by Simon and Sam

TO THE MANOR BØRNS: Going out is a commitment—you have to put on pants and everything. But the nice folks at Pulse Recording said I had to check out a kid named Børns, whom they’d signed for management and publishing, so I found my way to Community on Fairfax and, after kibitzing with Josh Abraham, manager Lexi Ben-Meir, Anne Preven and Scotty Cutler (the latter tossing back a shot of Patrón by way of greeting), saw a heady set by Børns and band.

This unreasonably pretty 21-year-old dude from Michigan, blessed with a Jeff Buckley-ish voice (and who allegedly lives in an L.A. treehouse), is a full-on star; his catchy-as-fuck tunes have a decided glam/new wave edge. Small wonder that Interscope chief John Janick has already snagged him.

Later I chatted with Pulse’s new Sr. Director of A&R, Tavi Shabestari, about the evolving sound of modern rock. “I’m rooted in the indie community,” says Tavi, who in her previous gig brought Childish Gambino to BMI and who inked the Bon Iver-esque RY X to Pulse, “but I was raised on pop. Now the two are coming together."

As streaming grows, the difference between a record company and a publishing company diminishes—in both cases you’re largely finding talent, issuing licenses and tracking payments from myriad sources. Which is why you’re seeing so many pubcos that aren’t already attached to labels moving into recorded music. We previously noted the murmurs about SONGS making a label move; this week finds BMG Chrysalis finally announcing the purchase of indie-rock redoubt Vagrant, expanding its recording division’s reach.

Clive Davis will give Sony/ATV overlord Marty Bandier the President’s Merit Award at his pre-Grammy gala on 2/7. Drinking game for attendees: Every time Clive mentions Aretha, do a shot. Make sure you Uber home.

Any major TV sync can bring beaucoup bucks, to be sure. But watch our Shazam charts to note which ones have the strongest impact. We’ve been struck by the huge bounce songs from pivotal scenes on The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, Sons of Anarchy and How to Get Away With Murder have received. Pubs are learning a sort of formula between song and narrative that prompts maximum “audience buy-in.” Just ask UMPG writer Eric Arjes, who worked with series creators on the song “Bad Blood” for a recent Walking Dead episode and the upcoming Republic ST.

Despite the drama intimated in a recent eblast from the industry bible, Lorde and Diplo aren’t feuding. The kiwi star’s tweeted zinger about the producer’s penis size was just banter between good friends, relates SONGS’ Ron Perry, who signed both. In a related story, Ron has a very small penis.

THIS IS YOUR SONG: Richard Manners, Tyler Childs, Julian Bunetta, John Allen, Michael Petersen

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