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Some vet A&R types who are anticipating more changes in the biz or at their companies are starting their own labels (instead of opting for management) with their own financial backing.
WEASELS & DIESELS: AFTER FLYING FIRST-CLASS, COACH IS A BUMMER
Veterans Are Starting to Poke Around for Alternatives to the Major Label A&R Grind
By Rodel Delfin

PAPER OR PLASTIC? Not to poke fun at your local grocery store checkout attendant, but they do seem to have a job that’s more stable than your typical major label A&R gig. And the grocery gig probably requires more skill (j/k). But seriously, what’s a poor out-of-work or soon-to-be-out-of-work weasel to do? Gone are the days when the job entailed popping in the office at 11:00 a.m. or noon, which was just in time for your three-hour lunch with some A-level producer, then back to the office to listen to some demos or mixes of the nextbigthing that you signed, getting you out of the building by 4:00 p.m. As some of you out there, who are approaching veteran A&R status, recently shared with us, those were the good ‘ol days. Hey, as long as you signed a hit, you were golden. But them days are definitely over. And we hear some vet A&R types who are anticipating more changes in the biz or at their companies are starting their own labels (instead of opting for management) with their own financial backing. We hear a few folks have turned to Wall Street to get the operational dough in order to maintain autonomy and to not have any signing constraints with a partner major label. And it’s paid off big for the likes of former major label A&R execs James Diener, who runs Octone/J, and Michael Caplan, who co-owns Or Music/Epic. Both labels have hits, with Maroon 5 and Los Lonely Boys, respectively. And we hear a few other veteran A&R execs are making the same play and setting up shop. Stay tuned… Meanwhile, lots of chatter about one major label A&R department that’s in turmoil as their only senior A&R exec is soon to make an exit… The Fred Goldring-repped/Bill Deutsch-managed Ross Copperman is generating buzz from a number of weasels. The 22-year old Virginian singer/songwriter reportedly impressed some folks at the Sony building in N.Y. Get on it… Lots of pub buzz building around L.A.-based new wavers Clear Static… The Sean E.-repped Test Your Reflex have signed with Matt Marshall at RCA. At press time, pub folks are said to be calling to be on the list for the band’s ASCAP showcase in L.A. this week… Lastly, after reuniting last year for the first time in decades, seminal underground rock act the New York Dolls have signed a new deal with Dave Bason at Roadrunner. The Craig Averill-repped/Darren Hill-managed band is at work on a new studio album, which is expected to be released next spring. Surviving original members David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain will be backed on the set by guitarist Steve Conte, bassist Sami Yaffa, drummer Brian Delaney and keyboardist Brian Koonin. That same lineup is on the road this summer for a handful of dates. Whoo-hoo…  BUZZIN’: The Tender Trio, Alien Ant Farm and Century Media RecordsHit me up: [email protected]

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