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A certain U.S. music executive has been diligently meeting with Radiohead and their handlers.

WHEELS & DEALS: NO MORE RULES

All in All, It’s a Strange Time to Be a Weasel
By Rodel Delfin

The consensus out there in A&R playland is that it’s now beyond desperation time. The current label mandate is that the act must have a hit song regardless of who they are, so that radio will play it. At this point, anything goes—if they’ve got a potential hit, sign ’em up, even if they aren’t young (i.e., under 20), or lack hipster cool, or don’t have a killer live show. And why not? The unofficial signing guidelines over the past years really haven’t proven to be successful anyway. As we’ve stated many times before, most of the biggest selling acts of the last few years have been low-key, non-bidding-derby signings that didn’t come out of Silver Lake, the Lower East Side or Williamsburg. At this point in the game, it’s really become the Wild West, which is both good and bad. On the rock side, we’re hearing that the younger A&R hitters (for fear of losing their jobs) have been spending more time scouting for Active Rock-leaning bands on the order of Nickelback, Hinder and Daughtry; i.e., acts that have the best chance of crossing over to Pop. But to disregard everything that’s left-of-center would be a big mistake, too.

BLIND ITEM TIDBIT: Our spies from across the pond have informed us that there’s a certain U.S. music executive, employed at a stateside-based management company/independent label, who has been diligently meeting with Radiohead and their handlers about a new American label arrangement, and that they’re close to making a deal. It would be a huge coup for the indie label in question if they manage to pull it off. We’ll keep you posted.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Island Records recently signed rockers Jet Black Stare to a deal. A&R players Rob Stevenson and Eric Speck get props for inking the highly sought-after group. The band’s demos were produced by Andrew Brightman/Brightman Music clients Gordini and Jeff Johnson… Local L.A. faves Nico Vega have signed with MySpace Records. The group was jointly inked by A&R homeboy Jon Pikus, industry vet J. Scavo and everybody’s friend, Tom Anderson. The band will head out in October on the Tank Farm Future Sounds tour and will begin the sessions for their debut album the following month… Here’s some intriguing news—former Stone Temple Pilots bandmember Dean DeLeo is teaming up with Morningwood in the studio as the band begins recording their second record. Whoo-ha… Finally, A&R player Mike Taylor, who has held stateside A&R posts at Epic and Maverick, heads back Down Under for another tour of duty, as he takes on the GM/Head of A&R position at Island Records Australia. Taylor will be based in Sydney, where he’ll be raising kangaroos and drinking Foster’s, while throwing another shrimp on the barbie… BUZZIN’: Gary Helsinger, M-C Rut and Iglu & Hartly… Hit me up: [email protected]

BUZZ/GIGS:
RY CUMING Sun., Sept. 23, 10:30 p.m., Hotel Café
EMMA BURGESS Mon., Sept. 24, 9:50 p.m., Viper Room
SARA MELSON Wed., Sept. 26, midnight, Gibson Guitar Showroom, Beverly Hills

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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