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The deal in play is for Danger Mouse’s next record, which is slated to feature some hot guest appearances.
Stay tuned.

WHEELS AND DEALS: THE MOUSE THAT ROARED

Our A&R Guru on Big Changes at WMG, Big Heat on Danger Mouse and Big Pimpin' in General
by Rodel Delfin

At the close of the Edgar Bronfman Jr.-led purchase of Warner Music Group this week, the immediate layoffs at the top confirmed and ended some long-running speculation about the combined Elektra-Atlantic-Lava power structure.

Our friend Pedro the Singing Monkey says that you’d have to be a sucker’s fool to be surprised by the outcomeseems like predicting the layoffs was only a tad more complicated than picking last week’s Oscar winners.

The precise roles of Atlantic Co-prexy Craig Kallman and Lava head honcho Jason Flom have yet to be unveiled. But with the exit of Elektra head Sylvia Rhone, conventional wisdom points to the consolidation of the label’s promotion, marketing and sales staffs into Atlantic.

The impact on A&R, which typically gets hit the least, remains uncertain. At presstime, the current Elektra executive A&R team is as follows: (East Coast) Merlin Bobb, Exec VP, Ric Ocasek, Sr. VP/Staff Producer; Leigh Lust, Director; (West Coast) Howard Benson, Sr. VP/Staff Producer; Jay Brown, Sr. VP; Warryn Campbell, VP; John Kirkpatrick, VP; and Paula Moore, VP.

The label continues to have success with Aussie rockers Jet, so individuals involved in the project may have avoided pink slips for the moment. We’re monitoring the postings on the Velvet Rope, so we’ll fill ya in on the latest.

Lots of label chatter over Waxploitation-repped artist Danger Mouse and The Grey Album. The experimental project blends the vocal stylings of hip-hop superstar Jay-Z’s Black Album with beats and production from the BeatlesThe Beatles, AKA "The White Album." For those of you who failed Art 101, mixing black + white = jungle fever…errr, we mean GREY.

Naturally, the Fab Four samples weren’t cleared, nor could they be. And so Grey, which was at one time available for sale on Danger Mouse’s website, received a cease order from EMI and is now only available through your local P2P network. The tracks reportedly received a million downloads on 2/24, when it was made available on a large, coordinated group of sites.

Meanwhile, weasel activity for the act has already been on red alert. Sources share that the Danger Mouse camp are in final meetings this week with Interscope, Atlantic and Universal, while pubcos are also coming in. The deal in play is for Danger Mouse’s next record, which is slated to feature some hot guest appearances. Stay tuned.

Label interest grows for Martyrs & Poets as label reps were present at the band’s Viper Room show this week.

Lastly, Warner/Chappell chap David Andreone exits his post at the pubco. Disturbed, Michelle Branch and Hoobastank are among the pub signings on Andreone’s resume—clocking a total over 10 mil in worldwide sales. Word on the street is that he’s already in talks with several companies.

BUZZ/GIGS: Boy Hits Car at CBGB on Tue. (3/9); The Dears at Spaceland on Thurs. (3/11); Elefant at The Troubadour on Wed. (3/10); Lucero at the Troubadour on Fri. (3/12).

BUZZIN’: Adam Richman, Metric and Tony Brummel.

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THE NEXT GIANT DEAL
A&R in overdrive.
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