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Radio promotion is a counterintuitive and thankless job, UNTIL your song is a hit. And then it’s the GREATEST JOB EVER.
IVANA ON MODERN ROCK’S AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
When HITS’ PoMo Princess Really Means It,
She Types in ALL CAPS
AS FAST AS WE CAN: Our radio promotion brethren have added “air traffic controller” to their list of skills, as the backup of music at the format resembles O’Hare on a summer Friday. In addition to their arsenal of brilliant synergistic opportunities and unparalleled oratory skills (most often communicated via email or voicemail), those doing promotion also need a steely sense of timing, so that their priority record inches past the ones being worked by their peers. For those of us waiting our turn, it’s a tense ballet, as we clench our teeth and tell the programmers who control our destiny, “there’s always next week,” knowing there’s always the possibility of an unforeseen “automatic” or the next new shiny hit, bolstered by a TV ad that even you’ve seen (the DVR is your best friend). Don’t even THINK about taking a vacation or scheduling needed surgery or being remotely distracted or your record is toast. Or so says your boss (from his vacation home). And will Gotye ever relinquish the #1 chart position? If it were up to you, never. Radio promotion is a counterintuitive and thankless job, UNTIL your song is a hit. And then it’s the GREATEST JOB EVER. Well, maybe not ever, but it’s a tangible representation of collective efforts. And after the fact, the song’s success looked like a slam-dunk, but right now it all feels like quicksand. There’s a rhythm to every project until it reaches its full potential. The key is to manage the weeks of no adds and a key station’s Specialty programming, resulting in a backwards move on the chart, with the reality of the song’s potential. A song like “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes has moved up the priority list because of ALBUM sales, a huge buzz from press and touring, a base at Triple A and Non-comm, and because programmers can now “hear” it as being right for their station. Big week for them, with adds at WBRU, KBZT and 98.7. The other song making its way is Walk the Moon’s “Anna Sun,” which now has the call-out to add weight to its considerable request picture and immense online call-out. At least there’s now the data to support what you knew when you heard the song once: It’s a SMASH… Whenever I use the term “empirical evidence,” I mean it as a bitch slap to those who dare question my position on a record. Yes, I am absolutely certain that Garbage’s “Blood for Poppies” belongs on your station in a significant rotation. AND I have the empirical evidence to back it up: Top 10 Male call-out at Rate the Music; the digital release of Not Your Kind of People is #6 at iTunes; their status as one of the most influential bands in the history of Modern Rock has been recounted in every review and editorial feature; “Blood for Poppies” is already #16; the ’90s are what keeps your audience from going elsewhere to hear new music. Because I said so… Fast on the heels of Alabama Shakes is “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. This song is lightning in a bottle, the likes of which I haven’t seen since…wait for it… Mumford & Sons “Little Lion Man.” There, I said it. This song is as reactive as Mumford in terms of airplay IMMEDIATELY impacting sales. I guarantee that “Ho Hey” outsold AT LEAST 50% of your playlist. And it will make your heart soar. It’s the magic song of the summer… Speaking of summer songs, I’m besotted with the new Matisyahu single “Sunshine.” Love, love, love. He’ll be on tour this summer with Dirty Heads, including some dates with Sublime. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have Dirty Heads and Matisyahu on-air together? Have each of them play a song and then do a song together? I love that idea! Call Edie at RED and book it NOW…This is me: [email protected]
PRIMARY WAVE CHECKS INTO
THE FOUR SEASONS
Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/21a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/23a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/23a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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