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When will the A&R community return to some level of normalcy? Well, some A&R hitters say that despite the ongoing turmoil, they’re still aggressively looking to sign acts. But which players can really pull
the trigger?

WHEELS & DEALS: MUSICAL CHAIRS... BUT WHO'S SITTING?

Our Weasel Watcher Recaps Q1 Revolutions, Wonders Who'll Buy His Next Drink
by Rodel Delfin

Just to recap the first three wacky months of the ’04: Lyor Cohen exits Island/Def Jam to run Warner Music Group; hitmaker LA Reid is asked to leave his post at Arista and is immediately picked up by UMG to head IDJ; Arista is then effectively dismantled and massive layoffs ensue as Clive Davis folds its roster into his other BMG labels; Sylvia Rhone steps down as head of Elektra amid rumors that she will soon surface within the Universal family; soon thereafter, Elektra’s doors are effectively closed, with massive layoffs accompanying its "merger" with Atlantic; and concluding Q1’s dizzying musical-chairs session, IDJ prexy Julie Greenwald bails to re-join Lyor as President of the new Atlantic Records Group.

Meanwhile, word on the street is that heavy roster cuts are occurring at most majors. When will the A&R community return to some level of normalcy? Well, some A&R hitters say that despite the ongoing turmoil, they’re still aggressively looking to sign acts. But which players can really pull the trigger?

Meanwhile, A&R changes are happening at IDJ, as department head Jeff Fenster exits his post following the resignation, two weeks ago, of Sr. VP of A&R Lewis Largent. Rumor has it that label chief L.A. Reid will serve as head of A&R.

Has one executive free agent landed a much-sought-after A&R gig? Rumor has it that paper is in the works and that the deal is otherwise pretty much done.

And what hotshot A&R playa, who currently happens to have an act on fire at radio and retail, is counting on timing still being everything as his deal comes due for renegotiation? Have other labels taken notice and started blowing up his celly?

Veteran L.A. club promoter Dayle Gloria exits her post at the Viper Room. Looks like she’s headed to the Roxy, along with longtime Viper club act Metal Shop.

The Howard Sadowsky-repped/Steve Finfer-managed Death Valley has East Coast labels buzzing over demos produced by Joey Moi and Brian Howse. Looks like the Canadian ensemble will be doing some label showcases at SIR in NYC this week.

Label peeps turned out for the Something For Rockets show at the Echo in L.A. last Monday (4/12). Folks from Capitol, Atlantic, DreamWorks and RCA were in the house.

On a follow-up note to the Sue Generis derby, Green Room Productions is co-managing the act with Bill Silva.

Trustkill act Eighteen Visions has inked with Pete Giberga at Epic Records. The Paul Conroy-managed/Mike McKoy-repped project recently completed a new album with producer Mudrock, which led to the signing. And to give props where props are due—Mudrock also produced Avenged Sevenfold’s sophomore LP last year on Hopeless—the recording that led to the band’s signing with Warner.

BUZZ/GIGS:

Pubcos will be checking out Elektra act April Sixth at the Roxy in L.A. on Thursday (4/15).

The annual Skate and Surf Fest is happening this week (4/16- 4/18). So go hang out with the cool kids in Asbury Park, NJ.

ASCAP will be showcasing some of the best "The" bands at Spaceland on Tuesday (4/27). Don’t miss out on The Lot Six, The Go and The Reputation.

BUZZIN’: Sara Bareilles and The Sounds.

Hit me up: [email protected]

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