Tick-tock, tick-tock ... BREEENG!! Oops, those 15 minutes ran out on Charlotte rap-rockers Sunny Ledfurd around, oh, the turn of the millennium. But hey, pimpin' ain't easy. At least founding drummer Neel Jadeja let go of a good thing before it got embarrassing. In fact, he's had his fingers in all aspects of the local music pie. After Ledfurd's brief stint on MCA Records, opening for likeminded acts like Godsmack and Eminem's D12, Neel came back home and got involved in promoting shows. He and buddy Dave Beaumont formed MeckDeck Productions, putting together events like the Y'Allternative Rockfest. In October, MeckDeck coordinated the Benefit for the Bayou fundraiser, which featured 12 area acts at two venues. And now, believe it or not, Neel's working with a talent agency representing former American Idol wannabe Sharell Andrews and singer/songwriter Trevor Hall -- both about as far away from the backward-baseball-cap-wearing shenanigans of Sunny Ledfurd as you can get. But hey, Neel's a real music-industry businessman now, as you can see by his smart Top 5. Bet y'all wanna know what those five things are, don't you? Here goes:
1. The Greater Charlotte Entertainment Cartel (www.charlottecartel.org). "Spearheaded by Bill Walker, this group has united most of Charlotte's entertainment professionals into an organization that grows membership every day."
2. Jukebox Alive (www.jukeboxalive.com). "Based in Asheville, this Web site has e-presskits, streams, music and CD fulfillment. Think MySpace + AdBaby + SonicBids = Jukebox Alive."
3. The Shuklas. "Between them, Divakar and Samir, the Shuklas' resume includes Milestone Records, IndieFile, Musicomet, Fox Exposures, 90 Minutes and ... Creative Loafing. In my opinion, the Shuklas are the most valuable brother tandem Charlotte's music scene has to offer. Divakar's a kick-ass drummer, too."
4. Amos' SouthEnd. This place gets a lot of flak for tribute bands and 80s hair metal, but John Ellison and the staff there provide the Charlotte rock faithful with packed-housed shows for awesome nights. It doesn't hurt that they have arguably Charlotte's best sound technician in Kyle Hansil."
5. Music Conferences. Brandon Hinson from the band Bridge and I have been attending a lot of these lately. A great place to meet other music-industry professionals and discover new talent. And two drummers getting together for a good time is always fun."