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Top Stories
Prince to release next album via Mirror
Rapper denies advising Brown to cry at BET Awards show
In The Pop Courts
Folk singer sues over Led Zepp song of debatable origin
Reunions & Splits
Barat has new song for Libertines reunion
Artist Deals
No Doubt ink deal with Kobalt
Release News
Slash to make live album available instantly
Lennon reissues promotion planned for October
Hurts announce debut album title
Festival News
T ban the vuvuzela
Festival line-up update
Live Review: Steve Mason at Cargo
Brands & Stuff
Casio and Myleene Klass launch Pianos In Schools project
The Music Business
HMV sees sales and profits rise
BPI lobbying man to head up MPA
The Digital Business
Dutch ISP criticises piracy body over BitTorrent demands
Google stop automatic redirect in China
The Media Business
New music channel to target oldies
And finally...
Bieber grossed out by 'mum to do Playboy' rumours
Perry picked Snoop for collaboration based on Wiki search
Bennett to Stewart: "You sing like a girl"

Hailing from the Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær, Olafur Arnarlds may now be classified as a 'neo-classical' artist, but he previously drummed for hardcore/metal bands Fighting Shit and Celestine. His solo work is quite different, exploring the crossover between classical and pop music, mainly by mixing chamber strings and piano with edgy beats and discreet electronics. Arnarld's previous album 'Eulogy For Evolution' and EP 'Variations Of Static' have won acclaim from both contemporary and classical music types, while his 'Found Songs' project last year - in which he recorded a song a day over seven days and made them immediately available via Twitter - proves how much he likes to innovate.

Album number two, called '...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness', is just out via Erased Tapes. Tomorrow (1 Jul) he will play at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, playing the album in it's entirety with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra. Ahead of that brilliant sounding concert, we spoke to Olafur to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My parents sent me to music school when I was like five. I didn't like the piano, because it wasn't cool. So I turned to drums, which were much cooler, obviously! Though I later started playing piano secretly, on the side, and started writing more classical music when I was 14 or so, because I got really into movie scores and wanted to be a film composer.

Q2 What inspired your new album?

Life, relentless touring, hardships - but mostly getting over that hardship - that there is always light after the darkness. Hence the title.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?

Well, for this one I wrote the songs over quite a long period of time. I think the oldest one is from 2007, the newest from 2009. I just wanted to get the right songs for me to be able to shape the album conceptually as I wanted to. Then I make demos of all the songs, and put them together and listen to it for a while, to see if they make sense together, and if I can create a total storyline throughout the album. Then I go into the studio and spend way too much time there making sure every detail is perfect... Think it was over 1000 hours this time... haha.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Mostly older classical artists, the creators of the theories we use in contemporary music today... Bach, Chopin, etc... But obviously everything I listen to, of course, influences me in some way or another, and in that sense - I listen mostly to just the common indie music, whatever is hip at the moment I guess...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Don't try to understand too much, just make up your own stories behind the music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for the new album and for the future?

I really hope this album will broaden my audience spectrum, make me able to play concerts for even more people and inspire more people. That's all I want with this stuff really... to inspire...

MORE>> www.myspace.com/olafurarnalds

Alan MX successfully enters the realm of skittish electronica with his experimental use of electro beats and pop vocals, combining Thom Yorke's melodic sensibilities with some thumping Peaches-style breaks.

On his debut album 'Warpsichord', the aptly-named title track samples jittering strings, beats and lyrics that play on the subtle nuances of love and relationships in the 21st century, whilst 'The Captain America Video' delivers light-hearted pop with an almost pounding disco beat. The rest of the album continues to combine elements of electronica, dance and pop; remaining unique, lively yet dark.

For those of you who are partial to a bit of Bjork, PJ Harvey or Beck - and I don't know many who aren't - Alan MX's debut is out now on Small Town America, and you can catch some of this on his MySpace too.


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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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Prince will once again release his new album in the UK via a newspaper giveaway.

As you may remember, back in 2007 the purple one broke with convention and gave away his then brand new long player 'Planet Earth' via the Mail On Sunday. It was a controversial arrangement at the time, because while newspapers had been giving away cover-mount CDs for years, and artist-specific CDs for a while too, it was the first time a new album had been distributed this way.

Three years on, with other artists having followed Prince's lead in the interim, it is unlikely his decision to release new record '20Ten' via the Daily Mirror, and its Scottish sister title the Daily Record, will ruffle so many feathers.

The Mirror say they will distribute 2.5 million copies of '20Ten' on 10 Jul, which will involve the tabloid increasing its circulation that day considerably - the combined Mirror and Daily Record circulation is normally closer to 1.6 million. Presumably the newspaper publisher believes the giveaway will seriously boost interest in its two titles that day.

It's not known what fee Prince will receive from the Mirror deal. The Mail On Sunday were reported to have paid up to half a million to secure the rights to 'Planet Earth', and that would be in addition to the 7p MCPS royalty that is paid on every single cover-mount CD.

It's unlikely the Mirror could afford anything like that figure - they have just laid off 200 editorial staff across their various national titles - but this time Prince will release his new album via similar media deals across Europe, so he was possibly less demanding fee wise in the UK.

In Belgium the album will be released via the Het Nieuwblad newspaper, in France by the Courrier International magazine, and in Germany via that country's edition of Rolling Stone. It is thought in the US the album will get a more traditional release via a distribution deal with Warner.

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American rap type Lloyd has denied explicitly telling Chris Brown to cry during his comeback performance at last weekend's BET Awards.

As previously reported, popular wifebeater Brown attempted a comeback at the annual black music awards bash by performing a Michael Jackson tribute, the awards coinciding with first anniversary of Jacko's death. After an apparently kick ass rendition of 'Billie Jean' he attempted to sing 'Man In The Mirror', but broke down as he started to sing.

Rapper Lloyd was subsequently quoted as saying he had advised Brown he should cry at the awards show in a bid to publicly demonstrate his remorse for beating ex-girlfriend Rihanna unconscious at the start of last year, in a bid to win over those former fans and journalists and music business types who are yet to forgive him for that incident.

But Lloyd took to his website yesterday to say he had been misquoted, and that Brown's tears at the BET show were genuine, not some pre-rehearsed cynical attempt to win renewed public approval from American R&B fans.

Lloyd wrote: "I never told him to go on stage and cry. We spoke recently, and I told him as a friend that people hadn't really seen him be vulnerable about his situation last year. I thought he was holding back and needed to let that emotion out. [But] him crying at the BET Awards was real, I could feel it".

He added: "I think he cried about a number of things. About the fact that he thought people would hate him forever because of one mistake. Feeling that love on stage was probably overwhelming. Plus [Jackson] being gone and him performing 'Man In The Mirror', that song is powerful, especially for his situation. It pushed him over the edge".

So there you go. Given Lloyd was widely misquoted on this and is now seen by some as a cynical tear orchestrator who was making light of Brown's Rihanna-beating crimes, he might now have to go on stage and cry too, and perhaps write a rap about being terribly misunderstood, so people love him again as well.

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Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has been landed with a copyright infringement lawsuit with regards the band's song 'Dazed & Confused'.

The origins of the 1969 Led Zepp track have long been debated, because of its links to an earlier song by folk singer Jake Holmes. It is generally accepted, I think, that Page did start with a copy of Holmes track when he started work devising 'Dazed & Confused', initially as a Yardbirds project, and later for Led Zepp.

By the time Page had finished devising the song, and Led Zepp had recorded it, everyone involved seemed to think the guitarist had created a new piece of work in which a new copyright existed, ie a copyright owned by Page not Holmes. The song was registered with US collecting society ASCAP as a new song penned by Page.

Nevertheless, musos have debated whether Led Zepp had, in fact, recorded a new song or, rather, covered Holmes' folk original, for years. The debate has resulted in a particularly active Wikipedia entry for the song, with different contributors taking different viewpoints on the relationship between the Holmes song and the Page song.

Anyway, forty years later Holmes, for some unknown reason, has suddenly decided Page did, in fact, nick his song back in 1968, and in doing so infringed his copyright. And, according to TMZ, he has filed an infringement lawsuit against the Led Zepp guitar man.

The fact Holmes has waited forty years to take legal action shouldn't, in theory, damage his case, though it will mean that if he wins he will only be able to claim some or all of the revenues generated by the Led Zepp song from the last three years.

Page is yet to respond.

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Carl Barat has told NME that he has written a new song that could become a Libertines track. As previously reported, Barat, Pete Doherty, thingimy and the other one will reform as The Libertines for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, and will presumably primarily perform songs for the band's two albums. But Barat says he has at least one new song he hopes the band will play.

Speaking to the music mag at last weekend's Glastonbury Festival, Barat said: "The Libertines - we haven't done any preparation yet, apart from being in touch. I am sending Pete a song - actually I must email that today - maybe we'll do something with that. We're going to rehearse before the gigs, obviously. It's all pretty natural. Generally it just comes together - you're starting to get me a bit worried now! Nah, it's going to be great".

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No Doubt have signed an administration deal with music publishing types Kobalt which will include the band's entire back catalogue outside of North America.

Outside the US and Canada, Kobalt will administrate all the publishing rights in songs by the band, and solo work from each band member, including Gwen Stefani (who has worked with Kobalt for a few years now).

They will also represent the band in the non-American syncs domain, while on the outfit's next album, currently being recorded, Kobalt will look after digital royalties within the US as well.

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Slash's upcoming gig at the Manchester Academy, taking place on Saturday, will be recorded for a limited edition live release. Just 1200 copies of the double disk live recording will be sold, with the CDs available from the venue immediately after the show itself. It's the first time the former Guns N Roses guitar man has been involved in an 'instant concert recording' project. The instant live recordings will also be on sale via Slash's official website - www.slashonline.com. The guitarist is currently touring to promote his EMI-released eponymous debut solo album.

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A year on from the big Beatles reissues project, EMI will re-release all of John Lennon's solo studio albums this October, to mark what would have been his seventieth birthday. Yoko Ono is overseeing the project, which will see the albums digitally remastered from the original mixes ready for reissue. A hits album and rarities collection will also be released as part of the promotion, which will go by the name 'Gimme Some Truth'.

Commenting on the reissues project, Ono told reporters yesterday: "In this very special year, which would have seen my husband and life partner John reach the age of 70, I hope that this remastering / reissue programme will help bring his incredible music to a whole new audience. By remastering 121 tracks spanning his solo career, I hope also that those who are already familiar with John's work will find renewed inspiration from his incredible gifts as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and from his power as a commentator on the human condition. His lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were first written and I can think of no more apposite title for this campaign than those simple yet direct words 'Gimme Some Truth'".

There's more info about the re-releases at www.johnlennon.com

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The always cheerful Hurts have announced their debut album will be called 'Happiness', which is nice. The long player is scheduled for release on 6 Sep. Confirming the title, one half of the electro duo, Theo Hutchcraft, tweeted yesterday: "Today is a day we never thought would arrive. We have completed a record. We feel proud, sad, joyous and numb. We shall call it 'Happiness'".

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Organisers of T In The Park have apparently banned the vuvuzela from this year's festival, which takes place the weekend after next. In an update email to ticket holders, organisers said the only incredibly irritating horn type instrument, made (un)popular by the World Cup of course, was "not suitable for a music festival". Ticket holders were warned that any vuvuzelas brought on site would be confiscated.

Cameras won't be confiscated though. Unless the dodgy London police officers who tried to use totally made up laws to stop this teenage photographer from snapping some soldiers in Essex recently happen to make it to Scotland. Do watch this YouTube video. The sixteen year old snapper may be a little precocious, be he is totally in the right.

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EDGE FESTIVAL, Edinburgh, Scotland, 5 - 31 Aug: Mark Lanegan has been announced to play at this year's Edge Festival, a music strand at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, along with The Boy Who Trapped The Sun and Dot Allison. They join the previously announced Dizzee Rascal, Mika and Plan B. www.theedgefestival.com

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LIVE REVIEW: Steve Mason at Cargo
I don't think I've ever seen Cargo as packed as it was last week for the triumphant return of ex-Beta Band dude Steve Mason. He certainly didn't disappoint either, as the assembled throng were treated to some fabulous sounding renditions of tracks off his new solo album, as well as a couple of Beta Band and King Biscuit Time classics thrown in for good measure. He started out onstage alone, just Steve and his guitar for a couple of tracks, including one of those Beta Band favourites in the form of 'Dr Baker'. Then the bandmates arrived to fill out the sound for the songs that followed. Everything off brilliant new album 'Boys Outside' sounded great, particularly 'Am I Just A Man' (the next single release, he informed us) and 'All Come Down' right at the end. The laser was pretty spectacular as well, and made the whole show into a something of a visual treat. It's great to see Mr Mason back. Hopefully this is just the start of fantastic things to come in the future. IM

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Casio and the EMI Music Foundation are teaming up with that Myleene Klass chick to launch a new scheme called Pianos For Schools, which will aim to get more kids playing the old keys. Fifty pianos will be given to schools around the country, while Klass will presumably be on hand to explain why learning scales is cool.

Confirming her involvement in the programme, Klass told CMU: "The Pianos For Schools project with Casio and EMI Music Sound Foundation is something I feel passionate about and it's a great chance to get the message out there that music in education is a great thing. I'm really pleased to be a part of this scheme as it's so important to encourage music in schools and to give children the tools and passion for learning where we can".

Casio's Tim Gould added: "After three decades of successfully delivering musical products, Casio continues to bring music into the lives of enthusiasts of all ages. With our experience in the industry, we are in the perfect position to give children who otherwise may not have the opportunity to engage in music access to cutting-edge instruments and hopefully encourage our next generation of musicians".

The programme is being staged to celebrate the fact Casio have been making digital pianos for thirty years. Klass will also be involved in the launch of some special anniversary editions of Casio's pianos.

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Given some City types were still feeling gloomy towards HMV as recently as yesterday, the fact the music firm's full year financials, released this morning, show a sales increase of 3.1%, taking sales to a record £2 billion last year, are pretty impressive. Profits were up 17.7% to £74.2 million for the financial year up to 24 Apr.

Gloom merchants might point out that sales at existing HMV stores were down 2.4% (ie the overall increase in the firm's music store revenues was partly down to the number of shops increasing last year) and that the company's books business Waterstones saw sales slump 6.2%. But the bigger picture is brighter, even more so when you consider HMV has dramatically diversified in the last 12 months, not least through its acquisition of the buoyant MAMA Group.

HMV boss Simon Fox, who said his company's overall performance was "pleasing", added that while diversification was in part securing the firm's future, he and his team were also busy turning round the fortunes of the company's more traditional high street operations, especially at Waterstones where new management has been put in place.

As previously reported, some commentators - us included - reckon a lot of City types are currently undervaluing the wider HMV group, which has benefited greatly from the demise of its old rivals Woolworths and Zavvi/Virgin Megastore, and which is now operating in some of the most profitable parts of the music business via its MAMA division. Some reckon that undervaluation by many analysts might, if it were to continue, make HMV a target for a private equity takeover.

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The Music Publishers Association has a new Chief Executive, in the form of Richard Mollet, who is currently Head Of Public Affairs at the record industry's main trade body the BPI. Mollet played a key role in presenting the record industry's viewpoint while the Digital Economy Act, and especially its three-strikes launching copyright section, was being drafted and debated in parliament earlier this year. He will join the MPA later this year, taking over from current CEO Simon Juden.

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Dutch internet service provide XS4ALL has spoken out in support of one of its rivals, which has been targeted by the Netherland's anti-piracy body BRIEN.

The Dutch piracy body, which has been particularly active in recent times in its attempts to stop web-users in the Netherlands from accessing The Pirate Bay and other BitTorrent services, is currently taking legal action against Ziggo, the country's biggest cable internet provider.

Like most ISPs, Ziggo doesn't want to have to play a more proactive role in policing piracy, whether that be by challenging customers who file-share or blocking access to websites which aid file-sharing.

And competitors XS4ALL are backing them on that issue. A rep for that company, Niels Huijbregts, told TorrentFreak recently: "The basic principle of the internet is that ISPs pass on traffic to their customers unfiltered, they are merely a gateway. The Pirate Bay website is not hosted on a Ziggo server, so Ziggo can't be held responsible for restricting access to the website. BREIN is targeting the wrong people".

Of course to be fair to BREIN, they have targeted The Pirate Bay directly, and successfully, through the Dutch courts, but that's not stopped the rogue BitTorrent service from operating.

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Google have stopped automatically rerouting Chinese web-users to its Hong Kong-based search engine in a bid to stop officials in the country for turning off its URL there.

As previously reported, Google shut down its specific Chinese service in March, partly because of concerns over government enforced censorship of its searches, and partly because of a cyber-attack on the web firm's US servers that it was believed emanated from China.

Since then Chinese users who go to Google.cn have been automatically redirected to the company's Hong Kong-based search engine, which has a lot in common with the old Chinese Google platform, but was always exempt from many of the Chinese government's censorship requirements.

But Google's operating licence in China is up for renewal, and the web firm hopes to secure that renewal, despite them stepping down active operations in the country and their frosty relations with Chinese officials.

The automatic redirect is known to particularly piss off the Chinese government, because users in the country won't necessarily know they are being taken to a service not based in mainland China. Google bosses, therefore, seem to hope having a holding page at Google.cn which then offers the option to click through to their Hong Kong site is enough to secure a licence renewal.

It remains to be seen if they are right to hope such things.

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A music channel aimed at the over 50s will launch later this year. Called Vintage TV, the channel will air on Sky and Freesat and will feature music from the 1950s to 1980s (including 500 videos especially made for the channel for rock and pop songs released in the era before the pop promo) as well as documentaries and interview shows based around music and popular culture from that era. The new channel is being headed up by David Pick, formerly an exec at EMI Music Publishing, with former ITV production chief Teresa Watts involved in programme making. Paul Gambaccini will be the new network's flagship presenter.

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Justin Bieber has said he was "grossed and wierded" out by those previously reported rumours his mum was in talks with Playboy magazine about doing a naked photo shoot, which was probably the main aim of whoever started the rumours, so job done there mate.

Not that I'm especially sure what "wierded out" means. I don't even really know what "weirded out" would mean either. But that's how Justin felt when it was reported his manager mum Pattie Mallette was being tapped for a Playboy photoshoot. The Biebster tweeted this week: "My mum is a moral woman...let's just leave that one for what it is...because that rumour just grossed and wierded me out".

The pop tyke also responded to other online rumours, the customary one that said he was dead, and another which suggested he'd joined a religious cult. He tweeted: "Im not dead. I had to check on this one...but it turns out Im alive. [And] I have not joined the Illuminati or any other cult. Im a christian and I pray before every show and am thankful for every blessing".

Of course that last sentence possibly contradicts the previous one. I met one of those Christians once and the whole thing seemed rather culty to me.

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Katy Perry claims she used Wikipedia to swot up on the rap world before asking Snoop Dogg to guest on her currently-number-one single 'California Gurls'. I'm not sure I believe her, but Perry claims she wanted to make sure that the hip hopper that guested on her record was still "relevant". She told Canadian radio station Kiss this week: "He [Snoop] did 'Drop It Like It's Hot' a couple years ago, he did 'Sexual Seduction' - he's still Mr 'Gin And Juice', I mean he doesn't age. He's the Doggfather".

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So, what does legendary crooner Tony Bennett make of Rod Stewart's recent efforts to cover some of the classic songs of American film, theatre and popular culture through his 'Great American Songbook' albums? Well, let's see.

"It's not as good as Nat Cole or Frank Sinatra", Tony muses. "He has a kind of a female voice. It's not definitive performances. The game is really how can you own a performance of a song? And that's the game of communicating as a performer - to own that song that you're doing".

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