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PUB CRAWLING: SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Puddles, Grammy, Fifty Shades and Other Things Worth Singing About

So we went to the Troubadour and listened to a singing clown. To be clear, we ordinarily fear and despise clowns. But this towering sad-sack in white pancake makeup, toying with the huge buttons on his clown suit, was no ordinary circus nightmare. In fact, Puddles (he of the renowned Pity Party) is a supreme vocalist, possessed of clarion pipes and crystalline phrasing; we got a little misty more than few times, and the sold-out crowd rarely stopped roaring its adoration.

Why you should care: His repertoire is studded with current hits—“Royals,” which made him a viral phenomenon, and Grammy Song of the Year contender “Chandelier,” among other (and older) pop smashes. Check him out on YouTube and you’ll see how his renditions might extend the reach (and sync options) of catalog material. Could an enterprising publisher be working to make this CAA-repped clown a star?

So, speaking of Song of the Year nominees, who are you betting on to win? Pub geeks fearless enough to go on the record (and who aren’t just flacking for their own acts) could get to see their name in this very space.

Since last we wrote, newly reigning pub queen Jody Gerson and team UMPG inked the exceptionally hot Nick Jonas, who posed with pubco staff under a sign that said “Everything Is Going to Be Amazing.” One is inclined to believe it.

The action on Republic’s Fifty Shades of Grey ST, with tracks from Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and Sia all reacting, is yet another vindication of the concept that if songs are integral to a story, audiences will want those songs. All but two of the set’s tracks were crafted expressly for the project, including Goulding’s, which—according to Republic’s Tom Mackay, whose bondage gear is most fetching—was the first tune Grammy-nominated mastermind  Max Martin has ever written specifically for a movie. Odds are the film adaptation of the steamy bestseller, out on Valentine’s Day, will be huge; with songs zipped  into the narrative, the soundtrack looks well positioned to follow suit.

Insieme Music PublishingGlassnote’s pub affiliate–is celebrating the growth of Robert DeLong, whose “Long Way Down” (on the Glassnote label, but you knew that) is trending Top 10 at Alt radio and is kicking ass at SiriusXM; he’s recording his full-length now. L.A. peeps can catch him at the Natural History Museum’s always-quirky First Fridays opener at the start of Grammy weekend. Meanwhile, Insieme has inked a worldwide deal with Jonny Wright. The London-based songwriter is responsible for hits from Sign of the TimesFoxes, Capitol’s Daniel James, Parlophone’s Becky Hill and more.

Over at Razor & Tie, Michelle Fantus (formerly of Sony/ATV) comes aboard as Sr. Creative Director. She spent nearly eight years at Sony/ATV, scouting writers and producers, and played a key role in signing Karmin, Haerts, Hot Chelle Rae, The Lone Bellow, The Last Internationale and more.

You should know Mara Schwartz, who not long ago launched Superior Music Publishing as a JV with Modern Works. Mara has terrific ears and an abiding love for alternative music (as those of us who watched her work at Bug and 10th Street well know); she’s building her roster now, which includes The Moog, LA Font, Siobhan Fahey (with Bananarama/Shakespears Sister catalog) and beloved alt-rock troupe The Muffs, among others. And she’s a shayneh maydel, so hit her up.

The Kobalt-administered pub division of Martin Kierszenbaum’s Cherrytree signs Jerry Fuentes of San Antonio’s ridiculously cool The Bandoleros (think Texas Tornados meet Rubber Soul-era Beatles) as the company celebrates its 10-year anniversary as a record label (via Interscope; the aforementioned Ellie Goulding is part of his stable). Martin’s no dabbler in the pub world; he’s a writer/artist/producer who’s penned tunes with Madonna (for her new album) and Gaga. Oh, and his office is basically the hippest little club you’ve ever seen, with a full band setup. Unlike our office, which is a converted catbox.

SINGING ABOUT: Mike Ruekberg, Grace Mitchell, Sean Rowe… 

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