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Top Stories
Italian prosecutors considering their own Pirate Bay action
Radiohead manager talks advising splits and free releases
In The Pop Courts
C-Murder "walking a tightrope" says judge
Tweedy responds to former Wilco-mate lawsuit
Iron Maiden sue over "confusingly similar" comic
Awards & Contests
Webbys name Reznor artist of the year
Rihanna leads Urban Music Award nominees
Commercial Radio Award nominations announced
Artist Deals
Temper Trap get Japanese distribution via Hostess
In The Studio
Gary Lightbody working on two solo projects
Interpol man to release solo album
Friendly Fires: All samba, all the time
Release News
Busdriver announces new album
Skinner posts Streets track via Twitter
Gigs N Tours News
Faith No More announce London show
Jarvis Cocker announces activity days
Unsigned acts to play with Charlatans and Just Jack
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Seven confirmed for CMU Insights
Album review: Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor (Bloody Chamber/BattleCo)
The Music Business
French recording revenues continue to decline
The Digital Business
Universal Australia launch eBay portal
CBS put and other online music services into one division
Who will buy Twitter?
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally... says Jacko's voice is great
Flaming Lip clarifies Arcade Fire stance
OAPs fight at Melua gig
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

At the age of just 14, Alex Roots teamed up with producer Ryan Laubscher (who is best known for writing and staging three operas by the age of 19) and began working on songs which would later make up her debut album, 'Adrealine Rush', which is now due for release this year. The songs have a similar fired up sassy pop-rock sound to Kim Wilde's 'Kids In America', though 16 year old Alex probably isn't too familiar with that particular pop classic. Her debut download-only single 'Fake' is out on Monday (11 May), with a full scale release, 'Don't Stop Looking', out later this summer ahead of the album release. We asked Alex our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I absolutely knew that I wanted to be involved in making music and singing the first time I went to see a live concert I found the buzz of live music and performance so exciting. When I was 14 a friend of my dad introduced me to writer/producer Ryan Laubscher and we just clicked. I sang to him, he asked me if I wanted to make an album with him and BAM, everything just took off from there.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I have co-written all the songs on my album 'Adrenaline Rush' with Ryan. The inspiration was mainly just teenage life, like things that happen to me, things my friends tell me and things that I have seen or read. 'Dizzy From The Ride' (one of my favourite tracks) is all about how clumsy I am and how this affects my life. My current single 'Fake' is about someone who I had a row with and, even though we made up, our relationship was always a bit fake afterwards. We've all got fake friends you smile at them face to face but in reality are thinking something completely different! My next single is called 'Don't Stop Looking' and is about fancying a guy but never having the courage to go over to him. But as long as he looks at you and no one else you're happy for the moment.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Ryan usually comes up with some musical bits and then we work on the melody and the lyrics together. Ryan produces it and then we work on the mix for as long as it takes for us to both be happy. But as I write this it all sounds so serious! It's actually great fun and far less technical than it sounds. Sometimes, we have such a laugh when we are together, it takes Ryan forever to get me to concentrate on our work.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
My music seems very 80's influenced, though it just kind of came out that way. I was born in 1992 and didn't know much about the likes of Kim Wilde and Toyah, but it's been great fun learning about the music people have compared me to. I was aware of Queen, Blondie and Cyndi Lauper when I was growing up and my music has definitely been influenced by some of their greatest hits. Current artistes who I like include Gwen Stefani, MGMT, Mika, Katy Perry, Cage The Elephant, Paramore, Glasvegas, Ting Tings and Avril Lavigne. There are more, but I don't want to make the list too long and bore you!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't over analyse it or take it too seriously, just let yourself go and enjoy the music!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I hope that people love my download single 'Fake' and my launch single 'Don't Stop Looking' and ultimately I hope that my album is a success so that I can carry on doing what I love doing the most. Performing my music with a live band is just so much fun! Who wouldn't want to do that for as long as they possibly can?


The second 'great' indie single of the year (after Animal Collective's 'My Girls') isn't actually that indie at all, with Dirty Projectors' recent free release 'Stillness Is The Move' already widely proclaimed as a genre-breaking (!) alt-r'n'b record - a suggestion that becomes more agreeable after a few listens to its taut beats. Stuttering African-blues guitars and sharp melismatic vocals make up the rest, turning this experimental guitar-led collective into a fledging pop beast, yet - as with the Phenomenal Hand Clap Band yesterday - one with masses of invention and credibility. And though it's merely a small point, that Domino have signed both these guys and AC this year suggests that there is some inspired A&R work going on over in South West London.





Leyline Promotions - better known as one of the capital’s leading independent promoters (The Remix, Kill All Hippies, Insomniacs Ball, Twisted Licks, Breaking Ground) - have created a new publicity department headed up by Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh. The pair have worked on major campaigns including a-ha, Glade Festival, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Standon Calling Festival and Hervé amongst others.

In addition to their wealth of experience in the live arena, Leyline Publicity now specialise in bespoke PR services including online and offline music and lifestyle press, radio plugging, brand development, digital marketing and blogging. For further information please contact: [email protected] or [email protected] t: 020 7575 3285


Desk spaces available in attractive and creative Central London office. Perfectly positioned 5 mins from Liverpool Street and Old Street, the office is spacious, bright and has a friendly and sociable atmosphere. You'd be working alongside a film PR, online advertiser, events company, graphic designer, publishing company, filmmaker/media trainer so lots of useful contacts to be had.

Rent is £250 per month per desk and includes service charges. Please drop me a line if you're interested to find out more - [email protected] - Pictures are available.


ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.

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While The Pirate Bay Four hide from the Swedish authorities or, at least, hide behind allegations of judicial bias, it seems that lawyers representing the founders and funder of the rogue BitTorrent tracker might have to start fighting on a second front.

There are reports that the Italian music industry is talking to prosecutors there about launching a similar joint civil and criminal copyright infringement case against Peter Sunde, Fredrick Neij, Carl Lundstrom and Gottfrid Svartholm. News agency IDG says that the Italian Music Industry Federation is currently talking to the country's prosecutors about launching an action, and the boss of the Italian industry body, Enzo Mazza, is quoted as saying: "The guilty verdict [in Sweden] will strengthen the hand of the prosecutor in Italy".

Of course, because the internet is global, record industry bodies in numerous territories could take action against The Pirate Bay. Damages wise there is probably little to gain, with the exception of Carl Lundstrom none of the defendants can even afford to pay the damages awarded to the record companies in the Swedish trial, and even Lundstrom's funds would run out eventually. And given that all four have so far evaded the jail sentences handed down by the their home country's court, there probably wouldn't be any satisfaction to be gained for bitter content owners in thinking of the Bay four languishing in a string of jails around the world.

But in terms of providing a deterrent for others considering setting up, or certainly considering funding, similar copyright infringing services, multiple civil and criminal proceedings against the Bay men might be worth the legal-free investment for the content owners, certainly if state prosecutors were taking the lead.

That said, that all assumes, of course, that the Bay four would be consistently found guilty. Given the Swedish ruling is subject not only to appeal but to claims that the judge who heard the case was biased, because of his membership of pro-copyright trade groups, guilty rulings in every Western European territory could not be assured. I suspect Italy and any other countries considering their own Pirate Bay action might wait to see how the bias claims pan out in Sweden first.

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Some of music's top artist managers met in Dublin last week at the previously reported launch of Music Managers Forum Ireland. One in attendance was the chairman of the MMF's British group, Brian Message of Courtyard Management, whose company looks after acts like Supergrass, Faithless, Kate Nash and a certain Radiohead. Message spoke to the Irish Times about the latter in particular, admitting he once advised them to split up. He also gave his four pence worth on illegal file-sharing.

On Radiohead, he revealed that after the band split from EMI in 2005, he and his partners had advised the band consider calling it a day when recording sessions for 'In Rainbows' appeared to be stalling, Message told the paper: "I've been lucky to work with some great artists and Radiohead are a once in a generation act. But you have to be honest if it's not working. You have to have passion about what you do. I'm an accountant but I love music and I'm passionate about the artists I work with".

However, they didn't split up of course, and 'In Rainbows' was completed. With a finished album on their hands and no label in place to release it, they needed to come up with another way of getting it out to the public. I think we all know what happened next. Message explained: "[Management is] all about partnerships now. You are no longer just the artist's representative at the record company table. This is entrepreneurship at its finest. We realised that, by using the internet for the delivery of the album, we could reach 173 countries and it would cost us less than three cents a copy for distribution. Two of my partners in the management company came up with the idea of pay-what-you-like. Both the band and us were really excited about doing something brave and a bit whacky".

Staying on the subject of internet distribution, Message shared his opinions on illegal downloading, which differ from some others in the record industry, though he too believes the ISPs need to take a more proactive role in sorting out the web challenge for content owners. He continued: "We find ourselves out of step with the rest of the industry on this. We believe file-sharing by peer to peer should be legalised. The sharing of music where it is not for profit is a great thing for culture and music. Those who are providing that facility as part of their value proposition should be contributing to the artists. As a free market advocate I never thought I'd say this but we will have to have government intervention to force the internet service providers to adopt a licensing model".

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A US judge has again warned rap-type Corey Miller, aka C-Murder, that he's in danger of being sent back to prison to await his murder trial this summer, if he's not careful. Though for the time being he'll remain under house arrest.

The hip-hop star is, of course, due to go on trial for a second time for the killing of sixteen year old Steve Thomas, who died during a brawl at a Louisiana nightclub back in 2002. As much previously reported, Miller was originally convicted of the crime in September of 2003, but a second trial was granted because prosecutors had withheld information about key witnesses' criminal records in securing their conviction.

Anyway, that second trial is set to go ahead on 3 Aug, and Miller remains under house arrest in the interim, though he could be thrown back in jail if he breaches the terms of that arrest.

Prosecutors had brought a motion to end Miller's house arrest on two grounds: claims that he violated a gagging order by using a website to claim his innocence, and allegations that he has fraternised with a convicted felon.

On the latter point, it was one Rev Toris Young, who pleaded guilty to identity theft, who Miller was accused of associating with. He apparently attended a press conference outside the home of Miller's grandmother, where the rapper is confined. But Young testified this week that he was not on the property during the news conference, that he and Miller didn't know each other, and that they did not speak to each other.

On the former point, as previously reported, a website set up to raise funds to help Miller fight his legal battle carried an article, purportedly written by C-Murder himself, in which he claimed to be innocent. That was the gagging order breach. But a freelance writer, Brandy Clementin, has testified in court that it was she who wrote the letter from Miller's perspective, and that he had not been involved in the process. The website has been modified now to clarify the issue.

Having heard both testimonies, Judge Hans Liljeberg denied the prosecution's motion to send Miller back to the klink, but warned: "You're walking a tightrope right now, and I don't think you've fallen off the wrong side. But you're wobbling".

Liljeberg also refused that previously reported request by Miller's lawyer Ron Rakosky to withdraw from the case on the grounds that he's not been paid for three years. Rakosky said: "I don't want to withdraw from this case, but I've worked without compensation for three years. Not without substantial compensation, without any compensation". Liljeberg refused the request, saying that he didn't want a changeover to cause further delay. To help the attorney, the judge did tell Miller: "Me personally, I'd feel a lot better going to trial if my lawyer was paid". Which was helpful.

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Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has disputed those previously reported claims by his former bandmate of owed royalties. As previously reported, former Wilco member Jay Bennett has launched legal proceedings accusing Tweedy of breach of contract and making a claim to unpaid royalties in relation to early Wilco albums and the 2002 rockumentary 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart' that followed the band. But responding yesterday, Tweedy said he didn't know what his former collaborator was talking about.

He told Paste magazine: "I know exactly as much as everyone else does [about this lawsuit]. I've read the news and I honestly have no idea what these claims are based on. It was such a long time ago. Aside from everything else, I'm being sued for not paying someone for appearing in a movie I didn't produce. Go figure. I am truly sad it has come to this. I am equally convinced, however, that I have done nothing wrong and that this will be handled fairly and swiftly".

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Iron Maiden are reportedly suing a American publisher over the title of one of their comics, Iron And The Maiden, which they say is "confusing similar". They are trying to stop the publisher from using the name on their comic and any merchandise spin offs. Whether eighteenth century torturers plan to sue the metal band remains to be seen. I'm frequently confused as to whether the 'iron maiden' people are talking about is something old, horrific and sinister or, rather, the iron-based eighteenth century torture device. See what I did there? Thank you, I'm here all week.

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Trent Reznor has been named Artist Of The Year at this year's Webby Awards, which recognise people who do good stuff on the internet.

The organisers said of the decision to choose Nine Inch Nails man Reznor: "[We are] thrilled to honour Trent Reznor with the Webby Artist of the Year Award in recognition of his album, 'The Slip', which debuted for free download in May 2008 on his website. By making his music available to fans for free, Trent Reznor embraced the true openness of the internet, similar to the release of the album 'Year Zero', which launched with an award-winning alternate reality game. Trent Reznor's ability to connect with fans far and wide through the web makes him a qualified ambassador of online culture, and arguably one of the most-recognized artists harnessing the power of the internet to spread music".

In other music related Webby awards, Rock The Vote's website picked up the punter voted award in the Activism category, YouTube Live was given both the judge and public voted prize in the Events category, and NPR Music (that's National Public Radio in case you wondered) won both the judge and public chosen awards in the Music and Radio categories, while punters also awarded them the Podcasts prize.

The awards will actually be presented at a ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street restaurant in New York on 8 Jun.

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The nominations for this year's US Urban Music Awards have been announced, and Rihanna leads the field with four nominations in the categories of Best Female Act, Best R&B Act, Artist Of The Year, and Best Music Video. She will go up against the likes of MIA, Amy Winehouse and Estelle in the best female category, and against acts such as Akon, Ne-Yo and Lil Wayne for the artist of the year.

Elsewhere, Flo Rida, Dizzee Rascal and Kid Cudi are amongst those up for the Best Male Act, whilst the likes of Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco will compete for Best Hip Hop Act. LPs nominated in the Best Album category include John Legend's 'Evolver', Kanye West's '808s & Heartbreak', Akon's 'Freedom', and The Dream's 'Love VIS Money'.

The awards are decided via an online public vote, and will be given out on 17 Jul in New York.

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Good news for the dying-on-its-arse commercial radio sector. They account for every single one of the nominations at the latest radio industry awards event - yes, the BBC doesn't get even one mention. Ha. It is the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, but that's not the point.

Leading the way in the like-the-Sonys-but-with-out-the-BBC-to-compete-with awards are Bauer Media, whose stations together get twelve nominations. That's one ahead of the commercial radio giant that is Global Radio, who get eleven. UTV Radio get five, while Absolute Radio gets three, as does the Lincs FM Group, which is quite an achievement given they're one of the country's smallest radio companies.

The nominations in full are as follows...

Radio Marketing Award
Sponsorship and Promotions Team - 107.6 Juice FM
Stuart Robinson - Citybeat
James Brown and Sam Haddadi - The Galaxy Network

National Sales Team of the Year
Bauer Media
UBC Media Commercial Division (now GTN)

Local Sales Team of the Year
Alpha Radio
Real Radio Scotland
Wave 105

Station of the Year < 300,000 TSA
Rother FM
Rutland Radio
STAR Radio Cambridge

Station of the Year 300,000 - 1 million TSA
104.7 Minster FM
Heart 96.3 (formerly GWR Bristol)
Lincs FM

Station of the Year > 1 million TSA
Hallam FM
Key 103 Manchester

Programmer of the Year
Darren Henley - Classic FM
Gary Stein - Key 103 Manchester
Trevor White - Planet Rock

Presentation Newcomer
Leo Green - Jazz FM
Adam Inker - Oxford's FM107.9
Ryan Taylor - STAR Radio Cambridge

Radio Presenters of the Year
Boogie, Arlene and Dingo - 97.3 Forth One
Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott - London's Heart
Mike Toolan - Key 103 Manchester

Station Sound
Beacon Radio (West Midlands)
Heat Radio

News Award
Peak FM News Team
Pirate FM News Team
TFM Radio News and Sport

Programme or Feature of the Year
The A-Z of Classic FM Music - Classic FM
The Shannon Matthews Story - Real Radio Yorkshire

Station Creative Award
Gary Muircroft, Carole McConnell and Ann-Marie Miller - Central FM
Kevin Price and Paul Hawkins - Invicta FM
Mitch Suffolk, Helen Towers & Steve Henderson - Trent FM

Technical Innovation
Absolute Radio for the MiniAmp
Global Radio Creative Technology for the iPhone Application
talkSPORT for talkSPORT magazine

Digital Station of the Year
Fun Kids
Planet Rock
Q Radio

Social Action Award
97.3 Forth One - Radiothon
97.4 Rock FM - Breakfast Breakout
Choice FM - Peace on the Streets

Commenting on the nominations, the boss of commercial radio trade body RadioCentre, Andrew Harrison, told reporters: "Commercial Radio offers a fantastic range of programming with over 345 stations producing an incredible breadth of output across the airwaves every day. These awards recognise and celebrate the many talented people who work in the sector and once again we've had a huge number of entries which certainly made life difficult for our judges".

The awards take place on 5 Jun at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

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Recently revived UK indie label Infectious have confirmed a licensing deal with Japan's Hostess Entertainment for their first signing, Australians The Temper Trap. The band's debut album will be released via Hostess in Japan in late summer, after they appear at the country's Summer Sonic festival. Hostess boss Andrew Lazonby says: "Both on record and live The Temper Trap have got what it takes to deliver in a very big way. There really hasn't been a more complete new band in recent times - from writing, to performing to pure attitude, so we're honoured to be working alongside Infectious to help introduce them here".

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Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has revealed that he is currently working on two solo projects. The first is an abstract vocal album entitled 'Listen Tank', which he is working on with producer Jacknife Lee, the second is a country album called 'Tired Pony'.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Lightbody said that he and Lee, who has produced the last three Snow Patrol albums, have been working on 'Listen Tank' in spare moments in their schedules. He said: "We've just been recording and playing instruments on it together. I call it Russian submarine music. I don't know why, there's just lots of voices on it with me using my vocals as an instrument rather than a guitar. It sounds like some underwater choir".

As for the country album, he says: "I've loved country for a long time. I always thought I had a country album in me and it turns out I did. I don't know whether people will dig it or not. It's just something I wanted to get out of my system".

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Interpol man Paul Banks is also working on a solo album 'Skyscraper', to be released under the name Julian Plenti on 4 Aug in the US. According to Billboard, he's been writing for some years under this name, and some of the songs that will appear on the album are more than ten years old, though some are brand new.

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CMU favourites Friendly Fires have revealed that their second album, which is set to be produced by Paul Epworth, will play on their Brazilian influences more than their debut, with samba beats running all the way through it. The band told BBC 6music that they plan to write the album over the summer and release a single in August to give fans a taste of what to expect.

Frontman Ed MacFarlane said of one song already completed: "It's kind of that samba, calypso vibe that's been pushed further. It's a progression from 'Jump In The Pool'. It's really Brazilian. There's no 4/4 drum beats, it's all traditional samba rhythms".

He continued: "I think our next album is definitely going to be heading down the samba route. It's something that we've been experimenting with and we really like. It's something a bit different from just doing more traditional disco-inspired music. There's a form of music called Festejo, which is from Peru and I remember seeing a YouTube clip of these two girls dancing to these guys playing really rhythmic drum patterns. The crowd was just going absolutely insane and I remember watching it and thinking, 'This is amazing, I want to incorporate it into our music'".

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Rapper and CMU favourite Busdriver will release a new album, 'Jheli Beam', the follow-up to 2007's 'RoadKillOvercoat', on 29 Jun via Anti-.

Says Busdriver of the album: "A bulk of the songs were written on planes somehow. I listened to [US indie label] Sublime Frequencies releases, Bollywood soundtracks and electronic music rather than indie rock and rap. I was able to shed a good amount of self-awareness that way. Still, this was definitely the most gruelling stint of recording that I've undergone... I nearly quit doing music twice".

Luckily he didn't, and he even managed to rope in some guests, including Deerhoof's John Dietrich, to help out. Here's the tracklist:

Split Seconds (Between Nannies And Swamis)
Me-Time (feat. The Pulmonary Palimpsets)
Handfuls Of Sky
Scoliosis Jones
Least Favorite Rapper (feat. Nocando)
Quebec And Back
Do The Wop
World Agape
Manchuria (feat. Mikah-9)
Unsafe Sextet/Gilded Hearts Of Booklovers
Happy Insider (feat. Nick Thorburn)
I've Always Known
Fishy Face (feat. John Dietrich)

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Mike Skinner has posted a new song online via his Twitter account. The topical track 'He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu' is the latest in a number of new tracks that have been posted via the mini-blogging service recently. Skinner says of his tune posting shenanigans: "Can I just state that nothing I do right now has anything to do with the label, They would not condone what I am doing". Gosh, he's rock hard, isn't he, going against his label like that?

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Faith No More have announced a London show at Brixton Academy on 10 Jun, ahead of their Download appearance on 12 Jun. Tickets go on general sale on Friday but will be made available to Download ticket holders from today. Presumably Download ticket holders are getting first dibs as consolation for the fact that they're no longer going to see the band's only UK show this year.

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Jarvis Cocker will soundtrack yoga and pilates classes, as well as inviting fans to watch his band in rehearsals, suggest themes for improvisations, and play along with them at a six day residency at the Galerie Chappe in Paris which began yesterday. Those of us not able to get to Paris can catch it all via video streams at Full details of schedules and activities are available there too.

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Ten unsigned bands will play with The Charlatans and Just Jack at their Great Escape shows next week. Most of the unsigned bands who will feature were chosen by The Charlatans and Just Jack themselves, though two were also voted for by fans.

Duologue, Jazica, Dimbleby And Capper, 51 Breaks and Underline The Sky will support Just Jack at Coalition on 14 May, while The Last Republic, Bleech, Paul Dixon, Akayzia and The Quotes will join The Charlatans at an as yet unnamed venue on 15 May.

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Another leading industry figure has been confirmed to appear as part of the CMU Insights strand at this year's The Great Escape.

As previously reported, a number of leading industry names will appear at the very first CMU Insights event, and CMU Co-Editor Chris Cooke will talk each of them through their careers to date, getting a little insight in their work past, present and future, and looking for tips for young people considering a career in a similar strand of the music business.

The latest industry name to be added to the programme is Brighton-based artist manager Seven Webster, who through his 7pm Management company has worked with the likes of Sasha, Digweed, Dido and McQueen, and is currently managing indie rock producer Paul Tipler and electro pop artist Mason. Seven is also an experienced music publisher, programmes the Hard Rock Hell, Hammerfest, City Showcase and Beachdown festivals, and works as a music marketing consultant, so will bring insights from across the music business to the table. We can't wait.

Seven joins producer John Leckie on the CMU Insights line up. CMU Insights takes place at The Great Escape from midday on Friday 15 May, at the Thistle Hotel.

A second edition will be held the following week at Liverpool Sound City. Chris will also be presenting his brand new music business guide - 'The Music Business In 2009: An Inside Guide' - at both conventions, providing all the basic information anyone needs to know if they want to make it as an artist or band, or as a music entrepreneur, or if they want to work in the music business, or move into another strand of the industry.

Don't forget, The Great Escape is one part of the wider Brighton Festival, a three week cultural extravaganza that kicked off this weekend. CMU's sister publication ThreeWeeks is covering the whole shebang, and you can check out their free preview guide right now at this URL:

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ALBUM REVIEW: Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor (Bloody Chamber/BattleCo)
"Exposing your whole life in the end adds authenticity to what you do, even if there are risks being so open and provocative", says Patrick Wolf of 'The Bachelor', his fourth studio album and first since his split from major label Universal, who released his last record, the poppy (and "shallow", his word) 2007 outing 'The Magic Position'. A hybrid concoction of futuristic, avant garde digital pop and romantic English folk music, 'The Bachelor' is Wolf's most frank work to date, and is fifty-two minutes of dark, emotionally guileless perfection. A chronological account of Patrick's depression during the tour of 'Position' and his fifteen-minutes as a rising pop star, 'The Bachelor' ends where his next promised album 'The Conqueror' begins - when he ditches his plastic wings, returns home, finds love, and recovers his roots. The album begins like a storm - a slow but sure warning with 'Kriegspiel' and the unexpectedly guitar-filled 'Hard Times', the latter of which is rich with lyrics about wanting to find the need to overcome and Patrick's ultimate dissatisfaction. 'The Bachelor', 'Damaris', 'Thickets' and 'Blackdown' are the album's romantic and quintessentially English folk turns, where Wolf makes breathtaking use of marching band acoustics, field solos and sound samples from pagan festivals to create a darkly ritualistic theme that resonates through the entire LP. And there's no forgetting the brassy, techno-influenced sound of 'Vulture', something that is certainly not lost; it is intertwined perfectly amongst Patrick's signature folk sound, and the combination hasn't played this damn good since 'Lycanthropy'. A solid and electric offering, and evidence that this man is truly more than just the Bowie of our generation - Patrick Wolf has honestly made one of the most courageous and heartbreaking albums of this year so far. TW
Release Date: 1 Jun
Press Contact: Big Machine Media [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The value of the French wholesale record industry fell by 16.4% year on year in the first quarter of 2009 which, given that French record sales have been slumping for years so were pretty miserable to start with, is rather depressing. Physical sales were down 18.5% and, perhaps more worryingly for French record companies, digital revenues were down 1% too, though mainly because of a considerable slump in ring-tone sales.

Royalty revenues from online streaming platforms and subscription-based services both rose considerably though, and while they are still a relatively small part of the overall business at the moment, look like they could become increasingly important in the coming years.

Those services, of course, will presumably benefit in terms of traffic if the French government do, as promised, crack down on illegal file-sharing, cutting off the internet connections of persistent online copyright infringers who fail to head warnings. The legislative proposals to make that happen continue to work their way through the French parliament.

As previously reported, the initial proposals were delayed after being voted down in the French Assembly when government supporting MPs were few and far between because of the Easter break. The government is busy trying to push the proposals back through parliament, and while they will probably ultimately be successful in making the three-strike system law, there are likely to be more delays - discussions have already been pushed back because opposition MPs have filed so many amendment proposals.

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Universal Music Australia has launched a portal on eBay through which users can buy or stream tracks from the major's catalogue. Which doesn't sound very eBay-ish to me, where's the bidding? Presumably the major hope to cash in on the auction site's high traffic to flog music-related products. The eBay portal is powered by Universal's GetMusic website, which also carries music from Sony I think.

Confirming the service, Universal Music Australia MD George Ash told reporters: "Music is one of the highest searched topics on the web and the opportunity to help connect their members with their favorite acts, is without precedent".

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American media giant CBS has created a new division, the CBS Interactive Music Group, under which will sit the media firms' US-based online radio operations and recommendation site, which, of course, CBS has owned since 2007. I'm don't think the rejig will have a huge impact on, which remains a pretty autonomous set up within the CBS empire, though it will mean they report into a new exec, CBS Radio veteran David Goodman. It might, however, mean more cross-promotion between and CBS' various other online and mobile music services, especially in the US.

Confirming the rejig, CBS boss Leslie Moonves told CMU: "Today we are combining two industry-leading music properties to form a single group dedicated to music fans everywhere. CBS is in a unique position to bring together the leading-edge technological resources at CBS Interactive with the content, promotional and sales assets at CBS Radio to drive efficiencies into the business and create unmatched experiences for all of our customers".

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Google, News Corp, Microsoft and Apple are all being rumoured as possible buyers for Twitter, as the social networking phenomenon of the moment continues to boom, despite the churn of those who sign up, realise neither they nor their friends have anything interesting to say, and soon tune out. Some gossipers say one of those congloms could pay between $600 million and $700 million for the popular service, despite the almost universal failure across the board to actually monetise the social networking phenomenon; well, not at any serious level that could justify a $700 million investment.

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It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
2. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
3. Mastodon - Crack The Skye (Warner Bros)
4. Pearl Jam - Ten (Sony Music)
5. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
6. Papa Roach - Metamorphisis (Universal/Interscope)
7. Lamb Of God - Wrath (Warner/Roadrunner)
8. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony/Columbia)
9. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
10. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
11. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
12. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
13. Static-X - Cult Of Static (Warner Bros)
14. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
15. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
16. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Warner/Atlantic)*
17. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
18. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
19. Blue October - Approaching Normal (Universal/Island)
20. Queensryche - American Soldier (Warner/Rhino)

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WILL.I.AM SAYS JACKO'S VOICE IS GREAT has said that Michael Jackson's voice is sounding great, quashing speculation that the singer's vocals may have suffered from a ten year period of inactivity. Well, inactivity in the live sphere, at any rate. Because he's been recording, hasn't he? And no doubt having a little sing to himself when doing the dusting, and suchlike.

Speaking about recent recording sessions and Jacko's perfectionism, told Starpulse: "He was in my house. It's one thing you hear rumors, but when the guy's in your house, laying on your floor as you're playing beats, he's like, ', I love this beat.' He's laying and his feet are up on the chair, he's kicking his feet. I'm like dude, Michael Jackson's laying on my floor. He's testing his voice and three hours has passed. He's just mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi, mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi. He's doing both voice testing just to sing for five minutes. He's testing his voice for three hours to sing for five minutes".

He continued: "I don't know. Fergie don't do that shit. Usher don't do that shit. None of the people that you think still got it do that. I've seen it, in my house. That's because he's a perfectionist and he just likes testing his voice. I'm like, 'Dude, can we record now? Because it's three hours, and it's only going take five minutes.' 'No, I just want to warm it up.' Like dude, that's hot. It's warmed up. And he has it. I've seen it. He mi mi mi'd for three hours. Perfect pitch".

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Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has said that he feels sorry about derogatory remarks he made about Arcade Fire earlier in the year. As previously reported, Coyne apparently said that the band were "pricks" who "treated their crew like shit". But he didn't mean it, he meant it about someone else. Not the band, you see.

Look, here's what he told Entertainment Weekly: "I didn't necessarily mean it about the people in the Arcade Fire. I meant it about the guys that were running their stages at a couple of festivals. I wish whatever had been said wouldn't have been taken as such a defiant statement from the Flaming Lips, because it wasn't. I just assumed it was a joke."

Asked if he would like to apologise to the group, he said: "I would. I really feel bad about it. I like enough of their music. The idea that I'm somehow against them... I'm not!"

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Two elderly women got into a fight at the launch party for Katie Melua's third album, 'Pictures', in LA on Monday night. Blood was apparently shed. I'll just run those things past you again: Katie Melua gig, two old ladies, fight, blood.

The singer's producer Mike Batt said via Twitter: "Another great Katie show at LA album launch. Two white-haired old ladies had a fight, no shit. One got 'glassed' by the other. Cut neck. Wooh".

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