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POST TOASTED
CALL ME WHAT YOU LIKE

By Karen Glauber

The solution is obvious: The Mediabase charts we use as our weekly report cards should be based on audience, weighted so that a spin in a Top 50 market is worth more than a spin in a market without a bus station. In their current state, a spin that has the impact of the sound of one hand clapping counts the same as a spin in L.A. There are stations on the Alternative panel that have no audience, while stations like WRIS and KJEE have a loyal and active listenership but fail to be added as reporters year after year. Why does the chart matter? Because it’s a snapshot of what our chosen format has chosen to support.

Does anybody care besides Ted and me that beabadoobee’s “The Perfect Pair” will peak at #11? Unlikely, but it makes me feel like a failure, especially since her profile couldn’t be bigger right now and she sold out L.A.’s Greek Theatre in five minutes. That’s also part of the problem—there’s never a consensus where the format collectively decides to support an artist who didn’t have their first hit in 2003 or doesn’t have a monstrous streaming story or can’t avail themselves of the endless rounds of promo most international artists are unavailable to participate in. STILL, and I believe this wholeheartedly, the best bands WILL win, but ONLY if programmers are willing to free themselves from the tyranny (habit) of call-out. NEW ARTISTS DON’T CALL OUT (unless there’s a massive sync or the song is a giant for other reasons).

I will continue to bring up Lovejoy’s “Call Me What You Like” as a prime example. The band’s singer, using the name Wilbur Soot, is a popular gamer, with over 9 million YouTube subscribers and 5 million Twitch subscribers. My kid started following his Minecraft livestreams and discovered Lovejoy soon after. The band is currently on a sold-out U.S. tour. Given Wilbur’s massive following, a smart programmer should be setting up a tour promotion to tap into that base—for the Alternative demo, gaming is a huge deal. Want to attract new listeners? They already know about Wilbur, even if you don’t. Dave Lombardi and his AWAL team WILL get this record.

Although many (most) of you program in opposition to the possibility that women could (should) be loyal listeners of your radio station, there are songs women have decided they love that are too big for you to ignore. Rosa Linn’s “SNAP” was a great example of a song that became an Alt hit because of the tenacity of Lisa Sonkin and Lisa Worden. Now, Marisa DiFrisco has a GLOBAL SMASH with David Kushner’s “Daylight,” and you’re absolutely missing out on a massive hit if you can’t figure out a way to play this song. You want call-out? Here you go.

A few weeks ago, Christy Taylor hit me up about Yves Tumor. Her timing was perfect—I just got a new mix of “Echolalia,” which will be serviced next week, and I was able to offer her a spot on the artist’s guest list for the sold-out show this weekend. I’m not sure there’s a more exciting artist in the world right now than Yves Tumor.

You know what it’s like to hear a song and just KNOW it’s going to be a big hit? I was listening to the upcoming Arlo Parks album, landed on the song “Devotion” and had to play it five times in a row. This is the song. The lyrics mention both Deftones and Kim Deal, adding format-friendly relevance to the best song of the summer. Very excited for you to hear it.

Happiness is a weekend of music, including the Cruel World Festival in Pasadena on Saturday. I’ll be bouncing among Gang of Four, ABC, Adam Ant and Echo and the Bunnymen—but most excited for Iggy Pop, of course. This is Coachella for those of us who did college radio in the ’80s.


 
 
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