HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

First things first—I hope my Midwest radio friends are safe and warm despite the polar vortex whipping through their markets. I can’t really complain that my thoughts are being drowned out by the cacophony of rain and thunder outside my office. Or that I left my umbrella in the car. Or that my basement will likely be flooded when I get home. Or that a crack of lightning woke me up at 4am (actually, that might’ve been a text from Dustin Matthews—I wasn’t awake enough to discern the origin).

Still, it’s a beautiful day for the format when a new Cage the Elephant song appears. “Ready to Let Go” is an insta-classic, the first single from Social Cues, the band’s long-awaited (four years!) new album. There isn’t a station that can’t play this record, although I’m sure there are a few knuckleheads who will fight it. This is not the year to be contrary; that would be my advice to you.

Congrats to our friend Mike Kaplan on being appointed Alternative Format Captain for the Entercom chain. He, along with a 12 other men (and one woman), will occupy the Captain position for a period of one year; he'll also remain PD at WNYL, NYC. Look for an announcement from Entercom regarding the previous Alt Format Captain, SVP Michael Martin, very soon. Chainwide initiatives from the Entercom Alt stations are being discussed, and today’s spin of the new Cage single every two hours should be a clue of what’s to come. iHeart is playing “Ready to Let Go” every hour today, in case you’re keeping score.

On the heels of a #1 single (“Sober Up”) and a #2 (kill me) single (“Burn the House Down”), Nerf’s best friends AJR (pictured) released “100 Bad Days,” the first single from their next album Wednesday at midnight, with early and avid supporters like Jeff Regan, PD of SiriusXM’s AltNation and KTCL, plus a select few others, finding the song in their in-box a few hours prior. The band sat down with Andrew Harms at Alt 98.7 earlier in the week—video of the interview is here.

Speaking of AJR videos, the new one has already racked up 300k views on YouTube in the past day. Response for the song from the public and our programmer friends has been unequivocally positive, which positively warms my cold, dead heart.

This year’s ALTerEgo show at the L.A. Forum brought out some of our iHeart friends from near and far, including the aforementioned Nerf and Dustin, as well as our bff John Allers, plus Aly Young, Casey Krukowski, DZL, Dubbs, newly promoted COO Brad Hardin, John Sykes, Harms and the woman who put it all together, Lisa Worden (who will certainly know the identity of the new DC101 PD before you do). It was an epic evening for all in attendance.

One of my resolutions for 2019 was that I was going to “act with intention” regarding everything I do. If I were to Google that phrase, an image of Spotify’s Allison Hagendorf (a constant source of inspiration/motivation for action) would surely pop up. I love her. My intention often turns to obsession, and such is the case with Vampire Weekend’s “Harmony Hall,” currently on repeat in my office. (And it just stopped raining!) After six years without them, this song is an event.

Harmony Hall, in case you were wondering, is the Columbia University dorm furthest away from campus. Ezra Koenig has said that the song isn’t about the dorm (incidentally, Adam from AJR also used to live in that dorm as a Columbia undergrad, and it’s rumored that Mac from Superchunk also trudged the mile to campus during his tenure there).

But whatever the song is about, it has my favorite lyric so far this year: “Anger wants a voice/Voices wanna sing/Singers harmonize till they can’t hear anything/Thought that I was free/From all the questioning/But every time a problem ends/Another one begins.” If I have any say in the matter (not that Lisa, Darice or Matt really need my help), this song will be an Alt smash.

Also on my “target list” is Shaed’s “Trampoline” (currently Top 20 and rising), Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen” and Seeb’s “Grip” (winner for Best Use of a Dan Smith Vocal), not to mention Flora Cash reaching its imperial destiny at #1.

E-mail me: [email protected]

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