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WHEELS & DEALS: TALES FROM THE A&R TRENCHES
DreamWorks' Downsizing, We Are Scientist, The Bravery, Delta Goodrem, More, As Told by Your Favorite A&R Worm
By Rodel Delfin

FADING FAST: Last week's departure of former DreamWorks A&R execs Ron Handler, Beth Halper and Keith Naftaly, who all transitioned to Geffen, seems to have closed the final chapter for the DW label, once considered a haven for artists and executives. No word yet as to the next moves for the three, who are all veteran execs with impressive resumes. Handler was responsible for signing Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, Powerman 5000 and Sparta, and recently brought in Rise Against. Halper inked Nelly Furtado, and former KMEL S.F. PD turned-A&R-exec Naftaly only came to the label shortly before it was absorbed after a stint at Clive DavisJ Records. Stay tuned... Label reps from Columbia, Atlantic, Capitol and RCA were out for the We Are Scientist show at Spaceland this week. Reports have it that the band delivered... The buzz on the Pete Galli/Peter Lewit-repped The Bravery continues, with NME recently touting the band as “America’s answer to Franz Ferdinand.” The band’s track “Honest Mistake” has been getting big phones at WFNX and has earned spins on Zane Lowe’s Radio One show in the U.K. Expect a deal to go down soon, possibly with the involvement of a U.K. indie... The Ben Brannen/Steve Sessa-repped Bullets and Octane have signed with A&R whiz Matt Marshall at RCA... Although we reported last week that Dogs Die In Hot Cars is signed to V2 in the U.K. and for the world, word has it that the group has a special arrangement with the label for their album to be licensed to a U.S. company for release here. Discussions are ongoing... SPREADING THE GOOD WORD: Keep your eye on Sony Music artist Delta Goodrem, who is slated to release her upcoming LP in the U.K and Australia this November. A U.S. release is slated for next year. The 19-year-old singer was picked up by Dave Holmes at DC Music for management after a fierce derby, beating out several A-list managers who were all vying to sign her a few months ago. Goodrem was signed to Sony Music Australia by CEO Denis Handlin. Her new album was A&R'd by David Massey, and producers involved in the project include Glen Ballard, Guy Chambers and Billy Mann. Her last record sold 3 million copies outside of the U.S. The Aussie singer was diagnosed with cancer just months prior to the U.S. release date of her last record, which kept her from supporting the album stateside. Now in good health and with a new LP, expect Goodrem to kick this project into high gear... Former DreamWorks A&R rep Kenny “Tick” Salcido has joined Epic’s West Coast A&R staff. Homeboy will report to Ben Goldman and Don Ienner... With a focus on the indie world, former Capitol Records Sr. VP and Giant Records GM Larry Jacobson, who now heads his own Larry Jacobson Company, has joined forces with ex-Maverick and Giant Records A&R dude Robert "Berko" Webber to form the management firm World Audience. The company brings together a host of new-skool clients, including Avenged Sevenfold (Hopeless/WB), Moments in Grace (Salad Days/Atlantic) and their latest signing, punk rockers Hot Water Music (Epitaph). Berko also brings producer Mudrock (Godsmack). We hear that LJ and Berko have some big projects cookin’. Stand by... BUZZIN’: Will Dailey and Embassy... Hit me up: [email protected]

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LUNA HALO
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