HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Day after day, night after night, I’m stunned by the words that come out of our feckless leader’s mouth. Unrestrained by any measure of civility or empathy, this festering ass pimple, in the span of minutes, tweets praise for a pizza restaurant in Long Island AND a demand to move the election to a later time. Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 150,000, and the execrable, contemptuous behavior of his lackeys (his son-in-law especially) should be considered treasonous by every possible definition.

So, here’s what I want to know—what are we doing about it? By “we,” I mean my beloved Alternative radio format, label peers and artists included. As I write this, the election is in 94 days—what are we doing to make sure that the format’s target audience votes this time around? What are our artists doing to support Biden? Maybe he’s not their ideal candidate, but who the fuck has the mental capacity for idealism right now?

“Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs” is a line from Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You” that has been stuck on repeat in whatever is left of my brain since an earthquake jolted me out of bed at 4:29am Thursday morning. WHERE ARE THE PROTEST SONGS? Sure, some of you added Run the Jewels and played it for a hot minute, and I guess you still play Rage Against the Machine on the regular.

The #1 bestselling book in the country right now is On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (which I recommend). We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is just peachy. Besides, we’re not allowed at the beach right now (I haven’t left the house for months). Artist managers: Instead of having your artists record cover songs, challenge them to be a VOICE FOR CHANGE. We have 94 days, people! Be the fucking difference.

I am angry, sad and deeply disheartened by the recent avalanche of charges about musicians’ (and others in our business) alleged inexcusable treatment of young girls. Burger Records, Joey Armstrong, The Killers’ crew (although the band was implicated, they have strongly denied any involvement/awareness), the manager of New Politics—that’s just in the past week. Plus there’s an ever-expanding Google doc making the rounds on Twitter that calls out musicians (by name) for their alleged behavior toward their female fans. Arrow de Wilde from Starcrawler just shared her experience claiming The Growlers locked her in a dressing room with a male stripper. Has #metoo taught men nothing about power dynamics and consent?

I’ve written about my experiences at A&M Records in the ’80s, and I’m hoping that male executives have evolved beyond the shit that was done to me (my then-boss telling me I’d be better at my job if I had bigger breasts, which he demonstrated by cupping mine from behind, is just one example), but it appears that men, musicians or otherwise, are “grooming” young girls, musicians or fans, far more than ever. Showering a girl with attention, texts, gifts and backstage passes with the endgame of sex is a sample of the tactics employed. Only one person in this dynamic is an adult, and they should fucking know better.

I’m outraged by this, but not surprised, if that makes any sense. I was groomed when I was in high school, and it took me until this week to realize it. Thankfully, the moment he crossed the line, I was gone.

WHERE ARE THE ANGRY WOMEN? God bless The Chicks for being at the forefront of the musical #WallofMoms, while Sharon Van Etten, Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, whose latest is titled Women in Music Pt. III (sarcasm noted), CHVRCHES and my beloved Jehnny Beth are also making music that matters. Jehnny’s single “Heroine” is about the ability to find the heroine within ourselves and is an Alternative radio ANTHEM. The new Bully single “Where to Start” details a toxic relationship.

Women in radio, records, management, musicians, WE HAVE TO PROMOTE, PROTECT AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER. It’s going to take more than a black-and-white selfie to get this done. Join me: [email protected].


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