HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Armed with a negative PCR, two masks and a note from my doctor, I ventured out to The Echo on Wednesday night, in search of musical and emotional salvation in the form of a Spoon show, on the cusp of the release of their 10th album, Lucifer on the Sofa. “What a delight,” is the final line from the five-star review in The Guardian. “It’s the best thing they’ve ever done,” is included in the four-and-a-half star rave from Rolling Stone.

How incredible to see friends in the flesh for the first time in nearly two years, including BeggarsBrien Terranova, SAM’s John Silva and Gaby Skolnek, Rob Goldklang from Warners and Greg Carr from Dirty Hit, plus KROQ’s Miles Anzaldo and Megan Holiday. “Wild,” the current single, sounded like an unmitigated hit, and another new song, “My Babe,” is one of the five best songs in Spoon’s extensive catalog. I went through the setlist this morning with 91X PD Garett Michaels, and he has had REAL radio hits with 13 of the band’s songs since I started working with them 17 years ago. Whenever I think about the artists who have defined me as a lifelong music fan and as someone who has done promotion since 1982, Spoon is always on that list.

Do you ever think about the artists who define you personally and professionally? Shouldn’t you? Without them, what are we doing? Do I have to remind you that the format was founded on the concept of music discovery? Without discovery, or even the intention of building ongoing relationships with the artists you’ve chosen to champion, none of us will have jobs, because our format will be over. Obsolete.

Label rosters are no longer robust with rock and alternative acts. Why make the investment when this genre doesn’t stream compared to others? The indie labels are releasing some of the most exciting music right now, but the costs of competition are prohibitive to most. Even when the proverbial playing field is relatively level, the opportunities for real airplay have been diminishing due to fewer slots for currents, the guaranteed failure of new music when subjected to a 10-second call-out hook and the abundance of new releases by “name artists.”

I’m thrilled that the format’s biggest names have new music. Rob Goldklang couldn’t be busier right now—it’s like he’s running air traffic control at LAX during a holiday weekend, with Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Head and the Heart (I cried when he first played the new one for me), Liam Gallagher and the new Black Keys all poised to be chart-toppers. Meanwhile, new bands like Daisy the Great and Cannons are having a great run at the format, with Cannons positioned to have their second Top 5 single, driven by Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee’s unwavering belief in the band.

Scott Burton should also be heralded for steering Jack White’s “Taking Me Back” close to the top of the chart. Ted and I know the agony of peaking at #2 when either Imagine Dragons or twenty one pilots is locked at #1, and we hope our friend is spared this pain.

Nearing the Top 20 is the best record from last year, which is, of course, Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue.” The song is Top 20 Shazam in Los Angeles (of course it is). Spin leaders are 91X, WLUM, Music Choice, WEQX and KRXP, as one would expect.

Big huzzahs to Lisa Worden for hiring Stryker for afternoons with Booker at ALT 98.7. Everybody loves Stryker. Everybody loves Booker. This is a glorious match.

How cool is it that CD92.9 added IDLES’ “Crawl!” (on Partisan Records)? There are few bands as authentic and badass as these guys—it’s a much-needed mental palate cleanser.

My favorite XMU song right now is “Walking at a Downtown Pace” by Parquet Courts. It’s a total groove. Parquet Courts has 1 million monthly listeners. Do you?

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