HITS Daily Double
LEAVE THE DOOR WIDE OPEN: I used to be the one you called at 2am to ask, “Who does that song that kinda sounds like this (insert caterwaul­ing and fragments of mangled lyrics)?” If I was lucky, I could sometimes hear the in the background, while you and your bandmates drunkenly argued into the phone. Yes you, Pete Yorn. Being able to “name that tune” in less than five notes was one of my few “party tricks,” along with tying a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue (thank you, Twin Peaks) and being able to recite your entire resume and every record you didn’t quite “get.” Ah, the perks of sobriety. But alas, I’ve been rendered obsolete by Shazam, the App that answers the most important question in life, “Who does that song?” Radio programmers (the smart ones) are using the “Explore” feature on Shazam as a research tool. Since the big­gest multi-format hits dominates the Top 20 list in nearly every market (I love you, Pharrell), the inclusion of any song being played solely on Modern Rock is a valuable indication that the record is a smash. Major markets can be broken down further into the outlying and suburban areas, which is often where Modern Rock has its biggest audiences. Those Top 20 lists are the true “tell.” The current songs having the big­gest impact on Shazam right now are Lorde’s “Team,” Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know,” Phantogram’s “Fall in Love” and KONGOS “Come with Me Now.” Also making a strong showing is Broken Bells’ “Holding on for Life” and Fitz & the Tantrums’ “The Walker” (featured in the CBS Oscars promos). The KONGOS explosion at radio has been possible because of immediate evidence their team could track on Shazam: WKQX started playing a different song (“I’m Only Joking”) in September, and the song immediately showed up Top 20 in the Chicago suburbs. Soon after, Nerf heard “Come with Me Now” when the band played Riot Fest in Denver, and after a few spins, the song was #1 in Shazam. The immediacy of this information, plus ever-increasing singles sales (almost 6,000 this week), has catapulted the song to #1 Most Added (again), #14 on the building chart and #10 in audience after only THREE WEEKS. I can’t remember the last time a new band (without a proven worldwide hit) blew up this quickly. I’m used to working songs that take weeks and months (and in the case of Arcade Fire, YEARS) before they reach maximum potential. And that’s fine—those are often the sweetest victories (Tame Impala). Right now KONGOS are on the road with The Airborne Toxic Event (whose “Hell and Back” is doing very well on Shazam). Epic’s David Jacobs thinks that EVERY record he’s going to work is going to be like KONGOS. Oh, sure…. As much as I love C3’s Joe Greenwald and RED’s Scott Burton, I love their Wild Cub record even more. “Thunder Clatter” is one of my favorite new songs, added this week at KNDD, KROX and WROX. Another new fave is the Skaters’ “Deadbolt,” which Rob Goldklang launched this week to great fanfare…. Since their appearance on SNL, I’ve gone back to playing the Bastille album on “repeat” in the car. My son, on the other hand, only wants to hear “Everything is AWESOME!!!!” from the Lego Movie. His rendition is a viral video waiting to happen…. After 30+ years of doing record promotion, I’m incapable of original thought, and whatever intel­lectual curiosity I used to possess, has been overtaken by my addiction to whatever is on Bravo after 9PM. I rely on songs to remind me that I’m not completely dead inside, so when a band grabs my heart, I know I have to be involved. There are two new songs that stand out above all others: Blondfire’s “Young Heart” (added this week at Alt Nation), which reminds me of the Cocteau Twins-meets-Cardigans and NO’s “Leave the Door Wide Open,” which literally makes me cry because it’s so extraordinary. You will be hearing much about both records in the weeks ahead… What are your must-see bands at SxSW? Tell me: [email protected].
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