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This Week Sales…

Carrie Underwood ‘Carnival Ride’- 527k
Coheed and Cambria ‘No World For Tomorrow’ – 62k
Springsteen ‘Magic’ – 51k
Paramore ‘Riot’ – 16k
James Blunt ‘All The Lost Souls’ – 12k

Indie act from Indianapolis Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s have signed to Epic. We are also hearing reports that Immortal Records may have folded.

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Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays (pictured) said that the radio industry must embrace new methods of reaching listeners and yet the The No. 1 album is not being played on any radio stations….

According to Fox’s Roger Friedman Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from Bruce Springsteens “Magic.” But it’s OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born to Run” and “Born in the USA.”

Just no new songs by Springsteen, even though it’s likely many radio listeners already own the album and would like to hear it mixed in with the junk offered on radio.

Why? One theory, says a longtime rock insider, “is that the audience knows those songs. Of course, they’ll never know these songs if no one plays them.”

“Magic,” has sold more than 500,000 copies since its release on Oct. 2 and likely will hit the million mark. That’s not a small achievement these days, and one that should be embraced by Clear Channel.

The Bottom Line: I couldn’t agree more with Roger Friedman in that Clear Channel has done more to destroy the music business than downloading over the last 10 years. Although the calender year is 2007, we have to many people living in the DARK AGES. If the Clear Channel Motto is ‘Only Play Tracks That People Know’ then its obvious why radio listenership is declining at a fast pace. Whats more ironic is that these out of touch execs are great at running companies into brick walls.

The Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays said that the radio industry must embrace new methods of reaching listeners and populating new forms of media with its content if it hopes to compete in the widening world of consumer media.

New Methods to reach listeners? and proclaiming to rock station to only play tracks that people know? Mark Ways statements are nothing more than a dog and pony show.

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Starbucks signs first developing artist: Hear Music, the label started by Concord Music Group and Starbucks, has signed Hilary McRae as the company’s first developing artist. As far as the future of the label, Lombard says the goal is to release records by eight artists in the next year. (Billboard)

Tension between Epic and Jennifer Lopez: According to insiders Epic Records is fed up not only with J Lo’s dwindling album sales, but with the amount of money it’s costing to promote her. “She costs too much money and doesn’t sell enough,” says the source, who is familiar with the issue. “Her last album cover alone cost $60,000 in hair and makeup, lighting, photographers, re-touching, etc. The video budget was in the neighborhood of $300,000.” Lopez performed on “Good Morning America” earlier this month, and all the costs were absorbed by the label. “Epic had to eat the cost for that entire performance”. Her new album ‘Brave’ was her first studio album to not debut in the top 10 on Billboard’s charts.

New signings: Young actress Evan Rachel Wood is reportedly signing with Interscope Records. Story of the Year formerly on Maverick has signed to Epitaph Records. Metal act Gwen Stacy has signed to Ferret Records. Arizona rock act 32 Leaves who is currently in the studio with Elvis Baskette have been upstreamed to Republic Universal.

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Terra Firma on thin ice with EMI : EMI could be facing big challenges, including a possible sale of its physical distribution business. Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands has been asking for additional equity from outside firms just 3 months after the purchase, while some say that Hands is already disillioned with his purchase. (NYPOST)

Rockers turning into Hustlers: Bands are making less money since record sales are evaporating. Bands are getting creative in order to generate new revenue streams. Television commercials, tour sponsorships, and merchandise is now an essential piece of an artists portfolio. Read the column
If it’s Retail, Is it Still Rock?‘ that discusses different brands rockers are pairing up with.

Marketing Britney: Sony BMG paid Britney a cash advance of nearly $4 million for the album. J Records are confident with the album and its commercial appeal that they are shipping 750,000 to one million copies of the CD to retailers even though she parted ways with her manager, music-business lawyers, and publicist. They expect first-week sales of roughly 400,000 to 500,000 copies. I hope J Records are keeping those fingers crossed since the first single “Gimme More” quickly lost momentum in radio airplay, a key driver for album sales.

Hulu to compete with Youtube: Fox and NBC prepare to launch a video site Hulu.com an advertising-supported online video site in a bid to seize viewers YouTube. It is not clear why Fox and NBC could not have cut their own content distribution deals without having to band together. It is equally unclear why anyone would go to the Hulu site if the content can be seen at larger web properties. (full article)

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New Music: Check out the track Maybe Tonight by Colors in the Air.

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Today with the internet a good artist can find fans work with big producers and maybe even find themselves on internet radio and mainstream radio rubbing shoulders next to the big national artists. In the old days, these types of opportunities were next to impossible, now its attainable. This is the true benefit when an industry is in chaos. Chaos is a breeding ground for opportunity. True winners will succeed and the mediocrity will vanish.

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For instance, a lesser known band who formed in a small town in PA called
The Drama Club worked on some demos eventually catching the ear of producer Rob Caggiano who has worked with Jesse Malin, Anthrax, and Cradle of Filth. Rob Caggiano and mixer Jay Baumgardner (Evanescence, Papa Roach, Godsmack) eventually produced the EP. The EP also features guest appearance from Ben Burnley of top rock act Breaking Benjamin who sings on the song “Brand New Day”.

Of course having a strong EP isn’t the end of the story. Exposing the music is the next crucial process. This process truly separates the winners and the losers. Many artists fail miserably at self promotion or just suck live. In order to get to the next level or achieve the next level of success a well oiled machine must exist.

The Drama Club began performing shows in their region and soon were known to be an exceptional live band which led to increase popularity known as the ‘snowball effect’ – and and being a promotional machine for themselves the shows began to sell out regularly.

Once an artist begins making noise and shows begin to sell out then national artists who come to town rely on those artists’ to assist in ticket sales. Most national acts cannot sellout clubs to the fullest capacity and always need artists that can sell an extra 75-250 tickets. The Drama Club began opening up for bands including Breaking Benjamin, Velvet Revolver, Flyleaf, and many others including a 30 date North East tour which included a stop at the Warped tour in their hometown.

Basic logic says with increased exposure more opportunities will arise, especially in you’re hometown, and thanks to the internet – opportunities can be limitless. The Drama Club has been featured many times on their hometown radio stations 97X, and WZZO, as well as Metal Edge Magazine, Purevolume, Puregrainaudio, Origivation, and other regional press. Not only that
The Drama Club teamed up with a manager as was just added to ‘POWER ROTATION’ on AOL Radio “New Rock First” station. This is when the internet can be you’re best friend because AOL isn’t localized.

If you play by these rules, success can almost be guaranteed. You will be able to quit your day job, even sign some autographs. If these rules fail you, it’s not because the rules are broken, its because something within the artist is not connecting. Maybe its not your destiny.

Artists that are armed with good music and a strong desire can make it without the big man today. The door is opened to anybody who is willing to walk through it.

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