HITS Daily Double

Last night, I watched in horror as my AOL (stop smirking) account cannibalized itself, as 20,000 emails deleted themselves from the inbox. Maybe it was a mass sacrifice, a poignant declaration that just because Steve Case invited me to “beta test” AOL at an HFStival decades ago, I could move on, eventually, just as he did. So if you ever have a question about Arcade Fire or Spoon circa 2006, I no longer have the answer…

Certain milestones hit this past week have me feeling unusually nostalgic: April 1st (no foolin’) marked my 25th anniversary at the “career cul de sac” known as HITS, and it was also my 23rd sober anniversary. Yes, those first two years were a bit of a blur. Whether I’ve maintained my job and sobriety out of loyalty or stubbornness, I’m grateful for the longevity of both. I also challenge anyone who asserts that I’ve already hit my career peak—not a chance. Sure, it’s not as “fun” as it used to be, but as long as there are, as Lenny says, “10 records in the Top 10,” I plan on being connected to as many of them as I possibly can, including this week’s #1, “Believe” by Mumford & Sons. Last week, my nominee for The Bachelor, Nick Petropoulos, was in L.A. with his Glassnote family (including label namesake Daniel Glass—a dear friend, even when he had me working his Kitty record) for an invite-only performance of Wilder Mind. I have a theory that using the word “Believe” in a song title is a near-guarantee of the song’s success. Also, any time Marcus Mumford uses “I” in his choruses, like “I believe” or “I will wait,” or “I really fucked it up this time,” the song is destined to be a smash. Knowing that, I heard many “I” songs among the new ones; of course they’ll all be hits. No banjos were visible during the set. However, I hear that Metallica is picking up where Mumford and The Lumineers left off (is it still April 1st?)… 

It wasn’t intentional, but this year is the first time ever I’m not going to Coachella. I’d counted on Spoon to be my “in” for this year, but they took a pass. I know many of you will be there, but once I was brutally honest with myself and acknowledged that Steely Dan and AC/DC were the bands I most wanted to see, I decided to sit this year out. It would be hard to top last year’s Arcade Fire headlining performance, or so I’ll keep telling myself… Speaking of nostalgia, Rough Trade Records in Brooklyn is hosting THREE sold-out nights celebrating the 20th anniversary of Empire Records. As some of you may know, Empire Records was the first soundtrack (of a dozen) I worked on. The movie grossed NOTHING on the first weekend—I remember seeing it in Westwood with the two others involved in the movie and soundtrack, Mitchell Leib and Jonathan McHugh, and, except for a few of our friends, we were the only ones in the theater. Now it’s a “thing.” More weirdness. But at least Alex Chilton and Edwyn Collins made money by having songs on the soundtrack—certainly my greatest contribution to pop culture… 

A year ago, XMU (my favorite radio station) added “Peaches” by In the Valley Below. The song started to sell upwards of 1,000 singles/week and was designated the channel’s #8 Song of the Summer. Now, “Peaches” is Top 20 at Modern Rock and sold nearly 6,000 singles this week, earning it a spot on the front page of iTunes. “Peaches” is Top 20 Shazam in every major airplay market and, because the right stations have come on board at the right time, Bill Carroll and Howard P. will continue build the song towards its proper destiny as a hit record. I haven’t been this passionate about a debut single since Tame Impala’s “Elephant.”… 

Congrats to Ed Green and the ATO staff on their break-through week with Alabama Shakes’ “Don’t Wanna Fight”: 10 big adds and now Top 20 on the chart! Seriously, for every Alabama Shakes, Courtney Barnett, Wolf Alice and Andrew McMahon record you add, I inch a little bit closer towards forgiving you for playing an endless heap of rap-rock records a decade ago that YOU KNEW were format-killers. I might forgive, but I won’t forget… 

SONG TO HEAR: Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You.” Email me: [email protected]


Post Toasted Index
posted 5/22/23
posted 5/8/23
posted 4/24/23
posted 3/27/23
posted 3/13/23
posted 2/27/23
posted 2/13/23
posted 1/30/23