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Despite what you were raised to believe about Rock formats, LYRICS MATTER.

IVANA OFFERS HER THANKSGIVING
PEARLS OF WISDOM

When Was the Last Time You Sang Along With Your Favorite Record at the Top of Your Lungs
on the Way Home From Work?
REEL AROUND THE FOUNTAIN: Twenty-eight years ago today, The Smiths released Hatful of Hollow, a compilation follow-up to their debut The Smiths. Those two Smiths records on import, plus Roxy Music’s Avalon, The Blue Nile import of A Walk Across the Rooftops and the Simple Minds import of New Gold Dream were the first CDs I ever bought, all purchased at Pier Platters Records in Hoboken, which I walked by every day on my way home from my college promotion job at A&M Records. Each CD was over $20 and still needed to be transferred to cassette so I could listen on my Walkman. But the sound quality is so superior to vinyl, we were told! And now, the same CDs would barely fetch $1 each at my favorite store, but I still count these records among my all-time favorites, and they’ll always have a spot in my collection, except now on vinyl… Even with many of the West Coast stations embracing hyper-rotations of its biggest songs, there appears to be NO BURN on The Lumineers “Ho Hey,” regardless of the concurrent pop airplay in the market. Some Modern Rock stations still have the song in Power, even after 1,800 spins (KNDD), while also playing “Stubborn Love.” It all seems so obvious now, but the early believers, like KNDD, WEQX, WROX, CD101, etc., REALLY provided the empirical evidence needed to grow this record…. Another song showing signs of being “magic” is Family of the Year’s “Hero,” which is being spearheaded at radio by Bob Divney. New adds this week included WRFF, Live105 and the aforementioned WROX, whose PD James Steele is a GENIUS at picking the “right” Triple A-leaning Modern Rock songs (he was also early-and-often on The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow,” among others)… Despite what you were raised to believe about Rock formats, LYRICS MATTER. The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey,” Fun.’s “We Are Young,” Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time,” Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait” and Muse’s “Madness” resonated with listeners in large part due to the lyrics. Even though I’m decades past scribbling Todd Rundgren and Springsteen lyrics in my notebook, the words to “Ho Hey” seem especially poignant when I sing them to my son (while he screams, “No, Mommy, NO SINGING.”). So when you’re choosing between potential singles, favor the song that has the more relatable lyric or the clever turn-of-phrase (this is why Ted and I are going crazy over the next Heavy single, “Curse Me Good,” which has some of the smartest lyrics we’ve heard in ages AND has a good beat and you can dance to it)… Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is bringing some swagger back to the format (although its impact is quickly mitigated with every Philip Phillips add). Gaslight Anthem’s “Here Comes My Man” is even better than the first single, and Gold Fields’ “Dark Again” scored BIG adds this week at KNDD, KPNT and WZNEBlondfire’s “Where the Kids Are” was added this week at 91X and WGMP, with other majors on deck for the next two weeks. Special praise should be heaped upon KTBZ Houston for adding Bob Mould’s “Star Machine.” How awesome is that?… If the song you’re releasing to radio doesn’t have a big synch, a memorable chorus, a lyric that inspires, or at least whistling, handclaps, pauses, stomping, “ho heys” or some combination thereof, then it better have swagger/attitude/sex appeal and a four-to-the-floor beat. Half-assing it will get you mid-chart at best. The key to keeping our employment gainful is to identify the songs that could be hits EARLY and to BE RIGHT, while trusting your gut to identify the “magic potential” in everything. When Alt Nation plays a record in a meaningful rotation, you know it’s a proven hit (Blondfire is #6 on their countdown this week!). Have access to iTunes track sales for your market. Immediate sales after a few spins is often an indication of a song’s potential. If you want to reinvigorate your love of music, listen online to any number of important Non-Comm stations. Go out to shows. Acknowledge, even briefly, that you don’t know everything. Remember the thrill of buying your first CD and then PURCHASE an album, even if it’s one you already own. Listen to it on the way home from work, SINGING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS (it’s been Hermit of Mink Hollow for me this week). Stop being a dick and be thankful. Express gratitude towards others. Hug, if you must. Enjoy the holiday. SONG TO HEAR: Hanni El Khatib’s “You Rascal You” (I’m obsessed)…
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OOH, LAS VEGAS
You're gonna make a poor boy outta me.
HOW I WISH THAT THERE WERE MORE
...than 24 hours in a day.
PALMS SWEAT, BLACKJACK
on a Saturday night
SIN CITY
Lamborginis and caviar Dry martinis, Shangri-La
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