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PUB CRAWLING: HIGH ON LEGAL MARIJUANA EDITION

No, I actually am high on legal marijuana. Back pain, dontcha know. Or insomnia. Or restless leg—well, it's some kind of chronic condition. But it’s also a line from Halsey’s smash “New Americana” (Astralwerks/Capitol), on repeat as the pub derby for the blue-haired singer/songwriter gets white-hot. UMPG, Sony/ATV and Warner/Chappell are all said to be in; the bids began at $1.5m and the ante is now up over $2m. How high will this one go?

 


Last week Interscope wrote Compton in the sky to celebrate Dr. Dre’s fascinating new album. But who co-wrote those songs? Well, Sony/ATV’s Dahi and Trevor Lawrence worked on seven of the album’s tracks between them; SONGS writer Marsha Ambrosius co-wrote on four (and contributed some killer vocals); meanwhile, UMPG writers—including Ice Cube, Jill Scott, Candice Pillay, Sly Jordan, DJ Khalil, Ron Neff-U Feemster, Cardiak and Asia Bryant—contributed to 10 out of 15. Stay tuned for more.

 


Team Jody is also celebrating a tandem win for their U.S. and U.K. sync teams, as the Tobias Jesso, Jr.-penned, Laura Mvula-sung “Work for Me” makes the trailer for upcoming blockbuster The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights (Capitol Nashville) locks up a #1 bow this week. The country superstar, a Sony/ATV writer, was aided by fellow Bandier House tunesmiths Michael Carter, Jay Clementi, Jody Stevens, Tom Douglas, Dallas Davidson and Rhett Akins; UMPG’s Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Jimmy Robbins, Cole Taylor and Chase McGill; and Warner/Chappell’s Ashley Gorley and Ben Hayslip. (Multiple pubcos were involved in my favorite track, “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”—gotta love that intermural spirit). Yee-haw for the royalty checks.

  


Now that (a) UMG has made Jay Frank its Streaming Czar, (b) Apple Music is underway and (c) overall streaming numbers are getting big, is it fair to say the streaming era is fully in effect? Are any dollars streaming in for you?


SONGS is having a pretty fine week, what with the #1, #5 and #7 songs at Pop radio (thanks to The Weeknd, Major Lazer and Diplo’s Bieber thang), the launch of their RECORDS JV with Barry Weiss (Nelly’s new one, getting mondo adds pre-impact, is project #1) and a number of big things in the hopper. For some reason, CEO Matt Pincus agreed to talk to us; stay tuned for our in-depth conversation, coming soon.

 


 Word of mouth is deafening on Hamilton, the hip-hop founding-father musical penned by and starring Warner/Chappell writer Lin Manuel-Miranda (and in which the pubco is substantially invested).


 Paul Plagens, a gifted singer/songwriter best known as frontman for ‘90s rockers Greta, died over the weekend. He was a friend and I was privileged, over the years, to hear a great wealth of his terrific songs (including the witty but sadly prophetic “Wonderful Dead Guy”). One hopes his excellent work will eventually get the attention he never did.

 

 

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