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KENDRICK RETURNS WITH "HEART"
What's gonnal happen on April 7th...? (3/24a)
MACKAY: SONY-BOUND?
Insiders whisper over an exec's potential new deal. (3/24a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: CASH MONEY FROM THE CELESTIAL JUKEBOX
Can you say "cha-ching?" (3/24a)
SPOTIFY DEALS
If they don't come soon, what happens to the IPO?
LORDE'S NEXT LEVEL
How Melodrama took shape.
LABEL BIGWIGS SPILL THE BEANS
We go deep with a couple of top execs.
THE STRINGER ASCENDENCY
This adventure coming soon to a trade website near you.
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POST TOASTED
A DAY WITHOUT WOMEN

Or, as I call it, just another day in the music business. In honor of yesterday’s “protest,” I asked my female coworkers to wear red (it hadn’t occurred to any of us to take the day off) and join me for lunch (paid for by the bosses) in the HITS conference room. Some of the women gathered hadn’t been born when I started at HITS nearly 27 years ago. THIS is what the “career cul-de-sac” looks like, ladies. I’m big on five-year plans, even if I’ve never had one for myself. I asked my colleagues to set short-term and long-range goals for themselves. I’m my own harshest critic, but even I would follow the advice I offered, which included:

(1) BE THE MENTOR YOU WISH YOU HAD: I “came up” in the business without female (or male) guidance—I flailed until I figured it out. Women in the music business (and elsewhere) are frequently made to feel disrespected, demeaned and excluded by their colleagues, and it’s important for them to know that we have their back(s).

(2) IF YOU WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN, DO IT: Many women’s careers are penalized once they become mothers. While there’s never a perfect balance between career and parenthood, do not let anyone talk you out of it. I had my son at 47 (I certainly don’t recommend waiting that long), and where there’s the proverbial way, you can figure it out. Or, as Lenny advised me during one of our many conversations about whether or not I could do both, “There are stupider people than you who have both a career and a child.”

(3) MANAGE UP: This advice was courtesy of my coworker Michelle Santosuosso, along with the equally sage counsel of “Don’t shit where you eat” (self-explanatory)…

On Monday, I’ll be heading to Austin for my 31st SXSW. I was among the few hundred who attended the first one, and, at this rate, they’ll have to pry my cold, dead body away from the last one. My favorite band Spoon will be headlining SXSW’s first-ever residency, with three consecutive nights at the old Emo’s. I’ll be there for each of those nights; 1am set time be damned. Their new album Hot Thoughts will be out on March 17, hence the added fanfare of the band being in their city of origin for release date…

Every year, a band emerges from SXSW as the clear “buzz band,” such as Wolf Alice, The Lumineers, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, Veruca Salt, The Strumbellas, Aurora, Jack Garratt, Broken Bells and Hozier, to name a few. This year, without question, Sundara Karma will be the band cited as everybody’s new favorite. Where they go, there I’ll be… My other SXSW must-sees include Lo Moon (oh, swoon), Youngr, Zipper Club, In the Valley Below, Bishop Briggs and, of course, the Big Star “3” performance…

I rarely travel in the Alternative Radio wolf pack in Austin. It isn’t personal—I just prefer to follow my own itinerary. OK, yes, it’s personal. Although, after granting Columbia’s Brady Bedard “plus one” status at last year’s Iggy Pop/QOTSA show, he’s now welcome to tag along. He’ll be celebrating Rag’N’Bone Man’s ascension to #1 at Alternative with “Human,” and I’ll be there to remind him that he’s #1 because Ted and I “let” The Lumineers drop to #2. His Dreamcar single, “Kill for Candy” was Most Added this week. Maybe they’ll be the most successful band to lose a lead singer since Joy Division morphed into New Order (I refuse to acknowledge that Genesis existed once Peter Gabriel departed)…

I absolutely love “Green Light,” the new Lorde single. I hope radio stops overthinking whether or not it’s “Alternative” and let the song reach its rightful place at #1. I’m the (self-appointed) arbiter of whether or not a song is right for the format, and I declare it so….

Please find me in Austin. I’ll definitely show up for the panel I’m moderating on Thursday at 2pm. This will be my umpteenth annual songwriters panel/performance, with a stellar lineup that includes Britt Daniel from Spoon, Mac McCaughan from Superchunk/Merge Records, Matthew Caws from Nada Surf, Chris Stamey from The dB’s/Big Star 3, Mike Mills from R.E.M. and an array of surprise guests. Despite the moderator, it’s always a SXSW highlight for those who attend. Say hi: Karen.Glauber@hitsmagazine.com


 
 
I WAS TALLER THAN THE RAFTERS

By Karen Glauber

Spoon

Thirty years ago today, on the occasion of my twin sister’s wedding (to a current editor of Billboard, I might add), my father had a heart attack and dropped dead. The wedding ceremony/luncheon was held at a stately penthouse ballroom on the Columbia University campus, complete with a wraparound view of upper NYC and the Hudson River. This mostly family gathering was to be followed by a “friends” reception at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, where Yo La Tengo, Antietam, Great Plains and Salem 66 were scheduled to play. My father was 55 (my current age) and I was 25.

I had just moved to L.A., lured by the promise of being able to sign Robyn Hitchcock, to replace my departing boss Mark Williams (currently President of A&R at Columbia Records) at A&M Records. My father and I didn’t know each other very well, but he loved that I worked for Herb Alpert and that I was in “showbiz” (which meant he had to occasionally supplement my $400/week salary).

The opening lyric to The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra” sums up how one unexpected incident can change the course of your life: “I was Cleopatra, I was young and an actress/When you knelt by my mattress, and asked for my hand/But I was sad you asked it, as I laid in a black dress/With my father in a casket, I had no plans.” In my father’s honor, there’s a yarhzeit candle flickering in my peripheral vision, and I’ve been listening to Whipped Cream & Other Delights on Spotify

I’m too Type-A to wax poetic about what “might have been.” Besides, that would mean I’d have to take my steely-eyed focus away from RealTime Mediabase, which will be my constant companion (or nemesis) until Saturday night. Will “Cleopatra” unseat Green Day’s “Still Breathing” at #1, making them one of very few artists (and certainly the only indie-label artist, at least in the Mediabase era) to have the first two singles from each of their debut and sophomore albums reach #1? [Ed note: "Cleopatra" has indeed hit #1 since this column was written.Ted and I are still incredulous that there are six stations that WON’T play this record. It’s what keeps me awake at night (plus well-placed fear of the impending apocalypse)—when empirical evidence AND my best efforts still prove futile.

In the throes of insomnia, my favorite lyric from “Cleopatra” plays on repeat in my head: “But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life/And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I’ll be on time.” I’ve always expressed myself through the lyrics of others—somewhere in the attic is an AP English paper that used the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Vienna” to make my thesis…

While Mike DePippa and I were going through Republic and Island’s most recent and upcoming releases, he remarked that with the label group’s roster, which includes Lorde, Bishop Briggs, Phantogram, Marian Hill, Grace Mitchell, Florence + the Machine and Misterwives, “The Future Is Female” should be emblazoned on every piece of label merch. I’m sure at least a few of our radio friends (thankfully) would be proud to wear a T-shirt with that sentiment. Mike and Amanda had a spectacular first week with Incubus’ “Nimble Bastard” and continue to find believers for Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” (which I’ll finally get to hear live during next week’s L.A. show)…

These are the songs I believe, with every fiber of my being, will be massive hits: Sundara Karma, “She Said”; The xx, “On Hold”; Spoon, “Hot Thoughts”; Lo Moon, “Loveless”; The Strumbellas, “Young & Wild”; and Cold War Kids, “Love Is Mystical.” The hit potential of these songs won’t necessarily be realized after 150 spins (75% in the overnights), so stay the course…

I’ve been obsessed for months with Youngr’s “Out of My System,” which will soon be released on Island. For the uninitiated, Youngr is U.K. artist Dario Darnell, whose father, August Darnell, fronted Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Youngr reminds me of Robert DeLong and Jack Garratt with his one-man-band approach (although his SXSW performances will include his brother). The music and performance both feel very modern to me—I’m excited for you to hear/see it. Let’s hang out at SXSW: karen.glauber@hitsmagazine.com


 
 
THE WAY I DO

By Karen Glauber

This was the first year I watched the Grammy Awards with my eight-year-old son. His takeaway was (a) I let him stay up past his bedtime (yay), and (b) Metallica really didn’t need Lady Gaga and backup dancers (eesh!) to prove they’re the greatest metal band of all time.  Julian might have had some coaxing on “(b),” but only a minimal amount. My favorite performance was Beyoncé’s medley of “Love Drought” and “Sandcastles,” with its gorgeous, dream-like choreography, reminiscent of Pina Bausch’s work. Also, the sight of a pregnant woman, surrounded by other women, tends to make many men uncomfortable, perhaps because their status in the process, post-conception, is minimal to nonexistent. I may not have felt at the height of my “power” during my pregnancy, but I can’t hold a candle to Queen Bey, who ruled supreme on Grammy night…

...Read the rest here.


 
 
SHE SAID

By Karen Glauber

I need a hobby. I don’t suppose insomnia counts, despite increased pre-dawn texting from friends also reeling from this ongoing bout of “Are you fucking kidding me?” that appears to be our pervasive post-inauguration state of being. When it’s 3am and I’m using real-time Mediabase as a diversion from the Huffington Post, then I know it’s time to start the day. Why only work 12 hours a day when you can work 18 hours a day?...  

I’m in NYC for two sold-out Lumineers shows at Madison Square Garden. “Cleopatra” could be the band’s next #1 Modern Rock hit (fingers crossed), while my favorite song, “Angela,” is starting its ascent at Triple A. While you weren’t paying attention, The Lumineers have become a core band for Modern Rock, although there are still a few programmers who remain oblivious to the band’s mass appeal, adding fuel to 2017 being The Year of Are You Fucking Kidding Me?...

I woke up (too) early this morning to the news of the CBS Radio/Entercom merger. What it means is still unclear—Entercom’s David Field will run the show, but CBS shareholders will retain 72% of the stock. Will there be a designated sports station in San Diego now, rather than having Modern Rock KBZT run the Padres games, as previously announced?...

Ted often speaks of Modern Rock as a “niche” format. Founded as a musical destination for “freaks and outcasts” (to paraphrase David K. Harbour’s speech at the SAG Awards), these stations were programmed by music fans who understood firsthand how a song could change someone’s life. No need to revisit how the format evolved into a profitable piece of a major radio group’s pie—I’ve been writing about that very thing for 20+ years. 

Here’s my concern: There’s a precariously thin line between niche and, to put it bluntly, irrelevance. It’s unfathomable that the majority of radio (with a few notable exceptions) hasn’t embraced The xx’s “On Hold,” which is outselling and out-streaming nearly every other song being played. The reward of playing a song from a band the demo clearly loves far outweighs the risk…

I am well aware that there’s an enormous source of frustration among both my label and radio peers due to the pressure of booking radio shows, which are REQUIRED as a source of income. These shows are now 90% of the conversation, further complicated by festival radius clauses and limited talent budgets. It often puts the promotion person in a no-win situation, as they are neither manager nor agent for the artists they promote. Are these shows worth it? Is there an alternative money-generating solution?...

It seems like every year begins with a song from a new artist that catapults to the top: KONGOS, Gotye and Bishop Briggs are a few examples, off the top of my head. This year, MISSIO’s “Middle Fingers,” a slacker anthem for the ages, is that record. Of course, its trajectory began at SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, since Jeff Regan is almost always the earliest adopter of the format’s biggest hits (see Rag’n’Bone Man, among others). Adds at KROQ, WRFF, Live105, DC101, WWCD, 91X, WLKK, KRZQ, WSFS, KXRK and WLZX soon followed, which set the course for “Middle Fingers” to be #1 Most Added this week. Smash… For those programmers still playing Cold War Kids “First” in Power rotation (even Adult Contemporary, the ultimate “aftermarket” format, moves faster than you), please be aware that the band’s new single, “Love Is Mystical,” is available for airplay NOW. Gary Gorman is at the helm following the band’s signing to Capitol. What a brilliant song! I love this band so much…

Modern Rock radio has the opportunity—wait, I mean the RESPONSIBILITY—to provide a community and haven for the aforementioned “freaks and outcasts.” It’s a scary time, bound to get worse, as the Narcissist-in-Chief wreaks havoc. Be inclusive and openhearted, community-minded and compassionate. And never forget that a song can change a life… SONG TO HEAR: Sundara Karma’s “She Said.”


 
 
Post Toasted Index
posted 3/10/17
posted 2/17/17
posted 2/2/17
posted 1/12/17
posted 11/4/16
posted 10/21/16
posted 5/20/16