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Trying to make it big in a different music landscape

Licensing deals - called "syncs" - which are now increasingly important moneymakers are helping to keep musicians like American rock band The Orwells afloat

From left: Matt O'Keefe, Mario Cuomo and Dominic Corso of The Orwells, performing during a house party hosted on Saturday in Los Angeles on March 25.

Los Angeles

IT HAD been five shows in five states in the past nine days, and now Mario Cuomo and his band mates slouched in patio chairs outside an unfamiliar bungalow, giving no hint of the huge stakes of the backyard gig they were about to play. They sipped tequila and vodka from red...