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GRAMMY PERFORMERS: WHO'S ON? WHAT'S UP?
The incremental rollout begins. (1/26a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JACK SUSSMAN
Nobody's got more experience in putting music on the tube. (1/25a)
RIHANNA, GAGA LEAD OSCAR SONG NOMS
David Byrne and Diane Warren have noms as well. (1/24a)
HIPGNOSIS NABS
BIEBER CATALOG
Merck's a belieber. (1/25a)
HITS' BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPECIAL: NOT EVERY WOMAN, BUT SEVERAL
Sisters doin' it for themselves (1/24a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
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POST TOASTED
I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU

By Karen Glauber

Prior to the break, I didn’t have time to focus on much besides finishing the year with The 1975 solidly in the Top 10, while attending to my kid’s seemingly endless flu. After bingeing the new season of Emily in Paris, my brain was malleable enough to assemble my list of favorite albums/songs of the year. So, with all the fanfare I can muster, my five favorite albums of 2022 were: 1) Spoon’s Lucifer on the Sofa, 2) The 1975’s Being Funny in a Foreign Language, 3) Arcade Fire’s WE, 4) Wet Leg’s Wet Leg, 5) Phoenix’s Alpha Zulu and The LumineersBrightside (tied).

My favorite songs were the ones I heard on SiriusXM’s XMU and Alt Nation during my commute to and from the kid’s school, including The 1975’s “Part of the Band” (any song that references Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud is a guaranteed favorite), Spoon’s “My Babe” (stop everything you’re doing and listen to this now), Wet Leg’s “Chaise Song” (which was also my favorite song of 2021), The Head and the Heart’s “Virginia (Wind in the Night),” Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” f/Perfume Genius, Mitski’s “The Only Heartbreaker,” Windser’s “Memory,” Arlo Parks’ “Softly,” beabadoobee’s “The Perfect Pair,” Arcade Fire’s “Unconditional 1 (Lookout Kid)” and ” Florence + the Machine’s “My Love.” Without question, my favorite book of 2022 was Beggars honcho Nabil Ayers’ memoir, My Life in the Sunshine (I’ve read it twice).

2022 was the year I recommitted my love for Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, whose YouTube series, Justin Hawkins Rides Again, is must-see viewing. Brilliant.

Sure, I got COVID at a Beach House show, but their latest Sub Pop album, Once Twice Melody, is one of their best.

There was no bigger musical highlight of 2022 than my kid’s b’nai mitzvah, which was held after soundcheck at an AJR show (every kid’s rite of passage should include a private performance of “Dear Winter,” followed by a game of dodgeball with the band). The kid and I also flew to Chicago to see their favorite artist, Addison Grace, play a sold-out show.

How do we make 2023 even more compelling? The focus should be on the artist. Radio should just play the best music and STOP LOOKING AT CALL-OUT. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

The Internet is ON FIRE with footage from Thursday night’s The 1975 show at the O2 in London, during which Taylor Swift performed “Anti-Hero” for the first time, as well as a rendition of The 1975’s “The City.” I read about it in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc., and saw the footage on every social-media platform. There is no bigger rock band than The 1975 right now. The band’s KROQ performance from November has over 150k YouTube views. Talk about branding! I’m only ever this obsessed when Ted and I know that we’re right. “I’m in Love With You” is the perfect Valentine’s Day song. How can something so obvious be so difficult? I’m seriously getting a migraine.

God bless Wet Leg and the band’s five Grammy nominations! When they’re in L.A. for the Grammys, the band will be opening for Harry Styles for his three make-up shows at the Forum, just as Domino launches the new single, “Angelica.” Please shove your call-out and file Wet Leg in the category of NEW BANDS THAT MATTER.

Also, while I can’t see the screen (the aforementioned migraine), let 2023 be the end of the insanity where a spin on a station with a 0.1 in the ratings counts the same as a spin in L.A. Can we finally make an audience chart the standard? Give the indie labels a more level playing field on which to compete! Finally!

SONG TO HEAR: IDLES’ “Crawl!” The band is nominated for TWO Grammys—Crawler for Best Rock Album and “Crawl!” for Best Rock Performance. Brought to you by your friends at Partisan Records.


 
 
VIEW FROM THE CHAISE

By Karen Glauber

Since last week’s Grammy announcement of the nominations coincides with our U.K. issue, I’d like to bring attention to some of my favorite Brits: One nomination for Wet Leg’s genius self-titled debut would’ve been a victory. I figured they were a lock for Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue,” one of the most exciting debut singles of the past decade. Then the other nominations for the Isle of Wight duo started rolling in, five in all, including Best New Artist (!!!), Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) and Best Remixed Recording (“Too Late Now,” Soulwax Remix).

Congrats to Domino Recording Company, manager Martin Hall and Team Wet Leg on these well-earned nominations. Martin was also presented with a lifetime-achievement award as the “Managers’ Manager” at the Artist and Managers Awards in London for his work with Wet Leg, Manic Street Preachers and The Script.

Also at that ceremony, Dirty Hit artist beabadoobee won for Breakthrough Artist. Her viral smash “The Perfect Pair” should’ve been nominated for a Grammy, but I digress

Domino, led by Laurence Bell in the U.K. and Kris Gillespie in Brooklyn, have a second nomination for Best Alternative Music Performance, with Arctic Monkeys’ “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” also in that category. The latest Arctic Monkeys’ album, The Car, is one of my favorite albums of 2022.

Florence + the Machine, fronted by reigning Grande Dame of Alternative, Florence Welch, earned their first-ever Best Alternative Music Performance nod (and seventh overall) for “King.” The band’s “What Kind of Man” was nominated for Best Rock Performance in 2016. They have not yet won a Grammy.

Although the band hails from Texas and not the U.K., I feel compelled to mention that Spoon, led by Britt Daniel, one of my favorite people in the world, scored a Best Rock Album nom—their first Grammy nod ever—for Lucifer on the Sofa (Matador). It’s quite the culmination, considering the band has for decades released some of the most consistently GREAT albums in the alt-rock genre. Bravo.

Every musician’s favorite band, Idles, was also nominated for Best Rock Album for Crawler and Best Rock Song for “Crawl!” Watching Idles tear up the stage with that song is one “Grammy Moment” we could all use. From what I’ve been told, Best New Artist nominees Måneskin are massive Idles fans. That pairing would be quite something. Congrats to our friends at Partisan Records on these nominations, which come on the heels of Fontaines D.C. being nominated for Best Rock Album for their 2020 release, A Hero’s Death.

Ozzy is likely to garner a number of wins in the Rock and Metal categories—he’s been nominated for four this year for his latest release, Patient Number 9. It should be noted that the majority of nominations in the Alternative categories are for female artists. The Grammys continue to get that part right.

U.K. superstars The 1975 are currently on tour in the U.S., selling out arenas in every market. I had a blast at the Madison Square Garden show with Christine Malovetz, Brad Steiner, Marisa DiFrisco and friends from other formats/markets. “I’m in Love With You,” the band’s current Top 10 Alternative hit, is streaming over a million a week in the U.S., and this leg of the tour will wrap up in mid-December, so you certainly have time to see this extraordinary show. The Kia Forum show on 11/28, presented by Alt 98.7 and true believer Lisa Worden, has been sold out since the on-sale. There is no better front person than Matty Healy. There is no debating this fact.

Once again, I’m going to remind you that the women pick the hits. Lisa Worden, Jenna Kesneck, Christine Malovetz, Amber Miller, Michelle Rutkowski, Hilary from 91X, Laura Lee, Christy Taylor and Shawn Lucero, among other women in our format, understand Alternative music on an almost cellular level. Pay attention to the records they champion.

There is much to be grateful for this year, including you. Happy Thanksgiving.


 
 
RE-MAKE/RE-MODEL

By Karen Glauber

As of this Thursday, Audacy’s WNYL will no longer exist as an Alternative outlet for NYC. Instead, 1010 WINS, the oldest continuously running news station in the States (first on-air in 1924) will now occupy the 92.3 FM frequency. Losing this station is a huge bummer but hardly the first time an Alternative station has had the plug pulled in NYC. “We can’t have nice things” could very well be our beloved format’s motto, as stations with a 0.0 share (the sound of one hand clapping) have their spins counted toward the Alternative Mediabase chart (a disgrace) while we lose a station that actually had an impact in the market, which happened to be market #1. Jesus.

Audacy has swapped Las Vegas Alt KXTE to Beasley, who will take morning-show powerhouses Dave and Mahoney, with no announcement regarding the format of the station. WNYL PD Mike Kaplan will be leaving Audacy and taking time to explore his myriad options, while his programming team of Christine Malovetz (whose brilliance outshines all others) and Brad Steiner (aka my best friend) will continue to blossom at Audacy under the guidance of Kevin Weatherly. KXTE PD Ross Mahoney will continue his role as a Regional VP. I anticipate a shuffling of who is overseeing which markets in the months ahead, but for now we’re holding our collective breaths, hoping for no other surprises in the near future.

A million huzzahs to Lisa Worden for her Alter Ego lineup, which is iHeart’s premiere Alt-radio festival. In January, we’ll be at the Kia Forum, grooving to Rosa Linn, Beach Weather, CHVRCHES, Phoenix (swoon), Fall Out Boy, Muse, Jack White and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Brava!

This week, thanks to the generosity of Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin, I’ll be at the Forum with Merge Records goddess Christina Rentz to see Harry Styles. Had I gone to see Wolf Alice at the Wiltern a few nights ago, I could’ve had my photo op with Harry, who was hanging backstage with his onetime opening act. Lesley James, the new appointed APD and host at KXT Dallas, snagged a selfie with Harry while I was at home watching Bachelor in Paradise or some similar escapist fare, chosen to numb the pain of another Tuesday.

Arista’s Nick Petropoulos, one of my favorite people on the planet, coasted into the weekend with Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” entrenched at #1 at Alternative, six years after its initial release (time flies in a pandemic). After Beach Weather, Gorillaz “Cracker Island” is a lock for #1, to be followed by blink-182’s “Edging.” News of the band’s reunion with Tom DeLonge, plus the on-sale of a massive tour, confirms their status as one of the biggest bands in the U.S. The timing of the single and tour announcement is a much-needed jolt for the Alternative format.

The biggest band in the U.K. is The 1975. Their latest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, debuted at #1 across the pond, outselling the collective sales of the remaining albums in the Top 5. “I’m in Love With You” is a monster hit over there as well. Does 100 million global album streams get your attention? Does the cover story from Pitchfork catch your eye, perhaps? Maybe a sold-out arena tour of the States, which starts in two weeks, will impress you. Look for a significant chart debut in the States—extra-poignant because the band chose to release the album on their own label, Dirty Hit, also home to beabadoobee, blackstarkids, Rina Sawayama, Pale Waves and Harry’s buddies Wolf Alice (in the U.K.).

One of my favorite bands of all time, Simple Minds, released an album of new material Friday titled Direction of the Heart. I know there are new records from Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys that would otherwise occupy every waking moment, but I’ve been listening to the Simple Minds album on repeat for weeks. Without question, working with this band during my tenure at A&M remains a top-five career highlight. I’d love to interview singer Jim Kerr about what it was like to be an Alternative artist 40 years ago.


 
 
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!


 
 
Post Toasted Index
posted 11/21/22
posted 10/24/22
posted 8/26/22
posted 7/15/22
posted 4/25/22
posted 4/11/22