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Why do I suddenly have an urge to buy a Hermes Kelly bag? Anyone have a spare $7,000? Maybe I should hit up Maynard Keenan for a loan—after all, the new A Perfect Circle CD Thirteenth Step debuted at #2 this week, selling over 225k!
GUESS WHO'S BACK... BACK AGAIN
Ivana's Hawaiian Vacation is Over... It Was So Empty Without Her

PERMISSION TO LAND: Any fantasy of returning to work after vacation feeling RELAXED and REJUVENATED was thwarted when I came home, only to find that one of my cats was "punishing" me by skipping his dinner and staying out until 4:30 a.m. Walking up and down my street from midnight until 2 yelling Ackley (his name) is definitely one way to get to know the neighbors. Once the furball and I were reunited (he’s still grounded), I was able to shift my focus to last week’s PoMo Musical Chairs.

At one point, the music stopped, and it looked as though WXTM PD Kim Monroe was out of the game. But then the music started again and there she was, back in the thick of it! Although WWDX and WMRQ flipped formats, we’re happy to report that both Music Directors, Kelly Bradley and Chaz Kelly, have landed radio gigs in their respective markets.

Why do I suddenly have an urge to buy a Hermes Kelly bag? Anyone have a spare $7,000? Maybe I should hit up Maynard Keenan for a loan—after all, the new A Perfect Circle CD Thirteenth Step debuted at #2 this week, selling over 225k! His music is also all over the Underworld soundtrack, which is selling briskly after a huge $22 million opening weekend! Bear in mind that much of the country was bracing for Hurricane Isabel, which undoubtedly hampered both box office and CD sales in some markets. Maybe Maynard would accept tickets to next week’s Interpol shows in L.A. as collateral? I’ve heard he’s a fan.

While waiting for my proverbial ship to sail in, there has been a must-see show EVERY NIGHT since I got back. Thursday’s Calexico set at the El Rey was a revelation—this band deserves to be as big as the Dave Matthews Band, at the very least. APM radio has begun to embrace songs from Feast of Wire, although I also bought a copy of the band’s latest import single (a cover of Love’s "Alone Again Or") to send to KGSR’s Jody Denberg. Friday’s event was the IMA Robot show at the Viper Room. Since I can’t rely on chemical stimulants to mask exhaustion, Jenni Sperandeo offered me caffeine-rich sodas, but the band’s performance was enough to keep me energized. After years (and years and years) of suffering through "angry muppet rock" bands with zero charisma or "rock star" presence, it’s quite refreshing (and encouraging!) to see bands like IMA Robot connect with a sold-out crowd.

Quite a connection has been made between Hot Hot Heat and the KROQ audience, as was in evidence at Saturday’s all-day, all-night Inland Invasion 3. This year’s show celebrated the ’80s, which brought out more than 65,000 KROQ listeners, willing to brave 110-degree heat and San Bernardino, for the privilege of seeing The Cure, Duran Duran, Echo and the Bunnymen, Hot Hot Heat, Violent Femmes, Psychedelic Furs, Interpol, Mark Almond, Fountains of Wayne and General Public, among others.

Backstage was like my 20th high school reunion (a bunch of people my age who didn’t remember all the good times we’d shared), except I actually had fun this time. Interpol wanted to meet Duran Duran and The Cure (Robert Smith watched their set from the side of the stage), while I was happy to have Dave Wakeling serenade me with my favorite English Beat song ("End of the Party"). Between bands, there was time to reminisce with the Femmes about their pre-Slash days, when they’d use my off-campus house at Oberlin College to crash between midwest dates. Soon-to-be-exiting MD Lisa Worden managed to look gorgeous (for Robert, of course) while the rest of us wilted, but not even severe heat could damper the enthusiasm of those in attendance. WB’s Rob Goldklang summed up the nostalgic lure of the line-up best when he said, "It brings you back to a time when you had no responsibilities or worries." Transcendent. Cathartic. Exciting. Entertaining. All words I’d use to describe most people’s Inland Invasion experience.

These are also some of the adjectives I’ve attached to seeing The Darkness for the first time. Since I’m nearly out of room, please refer to the "Weakend Planner" on www.hitsdailydouble.com this Friday for a full review. There was nothing "nostalgic" about The Darkness for me—I grew up HATING that music. In fact, if I was going to plan my own personal ’80s Inland Invasion, the line-up would probably be something like The Replacements, R.E.M. (IRS years), Utopia, Marshall Crenshaw, Husker Du, Dream Syndicate, Meat Puppets, Hoodoo Gurus, The Feelies, Julian Cope, Mekons, Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, Crowded House and headliners The Blue Nile. Halloran, Bob Waugh, Jim McGuinn and maybe Phil Manning are the only programmers who would want to attend, and I’d bet they’d want to be on the guestlist.

 So I digress, as is expected of someone who spent the night with the lyric, "Get your hands off of my woman motherfucker," sung in a falsetto, coursing through her brain. So much happened this week: Thursday’s new Victory/Island CD War all the Time sold nearly 70k, while Howie and Christine landed 99X, Live105 and KFMA on "Signals Over the Air." Next week, they’re launching the completely brilliant Ryan Adams single, "So Alive." You will absolutely love it.

Columbia is on fire with Switchfoot’s "Meant to Live" (new this week at Y100, KROX, WMFS and KWOD) and The Ataris’ "The Saddest Song" (#5 Most Added!), with a new Offspring single ready to drop any minute. Our dear friends at Epic pulled in WBCN and 91X on Travis’ "Re-Offender" (yay!), as Audioslave’s "I am the Highway" was #6 Most Added (including KDGE, K-Rock and 99X).

The subject of tomorrow night’s concert agenda, Kings of Leon, had a great week at PoMo, as RCA's Woltman, Burrs and Blair reeled in more than a dozen adds on "Molly’s Chambers." The Strokes’ new single, "12:51," found love at WXDX, WJBX, WMFS and KFMA this week (you’ll be next, right?), while those who know these things are already screaming HIT!

Our close pals at Capitol, who we love so much (Radiohead is in town this week, it’s time to grovel), were #2 Most Added with Jane’s Addiction’s "True Nature," which we adore almost as much as we love Ted Volk, who also skillfully closed Yellowcard at WOCL. He has talent and the toughest ticket to procure in town!

Elektra’s Jet will be stopping by the HITS cesspool tomorrow, during which time we can congratulate them on new adds this week at 99X, WJRR, KCPX and WAVF, while reminding bass player Mark of his drunken antics at Inland Invasion.

Alien Ant Farm’s "Glow" is lighting up playlists, including WFNX and WROX. This is the song you wanted. Ross Zapin and his DreamWorks team remain committed to expanding AFI’s PoMo success (this band is your future), while managing to resist saying "I told you so" after Saves The Day’s In Reverie sold over 33k this week.

The White Stripes last night, Jet and Kings of Leon tonight, and Radiohead tomorrow night! Exhaustion aside, what an incredible week of music!

SONG TO HEAR: The Darkness’ "I Believe in a Thing Called Love"…. PEOPLE TO WATCH: Rob Cross, Mike Peer, Del Williams, Ron Poore, Lorraine Caruso, Joe Rainey, Gaby Skolnek, Dan Connelly, Nic Harcourt, Mary Shuminas, Kevin Mays, Bill Carroll and Garett Michaels.

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