Imagine a station that plays records that are hits now. (5/29a)
Ketchup on a hot dog, yea or nay? (5/29a)
Stats and strategy. (5/24a)
I.B. Bad does the math. (5/24a)
The power from the Tower speaks. (5/22a)
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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DEATH OF A SALESMAN: When “civilians” ask me what my job is like, expecting a recounting of bold-faced names, glamour and Gold records, my response lately has been, “It’s the sound of one hand clapping.” So rather than leave another non-pressuring-but-hopefully-compelling, “I know you’re busy preparing for/recovering from your most recent jun­ket, but if you could please call me back at your earliest convenience,” voicemail, or send another round of charming, yet succinct emails (with personalization, perfect spelling and one of my irresistible pop-culture references), I decided it was time to hit the road and visit you in person. For this, I sacrificed my first-and-possibly-last chance to meet my idol Neil Diamond, at the invite of Brien Terranova. Although, I did check into my hotel in Austin last night in time to catch Spoon’s performance of “Inside Out” on Late Night with David Letterman. Seems fitting to watch Britt on TV while decamped within blocks of his Austin residence. Tonight, I will even be staying at a Hampton Inn near the airport! Talk about sacrifice!... My last weeklong circle around the Midwest was to set up Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor,” which launched one year ago today, Sept. 9 at 9 PM local standard time. That was fun. Remind me to never agree to attempt something like that ever again. It was during my meeting at WKQX that I also first played them Kongos’ “I’m Only Joking,” which set the proverbial ball in motion for the band, after Specialty spins ignited single sales and immediately charted on Shazam in Chicago. Although we wound up switching to “Come With Me Now” as our first single, we also knew empirically, based on early WKQX airplay, that “Joking” was going to be a hit, whenever it was released…. This week’s road trip coincides with the release of the new Bush single, “The Only Way Out,” from their forthcoming album, Man on the Run. “The Sound of Winter,” as you recall, was the first-ever self-released #1, where it stayed for six weeks, and I expect nothing less for “The Only Way Out.” There are so few bands with true marquee appeal, and Gavin Rossdale’s upcoming appearances as a mentor on The Voice, as well as Hawaii 5-0, (with Bush) will enhance their popularity and pop culture presence. Finally, a band whose lead singer your audience can identify. There is a bona fide genuineness to Gavin that you’ve all felt when the band has played an event for your station. As my coworkers would be quick to agree, I’m an infinitely bigger dilettante than Gavin! He’s driven to make music and tour—this is whom he is and what he does. Any artist who entrusts any aspect of their career to me deserves every best effort on my part. I can’t do what they do. So far, the response to “The Only Way Out” has been fantastic. Hopefully, the next time I’m at a Hampton Inn (free cracker chips and water!), I’ll be referring to the song as “that multi-format #1 hit”…. At least I’m not “selling” vacuums. Or encyclopedias. I’m promoting someone else’s art. It’s their art that moves me to tears, makes me go weak in the knees, makes me feel invincible, causes me to drive into an embankment (I totaled a car the first time I heard Michael Penn’s “No Myth”), and motivates me to work tirelessly on their behalf. I know I sound like a broken record (pun intended) when I cheerlead endlessly on behalf of my favorite bands (um, Spoon? Arcade Fire? TV on the Radio? Interpol?), but as popular as they are in the world of touring, press, record sales, etc., they still haven’t had a mega radio hit. Yet. It’s bands like these who “redefine the mainstream,” whose importance and cultural significance can’t be measured in M-Scores and call-out. I was listening to the new Interpol CD today and I’m humbled by how incredible it is. There’s a band I told you about a few weeks ago called Hooray for Earth, whose song “Keys” is powerful enough to make me “believe” in the grand sense. I define myself by the music I’m passion­ate about. It’s been like that since I was 8 years old, when my parents took my twin sister and me to see Neil Diamond. So Hampton Inn, here we are.

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