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THE PURSUIT OF GREATNESS

In retrospect, very few truly important artists/hits emerged from Modern Rock last year. Oh, for sure, KONGOS’ "Come With Me Now" cut a swath for the reemergence of "swagger" to the format, and Hozier's debut single, "Take Me to Church" was pure magic—new artists, along with Vance Joy and Banks, that are now moving through the next phase of promising careers. 2014 releases by core Modern Rock artists immediately climbed to #1, and stayed there, but it's unlikely that either the latest from The Black Keys or Foo Fighters, two bands I admire and whose music I love, will be remembered among their best work. 

My favorite song of 2014 was “Inside Out” by Spoon, which, not remotely coincidentally, is the latest single from They Want My Soul

A close second was Dan Wilson's "A Song Can Be About Anything," which I played on repeat for months.

These were two of the few songs that reminded me I wasn't completely dead inside. 

On January 1, as I have done every New Year since 2008, I played my son a song that is (I believe) one of the best ever written, The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year." 

I love a pause into a key change, don't you? While reflecting on the year that had ended (finally!), it occurred to me that this April 2015 will mark my 25th anniversary at HITS, and my 30th year in the world of Modern Rock (commercial) radio. There have been moments in my career when I've been eye-rollingly "over it," but there's still no better feeling than the late afternoon Kevin, Gene and Lisa from KROQ call with an add. I even lived through rap-rock, and those were bleak times. 

Mike DePippa, Gary Gorman and Joe Guzik were on the receiving end of the KROQ call this week: The adds were George Ezra, Death Cab for Cutie and AWOLNation (whose new single, “Hollow Moon” was #1 Most Added!)

So this year, the quest is to be inspired by the best of the best, and do my best, in return. The first moment of greatness I saw was Sleater-Kinney on Letterman this past week performing "A New Wave" from No Cities to Love, their first record in a decade, now out on Sub Pop. The add from WWCD on “A New Wave” this week is a fitting reminder of why life is grand. Sure, Mercury is in retrograde, and yes, our East Coast friends are buried in snow up to their necks (or in the case of NYC, up to their ankles), but station PD Lesley James is a constant ray of sunshine. 

Glassnote’s Nick Petropoulos was in L.A. last week because, well, he worships me, and also for the Tor Miller showcase, plus the iHeart presentation. Prior to Tor’s fantastic performance, while I was eating food off of Nick’s plate (there are no boundaries between me and hunger), we discussed the last few Robert DeLong targets (KTCL and KXTE came in this week!) and I begged to hear the new Mumford and Sons. That time will be in the next few weeks, according to Nick… The record that is outselling every other record you’re not playing (and 90% of the ones you are) is Misterwives’ “Reflections,” which is on Photo Finish/Island. This song is a SMASH. Even Lazlo agrees.

On Thursday and Friday night, Patti Smith and her band will be playing two sold-out shows at the Theater at the Ace Hotel (I love this venue). I haven't missed one of her L.A. appearances in decades; this week is no exception. If you have a chance to see her (you can get in; you know people), do not miss this, or any, opportunity to do so. 

SONG TO HEAR (and watch): In the Valley Below, "Peaches"

ALBUM TO HEAR: Belle and Sebastian, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

PEOPLE TO WATCH: Trey Morgan, Mike Tierney, Mike DePippa, David Jacobs, Christy Taylor, Mike Halloran and John DiMaio.

Email me: Karen.Glauber@hitsmagazine.com


 
 
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