The extended derby for Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent has finally closed, with Atlantic emerging as the victor—insiders report this one became somewhat heated among the WMG label prexies involved.

WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS

A&R World Keeps Turning as Buzz Bands
Keep Buzzing
Despite the doom and gloom of media-conglomerate executive ousters and the plummeting stock market, business continues to get done.

Two highly watched deals closed last week, the first being the Brian Klein/Steve Stewart-repped The Sun, which inks with Perry Watts-Russell at Warner Bros.

This is Watts-Russell’s first signing at the Bunny; the A&R vet’s been on the job in Burbank for only three weeks.

The band signed on the dotted line just prior to their Viper Room show last Thursday, with some last minute hard-chargers still wanting to court the band day of.

Meanwhile, the extended derby for Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent has finally closed, with Atlantic emerging as the victor—insiders report this one became somewhat heated among the WMG label prexies involved.

Kudos to Atlantic heavies Craig Kallman, Tom Storms, Kevin Williamson and Warner Canada’s Jen Hirst for sealing the deal.

In other A&R news, the Ben Weber/Craig Averill-repped People drew a heavy weasel population to their Mercury Lounge showcase last Monday. Label reps from Capitol, Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Interscope, Columbia, Sony, Sony/ATV Music and Warner/Chappell were in attendance.

Immediately after the People show, label folks trekked over to Brownies to see buzz-band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who attracted such heavy hitters as DreamWorks’ Michael Goldstone, Virgin’s Matt Serletic, Elektra’s Sylvia Rhone, Capitol’s Ron Laffitte and Warner Bros.’ Watts-Russell, among others.

HITS LIST:
HOME RUN DERBY
Going yard (7/11a)
SONG REVENUE:
SCHLEMIEL, SHABOOZEY
Th epitome of new country (7/11a)
GRAMMY PRE-CHEW:
THREE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIG 4
On your Marks, get set, go. (7/8a)
TOWARD A FRUITFUL GRAMMY SEASON
Our editurr in chief has something on his mined. (7/10a)
SABRINA TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS WITH TOUR MERCH?
Her table's stacked. (7/10a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
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