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CMU Info
Top Stories
DOJ's Apple investigation goes beyond music
Paul McCartney attacked in Mexico
In The Pop Courts
Former Vivendi boss due in Paris court
Awards & Contests
Tom Jones to receive outstanding contribution award
Urban Music Awards nominations announced
Eco-friendly festivals awarded
Artist Deals
Island sign Shaheen
Paul Simon might be about to move to Sony
Release News
How To Destroy Angels release free EP
Slaraffenklang release free EP
Minus The Bear announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Interpol announce UK shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: The Like - He's Not A Boy (Universal/Polydor)
The Music Business
Which? reckons supermarkets and VAT dodging mail-order sites contributing to the death of independent music retail
Transport giant launches entertainment industry division
The Media Business
Planet Rock appoints new MD
Buzz expansion is about partnerships not acquisitions
And finally...
The Game can't be bothered promoting album
Perry threatens label with pregnancy

Tracey Thorn is best known as one half of the duo Everything But The Girl, but first arrived in the spotlight as a member of The Marine Girls in the early eighties. She then went on to form EBTG with Cherry Red Records label mate Ben Watt in 1982. Thorn's first solo work, 'A Distant Shore', was also released in 1982, though it wasn't until 2007 that she released the follow-up 'Out Of The Woods'. As well as her solo work and EBTG, Tracey has also collaborated with the likes of Massive Attack, The Style Council, The Go-Betweens and Tiefschwarz, amongst others. Thorn released her third solo album 'Love And Its Opposite' last month via her now husband Ben Watt's Strange Feeling Records. We caught up with Tracey to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I bought an electric guitar aged sixteen and joined a band as the token 'girl on guitar'. We were a kind of post-punk pop band, influenced by the Specials and the Undertones. I played gigs at a very small local level for about a year then we split up and I formed all-girl group The Marine Girls with school friends.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Just the desire to continue doing the thing I remembered I love, which is writing songs, working on them in the studio, doing the backing vocals late at night.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It varies. This time around I started most of the tracks from scratch myself, either putting down a guitar or piano part, and then we added vocals and other instrumentation. A couple of the tracks we started off with the rhythm section of Al Doyle and Leo Taylor, then built the other instruments on top. But in the past I have often done collaborative tracks where someone else creates an electronic backing track which I then write vocal melody and lyrics for.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
No idea. In some sense, everything is an influence, in that it pushes you in one direction or another, either towards or away from certain things. I have no conscious desire to sound like anyone else, but these things are often outside our conscious control.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Um, I don't know really. Nothing at all. Why should I say anything? The music is the thing for them to listen to, not what I have to say about it. If they like it or are interested to find out more, then it's all out there and easily discovered.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I am hopelessly lacking in ambition nowadays when it comes to the commercial success of my records. I used to be much more driven, and it was obviously important in the early days in trying to establish a career. But my ambitions for this record are really just that it be understood and respected wherever possible. For the future, I would like to think that I can continue to work in this very independent way. The more freedom I have, the less explaining I have to do, and I find it very satisfying just to be able to work with people I like and understand, and who like and understand me back. It's not a grand ambition, by any means, but I think it's achievable, and it's what makes me happy.

MORE>> www.traceythorn.com

As Porcelain Raft, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Remiddi creates songs which drift through dreamy worlds, drenched in reverb and echoing with shimmering guitar. At his live shows, he seemingly effortlessly manipulates a sampler and loop pedals while also playing keyboard, guitar and singing, recreating the lush soundscapes of his recordings.

The project is still at a relatively early stage - despite his impressive talents, Remiddi has only performed a handful of live shows so far - but he has still managed to release two EPs this year, 'Curve' and 'Gone Blind', which are filled with beautiful collisions of dream-pop and electronica. You can stream both EPs (and an extra track) on the Porcelain Raft Bandcamp page and buy them for the bargain price of 99p.


The team behind CMU's acclaimed seminars programme are now offering their services to music and media companies, educational bodies and membership organisations looking for bespoke professional training courses. CMU's existing courses on music rights, music business models, music PR, media and social media can be run specifically for an organisation's employees, students or members, or bespoke courses can be developed according to an organisation's specific needs. For more information contact Chris Cooke on 020 7099 9050 or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
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The US Department Of Justice's investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices undertaken by Apple will go beyond its music operations, according to the New York Post.

As previously reported, rumours were circulating last week that the DoJ had begun investigating allegations that Apple had used its dominance in the digital music domain to put pressure on both EMI and Sony Music to not participate in an MP3 promotion run by Amazon, arguably Apple's biggest competitor in the a-la-carte download market, certainly in the US.

According to the Post, the investigation will also look into other allegations of Apple abusing its market dominance, in particular with regards the IT firm's decision to freeze Adobe out of the iPad party by choosing to not support Flash on the new tablet device, which has now sold more than two million units.

Actually, Adobe has already developed a new non-Flash-based magazine publishing platform that works on Apple's latest gizmo, and which is already being piloted by Wired magazine, so the tech firm hasn't really been denied access to iPad users, but Apple's decision to not support Flash on its new device has been criticised by some media and entertainment execs as well as by tech types, especially those whose existing web-services rely on Flash technology.

As well as speaking to music, movie and media types, the DoJ is also reportedly speaking to the programming community about the terms Apple prescribes for those developing apps for the iPhone and iPad, an important and rapidly growing strand of the digital content market.

It should be stressed even the Post notes that DoJ insiders say that their investigations at the moment are speculative, based on some griping in tech and media circles, and the IT firm hasn't been formally accused of breaching any American anti-trust rules.

But one expects the DoJ will find plenty of execs in the media, entertainment and IT industries willing to moan about Apple's increased market dominance in the digital content arena, and the hardline approach to business it has become known for in the last ten years. The fact Apple has somehow maintained its public persona as the cuddly underdog despite being a major player who negotiates tough in all its business deals pisses off said execs even more.

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Paul McCartney had to be rescued by police when his tour bus was attacked by a gang in Mexico in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to reports. The former Beatle had been performing at the Foro Sol stadium in Mexico City and was travelling through a "no go" area of the city when the bus was forced to stop by a group of men who then climbed on top of the bus.

A source told The Mirror: "At first his security team thought it was just swarms of fans but when people started scaling the bus, the situation changed in a flash. Paul and the team were shaken up".

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The former boss of Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music, is due in a Paris court today to face allegations he misled investors, manipulated his company's share price and misusing corporate assets, resulting in the near collapse of the conglom eight years ago.

Jean-Marie Messier led Vivendi from 1996 to 2002, expanding the one time water company's media and communications operations, most notably through the 2000 acquisition of Seagram's entertainment business, aka the Universal empire, including Universal Music.

Shortly after the acquisition of Universal, and the rebranding of the parent company to Vivendi Universal, everything started to go wrong for the French-based conglomerate, amid various allegations of dodgy dealings on Messier's part.

He was eventually kicked out of the top job, and his replacement, Jean-Rene Fourtou, set about rescuing the company, in part by selling off a bulk of the Universal entertainment empire to NBC, though he retained the music company.

The allegations against Messier relate to the period 2000 to 2002. France's financial regulator investigated the allegations back in the day, fining the former Vivendi chief a million euros in 2004 for misconduct, though the fine was later halved. Subsequent civil action against Messier and Vivendi in the US found the latter liable for misleading investors, but let Messier off for personal liability (Vivendi plan to appeal that ruling).

The latest court hearing relates to the criminal investigation into Messier's conduct. After seven years of investigations, Paris prosecutors actually recommended the case against the former Vivendi chief be dropped last year, but a French judge insisted the case got to court. Messier could face a five year jail term if found guilty of all the charges against him. And, unlike in the US civil case, Vivendi itself is not accused this time, and could push for damages itself if Messier were to be found guilty.

So, all very interesting, given Vivendi's ownership of Universal Music. But, as previously reported, even more interesting for music business types because two other executives with involvement in Vivendi between 2000 and 2002 are also accused of some dodgy dealings.

And they include a certain Edgar Bronfman Jr, now boss man at Warner Music, but then Vice-Chairman of Vivendi having previously been in charge at Seagram before its acquisition by the French firm in 2000 (Seagram having been the Bronfman family's business for seventy years). Bronfman is accused of some insider dealing regards his Vivendi shares at the time.

The allegations against Bronfman in the Parisian trial are a nominal side-show really, but Warner Music's share price in the US fell dramatically yesterday, and some commentators reckon that was related to today's court date.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks. Both Messier and Bronfman deny the charges made against them.

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Tom Jones is to receive this year's Music Industry Trust outstanding contribution award.

Jones, who releases a new album next month, said of the announcement: "2010 is shaping up to be a very memorable year for me. I'm delighted to be honoured with the Music Industry Trust's award and to join the roll-call of some great past honourees".

He will collect the award at a ceremony held in aid of music charity Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on 1 Nov.

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The nominations for this year's Urban Music Awards have been announced. Tinie Tempah leads the pack with four nominations, and Alexandra Burke follows him with three. The ceremony itself will take place on 18 Sep and fans can vote in all categories at www.urbanmusicawards.net until 1 Aug.

One more award, the Lifetime Achievement, will be announced at the awards' launch party on 14 Jul. Here, though, are all the other nominations. I know you probably don't normally look at these, but given that this event is run by the same people who set up The London Weekly, I'm sure you can appreciate the effort I've gone to get this anywhere near readable:

Best Album:Jay Sean - All Or Northing, Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, Chipmunk - I Am Chipmunk, N-Dubz - Against All Odds, Alexandra Burke - Overcome, JLS - JLS

Best Collaboration: Chipmunk feat Esmee Denters - Until You Were Gone, Taio Cruz feat Kesha - Dirty Picture, Professor Green feat Ed Drewett - I Need You Tonight, Alexandra Burke feat Pitbull - All Night Long, Tinie Tempah feat Labyrinth - Pass Out, Roll Deep feat Jodie Connor - Good Times

Best Dance Act: Faithless, Pendulum, DJ Zinc, TC, Cascada, Calvin Harris

Best DJ: Swerve (Kiss), Semtex (1Xtra), Masterstepz (Choice), Shortee Blitz & DJ MK (Kiss), MistaJam (1Xtra), Manny Norte (Kiss)

Best Gospel Act: Victizzle, Blush UK, Jahaziel, Muyiwa, London Community Gospel Choir, GK Real, DTWG

Best Group: La Fouine, Roll Deep, GK Real, JLS, N-Dubz, Pendulum

Best European Act:Imro Select, Thierry Cham, La Fouine, Amel Bent, Maika,Tal, Ms Platinum

Best International Act:Nneka, Black Eyed Peas, Iyaz, Trinidad, Jason Derulo, K'Naan, BOB, Rihanna

Best Newcomer: Tinie Tempah, Mclean, Steve Hoang, Aggro Santos, Lady Ny, Professor Green

Best Hip Hop Act: Ken Ring, Roots Manuva, Foreign Beggars, La Fouine, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green

Best R&B Act: Willy Denzy, Amel Bent, Jay Sean, JLS, Stevie Hoang, Tal

Best Music Video: Steve Hoang - No Coming Back, Craig David - One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows, Alexandra Burke feat Pitbull - All Night Long, Mclean - My Name, Skepta - Badboy, Tinie Tempah feat Labyrinth - Frisky

Best Street Dance Group: Flawless, Diversity, Plague,Status,Boyblue

Best Asian Act: Steve Hoang, Imran Khan,Jay Sean,MIA,Jaz Dhami, Mumzy Stranger

Best TV Station: Flava TV, Channel AKA, 4Music, Kiss TV, Chart Show TV

Best Radio Station:Kiss, Capital FM,Choice FM,Galaxy Digital, BBC1Xtra,Smooth Radio

Best Radio Show:Ricki & Melvin (Kiss), Swerve (Kiss), Twin B (1Xtra),Fabio & Grooverider (Radio 1), Jenny Francis (Choice), Max (1Xtra)

Best Producer:Labyrinth, David Guetta, Red 1, Chase & Status, Fraser T Smith

Outstanding Contribution To Dance Music: Faithless

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Yourope, the European festival association, has announced the names of 27 festivals across the continent which the trade body has just presented with a Green N Clean Award. Festivals who get the award have fulfilled various criteria set by the association to ensure festival events are as environmentally friendly as possible. The award stems from a set of guidelines Yourope published in 2006 to encourage festivals to be more green.

Among the festivals just presented with a Green N Clean Award are Spain's Benicassim, Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival, Denmark's Roskilde, Ireland's Oxegen, and Scotland's T In The Park.

Yourope's Green N Clean Award is similar to the awards dished out to eco-friendly events by the guys at agreenerfestival.com. Last week they announced they had handed Greener Festival awards to eight Australian events including Bluesfest, WOMADelaide, Blues N Routes and Peats Ridge, the latter of which won agreenerfestival.com's Outstanding Award for the 2010 Aussie festival season, presumably for being extra green.

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Shaheen Jafargholi, that kid who appeared on 'Britain's Got Talent' last year and who was last seen warbling at the big 'Jacko is dead' show in LA last summer, has been signed up by Universal's Island Records.

After clips of Jafargholi singing a Jackson song on 'BGT' last year appeared on YouTube he was approached by people representing the then living Michael Jackson to appear at his 'This Is It' shows in London. After Jacko's untimely demise, the Jackson family asked the twelve year old to perform at the late singer's memorial show in front of millions of viewers worldwide. Needless to say, interest in signing Jafargholi was subsequently pretty high.

The deal with Island will not only see Jafargholi release an album in November, but also take part in an online reality show that will appear on www.shaheenofficial.com from later this month.

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According to US gossip man Roger Friedman, Paul Simon is about to move his entire solo catalogue from Warner Music to Sony Music, so that it sits with the same label as the Simon & Garfunkel catalogue. Assuming that's true, it will see Simon end a three decade relationship with Warner.

Friedman adds that the singer songwriter's next solo album won't be released by Warner either, though it's not clear if Sony will automatically get the new material as part of their catalogue deal.

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How To Destroy Angels, that's Trent Reznor with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and longtime collaborator Atticus Ross, have released their debut EP as a free MP3 download. Higher quality downloads can be purchased for $2 and the EP will be released physically on 6 Jul.

Download it at www.howtodestroyangels.com

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Slaraffenklang, aka the occasionally seen mutant hybrid of Efterklang and Slaraffenland, have announced a free EP. Recorded live at the Royal Danish Playhouse, the six track EP sees the two bands covering each other's songs, as well as mashing them together to create new ones. The releases follows the 'Danish Dynamite' EP, which featured four songs from their first ever show together at the Sonos Festival in 2008.

Download it here: rumraket.tumblr.com/post/634329465/new-free-slaraffenklang-ep

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Seattle indie champions Minus The Bear have announced that they will release their fourth album, 'OMNI', on 23 Aug via Cooperative Music.

Speaking about their new material, frontman Jake Snider told CMU: "We always wanted to see just how weird we can make a pop song, but I think at some point we abandoned that and just started wanting to write really good songs".

Guitarist Dave Knudson added: "The main thing we try to accomplish is putting together something that we're going to enjoy playing forever. We always make sure that we want to hear the song as much
as anybody else".

The band have been confirmed to play this year's Reading and Leeds festivals and more UK dates are expected to be announced shortly.

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Interpol have announced that they will play some UK and Ireland shows in November and December. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

27 Nov: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
29 Nov: Dublin, Olympia
6 Dec: London, BrixtonAcademy
7 Dec: London, BrixtonAcademy

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DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, 11-13 Jun: Killswitch Engage have been announced as the replacement act for Wolfmother after the latter band cancelled their appearance due to illness. They join a line-up that includes the likes of AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine and Aerosmith. www.downloadfestival.co.uk

GREENWICH SUMMER SESSIONS, 25 Jul: I Am Kloot, Sunday Girl, Tapetheradio and The Invisible have all been announced to play at the new Greenwich Summer Sessions. http://bit.ly/GreenwichSummerSessions

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 11-13 Jun: The Nextmen, Freestylers and Crystal Fighters have been confirmed to play at Isle Of Wight this summer, with the likes of Jaguar Skills, Evil Nine, Silver Columns and Sonny Wharton also added to the bill. www.isleofwightfestival.com

OFFSET FESTIVAL, Hainault Forest Country Park, Essex, 4-5 Sep: Mystery Jets, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Monotonix have all been confirmed for Offset this summer, as have Ali Love, Lovvers, Comanechi and Graffiti Islandalso. www.offsetfestival.co.uk

SLOTTSFJELL, Tønsberg, Norway, 15-17 Jul: Kelis, Mew, Belle & Sebastian, Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub, Clutch, Foals, Jaga Jazzist, Lissie, School Of Seven Bells, Susanna & The Magical Orchestra, and Dum Dum Girls are among the acts confirmed for this year's Slottsfjell. www.slottsfjellfestival.no/pages/nor/12-in_english

TRUCK FESTIVAL, Steventon, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, 23-25 Jul: 65daysofstatic, Pulled Apart By Horses and Danny And The Champions Of The World have all been added to the Truck Festival line-up, along with the likes of Thomas Truax, Luke Smith, Veronica Falls and Elizabeth Cook. www.thisistruck.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Like - He's Not A Boy (Universal/Polydor)
As a fan of this band, at first listen 'He's Not A Boy' is completely unrecognisable. Faster, perkier and cleaner sounding than their previous work, The Like's new single is obviously a giant leap both in artistic direction and toward the mainstream.

Ditching the sultry drawling sound of old, The Like are fitting more comfortably into the LA pop-rock scene that has spawned the likes of Rooney, Coconut Records and Rilo Kiley - this is definitely more laidback and cutesy than anything else I've heard by them, and it suits them well.

Their debut record, 'Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?', was, for me, great, but always lacked a little something - punch, perhaps. If 'He's Not a Boy' is reflective of their new work (five years overdue), then it's a step I fully support. TW

Physical release: 31 May
Press contact: Work It Media

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The June issue of Which? magazine plots the demise of the independent record shop in the UK, and questions why so many indie retailers - 73% in the last ten years - have fallen by the wayside.

And while the growth in both illegal and legal digital services - which have, of course, impacted on the whole record industry - are probably part of the story, the article suggests that, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the rise of cost cutting supermarket CD departments and online mail-order websites that have really hit the high street record seller, big and small.

After all, while digital completely dominates in the singles market these days, CDs still accounted for 92% of album sales in 2008, and it was always album sales on which indie record shops relied. And Which? notes that, of the 2263 consumers it surveyed, 34% said they bought CDs from supermarkets and 66% from mail-order websites. By comparison, 42% said they shopped in high street chain record stores while only 13% went to indie record shops.

Regarding the impact of supermarkets selling chart CDs at low prices, the consumer rights magazine quotes an HMV rep who says: "An onslaught from supermarkets selling many titles at well below the manufacturer wholesale price may have contributed to some independents or chain branches being forced to close".

But, while the HMVs of this world have also had to face new competition from the supermarkets, they have in turn benefited from the boom in mail-order CD sales. And, of course, the big mail-order sites, like HMV.com, Play.com, Amazon and Tesco's online operation, can all undercut the indie retailers - even if they offer mail-order services - because the big boys base their mail-order businesses in the Channel Islands where they benefit from the much previously reported VAT dodge.

As previously reported, because of the slightly strange constitutional status of the Channel Islands, mail-order companies based there do not have to charge VAT on products up to £18, which includes most CDs. Which means said companies can undercut their mainland competitors by 17.5% without affecting their profit margins. The campaign to close the loophole continues, now at a European level after the Jersey and UK governments, despite talking about the need to tackle the tax dodge, subsequently refused to do so.

Most people agree that the decline of the independent record shop is a bad thing, especially for smaller indie labels who often relied on their counterparts in the retail sector to get their releases on the shelves. The Musician Union's General Secretary John Smith told Which?: "When independent retailers go out of business it threatens the existence of small music companies that rely on these shops to promote new artists".

On the significance of the VAT loophole, Smith continues: "I hope that the EU will act on the protests being made about this practice in order to protect the UK music industry".

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Transport and logistics company DSV has announced the launch a new division specifically targeting the entertainments industry, providing "transport and logistic solutions" for the music, sport, TV, film, live, theatre, arts and exhibition industries. At launch live music will be a particular focus.

The company says that its global infrastructure - it has operations in over 60 countries - will enable it to offer both economies of scale and local expertise, wherever a promoter's transport needs may be.

MD of the new DSV Entertainment Logistics business, Rene Falch, told CMU: "[We] will provide bespoke global transport solutions alongside highly competitive pricing, reliability and professionalism. We are aiming to be involved in all areas of the entertainment industries but will focus primarily on the music industry at launch. We see this as an area of great opportunity and potential growth particularly in live music and feel we can provide real value and expertise though our international reach and the economies of scale we can offer".

More info at www.dsv-entlog.com

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Digital rock station Planet Rock, once owned by Global Radio predecessor GCap but now an independent concern, has announced the appointment of a new MD in the form of Jonathan Arendt, co-founder of radio research company Hallett Arendt, who has previously been a director of LBC, Xfm and NME Radio.

Confirming the appointment, Planet Rock CEO Malcolm Bluemel told reporters: "This is a really exciting time for Planet Rock. With digital radio coming of age it's important that the UK's foremost digital station has the team it needs to take best advantage of the inexorable move to digital. Jonathan comes to us with invaluable experience in radio at the highest level and we are very fortunate that he has joined us".

Arendt himself added: "This is a unique opportunity to join a station that has led the way in digital. Planet Rock's growth continues with listening up by 45 per cent over the last year. I am really looking forward to working with Malcolm and his exceptional team in continuing to take the station forward in both audience and commercial terms".

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A clarification now on yesterday's story that US-based music blog company Buzzmedia had acquired six American music blogs, including PureVolume, PopMatters, Gorilla vs Bear, The Hype Machine, Concrete Loop and RCRD LBL.

Despite a slightly ambiguous press release from the Buzz men which talked about the "addition of six established and influential music sites" to their online empire, Buzzmedia have not bought these blogs, rather they have struck up advertising partnerships with the websites so that they will sell ads on their pages, a little like how the Sonic Network has worked with UK music blogs and independently owned sites. The exact nature of those partnerships seems to vary from blog to blog, though in the main said blogs will remain wholly owned by their creators.

One exception is Gorilla vs Bear, in which Buzz does seem to have taken an equity stake. A Buzz spokesman told Hypebot: "We generally don't get into details of how deals are structured but Gorilla vs Bear is an acquisition in the form of an investment with right to buy the remainder".

But Hype Machine's Anthony Volodkin has confirmed no equity has changed hands as part of his site's partnership with Buzzmedia. He told Hypebot: "We've been working with Buzzmedia for some time and they've been an exceptional advertising partner, working with us on a full range of ad products, from banners, site skins, to custom site features. We are a small team, mostly focused on product, and it's difficult for us to effectively sell advertising on our own, so it's great to partner with such a competent team. On a geeky level (I write software, after all), even the tech implementation of ad delivery is impressive".

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The Game has said that he's not going to bother doing any promotional work for his new album, as his fans will all go out and buy it anyway.

The rapper told Reuters: "I'm not into promoting. I give you a date, and if you're a Game fan, then you'll get the album. I don't sell myself. This is my fourth album. I don't think I need to do all that".

However, Andrew Flad, Marketing Director at The Game's label Interscope, has different ideas, saying: "Sending Game out to touch the fans this way is a must and always helps. He will grind it out, he will do the work, and he will love it".

The album, 'RED', is out on 6 Jul, which may or may not be all the information you need.

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Like The Game, Katy Perry is not too keen on promoting her new album. However, she has come up with a cunning plan to get out of it, should it all get too much.

The Sun quote Perry as saying: "I've told [my label] not to piss me off and if they continue to push me harder, I'll just get pregnant. I have the power to have unprotected sex!"

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