She knows what "RIAA" stands for. (3/24a)
ON the record
The buzz from SXSW is deafening. (3/24a)
Streaming accounts for more than two-thirds of the income. (3/22a)
Let's hear it for Monte and Manet. (3/24a)
The mullet is money. (3/24a)
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
Who's next to grow the profile of Seoul music?
Are we about to see new attendance records set?
He signed Elvis.

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Seen before heading to the nearest Four Seasons for a spa day are (l-r) Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan, Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, the Lemon TwigsBrian D’Addario, The ZombiesColin Blunstone, the Lemon Twigs’ Michael D’Addario, Karen Glauber and Spoon’s Britt Daniel.

Ten years ago, I started moderating a songwriters panel at SXSW. Rather than have songwriters talk about the craft of songwriting, I ask them to perform songs that fit the designated “theme.” I have a tendency to tune out when other people speak, or so says Lenny, and this has been a way to keep myself interested.

This year, spurred by the overwhelming sense of deprivation and isolation that the pandemic has triggered, I called the panel “More Songs About Longing.” The core panelists have been the same for the past decade: Matthew Caws from Nada Surf, Mac McCaughan from Superchunk and Britt Daniel from Spoon, plus a revolving roster of my favorite artists. This year, Colin Blunstone, one of the greatest singers in the history of sound, known by all as the singer of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Zombies, agreed to join the fun. The Lemon Twigs were also new recruits.

Matthew flew in from the U.K. specifically for this panel and even wrote a new song called “More Songs About Longing” for the occasion, which he performed for the first time. Colin then played The Zombies’ “Care of Cell 44,” with the Lemon Twigs as his backing band, while the audience smiled and I freaked out onstage. Seriously. I thought I was going to pass out.

Mac sang my favorite song from the latest Superchunk record called “On the Floor,” with Matthew contributing harmonies. The Lemon Twigs performed one of their classic songs, “Corner of My Eye,” followed by Britt’s first-ever acoustic performance of “Satellite,” from the genius Grammy-nominated Spoon album, Lucifer on the Sofa. By request, he also played “Black Like Me” from Gimme Fiction, which marked 18 years since we first met at SXSW.

In lieu of having the audience ask questions at the end, we closed the panel with an audience singalong of The Zombies classic, “She’s Not There,” with Colin on lead and the rest of us joining in. This was Colin’s first-ever appearance on a panel of any type, and he agreed to return next year, even if my chosen theme is cats. Or songs from Cats, The Musical. This is my 34th SXSW (out of 35—I missed last year) and this was my favorite panel of them all.

Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Glauber

Glauber and The Zombies' Colin Blunstone


By Karen Glauber

A few months ago, Patti Smith graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, a noted women’s fashion magazine. When my subscription copy arrived, I stared at the cover and cried. Here was my idol, 76 years old, with minimal makeup and wearing clothes designed by her friend Ann Demeulemeester, chosen to “sell” the publication’s Art issue.

A writer, a poet, an activist and the most electric performer in the history of music, Patti continues to tour extensively, inspiring generations of fans. Three years ago, during her show at Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A., Patti acknowledged Women’s History Month: “I read that it’s the month of the woman. That’s really nice and all, but being a girl myself, I thought, one fucking month?”

So yeah, one fucking month? Was #metoo a success or a failure? Yes, Harvey Weinstein is behind bars. Yes, the concept of consent is being taught to the next generation. For my peers, ignoring consent comes with consequences (to them), and I’ve heard more than a few men joke about whether or not it’s “worth it” to engage with women on a professional or personal level. Regardless, men have been tasked with hiring more women. I can’t speak to their collective intentions, but if actual support and mentoring haven’t accompanied these changes, then it feels like this change is based on optics.

You know who paid attention to #metoo? Women. Many of us experienced harassment and exclusion in the beginning of our careers. During my tenure at A&M Records, I reported to eight different men, was one of two women in every meeting and experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a few executives whose job it was to support my department―beyond taking credit for our success.

Now, decades later, women at every career level are looking out for each other. The addition of women to “the rooms where it happens” has enforced our commitment to lift up the next generation of female executives. The jousting among women for the sole designated spot at the table has decreased thanks to a sense of shared purpose, even when men are threatened by our strength in numbers.

Social media presents a false sense of achievement; having more followers or more social visibility than your coworkers creates a false impression of perceived “value.” It’s hard to resist, of course, as we work in a relatively glamorous, social business. Does the effort you put into your social media make you a better employee, or is it solely for the advancement of your personal brand? There’s nothing inherently wrong with the latter, unless it’s being used as a tactic to outshine your coworkers.

I was able to attend ALT 98.7’s music meeting, hosted by Lisa Worden, on Tuesday. In the room were four women and two men (including Ted Volk), and the meeting (yet again) confirmed my belief that women pick the hits. It was his female fans that pushed Harry Styles toward global superstardom. The same could be said for his labelmates Adele and Beyoncé, as well as the other artists dominating this year’s Grammy Awards. When I want to start a song at Alternative radio, especially with female artists, my first calls are to Lisa, Hilary Doneux, Christine Malovetz, Michelle Rutkowski, Shawn Lucero, Laura Lee, Christy Taylor, Amber Miller, Jenna Kesneck, Miranda Daniels and the other hall-of-fame women programming Alternative radio. Want to program a successful radio station? Involve women in your programming decisions.

It’s imperative that we continue to support and provide opportunities to the next generation of women. And, when faced with a challenge, I’ll continue to ask myself, “What would Patti do?”

Song to Hear: Arlo Parks’ “Weightless.”


By Karen Glauber

My kid has COVID and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on my single-vaxxed head. They’ve taken over the house and I’m in my room—masked, isolated and grateful for the distraction of work. Whatever happens, happens.

Hopefully, I can be in NYC on 3/11 for The 1975 on Saturday Night Live, with host Jenna Ortega. I hope that someone in charge enlists Matty Healy to dance with Jenna to “Goo Goo Muck.” How epic would that be? It’s fascinating that SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel is giving “I’m in Love with You” 90+ spins a week, but Alternative radio still barely recognizes (with notable exceptions) that Matty is the biggest current Alternative SUPERSTAR that they have.

Do you know what’s going on in your market? Are you aware that beabadoobee put up a tour that sold out in minutes? The Greek Theatre in L.A. (cap. 6k) is one of the venues that went clean within moments. “The Perfect Pair” is at over 66 million global streams, and the song will be solidly in the Top 30 before my kid tests negative. Bea’s latest release, “Glue Song,” spent last week in the global Top 10 on Spotify, just in case I’m not making myself clear about how her career has blown up since you played “Care” two years ago.

Since my extracurricular activities are on pause for a while, I decided to entertain myself this morning by joining the queue for Cigarettes After Sex tickets for the aforementioned Greek Theatre. The moment tickets went on sale, they were gone, with the two Greek shows selling out in a heartbeat. Do you know how massive this band is? The 300th most-streamed artist at Spotify, in fact. “Apocalypse,” a song you might vaguely remember, reached ONE BILLION streams last week.

Sitting in the KROQ offices when Kevin and Miles decided to add “Apocalypse” was definitely a career highlight. They should still be playing it, since it appears that Cigarettes After Sex have been designated as THE BAND that kids want to listen to when they first discover pot and each other—Pink Floyd for Gen Z, as it were. I’m looking forward to sending the new single, “Pistol,” to Mark Hamilton—I know he’ll get it. Thank you, Mark, for adding beabadoobee at KNRK this week.

Lovejoy had a strong #2 Most Added first week at radio for “Call Me What You Like,” thanks to Dave Lombardi and his team. Please trust us when we tell you how big this band already is to millions of fans. Even without that insight, the song is extraordinary… Just got an email that Depeche Mode has added a THIRD Kia Forum show. Bravo to them and to Lisa Sonkin and Darice Lee on their incredible launch of the new Depeche single, “Ghosts Again.”

I used to call Scott Burton when he was a college-radio music director (WIDB). We bonded then, and many decades later, I’m still his cheerleader. Lots of cheers this week when KROQ added Caroline Polachek’s “Welcome to My Island.” Miles has been championing her for ages—a sold-out show at the Shrine is coming soon, and the heat surrounding Caroline has never been stronger. For fun, check out George Daniel and Charli XCX’s remix of “Welcome to My Island.” George is in The 1975, because all roads lead back to them.

Everybody loves CHVRCHES. Everybody loves their new single, “Over,” the band’s first for Island.

Jean Dawson, on Handwritten/Varick, is an artist who will redefine the mainstream. He’s doing your job for you. If I ever leave the house again, he’s the first artist I want to see perform. Jean has more swagger, charisma and talent than 90% of the artists on your playlist. “SICK OF IT” is a fantastic introduction to this career artist.

If you worked at a record company in the ’80s, then you’ve already seen Cocaine Bear. Thank you, and good night.


By Karen Glauber

12 years ago today, I was at KROQ, waiting for Arcade Fire to play live on-air, a few days before they won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Six years ago today, The Lumineers played a set at the Grammy Museum for KROQ, just prior to their performance at the MusiCares show honoring Tom Petty. Last week, I was at iHeart with Wet Leg, while the band recorded three songs and an interview with Booker & Stryker for playback that afternoon, just missing the chance to meet Måneskin, who arrived moments after we left. I love Grammy week.

“And the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album goes to Wet Leg!” Ignoring the appropriate response of the Domino gang I’d tagged along with, I jumped up and started applauding wildly. You can’t take me anywhere. Moments after the band’s acceptance speech (“magical” was their key word for the events unfolding around them), the band received their second Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue.” Further displays of exuberance were witnessed by others, while Wet Leg comported themselves with grace and gratitude. Thank you to Domino’s Kris Gillespie for inviting me to bear witness to the Recording Academy’s culture-shifting acknowledgement of Wet Leg’s triumphant year.

The only way the day could’ve been better: If Spoon or IDLES had won for Best Rock Album. Being a Spoon fan is one of the key ways I define who I am, in case you haven’t noticed.

Since the Grammys, Wet Leg’s already formidable streaming has increased by more than 25%. Radio’s response this week was the stuff of dreams: Lisa Worden added “Wet Dream” into iHeart Custom, while Kevin Weatherly added “Angelica” into Select across all Audacy Alt stations. This is my idea of a celebration!

Because I was “out in the world” for a week, I’ve taken at least a dozen rapid tests and just had my third PCR. If the latest test is negative, I’m going to buy lottery tickets.

I did buy tickets this week, swept up in the excitement of the presale for AEG’s new multi-night, multi-city, multi-weekend Re:SET FESTIVAL, which will be in Pasadena on the weekend of 6/3-5. Here’s how this festival works (and infinite props to our old friend Rich Holtzman for being one of its primary architects): Re:SET will hit 12 cities this summer across four weekends. Three headliners were chosen, one for each night: Steve Lacy, boygenius and LCD Soundsystem. These artists curated their lineups, which will create a cohesive feel for each day. Toro Y Moi, James Blake and Fousheé will be on the same bill as Steve Lacy. Bartees Strange, Dijon and Clairo will be sharing the stage with headliner boygenius. Big Freedia/L’Rain, my beloved IDLES, Jamie XX (and others) will be opening for LCD Soundsystem, which is my favorite of the three shows. The festival will take place over four weekends, one weekend in each region of the country, with each artist playing a full set in three cities per weekend.

I think this model is brilliant—it reminds me of the KNDD/KNRK/Live105/KROQ/KBZT caravan of Christmas shows past. Other markets for this festival include San Francisco,, San Diego, Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. I hope AEG takes care of radio, and I hope radio appreciates how meaningful the headliners are to their markets.

The other summer event that is preordained to sell out is the Lovejoy tour. Maybe you’ve heard the new single, “Call Me What You Like.” My kid was counting the seconds until the song appeared on Spotify at 9pm last night. Lovejoy is their favorite band, and I expect our summer plans will include Lovejoy shows in far-flung locations. Can’t wait.

It’s a big deal that SiriusXM added Arlo Parks’ “Weightless.” What a phenomenal artist and what a spectacular song! Here’s the thing: In between event releases from Depeche Mode and Linkin Park and the ’90s Gold that makes up the bulk of your playlist, you should be playing ALTERNATIVE MUSIC by ALTERNATIVE ARTISTS. WWCD’s Laura Lee referred to the not-so-alternative songs that are cluttering the chart as “musical seat fillers.” New-music discovery needs to extend beyond liking a record in your office. Thank you.

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