Wheels & Deals: Hot Weasel on Weasel CMJ Action

Capitolís Chaos Theory Lifts Paulís Intriguing New LP

RLG/Nashville Heads Into Huge Fourth Quarter

Bulletin Board

Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

September 22, 2005
By Rodel Delfin

CMJ GRIDLOCK: As the Big Apple played host to the CMJ Music Marathon last week, the city also had a number of events going on involving N.Y. Fashion Week and a presidential visit to the U.N., which made getting around Manhattan similar to driving down the 405 freeway on a Friday afternoon. Confab revelers complained about not being able to get taxis, as traveling to and from meetings and venues took triple the time it would normally take. And while a number of label folks complained that the festival was not up to par compared to last year, an equal amount of attendees reported that they saw what they wanted to see, had meetings with folks they needed to meet with and the conference overall served its purpose. And, like every year, there were acts that folks were buzzing about. Lots of weasels were out at the Lion's Den for the Justin Goldberg-managed/Andy Tavel-repped Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. The female-fronted band completed dates with the Dave Matthews Band earlier this month, and they're selling out thousand-capacity venues on their own. Word is that the group has already met with a number of courting labels. Stay tuned for this one. Meanwhile, here's our short list of other notable CMJ perfs: Boy Kills Boy, Make Good Your Escape, Silversun Pickups, Spinto Band, The Outline, Nicole Atkins & the Sea, The Royal Highness, The Rakes, Shiny Toy Guns, Billionaire Boys Club, Dragonette, The Cribs and Sahara Hotnights, among others. We'll keep you posted on any new developments... Lots of chatter going on concerning the consolidation of the Lava Records staff into Atlantic. Insiders share that Lava A&R topper Andy Karp and marketing exec Lee Trink will probably stay and take on expanded roles at Atlantic... On the pub tip, we hear that Island Records' new signing Under the Influence of Giants have several pubcos courting the band. Will the group sign with a publisher that looks to be an emerging player in the pub world?... NEW MODEL DEALS: Lots of coverage in the mainstream press on new-artist deals of late. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the L.A. Times, among others, have done extensive articles on EMI's recent deal with Korn, as well as Interscope's arrangement with the Pussycat Dolls. In the case of the Dolls and their reported seven-figure monthly revenue at the troupe's Las Vegas lounge, it seems to be a big win for Interscope, which participates in the troupe's income. Will this pave the way for more artist/label partnerships that involve multiple revenue participation by record companies? And will labels actually pony the proper advances and create internal changes to make such deals attractive to new artists? Inquiring minds want to know... BUZZIN': Alex Johnson, Shocknina and Jordis Unga... Hit me up:

STARS OF TRACK & FIELD Mon., Sept. 26, 9:00 p.m., Viper Room
GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS Fri., Sept. 30, TBD, House of Blues, Chicago
THE OUTLINE Sun., Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m., Knitting Factory

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

September 23, 2005

Timing is everything, and Capitol's timing in launching Paul McCartney's debuting Chaos and Creation in the Backyard has been impeccable. The label's marketing team, led by Capitol chief Andrew Slater, has left no stone (oops, wrong band) unturned in spreading the word about what is turning out to be Macca's best-reviewed LP in a quarter century. Chaos sold 90k in its first week, a clear indication that an album can be a hit without the help of traditional radio if other avenues are creatively employed.

"I don't think the majority of McCartney's fan base is listening to the radio," says Slater. "So you have to find nontraditional ways to get to them. The advantage we've had is that we've been able to align ourselves with his tour. And as those tickets have gone on sale, we've found ways to get to them through pinpoint alternative marketing. The first-week number is almost 50% better than week one of his last record, so it's obviously working."

McCartney's 37-city sold-out North American tour kicked off to glowing reviews last Friday (9/16) in Miami. This time out, Paul is delving even deeper into his vast catalog, dusting off treasures like "Please Please Me," "Good Day Sunshine," For No One" and "Got to Get You Into My Life," along with several songs from the new album.

"McCartney is one of that handful of people who have exercised a pronounced influence on popular music in the last 50 years," says Slater, still buzzing from seeing the first performance. "Those songs are the soundtrack to our lives, whether you lived in that time or not, which shows their power. The body of work is so deep—hearing 'I've Got a Feeling,' 'Helter Skelter,' 'I'll Follow the Sun' and 'I Will,' none of which he's played on American soil, is really powerful.

"With this record and this record and this tour," Slater continues, "it's obvious that he's still at the height of his powers as a singer, player and record maker. So anytime you get to witness an artist in that kind of groove, it's really inspiring."

"Magical Mystery Tour"
"Flaming Pie"
"I'll Get You"
"Drive My Car"
"Till There Was You"
"Let Me Roll It"
"Got to Get You In My Life"
"Fine Line"
"Maybe I'm Amazed"
"Long and Winding Road"
"In Spite of All The Danger"
"I Will"
"Jenny Wren"
"For No One"
"Fixing a Hole"
"English Tea"
"Yellow Submarine" (fragment)
"I'll Follow the Sun"
"Follow Me"
Classical tune
"Eleanor Rigby"
"Too Many People"
"She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"
"Good Day Sunshine"
"Band on the Run"
"Penny Lane"
"I've Got a Feeling"
"Back in the USSR"
"Hey Jude"
"Live and Let Die"

"Get Back"
"Helter Skelter"
"Please Please Me"
"Let it Be"
"Sgt. Pepper"

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

September 22, 2005

It's been an incredible year for RLG/Nashville—and the fourth quarter is shaping up to be just as incredible, according to Butch Waugh, Executive VP of RLG (which includes Arista Nashville as well as the BNA and RCA labels).

The label released Brad Paisley's new Time Well Wasted album last month, which debuted at #2, selling 190k copies debut week. Critical acclaim as well as CMT, GAC and mega-country radio support that week guaranteed nothing less, following a year that already included a phenomenal single ("Alcohol"), tour and awards for a hit single with Alison Krauss.

"We'll have a two-year run with this album, based on all the exposure," says Waugh. "I've got to be honest with you—our goal is for him to be playing stadiums in the next few years. And we feel we can do it."

Also just released on 8/30 is a new album from superstars Brooks & Dunn, who have a smash single, "Play Something Country" at radio and appeared on Good Morning, America launch week. CMT is also broadcasting a B&D special, Homecoming, which shows a rarely-seen side of the duo. They're currently on tour with Big & Rich—and fans who miss the tour can catch them via a taped Tulsa concert that Regal Cinemas will run in 60 markets. A second single, "I Believe," is due next week. Waugh believes it could be "the biggest song they've ever had."

On 9/13, RLG released a new Lone Star album, prepped via the success of the "Feel Like Coming Home" single, which is also getting major support on radio station websites. The band has appearances scheduled on Good Morning, America, The View, Tony Danza and Access Hollywood.

October 4 brings a new one from Sara Evans, who currently has a country Top 10 single. She completed a recent tour with Paisley, then with Alan Jackson, and she's now back on the road with Paisley. "She's been on the road for 18 months and will be out for another 18," says Waugh. "You can just feel that she's going to the next level." Evans is scheduled to be part of a Good Morning, America "Women of Rock" special coinciding with the release.

A week later, Martina McBride returns with an album of 18 country classics, featuring many musicians who played on the original versions. Radio is already heavily rotating a wonderful cover of "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden," with other covers ranging from Buddy Holly to Loretta Lynn. In addition to a Today Show appearance and her own PBS Soundstage TV special, she'll also have a CMT special and GAC will air a special featuring the vocalist performing the songs at the Grand Ole Opry.

The cherry on top is perhaps a new album from superstar Kenny Chesney on 11/18, following the phenomenal success of Be As You Are (which sold 310k debut week) earlier this year. A large part of its success was due to an internet marketing plan by RLG's New Media head Heather McBee, as well as a CMT special and radio support. His fans are rabid—Waugh compares it to the evolution he saw with the Dave Matthews Band—and they put the last album in the Top 10 without a radio single because the album before that was still being worked.

For this follow-up, he's got a Good Morning, America appearance release week and then an ABC-TV special on 11/23 (with another GMA performance that same morning). He's also got appearances scheduled on both the AMAs and CMAs, with more TV being finalized.

Finally, the label is breaking new artist Keith Anderson, who's selling 10k a week, has enjoyed success with two singles at radio and has just gone on tour with Rascal Flatts, following appearances on The Today Show and in People's list of America's five hottest bachelors.

Waugh's position at RLG is unique, overseeing promotion artist development, media and sales, working closely with RLG Chairman Joe Galante, who supervises the A&R department headed by Renee Bell (and includes Jim Catino, Carole Ann Mobley and Leslie Roberts). Waugh credits his entire team, most of whom he's worked with consistently during his eight-year RLG tenure, including Artist Development and Marketing team Jon Elliot, Debbie Linn and Cindy Mabe; heads of promotion Mike Wilson (RCA), Tom Baldrica (BNA) and Bobby Kraig and Teddi Bonadies (Arista); head of Media Allen Brown; head of Creative Wade Hunt, and head of Sales Jim Saliby.

"You set a structure based on successful companies, using it as a model," says Waugh, "But if you don't have the people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the music, it all doesn't matter. And we have great music behind it all."

HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.

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By Kenny Kerner

Yahoo! recently became the first major portal to introduce a search engine totally dedicated to finding music and audio files on the Internet. Yahoo!'s new facility will be able to scan music libraries of all online services selling digital tracks.

Happy birthday to Rhino Records, now celebrating 27 years as the industry's re-issue champs! ... Take a peek at the new VH-1 Friday night show, Gene Simmons' Rock School where the legend attempts to get preteens into the live performance fold for opening slots with Motorhead and other metal icons. Been done before, you say??? ... Eminem's August 8-9 shows at New York's Madison Square Garden will air as a Showtime special in December.

Heiarii, the Allure Records artist whose CD Dance! is comprised of seven songs written by TAXI members, just entered the Top 10 in his native Tahiti with "Love Is To Set Free," a track off the CD. Heiarii will perform one song off the CD live at this year's TAXI Road Rally in November. Did you catch him performing that tune on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon? About 50 million viewers over 200 TV stations and the Internet did!

The number of ringtones downloaded in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past year. Twenty three percent of U.S. wireless subscribers have downloaded a ringtone this year as compared to a mere 5 percent a year ago!

Producer/writer John Shanks will handle production chores for Keith Urban's next Capitol/Nashville CD. The pair wrote "Someone Like You" together.

Look for Interscope to release a second Gwen Stefani solo CD to coincide with her solo tour... Peter Frampton has signed with Vector Management in Nashville and will be handled by Lisa Jenkins and Ken Levitan... Garth Brooks has concluded a major deal with Wal-Mart for the distribution and sales of his product. Brooks swore there would be no more music business or recording until his daughter graduates from school.

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