Thursday, June 20, 2013

Michael Franti "I'm Alive"

The new Michael Franti single and album were hotly anticipated items this Spring, for stations like MVY, and for listeners of those stations.

And it was no surprise that a) most of the radio stations that report to the same Billboard chart at MVY started playing the song immediately, and b) it rocketed up the charts.

In fact, this week, "I'm Alive" sits atop the "Triple A R&R/BDS Indicator Chart," a long way in front of the number two song "Stompa" by Serena Ryder.

A song gets to Number One on this chart, based on airplay spins.  Meaning, they count every spin that every song got that week, from all the radio stations that report to that chart, and rank them by total spins.

This week "I'm Alive" was played more than any other song. Franti wins.

Which is why we're going to stop playing it.

I am a longtime fan and supporter of Michael Franti.  I love what he stands for, I love his positivity, I love his passion.

One of the nicest gifts I ever got from an artist/label, hangs in my office.  It's a signed Franti poster, with the words written in Sharpie, "PJ, Maximum Respect," and his signature below.

But truthfully, "I'm Alive" isn't a very good fit for MVY.

Franti's music has always been on the fringe of our sound.  It's more programmed-beat-driven, more hip-hop leaning lyric and delivery, and generally more poppy than anything we play.

At times, his songs have been close enough to exist on the outskirts of what we do.  But some of the singles he's put out have pushed the envelope a little to far, and we've not added the song at all.

"I'm Alive" was so hotly anticipated, that we added it right away.

But in the following days and weeks, I'd hear the song on MVY and often cringe, as it felt so stylistically out of place.

So now it's hit Number One, and I can feel good about dropping it.

Previously, the number of times MVY played the song per week, was added to every time our contemporaries played it on their stations.  For us to pull our support would have meant a (small) loss in momentum for a guy I am sincerely pulling for.  And it could even have effected his ranking on the charts.  This week only 1 spin separates the Number 4 song (Vampire Weekend) from the Number 3 song (JJ Grey).

Franti's at Number One, and with nowhere else to go but back down, so having MVY stop supporting the song makes no difference.

Franti's "Alive."  He reached the top.  And now it's time to let it drop.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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