Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CMJ issue 1309 Week 32

Last week I felt like we were at the low point of the summer. That we would only start gaining people back from here on in and the quality or records would increase.  I was half right. The records are getting better but there is no one around to listen to them.

This of course leads to some of the weirdest charts I have seen.  If you remember a few months/ weeks back we had that week where CLEARLY Vampire weekend was the #1 record. Everything pointed towards them being number one but using advanced calculus CMJ told us that in fact it was Phoenix was number one.  That is what this week felt like.

I want to say this as nice as possible. But any other time of year most of the records in the top 10 would most likely be in the top 30 TOPS. I really wish I could come up with an actual formula but I am willing to bet some of the records that have gotten to #1 would only be top 5.  Those that have reached top five over the past few weeks well I would bet they would be lucky to get top 20.  Top 10 records would maybe be top 30.   Of course there are some records that are just doing what they would do any time of year but really there are a LOT of overachieving records out there. So it makes it hard to really know what is going to happen on the charts.   Going into this week I thought Hunx would stay at #1 and Washed out would put themselves in a position to take #1 next week.

This is one case where I was right but... I really don't think I should be.  I talk to a lot of you out there about what is happening as it is happening and while this weeks chart was being compiled it really looked like Washed Out was going to be the #1 record. When Hunx and His punx held on to #1 most of you out there were SHOCKED.  We mentioned this briefly in the past but every station has a ranking and when you looked at the top ranking Washed out had more. The second highest Washed out had more. The third highest washed out had more. Usually that is enough. Now Hunx had more overall but only by 5 or so.  It really defied logic.  Calculus.  Magnets. I don't really know what.  But somewhere Hunx had enough to hang on to #1. This means that next week If there were a CMJ betting pool I would be tall my monies that Washed out would take #1.  ALL OF THE MONIES.

When I was looking at this weeks ADD week I though there would be a chance to have a close one. While the final tally was within 10 it did get as close as 5 but Superchunk lead the way from start to finish beating out Islands by just over a handful.  One thing that does get me excited though is the fact we had 2 record get over 100 adds.  This week 100 adds = 55% of all stations reporting adds so that is pretty good!  It is a good sign that better records are being added at radio. I know this next week we should see some more 100 add records and while it will take longer for stations to come back it does make our jobs a bit more fun.  

One thing thats hard this time of year is having records getting lost in the shuffle.  You have a bunch of stations that have been around for summer that nothing changes on and those are usually your core station but thats only about a third of the stations. The rest are coming back from break and deciding to chart The Knife or Daft Punk because they missed it while they were away or you have a lot changing over and bringing in a new MD. So if we don't schedule a record correctly it can easily be lost between Summer and Fall.  I will try and remember to go over some records that this happens to in a few weeks.  Because most of the time they are really good records that peak in the first week and then just free-fall, I would not be shocked if it happens to some of the adds from this week.  The next  million dollar question I guess is will Superchunk or Islands get to #1?

I say no. I think both have a shot and will get close but the timing is right for Washed out to get there and stay there for about 2 weeks and then we start to see the big guns come out.  This Fall should be a lot of fun with records from :  Ty Segall, Franz Ferdinand, Dr. Dog, Nine Inch Nails, Neko Case, Chvrches, Arcade Fire, Dismemberment Plan, Deer Tick, Man man, No Age ...and here is where it gets interesting. I have noticed, and other promoters have brought to my attention that so called "heritage artists" have been underperforming as of late.  So there is a disconnect from what some promoters think will do well and what stations are actually digging. Some of this has to do with timing of course but when you look back at the recent history you can see records from artists that have multiple #1's coming up short. A lot.  Flaming Lips, Tegan and Sara, Sebadoh ( while it was an EP I thought it would do better) Same can be said for the Replacements EP, The National, Camera Obscura,  The Strokes, I am sure there are others but the point is college radio is always changing and what "collectively" you guys thing is cool or hip or good is also always changing. I saw a Bad Religion record go number one, that would never happen today. Might It happen in the future? Yes maybe.

Well this week was fun and I look forward to more weeks like this. I also look forward to more interaction with you guys. So please hit me up on twitter at @theanimalarrg  and lets talk about what is happening at radio.    Also we would not be a community without CMJ so lets be sure to hang out this year in NYC. It is just around the corner and they just announced the College Day lineup!

thank you for reading. Talk soon.


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