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Now is the time to divide the panel between “active” alternatives and mainstream alternatives, like they did with rock years ago. We need a radio civil war.
IVANA INSISTS THAT SOMETHING’S GOTTA CHANGE
The PoMo Panel Needs to Be Revolutionized, but She’ll Table That for a Week and Wait for a Table at Las Manitas
TINSELTOWN IN THE RAIN: What a difference 12 days make, 144 little hours. Brought the rain where there used to be sun and the flowers… The PoMo format lost one of its best stations on Feb. 24 when WPLY was taken off the air. No wonder PD Jim McGuinn had been so cryptic the weeks prior to Radio One literally pulling the plug. Now there is no commercial PoMo station in Philadelphia (and of course this happened days before Interpol was scheduled to tape a “Sonic Session” for the Y100). The response from the audience was immediate and passionate: FANS of the station rallied and put y100rocks.com on the Internet, where it has quickly become the most-listened to online radio station on the Net. The fans who set up the website invited former Y100 DJs to host “airshifts,” while also procuring 50,000 online “signatures” protesting the station’s demise. Y100Rocks has taken its message out to the streets, more specifically, in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum, where over 500 supporters of Y100 gathered to rally for a return to the airwaves.  The event was covered by every local TV station, with further future events being planned, including a Dashboard Confessional show in support of Y100Rocks! The revolution will be televised!…

While our beloved Jim McGuinn and Dan Fein were singing lyrics to The Ramones classic “We Want the Airwaves,” WANZ Birmingham also went the way of the woolly mammal, as WRAX moved to its frequency (so much for those 26 weekly Interpol spins). You know that optimism I was feeling a few weeks ago. Gone, Daddy gone…. Not everybody was on the ledge this week (it’s awfully crowded as it is!), like our friends at Astralwerks, who are re-releasing the Caesars’ genius “Jerk It Out,” now PROMINENTLY featured in the iPod Shuffle commercials. Perhaps Apple employees heard the song on Live105 more than a year ago, when it was a HUGE HIT for Sean and co. Can’t go wrong with a Farfisa (or is it a Hammond B3?). Anyway, the Caesars are a completely genius Swedish band. and “Jerk It Out” is a big fat hit. Adds this week included KNDD, KNRK, WWCD, WPBZ and WMAD, which put Dave Lombardi and “boyfriend to the world” Dan Connelly squarely in the Most Added category. Astralwerks is also putting out the incredible Athlete CD. I’d send it to you but I’ve already sent Phil Manning my only copy…

Geordie Gillespie from Hollywood Records has something for everybody: Breaking Benjamin and Z-TRIP. The former is another huge smash from a best-selling band, while the latter is blowing up with huge immediate phones on a song called “Walking Dead,” featuring some guy named Chester. The rest of the Z-TRIP CD features collaborations with everyone from Chuck D to Jurassic 5. My favorite Hollywood band, The Polyphonic Spree, was added at WHFS this week with their version of Nirvana’s “Lithium.” Very cool…

After an especially grueling Tuesday, I need assistance completing this column, so I can get home before The Amazing Race starts. The one on TV, not the weekly race for radio’s extremely limited attention. I thought I should clarify, although I think my friends would agree that almost ANY task on the Amazing Race is easier than working Seth Resler. But I digress. Since Universal Records had two big PoMo chart debuts this week (Mars Volta @ #2 and Jack Johnson @ #13), I will now turn the column over to Howard Leon, allowing him the opportunity to brag about their success. He says, “Four songs on the chart, and they don’t get more diverse than Mars Volta, 3 Doors Down, Jack Johnson and the Kaiser Chiefs. Mark Czarra and I are probably one of the strongest promo teams out there.” Hey, if I had as many songs charting as they do, I’d be way less humble. I asked Howard for his take on the format. His reply: “The fragility of the format is never as clear as the Most Added records this week, with the extremes of My Chemical Romance, U2, Slipknot, Z-TRIP, Jack Johnson, etc.” Now is the time to divide the panel between “active” alternatives and mainstream alternatives, like they did with rock years ago. Give bands like The Bravery, Zutons, Arcade Fire, Kaiser Chiefs, Tegan & Sara, etc., a higher profile and not be relegated to the bottom of the charts still dominated by Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Mudvayne, 3 Doors Down, etc. We need a radio civil war. Interpol is one of those bands whose success is hardly reflective of the way the charts are structured.  The industry fails to recognize the impact certain bands have in markets where they've connected with audiences. Take Jack Johnson: “Flake,” his first single, is considered in retrospect to be a huge hit, despite never getting above #20, but where it got played, it was huge.” So I asked the obvious question, “Do you predict a riot?” Howard answered, “To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way the world will end, not with a bang, but a whimper.” Or, to misquote Icicle Works, maybe it will be more like “from a whimper to a scream.”…

At least there’s SXSW to look forward to, which THE BRAVERY WILL OWN, much like Franz Ferdinand and The Killers ruled last year. Check out the site for my must-see shows and favorite shopping spots!… SONG TO HEAR: Wakefield’s “C’mon Baby” (Weezer meets Jellyfish—perfection!)

APPLE MUSIC'S
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RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
ZOOM THANKSGIVING
We're virtually stuffing ourselves.
TRUMP'S LAWSUITS
He's lost 25 out of 26, and so tired of winning!
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