How does a manager take an artist from obscurity to relevance without the marketing dollars of a label, while still retaining ownership of masters?


This Butterfly Is Taking Flight With a Payload of 21 New Bands and Artists

Ladies and gentleman, it’s my pleasure to introduce the new, improved Weakend Planner, which from this point onward will be known as Wheels 2.0. It’s an evolution of Wheels & Deals, a longtime staple of HITS. I’m also delighted to announce the addition of Erica Ramon to our team. Erica has made the career-ending mistake of joining the HITS cesspool after learning the business under the tutelage of the wonderful and talented Ms. Linda Livingston at BMI. Poor Erica. Poor, poor Erica.

We have tons of new bands this week for you to listen to. You’ll notice there are no more movie reviews or calendar items. We will be solely focusing on music, and more importantly, the hot new bands we think you should know about—whether they’re signed or not. Remember to hit me up at [email protected], and use [email protected] for Ms. Ramon.

No Label, No Problem: Artist and Manager Empowerment in Music 2.0
Much has been written about Irving Azoff's exclusive retail deal with Wal-Mart and the power his Front Line Management is yielding in the current music industry. How does a manager take an artist from obscurity to relevance without the marketing dollars of a label, while still retaining ownership of masters? Enter singer/songwriter Joe Purdy, along with his manager, Brian Klein, who together have created one the best-case scenarios in the current landscape of artist development. Joe has been all over your TV with his song "Can't Get it Right Today" in the recent KIA commercial and has also gotten key placements in Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. With 11 albums under his belt, digital sales via iTunes and other platforms have just eclipsed 500k legal downloads. Label bosses from Universal, Warner, EMI, V2 and a handful of indies expressed big interest that was quickly turned down. Joe consistently sells out shows in major U.S. markets and has built a large fan base in the U.K.

Brian Klein's marketing to a specific demographic has paid off with fans driving sales from word of mouth enthusiasm that built up his demand, without being overexposed. Best Buy took notice and has come to them to stock Joe Purdy albums in stores nationwide. This model isn't necessarily the answer to every situation out there. Artists like Purdy, and the path he and his manager have chosen to take, display the first glimpse of a new approach with a tremendous upside: Artists and music industry professionals working closely together to deliver their music to an organically growing fanbase.

Be on the lookout for Wires on Fire when they hit the scene again later this year. Bassist Michael Shuman has been holding down the low end for Queens of the Stone Age of late. The band blew people away last spring at their Silver lake Lounge residency, playing new material that shows the growth and musical depth the group has developed over the years. The dual vocals of Shuman and guitarist Evan Weiss create a great sound over the loud guitars and groovy rhythms. The new album has been tracked, and from the sound of it, will make people looking for a solid rock band take notice. (

Jared Sagal
: A fresh voice from the New Mexico desert, Sagal is sure to captivate with hard-line tracks like “Drive” and “Over Me.” His unique blend of soulful ballads and guitar heavy rock will strike a chord with music fans everywhere. Establishing roots in L.A. has put this charming singer/songwriter on the film and TV music map, with placements in several indie films and heavy play on Fuel TV and EATV. Additionally, the title track “Say It” has received solid radio support at AC and Hot AC stations. Find out what we’re talking about at or

Are you listening? Unload on me at [email protected]

The Airborne Toxic Event
is doing a 10-part acoustic series of their album, with each song being shot in one take. Check out their second video “Papillion” at

Kelley James
: Acoustic pop rocker from the Bay who’s doing it the right way. He’s building up a buzz organically within the college community, playing fraternities and sororities around the country. I got to see him perform at the El Rey a couple weeks ago, and I thought he had an awesome vibe. Definitely an artist to keep an eye on. (

Erin McCarley: Singer/songwriter from Nashville signed to Universal Republic and creating a lot of buzz. Look for her to make a big impact next month and to give Colbie Caillat a run for her money. (

Stephanie McKay: Hailing from the Bronx, singer/songwriter McKay is a masterful performer and one of the most in-demand voices on the scene. Her list of credits is long and impressive, reading like a who's who of the hip-hop/soul scene. Formerly a guitarist for Kelis, she has recorded two albums with the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, collaborated with Talib Kweli and Mos Def, been featured on the standout hit “Forget Regret” from Roy Hargrove’s Grammy-nominated RH Factor (alongside such luminaries as D’Angelo, Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, Karl Denson, Pino Palladino and Common) and completed a world tour with Amp Fiddler from the legendary Parliament Funkadelic. (

Warren Flandez: With a sound as fresh as the present, and a voice reminiscent of classic soul, Vancouver-raised singer/songwriter Flandez is turning heads and melting hearts with his own brand of postmillennial soul. Warren’s music demonstrates the rare ability to fuse the classic sounds of old-school soul music, the edgy flavor of hip-hop and the romantic themes of traditional R&B. Look for major things from this artist in the coming months. Managed by Mitch Davis of The Artist Partnership and produced by Canadian Mike Southworth of Minus Music. (

Little Jackie: Blend old-school R&B with a quirky hybrid of hip-hop and pop and you get Little Jackie, the creation of genre-defying singer-songwriter Imani Coppola and multi-instrumentalist Adam Pallin. “The World Should Revolve Around Me” is the opening theme and is featured in ALL promo spots for the new season of VH1’s I Love New York: New York Goes to Hollywood. The duo taped a 30-minute performance and interview for KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic with Nic Harcourt June 16 (we hope to have video footage for you next week). Impacting AAA this month. Take the time to listen to this one—it’s gonna be big. (

These Green Eyes: An emo band signed to new indie label Blackledge Music, launched by former Epic A&R exec Ben Goldman (Chevelle, Ben Folds Five, Fuel), These Green Eyes combine high energy and top-notch material, including at least one surefire smash in “Paramedic.” They just rocked Rehab in New York, and we hope to have some footage from this show in the coming weeks to show you how great these guys are. (

Here are some other cool bands/artists to check out:
: These Brooklyn pop rockers, who have been touring for the past year, are gearing up to go into the studio to record their first full-length LP this summer. They’ll be rockin’ the Bowery Ballroom July 19. (

Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears
: Psychedelic rockers from Brooklyn—imagine the Beatles blended with The Polyphonic Spree. They definitely have an interesting sound, one worth checking out. (

Skybombers: Youth. Energy. Skybombers, from Australia, have already toured the U.S. with X, New Zealand with Foo Fighters and will be back in the States later this summer for radio shows which include dates with Flogging Molly. (

The Myriad: Seattle indie-rockers making noise with their single “Clean Shot,” which is currently get lots of MTV love. Signed to Koch Records. New album With Arrows, With Poise is currently in stores and at iTunes now. (

Miser: Texas rockers signed to Barry LyonsModArt Records are currently generating a lot of buzz with their rendition of “Zombie” by The Cranberries. (

We Are the Take: These hot emo indie rockers from north of the border are signed to EMI Music Publishing Canada and will be rockin’ NXNE this year. (

Halos: This Orange County-based indie outfit, who boast a killer sound and an amazing live show, will play the Roxy June 26 with Cartel. They’ll also be performing at Wet Seal’s Summer Concert Series and will be featured in an email blast to over a million consumers, as well as on Since last December, Halos have played with Cartel, Motion City Soundtrack, Saosin, Armor for Sleep, The Bled, The Higher, The Secret Handshake, Portugal the Man, Chiodos, Rx Bandits and more. They’re managed by Charlie Adams and Nate Israel and repped by Peter Lewit.

Science & Fiction: This modern-rock group out of Hollywood, FL, is rapidly making a name for itself by fusing the best elements of alternative, mainstream rock, industrial, classic rock and pop; garnering fans around the world via Internet promotion, radio play, indie distribution and word-of- mouth. To sum them up, they’re an Alice in Chains for a new generation; lead singer Rick Bauer has been described as Layne Staley reborn. The weasels have started sniffing around for good reason, and the group definitely warrants keeping an eye on. (

Lisa Bouchelle: This up-and-coming singer/songwriter, in the mold of Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles, is garnering a lot of buzz and has been deemed a “superstar” by renowned radio promoter Michele Clark. Her album, completed last year at Jon Bon Jovi’s home studio, was released on her own label and distributed by Fontana. Additionally, it has been picked up for the new Starbucks download kiosk program. Lisa just finished recording a duet with John Popper of Blues Traveler, as the two did a national tour last fall. Written with John Eddie, the song is a late-night, hook-up-at-the-bar song, similar in feel to the Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow duet "Picture." It's being co-produced by Tony Black, who has a Grammy for the album Diary of Alicia Keys. Lisa is a seasoned performer who has sung backup for Rob Thomas, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. (

The Ruse: The band’s influences include U2 and Coldplay, and they have a remarkably polished sound for an unsigned band, in part because debut album Midnight in the City was produced by Jorge Vivo, one of David Foster's engineers. The Ruse rocked their hometown fans when they played the El Rey recently, putting on a killer show despite the crappy sound at the venue. They'll be playing N.Y.’s Bowery Ballroom next month. (

Year Long Disaster: L.A. rock band signed to Volcom Records and led by Daniel Davies, son of The KinksDave Davies. The band has just been tapped for the prestigious opening slot on the Foo Fighters’ tour, while their debut album continues to receive critical accolades. Rolling Stone heralded YLD as one of 2008’s Best New Bands in their annual 10 Artists to Watch feature, while Relix hailed them as “a band on the verge” and an act “you should know.” They currently have an ultra-hip animated video on the adultswim site; watch it here. And check for upcoming shows and music. Their album is available on iTunes now.

The future's so Light, they gotta wear shades. (6/10a)
The GOAT (6/10a)
He's a five o’clock in the morning guy. (6/10a)
It's dazzling. (6/10a)
Action Jackson (6/7a)
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
No, not that one.
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