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The key to any record’s launch is to identify the “champions” for the project, most often Alt Nation, WEQX and WWCD for the indie bands, where early response offers a legitimate sense of the record’s potential for greater success.
FOR IVANA, “HO HEY” BEATS
HO-HUM ANY DAY
Look Who’s #1 and #2 This Week on the
Modern Rock Airplay Chart
CURSE ME GOOD: History was made at Modern Rock this week when, for the first time ever, two indie label releases were ranked #1 and #2, with The Lumineers “Ho Hey” and Mumford and Sons “I Will Wait.” The proverbial playing field is wide open these days and hits can come from anywhere, including the hit machine of Glassnote Records, whose track record of radio smashes is unimpeachable, or labels like Dualtone, which launched The Lumineers with early, with passionate support from Andrew Harms and Mike Kaplan at KNDD. Both Pearl Jam and Bush had huge radio hits recently with self-released records. And radio still has the power to find and make hits, like John Allers’ discovery of Of Monsters and Men, or the championing of Foster the People, Atlas Genius and Blondfire by SiriusXM’s “Alt Nation,” programmed by Jeff Regan…. The landscape has changed and the heretofore “automatics” that have always dominated the Top 10 are being now judged more critically than ever. Name recognition only avails an incredible first week of adds and airplay, but then the song’s performance is judged, often unfairly, against the band’s prior hits, with stations willing to bail out at a moment’s notice… Every song on the chart has its own trajectory. The key to any record’s launch is to identify the “champions” for the project, most often Alt Nation, WEQX and WWCD for the indie bands, where early response offers a legitimate sense of the record’s potential for greater success. KROQ’s early embrace of Youngblood Hawke has catapulted the record to must-play status at the format, just as KTBZ’s add on The Heavy’s “What Makes a Good Man?” is a game-changer for the track, which debuted this week at #37. Speaking of game-changers, the placement of the most genius Passion Pit song “Take a Walk” (aka “Amanda’s Song”) in a surprisingly effective and not awful Taco Bell commercial has helped propel the record to Top 20. I believe “Take a Walk”is a hit on its own merits, but the additional exposure certainly helps the over-thinkers amongst you… Records take as long as they take to reach their potential (you may quote me), as evidenced by Capitol’s steely focus on Morning Parade’s “Headlights,” which is nearing Top 15 and is one of KPNT’s most-played songs, with new adds this week at 89X, KFMA, KBZT and WCYY. The band will be opening for the Smashing Pumpkins next. If I was Morning Parade, I’d be learning a medley of Pumpkins’ hits because, according to interviews I’ve read, Billy doesn’t want to “revisit the past,” and at least the audience would be hearing songs they know… On the subject of focus and patience, props to Tyson Haller for another great week on Wombats’ “Jump Into the Fog,” as more majors come in every week. Tyson has close to 20 proven research stories on the song so far, and has undoubtedly proved that the record deserves a shot… Rob Goldklang celebrated the New Year (5773, but I’m still writing 5772 on my checks), with some huge adds on Warners’ latest signing Blondfire, with KNDD, WROX, KRAB, KRBZ, KROX joining Alt. Nation with early support on “Where the Kids Are.” This song has magic, trust me… Nettwerk just released the first single “Hero” by local favorites Family of the Year. I think this song will resonate with listeners, much like Imagine Dragons or AWOLNation… U.K. band The Chevin have a single called “Champion” that radio programmers are LOVING on first listen. The singer truly has the best voice in Modern Rock, and I anticipate that this will be a big hit… One of my favorite bands, Band of Skulls, has always been one song away from breaking huge. I think they nailed it with their new single, “You’re Not Pretty but You’ve Got It Going On,” which captures the swagger of the band, with a memorable chorus to boot. If they’re on tour in your market, invite them into the studio to perform that song for you. I’m obsessed with it….Heading out on the road today to preach the gospel according to Divine Fits. What I’m willing to do for love… CONGRATS to Jenni Sperandeo on being named President of Dangerbird Records! We always knew she was a badass. Unlike my title, hers will mean something. Hail to the Chief!… President of My Desk and the Contents Beneath It: [email protected].
HITS LIST IS HAVING
A HEAT WAVE
Pass the BBQ sauce. (7/2a)
TOP 20: A LIL MORE OF THE SAME
Like a broken record... (7/2a)
WATCH THIS
We aim to please. (7/3a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
6 IN THE MORNIN'
Origin story of the real OGs (7/2a)
PRE-HOLIDAY PONDERING:
POP TOP EDITION
Have another Beer, we insist. (7/2a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
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