at AAA, and we’re going to take a swing at Alternative on 6/17. Rick Rubin produced this album, and you will love it.

Speaking of love, especially if you’re in the Heartland, the new Vacations song is called “Midwest.” Nick Bedding is impacting it on 6/25. This song was already a smash for XMU (the station I listen to the most), and some of you played their first single “Next Exit.”

In the meantime, I hope everybody carves out time for a vacation. It’s fun to see Nick Attaway’s photos from Iceland. Once home, he’ll impact Sum 41’s “Dopamine,” which everybody thinks is a smash. Ted and I have no idea what a vacation is, but I wish better for you.


By Karen Glauber

I’m listening to the deluxe of the just-released Bleachers album. “Tiny Moves” continues to slay me, listen after listen. If you haven’t seen the video, featuring Margaret Qualley, I suggest you do so immediately.

Contemplating whether I’m going to the Just Like Heaven festival Saturday; I already gave my ticket to Derek Madden, who is visiting with his sister. The lure of seeing Death Cab for Cutie perform “I Will Possess Your Heart” and the brilliant Phoenix is deeply tempting, even if my hip hasn’t recovered from last week’s Cruel World. Goldenvoice’s Paul Tollett has us locked in from cradle (Coachella) to grave (Cruel World). 70,000 showed up at Brookside Park in Pasadena to see their favorite bands from the ’80s and some more recent bands that fit the genre, like Interpol, whom I loveand had the honor of working with on their first two albums. What’s interesting about this festival is how many kids came to see Ministry perform their new wave hits, which the band has long eschewed, crowd-pleasers Duran Duran and supergroup Dreamcar, featuring three members of No Doubt and AFI singer Davey Havok.

My biggest priority was to see Simple Minds. We spent the ’80s together, back when Alternative radio was in its infancy and served as the launching pad to other formats. KROQ was located in a motel in Pasadena, and 91X was across the border in Mexico. The first thing Simple Minds’ singer Jim Kerr (pictured above) said onstage was “Hi, Karen.” Even after 40 years, we still have a connection. The crowd was enormous, and the feedback was extraordinarily effusive, especially after the announcement that Simple Minds would be back in the States in May for a proper tour. What fun!

But back to reality: Ted and I received the Tuesday call from Kevin and Miles at KROQ letting us know they’d added Papa Roach’s “Leave a Light On (Take Away the Dark”) into Select rotation. It’s a great call to get on a Tuesday—it had been a while! I did my happy dance and gave credit to Ted, who picked this song as a hit last year. It’s the band’s first alt hit since “Last Resort,” although they’ve had numerous rock hits since. Very happy to be part of this, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, which is key to so many people.

Sometimes you just need to be right. While I persevere with Cigarettes After Sex, which seems so damn OBVIOUS, I’d love to have an “automatic” to work at radio, at least as a palate cleanser, while we gear up for the next challenge. Will the new Beabadoobee be that record, or new Dirty Hit act Been Stellar, who remind me of early Interpol? Admittedly, Interpol was a huge challenge, and that’s the reward, I guess. How many radio programmers wake up and think, “Let’s shift culture today!” That’s not their gig, although it’s mine. There are days when we’re all bitching about how hard it is and how pointless (to our bosses) our efforts are viewed. But then you see bands like Royel Otis have hit after hit at the Alt format, with great callout and a sold-out tour! These guys are supremely talented and will have many hits in the coming years. I just love them so! Dave Lombardi and his team have done a masterful job breaking this band!

I pretty much only feel like myself when I’m at a show. I share that with KROQ’s Nicole Alvarez, whose passion for Arcade Fire I do my best to indulge. Assuming I’m not going to Just Like Heaven, the week ahead includes Jacob Collier at the Greek (I saw him during the pre-show at the Grammys years ago and fell in love), Kraftwerk at the Disney Concert Hall (doing Autobahn, my favorite) and Bleachers in Chicago next Saturday at the Salt Shed, following a Friday session at WKQX. My kid will be joining me, excited by deep-dish pizza and another chance to see Jack Antonoff. Let’s try to have a good summer. We could all use it.

Today, though, I’m listening to the new Billie Eilish single, “Lunch,” featured on both KROQ and ALT98.7. Oh, to be 22 and brilliant! She can do no wrong.

SONG TO HEAR: Blondshell’s cover of Talking Heads’ “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel,” from A24’s 40th anniversary Stop Making Sense tribute album.

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