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IT FEELS LIKE WE ONLY GO BACKWARDS

By Karen Glauber

This is supposed to be our “Hot Alt Summer,” dammit, but masks are mandatory again in L.A. (fine by me), and the Foo Fighters’ 7/17 show at the Forum was postponed because of COVID. Also, there was a show at the Whisky a few weeks ago that resulted in dozens of cases, regardless of vaccination status.

After limiting myself to having meetings on my back patio, Ted and I returned to KROQ for MOD SUN’s on-air hang with talent extraordinaire Kevan Kenney. Ted’s daughter Marley joined us, plus MD Miles Anzaldo, Mod’s sister Danielle and MOD’s girlfriend Avril (yep, that Avril), and it was like being at Nobu Malibu on a Saturday night, except I was allowed to be there. MOD and Kevan chatted about their favorite emo records (yeah, I’d worked all of them), MOD’s upcoming sold-out tour, and his new single, “Karma,” which is already at 14m streams. Avril even joined the conversation, and Kevan’s IG story of her five minutes on the Audacy Alt stations racked up over 100k views in 24 hours!

These pop-culture moments, utilizing both on-air exposure and social media, are what will keep our format moving forward. Look at what a force Woody is on Alt 98.7—he rules the L.A. market.

If we’re facing another shutdown, pop culture will be more important than ever… Thankfully, we aren’t where we were last summer, when the horror of Trump and the pending election was the overwhelming focus. While the Alt audience might not be as interested in the vintage Chanel skirt and jacket that Olivia Rodrigo wore to the White House this week, everybody in the demo watched Italy’s victory over England in Euro 2020, and have also heard of Italian rock band Måneskin’s triumphant win in the Eurovision Song Competition with “Zitte e Buoni.” Måneskin is now signed to Arista, and the band’s first Alt single is “I Wanna Be Your Slave” (a clear homage to The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”), with streams exceeding 200m—this is a global smash! Look for Nick Petropoulos and the Arista team to make Måneskin a huge summer hit at Alt…

Speaking of summer hits, my fearless leader Lenny has already declared SEB’s “seaside_demo” the HIT OF THE SUMMER. This viral hit—which has been picked up by Mom+Pop—is the summer vibe you’ve been seeking.

Speaking of viral/pop culture, Willow’s “transparentsoul” is yet another Travis Barker-featured Alt record that the kids adore. Not a day goes by when a label person doesn’t tell me of an upcoming record they’ll be working that features Barker. Respect to the elders, of which I am one… Never Have I Ever, the Netflix show that first launched Cannons’ “Fire for You,” returned for a second season on 7/16 and featured “Fire for You” again. Tiesto is such a massive fan of that song that he did a newly released remix, and “Bad Dream,” the latest single, is nearing Top 20 at Alt. Time to be all in on this band, people! Also, let’s congratulate Columbia’s Darice Lee on her promotion to VP! You may now refer to her as Madam Vice President…

AURORA is the embodiment of pop culture right now—her song “Runaway” is now gold, and her new single, “Cure for Me,” is her best song so far, with that perfect summer “lilt” that makes your one-minute commute from your bedroom to your office an absolute pleasure. Wait, you’re back in a real office? You’re wearing pants with a zipper? What is that like?

 Weezer’s “All My Favorite Songs” exploded once AJR was added to the song. Isn’t it ironic that AJR’s “Way Less Sad” will peak at #2 because Weezer (featuring AJR) jumped it to #1?

 Dennis Blair and Artie Gentile are off to the most-added races with Walk the Moon’s “Can You Handle My Love?” I really like this song, don’t you?

 My favorite song right now is beabadoobee’s “Cologne.” She is the epitome of pop culture, with millions of IG followers, not to mention she’s the “face” of Ray-Bans and Crocs in the U.K. and should be the true face of Alternative in the U.S.! Her sold-out tour here starts in November. Let’s hope we’ll feel safe to go to shows by then.

 SONG TO HEAR: Girlfriends’ “Tattoo.” Love, love, love!