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WHEELS & DEALS: SWIMMING UPSTREAM WITH THE INDIES
It Ain't "Finding Nemo," But Then, What Is?
By Rodel Delfin

UPSTREAM EXPERIMENT, PT. 1: Lots of chatter going on about indie artist/label upstream deals. And in light of Warner Music Group’s recent announcement of their new-artist incubation program, the curious are wondering how these deals are being structured. Industry insiders say that so far, the upstream breeding ground hasn’t spawned any platinum. It’s evident by looking at a current album chart that the new artists who are reaching platinum sales are all traditional major-label signings. Stay tuned as your intrepid industry loser swims upstream and further covers the details of these indie artist arrangements... THE VELVET HAMMER STRIKES: David “Beno” Benveniste’s Velvet Hammer label has struck a new joint-venture agreement with Columbia, whereby VH will sign and develop new talent. The Sony executive team of Sony Music Prexy Donnie Ienner, Michelle Anthony, Will Botwin and Charlie Walk “hammered” out the deal. VH formerly had a similar deal with Atlantic, signing acts including Taproot, Poison The Well and Gratitude, all of which will continue to be worked through Atlantic. Insiders share that the VH/Atlantic split was amicable. A Beno hookup with Columbia has long been a subject of much speculation, given his strong relationship with the label through the success of System of a Down. Other VH projects through Columbia will include Sara Overall, as well as a consulting arrangement on Mudvayne. Expect new records from System, Taproot and Poison the Well next year... Is the David Chidekel-repped/Jon Goldwater-managed Clear Static finalizing a deal with U.K. label Lizard King? Will the band follow a similar path to that of The Killers? Meanwhile, the Chidekel-repped The Click have signed with Jason Flom and Andy Karp at Lava... Label reps from Arista, Elektra, Warner Bros., Sire, Virgin, Interscope, Island Def Jam, Columbia, Universal and RCA attended the Macrosick showcase in New York last week. Follow-up label meetings are scheduled. Stay tuned... Lots of label reps were out to see UK punk-funkers Bloc Party last Monday (10/4) at L.A.’s Spaceland. The band’s recently released EP on indie Dim Mak Records has been getting a lot of press... The Sandy Roberton/Andrew Brightman-repped Ivy Levan has been garnering plenty of weasel attention of late. A completed record, produced by The Wizardz of Oz, is in hand. Will another Worlds End-developed act soon be taken off the market?... Kudos to Hollywood’s Bob Cavallo and Allison Hamamura for closing the Kemado Records deal, which includes releases from Lansing-Dreiden, The Fever and, of course, indie buzz band Elefant... BUZZIN’: Towers of London, Everybody Else and Cerulean… Hit me up: [email protected]

 

 

BUZZ/GIGS:

 

OVER IT

Thurs., Oct. 7, time TBD, Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA

POPULATION ONE

Mon., Oct. 11, 8:30 p.m., Crash Mansion, N.Y.

 

WOLFMOTHER

Thurs., Oct. 14, time TBD, Spaceland, L.A.

 

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