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NEAR TRUTHS: THE KYNCL-LOUSADA DANCE HAS BEGUN
This oughta be interesting... (9/30a)
GRAMMY CHEW:
RAP EDITION
Michael and Kyle find a feast of hip-hop to chew on. (10/3a)
CHART FINAL: VERANO INVADES FALL
Like a broken record... which it is, figuratively speaking. (9/30a)
HITS LIST: COUNTDOWN
TO ECSTASY
We enter the month that was once known as Rocktober. (10/3a)
HIS OWN ARCHITECT:
THE STEVE LACY BUZZ
It was a surprisingly easy "Habit" to break. (10/3a)
GRAMMY SEASON
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
THE BIG DEAL
It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
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POST TOASTED
LEADER OF THE LANDSLIDE

By Karen Glauber

It was announced last week that Mediabase will be bedfellows with Luminate, when they begin jointly reporting on radio’s music activity. Until this merger, BDS has been used to service Billboard’s radio charts and other charts incorporating radio data, including the Hot 100. At the helm of this big change is Mediabase’s EVP Global Music Marketing and Strategy Alissa Pollack, a respected and dear friend of all of us in the HITS career cul-de-sac. The transition from BDS to Mediabase will take effect by year’s end.

The two radio formats most impacted by this switch are Triple A and Latin—both regard BDS as their radio chart of record. With regard to Triple A, the concern is that the BDS chart counts airplay from twice as many stations as the Mediabase chart, encompassing dozens of Non-Comm stations that have a considerable market impact but don’t meet the criteria for Mediabase reporting. As of now, there are 27 reporting Triple A stations and 19 “Activator” stations. Indie labels flourish at the Activator stations, which have “graduated” indie artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Sharon Van Etten, Spoon, The Lumineers, Japanese Breakfast, Father John Misty, beabadoobee, etc. to mainstream chart success.

Brad Savage from WAPS was the first to express his concern that his station’s lack of Mediabase-reporting status will impact his ability to have access to artists, but his market impact is well known, and he will always have label support. Will Mediabase add some of these Non-Comms to the reporting panel, or will they separate the charts to a Commercial panel and a Non-Commercial panel? I expect there will be a solution that enables the format to survive, anchored by key heritage stations like KBCO, WXRT, WRLT, KCMP, WXPN and ratings juggernaut KINK. I choose to remain optimistic.

The 1975’s genius new single, “I’m in Love With You,” was #1 Most Added at Alternative this week! I pointed out to Ted that exactly one year ago, the #1 Most Added song at the format was The Lumineers’ “BRIGHTSIDE,” which proves that Ted and I always forget to take any time off during the summer. Speaking of The Lumineers, we’re off and running with “A.M. RADIO,” the single Andy Hawk and Lenny Diana asked for by name, and I’m grateful that I was able to see the band last Friday night amid a swarm of 25,000 at Redondo Beach and managed to avoid a third bout of COVID (for now, at least).

Back to The 1975: Did you know that their upcoming tour is completely sold out? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered for tickets (Marissa).

Dan Connelly was very happy to receive the KROQ/Audacy Select add on Talk’s “Run Away to Mars.” This song is a monster. Capitol has signed Backseat Lovers, with WNYL adding their last song, “Kilby Girl,” this week.

The pandemic has proven that linear time no longer matters. The urgency to be “first” on a record, which was the goal of most programmers in the past, has mostly gone by the wayside, as TikTok , TV shows like Stranger Things and other pop-culture flash points have reignited songs from years ago. The Cafune single, “Tek It (I Want the Moon),” is from 2019. Beach Weather’s smash, “sex, drugs, etc.,” is from 2016.

Another fascinating example is the massive popularity of Cigarettes After Sex’s “Apocalypse” on Partisan Records, which is from 2017 (and which KROQ added in March, 2018), and is now streaming 7-10 MILLION a week and is on the Spotify Global Top 200 at #94. This is PIAS’ most-streamed track in the world, and the tour sold out immediately (I just helped my friend’s kid get tickets for the NYC show).

Congrats to Michael Martin and his crew (some of whom still have my number blocked on their phones from last year) on the announcement of Audacy’s Beach Fest, Day One. The lineup includes Muse, Jack White, Jimmy Eat World, Phoenix (yay!!), Yungblood, The Maine, BoyWithUke, Half Alive, Beach Weather and more.

Shana Tovah to those who celebrate. Happy 5783!


 
 
I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU

By Karen Glauber


Like you, I spent most of last weekend watching the heart-wrenching performances from the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London. The performances were nothing short of historic, especially when Taylor’s 16-year-old son Shane joined the Foo Fighters for “My Hero.” Nothing could possibly mitigate the tragedy of Taylor’s death—but the concert amplified how loved and respected he was by some of the greatest musicians in the world. The Los Angeles tribute concert is on 9/27, and I expect I’ll see many of you there.

The biggest story of the summer was the return of two legends to the forefront of Alternative music: Kevin Weatherly returned to KROQ, and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” became the SONG OF THE SUMMER, thanks to Emmy winner Nora Felder’s brilliant work as the music supervisor on Stranger Things.

One year later, Wet Leg is still the coolest new band on the planet, with “Chaise Longue” in Power on KROQ and “Wet Dream” now Top 30. I would think this band is a lock for Grammy acknowledgement this year, similar to the noms Japanese Breakfast and Phoebe Bridgers received last year.

Speaking of Phoebe, whose iconic status continues to grow, she has a cameo in “I’m in Love With You,” the new video from The 1975, which is at 2m views on YouTube and 6m streams in the past week. Dirty Hit will service the song to Alternative on 9/12, while Triple A continues to have massive success with “Part of the Band” (currently #2 on the chart).

I don’t often envy other’s concert experiences, but seeing Michelle Rutkowski’s photos from last weekend’s Lumineers concert at Wrigley Field made me feel like I’d missed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For an indie-rock band to sell 40k tickets is an extraordinary achievement. The Lumineers also sold that many tickets in Denver, and their summer tour winds down with next week’s BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach, where they’ll be playing with Hall & Oates (side note: Daryl Hall’s first solo album, Sacred Songs, is one of the greatest albums of all time) and Pete Yorn, among others. After two Top 5 songs with “Brightside” and “Where We Are,” Dualtone (aka me and Ted) will be launching, BY POPULAR DEMAND, a radio mix for the programmer fave “A.M. Radio.” Lots of love for this song, and it’s been streaming 600k weekly in the States, with 21.3m total U.S. streams.

The streaming juggernaut commanding your attention is Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Whatever,” which is the vibe song of the summer. Nick Petropoulos has the hits… Our old friend Nick Bedding, who, believe it or not, briefly toiled as a HITS employee, has landed at Nettwerk, where his first project is Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ amazing new single “Stars.” Nick can be reached at [email protected]. Say hi

Everybody is talking about Rosa Linn’s “Snap,” which is a massive streaming hit. My boss thinks she sounds like Natalie Merchant. I disagree—but we totally agree that “Snap” is a smash.

Dan Connelly has yet another hit to add to his repertoire with TALK’s “Run Away to Mars,” which my kid has known about for a month. This one will fly up the charts… Another super-buzzy song is “Insomnia” by The Moss. Amy Kaplan is at the helm, and this is definitely a song you will love.

My newest favorite song is “Tonight” by Phoenix, featuring Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, whose “This Life” is one of the greatest songs in recent years and should’ve been an infinitely bigger hit, but you guys fucked it up. Phoenix is a global treasure, and “Tonight” is a classic.

SONG TO HEAR: BLACKSTARKIDS w/Beabadoobee “CYBERKISS 2 U,” which reminds me of De La Soul. BLACKSTARKIDS are from Kansas City and they love Lazlo.


 
 
LOOKOUT KID

It was a good day: I woke up to the news (I already knew) that Jim McGuinn has been named APD at WXPN in Philly. Jim (seen above with Jacqueline Saturn and yours truly back in the day) worked at WXPN prior to his tenure at KCMP, and also programmed Alternative station Y100 in Philly, as well as KPNT St. Louis, WEQX Albany, WPGU Champaign and, of course, his high school station, WDGC in Downers Grove, Ill., which is when he and I first met. Jim is a beloved programmer, and we’re all thrilled that he’s landed where his myriad talents will be appreciated. Also on the agenda was celebrating the 47th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, which is one of the greatest albums of all time. Because I’m a nerd (and because most men don’t want to talk about their feelings), a topic of recent social gatherings with the fellas has been, “If you had to skip one song on Born to Run for all of eternity, which one would it be?” The consensus answer is “Night” (still a great song), with daggers thrown toward anyone who dares to answer with “Meeting Across the River.” Also, I will never accept that the lyric in “Thunder Road” is anything other than “Mary’s dress waves.”

I keep telling my music loving kid that they’ll always be able to bond with other kids over music. We went to Chicago last weekend to see Addison Grace at Beat Kitchen—the show was sold out, and both Addison and opener Sydney Rose spoke onstage about their love for Phoebe Bridgers. I told my kid that I worked “Kyoto,” which impressed them not in the least. I remain deeply uncool and embarrassing. The friends I saw in Chicago, Greg Latterman, Joe Shanahan and Jimmy Steal, are people I met through music. Joe gave Julian a tour of the Metro, which is where Joe and I met in 1982, when I was trying to get Bauhaus to do their scheduled interview with a local college radio station (and Peter Murphy yelled at me). Speaking of Phoebe, I’m excited to see her this weekend at the Ain’t No Picnic festival, along with Wet Leg, Shame, IDLES, Sparks and Beach House, among other favorites. 

As I congratulated Glassnote’s Michael Starr on his 11th anniversary at the label and his first Top 10 with Phoenix’s “Alpha Zulu,” we agreed that life would be infinitely better if Phoenix played on every show we see. Michael is also gaining traction with RIPE’s “Settling” (a certain call-out favorite) and the genius Two Door Cinema Club single “Lucky,” which SHOULD be as omnipresent as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”

Hooray for Scott Burton on delivering another chart-topper for Jack White and for reminding radio why Lovelytheband’s “Sail Away” deserves a slot on everybody’s playlists.

It looks like Capone will have another #1 Alt song this week with Giovannie and the Hired Guns’ “Ramon Ayala,” which will be followed by Ayelet’s KillersThe Killers’ “Boy” in the top spot, likely immediately after the holiday. 

My favorite new song is “Maniac” by Macklemore, featuring Windser. Yes, the same Windser whose “Memory” is a bona fide hit at SiriusXM’s AltNation, as is his latest, “Friends I Barely Know.” Speaking of AltNation and Jeff Regan, check out a song he’s championing called “Insomnia” by The Moss, which you’ll be hearing more about from Buddy Deal, Amy Kaplan and me!

Thrilled to see the new AJR single, “I Won’t,” vault towards the Top 10. Bravo to Amanda and Drew!

Keep your eyes peeled for more new music from The 1975, although it would be spectacular to see “Part of the Band” reached its deserved spot in the Top 10. 

Jagwar Twin’s “Happy Face” is the sleeper hit of the summer. Stay the course, people!

I’m excited to launch The Lumineers’ “A.M. Radio” in a few weeks, driven by the streaming story and the insane tour numbers (over 30,000 tickets sold for the band’s upcoming show at Wrigley Field). This is the song that Lenny Diana and Andy Hawk have been saying is the big hit from the band’s current album. I never question those two.

SONG TO HEAR: Mod Sun’s brilliant “Battle Scars.”


 
 
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE

It’s been a weird, isolated summer—two work trips to NYC but otherwise sequestered at home, liking other people’s vacation posts. There have been moments of comfort—the returns of Kevin Weatherly, Mark Hamilton, John Allers and Christy Taylor to the Alternative fold—all smart people who care about the format. Those work trips afforded time with Mike Kaplan, Christine Malovetz and Brad Steiner at WNYL—I adore them all.

A trip to NYC isn’t complete without breakfast at Balthazar with Arista’s Nick Petropoulos, where we celebrated his second Måneskin #1 with “Supermodel,” and plotted the course for his next #1, Beach Weather’s viral smash “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” Sure, the song is a few years old, but who even knows what day it is?

KROQ’s ratings have gone up in the past months, which I would attribute to embracing Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue,” which sounds as vibrant now as it did a year ago—AND to playing Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” a masterpiece that transcends decades. The correlation between the uptick in ratings in other Alternative markets and the increased exposure of new music is immediate and direct. While the temptation to shift the format toward “Classic Alternative” remains, exposing the best new music should continue to be a priority—and the ratings prove it.

Within moments, Phoenix’s “Alpha Zulu” will be Michael Starr’s first Alternative Top 10 since taking the promo helm at Glassnote. Phoenix’s sound paved the way for Glass Animals’ righteous perch at the top of the leaderboard, which, in turn, has helped “Alpha Zulu” become a call-out hit. Take note: Your audience loves this type of Alternative music.

I understand the appeal of Classic Alternative—Gary Gorman and I (that’s us in the photo) went to see Superchunk’s sold-out show last Thursday night! I worked “Hyper Enough” in 1995, and have had the greatest honor of working with Merge Records ever since. Gary loved the band when he was in college, just as I loved R.E.M., Husker Dü and The Replacements at that age.

As scary as it is to go to shows, it’s the thing that makes me feel almost normal. The kid and I are flying to Chicago next week to see Addison Grace. Like mom, like kid. Addison Grace, Cavetown and AJR are the artists we share. I also feel most normal when there’s a new AJR single to work. “I Won’t” is on the cusp of Top 20, and it feels like it could be one of the band’s biggest hits. Their June show/my kid’s b’nai mitzvah in Irvine was the greatest day of the summer.

Tickets went onsale on 8/12 for The 1975 tour, with some shows already sold out during the presale. “Part of the Band” is solidly Top 20 at Alternative, and the goal is Top 10! Due to illness, Rage Against the Machine have had to drop out of Reading and Leeds festivals, so The 1975 have stepped in as headliners. Venues on the U.S. tour include Madison Square Garden in NYC and the Kia Forum in L,A,, as well as The Rave in Milwaukee for WLUM’s “Big Snow Show” and Kansas City for “The Church of Lazlo’s 20th Anniversary.” Glass Animals and The 1975 show up for Lazlo. He’s that important.

Congrats to Team Island on the launch of the new Killers’ song “Boy,” which is definitely the band’s best song in years. It’s been stuck in my head since Ayelet played it for me and, if there is any certainty in life, you can bet on “Boy” being a #1 Alternative song.

The Best Album of the Summer is Spoon’s Lucifer on the Sofa, especially “Wild” and “My Babe.” The Must-Read Book of the Summer is My Life in the Sunshine by Nabil Ayers

SONG TO HEAR: Windser’s new one, “Friends I Barely Know.”… Where should I eat in Chicago? Email: [email protected].


 
 
Post Toasted Index
posted 8/26/22
posted 7/15/22
posted 4/25/22
posted 4/11/22
posted 3/25/22
posted 2/11/22