HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Dammit, the CBD pen my boss Lenny gave me rolled under the bed, and then I lost my grip on the hanger I was using to retrieve it. Maybe I can use a shoe to grab the hanger, but the only pair I brought with me to NYC is on my feet. I’m supposed to be at a cocktail party for the iHeart Rock and Alt programmers in 30 minutes—I have to find something more substantial to eat for dinner than the candy apple in my purse before I leave the apartment.

In the past few days, I’ve answered the question, “What do you do?” more than a few times. The answer is always some variation of “I try to redefine the mainstream by promoting left-of-center artists to radio programmers.” The follow-up response is usually, “Radio? Hmm… Is that still a thing?” Of course it is, I respond, always defensive about my beloved Alt-radio format.

Looking at Mediabase RealTime en route to the party, it’s heartening to see Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” on track to be #1 this week. She’s the most important new artist in ages, without question, and this #1 means that the format got it “right” this time. I hope this is the first of many #1 Alt songs for Billie Eilish.

I’m stuck in traffic, so what else is interesting on RealTime? Two indie-label records are in the Top 10: The Lumineers’ “Gloria” and AJR’s “100 Bad Days,” the latter of which is a call-out smash for KTCL and KKDO, two stations with massive ratings. Also, “100 Bad Days” is streaming 2.5 million a week with only ONE format playing it, so pat yourselves on the back for a job well done, and put the record in Power now…

Vampire Weekend’s latest album, Father of the Bride, debuted at #1, selling the equivalent of 138k+, bolstered by rave reviews, a pending tour and radio support for “Harmony Hall,” which is still my favorite song of 2019. Their new single “This Life” is out now and should be an automatic at the format. Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee were #1 Most Added this week with “Blame It on My Youth,” blink-182’s first single for their new label. If I ever get out of this Uber, I’ll be toasting Lisa and Darice, because Dominic Fike’s “3 Nights” was just announced as iHeart’s latest On the Verge record! What an incredible week this has been for our Columbia friends!

My pal Matt Malone is the new PD at WQMP Orlando, where he will continue to post photos of his cat on social media. Matt is a giant among men and a super-smart programmer.

I can’t get Panic! At the Disco’s “High Hopes” out of my head—or “our song,” as I refer to it with WRDA PD Aly Young… How much do you love Of Monsters and Men’s “Alligator?” It reminds me of Sinead O’Connor’s “Mandinka,” which was a hit when you were a toddler… On the cusp of breaking wide open is Smith & Thell’s “Forgive Me Friend” on Arista. The signs are all there, although we know what a slog it is trying to break a new artist during radio-show season. Or any season, for that matter.

Earlier today, John Varvatos (a true rock star) and Heather Luke (a rock goddess) presented Badflower to a room filled with our radio partners. After the band performed “Promise Me,” the response was unequivocally, “I get it now.” What the programmers in the room didn’t see was Johnny Galecki standing side stage to support his favorite band, mere hours before the series finale of The Big Bang Theory aired. Promise me you’ll give this record a shot!

Secretly Canadian’s current and upcoming release schedule includes an array of incredible artists, most of whom happen to be women: Sharon Van Etten, Cherry Glazerr, Bleached (which Allers said did well during a test spin on WRFF!) and Alex Lahey. As I told Secretly’s Bri Aab: Behind every great woman is a great woman. Go forth and kick ass, my female friends, and don’t ever let men decide what you do with your body, your career, your choice to have children (or not), or how you should present yourself to the world. I’ve got your back, always.

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