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Game Wars Between Warner & Activision: The chief executive Activision, the company behind the Guitar Hero video game criticized Warner Music after the label said higher royalties should be paid for use of its songs. He said that Warner Music had failed to acknowledge the benefits to music sales from Guitar Hero. Mr Kotick told the Financial Times that Edgar Bronfman, Warner Music’s chief executive, had made “one-sided comments” that were not “respectful of how much we’ve done to bring new audiences into the market”.

“Warner Chief Mr Bronfman said last week that the amount being paid to the music industry from music-based games was “far too small”.

Signings: Rock act Age of Daze has signed with Universal Canada after their track Afflicted lit up the Canadian charts and climbed to # 1 on Sirius Octane for over 8 weeks.  Universal will  release the album ‘Hollywood Ending’ on August 19th. Check out Age of Daze in our April Buzzing Column.

New Music: Violence To Vegas hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although the band didn’t manage to break any new ground which rock desperately needs, they still smuggled in some hooks that could excite some listeners. First single “In The Eyes” is currently #86 on the Mediabase Active Rock Chart. The band obtained distribution in Japan with Triple Vision and have shared the stage with 30 seconds to Mars, Shinedown, and Dragonforce.

Kings of A&R: We want to hear new exciting music. KOAR believes that music has hit its all time low. No one is to blame but the creators/artists.  The definition of create is ‘To Put Into Existence’.  The fact that mediocrity best defines today’s music should fuel the creators in changing the musical landscape.  How did we come from a musical euphoria to a passionless pit.  The answer cannot be found in new technology, it can be found in ourselves.  Technology has no feelings, its only a product of what we put into it. Send new music to tips@kingsofar.com along with your myspace.

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Jonas Brothers To Set Sales Records: The Jonas Brothers were dropped from Columbia Records because they didn’t see the INDICATORS to make a second record. I suppose Columbia’s jaw is dropping to the floor because the Jonas Brothers new record ‘A Little Bit Longer‘ is expected to sell 725,000 via Hollywood Records. Miley sold 370,000 copies of her album ‘Breakout’. Columbia should have hung in a little longer as the Jonas Brothers earned $12 million in 2007.

CMJ Line Up: The first list of artists confirmed for the NYC’s CMJ has been announced. Booked to perform are: 3OH!3, A Place To Bury Strangers, AIDS Wolf, An Albatross, Ane Brun, Anna Ternheim, Annuals, Beach House, Broken Social Scene, Cool Kids, Crystal Castles – see the list here.

Warner Music Dips After Sales By Record Exec: Shares in Warner Music Group Corp. slid 9.3% Wednesday after a filing showed top music executive Lyor Cohen sold 800,000 shares. According to Forbes, “Senior management continues to carry on as if the music industry was in its heyday,” Greenfield wrote. “This simply cannot help morale at WMG.”

Music Mags Going Through Rough Times: Music mags had a rocky first half of 2008, with only Metal Hammer showing significant gains. Kerrang!, NME, and Q all saw a decline in readership. “Metal Hammer ended the half year up 6.0% with 48,540 readers, although this was still down 1.2% on the year. Kerrang! posted a 21.6% drop in readership for the half year to 60,290, and NME was down 12.1% for the half year and 17.4% for the year at 56,284 readers” according to Music Week.

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Today’s indie bands can do a better job than NyQuil putting listeners to sleep. Of course there are exceptions like the Cincinnati band SeaBird. If you asked them what their hopes are, Seabird would say, “To be approachable, and to write songs that people can rely on.” Bottom line, they want to connect with their audience. Plus, the band gives you more than one song which seems to be an impossible feat in this celebrity obsessed culture. The band just released their full-length ‘Til We See The Shore’ via Credential/EMI. Listen to the tracks Rescue, Stronger, and Let Me Go On.

Next Shows:

Aug 15   Purple Door Festival           Lewisberry, Pennsylvania
Aug 17   Illinois State Fair                Springfield, Illinois
Aug 19   Maumee Indoor Theater     Toledo, Ohio

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Producer Jerry Finn Off Life Support: Jerry Finn has been taken off life support after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage last month according to Billboard. Finn has worked with AFI, Green Day, Bad Religion, Sparta, Blink 182 and the Offspring. “At this time the hemorrhage has done massive damage to his body which will leave him severely disabled and in need of acute care for the rest of his life. We know Jerry wouldn’t want to live like this in a vegetative state.”

A New Jonas Brothers? Germany’s Tokio Hotel could be the metal version of the Jonas Brothers. Although their music is far from metal and their U.S. sales aren’t making a blip on the radar screen, they are enjoying near sold out shows. In fact, their recent appearance at New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom was in such demand that the tweens were camping out the night before hoping to get a glimpse of the gender-bending frontman.

Signings: Solo female artist Lights has signed to Warner Brothers. She dwells in Toronto and made some demos in her bedroom building a following on myspace and other social networking sites. Check her out in our December New Music Column.

New Music: Listen to Moving On and Gone by My Jeremiah. For fans of Ben Folds Five and Jason Mraz. The album was produced by Jeff Schneeweis(Hawthorne Heights, Brighten) and Matt Goldman(Copeland, Cartel, The Morning Light) and will be released on Fabtone in Japan this November.

Another KOAR favorite Shannon Nicole has posted a new track on her myspace called Domino. This happens to be our favorite.

Facebook #1 Globally: Facebook has overtaken MySpace in worldwide audience growth according to Business Week. “The site is the top global social network, according to figures released by comscore on Aug. 12. Of Facebook’s 132 million users, nearly 63% are outside North America.”

This Week Sales:

Kid Rock ‘Rock N Roll Jesus’ – 90,310k
Trapt ‘Only Throught The Pain – 24,579k
Hawthorne Heights ‘Fragile Future’ – 20,482k

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Rubin Joins Social Networking Site: The MOG Music Network is announcing that music producer Rick Rubin will join its board, and will take an active role in the development of MOG. Mog is a social networking site where users can set up personal pages with their musical interests.

Learn From The Best: Motley Crue and Guitar Center have teamed up to present giving one unknown band a chance to get signed on Eleven Seven Music, a management deal with 10th Street, and the opening slot on the next Motley Crue tour. Click here for more info.

Signings: Pop punk band The Friday Night Boys have signed to Fueled By Ramen. Check them out in our January Recommended Listening Column.

New Stream: The new Staind record can be streamed here. The band has had an impressive career selling over 15 million albums worldwide. The new record ‘Illusion Of Progress’ will be released August 19.

YouTube Makes Changes To Audio Compression: Youtube sound quality is horrific and thankfully they are making changes. “Recent modifications have ensured that every video uploaded to YouTube retains its original audio levels,” a Google spokesperson told Wired this week.

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