You know it's not the same as it was. (12/2a)
Long live Hitsville USA. (12/2a)
IGA and Republic are on top. (11/30a)
A Bunny, a Taylor and a Morgan walk into a bar... (11/30a)
It's the most wonderful time of the year. (12/2a)
Artists sound off on the prospect of being nominated
They're changing the game... for some.
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By Karen Glauber

Since last week’s Grammy announcement of the nominations coincides with our U.K. issue, I’d like to bring attention to some of my favorite Brits: One nomination for Wet Leg’s genius self-titled debut would’ve been a victory. I figured they were a lock for Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue,” one of the most exciting debut singles of the past decade. Then the other nominations for the Isle of Wight duo started rolling in, five in all, including Best New Artist (!!!), Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) and Best Remixed Recording (“Too Late Now,” Soulwax Remix).

Congrats to Domino Recording Company, manager Martin Hall and Team Wet Leg on these well-earned nominations. Martin was also presented with a lifetime-achievement award as the “Managers’ Manager” at the Artist and Managers Awards in London for his work with Wet Leg, Manic Street Preachers and The Script.

Also at that ceremony, Dirty Hit artist beabadoobee won for Breakthrough Artist. Her viral smash “The Perfect Pair” should’ve been nominated for a Grammy, but I digress

Domino, led by Laurence Bell in the U.K. and Kris Gillespie in Brooklyn, have a second nomination for Best Alternative Music Performance, with Arctic Monkeys’ “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” also in that category. The latest Arctic Monkeys’ album, The Car, is one of my favorite albums of 2022.

Florence + the Machine, fronted by reigning Grande Dame of Alternative, Florence Welch, earned their first-ever Best Alternative Music Performance nod (and seventh overall) for “King.” The band’s “What Kind of Man” was nominated for Best Rock Performance in 2016. They have not yet won a Grammy.

Although the band hails from Texas and not the U.K., I feel compelled to mention that Spoon, led by Britt Daniel, one of my favorite people in the world, scored a Best Rock Album nom—their first Grammy nod ever—for Lucifer on the Sofa (Matador). It’s quite the culmination, considering the band has for decades released some of the most consistently GREAT albums in the alt-rock genre. Bravo.

Every musician’s favorite band, Idles, was also nominated for Best Rock Album for Crawler and Best Rock Song for “Crawl!” Watching Idles tear up the stage with that song is one “Grammy Moment” we could all use. From what I’ve been told, Best New Artist nominees Måneskin are massive Idles fans. That pairing would be quite something. Congrats to our friends at Partisan Records on these nominations, which come on the heels of Fontaines D.C. being nominated for Best Rock Album for their 2020 release, A Hero’s Death.

Ozzy is likely to garner a number of wins in the Rock and Metal categories—he’s been nominated for four this year for his latest release, Patient Number 9. It should be noted that the majority of nominations in the Alternative categories are for female artists. The Grammys continue to get that part right.

U.K. superstars The 1975 are currently on tour in the U.S., selling out arenas in every market. I had a blast at the Madison Square Garden show with Christine Malovetz, Brad Steiner, Marisa DiFrisco and friends from other formats/markets. “I’m in Love With You,” the band’s current Top 10 Alternative hit, is streaming over a million a week in the U.S., and this leg of the tour will wrap up in mid-December, so you certainly have time to see this extraordinary show. The Kia Forum show on 11/28, presented by Alt 98.7 and true believer Lisa Worden, has been sold out since the on-sale. There is no better front person than Matty Healy. There is no debating this fact.

Once again, I’m going to remind you that the women pick the hits. Lisa Worden, Jenna Kesneck, Christine Malovetz, Amber Miller, Michelle Rutkowski, Hilary from 91X, Laura Lee, Christy Taylor and Shawn Lucero, among other women in our format, understand Alternative music on an almost cellular level. Pay attention to the records they champion.

There is much to be grateful for this year, including you. Happy Thanksgiving.


By Karen Glauber

As of this Thursday, Audacy’s WNYL will no longer exist as an Alternative outlet for NYC. Instead, 1010 WINS, the oldest continuously running news station in the States (first on-air in 1924) will now occupy the 92.3 FM frequency. Losing this station is a huge bummer but hardly the first time an Alternative station has had the plug pulled in NYC. “We can’t have nice things” could very well be our beloved format’s motto, as stations with a 0.0 share (the sound of one hand clapping) have their spins counted toward the Alternative Mediabase chart (a disgrace) while we lose a station that actually had an impact in the market, which happened to be market #1. Jesus.

Audacy has swapped Las Vegas Alt KXTE to Beasley, who will take morning-show powerhouses Dave and Mahoney, with no announcement regarding the format of the station. WNYL PD Mike Kaplan will be leaving Audacy and taking time to explore his myriad options, while his programming team of Christine Malovetz (whose brilliance outshines all others) and Brad Steiner (aka my best friend) will continue to blossom at Audacy under the guidance of Kevin Weatherly.  KXTE PD Ross Mahoney will continue his role as a Regional VP. I anticipate a shuffling of who is overseeing which markets in the months ahead, but for now we’re holding our collective breaths, hoping for no other surprises in the near future.

A million huzzahs to Lisa Worden for her Alter Ego lineup, which is iHeart’s premiere Alt-radio festival. In January, we’ll be at the Kia Forum, grooving to Rosa Linn, Beach Weather, CHVRCHES, Phoenix (swoon), Fall Out Boy, Muse, Jack White and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Brava!

This week, thanks to the generosity of Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin, I’ll be at the Forum with Merge Records goddess Christina Rentz to see Harry Styles. Had I gone to see Wolf Alice at the Wiltern a few nights ago, I could’ve had my photo op with Harry, who was hanging backstage with his onetime opening act. Lesley James, the new appointed APD and host at KXT Dallas, snagged a selfie with Harry while I was at home watching Bachelor in Paradise or some similar escapist fare, chosen to numb the pain of another Tuesday.

Arista’s Nick Petropoulos, one of my favorite people on the planet, coasted into the weekend with Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” entrenched at #1 at Alternative, six years after its initial release (time flies in a pandemic). After Beach Weather, Gorillaz “Cracker Island” is a lock for #1, to be followed by blink-182’s “Edging.” News of the band’s reunion with Tom DeLonge, plus the on-sale of a massive tour, confirms their status as one of the biggest bands in the U.S. The timing of the single and tour announcement is a much-needed jolt for the Alternative format.

The biggest band in the U.K. is The 1975. Their latest album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, debuted at #1 across the pond, outselling the collective sales of the remaining albums in the Top 5. “I’m in Love With You” is a monster hit over there as well. Does 100 million global album streams get your attention? Does the cover story from Pitchfork catch your eye, perhaps? Maybe a sold-out arena tour of the States, which starts in two weeks, will impress you. Look for a significant chart debut in the States—extra-poignant because the band chose to release the album on their own label, Dirty Hit, also home to beabadoobee, blackstarkids, Rina Sawayama, Pale Waves and Harry’s buddies Wolf Alice (in the U.K.).

One of my favorite bands of all time, Simple Minds, released an album of new material Friday titled Direction of the Heart. I know there are new records from Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys that would otherwise occupy every waking moment, but I’ve been listening to the Simple Minds album on repeat for weeks. Without question, working with this band during my tenure at A&M remains a top-five career highlight. I’d love to interview singer Jim Kerr about what it was like to be an Alternative artist 40 years ago.



By Karen Glauber

It was announced last week that Mediabase will be bedfellows with Luminate, when they begin jointly reporting on radio’s music activity. Until this merger, BDS has been used to service Billboard’s radio charts and other charts incorporating radio data, including the Hot 100. At the helm of this big change is Mediabase’s EVP Global Music Marketing and Strategy Alissa Pollack, a respected and dear friend of all of us in the HITS career cul-de-sac. The transition from BDS to Mediabase will take effect by year’s end.

The two radio formats most impacted by this switch are Triple A and Latin—both regard BDS as their radio chart of record. With regard to Triple A, the concern is that the BDS chart counts airplay from twice as many stations as the Mediabase chart, encompassing dozens of Non-Comm stations that have a considerable market impact but don’t meet the criteria for Mediabase reporting. As of now, there are 27 reporting Triple A stations and 19 “Activator” stations. Indie labels flourish at the Activator stations, which have “graduated” indie artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Sharon Van Etten, Spoon, The Lumineers, Japanese Breakfast, Father John Misty, beabadoobee, etc. to mainstream chart success.

Brad Savage from WAPS was the first to express his concern that his station’s lack of Mediabase-reporting status will impact his ability to have access to artists, but his market impact is well known, and he will always have label support. Will Mediabase add some of these Non-Comms to the reporting panel, or will they separate the charts to a Commercial panel and a Non-Commercial panel? I expect there will be a solution that enables the format to survive, anchored by key heritage stations like KBCO, WXRT, WRLT, KCMP, WXPN and ratings juggernaut KINK. I choose to remain optimistic.

The 1975’s genius new single, “I’m in Love With You,” was #1 Most Added at Alternative this week! I pointed out to Ted that exactly one year ago, the #1 Most Added song at the format was The Lumineers’ “BRIGHTSIDE,” which proves that Ted and I always forget to take any time off during the summer. Speaking of The Lumineers, we’re off and running with “A.M. RADIO,” the single Andy Hawk and Lenny Diana asked for by name, and I’m grateful that I was able to see the band last Friday night amid a swarm of 25,000 at Redondo Beach and managed to avoid a third bout of COVID (for now, at least).

Back to The 1975: Did you know that their upcoming tour is completely sold out? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered for tickets (Marissa).

Dan Connelly was very happy to receive the KROQ/Audacy Select add on Talk’s “Run Away to Mars.” This song is a monster. Capitol has signed Backseat Lovers, with WNYL adding their last song, “Kilby Girl,” this week.

The pandemic has proven that linear time no longer matters. The urgency to be “first” on a record, which was the goal of most programmers in the past, has mostly gone by the wayside, as TikTok , TV shows like Stranger Things and other pop-culture flash points have reignited songs from years ago. The Cafune single, “Tek It (I Want the Moon),” is from 2019. Beach Weather’s smash, “sex, drugs, etc.,” is from 2016.

Another fascinating example is the massive popularity of Cigarettes After Sex’s “Apocalypse” on Partisan Records, which is from 2017 (and which KROQ added in March, 2018), and is now streaming 7-10 MILLION a week and is on the Spotify Global Top 200 at #94. This is PIAS’ most-streamed track in the world, and the tour sold out immediately (I just helped my friend’s kid get tickets for the NYC show).

Congrats to Michael Martin and his crew (some of whom still have my number blocked on their phones from last year) on the announcement of Audacy’s Beach Fest, Day One. The lineup includes Muse, Jack White, Jimmy Eat World, Phoenix (yay!!), Yungblood, The Maine, BoyWithUke, Half Alive, Beach Weather and more.

Shana Tovah to those who celebrate. Happy 5783!


By Karen Glauber

Like you, I spent most of last weekend watching the heart-wrenching performances from the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London. The performances were nothing short of historic, especially when Taylor’s 16-year-old son Shane joined the Foo Fighters for “My Hero.” Nothing could possibly mitigate the tragedy of Taylor’s death—but the concert amplified how loved and respected he was by some of the greatest musicians in the world. The Los Angeles tribute concert is on 9/27, and I expect I’ll see many of you there.

The biggest story of the summer was the return of two legends to the forefront of Alternative music: Kevin Weatherly returned to KROQ, and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” became the SONG OF THE SUMMER, thanks to Emmy winner Nora Felder’s brilliant work as the music supervisor on Stranger Things.

One year later, Wet Leg is still the coolest new band on the planet, with “Chaise Longue” in Power on KROQ and “Wet Dream” now Top 30. I would think this band is a lock for Grammy acknowledgement this year, similar to the noms Japanese Breakfast and Phoebe Bridgers received last year.

Speaking of Phoebe, whose iconic status continues to grow, she has a cameo in “I’m in Love With You,” the new video from The 1975, which is at 2m views on YouTube and 6m streams in the past week. Dirty Hit will service the song to Alternative on 9/12, while Triple A continues to have massive success with “Part of the Band” (currently #2 on the chart).

I don’t often envy other’s concert experiences, but seeing Michelle Rutkowski’s photos from last weekend’s Lumineers concert at Wrigley Field made me feel like I’d missed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For an indie-rock band to sell 40k tickets is an extraordinary achievement. The Lumineers also sold that many tickets in Denver, and their summer tour winds down with next week’s BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach, where they’ll be playing with Hall & Oates (side note: Daryl Hall’s first solo album, Sacred Songs, is one of the greatest albums of all time) and Pete Yorn, among others. After two Top 5 songs with “Brightside” and “Where We Are,” Dualtone (aka me and Ted) will be launching, BY POPULAR DEMAND, a radio mix for the programmer fave “A.M. Radio.” Lots of love for this song, and it’s been streaming 600k weekly in the States, with 21.3m total U.S. streams.

The streaming juggernaut commanding your attention is Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Whatever,” which is the vibe song of the summer. Nick Petropoulos has the hits… Our old friend Nick Bedding, who, believe it or not, briefly toiled as a HITS employee, has landed at Nettwerk, where his first project is Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ amazing new single “Stars.” Nick can be reached at [email protected]. Say hi

Everybody is talking about Rosa Linn’s “Snap,” which is a massive streaming hit. My boss thinks she sounds like Natalie Merchant. I disagree—but we totally agree that “Snap” is a smash.

Dan Connelly has yet another hit to add to his repertoire with TALK’s “Run Away to Mars,” which my kid has known about for a month. This one will fly up the charts… Another super-buzzy song is “Insomnia” by The Moss. Amy Kaplan is at the helm, and this is definitely a song you will love.

My newest favorite song is “Tonight” by Phoenix, featuring Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, whose “This Life” is one of the greatest songs in recent years and should’ve been an infinitely bigger hit, but you guys fucked it up. Phoenix is a global treasure, and “Tonight” is a classic.

SONG TO HEAR: BLACKSTARKIDS w/Beabadoobee “CYBERKISS 2 U,” which reminds me of De La Soul. BLACKSTARKIDS are from Kansas City and they love Lazlo.

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