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Why do I have the cell-phone numbers of at least 25% of Elle Girl's "50 Hottest Guys in Rock"? It means your teenage daughter will
love me.
IVANA'S FEAR OF FLYING
The Queen of PoMo Pilots East, Hailing Hanson, Iggy, The Darkness and More
I’m not sure when I decided I was terrified of flying. Not just reasonably fearful, but to the degree where I spend the night before a flight in a heightened state of panic. At least this gives me more waking hours to make sure my upgrade goes through—if I’m going to die in a plane crash, I’d better be in first class. As you can probably surmise, I didn’t die on either flight, which was little comfort through the worst of several continuous hours of turbulence. Perhaps this is a metaphor for the current state of the music business. Maybe it isn’t.

The many highlights of my eventful (yet stealthy) visit East included seeing Hanson from the vantage point of the Carnegie Hall opera box I shared with MTV/VH1 friends (and now believers) Arista’s Shannah Miller (the perfect plus-one for this type of event), Ryan from Guster and Ben Kweller. Dinner with Epic’s Jacqueline Saturn, DreamWorksRoss Zapin and the aforementioned Shannah Miller was a perfect respite after a hectic day of meetings, during which we determined our five-year plans (always a good mental exercise) and discussed every “what-if” scenario. Geordie joined me for Friday night’s sold-out Polyphonic Spree show (a thousand fans in Brooklyn!), after which Hanson bonded with the Spree (there are photos to prove it) and various members of Interpol. This is part of my master plan to have my favorite bands love each other, although for what grand purpose remains to be resolved.

The real reason for my stealth visit to NYC (en route to visiting the family in Easton) was the need to buy an outfit for Gaby’s wedding. Said garment was found (with Shannah Miller’s help) at Barneys (a Vasseur-Esquivel dress and my first pair of Manolos!), because no expense should be spared when it comes to my dear friend Gaby. You will see me in this outfit at every awards show for the next decade.

The Hanson show precluded my chance to attend Iggy’s CD release party, just as my flight home arrived too late for me to see The Stooges at All Tomorrow’s Parties in Long Beach. Every important PoMo band, past or present, has been influenced by Iggy, even if it’s a degree of separation away. Before the format becomes a completely meaningless array of faceless bands, whose songs do well in six-second increments on a research tape, consider your station’s “five-year plan,” as it were. Playing the new Iggy Pop single might not be the antidote, but why not acknowledge the true musical architects of our format—the one that’s supposed to be “Modern” and/or “Alternative”?

On the heels of last week’s 100k+ sales debut, The Strokes’ “12:51” found new love this week at KMYZ, KDGE and KBZT. It’s time for the rest of you to give this record the benefit of the doubt, which you should also apply to the following SMASHES: OutKast’s “Hey Ya” (sales are over 1.5 million!); Coldplay’s “Moses” (75k+ bow for live DVD/CD; new adds at KPNT, KQXR, KFRR); Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (enormous built-in familiarity from the iPod ads). I know it’s hard to compete with new singles from Godsmack and Nickelback fighting for your attention.

Our beloved Ryan Adams’ new CD, Rock N Roll, sold nearly 50k this week! WAVF had the presence of mind to add “So Alive” this week. This project is a labor of love for Howie and Christine at Island, as is the new Hoobastank single, “Out of Control,” which scored HUGE this week with adds from both MTV and KROQ! Howie may now resume searching for the Paris Hilton tape on the Internet.

There was something very fitting about blaring The Darkness CD on my drive from NYC to Easton, PA. It reminded me of cruising around town in the late ’70s in any one of my friend’s Camaros (it was the unofficial state car), listening to ELP or UK, except this time I wasn’t stoned. Ron Poore and Bonnie Slifkin had a spectacular week on “I Believe In a Thing Called Love,” including (drum-roll please!) Q101, WPLY, 99X, KNRK, WWCD, WJBX, KNXX, WRZK and KQRA! We salute you, one and all!

The DreamWorks gang (Ross, Matt and Jeff) had an extraordinary week with the “official” launch of AFI’s “Silver and Cold.” Despite going into the add week with nearly 30 PoMo stations already playing this single, Ross and his team were still #2 Most Added! AFI is one of the biggest artist development/success stories of 2003—everyone involved should be commended for staying focused on a band that represents the present and the future of the format.

Big props to WFNX for adding Phantom Planet’s “Big Brat” this week. Imagine my pride seeing singer Alex Greenwald in this month’s Elle Girl listed as #1 in the “50 Hottest Guys in Rock.” Why do I have the cell-phone numbers of at least 25% of the 50 hotties? It means your teenage daughter will love me.

Audioslave’s Chris Cornell has always been the standard by which I judge “Hot Guys in Rock.” This had absolutely no bearing in WXTM, WPBZ and WPLY adding “I Am the Highway” this week. Well, maybe WXTM.

Our friend Jeff Sodikoff has relocated to Chicago where, I’m pleased to announce, he’s been named Sr. VP of Marketing for IEG, Inc. This company specializes in “creating strategy for both properties and brands to enhance or develop special sponsorship programs or initiatives that help produce greater ROI.” I have no idea what that means, but it’s probably more rewarding than grinding programmers for spins. Jeff’s email is [email protected].

SONG TO HEAR: The Shins’ “So Says I” (the new Sub Pop CD is genius!).

PEOPLE TO WATCH: Greg Dorfman (another great week on Smile Empty Soul’s “Nowhere Kids”), Gaby Skolnek, Stephanie Harty, Paul Driscoll, Suzie Dunn, Chris Woltman, Ross Zapin, Lorraine Caruso, Jay Harren, Bill Carroll, Jeremy Pritchard, Dave Stewart, Mike Stern, Dave Beasing and Marco Collins.

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