HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

I’m listening to the deluxe of the just-released Bleachers album. “Tiny Moves” continues to slay me, listen after listen. If you haven’t seen the video, featuring Margaret Qualley, I suggest you do so immediately.

Contemplating whether I’m going to the Just Like Heaven festival Saturday; I already gave my ticket to Derek Madden, who is visiting with his sister. The lure of seeing Death Cab for Cutie perform “I Will Possess Your Heart” and the brilliant Phoenix is deeply tempting, even if my hip hasn’t recovered from last week’s Cruel World. Goldenvoice’s Paul Tollett has us locked in from cradle (Coachella) to grave (Cruel World). 70,000 showed up at Brookside Park in Pasadena to see their favorite bands from the ’80s and some more recent bands that fit the genre, like Interpol, whom I loveand had the honor of working with on their first two albums. What’s interesting about this festival is how many kids came to see Ministry perform their new wave hits, which the band has long eschewed, crowd-pleasers Duran Duran and supergroup Dreamcar, featuring three members of No Doubt and AFI singer Davey Havok.

My biggest priority was to see Simple Minds. We spent the ’80s together, back when Alternative radio was in its infancy and served as the launching pad to other formats. KROQ was located in a motel in Pasadena, and 91X was across the border in Mexico. The first thing Simple Minds’ singer Jim Kerr (pictured above) said onstage was “Hi, Karen.” Even after 40 years, we still have a connection. The crowd was enormous, and the feedback was extraordinarily effusive, especially after the announcement that Simple Minds would be back in the States in May for a proper tour. What fun!

But back to reality: Ted and I received the Tuesday call from Kevin and Miles at KROQ letting us know they’d added Papa Roach’s “Leave a Light On (Take Away the Dark”) into Select rotation. It’s a great call to get on a Tuesday—it had been a while! I did my happy dance and gave credit to Ted, who picked this song as a hit last year. It’s the band’s first alt hit since “Last Resort,” although they’ve had numerous rock hits since. Very happy to be part of this, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, which is key to so many people.

Sometimes you just need to be right. While I persevere with Cigarettes After Sex, which seems so damn OBVIOUS, I’d love to have an “automatic” to work at radio, at least as a palate cleanser, while we gear up for the next challenge. Will the new Beabadoobee be that record, or new Dirty Hit act Been Stellar, who remind me of early Interpol? Admittedly, Interpol was a huge challenge, and that’s the reward, I guess. How many radio programmers wake up and think, “Let’s shift culture today!” That’s not their gig, although it’s mine. There are days when we’re all bitching about how hard it is and how pointless (to our bosses) our efforts are viewed. But then you see bands like Royel Otis have hit after hit at the Alt format, with great callout and a sold-out tour! These guys are supremely talented and will have many hits in the coming years. I just love them so! Dave Lombardi and his team have done a masterful job breaking this band!

I pretty much only feel like myself when I’m at a show. I share that with KROQ’s Nicole Alvarez, whose passion for Arcade Fire I do my best to indulge. Assuming I’m not going to Just Like Heaven, the week ahead includes Jacob Collier at the Greek (I saw him during the pre-show at the Grammys years ago and fell in love), Kraftwerk at the Disney Concert Hall (doing Autobahn, my favorite) and Bleachers in Chicago next Saturday at the Salt Shed, following a Friday session at WKQX. My kid will be joining me, excited by deep-dish pizza and another chance to see Jack Antonoff. Let’s try to have a good summer. We could all use it.

Today, though, I’m listening to the new Billie Eilish single, “Lunch,” featured on both KROQ and ALT98.7. Oh, to be 22 and brilliant! She can do no wrong.

SONG TO HEAR: Blondshell’s cover of Talking Heads’ “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel,” from A24’s 40th anniversary Stop Making Sense tribute album.

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