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PUB CRAWLING: SPOILER ALERT
Mad Men, Tequila, Kacey, Pitch Perfect and Other Stuff to Sync Your Teeth Into
A Don Deal
His world's in sync.

No matter how you feel about the Mad Men finale, it’s a reminder of the power of a big commercial sync—and the origins of Madison Avenue’s bottling of youth-culture idealism, rebellion and style. “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” began as a jingle and then became a Pop hit (scrubbed of soda references). A year or two before that ad, Jim Morrison threatened mayhem if “Light My Fire” was heard in a Buick commercial. But 44 years on, idealism and its bottling are scarcely distinguishable—and Music Biz 2015 can offer a session for songwriters with tips for exploiting catalogue from the likes of YouTube.

Certainly, a big TV spot is a premium avenue for song discovery; just ask Naomi Scott, whose evocative tune “Hear the Bells” graces a DeLeon Tequila campaign. The U.K. indie artist was selected by the ad agency, Blue Flame. Clearly today’s Don Drapers aren’t waiting for pitches from labels and pubcos. DeLeon, a newcomer to a crowded shelf, hopes to burnish its appeal with hipster cred. Still, the question of where authenticity resides—and how the marketplace shapes our perception of it, for good or ill, merits further meditation. Ommmm

Kacey, Luke, Shane, Brandy and co.
There's no substitute for writers in a room.

Speaking of authenticity, we need to echo the shout-out elsewhere on this site for Kacey Musgraves’ new album, Pageant Material. The songs were largely co-penned by Musgraves and Nashville pros Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark; these and other contributors, Musgraves reports, generally wrote face to face, sitting in a circle with their guitars. It’s not a prerequisite to generate magic, of course—great songs are written via Skype and other social software every day—but in this case the chemistry of the writers is so palpable you might feel like you’re in the room yourself. Which writers are you putting in a room together? I wanna know.

Among the tunesmiths who’ll be celebrating the success of Pitch Perfect 2: Lowen & Navarro, who co-wrote the 1984 Pat Benatar anthem “We Belong”; Journey’s Steve Perry and Neil Schon, who penned “Any Way You Want It”; and Michael Holbrook Penniman, aka Mika, who limned the 2007 trifle “Lollipop.” That’s just a sampling of the publishing windfall this ST represents.

Sony/ATV (which scored Publisher of the Year honors at the BMI Pop Awards last week, where writer P!nk took the President’s Award) just nabbed a brace of Ivor Novello Awards in London. Among its wins at this most presitigious of U.K. events honoring songwriting and composition: A Best Song Musically and Lyrically gong for Hozier, Songwriter of the Year for Ed Sheeran and two trophies for Clean Bandit's Jack Patterson.

The pubco has inked award-winning writer/producer Tim Pagnotta, who helmed Walk the Moon's album (including the monster "Shut Up and Dance"). 

Shut Up and Sign
Seen just before their hourly cigar break are (l-r) Pulse Management's Jason Bernard, Sony/ATV VP Creative Jennifer Knoepfle, Pagnotta and VP Creative Amanda Berman.

Marty and company have also inked an intriguing deal with syncer/songwriter Lenka; the artist, whose songs have graced a long list of shows and ads (Coke, Microsoft, Amazon Kindle, etc.), will release her fourth album jointly on her own Skipalong Records and the pubco’s own Hickory Records. It’s yet another example of a pubbery reaping master-side fruit from its sync labors.

Team SONGS is geeked after writer The Weeknd hit #1 at Pop radio with his Fifty Shades smash “Earned It,” which continues to sell big. Advance buzz on the forthcoming full-length is deafening, with some seriously Pop alchemy said to be in effect.

Measuring his Insieme
Glassnote chief Daniel Glass, Glassnote/Insieme's Laura Margolin, Rory and Glassnote/Insieme's Jenna Rubenstein.

Glassnote's Insieme Publishing has inked U.K. tunesmith, producer and musician Rory Andrew, who's seen his material cut by Tamia, Eliot Sumner and freshly inked RCA artist Parson James, among others, and served as musical director for The Wanted. Said Insieme's Jenna Rubenstein, "The coming year will be one of huge growth for Rory, and for our entire publishing company. He should probably start training for his first 5k now."

SINGING ABOUT: Liz Rose, Falls, Dave Bassett, Ivy Levan...

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