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What recent major-label deal turned to
a drop after a bad showcase for
the head of
the company?

WHEELS & DEALS: NEW CASH,
OLD WEASELS

Our A&R Columnist on Hirings, Reorgs, Buzz Bands and More
by Rodel Delfin

A new fiscal year has begun for some labels. Budgets having been somewhat replenished, expect the year’s slow and cautious signing pace to pick up; that applies to weasel hires as well.

With the number of domestic A&R reps in pop and rock far below the 100 mark, are streets outside of Tinseltown and the Big Apple covered? Are indies being hounded? Are remote clubs and studio outposts poked and prodded? Sure, some majors are actively seeking reps—but only five companies within the big label groups are looking. And all these layoffs, the competition gets tougher.

But enough about you. Let’s talk about them good ‘ol signing derbies.

Word on the street is that five labels are in play for the Chrysalis-developed act Ray LaMontagne. Yes, the weasels are still salivating, and no, it ain’t over yet. Now, with booking agency Little Big Man and manager Michael McDonald on board, it looks like Warner Bros., Island, Columbia, Strummer/Universal and RCA are jockeying for the Maine mountain man. Legal eagle Reid Hunter is mediating the weaseltude. Sources tell us that part of the label screening process will involve a survival test—the label rep who can start a fire the fastest by rubbing two twigs together will get extra brownie points.

Meanwhile, the derby for Minneapolis rockers Sue Generis is en fuego. The band’s post-Austin buzz continues with a scheduled trip to the Big Apple for more label meet-and-greets. Word is that industry folks have been flyin’ out to the band’s shows for some personal time.

Lots of heat building with the Tom Sarig-repped Against Me!. The punk-rock outfit had a good showing at their SXSW show; expect more weasels at their upcoming NYC gigs (see below).

What recent major-label deal turned to a drop after a bad showcase for the head of the company? Word has it the band’s still-unsigned contract allowed the label to walk without any commitments.

Former Palm Pictures VP of Development Patrick Anding lands at Side One Dummy Records. Anding is named President of Side One’s new film and video division. You can reach him at [email protected].

Universal Music Publishing taps Kevin McManus as Sr. Director of Creative Affairs. The former SESAC membership director will be based at the pubco’s New York office, where he’ll spend his days selling early Brand New demos on eBay.

The law firm of Sciorra, Leaness, Averill & Rubenstein, LLP have opened their doors at 787 Seventh Avenue, Ninth Floor, in New York. You can reach Nick, Chuck, Craig and Todd at (212) 786-6260.

BUZZ/GIGS:

O.C. weaselfest featuring The Colour, Lovedrug, Say Anything, From Satellite and Controlling the Famous at Chain Reaction on Tues., 4/6. Don’t sleep on this show!

Against Me! will rock the Big Apple on Thurs., 4/8 at the Tribeca Rock Club.

The buzz continues with Doghouse darlings Say Anything, as they play the Knitting Factory in L.A. on Tues., 4/13.

BUZZIN’: Thomas and The Colour.

Hit me up: [email protected].

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