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If everything anyone could ever want to hear is so readily accessible, what is that something that still compelled over a million people to buy Norah’s CD this week?

IVANA WONDERS WHAT NORAH'S SUCCESS HAS TO DO WITH HER

Will "Sunrise" Light Up The Darkness, Polyphonic Spree, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Vines, Jet and Phantom Planet?

LOGIC WILL BREAK YOUR HEART
Is Norah Jones the savior of the music business? Does her sophomore release, Feels Like Home, selling over one million this past week signify a "recovery," or have we yet to hit bottom? I’ve always assumed that Norah’s fans aren’t technologically savvy enough to download her music (using family and friends as anecdotal evidence), until I was informed (by someone who knows these things) that Norah’s new CD has already been downloaded more than two million times.

According to this "informant," women over 30 represent the fastest-growing demo for downloading music. If everything anyone could ever want to hear is so readily accessible, what is that something that still compelled over a million people to buy Norah’s CD this week? I believe there’s an emotional component to spending money, especially when it’s for an anticipated item or event. You don’t need an economics degree (I swear I’m only a few credits shy) to know that the economy sucks. Who hasn’t been impacted? Impulse purchases are a thing of the past. I rarely spend money on things I don’t need or truly, truly, truly know will enhance my life (like Lost in Translation on DVD or the new Aqualung CD).

Clearly, more than a million people made the same decision about Feels Like Home this week. Although the single, "Sunrise," is #1 at APM, airplay has yet to hit 150 spins at any station, so sales obviously weren’t predicated on having a "hit" song. Am I suggesting there isn’t a correlation between airplay and sales? Absolutely not, but I will insinuate that many radio programmers have no idea what is "meaningful" to their audience. After being force-fed faceless, active-lite crap under the banner of "new rock alternative," who wouldn’t be excited to turn on the radio and hear a "classic" song from the ’90s? It sure beats the "alternative."

In this climate, The Darkness are undeniable visionaries, rather than just a fun band that rocks. For listeners lulled into complacency by the endless repetition of songs by bands whose names they don’t know (or give a shit about), "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" must sound like the greatest song ever written.

It’s more rewarding to feel passionate about music that is evocative than that which is merely provocative. Maybe rewarding isn’t the right word (obsessing about Interpol certainly took its toll), but I consider it a privilege to be in a position where I can spend every waking hour (all 24 of them) talking about music.

The part that keeps me awake is the overwhelming sense of futility, which is, by definition, when labor has no outcome or purpose. For many label people, the growing sense that radio programmers have become "unpromotable" is a greater source of stress than their being "merged" out of a job. But, for a moment, let’s relish the positive, like the huge week on "Mad World" (Y100, WBRU, WROX, etc.). Or the message I just got from Bill Carroll, excited that the Jet CD just went gold! And the IM from Abbey telling me that Polyphonic Spree sales in San Francisco doubled after only one week of airplay on Live105. More than 10 adds on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs this week makes me positively giddy with optimism. And since playing HIT SONGS is vital to PoMo remaining a current-based format, we rejoice as majors come in on Hoobastank’s "The Reason," including KROQ, KDGE, CIMX, KROX and WJRR.

Also, Capitol had another extraordinary week on the Vines’ single (K-Rock, Y100, KBZT, WWRX and more), despite the naysayers who prefer their "early, funnier" work. I promptly celebrated the success of others by going online and purchasing my two-day pass for Coachella. And while I was at it, I ordered a pair of tickets to see The Zombies next weekend at the Coach House.

Congratulations are due KQXR PD Jacent Jacent, not only for adding Phantom Planet this week, but we also heard he’s been named MD at Q101. This is not a job that historically has a lot of turnover, so we expect he’ll be set for the next few decades.

Our dear Gina Juliano has joined the on-air staff at WAQZ. She will be paid in Skyline Chili, Graeters Ice Cream and Cincinnati Reds swag.

 Epic goddess Jacqueline Saturn delivered her daughter in less time than it took me to write this column. That is why she is a goddess, and I am merely her supplicant. Baby Alanah, father Yigal and Jacqueline are all perfect, while I remain deeply, deeply flawed….

SONG TO HEAR: Sugarcult’s "Memory"

PEOPLE TO WATCH: Dave Beasing, Dave Stewart, Matt Shiv, Tim Bronson, Jim McGuinn, Lisa Cristiano, Gaby Skolnek, Geordie Gillespie, Lynn McDonnell and Patrick Ferrise.

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