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We do music and youth marketing too, details here
Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jackson remembered at all-star memorial
Priority number one is finding new talent: BPI AGM
Pop Politics
U2's massive carbon footprint revealed
Obituaries
Former Soho Records manager dies
Awards & Contests
Polaris shortlist announced
Mercury shortlist announcement coming soon
In The Studio
Ash working on singles
Release News
Monkeys on new single
Ranger3 release new single
Times New Viking announce new album
Gigs N Tours News
La Roux announce tour
Blur gig available to download
Festival News
Latitude announce line up additions
Doves and Biffy to headline White Air
Tiesto announces support from Hadouken!
Brands N Stuff
Blink 182 and Big Boi play virtual gigs for crisp fans
The Music Business
Sony relaunch deconstruction
EMI Publishing boss goes to Toronto-based indie
The Digital Business
SoundExchange cut royalty rates for US web radio services
The Media Business
Zoo editor steps down
New management close TLRC's HQ
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
McCartney on those Jacko will rumours
Kelly Osbourne likes GaGa, okay?
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 8TH JULY


GRASSCUT
Comprised of award-winning soundtrack composer Andrew Phillips and double bassist Marcus O'Dair, Grasscut make experimental electronic music with vocals taken from various sources, including old gramophone records and snatches of conversation recorded on mobile phones. Their debut single, 'High Down', is released on 19 Jul, and the duo are currently working on a debut album, which will be released via Ninja Tune next year. This week you can catch them live supporting Acoustic Ladyland at Cargo in London on 9 Jul and at Ninja Tune's Independents Day show at the ICA the following evening. We spoke to Marcus to find out more.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
As a kid, Andrew started singing in choirs and playing violin in orchestras; I learned classical piano, then some double bass. Andrew started messing around with electronics and composition as a teenager, which, after a few years studying poetry, eventually led to a career as a film/TV composer, and making and producing albums under various guises. I got more into jazz, an affliction from which I've only partially recovered.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Travelling around Britain really, looking and listening; trying to reflect how unfamiliar everyday stuff is if you really look. And the idea of writing it and saying it how you see it. Inspiring each other to make choices other than the obvious. And visiting small local museums in places like Hull, Watchet and Penmachno.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It depends. It could start with a particularly attractive glitch. Messing around on a piano, laptop or gramophone, or covertly recording a conversation on a mobile phone. The studio is filled with paraphernalia like harmoniums, racks of pots and pans, old keyboards, toy pianos, bicycle parts. Anything to create something we haven't heard before.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Writers, filmmakers, and musicians. WG Sebald, the German picaresque novelist, and his book 'The Rings Of Saturn' - we sampled his voice for the start of our album. The films of Powell Pressburger, especially 'A Matter Of Life And Death'; the hook-laden melancholy experimentalism of Kraftwerk; English classical composers from Vaughan Williams to Gavin Bryars; the poet Wordsworth; singer-songwriter Robert Wyatt; Oliver Postgate, the children's animator.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hopefully it doesn't need any explanation, but we don't think it sounds like anyone else, so you might need to give it a few goes. There are lots of layers in there, beyond the initial impact.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We hope our debut album, released on Ninja Tune next year, will be received as it is intended - as a transcendental journey through our land of oddness and wonder, past and present. We're also in talks about composing and performing live film soundtracks, and setting up gigs in several countries around the world. At the moment, we're preparing for some festivals, including Bloom and The Big Chill, before the release of our first single ('High Down') later this month.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/grasscutmusic

 
LADYTRON
Having spent the early part of 2009 working with Christina Aguilera on tracks for her forthcoming new album, 'Light & Darkness', Ladytron are now back in touring mode. To give you a taste of what to expect from their show, they released a live album back in April, but there can be no substitute for actually seeing a band in the flesh. So, may we recommend the upcoming Remix All-nighter at Matter on 17 Jul, where Ladytron will headline an excellent line-up, put together by our buddy Eddy Temple-Morris? You can win tickets to that in this week's CMU Weekly (which you can subscribe to here). And be sure to check out Ladytron's MySpace page, where there's a whole host of great tracks streaming.

www.myspace.com/ladytron




 

 
WORK AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FESTIVAL
ThreeWeeks is CMU's sister media, the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, the biggest cultural festival on the planet. ThreeWeeks is based around a unique media education programme involving 100 students each year. Between them they review more shows than any other media at the Festival, ensuring hundreds of grass roots shows that would otherwise go unreviewed get the coverage they deserve. ThreeWeeks runs a four week operation in Edinburgh during August, and is looking for the following temporary staff to join the team.

Office Manager
This person will run the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh offices from Friday 31 July to Tuesday 1 September, helping set up and wind down the office space, manage a team of student volunteers, and manage and in part undertake project administration and logistics. Must be energetic, consciencious, Microsoft Office and email literate, and a real people person. Previous knowlege of the Edinburgh Fringe an advantage. Core offices hours are 9am-6pm. Fee: £1000.

Distribution Manager
This person will handle all the distribution of the ThreeWeeks weekly edition and one other magazine from Tuesday 4 August to Tuesday 1 September. It basically means driving around a network of distribution points across central Edinburgh and dropping off papers. It is a flexible role. A full distribution run is required on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, but 3-4 other drop off runs per week can be timed to suit the Distribution Manager. You will drive and care for the ThreeWeeks van so need a full clean driving licence, and will need the patience required for central Edinburgh driving. Knowledge of the city centre an advantage. Fee: £1000

Junior Designer
This person will assist on the design and production of ThreeWeeks' daily print and online publications - typesetting the former in InDesign and the latter in Dreamweaver. Photoshop will also be used. Will suit someone looking for a stepping stone into a media production career with previous experience using these applications. You will be required daily from Thursday 6 to Monday 31 August from 10am-5pm (11-3pm last Bank Holiday weekend). This job is based in the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh office. Fee: £750

To apply for these roles send a CV and covering note to [email protected] stating in the subject line the job title of the role you are applying for.

Limited space is available in the ThreeWeeks flat in Edinburgh, so it may be possible to accommodate good candidates not based in Edinburgh who apply for these roles. If you are not based at an Edinburgh address you should state if you would need accommodation in your application.

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JACKSON REMEMBERED AT ALL-STAR MEMORIAL
So it was cheesy and schmaltzy and personally I could have done with less Jesus, but overall I thought the big Michael Jackson memorial show was rather nice. True, they missed a trick - having a dancer hidden in that big coffin jumping out midway through to do the Thriller dance would have been awesome, and Vincent Price's sinister laugh echoing around the venue as the crowd left would have been a nice touch - but on the up side, I can now have those things done at my funeral and be considered original.

So yes, family, friends and fans of Michael Jackson amassed on the Staples Centre in LA yesterday morning (evening our time) to pay their last respects to the king of pop. On stage, some sang, some spoke, a few cried, a few laughed. Jermaine Jackson was the only member of the family to actually perform, giving a rendition of the Charlie Chaplin penned song 'Smile', which a tearful Brooke Shields had just revealed was Jacko's personal favourite song. Personally I thought Jermaine's performance was the highlight of the proceedings.

Though another show-stopping moment - if funerals are allowed such things - came from twelve year old 'Britain's Got Talent' contender Shaheen Jafargholi, who sang the Smokey Robinson song made famous by the Jacksons, 'Who's Lovin' You'. While Jafargholi is a pretty accomplished child actor already, who played a young Michael Jackson in the UK touring version of Jacko jukebox musical 'Thriller - Live', it still seems a bit mad that a kid who first came to mainstream attention here in the UK in April on an ITV talent show should be performing at an LA event as big and widely watched as Jackson's memorial by July.

After Jafargholi's performance, director Kenny Ortega, who had been working on the planned 'This Is It' shows for The O2, explained that Jackson had wanted the 'BGT' hopeful to perform as part his London residency, after seeing clips of the ITV talent show on YouTube, and said that that was why the Jackson family had asked him to sing at the memorial show.

News man Larry King later revealed that, prior to Ortega's explanation, many in the audience were in the dark as to who this kid on stage was. He told reporters that he'd turned to Berry Gordy to ask who Jafargholi was, and that the Motown founder responded: "I have no idea who that is but if I was still in the business I'd sign him tomorrow". I suspect Jafargholi could now become big news in the US, which would be nice - a suitably Michael Jackson kind of thing to come out of the late singer's memorial show.

Other performers on the night (well, morning) were a little more established, with Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, John Mayer and Jennifer Hudson all doing a turn. Speakers included Brooke Shields, Berry Gordy, Al Sharpton, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, basketball stars Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, the children of Martin Luther King - Martin Luther King III and Bernice King - and democrat member of the US House Of Representatives Sheila Jackson-Lee. Written messages from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela were read out.

Those who socialised with Jackson generally spoke about the good times and the jokes they shared, helping to humanise the most mysterious and eccentric of pop idols, while those with more political leanings talked about the singer's humanitarian work and his role in opening the door for black performers in mainstream American culture.

The controversies of and tabloid rumours relating to Jackson's life were skirted around.

Motown man Gordy diplomatically said: "Sure there was some sad times and maybe some questionable decisions on his part, but Michael Jackson accomplished everything he dreamed of". In a typically rousing address, Al Sharpton said: "I want his three children to know, there wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with. He dealt with it anyway. He dealt with it for us".

In the most explicit reference to the most controversial moments of Jackson's life, Rep Jackson-Lee, presumably responding to the comments made by her follow Congressman Peter King who this weekend criticised the US media for glorifying "a pervert, a child molester, a paedophile", told the Staples Center audience "I can tell you as a member of the United States Congress, we understand the Constitution. We understand laws, and we know that are people are innocent until proven otherwise. That is what the Constitution stands for".

After an emotional/glorious/typically American/vomit inducing (take your pick) group performance of 'We Are The World' and 'Heal The World', which saw Jackson's family and most of the performers from the rest of the evening take to the stage, it was Jacko's parents, brothers and children who were left in the spotlight as the memorial reached its conclusion.

Jermaine Jackson gave a short speech of thanks. Then Marlon Jackson delivered a longer tribute, including an amusing story about how he'd once found his brother hiding from public attention in a scruffy old man disguise in a record shop, asked by Michael how he'd known it was him, Marlon had said "Michael, you're my brother, I can spot you anywhere regardless of your make-up - and your shoes do not help", adding "Michael wore the same shoes wherever he went". Observing that no one could ever know what Jackson had had to endure under such a strong media glare, Marlon concluded: "Being judged, ridiculed. How much pain can one take? Maybe now, Michael, they'll leave you alone".

The family tribute ended with a tearful few words from Jackson's eleven year old daughter Paris. The singer's three children, in the public eye without any veils or disguises for pretty much the first time, sat in the front row throughout the show, his sons looking a little bored (though, let's face it, at that age a two hour memorial is a bit boring, even if it's for your own superstar father). But Paris seemed to want to speak as the show concluded, and, supported by Janet Jackson, she told the audience: "I just wanted to say, ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much".

As expected, the Staples Center show was preceded by a private service for family and close friends at the Forest Lawn mortuary in the Hollywood Hills. Jackson's coffin was then driven, followed, according to some reports, by no less than 20 media helicopters, to the venue of the big memorial show. It's not clear when or where the singer will actually be buried.

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PRIORITY NUMBER ONE IS FINDING NEW TALENT: BPI AGM
The boss of Universal Music International, Lucian Grainge, gave an upbeat speech at the annual general meeting of the UK's record label trade body the BPI yesterday, calling on the record industry to "stop this spiral of negativity", adding that the internet is "the greatest opportunity of my entire career". I think that's more or less what I said ten years ago, but I'm not going to gloat.

Grainge urged his colleagues in the record industry to not forget about the need to find, develop and support great new talent. While he agreed that the industry needed to develop new business models as CD sales continued to shrink, and that some effort was needed to protect back catalogue from online copyright infringement, he urged the sector to not get "stuck in a swamp of legislative debate". Labels should instead dedicate their efforts to finding the next generation of British talent - the next Oasis or Blur. Find the right talent, he was basically saying, and you'll find a way to make money.

Kicking back at those who question the need for record companies in the digital age, he added "the role of the record company has never been more important than now", but added that the future of the industry needed progress to be made not just by lawyers and lobbyists, but by "everyone in this room".

Grainge's pep talk followed the release of stats from the trade body that revealed that non-traditional record label revenues rose by 7% to £195 million last year. So that's money made by anything but traditional record sales, which means mainly the licensing of tunes (to media, brands and digital music services) but also includes revenues generated by those record labels starting to dabble in merchandising and touring.

Commenting on the stats, BPI main man Geoff Taylor told reporters: "These figures show how the record companies of today are turning into the music companies of tomorrow - investing in talent, partnering with artists and getting music products and services in all their forms to consumers. Although selling CDs and digital downloads remains at the core of record company investment and revenues, licensing of innovative business models is helping new, significant revenue streams flourish."

Elsewhere at the big BPI meet, four major label reps were elected, unopposed, to the trade body's council, two from Warner, John Reid and Max Lousada, plus one from EMI, Nick Gatfield, and one from Universal, David Joseph. There was a vote for independent reps on the Council, the winners being Dramatico boss Mike Batt, First Night Records MD John Craig and former Warner exec Korda Marshall, now back in the indie domain as owner of the all new Infectious Records.

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U2'S MASSIVE CARBON FOOTPRINT REVEALED
We all love dissing U2 these days, don't we? Well, let's do it some more. Following revelations (well, observations really) that Bono et al's decision to register their companies off-shore, and therefore avoid Irish tax, impacts on Ireland's ability to give aid to the third world, now eco-types are down on the band for the carbon footprint of their current tour. Apparently the band's 360 Degree tour will this year have a carbon footprint equivalent to that of 6500 average UK residents all put together over an entire year. Or 65,000 tonnes of CO2.

Helen Roberts, environmental consultant at Carbonfootprint.com told The Quietus: "The carbon footprint generated by U2's 44 concerts this year is equal to carbon created by the four band members travelling the 34.125 million miles from Earth to Mars in a passenger plane. You also have to add the carbon emissions from the same number of concerts again next year. Just looking at the 44 concerts this year, the band will create enough carbon to fly all 90,000 people attending one of their Wembley concerts to Dublin. To offset this year's carbon emissions, U2 would need to plant 20,118 trees".

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FORMER SOHO RECORDS MANAGER DIES
Music Week reports that Mary Finlay, who ran the Soho Records chain of indie record shops in London during the 1960s, has died. A native Scot, after heading up the London stores in the sixties, Finlay later returned to her hometown of Glasgow to begin her own business, Casa Cassettes, opening four branches throughout the city in the seventies. Music Week quote Universal consultant Bill Holland, who calls Finlay "a great character", while noting that Casa Cassettes' main store on Sauchiehall street became a "Mecca for lovers of nostalgia, jazz and all sounds esoteric".

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POLARIS SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED
The shortlist has been announced for the Polaris Music Prize, the Canadian version of the Mercury Prize. Amongst the ten nominated albums are LPs by acts such as Hey Rosetta!, Elliot Brood, Fucked Up, Great Lake Swimmers and a previous winner, Patrick Watson. The list has been whittled down from a long list of forty records selected by a 182 strong jury of Canadian music journalists and broadcasters. The winner will be selected by a smaller jury of eleven, at a gala in Toronto on 21 Sep.

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MERCURY SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON
And from music prizes modelled on the Mercury Prize to the actual Mercury Prize. Organisers have announced that this year's shortlist will be, er, announced on 21 July by Lauren Laverne at the The Hospital in Covent Garden at 11.30am.

That might be all you need to know, really. Presumably you all already know that the shortlist of twelve is chosen by music professionals, presenters and journalists, so I don't need to tell you that. You might want to know that the final announcement will be made at an 8 Sep awards show, which will be hosted by Jools Holland, and broadcast live on BBC2 with the aforementioned Laverne presenting the programme. Though you probably don't really need to know that.

But I bet you do all want to know what Chair of Judges Simon Frith says about it all. Well, here it is: "It's been an intriguing year for UK music and we once again saw a rise in the number of albums entered for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. One of the continuing developments is the blurring of genres, with musicians clearly being influenced by a wide-range of sources".

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ASH WORKING ON SINGLES
Having announced back in 2007 that they would never release another album, Ash are currently working hard on a series of singles. From October, the band will release a new track every fortnight for a year, before releasing them all as a collection of tracks (and not an album, right?).

Frontman Tim Wheeler told Bang Showbiz: "We've already recorded 44 tracks and we're going to do more as well, because we're experimenting a lot. About half of them are at the level we need them to be. When we're releasing that many songs in a year, we need to be pleased with them. We'll probably have done about 55 or so by October".

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MONKEYS ON NEW SINGLE
Arctic Monkey Alex Turner has said that his band's new single 'Crying Lightening' is "strange as far as a pop song goes", but was a preferred track of the band's during production; speaking to Zane Lowe on Radio 1, Turner said: "This was deemed the best signifier of the record. It was a favourite during recording".

The first single release from the group's upcoming third album 'Humbug', the track, which was written and recorded during US sessions with Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme, is now available to download.

Speaking about the new LP, out 24 Aug, Turner added: "We've enjoyed making it more than the other two put together. It does really feel like we're getting somewhere".

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RANGER3 RELEASE NEW SINGLE
CMU favourites Ranger3, who do a very nice line in writing folk songs, cutting them up into little pieces and then putting them back together again, release their latest single, 'Sense Of Direction', this week via Bigo & Twigetti.

The video for the track, which sees a group of claymation animals take over the forest, was created by award-winning director Eric Power.

Check it out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2lcAdrnQVQ

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TIMES NEW VIKING ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
US noiseniks Times New Viking have announced that they will release their third album, 'Born Again Revisited', via Matador on 21 Sep. And it's good news for all you audiophiles because, whereas the band's last album, 'Rip It Off', was delivered to the label on cassette, this time around they've gone for VHS, which we are assured features "25% higher fidelity".

You can find out what that might sound like by downloading a track from the new album, 'No Hope No Time', in a compressed digital audio format here.

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LA ROUX ANNOUNCE TOUR
Good news for fans of vocals that sit on the wrong side of shrill, La Roux have announced UK and Ireland tour dates for November. Tickets go on sale on Friday, except for the Manchester show, tickets for which will be released on Monday.

Tour dates:

12 Nov: Dublin, Academy
13 Nov: Leeds, Stylus
14 Nov: Newcastle, University
16 Nov: Glasgow, ABC
17 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
18 Nov: Birmingham, O2 Academy
20 Nov: Bristol, O2 Academy
21 Nov: Manchester, Warehouse
22 Nov: Norwich, UEA
24 Nov: Southampton, Guildhall
25 Nov: London, Shepherds Bush Empire

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BLUR GIG AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD
A recording of last Friday's Blur gig in Hyde Park can be enjoyed on the Absolute Radio website, but only this week, so get there quick. The site are also running a competition to win a deluxe double CD of the performance. Go hear at www.absoluteradio.co.uk.

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LATITUDE ANNOUNCE LINE UP ADDITIONS
The Latitude Festival have announced some new additions to the line up for the event which takes place, as previously reported, near the town of Southwold in Suffolk from 16 - 19 July. Amongst the new confirmations are Tricky, Thomas Dybdahl, My Toys Like Me, Blue Roses, and 9Bach, who join the likes of Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys and Nick Cave on the bill for the cross-genre festival.

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DOVES AND BIFFY TO HEADLINE WHITE AIR
Doves and Biffy Clyro are to headline extreme sports festival White Air, which takes place this year from 18-20 Sep at Brighton Beach's Madeira Drive. The event, which features kitesurfing and what have you as well as a display by the Red Arrows, also boasts the likes of The Cribs, British Sea Power and White Lies in its musical line up.

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TIESTO ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FROM HADOUKEN!
Tiesto has announced a further support act for his big gig at Victoria Park in London on 31 Jul. Hadouken! will join the DJ and fellow support acts Calvin Harris and Sneaky Sound System for the event, which will also feature a second area (which is why we're calling it a festival) - The Don't Stay In Dance Floor - featuring Domimik Eulberg (Cocoon & Traum) and DJs from Wet Yourself and Fabric, plus there'll be a Last.fm Presents arena playing a selection of music from Last.fm's hype chart. It all kicks off at 3pm, tickets are £36.

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BLINK 182 AND BIG BOI PLAY VIRTUAL GIGS FOR CRISP FANS
Blink 182 and Outkast's Big Boi have recorded 'virtual mini-gigs' to help promote Doritos' new line of 'Late Night' crisps. It's all part of a new interactive digital thingy from the crisp brand.

In order to access the two song shows, fans will have to purchase a bag of said crisps, head to http://www.doritoslatenight.com and hold a special symbol on it in front of their webcam. Moving and shaking the bag during the performances will trigger various interactive features, and noise picked up by the computer's microphone will determine how long it takes for the artists to come on for an encore.

For more information go to www.ticketmaster.com/doritoslatenight

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SONY RELAUNCH DECONSTRUCTION
Sony Music has announced it will relaunch its dance imprint Deconstruction Records, seemingly because they reckon all things dance music are on the rise once more. Deconstruction was founded as an indie in 1987, and bought by BMG in 1993. The major kept the label, and its Concrete imprint, running as its main dance music division until 2001. The brand fell into Sony Music's ownership, of course, through their merger with and subsequent acquisition of BMG.

Among the artists Deconstruction worked with over the years were M People, Black Box, Way Out West, Sasha, Republica, N Joi, and, via Concrete Recordings, Lionrock and Death In Vegas. They also released some mid-nineties Kylie, of course, including, in my most humble of opinions, some of her finest work to date.

The all new Deconstruction is a JV between Sony and London-based Three Six Zero, whose label management division already provides services to a range of independent dance labels. On Sony's side the operation will be headed up by A&R VP Mike Pickering, who was, of course, a member of one of the original Deconstruction's biggest commercial successes, M People.

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EMI PUBLISHING BOSS GOES TO TORONTO-BASED INDIE
The boss of EMI Music Publishing Canada who, as previously reported, announced last week he was stepping down, has confirmed where he is going. Michael McCarty, who has been with EMI Publishing since before it was even called that, and president of its Canadian division since 1992, will join Ole, an independent Toronto-based music publisher. He will report to Ole CEO Robert Ott, who told reporters: "The entry of Michael as president marks a new era in the evolution of Ole and we are fortunate to add an executive of his experience and integrity to our operation. Michael is a bona fide music publisher with a real passion for songs and creative development and we look forward to his contribution to ole's continued growth".

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SOUNDEXCHANGE CUT ROYALTY RATES FOR US WEB RADIO SERVICES
SoundExchange, the US collecting society that represents American record labels in the non-terrestrial radio domain - so mainly satellite and internet-based music services - has reached a deal with a number of key webcasters in an ongoing royalty dispute.

As previously reported, the dispute between SoundExchange and the internet radio community went to the US Copyright Royalty Board in early 2007. The CRB found mainly in favour of the collecting society, setting a statutory royalty rate for online radio services with digital firms large and small said would simply put them out of business. Therefore, despite the CRB theoretically having the last word on the matter, negotiations have continued ever since.

The new deal sees the collecting society agree to a significantly cut per-stream royalty rate. For 2009 the price will be $0.00093 per stream, compared to the previous price of $0.0018 - the extra zero after the decimal point is crucial. As is normally the case, SoundExchange's web radio licence actually asks for a cut of revenue with a minimum per-stream guarantee. Though, as few digital music services make much money yet, the minimum per-stream fees are key. The deal is retrospective to 2006, with different rates for each year up to 2010. Under the new deal the per-stream royalty from next year will be $.00097.

It is not clear which online radio services will sign up to the new deal, though one of the most high profile platforms affected by the long running SoundExchange dispute, Pandora, has indicated it may well do. SoundExchange's shift on the online royalty issue follows a similar move by UK publishing collecting society PRS, and is a sign that the music industry - labels and publishers - are excepting that their past royalty demands were simply unrealistic, and that it is in no one's interest to make the development of legit digital services impossible by refusing to budge on price.

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ZOO EDITOR STEPS DOWN
The editor of the Bauer owned lads mag Zoo, Ben Todd, is to stand down after two and half years. He reportedly told his team this week it was "time to move on". He told reporters: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading Britain's best men's weekly. But after editing more than 120 issues of the funniest, off-kilter, sexy and topical mag, it's time for me to move on. I wish the Zoo team all the success in the future". It's not clear where Todd will go next, or who will replace him at Zoo.

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NEW MANAGEMENT CLOSE TLRC'S HQ
The High Wycombe HQ of The Local Radio Company is to close, with up to 30 employees expected to lose their jobs. It's the latest cutback at the local radio firm since rivals UKRD took a majority stake in the company earlier this year and took over day to day management of the company.

UKRD and TLRC CEO William Rogers said yesterday that the company would try to redeploy some of the staff previously based the High Wycombe office, but admitted there would be redundancies. As previously reported, Rogers has already sold off three of TLRC's stations, Arrow FM, Soverign Radio and Fire Radio, while last week they shut down Mix 107, the local station based at the company's High Wycombe HQ.

It's thought Rogers would still like to fully merge UKRD and TLRC, a move that would presumably enable further cost cuts. That, though, would be easier if he could get 100% ownership of TLRC, but the firm's other big shareholder, Hallwood, who used to control the company, are still refusing to sell their share.

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MTV2/MYSPACE CHART
It's the MTV2/MySpace chart, based on votes by MTV2 viewers on MySpace. The top ten this week is as follows...

1. [NE] Elliot Minor - Solaris
2. [NE] Phoenix - 1901
3. [2] The Maccabees - Can You Give It
4. [6] The Twang - Barney Rubble
5. [NE] Fightstar - Never Change
6. [7] Maximo Park - Questioning Not Coasting
7. [4] Bat For Lashes - Pearl's Dream
8. [5] White Lies - Death
9. [10] Madina Lake - Let's Get Outta Here
10. [9] Linkin Park - New Divide

Meanwhile, added to the list for viewer voting this week are...

Bloc Party - One More Chance
Enter Shikari - No Sleep Tonight
Franz Ferdinand - Can't Stop This Feeling
Kasabian - Where Did All The Love Go?
Wild Beasts - Hooting & Howling

More at www.myspace.com/mtvtwo

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MCCARTNEY ON THOSE JACKO WILL RUMOURS
Now, I've been wondering about this too, so I'm glad Paul McCartney has addressed the issue. Those with good memories will remember at the start of the year there were reports that Michael Jackson, having reportedly been at death's door over Christmas, had written a new will leaving his share of the Beatles catalogue (via his half ownership of Sony/ATV) to Macca.

Pop legend has it, of course, that McCartney was mightly pissed off when Jackson, having been advised by the former Beatle to invest his millions into music publishing, then outbid him for ATV Songs, which included all the Lennon/McCartney classics. After death, the rumours went, Jackson would make amends for that.

It was always a bit of a dubious story, given that we all knew Jackson's multi-million dollar debts were all secured on his Sony/ATV stake. And now the king of pop really is dead, we know that his most recent will dated from 2001. Anyway, given the confirmation that those rumours were not true, there have been new rumours in the last few days that McCartney is now pissed off because he was expecting a cut of ATV from the dead Jacko and now isn't going to get it.

Anyway, McCartney has responded to both rumours. Undercover quote him thus: "Some time ago, the media came up with the idea that Michael Jackson was going to leave his share in the Beatles songs to me in his will which was completely made up and something I didn't believe for a second. Now the report is that I am devastated to find that he didn't leave the songs to me. This is completely untrue. I had not thought for one minute that the original report was true and therefore, the report that I'm devastated is also totally false, so don't believe everything you read folks!"

He concluded: "In fact, though Michael and I drifted apart over the years, we never really fell out, and I have fond memories of our time together. At times like this, the press do tend to make things up, so occasionally, I feel the need to put the record straight".

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KELLY OSBOURNE LIKES GAGA, OKAY?
Talking of made up tabloid stories, Kelly Osbourne has rubbished reports that she had verbally attacked Lady Gaga, saying that she actually likes her a lot. It was apparently reported that Osbourne had called the singer a "butterface" who has "too much attitude", and she retorts via PerezHilton.com: "I have a big mouth and that's no secret. I often say things that get me into trouble but I always stand by them. But when words are being put into my mouth and things are being printed that I did not say it really makes me really mad. I am a huge fan of Lady GaGa. If anything I'm slightly jealous of her wardrobe and I am definitely in no position to be calling anyone a butter face".

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