HITS Daily Double
BEGGIN FOR THREAD: ‘Tis the season for reflection, gratitude and Top 10 lists. For others, like Mike Tierney, Dec. 1 marked his first day as PD at KDKB Phoenix, working with radio legend (and all-around awesome guy) Trip Reeb. Our pal Mase at WKZQ announced today that he was leaving Myrtle Beach for the glamour of working at a trade mag in New Jersey. Not the Hard Report, that other one. We adore Mase, and we will be there for him once he realizes that being an editor has the same impact as the sound of one hand clapping. Since we’ve been circling our own career cul-de-sac for nearly 25 years, we speak of what we know… It’s also the season for Xmas radio shows (or “showola,” as my boss refers to them), and my own adventures commence this Thursday in Portland, where I will be joining two of our bands, Kongos and In the Valley Below, for a sold-out KNRK “December to Remember” event. I’m calling the pairing of these two bands the “Gift of Xmas Present” and the “Gift of Xmas Future” because one year ago, when Kongos’ “Come With Me Now” was just gaining momentum at WKQX and KTCL, we had an inkling that the song was a “something,” but no clue that it would be the #2 most played record at Modern Rock for 2014! We already know that In the Valley Below’s “Peaches” is an immediate reaction record because of tangible evidence (#9 Shazam in Portland) from KNRK airplay, plus 1,500/week single sales from XMU support this past summer. This week, “Peaches” is KNDD’s “Discover and Download” and was officially added to Alt Nation! Ted Volk played it for 91X staff and listeners at their “open music meet­ing” two weeks ago, and it was the listeners’ highest scoring record. In a previous lifetime, Ted would’ve left with the “add,” but everything is so much more complicated now, isn’t it? Even so, all signs on my magic Ouija board point to In the Valley Below having a massive hit song in 2015…. So my travels these next few weeks will involve happy radio times (uh-huh) with Kongos, In the Valley Below, Bush and Spoon, whose new single “Inside Out” is my most-favorite song of 2014. Needless to say, Spoon’s They Want My Soul will be #1 on my Top 10 of 2014 list. Last year, it was Arcade Fire’s Reflektor at #1. I’m endlessly grateful to have been able to work with both bands for the past decade… At the beginning of next year, just as I did last January, I will remind you that one of the keys to career longevity, is to be unequivocally RIGHT about an artist or song you’ve chosen to champion at least twice/year. Adding a song when it’s Top 20 does not a career make. This is when you have to use the tools you’ve hopefully picked up during your years in radio or on the label side. If you’re following Shazam, you’re already too late. Yes, any genius can see that Glass Animals’ “Gooey” is charting in Seattle from KNDD airplay (cheers to Pepper for championing this one), but where were you six months ago? You have to allow yourself to trust your gut. Nik Rivers has an incredible instinct about which songs will be huge months from now (his current pick is Shakey Graves’ “Dearly Departed,” which WWCD was first to add). You guys missed X-Ambassadors & Jamie N. Commons’ “Jungle” (300,000 singles sold) the first time—it’s awesome to see airplay now on WRXL and KHTB. It’s never too late—if you feel like you missed a smash, go back to it! Maybe the other Robert DeLong songs weren’t obvious radio songs on the last record, but “Long Way Down” is poised to be a hit! Royal Blood have built a credible base from Active Rock, sold-out shows and massive UK presence, which is why “Figure It Out” is destined for Top 10. Banks’ “Beggin for Thread” is a legitimate radio hit, following years of artist development and a fanbase that includes the fashion crowd (her press is as much fashion-based as it is music-based). Never underestimate Andrew McMahon’s legion of fans—it’s no wonder that “Cecilia and the Satellite” is working at every station! Keep an open mind and an open heart (isn’t that from Iron Chef America?), and go make some fucking noise (to quote Jared Leto, Oscar winner). Your Top 10: [email protected].
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