HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

I need a hobby. I don’t suppose insomnia counts, despite increased pre-dawn texting from friends also reeling from this ongoing bout of “Are you fucking kidding me?” that appears to be our pervasive post-inauguration state of being. When it’s 3am and I’m using real-time Mediabase as a diversion from the Huffington Post, then I know it’s time to start the day. Why only work 12 hours a day when you can work 18 hours a day?...  

I’m in NYC for two sold-out Lumineers shows at Madison Square Garden. “Cleopatra” could be the band’s next #1 Modern Rock hit (fingers crossed), while my favorite song, “Angela,” is starting its ascent at Triple A. While you weren’t paying attention, The Lumineers have become a core band for Modern Rock, although there are still a few programmers who remain oblivious to the band’s mass appeal, adding fuel to 2017 being The Year of Are You Fucking Kidding Me?...

I woke up (too) early this morning to the news of the CBS Radio/Entercom merger. What it means is still unclear—Entercom’s David Field will run the show, but CBS shareholders will retain 72% of the stock. Will there be a designated sports station in San Diego now, rather than having Modern Rock KBZT run the Padres games, as previously announced?...

Ted often speaks of Modern Rock as a “niche” format. Founded as a musical destination for “freaks and outcasts” (to paraphrase David K. Harbour’s speech at the SAG Awards), these stations were programmed by music fans who understood firsthand how a song could change someone’s life. No need to revisit how the format evolved into a profitable piece of a major radio group’s pie—I’ve been writing about that very thing for 20+ years. 

Here’s my concern: There’s a precariously thin line between niche and, to put it bluntly, irrelevance. It’s unfathomable that the majority of radio (with a few notable exceptions) hasn’t embraced The xx’s “On Hold,” which is outselling and out-streaming nearly every other song being played. The reward of playing a song from a band the demo clearly loves far outweighs the risk…

I am well aware that there’s an enormous source of frustration among both my label and radio peers due to the pressure of booking radio shows, which are REQUIRED as a source of income. These shows are now 90% of the conversation, further complicated by festival radius clauses and limited talent budgets. It often puts the promotion person in a no-win situation, as they are neither manager nor agent for the artists they promote. Are these shows worth it? Is there an alternative money-generating solution?...

It seems like every year begins with a song from a new artist that catapults to the top: KONGOS, Gotye and Bishop Briggs are a few examples, off the top of my head. This year, MISSIO’s “Middle Fingers,” a slacker anthem for the ages, is that record. Of course, its trajectory began at SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, since Jeff Regan is almost always the earliest adopter of the format’s biggest hits (see Rag’n’Bone Man, among others). Adds at KROQ, WRFF, Live105, DC101, WWCD, 91X, WLKK, KRZQ, WSFS, KXRK and WLZX soon followed, which set the course for “Middle Fingers” to be #1 Most Added this week. Smash… For those programmers still playing Cold War Kids “First” in Power rotation (even Adult Contemporary, the ultimate “aftermarket” format, moves faster than you), please be aware that the band’s new single, “Love Is Mystical,” is available for airplay NOW. Gary Gorman is at the helm following the band’s signing to Capitol. What a brilliant song! I love this band so much…

Modern Rock radio has the opportunity—wait, I mean the RESPONSIBILITY—to provide a community and haven for the aforementioned “freaks and outcasts.” It’s a scary time, bound to get worse, as the Narcissist-in-Chief wreaks havoc. Be inclusive and openhearted, community-minded and compassionate. And never forget that a song can change a life… SONG TO HEAR: Sundara Karma’s “She Said.”

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