HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

I love new music. Nothing makes me happier than falling in love with a new record and convincing others to agree with me. And by “others,” I mean you, dear radio PDs, although most of you would rather have your limbs cut off than try to make a new song work on your radio station. Lucky for you, there has been a plethora of “heritage” new music for you to chose from—most of it won’t be real “hits,” aka library songs, but they will be familiar enough to test and won’t ruffle the feathers of your P1s. Yawn.

If you had seen the Mitski show in your market, you’d understand where music is going. Brilliant!

Thankfully, there are some new songs that stream like crazy and your work is nearly done. Michael Marcagi’s “Scared to Start” is streaming upwards of 3 million PER DAY, which should be enough for Rob Goldklang to have a massive hit. Grateful that Kevin Weatherly put the song into Audacy “Select” this week—another step toward a Top 10 song at Alt. Why does it have to be this difficult? This is the #1 question discussed among my peers.

Radio’s unwillingness to play much new music clearly puts our label friends’ jobs in jeopardy. This is a problem. Why wouldn’t radio play more new music? What if it actually worked, in combination with playing the library that we all know inside and out? What if radio were more than background noise? If I programmed a radio station, I’d feature currents, both new and tested, and do whatever I had to do to set up the next generation of listeners, even if it means I played Weezer every few hours to keep my kid happy.

What joy to spend the weekend listening to SiriusXMU, which featured Vampire Weekend nonstop from Friday through Monday. If only I had figured out how to get to Austin for the band’s performance during the eclipse! Only God Was Above Us is a genius album, with “Mary Boone” and “Capricorn” leading the way as my favorite tracks. The band is also playing songs that influenced them, including a selection from The Durutti Column and every music nerd’s favorite, “Outdoor Miner” by Wire.

The wishlist of people I’d like to meet in this lifetime is minimal. I’ve already met Neil Diamond, which was a huge thrill. I met Bruce Springsteen years ago, during a rehearsal for the Human Touch tour in 1992, along with Garett Michaels, who was programming a Top 40 station in Indianapolis. I happened to be at a party with him on Saturday night and politely reintroduced myself, mentioning that in 1973 I’d translated Greetings From Asbury Park into Latin. I wasn’t sure how to be a fan back then—pre-social media and camera phones. This seemed like an appropriate yet deeply awkward way to proclaim my fandom. I mentioned that I’d seen him in Cleveland, introduced onstage at the Richfield Coliseum by Kid Leo, who was wearing a long leather duster coat. Kid Leo was everything in Cleveland—I was a local college music director happily playing Wire records, but even I was struck by his presence.

Where are the larger-than-life radio personalities? I grew up wanting to be Meg Griffin, whom we also talked about. We had a nice chat about Bruce’s recent stint on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was given the direction, “Larry gave you COVID,” and the rest was ad-libbed. The show on Sunday at the Forum was amazing—always happy to see The Boss, forever and ever.

On Monday, Amanda and Ayelet invited a bunch of us, including radio folks from San Francisco and Las Vegas, to hear the new Glass Animals album, I Love You So Fucking Much. I remember how then-KRBZ PD Lazlo championed this band during its earliest days. Gene Sandbloom too. Now, with album four, everybody is excited about what’s ahead, including the genius single “Creatures in Heaven.” What absolute bliss!

While you’re at Coachella this weekend, I’ll be seeing Peter Frampton at the Greek. When I was 14, Frampton was my Taylor Swift. I loved him as much as I loved Todd Rundgren and The Who. Next week, it’s off to Coachella to see The Japanese House, The Beths, Bleachers, RAYE, The Last Dinner Party, Blur, Faye Webster, bar italia and Jungle.

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