HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

This was a banner week for announcements: First, iHeart announced the lineup for ALTer Ego ’20, to be held in L.A. on 1/18, and featuring Billie Eilish, The Black Keys, blink-182, The Lumineers, Rex Orange County, Shaed (“& more,” according to the poster). The first four acts listed could sell out the Forum in a heartbeat, so this show will be sold out before we wake up Saturday morning. Congrats to Lisa Worden and the iHeart team for another epic lineup.

Up the coast, where earthquakes have been rocking and rolling the region, ALT 105.3 announced the lineup for their annual Not So Silent Night, which will be in San Jose this year on 12/7, and includes Mumford & Sons, twenty one pilots, The Raconteurs, The 1975, Of Monsters and Men and White Reaper. Those are some major “gets,” and I love the proliferation of guitars in this lineup. Take that, “Dance Monkey.”

Thursday, 12/5, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we’ll be celebrating ALT 92.3’s iteration of Not So Silent Night, where our beloved Mumford & Sons will be joined by Vampire Weekend (while “Harmony Hall” is definitely the best song of 2019, new single “Sunflower” is up there at the top), Cage the Elephant (soon to be #1 with their latest single, “Social Cues”), Jimmy Eat World, Of Monsters and Men, Judah & the Lion (whom I’m seeing tonight at the Wiltern, with openers Flora Cash) and Shaed.

That same week, I’ll be in Portland to see Spoon headline one of Mark Hamilton’s December to Remember evenings (while checking in on my former roomie Gene Sandbloom at Alpha Media). The following week, WKQX launches FIVE nights of The Nights We Stole Christmas with already-sold-out shows that include headliners Cage the Elephant, The 1975, twenty one pilots, Mumford & Sons and 311, and incredible bands like Angels & Airwaves, Bob Moses, I Don’t Know How but They Found Me, Local Natives and Highly Suspect as direct support. I have a hunch which bands might be playing KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas this year, but I would never spoil the surprise. So many guitars this year—very exciting!

More announcements from radioland: KCJK Kansas City flipped to Active Rock this week, which is great news for KRBZ, one of the most important Modern Rock stations in the country, which can focus on doing what they do best: supporting new music. Also, WWYY Allentown has flipped to Country. The station’s studios were less than a mile from my childhood home in Easton, Pa., but I also know that a week’s worth of airplay on a song had less of an audience than one spin in L.A. That is why I haven’t lived in Easton since 1980. Speaking of which, my 40th high school reunion is this Thanksgiving weekend. I bought a ticket to see David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway the same night.

Music was the only thing that got me through my high school years marginally unscathed. Todd Rundgren’s music was my greatest salvation, so, when the announcement of this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees was released, there was a great deal of kvelling on my part to see his name on the ballot. Also included this year are T. Rex, Pat Benatar, MC5, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, The Notorious B.I.G., Kraftwerk, Rufus f/Chaka Khan, Judas Priest, Dave Matthews Band, Whitney Houston and my beloved Soundgarden. Based on influence, every artist on this list deserves to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (especially Todd!).

Beck, another hall of fame-level artist, released TWO new songs yesterday, the first of which, “Uneventful Days” is absolutely what you want in a Beck single. I’ve listened to nothing else in the past 24 hours. Radio should be all over this immediately.

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