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  • Talent Agency is Hoping to Find Next Web Video Stars.
    The United Talent Agency
      best known as the home of comedians like Vince Vaughn and Jack Black, filmmakers like M. Night Shyamalan are placing bets that Web video is on a growth curve similar to that of cable television a generation ago.Hence, they created an online unit devoted to scouting out up-and-coming creators of Internet content — particularly video — and finding work for them in Web-based advertising and entertainment. The goal is to recruit the next generation of television and film writers and directors from the relative obscurity of sites like YouTube and Revver and to help the major Web portals that are hungry for original content to find the creative people they need — just as movie studios have long turned to talent agencies when looking for new directors, screenwriters and actors.

“In the old days, i.e., two months ago, it was about signing up those clients and immediately figuring out how to flip them into traditional media,� Mr. Weinstein said. “Now we can look at an artist and say, that might be a goal, but in the interim, or while we’re doing that, or instead of that, how can we monetize their interests online?�

  • Spitzer and Payola: Old Habits Die Hard.
    Last week, Blackground Records/Universal, purchased ads that enabled the song, “Too Little, Too Late� by the teenage singer JoJo to climb to the No. 2 position on the nation’s mainstream pop radio chart.

“Radio promotion executives are still under enormous pressure to use tools that maximize radio airplay because airplay still sells recordings,� said Rachel Stilwell, a Los Angeles lawyer who has written about payola and who worked several years ago as the national director of promotion for the Verve Music Group, a Universal subsidiary label. “Old habits die hard.�

A spokeswoman for Mr. Spitzer, Juanita Scarlett, said yesterday that the attorney general’s office was “aware of the possible violation of the terms of our agreement with Universal and we are looking into the matter.�

  • SRC/Universal Motown Records has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with Miami based Coalition Music Group
  • Roxette signs new U.S. deal with Capitol Records
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  • Weird Al Yankovic Credits Internet and YouTube For the Success of New Record.
    Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album, “Straight Outta Lynwood,” has scored his biggest chart successes in a career that spans nearly three decades. Lynwood,” Yankovic’s 12th album, debuted this month at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, his first top 10 album ever

Once “Nerdy” hit outlets like YouTube, there was no stopping it. “We knew with ‘Nerdy’ that he’d hit on something incredibly relevant to different generations,” Dan Mackta, senior director of marketing for Zomba Label Group, says. “Kids were discovering him like a new artist.”

“I’d kind of written off the chance of ever having another hit single, since record labels weren’t really releasing commercial ones,” Yankovic says. “As much as people are griping about the Internet taking sales away from artists, it’s been a huge promotional tool for me.”

  • Sesac/CMJ Showcase Thursday, November 2nd @ The Delancey (NYC)
  • More options for music lovers: Satellite radio may be coming to IPods.
    Apple has filed a patent which allows the user to tune “into a wireless signal (e.g., AM FM radio, digital radio, or WiFi)”
  • Check out new music including the track Over It   from Los Angeles female pop rock act Dragstrip Kitty. Demos produced by Gina Schock from
    the Go Go’s and Jimmy Harry. For more information email legal Pam Klein.
  • The Killers ‘offended’ by Green Day
    The Killers’
    Brandon Flowers has criticised Green Day for what he sees as their calculated anti-Americanism, according to NME.com
    “You have Green Day and ‘American Idiot’. Where do they film their DVD? In England,” the frontman told The Word. “A bunch of kids screaming ‘I don’t want to be an American idiot’ I saw it as a very negative thing towards Americans. It really lit a fire in me.”  

The singer added he felt the DVD was a bit of a a stunt. “I just thought it was really cheap,” he explained. “To go to a place like England or Germany and sing that song – those kids aren’t taking it the same way that he meant it. And he [Billie Joe Armstrong] knew it.”

Bottom Line: This is great press for both the Killers and Green Day. Brandon Flowers understands show business and knows how to utlilize the press. Nevertheless, it is odd performing American Idiot to foreign kids. Brandon built a sound argument as Green Day are preparing for a ‘spin’.

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The film industry obsesses over first week numbers and if the film isn’t an instant cash cow, they will bury it. Sound familiar?

The double Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman has made an angry attack on the “euthanasia� of the film industry, which he complains tries to “bury� any film that is not an instant cash cow.

“If the film doesn’t make money over that first weekend of its release, they will bury it,� said Hoffman

“Euthanasia is legal in Hollywood. They just kill the film if it doesn’t succeed immediately.�

Hoffman criticised the film industry for being obsessed with looking almost hourly at the box-office takings of a film in its first few days of release, meaning poor quality but populist films could push out higher-quality productions

“If the movie doesn’t make money it must therefore be a bad work,� said Hoffman, who won best actor Oscars for Kramer vs Kramer and Rain Man. “I don’t remember a time when there was so much respect for bad work.�

Hoffman was encouraged by the more recent success of some American films. “You cannot stop the artists.�

For Hoffman, “the most exciting film I’ve seen this year� is the small-budget Little Miss Sunshine, which tells the story of a dysfunctional family driving across America

Key Quote:  “I don’t remember a time when there was so much respect for bad work.â€? So it’s not only in the music industry that bad art is respected and rewarded. Has it always been this way? no way. The problem isn’t with the old films it’s with the “new” films. The problem isn’t with the old music, it’s with the ‘new’ music. Both the film and the music industry is struggling to re-invent itself. It’s not the technology, its the lack of inspiration. As Sting said, “Today’s rock music is a bore”.

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Janet Jackson’s boyfriend, producer Jermaine Dupri, is out at Virgin Records. Dupri was head of urban music at Virgin. According to sources, Dupri quit—i.e. was forced out—after disappointing sales of Jackson’s comeback album called “20 YO.” Three weeks into its release, the album is a dud with less than 500,000 copies sold. The CD had dropped an astonishing 77 percent in sales in its second week. Also, ’20 YO’ was the last album on her Virgin contract and now faces the task of negotiating a new deal with little leverage.

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Fermata Live NYC Oct 12KOAR Higher Learning artist Fermata has been picking up airplay with their single ‘Frustrated‘ on stations like WDYL, WKGB, WRIF and many more. In support of their recently released EP ‘Vessel,’ Fermata have been touring across the US.  Check out the new demos Four Letter Words and When The Hero Dies.

  • Army of Freshman was picked up by lawyer Dan Friedman. They just finished a 60 date tour with Bowling for Soup and have a string of dates in the UK 2007. Labels reps are expected to attend the November 11th performance in Dallas, Texas.
  • KOAR’s Higher Learning artist My Favorite Highway will be performing for labels on November 11th at Jammin Java in Virginia.

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