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Lil’ Wayne even makes emo rock hits? Take Tennessee emo rockers
Framing Hanley who have scored more reaction and radio play from their cover of Lil’ Wayne’s hit “Lollipop” than from any song off their Silent Majority Group debut album. Would you dismiss it as a harmless cover or could this seriously help the band gain momentum heading into their second album? Either way, the track has turned some heads at alternative and active rock radio.

Lil’ Wayne also doesn’t have to say much to help propel a virtual no name to the top of the pop charts. Singer/songwriter/producer, industry veteran
Kevin Rudolf has paid his dues over the past ten years and is on the verge of a top 10 Pop hit with his debut single, “Let it Rock”. Call it generic, or call it catchy, it’s a hit.

A singer/songwriter who hasn’t instilled the help of Cash Money/Universal or Lil’ Wayne is the newly independent Butch Walker. Readying his first independent release on his own label Power Ballad (in=2 0conjunction with Original Signal & RED) since the major label botching of what I thought were surefire hits in his songs “Mixtape” & “Don’t Move”. Walker may have his best shot at radio success since those tracks on 2004’s Letters with his new single, “The Weight of Her”, where he can contend on the Triple A charts. Download the track for free here.

Alkaline Trio recently asked for fan input as to what their second single should be between tracks “I Found Away” & “Calling All Skeletons”. Check out the latter on their myspace and you might agree that “Calling All Skeletons” could be the catchiest and one of the most memorable tracks the band has produced in recent memory. It’s got my vote.

Quick Picks:

The ConstellationsCLove is a Murder” (feat. Cee-Lo) – If no one in the U.S. is going to pick these guys up, the UK could be very fertile ground for this band. See: Iglu and Hartly & Orson

Starewell – “Broke and Out of Money” – Some comments on here have asked where the rock went? These Canadians are at least attempting to bring some of it back.

Ryan Star – “Right Now” – Star may have his pop/Hot AC hit with the track he just debuted called, “Right Now”. Check out the last minute of the track to hear this singer’s great voice – click on his audio player

Brightwood – “Swan Songs” – Check out this DIY Alternative rock band and their new album, “Wake”.

Soundcheck is written by Dallas Osborn who currently attends San Francisco State University and works on the Live 105 (KITS) Action Team.

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Sony Music is contemplating the possiblity that Clive Davis can bring the HITS back, even after he was stripped from his role as CEO at BMG.

The New York Post says, “He helped break out UK “Pop Idol” winner Leona Lewis in America, where she’s sold 1.1 million albums and 4.2 million downloads of the hit song “Bleeding Love,”. And this week Oscar winner and former “American Idol” contestant Jennifer Hudson’s 217,000-selling debut, was good enough for No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

The Post claims that Sony Music, US label group boss Rob Stringer has asked Davis to talk with the heads of Columbia Records and Epic Records about working on projects for some of the artists on their labels.

“Sony is turning to Clive as a resource because there’s no great [artist & repertoire] guys there anymore,” said one source.

Davis’ involvement with Columbia is certain to raise eyebrows given its hiring last year of uber-producer Rick Rubin as co-head of the label. Sources inside and outside Sony Music said the company considers Rubin “unproven” and his tenure a “disappointment.”

Others dispute that, saying Stringer and Barnett enthusiastically back Rubin.

With Rod Stewart set for a new release, and works by Houston and Kelly Clarkson, Davis has the talent. That, combined with Davis’ trust in the single, not the album, might be just what Sony Music needs in the singles-driven download market.

“Clive’s theory has always been about the song, not the artist or the album,” said Three Rings partner and artist manager Jeff Rabhan.

The Bottom Line: Why isn’t Simon Cowell mentioned in this whole mix? If it wasn’t for American Idol there would be NO Leona Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. American Idol is absolutely the best source for finding undiscovered talent as it gets hundreds of thousands of submissions. Isn’t it easy to put the best vocalists and performers with top songwriters and producers, and who already have the eyeballs through American Idol? I would say so! Also, you cannot compare Rubin and Davis. Rubin is in the studio with Metallica and Clive is hanging out at the Grammys. Clive wants a single and Rubin wants an album. Either way, it’s two different approaches to the record business and the last time I checked singles weren’t saving the biz.

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Guns N’ Roses will finally release ‘Chinese Democracy‘ on November 23rd via Best Buy. Andy Gould, GNR manager, told the 900 employees the news about “Chinese Democracy” before previewing three songs from the album.

Recommended Listening: Still In The Dark by Aranda. This song is showing some signs of life on rock radio, they can sing live too.

Three music venues will open in Los Angeles capable of holding 8,000 concertgoers. Despite the economy, promoters believe they can keep venues packed, others are not so sure. “There’s an enormous pool of artists who can sell 1,000 to 2,500 tickets — more than at any time in history,” Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett said.

ReverbNation, a promotion platform for musicians, labels, managers and venues, has secured $3 million in  funding.

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Apple’s Co-Founder questions the iPod shelf life. “It’s kind of like everyone has got one or two or three. You get to a point when they are on display everywhere, they get real cheap and they are not selling as much.”

New Music: Listen to Don’t Wake Up by Los Angeles act I Am Ghost. Manchester Music says, “I Am Ghost present themselves as a dark rock band, but musically this is in fact a collection of modern metal via accessible assaults of melody and hard driven rock.” The band just released a full length ‘Those We Leave Behind’ via Epitaph.

Gloomy News At Music Conference: The future of artists and the business was the focal point at this years UK’s ‘In The City’ music conference.  Warner Music, one of the major labels, has cut back on new signings. But Warner boss Lyor Cohen said that was because greatness is evident from the start, and there is no point taking a punt on anything less.

“There was a time when I signed every possible average artist,” he said. “We were quite arrogant thinking we could make good magnificent. Good sucks – I’d rather be terrible or magnificent.”

I can’t fault Cohen for signing average artists since top execs are pressured to meet revenue targets.  Greatness is rare and mediocrity is all to common, especially today. We want to hear greatness – email

YouTube will integrate links to iTunes and Amazon for DVDs, CDs, and digital downloads allowing users direct access to buy and download music. The YouTube eCommerce Platform will allow partners across all industries including music, film, TV, and publishing to generate additional revenue.

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Depeche Mode Leaves The Building: According to sources Depeche Mode has left Warner Music only to sign a deal with EMI who will release their music worldwide. This move doesn’t come as a surprise as Depeche Mode is managed by Jonathan Kessler who recently teamed up with Coldplay. Depeche Mode followed in the same steps as the Eagles, Madonna, and Nickelback. Depeche Mode is one of the most successful bands emerging from the new wave era having sold over 72 million records. Watch this incredible live performance.

Is The Music Business Immune To a Recession? Music related stocks are suffering despite the bailout. To illustrate, Warner Music Group (WMG) slipped to $6.09 before recovering to $6.61, down 4.21 percent.  Apple (AAPL) had its ups and downs, dropping to a 52-week low of $87.54 before landing at $98.14, up 1.1 percent.  Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) continued to suffer, ending at just 50-cents, (Digital Music News)

Others remain optimistic. For instance “In a bad economy people retreat to cheaper forms of entertainment,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at Pali Research in New York. “CDs have held up a lot better than I had expected this year.”

We believe touring bands will feel the economic crunch.  For instance,
Scars on Broadway has canceled all scheduled appearances although not citing economic reasons.  Bigger acts like Metallica will be immune and will do quite well. Consumers will save their money and only spend it for the favorite artists.

Here are some tips for developing bands touring in a harsh economy.

Trash Talking: The Los Angeles Times trashes the new album “Appeal To Reason” by Rise Against. “Such songs are nothing revolutionary. If kids wanted their own politics screamed back at them, they could watch cable news.

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