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-- Entertainment retailer Hastings reported a 4.9% increase in revenue to $129 million in the first quarter of 2010. Net income dropped to $1 million from $1.7 million. Comp store revenue increased 4.9%. Comp store music sales decreased only 4.8% compared to the prior-year period, a big improvement from the 15.2% comp-store decline in the first quarter of 2009. The company blamed the decreased on general industry decline as well as a smaller music footprint in 27 stores. (Press Release)

-- Rap-A-Lot Records has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Fontana, Universal Music Group's independent distributor. To celebrate Rap-A-Lot's 25th anniversary, the company will release several themed compilations as well as releases by Z-Ro, Bun B and Pimp C.

-- Echo Nest and digital service have a partnership that allows developers to create applications using a licensed catalog of music. Music Machinery introduces us to three apps that have been built on top of the Echo Nest/ APIs. MusicExplorerFX is a browser-based music discovery tool that pulls in music, images, videos, news and blog mentions. Slice is an Android app that makes music discovery visual. PlaylistPathfinder creates playlists based on the artists you input as well as similarities between those artists.
Music Machinery)

-- Location-based app maker Booyah has raised $20 million. The company's app, MyTown, gets less media attention than competitors like Foursquare and Gowalla but has more than two million users and a good growth rate. The round was led by Accel Partners. Early backers Kleiner Perkins and DAG Ventures also participated in the round. (PaidContent)

-- In spite of its user growth and new round of funding, MyTown just can't match the momentum of Foursquare. Case in point: Today NBC unveiled its new "NBC Fan It" program and Web site. "Fan It" is an affinity program that offers points for viewing and interacting with NBC shows. Participants can redeem points for virtual goods and early looks at NBC shows. The program uses four social networking partners: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Foursquare. The fact that Foursquare is rubbing elbows with the three social networking giants shows it is gaining an advantage over its competitors. (