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CMU Info
Top Stories
Guy Hands asks backers for another EMI bailout
Simmons not convinced of Jacko's innocence
Reatard died of overdose
In The Pop Courts
Kookaburra publisher wins down under copyright case
Pop Politics
Creative minister to step down, Live Bill progresses
Reunions & Splits
Dispute over Goldsworthy's DFA status
Stump confirms Fall Out Boy on indefinite hiatus
Brian McFadden not returning to Westlife shocker
In The Studio
Ronson gets original with cover stars
Books News
Scroobius Pip to publish book
Gigs & Tours News
Eddy Temple-Morris to launch Tinnitus Awareness Week
Still Flyin tour dates
Festival News
Glastonbury put flag ban to the vote
Live review: Reel Big Fish at Koko in London on 28 Jan
The Music Business
What do we mean by DIY?
The Digital Business
Artist recommendations coming to Spotify
Facebook say no current plans for a music service
And finally...
Bowers discussing possible Basshunter collaboration
Too much fakery in modern pop, says Milli Vanilli man

Formed in 2005 by guitarist Anand Wilder and vocalist Chris Keating, and inducting Wilder's cousin Ira Wolf Tuton on bass a year later, Yeasayer set themselves a mission to create pop music that borrowed pieces of different styles from around the world, from African highlife, to Iraqi folk, to US hip hop. Their debut album, 'All Hour Cymbals', released in 2007, brought them high acclaim, and led to the band becoming heavily involved in the production of Bat For Lashes' 'Two Suns' album. On 8 Feb, they release their second album, 'Odd Blood', which sees them develop their sound into a more distinct and confident form. We spoke to Chris Keating to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started out playing music with Anand quite young, as we both grew up in Baltimore and played in high school together. We then carried on playing music together after university.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We were inspired by an ambition to make something that sounded new and different, to push ourselves in a different direction that was truly challenging.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Constant revision. We work with computers a lot, so making a track involves a lot of time throwing in effects and reworking ideas. We aim to maintain a sophisticated aesthetic whilst trying to keep it new.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Anyone who is constantly trying to push boundaries. Whether it's The Neptunes, Jay-Z or David Bowie, someone who is meticulously evolving.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I wouldn't have to say anything.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd like it to lead on to us doing what we're already doing, but being able to play cities we haven't played before - like Istanbul and Tokyo, or somewhere in Brazil. I want to be doing this until I'm 50, and then I'll figure out something else to do.

MORE>> www.yeasayer.net

Calling themselves "enlightenment activists", Japanese (and now London-based) psyche-rock band Bo Ningen make sounds like what you might hear if you dropped a load of acid and played albums by Black Sabbath, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Polysics simultaneously. Though I'm not recommending that you actually try that. It could go horribly wrong. You're better off just getting hold of these guys' 'Koroshitai Kimochi EP', which was released last year by Stolen Recordings on sexy limited edition vinyl (with handmade silk-screen artwork) and less sexy downloads, and just assume that I'm right.

The band kick off a run of London gigs with a slot at the Off Modern clubnight at Corsica Studios tonight, ahead a UK tour with Invasion later in the month Expect long hair, garish colours and an overwhelming feeling that, while brilliant, what you're hearing could actually be damaging your brain in some way. All the best music comes with a health warning.


UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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Elaine Paige not keen on old people
Royal Court to stage season at Elephant and Castle
Katie Price and Alex Reid marry, apparently
Another radio boss speaks out against rush to DAB
Guardian speculate about the all new London Weekly
PR hired to try and mend England captain's reputation
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
Zellweger to judge at Berlin Film Festival
Tim Burton to lead Cannes jury

EMI's recorded music division had an OK second half of 2009 which, as previously reported, ensured the major record company was performing well enough to satisfy its principle money lender Citigroup's ongoing loan terms. And even seemingly enabled the music major to cover its own interest payments to the US bank. But that was in no small part thanks to the rather grand re-release of the Beatles catalogue all of which - unless ongoing lobbying efforts by the European record industry delivers some results - will come out of copyright in the next decade.

Certainly the chief of EMI owners Terra Firma, Guy Hands, recognises that the recent revenue boost at EMI Music is unlikely to be sustained throughout 2010 - however many press releases the company sends me telling us the firm has four titles in the US Album Top 10 this week. And this means the major will once again struggle to meet its commitments on the multi-billion dollar Citigroup loan Terra Firma took out in order to buy the music company back in 2007.

Which is why Hands has reportedly asked investors in Terra Firma to inject another £100 million into Maltby Capital, the company through which the equity group owns EMI. It's not the first time Hands' financial backers have been asked to take a hit to keep his company's big music asset afloat, and last year they gave their backing to a plan to pump an extra billion into the music company on the condition Citigroup write off a billion of EMI's debts. That proposal fell through because Citigroup refused to play ball.

But the Financial Times reckons this latest ask of his investors is the biggest test of the Hands' abilities yet. Some of his backers may well be wondering whether EMI will ever be anything more than a dead weight for the equity group. Meanwhile, with the equity man now in a legal dispute with Citigroup over their role in the original EMI acquisition, the bank is unlikely to cut him any slack if his investors prove unhelpful.

The FT says that Hands has asked EMI Music boss Elio Leoni-Sceti for a reinvigorated business plan that can convince his investors that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's an incredibly long tunnel. Apparently, proposals to flog off some of the firm's recorded music assets, such as its Japanese division or classical labels, were none starters because there was insufficient interest to ensure a buying price in line with the major's loan covenants with Citigroup.

Some wonder whether there is really anything Leoni-Sceti can say or do that will have any impact with investors. A major problem for EMI these days is that its finances are never out of the news. Record companies make most money by signing next big things to three to five album deals, cashing in from the moment that band breaks to the point at which their original contract, tipped in the label's favour, expires.

But such deals are, of course, very risky. EMI can no longer afford to employ the traditional strategy of signing ten such deals on the hope one comes good, but most bands with enough buzz and existing fanbase to sufficiently reduce that risk will be getting offers from multiple labels, and are unlikely to opt for the EMI deal given the major's uncertain future.

Ironically, when Terra Firma bought EMI many of the firm's top execs (now all long gone) waxed lyrical about how private ownership - rather than being a public company trading on the London Stock Exchange - would ensure constant speculation about the firm's finances would stop. Actually, the reverse has turned out to be true - few people in the music industry really understand what fluctuations in share prices mean, but can very much get their head around the fact that doing business with a company saddled with a $4 billion debt is not without its risks.

Though, actually, there is probably one business plan that Leoni-Sceti could propose that might just work - albeit a controversial one - merge EMI with Warner. Combine the two companies' recording and publishing catalogues into one massive music rights agency, adopting the model of BMG's latest move into the music business. With regards new talent, focus on Warner UK's interesting approach to 360 degree style business partnerships with bands rather than traditional record deals. And, from EMI, take the distribution division - or Music Services as it is now known - the one bit of the flagging major to have enjoyed a renaissance since Terra Firma's big purchase. Regulator approval for a combined EMI/Warner permitting, that, ladies and gentlemen, could just work.

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In an interview with Classic Rock, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has said he's pretty certain that Michael Jackson molested children. I'm not entirely sure what prompted this outburst, but it's clearly been bothering him a fair bit.

Says Simmons: "I knew Michael. I ran into him a few times. I met him the first time before he became the superstar, when he was sort of teenagey, when he was still a Jackson Five. But as time moved on, and no matter what my fond memories and fond images of Michael were, with one allegation of paedophilia after another and another and another... oh dear".

He continues: "I knew some of the musicians he toured with, and specifically one who quit because of seeing boys coming out of the hotel rooms. And then you factor in that his travel agent was put on the stand and in court said that she was authorised to fly to Brazil and bring boys back to America for him...Well, you know, where there's smoke there's fire. There's no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt".

He continues still: "There's never been a single female of any age that I've ever known about who has ever made a claim that she has had a physical relationship with Michael, ever.In fact, while he was alive, I never heard about mature men ever making that claim either - and believe me, you can't keep it a secret. If you're a celebrity, somebody somewhere will say, 'Oh yeah, I shagged him'.The only sexual references ever made about Michael Jackson that were made by anyone, anywhere around the world, have always been made by kids, and specifically males usually ten to fourteen years of age; never females, that age or older, and never grown men".

Michael Jackson was, of course, accused of child abuse a number of times. However, on the one occasion he faced trial in a court of law, he was cleared of all charges.

In other Jacko news, the late king of pop's former medic Dr Conrad Murray was not charged of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the singer's death yesterday, despite expectations that he might be. It's now thought that Murray, who is in LA with a newly assembled team of three lawyers, will formally hand himself into the authorities tomorrow morning.

Rumours have been circulating all week that LA prosecutors are now ready to charge the doc, who is accused of being negligent in administering the drug propofol to Jackson shortly before his death. Murray's people say he continues to cooperate with police and the LA District Attorney's office, while maintaining he is not guilty of the manslaughter charges.

Elsewhere, the judge overseeing Jackson's estate has given the OK for the executors of it - John Branca and John McClain - to formally charge a fee for their work, apparently 10% of any new money they generate for the estate, which will be rather a lot. According to TMZ, the judge also gave Branca and McClain the all clear to enter into new commercial deals on behalf of the estate without returning to court for specific approval.

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Despite recent rumours of a homicide investigation, it seems certain cult indie musician Jay Reatard died of an accidental overdose. Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal quotes local medical examiner Dr Karen E Chancellor as saying the late singer's death was caused by "cocaine toxicity", with "alcohol a contributing factor".

Reatard, real name Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr, died on 12 Jan aged 29.

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Music publishers Larrikin Music have won a case in the Australian courts in which they accused Men At Work's 1981 song 'Down Under' of stealing the melody from famous Aussie children's folk tune 'Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree'.

Larrikin won the right to fight the case after a separate court ruling last July confirmed them as owners of the 'Kookaburra' song. Sony Music and EMI Songs Australia, who respectively represent the recording and publishing rights in the Men At Work song, argued ownership of 'Kookaburra' was unclear because the song had come to popular attention when its writer, Marion Sinclair, entered it into a competition run by the Girl Guides in 1934. According to the terms of that competition the Girl Guides Association would own the rights, and Larrikin's claim to the song came via the Sinclair estate. But the court ruled Larrikin nevertheless had ownership.

The copyright infringement dispute itself then went to court later last year, with Larrikin claiming Men At Work members Colin Hay and Ron Strykert nicked a substantial part of the 'Kookabura' song for the flute riff in their track. The judge hearing the case, Justice Peter Jacobson, ruled on the matter yesterday, saying: "I have come to the view that the 1979 recording and the 1981 recording of 'Down Under' infringe Larrikin's copyright in 'Kookaburra' because both of those recordings reproduce a substantial part of 'Kookaburra'. I am also of the view that Larrikin is entitled to recover damages ... for the infringements".

However, he added: "I would emphasise that the findings I have made do not amount to a finding that the flute riff is a substantial part of 'Down Under' or that it is the 'hook' of the song". That aside could have an impact on the share of 'Down Under' royalties Men At Work, Sony and EMI now have to share with Larrikin, though the publisher's lawyers say they will push for up to 60% of the loot, which sounds optimistic, but there you go. All parties are set to meet on 25 Feb to discuss a financial settlement.

Jacobson also ruled on the use of a similar section of the 'Kookabura' song in a Quantas ad, ruling that in that case no copyright was infringed.

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Creative Industries Minister Sion Simon has announced he will step down as an MP and leave government in order to run for the role of elected mayor of Birmingham. It's not clear whether he's realised that no such position actually exists.

But it's surely certain that the reason he has decided not to run in the upcoming General Election has nothing to do with the fact he was forced to pay back 21 grand following last year's MPs expenses scandal, money he used to pay rent on a flat owned by his sister.

In his junior ministerial role Simon has been involved in presenting the much previously reported and three-strikes proposing Digital Economy Bill to parliament. Some have asked whether his decision to leave government will have an impact on the Bill. Well, I can answer that question. No. It won't.

In other pop parliament news, the Live Music Bill proposed by Lib Dem Lord Tim Clement-Jones will get its third reading in the House Of Lords on 9 Feb after no changes were proposed at the Bill's report stage. This is the bill that proposes a number of changes to the 2003 Licensing Act to make it easier for small venues to stage music events.

With the Bill now set to head to the House Of Commons for consideration some are asking whether, despite being Lib Dem proposals, this legislation could now become law. I can answer that question too. No. It won't.

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There seems to be some confusion over British producer and Mo Wax co-founder Tim Goldsworthy's involvement with DFA Records, the label he set up with Jonathon Galkin and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy in 2001. Goldsworthy has now moved back to the UK, and is reportedly no longer in contact with the New York-based EMI-affiliated music company.

Speaking to Resident Advisor, James Galkin said: "Tim Goldsworthy moved away to somewhere in the United Kingdom, without informing anyone here at DFA. We have had no word from him since he left the United States. So, we moved on with our lives and our business. Simple as that. He most definitely took a piece of us when he left, but we wish him the best with whatever he gets up to next".

However, Goldsworthy refutes this. He says his move back to the UK was not linked to his involvement, or not, in DFA, rather he moved back here because most of his production work is based in this country, plus he feels Britain is a better place to bring up his family. He says: "I haven't left. If that was the case then, well, Murphy's never there, because he's always touring or in the studio, so that would mean he left, I don't know, nine years ago or something?"

Although he admits he has done little work with the label in the last two years, he remains co-owner of the company, so it's possible that both men are technically correct.

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Following Pete Wentz's online ramblings in which he said he wasn't sure what the future held for Fall Out Boy, now the outfit's frontman, Patrick Stump, has formally declared he is no longer in the band. Well, for now anyway. He's too "psyched" by his solo work you see.

He told Spin.com: "I'm not in Fall Out Boy right now... I'm really not worried about Fall Out Boy. I'm so psyched about where I'm at right now, recording this solo album. Whether we play again or not, I don't know. If we do, it will be for the right reasons. If we don't, it will also be for the right reasons".

He added: "One way or another, the band will always be around. Steven Tyler isn't in Aerosmith anymore, but his gravestone will [still] probably say something about Aerosmith". Yeah, I'd be careful what you say Stumpy, I'm not sure Mr Tyler's lawyer would agree with the first half of that sentence.

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Just like all the millions of Take That and Robbie Williams fans who constantly speculate as to whether the latter will ever rejoin the former, it's surely true that precisely no one has ever wondered whether Brian McFadden will ever return to Westlife.

Well, for the none of you who have been wondering about this question, the Life's Kian Egan has resolutely told Angry Ape, who asked if McFadden would ever rejoin the group: "No. He doesn't live in this country and he's not in the music industry anymore. He has a new life in Australia. We're all still very good friends, but he left Westlife for a reason".

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Mark Ronson has revealed that while his forthcoming new album, 'The Business', will feature no cover versions, it does feature collaborations with many of the artists whose songs he reworked on his 2007 LP, 'Versions'. Oh, and the trumpets are all gone, too.

Speaking to the NME, Ronson explained: "There's no covers, and no horns. It's written with some of the people that actually wrote the songs I covered on the last album and that I didn't actually even know at the time.It's quite interesting to write songs from scratch with those people, like Dave McCabe of The Zutons who wrote 'Valerie', and Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs".

Other guests on the album include Santigold, Scissor Sisters, Cathy Dennis, rapper Pill and Miike Snow. Asked when it would be released, Mark said: "Probably May, June. Depends how quick I can get it done".

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Rapper, poet and one half of Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Scroobius Pip - has teamed up with graphic novel publishers Titan to produce an illustrated book featuring artwork created by fans that are based on his lyrics.

'Poetry In (E)motion' will hit the shops on 26 Mar and features everything from "rough and ready illustrations to slick graphic design, full comic strips to one-off art pieces" from more than a dozen artists, who have created their own representations of songs including '1000 Words', 'When I Grow Up', 'Rat Race' and 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'.

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Next week is Tinnitus Awareness Week, a UK-wide campaign to inform and educate people about the condition, encourage gig-goers to protect their hearing, and promote the range of free services the British Tinnitus Association provides to sufferers and their families.

As his first piece of work as an 'ambassador' for the BTA, DJ and presenter Eddy Temple-Morris, himself a tinnitus sufferer, will kick the week off with a very special free event in London. Dubbed 'One Tune: One Cause', Eddy has pulled together a group of more than 25 DJs and musicians, all of whom have tinnitus, who will take it in turns to play one record each to make up one complete DJ set.

Those on the bill include Eddy himself, Adam F, Jon Carter, Way Out West, Lottie, Streetlife DJs, Burn The Negative, Wrongtom, Cassette Jam, Losers, Jagz Kooner and more. British Tinnitus Association representatives will also be on hand to offer advice on protecting your hearing, and bespoke earplugs will be available for a discounted price from earplug manufacturers Musicians Hearing Services.

Writing about his experience of tinnitus in CMU Daily's sister bulletin the Remix Update, Eddy says: "I remember the carefree days of going to a gig, blasting my eardrums with glorious and beautiful music, then getting home with a ringing in my ears. It would last for a few hours, maybe a day. I thought it was just part and parcel of going to a gig. Van Halen at Birmingham Civic Centre Coliseum in Alabama set an unbeaten record of about a week, but it always went away eventually. Then, one day, about a decade ago... it didn't".

He continued: "I have a constant high-pitched tone in one or both of my ears, and it's something I carry with me always, wherever I go. I don't notice it in the day, there's too much ambient noise in London, even at night. It's when I go somewhere really quiet, in the countryside, that it really affects me. I lie down to sleep and, with the absence of planes, trains and automobiles, I realise the awful truth that I cannot hear the silence. That lovely sense of total quiet, of blissful peace, is something I will never experience again".

He adds that through the advice of the BTA and a bespoke ear-plug from Musicians Hearing Services he has managed to reduce the impact of the condition, but that he is still committed to educating as many gig-goers as possible about the risks of exposure to very loud music, and of what they can do to reduce those risks.

He explains: "As long as I have the power to do something about it, I'll communicate, pressure, evangelise, talk, listen, rant, and anything else I can think of to make sure that you don't find yourself in the same position as me and all these other huge-hearted artists on the bill at this show, of never hearing silence again".

You can read Eddy's full piece on Tinnitus, and his advice for avoiding it, in this week's Remix Update. Access and subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/remixupdate

One Tune: One Cause takes place at Cargo in London on 8 Feb from 8pm to midnight. Entry is free, though donations to the British Tinnitus Association are welcomed.

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San Franciscan eight-piece Still Flyin are in the UK right at this very moment for some tour dates, which coincide with the release of their new single, 'Runaway Train II', on 8 Feb via Moshi Moshi. Londoners can catch them at Proud Galleries in Camden tonight, with support from Cats In Paris and Bearsuit.

Listen to 'Runaway Train II' on SoundCloud here: soundcloud.com/createspark/sets/still-flyin-runaway-train-ii

Tour dates:

4 Feb: London. Proud Galleries
5 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit
6 Feb: Glasgow, Captain's Rest
7 Feb: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
8 Feb: Hull, Adelphi
9 Feb: Preston, Mad Ferret
10 Feb: Southampton, Hamptons

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Flags at festivals remain a contentious issue. One point of view is that people who carry them around and then stand in front of the main stages at festivals are a bunch of idiots who shouldn't be allowed out of their own houses. The other is that standing around at festivals making sure anyone past thirty rows back can't see the stage is a perfectly fine thing to do.

As previously reported, Glastonbury Festival organisers have been reluctant to impose a ban on flags, unlike Reading and Leeds last year and Download this year and, when asked about the issue earlier this week, Glasto chief Michael Eavis said that flags would stay, though added efforts would be made to ensure a clear view of the stage for all audience members. However, the issue just won't go away, so now they've put it to the vote.

Say the folks behind Glasto: "The topic of whether flags should be banned from in front of the Pyramid Stage at the festival seems to have been cropping up a bit recently. Our gut feeling here at Festival HQ is that they shouldn't be banned, as we think they add to the magic of a big Pyramid stage performance. But we wanted to find out what you folks think".

It's tight at the moment, cast your vote here: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/news/should-flags-be-banned-from-glastonbury

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LIVE REVIEW: Reel Big Fish at Koko in London on 28 Jan
Now, ska punk isn't really my thing; it being something that most people seem to grow out of when they are about seventeen. However, encouraged by a friend who enthused that this lot are more than just a bunch of chancers, I headed down to London's Koko to find out for myself.

It was a pretty young crowd, but everyone seemed to be massive fans and there was no self-consciousness or irony on display. These guys just love their ska punk and it didn't take long to understand the appeal of a show that was designed for fun and entertainment, with never a moment where the band took themselves seriously. Coming out to the strains of 'Superman March' and hammering through some high tempo tunes, they never really let up throughout.

Not being particularly up to speed with the oeuvre, it was the cover versions that stood out for me, taking 'Brown Eyed Girl' in a spiky direction, sending A-ha running for cover and even rocking out Metallica at one point. The exuberance on stage spilled over into the moshpit and for the encore the stage was about as full as you can imagine with support acts, crew and other randoms joining in the madness.

They also took apart one of their songs and played it in several different styles, just to show that they are actually very competent musicians, from country to old school rap they did a convincing job. I'm not sure I'm converted entirely but as far as a live experience goes it certainly beat another dull indie band mumbling into the microphone. IM

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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OK people, let's be clear on this, when music business types talk about the growth of the 'DIY model' for new bands they're not actually saying to aspiring talent "do it yourself". What they mean is "think about who you really need to get involved in your music career, it might not be a traditional record label and what not". It's just that the 'TAWYRNTGIIYMCIMNBATRLAWN model' doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

This was the conclusion - well sort of - of an interesting session at the New Music Seminar in LA this week, exploring the ways bands can connect with and sell to fans without the need for a traditional record label and/or music publisher relationship.

Such music business events have been talking about bands employing a DIY model for a few years now, but what is increasingly clear - and was obvious from the start really - is that such a model doesn't mean bands working in total isolation, because there are only so many hours in the day, and people who write nice lyrics and deliver a kick ass performance on stage aren't necessarily the best people to be writing fan newsletters and designing logos and managing mailing lists.

But, crucially, what the internet means is that new bands can build fan base and develop revenues without doing the traditional record label deal. Providing they aren't eager for a big upfront cash injection, of course, or that their future pop career is pretty dependent on a Radio 2 b-list placing.

Speaking at NMS this week, Ian Rogers of the increasingly admired (and now entering the European market via an alliance with [PIAS]) TopSpin said, according to Digital Music News: "[For bands it is no longer a case of] 'oh I need a label', [now it's] about, 'oh I need a partner'. The value chain is moving from what used to be artist-label-distributor-retailer-fan to artist-marketing partner-technology-fan. There are a lot of people who are going to be in that technology box, and there are a lot of people who are going to be in that marketing box".

Or, as ReverbNation's Michale Doernberg puts it: "I'm tired of hearing about 'DIY, I don't need a label' crap. Tired of it. Because the truth is that everybody needs advisors. The question isn't 'do you need help?' - the question is, 'who?'"

So, all you new bands out there, before you hand over your destiny (and copyrights) to a record company, don't forget to give the TAWYRNTGIIYMCIMNBATRLAWN model some consideration.

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Spotify has announced that it is readying a new artist recommendation system, which will cross-reference millions of hours of listening data to help users to discover new music, in a Last.fm stylee. It should start to appear on your Spotify player later this week I think.

In fact, some may already have found their Spotify player updated with the first stage of this, a new dynamic 'related artists' tab on artist overview pages, which will suggest similar acts to listen to. Previously the data in this section of the player has been linked to tagging data from AllMusic, meaning it has been fairly limited for many artists.

Erik Bernhardsson, Spotify developer and project leader, told CMU: "Artist recommendations have been fine-tuned meaning music fans can now dig down much deeper into the Spotify catalogue. Improving the way in which Spotify users can discover exciting new artists and music in general, such as by sharing playlists, will play a vital part in Spotify's continuing evolution. This is only the beginning".

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Facebook have told TechCrunch "we have no plans to launch a music service", which is a pretty unequivocal statement and probably means Facebook Music will go live on Monday.

There has been chatter for years now that Facebook would launch some sort of proprietary music service to compete with MySpace's music platform, the strong link to music being the latter's only real USP over the former for sometime now.

For a while Facebook were in talks with Universal's ultimately canned digital music venture TotalMusic, and had Universal been able to persuade all of its major label competitors to get involved (it was Warner who were the main hold out) a Facebook-branded TotalMusic streaming and download service might now be operational.

After Facebook and TotalMusic stopped working together, talk of a Facebook music service died down. But MySpace's acquisition of iLike last year made some speculate that Facebook might again look to create some sort of official music facility, given that iLike control the most popular music-based third-party app used by Facebook users.

TechCrunch approached the social networking firm for clarification on its music plans this week, after someone noticed a mysterious official looking 'music app' was appearing in some people's application settings lists on Facebook. But the social networking company say that was a mistake.

If Facebook have decided once and for all to stay out of the digital music domain that's probably good news for MySpace, who are increasingly positioning themselves as an entertainment platform rather than a true social networking community. It's just a shame that the expanded MySpace Music service - launched here in the UK late last year of course - is so totally awful. It's enjoyed some success in the US, but when Spotify launches there (or more American music fans start to discover Grooveshark), you really have to wonder how long MySpace's music service can continue to trundle along in its current form.

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Dane Bowers is reportedly discussing a collaboration with fellow 'Celebrity Big Brother' housemate Jonas 'Basshunter' Altberg, which would be a perfect pop partnership - Altberg being a hugely successful purveyor of popular Eurodance tunes, while Bowers owns a hat that would probably look great in a music video.

The former Another Level star is hoping to capitalise on his recent stint on the celebrity reality show, which was, after all, watched by literally a handful of people, and he's told the BBC that DJ gigs are now flooding in aplenty while a few labels have apparently already been in touch, which is either a lie or evidence that record industry really is in the shit big time.

Bowers says: "I've got some good opportunities to do some great bits of writing with different people. Jonas is talking about doing something, which I might try and do".

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Former Milli Vanilli member Fabrice Morvan has complained that too many pop stars these days use effects such as Auto-tune on their recordings. He told USA Today in an interview: "It's not about being authentic anymore, it's about [being] entertaining".

Of course, Morvan and his Milli Vanilli bandmate Rob Pilatus remain the only artists in the history of the Grammys to return their award, after it was revealed subsequent to their win in 1990 that they had not sung any of the vocals on their album 'Girl You Know It's True'. Their people didn't need to employ anything as hi-tech as Autotune on the duo's vocals, going the old fashion 'use session singers' route instead.

It's all still a bit of a sore point, it seems. Morvan insists that, contrary to popular opinion, the duo weren't forced to return the Grammy for Best New Artist after their secret was revealed. He said: "We wanted to give the Grammy back. We felt in our hearts that it would be a good gesture to do that. But [the press] made it look as though [Grammy organisers The Recording Academy] wanted it back. They could have come to my house and gotten it".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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