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POST TOASTED
LIFE ITSELF

By Karen Glauber

A few times each year, someone will ask me, “What inspired you to seek a career in radio promotion?” The obvious answer is the four-plus years I spent running a college radio station, during which time I was hired as a college rep at A&M Records. The question I constantly ask myself is how I’ve managed to outlast nearly everybody else I started with 30+ years ago. Intelligence is not a prerequisite, and beyond my unnaturally exhaustive ability to “name that tune” in three notes (or less), my social skills are not exceptional (I hate people).

What I’ve come to realize (after decades of therapy) is that a key to longevity in this job, especially for women, is to have been brought up by an alcoholic/drug addict (or two), especially if said parent(s) could answer 10-out-of-10 on the “Are You a Raging Narcissist?” questionnaire that was included in Parade magazine. Or maybe it was the Psychology Today quiz, “How Depressed Are You, Really?” We (those of us who grew up in such an environment) are perfectionists, people-pleasers, and—luckily for the radio programmers we speak to—we are quick to apologize for their irrational behavior. We are the problem solvers, prone to grand gestures of generosity, while asking for nothing in return. Elliot Spitzer made it impossible for us to make demands for reciprocity; now we “hope” programmers will “do the right thing.”

We are at the mercy of the decision makers, whose opinions and actions, no matter how ludicrous and, in many cases, abusive (we’ve all had a Swimming With Sharks boss in our career), are accepted as “the truth.” Those who grew up in chaos are quick to make jokes to diffuse the tension. We might deny it, but we take every business decision that doesn’t go our way personally (you added his record, rather than mine), and as another example of how we need to be more perfect and more in control. To you, we’re accommodating and unfazed by pressure. For me, specifically, I feel an enormous responsibility on behalf of the artists, managers, labels, programmers and employers to be at the top of my game AT ALL TIMES. Thanks, Mom…

The highlights of last week’s iHeart Rock Summit included the opportunity to hear (and see) so much great new music, and be part of the introduction of Bishop Briggs (she made a hugely positive impression, even at 8:50am) and the acknowledgement by KONGOS of the role that iHeart had played in their career by choosing “Come With Me Now” as the first-ever On the Verge pick. Lewis Del Mar singer Danny Miller and Nerf have now been in the same room, at the same time (the resemblance is uncanny), and John Moschitta told me (in confidence, of course) that he’s picking Cold War Kids’ “First” for the next On the Verge. Seriously, it was lovely to see Moschitta, and I told him that the new KONGOS single, “Take It From Me,” should be teed up and ready to add by 2017. The bands we all agreed had smashes forthcoming included Phantogram, whose “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” will be a #1 record (bet on it), plus Two Door Cinema Club, Glass Animals, Head and the Heart, Barns Courtney, Bastille and the aforementioned Lewis Del Mar. Kudos to Brad Hardin for packing so much great music into one day. Let’s hope (there’s that word, again) that every programmer left inspired by the vast array of potential hits…

I was also very happy to meet WRDA PD Aly Young in person, as well as Ted’s bff Todd Violette, plus dear friends Dustin Matthews, Mike Kaplan, Dave Hill and John Allers (whose cheek I kept kissing—and I was sober!)…

I’m obsessed with the new Glass Animals single “Life Itself.” It’s a “modern”-sounding smash—it’s truly “what’s next” in music. Jacqueline Saturn and her Caroline promo squad will break Glass Animals at radio, without a doubt…

Congrats to Nick Petropoulos and the Glassnote team for taking The Strumbellas’ “Spirits” to #1 this week! The song was iHeart’s only On the Verge pick so far for 2016—well done! When The Lumineers’ “Ophelia” goes to #2, the #1 and #2 songs on the Alternative chart will be on indie labels. Has that ever happened before?

 


 
 
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