Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Things were cold everywhere else this week but they were HOT on the charts!  It was really one of the closest races we have seen in a long time!  Decemberists looked like they were creeping on the top 200 but I never really gave them a real chance at a run for #1 this week.  

That changed when I checked the charts at the end of Monday. There were 73 reporters when I checked at 6pm Monday  and I was shocked to see how close the top of the charts was. 


So of course this was going to be something to monitor all day on Tuesday. At 9:30AM Tuesday morning there were 115 reporters. 


I wholly expected Sleater-Kinney to widen the gap over night and when they did not I started to think how real the chance Decemberists had. 

At 11:30AM with 133 reporters 


At 12:15PM with 156 reporters 


You started to see Sleater pull away here and I started to think that the chance for the Decmeberists was over. 

At 1:05PM with 224 reporters 


I thought it was all but over... 

Then I saw a tweet from Tyler over at Co-sign saying how close it was... so I wanted to look into it a bit more... 

While the number of stations favored Sleater-Kinney, Decemberists were Killing it with #1s. 

At this point 

Sleater-Kinney--168  with 21 #1's
Decemberists--152   with 36 #1's 

Interesting.  Could the amount of #1 records be enough to make up for the lack of overall numbers? 

at 1:51 I checked again 

Sleater-Kinney--196 with 23 #1's
Decemberists--183  with 46 #1's 

You can see why I started to think that Decemberists could of done it. DOUBLE the amount of stations at #1, that is an impressive feat. 

In the end the numbers were 

Sleater-Kinney--214--27 #1's 
Decemberists--204--53 #1's 

Would almost double the amount of #1's be enough to overcome 10 stations? In the end the answer was no. But It has to of been close. In the end it has to been the number of low level Core stations that pushed Sleater-Kinney over the top.  

Weeks like this can be heartbreaking if you are the promoter  with the #1 record. When you are #2 no matter who is behind you or in front, you feel like you have a chance at #1 and you have to go for it. I surely would of. 

So what happens next? Well the #3 record this week, Last weeks #1 ADD Father John Misty should easily make that jump to #1. What I find interesting is the rest of the top 10. Jose Gonzalez jumped in this week and maybe down the road they can make a Decemberists type run at #1?  It will be difficult, as this weeks #1 most ADDED Dan Deacon should make an appearance in the top 10 next week. 

So Next week we already have 5 of the top 10 accounted for. Sweater-Kinney, Decembrists, Father John Misty, Jose Gonzalez and Dan Deacon.  You also have to imagine that Panda Bear has a chance to stick around, while falling It might stick around another week.  The next 3 are hard to predict. Viet Cong, Twerps, and Bjork all fell this week. Where as Twerps and Viet Cong have secured a "Top 5 record" and have no real shots at a #1 record you could see them fall off. Bjork is a hard one to call, as despite falling has yet to get top 5. I would of thought Bjork would of scored a top five if not challenged for a number one.  Belle and Sebastian should fall out of the top 10 as they have steadily fell the last few weeks.  The others that might challenge are Title Fight, having hung out at #10 the last 2 weeks, Jessica Pratt is on the cusp of the top 10 as is Natalie Prass.   

So we are looking at a pretty stacked top 10 for next week. There should be some movement but it should mostly be the records we see there currently. 

Thank you for reading! Let's continue the conversation on Twitter 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Things are starting to get more interesting out there in college radio land.

First off if you missed it and have any confusion over ADDS check out last weeks post to hopefully give you some guidance.  Over the next few weeks hopefully we can tackle something new about being a better MD. Not for us promoters but for your station. I am sure a lot of you know but maybe some of you don't, the more consistent you are as a music director the more music you are going to get.  For example there are stations out there that ADD the wrong records every single week. They are not high on my list to send records to whereas some there are some stations where I get maybe one ADD every 2 months but they have a method and I know every week I have a chance so I send them more.

One thing I saw a few promoters joke/ talk about this week was concert tickets.  One thing that always surprises me is are the music directors that do not ask for anything for the 2+ years they are at the station and then all of a sudden ask for tickets to shows because they just realized they could.  My advice to everyone is to ask for everything. There is no harm in asking. Even when I get a request from a station that I may not have the best relationship with, I put the request in and maybe that helps down the line.   With all that said there are some simple rules when it comes to asking for tickets to a show.

Don't ask for tickets the day before a show. This is just annoying.

Don't ask for tickets for a band you just passed on.  Why would I help you go see a band that you are not playing. This makes no sense to me. But I get this request so often.

Don't request to be taken off my email list and then ask for tickets to a sold out show.  I should not have to say more. You can't be serious.

On to this weeks chart!

We had a great ADD week this week. One of the ones where if you are not involved in one of the top spots it is a lot of fun to watch, but if you are involved it is really stressful. Jose Gonzalez and Father John Misty battled back and forth, most of the time staying within one or 2 ADDS. In the end Father John Misty came out on top by 10 adds.  It should be interesting to watch as these records will shoot up the charts rather quickly. Father John Misty is already at #32 on the charts and Jose Gonzalez at #65.

Sleater-Kinney is at #1 yet again but it is a LOT closer than I thought it would be at this point.   There is just a 19 station gap between them and The Decemberists.  I would look for these 2 to battle pretty hard for the next week and maybe even longer.  Coming up behind them we might see a challenge from Bjork but she has been slow to move up the charts for whatever reason. With all the pre album hype I thought she would be up in the top five by now. I am sure there are factors but I expected Bjork to challenge for the top and she is at least 3 weeks away from getting up there.

Last weeks #1 add A Place To Bury Strangers is your number one debut coming in at #18, the ceiling on this one looks to be top 5.

I think next week we see the same top 2 but then a lot of movement within the rest of the top 10. There are a lot of 2-3 week old records that have shots at top 5 if they take them now but could just be jumped if they don't move up quickly enough.

I am not sure of all of the ADDS for next week but Screaming Females looks to be a big one along with Dan Deacon. This time of year we do not lack in big names thats for sure.

Let us continue the conversation on Twitter. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Brief ADDs Tutorial and CMJ ISSUE 1379 WEEK 6 RECAP

Happy sixth week of the year everyone! We almost broke through the 300 stations reporting barrier for the first time this year. Give yourself a half a round of a applause. We came up five short! Next week? Or is there some weird holiday that will prevent 20% of you from reporting? Maybe 300 is too low a goal, I mean 300 should be easy right? There have been almost 350 stations that have reported at least once this year you would think that 300 barrier would not be so difficult.

This week I wanted to start with what has become a regular occurrence for me. Ever since Tyler pointed out that a station was charting Goldfinger I like to go over the charts and look for the worst of the worst.  This week it goes out to a station that is charting the new U2 record. But that in itself is not bad. NO what makes this stations chart so bad is that they also charted a different U2 single and the rest of their chart is filled with some new stuff and some very old stuff. There were other stations in the running. The station charting Megan Trainor only 2 spots after Sleater Kinney. Or the station that has Taylor Swift at #1.   This, we are told is one of the beauties of college radio.  I could argue that perhaps there should be some constraints on what people can chart.  That because we do not there are people that do not take what we do at college radio seriously.

There was a lot of conversation about this on Twitter yesterday and hopefully we can have a bit more today @theanimalarrg

While the charts can be a mess at times the thing that I see the most problems with are the ADDS. I suppose ADDS can be a bit confusing at first because everything you might be putting into rotation you are calling an ADD but when a promoter or label talks about ADDS we are talking about being TOP FIVE MOST ADDED.

First thing you need to know. The order does not matter. #1 most added on your top five adds is the same as #5 most added on your top five adds. The goal for our records is to be on your list.

What is the point?

Adds serve as a starting point for a record. So we pick ADD dates so that we can have as many stations start at the same time as possible so that we can have impact on the ADDS chart. A list of 20 records that were the most added in that given week.  It can take anywhere from 15-20 to get on the ADDS list.

Again why is this important?  Well some records might be new bands just starting out and the only real impact they might have at CMJ is getting these 15-20 ADDing the record on the ADD week and getting the bands name in "print"

At the High end being #1 most added is an important step for a band that might have a shot at #1. Getting 100+ stations Adding your record at the same time serves notice to other stations who, for whatever reason, pay attention to that sort of thing. It also shows the client, the band or label, that this record is well liked at radio.

All of this may seem very silly and in the long run it is. That is why the number of stations reporting ADDS is almost always lower than those reporting charts. Usually by around 20 or so stations. So if you think it is silly then I would argue it is better for you to not report adds than for you to report them incorrectly.

Now how can you add something incorrectly?

Well Adding anything that is not on the ADD week is wrong.  There are some stations that like to ADD a record a week early. This helps NO ONE. It is especially frustrating when in the real add week you end up missing top five most added by one add.  Other stations ADD records a week or two late on a regular basis. I cannot say this enough times, once the ADD week has passed just put the record into rotation. You are helping no one by adding a record a week late. Just put it out there and let it start getting plays.

Now personally I think you should do ADDS, If you are a station that reports your charts based upon what is actually getting spun at radio then ADDS are one of the few places you get to decide everything. You don't have to get spins, you hopefully do not have to check in with anyone. These are yours. You can add 5 records from the same company, who cares. That is not wrong, of course you might get 8 other companies mad at you but it is not wrong.  ADDs are your opportunity to say, you know what I like this record. Or I think this record will do well at our station. It can also be you know what I would like to help out company X this week cause they were nice.  None of those are wrong. Because YOU have total control over them.  The only rule should be ADD ON THE ADD WEEK.

If you can remember one thing about ADDS that would be it. CMJ has a handy list that tells you what is going for adds. It is up to the promoters to update CMJ on this list and sometimes it might be out of date so if that does not work almost every company lists what they have for ADDS on their website. If they don't then maybe they don't care about ADDS and you should add my record instead.. kidding.. ha

Lastly one common thing I see with the ADDS / chart dynamic at radio is there are some stations that every week will ADD five records and every week those five records will chart on their top 30. To me this looks like you are just making things up. Your chart SHOULD be based upon what is getting spins so try and keep that in mind. Of course there are weeks where you add a new record and it happens to be the biggest record of the season and it gets 3 spins and charts that week. That happens I get that. But when it happens every week that is a red flag to me, or more like a green flag saying.. this station will just make things up, and you don't want to be known as such.

I hope some of this  helps you out there. If you have any questions hit me on twitter as always

I guess we did not go over the charts this week. Sleater-Kinney continues to dominate and while Decemberists has inched closer I am not sure if they will have enough to get there before someone like Bjork or next weeks big record from Father John Misty.   A place to bury Strangers takes #1 most added by 4 adds over Districts. Another close ADD week.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

CMJ ISSUE 1378 Week 5

Oh hello everyone! Happy February! Day late on the recap here in what was a slightly delayed week. Sleater-Kinney took the #1 spot but Panda Bear did not go quietly. I was checking early and often and the gap between the records, ended at 9 stations, never really got much larger than that. The record to keep an eye on though might be the Decemberists.  They stayed at #4 this week but that gap between that and #1 is a lot lower that I would of expected.  With the last few charts the top two records seem to be sitting alone on their own tier with a huge gap at #3. So it is nice to see records in the 3 and 4 spot be legit contenders.  If Sleater-Kinney had been as dominate as they were the add week I would say none of these records would have a shot but for whatever reason they are not running away with it like I thought they would. I should also mention Viet Cong is holding strong in the #3 spot and also could make that move. I have less faith in them just because Decemberists is a bigger name and has many #'1 under their belt and have also claimed #1 on the AAA chart.

The question then is what happens with Bjork. Does she come and join the top 5 party next week?
Coming in at #11 the week after the ADD week is pretty great.  We could have a couple weeks of Sleater-Kinney at #1 and then perhaps see a late battle of Decemberists and Bjork? Anyone else join them?  Maybe Twerps but not sure if they really contend for #1 So nothing that is on the charts currently I would say.

 Last week we talked about the Ty Segall combining of records and that was before I even realized there was a third Ty Segall going for adds this week with another promotion company than the other 2.  Perhaps there is some Ty Segall fatigue out there as the new record only came in at #5 most added or it could be that the record is live. I would guess it is a combination of the two.

Adds were pretty fun this week as there seemed early on to be a 5 team race between Natalie Prass, Title Fight, Jessica Pratt, Mount Eerie and Ty Segall.  In the end it came down to two very different records Natalie Prass and Title Fight with Natalie coming out on top by 7 ADDS. Who knows maybe if stations only added records that went for adds then it might of been closer.

Maybe we need to tackle this a little bit more and more often but ADDS do not need to be that difficult.  I think ADDS are silly if we can't all follow the same rules. That means ADDing records that are going for adds.

For example this week I saw this

1. SLEATER-KINNEY No Cities To Love
2. ROUGH CHURCH Friction/Reflection

The problem here is that A) Sleater Kinney went for adds 3 weeks ago. This helps no one.  I feel that it might of been better for this station to not report ADDS at all than to report this. You could also argue that they have 5 ADD spots why not use them.  Part of the problem is that there is no RULE that governs what you can and cannot add. It is a open system that allows you to ADD what you like. But I will remind you that when you ADD records not going for ADDS that you are just wasting everyones time. You wasted your own time by adding old records and you wasted my time by having to see it.  Do you think there should be Set RULES for adds? Most stations I explain ADDS to understand why they should follow the unwritten rules as they want to help the artists. There will always be stations that do what they want and we will never get 100% of the stations to fall in line unless there is a rule.

It is important to note this week though that the station that had been charting Goldfinger the last few weeks did not report Goldfinger. So that is a minor victory.

Well thats what we have for the week lets talk about it on the twitter! Thanks for reading



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