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Lots of chatter surrounding ATO Records and its arrangement with Sony BMG, which is reportedly up.

WHEELS & DEALS:
SWAYING THE VOTE

Rodel Thinks NARAS Overlooked Some Worthy Acts in This Year’s Nominations
By Rodel Delfin

Yes, folks, it is Grammy week. And while some of you may be too busy checking out the “pro” action at either Mastro’s or the Four Seasons in Bev Hills, let’s take a moment to acknowledge some of the new acts and their A&R execs who get props for being nominated this year. The acts in the Best New Artist category are James Blunt, Chris Brown, Imogen Heap, Corinne Bailey Rae and Carrie Underwood. What’s surprising is the absence of Gnarls Barkley. Not only that, but shouldn’t high-profile acts such as The Fray, Arctic Monkeys and Wolfmother be included as well? Gnarls does get a nod for Record of the Year, of course, while also joining the Monkeys in the Best Alternative Album competition. Newcomers Wolfmother and veteran band Buckcherry are both nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance. Being exports from the U.K., Rae, Arctic Monkeys and Blunt (signed via Linda Perry’s Custard label) were originally inked to their label homes across the pond. And while Heap may not be a household name and is deserving of the nomination, she’s been a critically acclaimed artist for years, and this is her second solo effort. We decided to give credit to the stateside label executives who have signed Grammy-nominated new acts on the basis of being either their debut album or breakthrough release. So here’s the list of label players who deserve props: Downtown’s Josh Deutsch for Gnarls, Interscope’s Jeff Sosnow for Wolfmother and Atlantic’s Andy Karp for Buckcherry, along with longtime A&R exec/artist manager Tina Davis, who gets credit for Brown. Kudos also to Warner Bros.Craig Aaronson for signing Mastodon and former Epic A&R vet Kaz Utsunomiya for Lamb of God—both bands are nominated in the Best Metal Performance category. And probably the most significant signing credit goes to the American public for voting for Underwood during her season on American Idol. And just like our previous column on chart successes of 2006, the above A&R players are seasoned executives who have paid their dues and have mad record-making skillz… Meanwhile, there’s lots of chatter surrounding ATO Records and its arrangement with Sony BMG, which is reportedly up. The label, home to such acts as My Morning Jacket, David Grey, Gomez, Ben Kweller and Gov’t Mule, among others, was founded by Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw, John Mayer manager Michael McDonald and Chris Tetzeli. Can we expect a new deal with a new music group soon? Stay tuned… On the pub tip, ex-Sex Pistols manager, songwriter, producer and artist Malcolm McLaren has signed a publishing deal with peermusic. The deal will include all new works written by McLaren, together with most of his back catalog, which includes such hits as “Buffalo Gals,” “Double Dutch” and “Madam Butterfly.”… BUZZIN’: Mary Gormley, Joey Moi and Chad Kroeger… Hit me up: [email protected]

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