HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

Have you checked in on your Jewish friends to see how they’re doing? “Not well” is the cumulative answer. The trauma from the Hamas bombings—the helplessness of knowing that it could’ve been our kids or even us at the music festival, coupled with the generational trauma that most of us already have in our DNA that continues to trigger—is far from wonderful. In the words of my friends AJR’s hit song, “Yes, I’m a Mess.”

A few weeks ago, all seemed wonderful: The 1975 sold out the Hollywood Bowl and I celebrated with Lisa Worden, DC101’s Dustin Matthews and superfan Booker from ALT98.7. It felt amazing, and Ted and I kept high-fiving that we are lucky enough to work with this band. It was Ted’s tenacity that got us working a fourth single—“About You” has always been a fan favorite and is now streaming 900k/week. Hopefully, we’ll have a Top 10 record soon. Since I can’t control the world, I focus on airplay.

The night after the Hollywood Bowl show, the band played a private show at the Roxy for KROQ. The only way to get tickets was by listening to the station. Ted and I witnessed the mayhem that erupted with every ticket giveaway as we watched Nicole Alvarez rolling through dozens of calls. It was wild. Luckily, a number of Audacy programmers were in town to hear the new Green Day album, plus Derek Madden from Cumulus (a friend since his days in Augusta) and my dearests Hilary and Garett from 91X. For those of us who have been around KROQ for years (in my case, the mid-’80s), this event reminded everybody of the pre-pandemic days, when the biggest bands would play small shows for the station—remember U2? Let’s do more of these!

Unfortunately, both KNDD and Live105 canceled their Xmas shows this year. Neither was financially sustainable for the bands they wanted and the fees attached. Also, if you look at the most-played bands on these stations’ playlists, not one agreed to do their show. In a post-pandemic era, you can’t expect bands to give up their own show in the market. If radio doesn’t develop new bands to the point where they mean something in the market (like Lovejoy), then this situation is to be expected. Maybe the model of underplays, like The 1975 did for KROQ, is the way to go. Sure, it’s more work (ask KNRK’s Mark Hamilton, whose “December to Remember” is legendary), but it could be sustainable for all parties. If none of the bands in your Top 10 is willing to show up for you, then the model is broken, and it’s not necessarily the band’s fault. Or yours.

Still, I’m looking forward to Riptide in Florida this December. I first met Jack Antonoff there two years ago, name-dropping his lawyer as a point of introduction. Now, Ted and I get to work Bleachers (currently Top 15!), so we’ll be reunited, along with Michael Martin, Christine Malovetz, Ross Mahoney, Brad Steiner and the rest of the Audacy staff, who run (away) when I approach them.

Lots of anticipation around the ALT98.7 presale next week for AlterEgo: The 1975 + Paramore = immediate sellout. Also being announced is KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Xmas lineup, which will be another frenzy for fans of the headliner (one of the biggest bands in L.A.). Isn’t it fantastic that both stations can put on huge events?

The best concert I’ve ever seen was Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense” at Forest Hills in 1984. I was CMJ mainstay Scott Byron’s +1. Later today, I’m going to see the Jonathan Demme version—this is the equivalent of seeing the Taylor Swift concert film for me.

Massive congrats to Island’s Ayelet Schiffman on having her brand-new band, The Last Dinner Party, being added to iHeart’s Alt Custom. What a fantastic band—way to go, Ayelet! If you’re in L.A., you should see them on 11/6. I’ll be at Todd Rundgren that night, because that’s always a priority.

SONG TO HEAR: IDLES’ “Dancer,” produced by Nigel Godrich.

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