Wednesday, June 05, 2013

This week in College Radio week 22. CMJ issue 1299

This past week was spent in Las Vegas for the Punk Rock Bowling tournament. We came in 17th in the Bowling tournament and I won the Poker tournament so a pretty good weekend. I was unable to keep track of the progress of CMJ in the detail I like to thus no recap was written.  I will say it was no shock to see Daft Punk #1 most added and Vampire Weekend take the top spot on the charts.   So this week I thought I would try something new and keep a rolling diary of each day leading up to the release of the charts on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 30th 8:16AM

Right now it is Thursday morning and my first step of every week is to look at what everyone has going for ADDS to get an idea of how hard of a week it will be.

AAM --  Has Eleanor Friedberger from Merge records and Kid Congo and the pink Monkey Birds

The Syndicate  Has Big Deal, City and Colour, Koji and Portugal the Man

Terrorbird Has Big Deal, Coma Cinema, GRMLN, Pokey Lefarge, Splashh, and Susanne Sundfor

Never Better -- No update on Adds yet

Team Clermont--Georgia's House, Lily & Madeleine, Memoryy

Vitriol-- No updates on Adds yet

Distiller-- Jonny Fritz, Femi Kuti, The Stranglers, True Blood Soundtrack, Yellowbirds, V/A Best of Switchstance Remix ( listed as RPM)

A Man A Plan A Canal--The Pastels,

Co-Sign--Booker T, Frankie & The Heartstrings, ( I think as no Add dates are listed but those are the first entries)

Pirate! -- Capital Cities, Elsten Torres

Planetary Group--Does not list adds online

So there you have it. Sometimes I forget to check all of them but I like to have a general Idea of what the big adds will be for the week.  The success of the last Portugal the Man record was a surprise to me but that seems to be the biggest name out there.  With two indies on Big Deal that should do rather well also. Everything else seems to be a crapshoot. ( Not included are those records just being promoted by the label and we should find those out as stations report )  Last week it only took 10 ADDS to get on the list so I imagine this week to be about the same.

Friday May 31st

Ooooof. Fridays in the Summer. Brutal. Nothing happens. I got one IM today around Noon saying ... "lets ring the Gong on today" No one is around anywhere, my buddy list dwindles to about half of what it is the rest of the week.   It could be a busy day if stations actually took advantage of the start of reporting. On average only about 6-10 stations report on Friday, none of them being difference makers.

Never Better did update their adds though and they have --Rogue Wave, Dirty Beaches, Jon Hopkins, Rose Windows, Tokyo Denmark, Walla

So it's looking more and more like Portugal The Man will have little trouble getting to #1 most added this week ( assuming Planetary is on it like they were the last one)

The race for #1 should be pretty interesting though. We have a very strong Vampire Weekend at the top but we have The National moving its way up the charts and Daft Punk should jump at least into the top five.  She and Him look to have no real path to #1 when you consider those other records.

Sunday June 1st.

Yeah I check this on the weekend. I have to start getting ready for Monday. In the Summer it becomes that much more important to have a good Monday. Thus far 20 stations have filed their reports with CMJ.  The only major news thus far would be getting in the chart from KEXP.  We can look at what they added and get another idea of what might be going for adds that we missed earlier.

Camera Obscura - Desire Lines (4AD)
Big Deal - June Gloom (Mute)
Joseph Arthur - The Ballad of Boogie Christ (Lonely Astronaut)
Free Time - Free Time (Underwater Peoples)
Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork (Matador)
Portugal. The Man - Evil Friends (Atlantic)
Houndmouth - From the Hills Below the City (Rough Trade)
Art Vandelay - Eye 8 The Crow (self-released)
The Pastels - Slow Summits (Domino)
YAST - YAST (Adrian)
When Saints Go Machine - Infinity Pool (!K7)
Yellowbirds - Songs from the Vanished Frontier (The Royal Potato Family)
Ever So Android - EP (self-released)
Walton - Beyond (Hyperdub)
Pokey LaFarge - Pokey LaFarge (Third Man)
(Various) - Om Lounge Vol. 13 (Om)
Ryan Hemsworth - Still Awake (self-released)
Syclops - A Blink of an Eye (Running Back)
Groundislava - Treasure Chest (self-released)
(Soundtrack) - True Blood Volume 4 (ATO)
Fan Fiction - Seconds (self-released)
Golden Gardens - Narcissus (Neon Sigh)

I can't say for certain that the top five ADDS listed there will be the top five adds but most of the time they are. Records from Camera Obscura and Queens of the Stone age will be big on the charts but if we look at how recent label worked adds have done, they usually fall short but then excel on the charts.  Camera Obscura being a former #1 record holder is worth watching but in the past QOTSA have not been as strong.  I still think for adds Portugal The Man is the band worth watching this week.

Monday, June 3rd.

Four hours into the Monday work day and not much to report really. We are up to 40 stations that have reported so it is really not worth reading too much into these numbers but here they are regardless.

Vampire Weekend--26
The National--20
She and Him--18
Daft Punk--17

Might check some other records later but right now I see those as the four with a real shot at #1.

Monday June 3rd.

Only a few more hours in the working day for Monday and still a very low percentage of stations, unless we are having another low reporting week like Memorial day but I thought we would get a bounce back up after last week.

A little news on ADDS but nothing shocking as it looks like Portugal. The Man is leading the way
with Big Deal, ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER  and GRMLN holding down second for ADDS.

It has been a few hours since we checked on the #1 contenders

Vampire Weekend--26--35
The National--20--26
She and Him--18--25
Daft Punk--17--26

So what I like to do is see what the biggest jump out of the records was. Looks like both Daft Punk and Vampire Weekend jumped 9 stations while The National only went up 6 and She and Him 7.  The hard part becomes, if you are not Vampire Weekend, is looking for stations that will chart your record but not Vampire Weekend. When a band is that big of a name it becomes a runaway train that is hard to stop.

Monday June 3rd 6pm Eastern time. 

Things really take a dive after 6 on the East Coast in the summer and really not much has changed in the 3 hours that have passed. 

Vampire Weekend--26--35--45
The National--20--26--35
She and Him--18--25--29
Daft Punk--17--26--35

Only 2 stations have reported ADDS in that time so there is no real change to announce there either.  Most of the time I want to take off at 6 but will end up spending the next hour catching up on music news I might of missed throughout the day.

Tuesday June 4th

Well overnight we usually see some movement we are up to 110 adds.
Portugal. The Man has 53 adds
Eleanor Friedburger with 29
Rogue Wave with 28
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds with 27
Pastels with 26
Big Deal with 25
Capital Cities with 21
Grmln with 18

So as you can see Portugal. The Man is going to run away with this and I doubt I will check again before the charts close in 4 hours.

Vampire Weekend--26--35--45--86
The National--20--26--35--66
She and Him--18--25--29--58
Daft Punk--17--26--35--65

I am not shocked but I did expect a better showing from The National and Daft Punk. I am sure it will come but they both look to be a few weeks away.  So far 130 stations have reported so we have at LEAST 70 more stations that should report putting us above 200 but I would expect around another 100.  So it's not impossible that some record could make a move but If I were working Vampire weekend I would feel pretty good about where I was.

Tuesday, June 4th

I am starting to think I picked the most boring week ever to do a breakdown like this.
With just one hour to go before charting we stand like this

Vampire Weekend--26--35--45--86--125
The National--20--26--35--66--102
She and Him--18--25--29--58--82
Daft Punk--17--26--35--65-93

I have seen crazy things happen before but I have never seen a 23 station gap be made up in under an hour so I doubt that will happen.

Right now the number of stations reporting adds is only at 158.  We might not break 200 adds! oooof
Sounds like summer has hit hard at college radio.

Portugal. The Man leads the way but still needs 20 more Adds to break 100 for the week.
Everything else appears to be a good 30-40 Adds behind.

I guess I should of checked this before but in looking over the last 6 years of data, it looks like the week after Memorial Day is a lower reporting week than Memorial day about half the time. So I guess this is not unexpected. I did think we would see a rebound though as there was a rebound last year.

Tuesday June 4th 2:11 PM
The charts are released with Vampire Weekend at #1 and Portugal. The Man as #1 most added.
yawn. Should of picked that week where Phoenix got #1 over Vampire a few weeks ago.. Full recap to follow bellow.

And now ...


What a SNOOZE fest! It was never close. Ever.  In the end you look at the top 3 though and you see The National climbing up and Daft Punk making a big move from #29 to #3. But if we look at the breakdown of the top 5 records

Vampire weekend had 70% of the stations charting.
Your #2 record The National only have 56%!
#3 Daft Punk with 51%
#4 Phoenix with 44%
#5 Mikal Cronin with 46%

I really was expecting a close week but Vampire is DOMINATING and I think it could get more stations on board. I think we could see them #1 for the next 2-3 weeks!

Shannon And The Clams come in with the top debut at #19 this week. I will get to this a bit more in Adds but the biggest move comes from Queens of the Stone Age jumping from #177 to #68.

In ADDS this week Portugal. The Man led wire to wire with no real pressure from anyone else. It is hard to figure out what will be the path of Portugal. The Man. On one hand they dominated adds getting over half the stations that did adds to ADD the record! That is pretty impressive. However we have seen a trend recently of big records making huge debuts on the week they go for adds. Last week Daft Punk had a debut at 29. Two weeks ago it was the National and they debuted at #82 before jumping up to #4. But this week Portugal. The Man only come in at #199. Does it mean anything? For a former #1 band I am going to guess it means nothing.

This time of year it is so hard to un-seed the #1 record. Over the last 3 years the record that has held #1 on Memorial day has ended up holding that spot for AT LEAST the next 4 weeks. Last year it was Beach House as they held for 4 weeks. Two years ago it was Fleet Foxes and they held the spot for 5 years and three years ago it was the Black Keys and they held it for 6 weeks.  I think Vampire Weekend has a chance to hold for another 2 weeks and would not be shocked if the next #1 is something that goes for adds in the next few weeks.   I still think The National and Daft Punk have a chance to get #1 but every week that goes by makes it that much harder for them.  Hopefully we get a few more stations back over the next few weeks and the charts become a little more interesting.

Until next time! Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or need anything at all please hit me up on twitter @theanimalarrg


al0137 said...


1.) Every week, we are still waiting for certain digital-only servicing all the way up till Friday afternoon for titles intended for review & adds on the following Monday/Friday. Sometimes things have even come in on Monday afternoon. Airplay monitoring can vary from station to station but reporting top adds on Fridays? Yeah, OK. Going through 40-50 titles per week to slot when titles are trickling in all week by Friday? It's important to note why you (the promoter) are only concerning yourself with a limited number of titles per week, the stations doing the work are compounded ten-fold. Look at Doug's list - pretty accurate from what I can remember from last week. So I take the quote, "It could be a busy day if stations actually took advantage of the start of reporting," and challenge you to do try this yourself on any given Friday. Reporting that's accurate, previewed, slotted, programmed, and notated for proper tracking even with sufficient staffs.

2.) Doug's tracking of the charts throughout the four-day range is all predicated on frequency. Which is where the questions are posed: Where is rank equated? Doug's outline seems to simplify the process to occurrence, where Vampire Weekend charting at #1 at Station 'A' and charting at #30 at Station 'B' are equivalent values. Those same frequency numbers need to be added for the Phoenix, Deerhunter and Mikal Cronin titles because 'She & Him' was eclipsed by them all.

3.) Statistics: I'm horrible at math, I mean bad. But here's a start: working off almost all nominal data - your independent variables (active titles in CMJ's system); your dependent variables (reporting stations). Throw out all the data and find a range from an issue (maybe not this one) where the outcome was very contentious. Then, you are dealing with frequency (easy) and rank using some simple values of interval data (scale). Again, someone who really knows stats can approach this in a number of ways but the results should be able to be replicated if the charts are derived from quantifiable mathematical values.

al0137 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
al0137 said...

4.) Transparency: If #3 cannot be accomplished, then CMJ's published chart is not externally valid. The process should be transparent as a media reporting business entity. There should be no 'grey area' as the entire set of data (all reports) are published each week. The final charts should be able to be independently verified by anyone with the time, skill-set and data outline. The process should be the same for all charts (RPM, Loud Rock, Jazz, etc..) with smaller contributing bases. Results should be replicated with 100% accuracy each and every time. If you are pulling your hair out on why Phoenix was #1 on Top 200 for issue #1297 and the raw data doesn't support that conclusion, ask for clarification on the matter.

5.) Repeat experiment - #1300: Take the top 3 records set to chart for issue #1300 [The 'Graceland' Tribunal, The Sad-Sack O'shit Indie Hour, and The Roboto Mask Band] - add the two titles most likely to disrupt position #3 (but not really) - Mikal Cronin and ??. Every chart is equal (cannot stress this enough) Yes, every station matters. Thirty-Point scale: #1 = 30pts; #30 = 1 pt. Start adding. Value added scale based on intervals (no ratios).

This method neither proves or disproves any theory based on the rest of the chart (since a very small pre-selected sample is being studied). However, it should tell you clearly what record performed better over the another regardless. Maybe another way of looking at it (not real-world) would be to think of these values as 'spins'. In theory, a title that gets the most airplay (spins) gets number #1 through a combination of occurrence (percentage of stations reporting airplay of title) AND the number of spins it gets (it's position at its station).

If the system cannot be observed in a way that can be stripped down to its simplest set of data, then what system is being worked?


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