THE STRINGER ERA BEGINS
Rob picks up his keys to the kingdom on 4/3. (3/29a)
DREAM, ROCK AND PARTY: FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE'S CRUISE CONTROL
Step into the world of FGL. (3/29a)
THE DEATH OF PRINT JOURNALISM: TOOTHSOME TWOSOME EDITION
Nicki Minaj flashes her pearly whites on our newest mag cover. (3/29a)
AMAZON ENTERS U.K. LIVE MUSIC SCENE
Peep these Prime perks. (3/29a)
By Karen Glauber
On Tuesday, I drove to San Diego to do my missionary work at KBZT and 91X, bringing both stations the gospel according to Britt Daniel (aka the new Spoon single), which was received joyously and with the fanfare expected of those who have supported this band for the past decade. Spoon’s first single, arriving 1/17, is the title track of the band’s new album, which, if I believe Pitchfork, is called Hot Thoughts. Spoon has delivered the swagger that has been missing in the absence of recent music from Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys (although I’ll argue to the death that Bishop Briggs, Phantogram and K. Flay have filled the void rather handily, you know, “for girls”).
Because Spoon is one of my Top 5 bands in life, it seemed perfectly invigorating-not-exhausting to fly to Chicago (and back) the following day to spread the word to Troy and Walt at WKQX and forever-fans Kelly and Marty at WXRT. Running in the freezing rain between the two stations (minus appropriate winter gear), I read a text that Mike Halloran, whose office I had spent an hour in the previous day, accompanied by my girl-crush Hilary and dear friend Garett, had just left 91X. I don’t know the full story, and his response to my text, “Was it something I said?” was vague, but this feels Shakespearean, especially with Garett’s very recent exit from KFMB. Will Garett proceed with his new consultancy (which includes 91X) or be named the new PD of 91X? Even at his most curmudgeonly, Halloran is a rare talent with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing countless Iggy stories since we first crossed paths in 1982. The tenure of a 91X PD seems to be around three years (Christy, Capone, Phil, etc., etc.), so maybe it was inevitable.
A belated but emphatically heartfelt congratulations to Jacqueline Saturn and the Caroline team for having the first #1 of 2017 with Judah & the Lion’s “Take It All Back.” The band and the label have worked around the clock to break this song at radio, with special acknowledgement due to Brad Hardin, John Allers and Mike Kaplan (among others) for anointing the song as one of iHeart’s On the Verge picks.
iHeart’s track record in 2016 was impeccable: Bishop Briggs and The Strumbellas were the other two artists chosen. The radio group’s first choice for 2017 is Rag’n’Bone Man’s “Human,” currently galloping up the chart. Brady and Darice have a surefire #1 smash on their hands! Ask them about Lo Moon, whose debut (out this year) makes my heart soar. Jeff Regan is currently playing “Loveless” on SiriusXM Alt Nation’s “Advanced Placement” feature. Among the other songs given the “Advanced Placement” distinction is Sundara Karma’s “She Said,” which we’re currently setting up for a 2/14 add-date. Ask me about them (I’m obsessed).
Last year, we learned two important lessons: (1) Polling methodology, whether it’s determining the outcome of an election or the measure of a song’s hit potential via MScores, is deeply, deeply flawed, perhaps to the point of irrelevance. “There’s NO WAY that man can be elected President” was our outcry, as we pored over polling data that supported our indignation. Nor could your declaration that “Ophelia” wasn’t a hit be regarded with anything other than incredulity. (2) Abandoning the premise on which the Modern Rock format was built—namely, new-music discovery (as many of you did at the advice of the “Format Killer”) didn’t help your ratings. There are 100 million PAID streaming music subscriptions worldwide. The passion for music has never been stronger! I look at the BuzzAngle reports from key radio markets that show the Top 100 streaming songs of that week. There is a definite correlation between the biggest Modern Rock radio bands, like The Lumineers, The 1975 and blink-182, and streaming, but the biggest story is what you’re MISSING. For example, The xx’s “On Hold” is consistently tops in every market (90% of the Top 100 is hip-hop and pop), so where are you??? Their name is at the top of every festival poster you share on FB, and the song couldn’t be more accessible (Hall & Oates—hello!) Failure to support artists who are already THIS BIG is unfathomable to me.
SONG OF THE WEEK: The Shins’ “Name for You” (James Mercer’s female-empowerment anthem for his daughters. The perfect song at the perfect time.)