Thursday, August 27, 2015


    It is that time of year again! Time for the CMJ award nomination process!
    This year there are 8 station awards and 1 industry award.

    I am very excited that it is more station focused than it has ever been.

    So who should be nominated?

    Station Awards

      Industry Award

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


It felt like early on that we were headed for both a classic ADDS battle and a down to the wire battle for number one.  One of those things happened.

Lets talk about the ADDS first. Beach House dominated. At one point I checked adds and out of 137 reporters 100 of them had added the record. Those that did not add Beach House looked a lot like this

1. MAC DEMARCO Another One
3. BULLY Feels Like
4. HEALTH Death Magic

Where most of the records added were OLD. So I would not be shocked if Beach House gets even more adds next week.  Someone asked me if it was that the record was that good or that the competition was that weak. I thought early on that Destroyer would be neck and neck with Beach House but it was never close. Some stations I asked even asked who is Destroyer. I thought that was absurd but reminded me of another conversation about "heritage" artists.   

For as long as I can remember there are certain artists that dominate college radio. Anytime Bjork, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Tom Waits and a few others had a record you could pencil it in at #1.  Now it seems that the collective memory of college radio has become shorter.  Matt and Kim were a #1 artist 2 records ago.  Passion Pit went #1 just one record ago and both new records struggled to get past the top 20 marker. 

One of the great things about college radio though is that it is ever evolving. Change happens every year or at least every other year as a new MD comes in and new DJ's come in. They naturally will be drawn to different records than the past music directors.  Of course one of  our jobs as promoters is to educate the new directors about music. Let them know who and why someone like Tom Waits is important if they don't know.  In working the new Wilco record currently it should not surprise me when I have to explain who Wilco is. It does but me yelling YOU DONT KNOW WHO WILCO is does not really help. Instead taking 5-10 min to explain their history might be in order.   I had a new MD the other day ask me who New Order was. I guess there really is that much new music that being exposed to heritage bands may not of happened. But that is our job. To help educate. 

I expect there to be a lot of new MD's coming in soon and a lot of conversations about bands they may of not heard of and I am looking forward to it. 

The charts this week were fun to watch.  Going in we had a pretty good idea that the top 5 would  be, in some order comprised of these 6 records, Tame Impala, La Luz, Mac Demarco, Wilco, Mynabirds, Titus Andronicus.  You could early on separate them into two packs the only records with a clear shot of #1 this week were incumbent Tame Impala and then last weeks #2 Mac Demarco and you could see an early push from La Luz was happening.   There was clear separation of those three above the others. 

I thought early on Mac Demarco would take #1, but I changed my mind mid day on Tuesday when La Luz had more of everything it seemed. More #1's, more bigger stations. But fittingly the Mac Demarco supporters seemed to wait until the end to report and the gap got smaller and smaller and eventually they pulled ahead. It WAS very close with an argument either way. Had La Luz taken #1 I think I would of understood why. But Mac Demarco did take it and it still made sense. 

It will be interesting to see what happens this next week with Beach House. I could see it going from ADD week to #1 in a single week. I could also see a push for La Luz, Mynabirds and Wilco.  There are significant gaps but with a lot of new MD's on the way back there should be  a larger pool of stations to draw from.  

Seems like Fall is almost here and I am looking forward to more excitement on the charts! 

Thank you for reading. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Do you know what the most exciting thing that happened at college radio this week was? It was that at least 3 different stations told me they start classes next week! FALL IS ALMOST HERE!!! Welcome back those of you that are on the way back. You have been missed.

To catch you up on what has happened this summer... Tame Impala has been #1 the whole time... Ok that is not true. Thee Oh Sees have been #1 as well. Alabama Shakes, Hot Chip and Bully each had some time as well.

As I thought would happen last week the top five remained the same but in a different order.  I would not be surprised to see it stay this way for the next few weeks although  I could see a different  record or 2 make an appearance in the top five. The thing is that 4 of the top five records right now could have a shot at #1. And there appears to be no record currently out of the top five that would have enough juice to challenge.  ( see last weeks post for clarification on who should and should not be pushing for #1)

It will be interesting to see what happens as everyone comes back to school.  I think stations will gravitate naturally to those bands they know, Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, Wilco should all continue to gain.  So can one of those records gain more to dethrone Tame Impala?

The transition from Summer to Fall or from Fall to Spring usually benefits the newer records. So keep an eye out on those records going for adds this week, next week and going forward as those tend to have an easier time than the older records.

I am excited for the Fall though! It is almost here!

If you want to talk about anything you can find me on the twitter

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Now that was a fun week.  Summer can be somewhat of a chore with a lack of big records and lack of stations to talk about the few big records that are out there. That seemed to change over the last week. We had a huge add week last week with Mynabirds, Wilco, Mac Demarco, La Luz, Health all having big add weeks so we knew they would all shoot up the charts and start to put a little heat on Tame Impala.

Now going in I thought there was no way anyone but Tame Impala was not going to be #1 and that held true throughout the reporting period. There was an hour that went by where 23 stations reported and 19 of those stations reported Tame Impala. There was no real challenge from anyone else.  The rest of the top 10 though was up for Grabs.

For a while there was a race between Ducktails and Mac Demarco for #2. They were within a few stations all day Monday and even early Tuesday they were only separated by 3 stations. Mac Demarco pulled away big time starting around Noon on Tuesday gaining 46 stations over the last 3 hours of reporting while Ducktails gained 38.

While those two were battling it out Wilco made a run of their own and challenged for that #3 spot as they also gained 38 stations in the last 3 hours.

The number 5 spot was a tough one to predict as Leon Bridges was doing his best job to hold on and La Luz was doing their best push to get into the top 5. In the end the new record won out.

So now we have a pretty exciting top 5

11114TAME IMPALACurrentsInterscope
248-22MAC DEMARCOAnother OneCaptured Tracks
36-32DUCKTAILSSt. CatherineDomino
4132743WILCOStar WarsdBpm
5128-52LA LUZWeirdo ShrineHardly Art

All of these records have been on the charts for a very short period of time.  The question now is does  Mac Demarco have the juice to take it next week? With Ducktails being jumped do they have a shot at #1?  When one company is working more than one record in the top 5 you really don't know what will happen.  Do you play it safe and just try and keep Tame Impala #1 or do you try for Ducktails and also La Luz to get #1?  Should be fun to watch. 

So as you get emails from your promoters this week you might see any one of these records be highlighted with a **GOING FOR #1**  banner above the album title, or next to or it might just be a little paragraph on top.   I know a lot of promotion companies do this. I do it myself. I think its completely fine. The question is does it work?   As a radio station are you invested in trying to get a record #1? Do you get caught up in the action? Wanting to be a part of it?  I know It had an impact on me when I was a Music Director. I remember Built to Spill was going for #1 once and I had them at #10 before I sent out my charts. When I talked to the promoter I decided to move them up to #5 so that I could help.   I am sure some of you out there do that as well.   I would love to hear from some of you if it has any real impact on what you do. 

Also it seems that some companies have gotten very liberal with the "pushing for #1" banner. I saw a record that was a good 50 stations away in week 5 "pushing for #1" That record has NO CHANCE at #1.  But if it works then I can't fault them.  I  have also seen it used for TOP 5 this week. TOP 10! TOP 20! TOP 30! TOP 145!!!! WE NEED TOP 145!!!!!  Ok it has not gone that far but I seems like I would not be shocked if I saw that.  

At what point does PUSHING FOR X lose its impact? I think going for top 5 or top 10 matter but Top 20?  I suppose if you have a bonus tied to it then yes that could warrant an extra push. I just think that if I were an MD now and I heard from each company I talked to PUSHING FOR X I would start to tune it out.   

So let me help you. If anyone else is pushing for #1 and they are not currently in the top 5 records listed above, those promoters are liars.  They have no shot at #1. 

Ok thanks or reading. Almost FALL!!!!! 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Oh Hello there August!

One more month of summer time before everyone comes rushing back! Soon there will be many huge records every week. Soon we will be talking about the CMJ festival. Soon... soon... Until then I imagine Tame Impala might hold on to the #1 spot on the charts.  Although things are going to get a little crazy in the top 10.

This week saw 3 records get over 100 adds each!  Just look at this top 5.

1138MAC DEMARCOAnother OneCaptured Tracks
2129LA LUZWeirdo ShrineHardly Art
3103MYNABIRDSLovers KnowSaddle Creek 
480HEALTHDeath MagicLoma Vista
572WILCOStar WarsdBpm

I would have to imagine all of those records have #1 aspirations! 

Then if we take a look at what is already on the charts. Last weeks #1 most added, Ducktails comes in at #6 will surely be in the top 5 next week. Titus Andronicus debuted at 16 and should easily be in the top 10 next week. 

Looking at this top 10 

117413TAME IMPALACurrentsInterscope
22226LEON BRIDGESComing HomeColumbia
341134WHITE REAPERWhite Reaper Does It AgainPolyvinyl
43116BULLYFeels LikeStartime
5148153CHEMICAL BROTHERSBorn In The EchoesAstralwerks
6--61DUCKTAILSSt. CatherineDomino
7152474WESTKUSTLast ForeverRun For Cover
994093BIRD AND THE BEERecreational LoveRostrum
1073111THEE OH SEESMutilator Defeated At LastCastle Face
How many records will still be in there next week? 
With Ducktails, Titus Andronicus, Wilco ( at #13) Mac Demarco (#58) all charging up. We are going to see a lot of turnover I would think very soon.  

What do you think ? Tame Impala is in the drivers seat right now but you have the same company working multiple records that have #1 in their sights. I can't know what conversations go on there but I could tell you that If I had 2 records that were both #1 possibilities I would do my best to try and get them both #1. When you do that though you leave the door open for others to swoop in there. 

Out of those records.. who do you think has the best shot at #1? Who will for sure not get #1? 

Should be fun to watch. 

Lets chat on the twitter machine. 


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