Friday, June 29, 2007

PORTLAND, OREGON ROCK STATION STARTS LOCAL MUSIC SHOW -- (From -- KUFO Portland, OR will launch a local music show called "Viva La Luna" this Sunday night. The program will feature original songs from 10 to 12 area bands every week, plus live interviews and performances from artists and other figures from the region’s emerging music scene. Program Director Mike Tierney says the show's title is a tip-of-the-cap to La Luna, the Portland club that reigned supreme among music fans from 1992 to 1999 as a stage for both local acts, as well as those on the national scene.
...No info on the radio station's website about the show just yet...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We had drinks with an old friend tonight -- he does Radio Promotion for a major record label. The Promo guys - God bless 'em, they're always the last to realize shifts in musical trends and overall changes in the music industry. They get paid to get records played on the radio. End of story. Anyway, tonight this friend announced: "Ya know the business is getting tougher -- people under the age of 20 don't buy music anymore -- they just download it for free or rip friends' CD's into their computers. There's no way for record labels to make money anymore. So drink up, I'm not sure how long this company credit card is gonna last -- I'm just gonna ride this dinosaur into the ground."

Now, if this was a label head or even an A&R executive saying this, we'd have smacked him upside the head. But he's a buddy of ours whose (well paying) job it is to polish turds. We gave him a pass.

People over 20 will still pay for music. Who the hell do you think it is buying all those goddamned Paul McCartney CD's from StarFucks? Who bought that horseshit Bon Jovi country record?

We could go on and on about this ad nauseum, but instead we figured we'd hip you to (ANOTHER) unsigned artist who will appeal to an adult with a credit card and a longstanding passion for good music:BRENDAN JAMES (unsigned, unpublished) -- Born and raised in New Hampshire, now based in New York, Brendan James has got the GOODS. Proficient pianist. Good looking. FANTASTIC voice. No label. No publisher. His lawyer is Reid Hunter. Brendan will perform at the Living Room in NY on August 2 and at Joe's Pub on August 21. As Howard Stern's dad once said: "Don't be stupid ya moron." Get it done. Keep your expense card a while longer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

THE LAB RATS (unsigned, unpublished) -- Columbus, Ohio's The Lab Rats bring us some REALLY well-done hip-hop -- they bring it in a different way, however. Brian Brown, the MC, also plays guitar. KW, the DJ, has his turntables, but also plays keyboards, congas and pedal steel. The duo played the main stage at the city's annual Comfest this past weekend in front of over 10,000 fans -- they've got a RABID fanbase. Peep out the songs on their MySpace page. Check the video below as well. Someone please help these kids get the hell outta Ohio!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

TORI KELLY (unsigned, unpublished) -- We're TOTAL suckers for great young pop singers. Guilty pleasure we guess. Fourteen year-old Tori Kelly is one of our favorite new discoveries. Tori started super-young -- she became a "Star Search" semi-finalist in the 4th grade and appeared on the PAX TV show "America's Most Talented Kids" at the age of 11. She's worked with producers including MidiMafia and The Underdogs, and written with Diane Warren and Raphael Saadiq (among many others). Now, at the age of 14, she's finished junior high school, continues to write, rehearse and record -- and she's without a label. Some song clips are available to hear on her MySpace page -- click HERE and HERE to see some YouTube clips of her TV performances. Tori's parents are currently handling management duties. Owen Sloane is her attorney.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

AUDIO CLUB SIGN WITH INTERSCOPE -- Audio Club, the pop group featuring 18 year-old singer Ashley Alan-Lee, rapper Brooks Buford and producer/svengali Tommy Henriksen, tell us that they've signed a deal with Interscope Records. Their debut album was finished earlier this month, but songs have been spinning on Top 40 stations across the country for a few months. You might remember Brooks Buford from his rap/rock act Rehab, or from his hosting the MTV series "Trailer Fabulous." Check out songs from the album on their MySpace page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

AIRBOURNE PICKS UP NEW LABEL DEAL -- (via The Age) reports that Aussie rockers Airbourne, recently dropped from Capitol as a result of the label's merger with Virgin, has signed a worldwide deal (ex-AU and NZ) with Roadrunner Records. Roadrunner will release the group's debut Runnin' Wild album later this year. EMI, however, will still release the album Down Under this weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

BASIK LEE (unsigned, unpublished) -- There have been more than a few write-ups on blogs and in print publications (like this one in USA Today) about the decline of hip-hop music sales over the past year. Most stories mention that rap music has become homogenized. Too much 'bling and Crystal' for the white American youth who've been the larger buyers of hip-hop over the past decade or so. That being said, we figured we'd turn you on to a hip-hop artist that has a bit more thought-provoking content in his rhymes -- a bit more genuine vitriol, if you will. His name is Basik Lee and he hails from Savannah, GA. We're still trying to get more information about him, but what we do know is that he's part of a hip-hop collective / label called Dope Sandwich Productions. Dope Sandwich features nine MC's and two DJ's working together -- they released an album called The Walking Sick (available at CD Baby), but Basik has solo stuff too. Check his MySpace page to hear a couple of tracks. Check out the video that originally got us interested:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

UNSIGNED L.A. ARTIST DRAWS INDUSTRY ATTENDANCE AT L.A. SHOW -- It was a packed house at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles this week for unsigned/unpublished singer/songwriter Meiko (one of the first artists we'd mentioned when we launched the TALENTfilter blog). Label reps from Atlantic, Island and Virgin/Capitol were in attendance, as well as a handful of indie label execs and some pubcos, including Chrysalis. Music supervisors for all the major TV stations and some movie studios were on-hand to catch the set from this Roberta, GA native -- could have a lot to do with the heavy recent support from Nic Harcourt and Chris Douridas at KCRW Los Angeles (Douridas was at the show, as was Indie 103-1 L.A. DJ Christian B, who has also played music from Meiko).

Meiko hits the road for dates in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and two in New York (June 27 at the Living Room and July 7 at the Brooklyn Lyceum). This one could get interesting! Check the MySpace page to hear some songs from her ecently-completed, self-titled debut album which was mixed by Bryan Cook (Inara George, Gary Jules). Meiko's legal representation is Howard Sadowsky.

Friday, June 15, 2007

SIMON LYNGE (unsigned, unpublished) -- Simon Lynge is a singer/songwriter from Greenland, now residing in Los Angeles -- via Denmark. We'd mentioned him back in March as a performer-to-see in Austin at SXSW. Mr. Lynge has been a busy man since then -- his debut album, A Beautiful Way To Drown, was recently completed -- and with a helluva lineup of guest musicians to boot -- Lee Sklar (James Taylor, Elton John) on bass, Jay Bellerose (Marc Cohen, Madeleine Peyroux) on drums, Shane Fontayne (Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon) on guitars... Not sure about an exact release date, but it's DIY style for a while (except for a licensing deal he's done in Scandinavia). What's he sound like? Hmm... James Taylor, Elliott Smith and Paul Simon, blended, and poured into a frosty mug. Sorry -- thirsty. Peep the MySpace page -- you'll dig this guy -- and when the full-length is available, pick up a couple of copies and give 'em as gifts.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

STAR 98.7 LOS ANGELES HOLDS "ROCK STAR 98.7 " UNSIGNED BAND COMPETITION -- According to the Hot A/C KYSR (Star 98.7) Los Angeles website, the station is conducting "L.A. radio's ultimate music competition." Unsigned bands and/or solo artists will submit videos to be voted on by four select judges and Star 98.7 fans. Five finalists get the opportunity to perform at the Key Club in L.A. where the winner will be chosen and announced. The winning act gets $25,000, a recording contract with Ironworks Records (Kiefer Sutherland's record label. Hmmm.) and $2000 in recording equipment.
If you're interested in entering, go to to enter ...BUT...before you do...please read the fine print in the official rules. Might be a good idea to enter, win, take the cash and prizes and tell Jack Bauer to keep his wack label deal.

Monday, June 11, 2007

UNSIGNED ARTIST UPDATES -- More than a few labels / music supervisors / radio folks were in attendance at the Elizabeth & The Catapult show last week at the Hotel Cafe. We've been raving about the group for months and finally had a chance to see them live -- AWESOME. A few days later, wouldn't ya know, KCRW played one of their tracks on "Morning Becomes Eclectic." Ingrid Michaelson, another TALENTfilter fave, also made the trek West for a Hotel Cafe showcase last week. PACKED with industry folks. When we asked a couple of them what they thought, general consensus was , "kinda snoozy." Fair enough, but the James Blunt's and Keane's of the world are "kinda snoozy" too -- and yet they help keep the major labels' lights on... Unsigned L.A. artist Meiko continues to get support from Nic Harcourt and Chris Douridas at KCRW -- her next show in LaLa Land is Wednesday at 9pm (Hotel Cafe) ...UK alt-popsters The Ting Tings, who formed less than three months ago, have reportedly signed with Columbia - more news as we get it in ...L.A. band Sink To See will surely have a handful of industry peeps at their June 19 show at the Viper Room -- songs from the five-piece have been played on numerous occasions on KROQ's "Locals Only" program...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

THE VELVET HEARTS (unsigned, unpublished) -- Here's a six-piece from the UK, fronted by John James Newman, a singer-songwriter we've been following as a solo artist for a couple of years. Very cool, blues-influenced rock with sprinkles of pop -- we think their Into The World EP could work well on "Red State" rock radio stations and some of the more progressive AAA outlets across the U.S. The group has dates booked in the UK through the end of the year. Interesting side tidbit: John James Newman is the son of Sandy Newman, who sang for the Scottish pop group Marmalade (they had a big hit with their remake of The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da")

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

ESMEE DENTERS SIGNS TO TIMBERLAKE'S TENNMAN LABEL -- According to celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton, eighteen year-old Dutch YouTube singing sensation Esmee Denters (first mentioned on TALENTfilter in February) has become the first signing to Justin Timberlake's Tennman Records. Denters made the announcement Monday night on the Dutch TV show Jensen.
JACK WHITE NEEDS TO LIGHTEN UP -- Normally we try to focus strictly on posting information about great up-and-coming artists available for signing, publishing, etc., but we couldn't help but share this little piece we saw on the Radio & Records website regarding the White Stripe's Jack White calling up a radio station and bitching about their 'leaking' of the new record. What year is this, 1993?!?

The White Stripes’ Jack White has taken Emmis alternative WKQX (Q101)/Chicago, and in particular midday host Electra, to task for “leaking” the band’s new album on air last week.

As Electra recounts from a blog entry she posted on May 30:

“At 2 p.m. today, during my show, Q101 became the first station in the world to play the new White Stripes album, ‘Icky Thump.’ It's awesome. It's really, really, unbelievably brilliant and awesome. I was giddy and excited to share it with fellow fans.

“At 4 p.m. today, Jack White called Q101's main offices from Spain, where they're touring, looking specifically for me, to yell at me for leaking the album and, in part, being `messed up for the entire (music) business.’ I felt like I was going to throw up. Weirdest, most surreal conversation of my life.”

Q101 APD/MD Spike tells R&R that Electra didn’t “leak” anything and that she was instructed to play the entire album on the air.

“First of all, we don’t leak records,” Spike said. “That record leaked on the Internet and we got it and I played it. To leak a record would mean that I got some kind of exclusive copy that nobody had and put it on the radio and then everybody got it from there. I got the [Internet] link from a college kid.”

Spike theorizes that the band’s label, Warner Bros., gave vinyl copies to magazine reviewers ahead of the release and somehow a copy made its way to the Internet in MP3 form. Spike says the station was served a cease and desist order from the label a few hours after they played the album. R&R has placed a call to Warner Bros. Records for comment.

“There is a bigger issue here, though,” Spike continued. “The record companies want us to be a part of new music, but they want us to call it new music when they want us to call it new. A lot of the 18-34 year-olds that listen to my station had this record two weeks before I did. For us to then go on the air and say that this is new music just sounds ridiculous. The best way that we can exist in their world and be one of them is not pretend that something doesn’t happen when it actually does. The best that we can do anymore is to be as quick as our listeners are.”

As for the White situation and his call to Electra, Spike says, “Electra is a great DJ, but she’s a DJ. She didn’t run and get the record. All she did for an hour was talk about the album coming out and how great it was. She didn’t get on the air and tell people to go download it on the Internet. The bottom line is, she didn’t put anything out there that wasn’t already out there. Not to mention that it wasn’t her choice to play the album.”

Still a little startled by the incident, Electra added this postscript to her blog entry:

“I also still think Jack White is an incredibly talented musician, and I still think the new record is amazing. I just don't think I'll be able to listen to it without feeling like crap for a good long while.”

The official release date of the White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” album is June 19.

Monday, June 4, 2007

ANDREW PAUL WOODWORTH UPDATE -- We know, we know -- we've written about this guy more than once -- but we're THAT passionate about his material. What's the big update? Well, he's got some songs from his new album, Eddy Ate Dynamite, up to hear on his MySpace page. Go check 'em out, would ya? He's licensed the album to Rodeostar, an indie label based in Germany, but he's available for signing outside of mainland Europe. Andrew owns his publishing, and is looking for management and legal representation as well. Get on it!! If you're into what you hear, E-mail Andrew to let him know.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

UNSIGNED ACTS PART OF 'EQX FEST' IN ALBANY -- Alternative WEQX Albany, a really well-programmed Alt-outlet in upstate New York, has announced the lineup for their annual 'EQX Fest' taking place July 30 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center -- along with the established acts including 311, Matisyahu, Satellite Party, the Nightwatchman, TV On The Radio and Shiny Toy Guns, will be local unsigned faves The Urgency, Lughead, The Loyalty and Maggie Mayday. From what we've heard, The Urgency and The Loyalty are worth looking into. Click on the band names to go to their MySpace pages.