At any other time, bands like Bloc Party, Hot Hot Heat, Dead 60s, Kasabian, Alkaline Trio, etc., would’ve sailed up the chart on the strength of their current singles, all of which are immediately catchy and


PoMo Diva Makes Attitude Adjustment to “Glass Half Full” Based on Format Ratings Turnaround and a Passel of Potential Hits
“IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BREAK A BAND”: There are few unequivocal truths in the world, but of this we are certain: There are 10 records in the Top 10. There’s only one debut artist in the PoMo Top 20 that hasn’t gone gold (yet), and that’s The Bravery. The lower reaches of the chart, from #30-#40, are filled with truly deserving records, stacked in a holding pattern like O’Hare during a holiday weekend, waiting for a gate to open up so they can make their move. At any other time, bands like Bloc Party, Hot Hot Heat, Dead 60s, Kasabian, Alkaline Trio, etc., would’ve sailed up the chart on the strength of their current singles, all of which are immediately catchy and radio-friendly. But the PoMo chart is jammed with the format’s biggest bands, like Green Day, Foo Fighters, Weezer, System, Coldplay, Offspring, Incubus, etc., which makes the challenge of breaking new bands almost absurdly impossible. Examining this from a “half-full” perspective (as opposed to my usual “half-baked” point-of-view), the proliferation of meaningful new songs from gold and platinum PoMo artists has definitely been a factor in the recent turnaround of the format’s ratings. The recent trend gave stations like 99X, WHFS, KMYZ, KBZT, KNRK, X-96 and KROX cause for celebration, especially KROX, who posted its first #1 Adults 18-34 trend since the 2002 spring book. WHFS’ ratings growth since moving to Baltimore proves that with a signal, they will come. 99X’s 12+ trend grew 2.5-3.2 and they are #1 non-ethnic A 18-34. If your trend was worth noting, please let me know and I’ll include it in next week’s column!… If you’re going to Chicago for Lollapalooza, you’re likely to see Steph Harty, Universal Records’ new Sr. Director Alternative Promotion. She is proud to report that there’s now a phone and a functioning computer in her new office, although if anyone could be capable of getting adds just through mind-meld and wishful thinking, it would be Steph. (My own attempt at procuring airplay by casting spells and sending bad vibes has been less successful than I’d like). You can find her via [email protected] and her new office #: 773-772-0760. When last seen, Steph was shoe shopping with Jack Johnson Replacing the irreplaceable Steph at Columbia Records is Risa Matsuki, formerly at TVT, where she was in charge of assuring Kerry Marsico that he is most definitely hetero… Another of our favorite promo goddesses, Amanda (don’t call me Mandy) Moore, has segued to Vagrant Records from Artemis. We met up last week at the Eel’s show (E’s first CD was the soundtrack to the longest month of my life in rehab some 13 years ago, so I’m an unabashed fan), and Amanda can’t wait to work the new single from Senses Fail, as well as the new From Autumn to Ashes CD, while expressing her absolute adoration for both Alkaline Trio and every other band on the Vagrant roster… One of our favorite stations, KRBZ, held its first festival, Buzz Beach Ball I, on July 5, with headliners Weezer, as well as crowd-pleasers Cake, Story of the Year, Straylight Run and more! Major congrats to Lazlo and the rest of the staff for selling over 13,000 tickets—which might be double what Weezer could’ve done on their own in Kansas City. I’ll see Weezer this Saturday night in Atlanta, where they’re headlining 99X’s weekly “Downtown Rocks,” with openers The Bravery, Dead 60s and Second Shift. Last week’s opening “Downtown Rocks” show with Cake, Stereophonics and The Caesars drew more than 15,000 listeners willing to brave Hurricane Dennis for this show. I can only imagine how many tens of thousands will show up, if the Weezer and Bravery message boards are any indication of turnout!… Following the show for 99X, Cake headlined a show for KROX as part of their ongoing 10th Anniverary Bash, selling out Stubb’s way beyond capacity (2300). Lynn Barstow said Cake’s cover of Bread’s “The Guitar Man” is already Top 10 phones at KROX, while X-96 and WHRL are also reporting phones. This is definitely a record for consideration!… Our beloved Dredg gained radio love for “Bug Eyes” this week at X-96 and WROX. They’re currently on a headlining tour until they tour with Coheed & Cambria in the fall. This band sells tickets and CDs like crazy—there’s already a fanatical fanbase, so radio is the last part of the equation. It’s infinitely easier to play a band with an established base than trying to create “instant fans” just through airplay… Speaking of bands with a base of nearly 100k, radio is beginning to pick up on Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On,” which is the coolest “groove” you’ll hear all summer. Garett Michael’s at KBZT says it’s his second most reactive song (after the juggernaut that is Matisyahu), with early callout indicating serious “SMASH” potential. 99X added “Camera” this week, and the Merge Records folks are on a serious roll with both Spoon and Arcade Fire!… While I wouldn’t be so bold as to speak on their behalf, I’ve been told that stations such as KROQ, KNRK, KBZT and CD101 are thrilled with how Interpol’s “Narc” sounds on the air. The song is magic. We’ve known that since we first heard it played live two years ago. And you should know better than to argue with me at this point, especially on the topic of Interpol… Happy birthday to Sherri Trahan!