HITS Daily Double

Last week, two things happened that I still have a hard time wrapping my head around: 1) I was a chaperone on my son’s school trip to a farm, and 2) Spoon, Wire, Courtney Barnett and U2 were in town and I missed every one of their shows (12, in all). Hi, my name is Karen Glauber, and I’m the mother of a six year-old boy, who I named after famed Krautrock expert/acid casualty Julian Cope

25 years ago, I started writing this column under the nom-de-plume Ivana B. Adored, inspired by the Stone Roses’ song, “I Wanna Be Adored,” which peaked at #18 the week I started at HITS. This summer, as an acknowledgement of my tenure at the “career cul-de-sac” I’ve called home since I left A&M Records in 1990, I’m assembling a special issue of the magazine, looking back at the past 25 years of Post Modern radio, labels and artists. If you have any photos from 1990 until the present that are worth sharing, PLEASE send a hi-res copy to me: [email protected]. Also, if I’ve ever gotten you a job, broken your band, made you money or returned your phone call on a Tuesday, you will be “asked” to advertise. Please give, as I have given to you (no smirking, please)…

This week, in a trade called Country Aircheck, a radio consultant that nobody has heard of named Kevin Hill said this about his format: “If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out…Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.” As expected, this comment was put on blast by country superstars like Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert, but, really, is Modern Rock any more progressive? Will programmers schedule two female artists back-to-back in a set of music? These would all be #1 songs if the format waited for call-out to catch up with the marketplace: Florence and the Machine, In the Valley Below (the daily Spotify streams on “Peaches” are between 300% to 1000% higher than anything surrounding it on the Modern Rock chart), Elle King, Chvrches, Marina and the Diamonds, Banks, Alabama Shakes and Courtney Barnett, among others.

Terrestrial Modern Rock radio has to completely reinvent itself, or it will be meaningless in a few years, except as another “classic” format.

Here’s the thing: Apple Music is launching momentarily, with big names like Zane Lowe and Trent Reznor serving as musical curators. This service, in whatever form it takes, will be current, trendsetting and of-the-moment. It won’t be subject to MScores, call-out, research, focus groups, NTR, ratings, charts, consultants and every other excuse you use to justify “playing it safe.” Terrestrial Modern Rock radio has to completely reinvent itself, or it will be meaningless in a few years, except as another “classic” format. At 30% currents, the path towards having no cultural impact is well on its way.

And you’re ok with this? Hands up, you surrender? What if you just programmed with your heart and gut this summer?  Take some chances—have some fun! BE THE EXPERT. Is recording a session with a band in front of some listeners your MOST CREATIVE IDEA, EVER? You have access to so many incredible bands, from Cold War Kids to U2; Cayucas to Mumford & Sons, for example, what are you going to make an impression with your audience? Where is the joy of discovery and sense of fun? Are you going to let Apple steal your audience? Curate this: [email protected],

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