Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Courtney Barnett, the ruler of college radio this spring. I never saw it coming. Sure when she got one week I was like, well done guys! But for 3 solid weeks now she has dominated. Again this reminds me so much of last year.

lets take a quick look.


1181CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop
2164MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
3100HOLD STEADYTeeth DreamsRazor and Tie-Washington Square

Cloud Nothings Dominated ADDS.  There was every reason to believe that they would march to #1 rather easily 

That same week though Mac Demarco had a solid debut 

70--701MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
whereas Cloud Nothings had been on the charts for a few weeks already 

87148124873CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop

The very next week they SHOT up the charts Issue 1339

470-42MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
58714854CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop

This was the beginning of the end for Cloud Nothings, they could never recover 

Issue 1340

147013MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
21117REAL ESTATEAtlasDomino
32327WAR ON DRUGS Lost In The DreamSecretly Canadian
458745CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop

Then began Mac Demarcos dominance Issue 1341

1414MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
24526CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop

Issue 1342

11115MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
22427CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop
34329WAR ON DRUGS Lost In The DreamSecretly Canadian
476043WYE OAKShriekMerge

Issue 1343

11116MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
22228CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop
34734WYE OAKShriekMerge
464-42THEE OH SEESDropCastleface

and finally issue 1344

13415WYE OAKShriekMerge
21117MAC DEMARCOSalad DaysCaptured Tracks
32229CLOUD NOTHINGSHere And Nowhere ElseCarpark-Mom And Pop

It was really never truly over until they got jumped by a newer record. 

Currently there is no record that looks like it is about to jump in though and ruin Modest Mouses chances for good.  The question then is when is it really over for Modest Mouse? when do you give up? For me It would be either when something new jumps in and passes me.  There is no incentive not to stop. In a vacuum, that is. We are leaving out a key component and that is the other records I might be working. I can't speak to that but we can look back at the time this happened to me. 

Two years ago when we were working the Tegan and Sara record. 

We went #1, the last 3 Tegan and Sara records had gone number one so we obviously thought we had a good shot. 

1136TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
2132LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
Scoring #1 most added we thought we had the best shot. 

At the time Toro Y Moi was #1 but it was so early in the year that stations were throwing the new stuff pretty fast and they would climb up the charts really fast. 

That week we even debuted at #49

49--491TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
sadly for us Local Natives had also debuted...the week before ... 

29117-292LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkis

ISSUE 1283

11214TORO Y MOIAnything In ReturnCarpark
22115YO LA TENGOFadeMatador
33534FOXYGENWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And MagicJagjaguwar
42911743LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
54335RA RA RIOTBeta LoveBarsuk
7713573DUCKTAILSThe Flower LaneDomino
81016283FIDLARFIDLARMom And Pop
949-92TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
Not the best start really we thought.  But Tegan and Sara was a big priority for both ourselves and AAM so we thought we still had a very good chance to make up that difference. 

ISSUE 1284

11115TORO Y MOIAnything In ReturnCarpark
23325FOXYGENWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And MagicJagjaguwar
342934LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
42216YO LA TENGOFadeMatador
57754DUCKTAILSThe Flower LaneDomino
794973TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers

Closer, but as you can see, Local Natives also stalled as did UMO. So we felt really good still about our chances. 

ISSUE 1285

13415LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
22326FOXYGENWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And MagicJagjaguwar
31116TORO Y MOIAnything In ReturnCarpark
54217YO LA TENGOFadeMatador
67964TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers

This is most likely when we should of started to think we might not have a shot. But nothing newer had gotten ahead of us so we figured jumping the older records would be pretty easy over the next few weeks.  The biggest issue was that the record was a pop record and very different from anything they had done. Also Local Natives fit into the College radio box for more stations. 

ISSUE 1286

11316LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
22227FOXYGENWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And MagicJagjaguwar
46745TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
5198953NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDSPush The Sky AwayBad Seed
Ok top 5.... oh damn.. Nick Cave... and coming in fast... the window is getting smaller... but thankfully Tegan and Sara remained a priority for both parties working the record. 

ISSUE 1287

11117LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
351934NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDSPush The Sky AwayBad Seed
44646TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
And sure enough... we got jumped the next week. This should of ended our dreams of #1 but at the time we still thought we were close enough to have a shot. The problem you get when you are in week 6 or 7 of a project is any gains you get on some stations are negated by a mass exodus of stations jumping onto the next new thing. 

ISSUE 1288

So we never gave up... 

13515NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDSPush The Sky AwayBad Seed
24427TEGAN AND SARAHeartthrobWarner Brothers
41118LOCAL NATIVESHummingbirdFrenchkiss
5917253YOUTH LAGOONWondrous BughouseFat Possum

We salvaged a #2 but the goal was #1 so at the time we were all disappointed. 

Looking back on it now I remember being very close to all those other records and having it come down to just a handful of stations.  The very next week Youth Lagoon took #1 and then our chances went out the window.  

So the key really is that you always have a chance at #1 if you are in the top 5 as long as no one new jumps you. I would say in general that is a good rule.  I am sure there are exceptions to that and perhaps I will try and find them one day. 

Lets take a quick look at this weeks charts then! As I mentioned Courtney continues to block both Modest Mouse and Sufjan Stevens. The key though is no one new has jumped into the conversation. 
So If I were working either Modest Mouse or Sufjan Stevens I would keep on trying for #1 until I got jumped. Also If i were working Courtney Barnett I would keep on trying to keep her #1, as long as I had no other record climbing up the charts. 

So who are the contenders to ruin it for Modest Mouse and Sufjan Stevens? 

61044WAXAHATCHEEIvy TrippMerge
55954TORO Y MOIWhat For?Carpark
Both of these records seem to be in prime position to take it. I am a bit surprised at Toro Y Moi not doing as well considering, as we saw above, the dominance at #1 last time around. 

8914383MOUNTAIN GOATSBeat The ChampMerge
With that debut last week I thought it would be Mountain Goats but they seem to have stalled this week. If they can jump above those other 2 though they have a shot. 

and also 

Do you see the potential problem I see?  So much Merge! Good problem to have, they were also smart and have different companies on each of the records. So while they are competing with themselves they gave themselves a chance by spreading out who is working the records.  Although, you could make the argument that having one person work all of them lets that company have more control over the overall process, as you see with Sub Pop.  I wonder what works better? 

So all of those have a shot but I think this weeks ADDS pose the biggest risk to all of those records 

2143BEST COASTCalifornia NightsHarvest

Just look where they debuted as well 

34--341ALABAMA SHAKESSound And ColorATO

125--1251BEST COASTCalifornia NightsHarvest

I guess you guys like Alabama Shakes. I thought they were too big for college radio but what do I know. 

A lot of you are leaving for the summer or forever so thank you for being Music directors, most of you that is. 

No birthdays I saw this week but If there are any just let me know and I will update. 

Lets talk on twitter or leave a comment here! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I had a feeling this day was coming.  I thought we had a bit more time but no, it is here.  I had my first station tell me that this was their last week reporting to CMJ until the fall. Shortly after, that same day, I had another tell me that next week was their last week. The exodus has begun.  However it feels like maybe it is not as big of a deal as it once was.  We used to work in a peak of 500+ reporters in the fall and then dip down to 300 in the summer. Now the highs are not as high and the low is not as far off.  This year thus far the highest number of reporters was 298, the highest up to this point last year was 337. The low in the coming weeks though I think will stay within the low of last years summer and that was just under 220.  Something to keep an eye on for sure.  I would argue that the 220+ stations that report over the summer are mostly the bigger ones and we lose a lot of those stations that happen to report 4 times over a 16 week period in the Spring.

So we have begun the decent. What does that mean for the charts. It could mean that its going to be harder to have a  huge jump while everyone is transitioning. As we saw last year around this time with Mac Demarco. He got locked into #1 at the right time as MD's had exams and radio became secondary and went on a 4 week run.  Could we be seeing the same thing with Courtney Barnett?  I was a bit surprised that she held on this week. Modest Mouse has more stations overall, and more #'1 but appears to have an edge on those larger core stations.  Sufjan Stevens also is hanging in there but every week that goes by for these 2 the harder it will be to hold off anyone else charging up.

I think we see a similar tight race next week.  The gap between #3 and #4 right now is pretty significant so I think it will take at least 2 weeks before we get a 4th member into this party.
It is worth keeping an eye on Waxahatchee, Toro Y Moi and Mountain Goats to see what happens. But again, the gap is pretty significant and I don't see the people pushing those 3 records slowing down at all.

The Adds were pretty crazy this week 3 getting over 100 and Built to spill coming close with 95. This could be one of those ADD weeks where we see the #2 or #4 most added exceed what the #1 most added record does. Speedy Ortiz did do well last time out and I am sure the expectations are for a #1.

It is always tough to know what is going to happen within the transition. And it is always fun to watch!

I thought it would be also fun to start wishing promoters happy birthday. This week Saw Bri from Team Clermont turn 17! Congrats Bri.  Later this week Jenn Misko from The Band Mom turns old enough to go to the top of the space needle!  Thats all I have according to Facebook but good job ladies!

Lets talk on twitter! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Last week I had a good conversation with another promoter about the charts.  

We were talking about who would go #1 this week.  I still thought there was no way Modest Mouse would miss out. They thought that the window for Modest Mouse was already closing and that Courtney Barnet was on such a tear that it was inevitable.  I argued, yes but Modest Mouse.  And yet this week, CourtneyBarnet made that jump to #1.  Congrats to the Planetary team on that one, their first #1 in 2 years ( Portugal. The man) 

I have said it countless times but getting a #1 record is HARD. You look at the charts sometimes and think oh week 2 we are #5 no way we don't get there. Then all of a sudden  you realize you are not Arcade Fire and there is an Arcade Fire record.  When the expectations are #1 getting top 5 can feel like such a disappointment but later you can look back and feel good about it, until someone else works the next record because you failed.  

But what defines the expectations on a record? Lots of things. Past performance I would say is a major component.  Bands like Modest Mouse, Dan Deacon, Sufjan Stevens have all had #1 records before so the expectation is that you should be able to get there again.  Those expectations can change though as reviews come out and people start forming opinions on the record before they even hear it. It is also the promoters job to communicate the expectations to the label.  The reason I wanted to talk about expectations is because they can change throughout a campaign and us looking in from the outside we might really know how a record is doing in regards to their inside plan. 

I wanted to talk more about this Courtney Barnett #1 record because I never saw it coming.  Even when it made that HUGE jump last week I thought, well thats the peak.  

1137MODEST MOUSEStrangers To OurselvesEpic
297COURTNEY BARNETTSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just SitMom And Pop
There is a pretty sizable gap there in adds, nothing that makes you think Courtney is going to be the stronger of the 2 records. Thats 40 adds. Thats huge.  I remember when this record was announced I saw a non of chatter from the Planetary people and really thought nothing of it. Part of getting a record to #1 is believing in that record. Our job is convince people to listen to it, and if you love a record it really can come through when you are talking to people, it is almost contagious the love for a record. 

That was the add week above.  As for charting Modest Mouse had the head start with the single 

358459357MODEST MOUSEStrangers To OurselvesEpic
and was in prime position to move up quickly. 

94--941COURTNEY BARNETTSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just SitMom And Pop
a 94 debut in the ADD week is no slouch though. 

For example this weeks #1 add Mountain Goats comes in at #143 and you remember last week we had 3 of the top added records all debut in the 100's so maybe that high of a debut tells us something? 
Might be worth looking into down the road. 

The next week: 

5358458MODEST MOUSEStrangers To OurselvesEpic
How can you not think thats going number one the very next week?
If I were working it that would be my thought. 

994-92COURTNEY BARNETTSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just SitMom And Pop
But that move for Courtney might be more impressive.  But the next week is when it got really amazing. 

299423COURTNEY BARNETTSometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just SitMom And Pop
353539MODEST MOUSEStrangers To OurselvesEpic
If you are a sports fan like I am you always hear when a team is losing that the other team wanted it more. I think that is a load of crap, these are all professionals and everyone wants to win. When It comes to the world of college radio though maybe there is something to it. Maybe the Courtney Barnett team wanted it more. You put all your energy and resources into a record you believe in and you can do amazing things with it. I don't think you can do this with every record. Like if I decided to put out a record tomorrow I could only do so much with it. You need press and buzz and history to really do anything at college radio. 

Speaking of history, if you are curious the last Courtney Barnett record peaked at #40 on the top 200 at the same time Arcade Fire was making their epic Reflektor run. The more I look at what Courtney Barnett just did the more impressed I become. 

So the question then turns to what does this mean. Is Courtney a one and done? 
It is still so new that I could see it sticking around. The problem is the number of records that could push her out. A lot of time you will have a battle between 2 records. Sometimes 3. Right now that battlefield extends pretty deep.   Let's include Courtney as trying to hold onto that spot. Then you have Modest Mouse in what could be the last chance for them, then Sufjan Stevens all three are legit contenders. Do we include Mountain Goats?  What about Death cab for Cutie, they are up to #5. If you were to ask me a few weeks ago I would say no way. Has anything changed?  Toro Y Moi have a shot?  Waxahatchee? 

What are your thoughts? 

Share them below or on twitter. Thank you for reading! 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Well that should be it, the end of all the spring breaks. I thought perhaps we would see a slight dip this week but I was hopeful that all the breaks were over. They were not, now though I think we should be ok throughout the rest of April and until the exams start sometime in May. Between now and then though things should be a lot of fun. I mean they really have already been fun. Last week with the tight race between Dan Deacon and Father John Misty and this week between everyone in the top 5.

Dan Deacon took the top spot this week and I am pretty surprised. I though for sure Modest Mouse would make the jump from 5 to 1 but they only jumped up to 3. The biggest surprise this week for me was Courtney Barnett. They went for it. Going all the way from 9 to 2.  Purity Ring I feel was the one hurt most by this week as they fall from #3 to #4. Sufjan Stevens rounds out the top five jumping from #32 and I have to imagine all five of these records will be pushing for #1.

Now with Modest Mouse not making that jump this week you have to wonder if they are in any danger. College radio can turn on artists in a blink of an eye and with there being so much positive press on Courtney Barnett ( that I have seen) and lukewarm press for juggernaut Modest Mouse perhaps the window for them was smaller than I thought.  Then what to do with Purity ring? They went for ADDS 5 weeks ago so are getting a bit up there in college age.

How about we take a look at all the adds from 5 weeks ago and see how they are fairing in comparison to Purity Ring? That might give us some idea as to if the window is closing or now.

TWTAArtistCurrent chart #Peak
651MOON DUO2820
1027GO BETTY GO135108
1421YOUNG GUVnot charting 98
1818IN THE WHALE138138
2015ELELnot charting 173

So many things stand out to me here. 

First you see that all but 2 records are in decline and strangely enough those 2 records are both steady so they may as well be in decline. 
I also find it very interesting that every record that made it on the ADDS list charted. It would take some time to look up every record went for adds that week, but it would be cool to see how many of those made the charts.  Also we have talked for sometime on twitter  about ADDS and if they matter or not.  But looking at this list you see a clear trend, with a few exceptions that the ones that got highest added ended up highest on the chart. I have always thought ADDS are a good way of prediction how well a record might do and this shows that might be the case. I plan on getting more in depth on this in the future to see how strong that pattern is. 

Speaking of ADDS this weeks top add was Waxahatchee, edging out Toro Y Moi. I thought for sure Toro Y Moi would of taken #1 considering the last record was #1 for 3 weeks and Waxahatchee had never taken #1 most added. But as I mentioned college radio changes their mind on records rather quickly. But before we put too much meaning on it they did only lose by 9 adds. 

Something else I will be taking a closer look at in the future is if charting on the debut week means anything. For now lets take a brief look at it, focusing on the top five adds. 

2121TORO Y MOI#124

They are all tightly bundled but interesting to see that #3 most added Laura Marling has the highest debut at #111 and even #4 most added Matt and Kim beats both the top ADDS. Remember last week though Sufjan Stevens was the #1 most added but had a huge debut at #32. The week before Modest Mouse had the huge debut at #35 ( although they had a single to set up the record and you have to wonder if that is causing any slow down on their part currently)  There is something to be said about having a huge debut on the ADD week. I don't think having a small or no debut stops you from getting #1 in the future but you have to think going from #32 to #1 is easier than going from #127 to #1. 

Feel free to leave some questions in the comments just let me know about them on Twitter so I can check them out. Or just ask on twitter. Thank you for reading! 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


I believe last week I mentioned it was about to get fun. Welcome to the fun.

This week was the kind of week I love if I am working one of the top 5 records. Sure its tough when you don't get #1 but the excitement and energy of going for it is so much fun. Checking CMJ every 10 min to see if you have gained stations or lost stations to whomever you are going against. I might be a tad competitive but I love it.

This week we knew going it it would be a battle.

For the last 4 weeks Father John Misty has held on to the #1 spot.  Every week a group of records has inched their way closer to to the top.  Dan Deacon, Purity Ring, Jose Gonzalez and joining the party this week Modest Mouse.

Early on I thought well here we go again. With 125 reporters FJM led the way with 83 stations.
Dan Deacon was next closest with 78. Purity Ring with 73, Jose Gonzalez and Of Montreal  with 61 and Modest Mouse with 67 were all within striking distance.

With 184 stations reporting the lead had expanded for Father John Misty up to 8 stations. But the lead was now over Purity Ring. Were they making a move? Dan Deacon was still there at 111 so it was too early to tell. Jose Gonzalez not ready to call it a day held its on at 93 while Of Montreal slipped down to 84. Modest Mouse remained in the hunt with 95 stations.

With 239 stations reporting Jose Gonzalez had begun to see its chance slip away coming in with 125 stations. Of Montreal lagged further behind at 116. Modest Mouse, only in their first full week on the charts looked to be in line for top five but that would be about it with 125 stations. It would come down to Purity ring at 144 stations, Father John Misty with 153 and Dan Deacon with 150.

This is where as a promoter for any of these records you start looking for people on Facebook, twitter, emailing again, calling again. Anyone that has not reported. You check the INVALID section of CMJ to see if there is anyone you can get to send in a chart.

 In the end there were 283 reporters. It was a close one.

Coming in at #5 Modest Mouse made a nice run for its first full week out there.

#4 Jose Gonzalez had a great run just never had enough to get over the hump.

Purity Ring moved up to #3 this week from #4 with only 8 less stations than the #1 So close.

The #1 and #2 records were close. It reminded me a lot of that week where I thought Decemberists were going to be #1 but in hindsight that was not close. This was close.

Lets look at the 2 contenders

Father John Misty  Vs Dan Deacon.

Both have been out there for a while now ( FJM has been out for just one week longer)
Both are nearing the end of any natural run on the top 200 charts, as it happens old gives way to new.

Lets look at JUST the numbers as I have not told you who is number one ( although I am sure most of you know)

Overall numbers
Record A--178
Record B-185

Record A--43 #1's
Record B--31#1's

So  you can already tell things are going to be close Record A has less stations but has more #1's

(6 weighted stations )
Record A- 1
Record B-2

(5 weighted stations )
Record A- 10
Record B-8

In looking at those groupings you could make the assumption that the one extra higher weighted station makes up for the lack in the 5 weighted stations.  So we have to look a bit closer. Both have 2 5's charting the record at #1 but Record A has one more in the top five. So I would still call these even.

(4 weighted stations )
Record A- 38
Record B-36

Talk about close.

Record A had 2 more #1's
Record B had 2 more in the top five.
Record A had 4 more in the top 10

So a slight edge in the 4's with Record A, Maybe even more than a slight edge. 2 more overall and you could say those 2 more are both #1's perhaps 2 stations have record A at #1 and don't have record B on at all? ( no that station does not exist)

(3 weighted stations )
Record A- 60
Record B-68

So just as we think we might be seeing Record A with a slight edge it looks like Record B has come to play.  More of the pivotal 3 weighted stations.  With 2 more #1's But with most of the gains coming in the 25-15 range. So not game breakers.

(2 weighted stations )
Record A- 38
Record B-39

How close can you get. Record A however has a significant lead in #1's here with nearly 10 more.
So you have to give the edge to Record A with the 2's

(1 weighted stations )
Record A- 31
Record B-32

Another close one. And something I saw again and again in the last few groupings there are more higher numbers for record A.

But every category was so close with just a few stations separating each one.

I have to go back to the 5 weighted stations. and the one extra in the top 5. Because in the end Record A is the one that grabs #1 and that record is Dan Deacon.

It looks to of come down to a handful of stations. I don't want to single out the single most important station out there because I don't think it exists. I think every one of the stations out there carefully crafting their chart had an impact at making Dan Deacon #1. Every category is so close that you could make the argument that if a station were to take off one or the other there could be completely different chart. I know we put a focus on those bigger stations but when the races are this tight every station matters.

I wanted to touch on the ADDS this week briefly because Sufjan Stevens lead most of the way if not all the way. Death Cab for Cutie came in 2nd but never really challenged.  I guess that answers my internal question of if Sufjan was still loved at college radio.  Further answering that question ... I noticed a pretty impressive debut from Sufjan at #32.  I was a sceptic coming in to this record going for adds but I think we are going to see a Modest Mouse / Sufjan  showdown in a few weeks.

What else is on the way that might contend?

I would say Purity Ring has an outside chance if the team behind it can do what AAM did this week with Dan Deacon. But the circumstances are different but it will be fun to watch.

I think Modest Mouse takes it easily next week. What do you think?

Leave a comment here or hit me up on twitter.! 


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