They're looking for more than 10 cents. (10/17a)
Great Scott! (10/16a)
Speaking of Travis... (10/17a)
Unexpected drama (10/17a)
"More" being the operative word... (10/17a)
What shoes go with dancehall?
How certain projects connect at streaming.
농담은 한국어에서 더 잘 작동합니다.
Change is nigh.

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By Karen Glauber

There’s a larger-than-mine footprint on my bedroom wall—the aftermath of my almost 11-year-old son’s attempt to recreate Billie Eilish’s SNL performance of “bad guy.” Julian is her most recent devotee, and he’s almost willing to admit that it’s cool that I first saw her at SXSW in 2018. Almost. His favorite band is still AJR, and he’s suggested (more than once) that we get a dog so he can name him “Winter,” after his favorite song, “Dear Winter.” Once the song is a hit, we have a deal. This weekend, AJR is headlining a sold-out show at Red Rocks, grateful for Nerf, who was the first PD to support “Sober Up,” and scream that it was an Alt hit over two years ago.

In my self-ascribed position as the Dowager of the Modern Rock format, you know that I am forever advising both labels and radio that one of the keys to career longevity is being absolutely dead-right at least twice a year. For every new artist played on the radio, there’s a PD (or PDs) who hears something special, or understands which metrics matter these days, and decides to give the record a shot. And by “shot,” I don’t mean the sort of overnight airplay that has us wondering, “If a song is played in the overnights on a station without a frequency, is it possible that it reaches an audience of less than one?”

Not to digress, but it’s fascinating that some of the stations recently added to the Modern Rock panel don’t have PDs. If I spend my days playing songs on the jukebox at my local coffee shop, can I be a reporter? My “spins” would have a greater impact, that’s for sure. I’ll table the sarcasm for a heartbeat and get back to my point: Be a leader! Appreciate the platform—your mandate is to shift culture and redefine the mainstream. This is ALTERNATIVE radio, dammit!

One glance at the streaming profile of Clairo’s genius single “Bags” should convince you to play this record. Over 15 million streams on Spotify, plus she’s currently headlining a sold-out tour, including an upcoming show at the Wiltern in L.A. SiriusXM's Alt Nation is more than 400 spins deep on “Bags,” with other stations that usually lead the way doing just that: Music Choice, WLKK, KQGO, WLZX, KITS, WLUM, KNDD and WWCD. The phenomenal format success of Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and Shaed (which is STILL Top 10) has shown (again and again) that female artists can have radio hits on a male-targeted format. The Caroline team behind Shaed is devoted to making this Clairo song the hit we all know it will be.

The Cold War Kids single “Complainer” is shaping up to be the smash we all think it should be. Yay.

“SCIENCE SAYS REGULARLY ATTENDING CONCERTS MAKES YOU HAPPIER” is the headline of an article from Vice.com making the social-media rounds this week. It’s been a blissed-out week of shows, with AJR at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Vampire Weekend at the Hollywood Bowl (“Harmony Hall” is still the best song of 2019), a sold-out Cigarettes After Sex show at the Wiltern (just wait ’til you hear the new album) and Dominic Fike’s triumphant appearance at the El Rey. How lucky are we to have these incredible weekly opportunities to see live music?

“Life in the City,” The Lumineers’ seventh career single at Modern Rock, launched this week with 22 adds! The first six singles were all Top 3 (with five #1s), so I expect this song to follow a similar trajectory. Has any other indie label band had six consecutive Top 3 songs? The part of my brain that deeply cares about chart positions would love to know.

The era of “Spank It or Crank It” at KRAB Bakersfield has reached its conclusion with the departure of PD Danny Spanks. WLZX PD Lenny Diana continues to insist that ROCKTOBER is a thing.

SONG TO HEAR: Cherry Glazerr (f/Portugal. The Man), “Call Me.” This is a one-listen smash.


It's unprecedented for an unsigned band to hit #1 on a radio chart with a debut single, so when Dirty Honey took the top spot at the Rock format with debut single "When I'm Gone," the buzz got loud. The band, managed by Mark DiDia at Red Light and repped by UTA, has racked up north of 5m streams for its self-titled EP and left a trail of wreckage after performances at Heavy MTL, Sonic Temple and other rock fests. Now the quartet's new single, "Rolling 7s," has dropped with an accompanying video, which you can check out below. The band is currently on the road and will hit Louisville's Louder Than Life with Guns N' Roses, Ice Cube and more on 9/28.


Following the cancellation of their Terminal 5 show—due to a storage-room fire that caused some damage (no human harm, though)—Cletus The Van/Caroline alt act Judah & The Lion decided to use their spare time to give back.

The band teamed up with NY Common Party, the charity that "reduces hunger and promotes dignity, health and self-sufficiency."

"Very bummed that the show was canceled tonight, but we want to make the most of our time in the city," the band shared on socials. "We are partnering with NY Common Pantry for a food drive! If you were planning on coming to the show— think about coming and hanging with us here and help if you're able to. Please bring some food items to the pantry or make a monetary donation if you can! ...We will be there from 4-6p and would love some help loving on this amazing city. Address is 8 East 109th Street. See you there!"

As volunteers, their duties included manning stations at the soup kitchen and serving locals in need.

What mensches. 

The rest of their tour dates can be found here.


By Karen Glauber

I just returned from NYC for a week of album-release promo with Dualtone’s The Lumineers, sadly missing the Storytellers performance they’re doing at ALT 92.3 Friday afternoon. III is the name of their latest, signifying the number of “chapters” on the album, and, less referentially, the band’s third album. Oh, the magic of the third album! Born to Run, London Calling, The Suburbs, Dookie, Badmotorfinger, OK Computer and Parklife rank as those artists’ most career-defining LPs, just as III will be for The Lumineers. First single “Gloria” continues to build 20+ weeks since release, with over 1700 spins this week. “Life in the City” is already Top 10 at Triple A, with an Alternative add date of 10/1. The lyric that slays me every time is from “Leader of the Landslide,” which Wesley Schultz wrote about an alcoholic relative whose self-destructive life and the collateral damage caused by her addiction is the subject matter of the album: “And maybe when she's dead and gone I'll get some sleep.” III is on pace to debut at #2 this week, as Post Malone’s latest remains in the #1 spot.

Congrats to Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee for reaching #1 with Dominic Fike’s “3 Nights”—what a tremendous achievement! Lisa and I went to see Tyler, The Creator (whose “Earfquake” should be on Alternative radio) on Thursday night, and we might have been checking Mediabase “Real Time” more than would be considered healthy/reasonable. “3 Nights” has over 240 million Spotify streams, which went unmentioned in this week’s New York Times article, “What Does Alternative Rock Radio Sound Like in the Age of Spotify?” Entercom’s Mike Kaplan and SiriusXM’s Steve Blatter were quoted, although the TimesJoe Coscarelli seemed focused on the format’s lack of support for female artists, unaware that 25% of the songs on the Alt chart have female lead singers, which is infinitely higher than in years past. Mike points out that a Spotify hit isn’t always a radio hit. We all know that many Alt radio hits never stream—the programming challenge is to find a balance between songs that perform on the radio with songs that emerge from streaming.

My job is to break artists, and it’s almost impossible to launch a song at radio unless it already has a significant footprint at the DSPs. Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes’ “Crowbar” is already at 6 million streams, and his sold-out tour starts here on Monday, which will help our cause at radio. This is a case where airplay has had a measurable impact on streams, similar to the “cause and effect” of airplay = streams for AJR’s “Dear Winter,” which is already Top 20 in audience.

Streaming = airplay is just one part of the Billie Eilish juggernaut. Despite radio’s claim of ownership, you guys were all late, although you SHOULD take credit for “being there”—it helps you appear to be tastemakers and ahead of the curve. Thanks to the aforementioned Steve Blatter and Jeff Regan, I was able to attend Billie’s SiriusXM Alt Nation show at the Troubadour the other night. What an incredible, inspiring show—she truly is the present and the future.

Rex Orange County’s new single “10/10,” his first for RCA, is already at 3 million Spotify streams since its release last week. Hooray to Dennis and Artie for being Most Added at radio, not to mention Rex being crowned iHeart’s new “On the Verge” selection, which was a critical component to the success of Dominic Fike. Next up for Dennis and Artie is the brilliant new Flora Cash single, “Missing Home.” Flora Cash is currently on tour with my beloved Judah and the Lion. Go see them and send both bands my undying love.

After 25+ years at KROQ, Gene Sandbloom is heading north to be Content Director of Triple A station KINK and OM of Alpha Media Portland. Gene has occupied a special place in my heart (and in my house) forever—this is a thrilling opportunity for him!

SONG TO HEAR: Cigarettes After Sex, “Heavenly”

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