HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

There’s a larger-than-mine footprint on my bedroom wall—the aftermath of my almost 11-year-old son’s attempt to recreate Billie Eilish’s SNL performance of “bad guy.” Julian is her most recent devotee, and he’s almost willing to admit that it’s cool that I first saw her at SXSW in 2018. Almost. His favorite band is still AJR, and he’s suggested (more than once) that we get a dog so he can name him “Winter,” after his favorite song, “Dear Winter.” Once the song is a hit, we have a deal. This weekend, AJR is headlining a sold-out show at Red Rocks, grateful for Nerf, who was the first PD to support “Sober Up,” and scream that it was an Alt hit over two years ago.

In my self-ascribed position as the Dowager of the Modern Rock format, you know that I am forever advising both labels and radio that one of the keys to career longevity is being absolutely dead-right at least twice a year. For every new artist played on the radio, there’s a PD (or PDs) who hears something special, or understands which metrics matter these days, and decides to give the record a shot. And by “shot,” I don’t mean the sort of overnight airplay that has us wondering, “If a song is played in the overnights on a station without a frequency, is it possible that it reaches an audience of less than one?”

Not to digress, but it’s fascinating that some of the stations recently added to the Modern Rock panel don’t have PDs. If I spend my days playing songs on the jukebox at my local coffee shop, can I be a reporter? My “spins” would have a greater impact, that’s for sure. I’ll table the sarcasm for a heartbeat and get back to my point: Be a leader! Appreciate the platform—your mandate is to shift culture and redefine the mainstream. This is ALTERNATIVE radio, dammit!

One glance at the streaming profile of Clairo’s genius single “Bags” should convince you to play this record. Over 15 million streams on Spotify, plus she’s currently headlining a sold-out tour, including an upcoming show at the Wiltern in L.A. SiriusXM's Alt Nation is more than 400 spins deep on “Bags,” with other stations that usually lead the way doing just that: Music Choice, WLKK, KQGO, WLZX, KITS, WLUM, KNDD and WWCD. The phenomenal format success of Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and Shaed (which is STILL Top 10) has shown (again and again) that female artists can have radio hits on a male-targeted format. The Caroline team behind Shaed is devoted to making this Clairo song the hit we all know it will be.

The Cold War Kids single “Complainer” is shaping up to be the smash we all think it should be. Yay.

“SCIENCE SAYS REGULARLY ATTENDING CONCERTS MAKES YOU HAPPIER” is the headline of an article from Vice.com making the social-media rounds this week. It’s been a blissed-out week of shows, with AJR at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Vampire Weekend at the Hollywood Bowl (“Harmony Hall” is still the best song of 2019), a sold-out Cigarettes After Sex show at the Wiltern (just wait ’til you hear the new album) and Dominic Fike’s triumphant appearance at the El Rey. How lucky are we to have these incredible weekly opportunities to see live music?

“Life in the City,” The Lumineers’ seventh career single at Modern Rock, launched this week with 22 adds! The first six singles were all Top 3 (with five #1s), so I expect this song to follow a similar trajectory. Has any other indie label band had six consecutive Top 3 songs? The part of my brain that deeply cares about chart positions would love to know.

The era of “Spank It or Crank It” at KRAB Bakersfield has reached its conclusion with the departure of PD Danny Spanks. WLZX PD Lenny Diana continues to insist that ROCKTOBER is a thing.

SONG TO HEAR: Cherry Glazerr (f/Portugal. The Man), “Call Me.” This is a one-listen smash.

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