Once upon a time...at Yasgur's farm (8/16a)
This is no ordinary doorstop. (8/15a)
But things will liven up soon. (8/16a)
The biz is getting its game face on. (8/16a)
More speculation over lox and bagels (8/16a)
Seriously, we can't take off any more clothes at the office.
Nothing doing.       
Well, what do YOU want?      
Badly needed.     

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I’M ONLY JOKING: I will spend this week sleepless, stress eating and glued to Real Time in Mediabase, as we are Day 3 in the quest for #1 with KONGOS’ “Come With Me Now.” Currently, it’s too close to call, as Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” seems indefatigable, but we are focused and, until Saturday at midnight, cautiously optimistic. Our bosses are our (Ted Volk and my) biggest cheerleaders—nothing says “stress reliever” like having them pop into our offices every 15 minutes or so to ask, “how’s it going?” In fact, Lenny has been known to say, “if it does, it does,” and Ted and I are quick to respond, “or else.” Or, as Ted also says, we’re fine as long as we “win or draw.” So, why such heightened tension? The song is obviously an unmitigated SMASH, jumping to #2 in only 8 weeks. The reason, as our promotion peers are well aware, is that as long as we have a job with a weekly report card (the Mediabase Modern Rock chart), #2, #6 and #11 = FAILURE. Also, as anyone who does radio promo­tion knows, if a song deserves a shot at #1, you have to try to get it there. A #1 song will also serve as a fantastic calling card for the newly minted Epic Rock team of Lynn McDonnell and David Jacobs, whose next launch is The Last Internationale, a spectacular combo featuring Brad Wilk from Rage Against the Machine… In two weeks, the #1 spot will be taken by “Fever,” the first single from the Black Keys’ latest. It seems that the rest of us just try to find a window for #1 between Black Keys chart-toppers. In fact, the last time I was stressing over a new band going for #1 was The Lumineers’ “Hey Ho,” which slid in just before the Black Keys inevitable perch at the pinnacle. It must be fun to be Rob Goldklang and Heather Luke (and the QPrime team, of course)… Bill Carroll and Howard P. closed some big adds this week on Beck’s “Blue Moon,” including 98.7, KROX and KBZT. In a few short weeks, the record has already outsold nearly everything else you’re playing, and the song is absolutely gorgeous (and a proven hit at Triple A). Playing Beck and Coldplay seems so obvi­ous to me. Both artists have had a catalog of success at Modern Rock; both can sell out huge venues and both have new songs that are a perfect “fit” for the format… If I ran into you at SxSW, the pleasure was all mine. I enjoyed spending time with KKDO’s Jim Fox. It’s always awesome to see Ross from WRMR (congrats on the promotion!), Dave Hill, Aaron, Lisa (she always knows EXACTLY what I’m thinking) and Mark Hamilton. And of course I remain besotted with Lynn, Norm, Garett, Lazlo and Spam (especially during our breakfast “with” Jarvis Cocker from Pulp). I still find SxSW to be the week of the year where I see the most bands, both new and familiar. In jest, I used the hash tag #SxSWSeniors, since one of the most rewarding aspects of the conference is reconnecting with friends I’ve had for decades. Yes, we’re in our ‘40s and beyond, but we’re still here. The songwriters’ panel I moderated included many such friends, like Bob Mould, who premiered a new song “The War,” that was written as “the answer” song to Husker Du’s “Hardly Getting Over It,” and Steve Wynn, who performed the Dream Syndicate classic “Tell Me When It’s Over,” with Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws contributing on guitar. Later that night, I was grateful to attend Steve’s The Baseball Project show at the Continental and Bob’s headline set at the Merge Records show­case, neither of which precluded my chance to see dozens of new artists, most notably NO (who were a revelation—I’m obsessed), Blondfire, Syd Arthur, Ex Hex, Glass Animals, Jungle, Wild Cub, Birds of Tokyo, Chet Faker, St. Vincent, The Strypes, Radkey, PAPA, The Last Internationale, Itch, SomeKindaWonderful, Bleachers and Jeremy Messersmith. My greatest hope is that I can help some of these artists get their songs played on commercial radio. It’s the least I can do for them…. Got spins?  Ivanageek@aol.com

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