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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jones responds to "stupid" label email
Become Freddie Mercury for charity
In The Pop Courts
J-Lo could be sued over cancelled Cyprus show
Mel B sued by non-pap estate agent
US judge allows lawsuit on Apple/AT&T deal to proceed
Three arrested in connection to T In The Park stabbing
Charts, Stats & Polls
Prodigy most influential dance act ever
Reunions & Splits
Pearl Jam go on hiatus
In The Studio
Charlotte Church "co-writing lots of songs"
Release News
Lee Ryan album reportedly shelved
Ian Astbury collaborates with Boris
Losers announce debut album details
Gigs & Tours News
As I Lay Dying announce UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - From Disco To Dubstep (Exceptional Records)
The Music Business
Lucid man to head up RCA
Pop Justice launches label
US mainstream live revenues down 17%, according to Pollstar
Beggars appear on Times fast-growing global sellers list
The Digital Business
YouTube to invest in original indie content
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Usher to be candid about relationships on Behind The Music


 
TUESDAY 13TH JULY
ANGUS & JULIA STONE
Australian brother-sister duo Angus & Julia Stone began collaborating back in 2006 after both previously performing as solo artists. They released two EPs, 'Chocolates And Cigarettes' and 'Heart Full Of Wine', via Independiente, before releasing their debut album 'A Book Like This' in 2007 on Flock Music; recorded in various locations with the likes of Chris Potter and Fran Healy. The duo released their second LP, 'Down The Way', earlier this year, and are all set to take part in the Communion week-long takeover of London's Flowerpot. Ahead of their gig tonight we caught up with Julia to ask the Same Six.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I think it started out when we were pretty small. It was a case of having instruments around the house. It was trail and error - pick up an instrument and make sounds. It became more regimented once we started in the school bands, getting lessons and being told to practice. It took a few years to really appreciate the value of discipline. Well, I suppose we are still learning to appreciate it.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
So many things. The last couple of years on the road all the songs have been written, on planes, trains and automobiles and we've been very inspired by all the different friends we've made - people who have taken us in as family; people who have cooked us food and told us their stories; people who have showed us places that are magical.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I pick up an instrument when I feel like writing a song, play some music, keep playing and at some point start singing. Then a couple of days later when I am doing the same thing again, I will remember the song and sing it again. The words will keep changing. Then at the point when I feel I must play it for someone else, it becomes a song where the words don't change.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
At the moment I am listening to a wonderful songwriter called Doveman. I saw him playing piano with Martha Wainwright when she was doing an Edith Piaf concert in New York (they're also incredible - Martha and Edith). We always find that we fall in love with the music of the bands we tour with, they occupy all the listening time on the road. Bands we are listening to at the moment are Boy And Bear, Lukas Nelson and Phoenix.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I don't know. Probably, "Would you like a cup of tea? A coffee...? A wine...?"

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would like to keep playing music. I would like to keep visiting the places we have visited so far and continue to see new places. I would like to keep falling in love. I'd like to get better and better at not knowing what I am going to be doing in the future. And get better at being comfortable admitting I really have no idea.

MORE>> www.angusandjuliastone.com

Catch Angus & Julia Stone tonight at The Flowerpot in Kentish Town with support from Sarah Blasko. Entry is free, more details here.
 
ÉMILIE SIMON
Émilie Simon was trained at the Sorbonne, which I know from period dramas is impressive. Not only that, she has a masters degree in musicology from the Conservatoire et l'Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique. However, the electronic pop music she makes is far from being stuffy or academic, though it does benefit from the freedom to experiment and deeply study music from a young age that Simon enjoyed.

 
She released her eponymous debut album in 2003, gaining attention for a superb cover of The Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog'. When performing live, she uses something known as "the arm", a gadget which encases her left arm and enables her to trigger and play instruments live as well as manipulate her voice. You can see this for yourself when she plays London's Cargo on 20 Jul, the day after the release of her fourth album, 'The Big Machine'.

Meanwhile, various tracks from across her career are up on her MySpace page, including a beautiful cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'.

www.myspace.com/emiliesimonmusic


 
  THREEWEEKS MEDIA-SKILLS PROGRAMME: EDITORIAL TEAM OPPORTUNITIES STILL AVAILABLE
Fancy seeing the Edinburgh Festival right from the inside, while picking up invaluable experience in how the publishing industry works? As part of the ThreeWeeks media-skills programme we still have opportunities available for students or aspiring media or publishing people to work at ThreeWeeks HQ in Edinburgh as on editorial or admin assistant.

These are voluntary roles, but you get to work alongside leading media professionals, who will provide formal training and on-the-ground advice and guidance. You'll also get to be part of a hugely exciting Edinburgh Fringe project and may have the option to review a show or two.

To apply send a CV, 100 words on why you want to join the team and a 120 word review of something cool to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. Put 'Editorial Team' in the subject line.
       
  ACADEMY MUSIC GROUP RECRUITMENT
Academy Music Group is currently recruiting for the following positions:

O2 Academy Leicester: Venue Manager, Venue Marketing Co-ordinator, Technical Manager (2011 start).

O2 Academy Islington (London): Assistant General Manager, Bars Manager.

O2 Academy Oxford: Technical Manager (immediate start).

Academy Music Group Nationwide: AMG welcomes interest from candidates with at least three years experience of live and club venue management to join the expansion of its venue estate across the UK. Individuals must be enthusiastic about the industry and hold the following roles or equivalent: General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Technical Manager, Bars Manager.

Forward CV, covering letter and position you wish to apply for to: Rita Garavan, Human Resources Manager at rita@academy-music-group.co.uk or Academy Music Group, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Closing date: Friday 23 Jul 2010
       
  ONLINE MARKETING AND PR PERSON, ANORAK LONDON
Anorak London is the UK's leading PR company with four departments across, national press, radio, TV and online. We are looking for a dynamic and highly creative online marketing and PR person to join our fifteen-strong team. The successful applicant will have good online journalist contacts as well as experience in creating viral and digital tools, banners, media players, podcasts, viral games, applications as well as fanbase building, content management, website builds/maintenance. You should be proficient in HTML, be used to reporting on and analysing online activity and statistics. The successful applicant will have at least three years experience working in the online world. Salary: competitive.

Please send CVs to emily@anoraklondon.com
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  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
       
  BESPOKE MUSIC, MEDIA AND PR TRAINING FROM CMU
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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JONES RESPONDS TO "STUPID" LABEL EMAIL
Tom Jones has responded to the previously reported leaked email sent by Island Records Senior VP David Sharpe to staff upon hearing the singer's new album 'Praise & Blame', branding the label man "stupid" and "some fella who signs cheques or something".

As previously reported, Sharpe wrote: "Imagine my surprise when I walked into the office this morning to hear hymns coming from your office - it could have been Sunday morning. My initial pleasure came to an abrupt halt when I realised that Tom Jones was singing the hymns! I have just listened to the album in its entirety and want to know if this is some sick joke?"

He continued: "We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to deliver twelve tracks from the common book of prayer. Having lured him from EMI [with a £1.5 million contract], the deal was that you would deliver a record of upbeat tracks along the lines of 'Sex Bomb' and 'Mama Told Me'. As venerable and interesting as Tom's story is, this is not what was agreed and certainly not what we paid for. Who put him with a 'folk' producer and who authorised that he should go off on this tangent...?"

Sharpe concluded: "Please don't give me the art over commerce argument, it's run its course... what are you thinking when he went all spiritual?"

Rambling somewhat repetitively to The Western Mail, Jones said of Sharpe's attack: "People are going to read this and think the record company doesn't like [my album], or that I've made a mistake. It's not coming from the creative people in the record company, because they're backing [the album] up all the way, I mean they're thrilled with it, so I don't understand it. When I questioned them and said, 'What the hell is this all about? Who is this fella? I don't even know who he is', I found out that he's some fella who signs cheques or something. But he's not in the creative side of it and they're 100% behind it, but people don't know that".

He continued: "In the press it says that I've gone off and made something that the record company didn't pay me for and that they don't like it. People tell me that all publicity is good publicity, that's what I've been told. People say to me, 'Well it's being talked about', but to me it's being talked about in a negative way. Hopefully, if there's any good that comes out of it, it's that people will wonder about [the new album]. But it isn't the way I would handle it by going and making a stupid statement. That's not going to help it. They've apologised, they can't apologise enough - and they've said, 'We'll make good on this'".

He continued further: "The record company said, 'You don't understand, he loves the record', then I said, 'Then what the fuck is this all about? What's going on here?' I read it and I was pissed off. And I'm supposed to know what's going on! They say, 'Well, he's not from the creative side'. Well people don't know that. People see that he's an exec of a record company - that's what they're reading".

And further still: "People can decide for themselves if they hear the album. As long as it doesn't turn people off, though. If they read it and think, 'Oh look out, Tom has made a mistake here, they've paid him for something and he's gone off and done something else and they don't like it'. It's not good. That's the part I don't like. They say, 'Is it a sick joke?'. That's stupid to say that. No record company is going to let you go away and record something without hearing things that you are doing. I mean, the first two songs they wanted to hear, the producer Ethan Johns said, 'OK let them hear what we've done so far', and they loved it".

'Praise & Blame' is due for release on 26 Jul.

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BECOME FREDDIE MERCURY FOR CHARITY
The AIDS awareness charity set up by the remaining members of Queen following the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, the Mercury Phoenix Trust has announced the first annual Freddie For A Day fundraising event. As the name suggests, people are being asked to dress as Freddie for an entire day in order to raise money for the charity.

The event will take place on 3 Sep (the closest Friday to Mercury's birthday, 5 Sep) and participants can choose any Freddie outfit they like, though the classic yellow jacket and white trousers combo the singer wore at Wembley Stadium in 1986 is available to buy on the MPT website.

For more info on the event, go to: www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com/FundraisingInitiatives/freddie-for-a-day-gid=195-663.aspx

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J-LO COULD BE SUED OVER CANCELLED CYPRUS SHOW
So, Jennifer Lopez is now facing a $40 million lawsuit after pulling out of that controversial concert in North Cyprus.

As previously reported, Lopez was signed up to play a set at the launch party of a new hotel in the Turkish-controlled North of Cyprus. But the booking caused a controversy among Greek Cypriots, who don't recognise the legitimacy of the Turkish government who have ruled the North of the island since 1974, and who argued that by playing there Lopez was giving credence to an illegal state. An online campaign calling on Lopez to cancel the gig also made allegations of human rights abuses against the Northern Cyprus government.

Late last week that campaign successfully persuaded Lopez to pull out of the hotel launch show. A statement on the singer's website said that "Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse".

But the boss of the Turkish company which runs the hotel where J-Lo was due to play is not impressed. He says that he has not been approached by Lopez's people regarding any cancellation and that therefore he expects her to keep to the original booking. If she fails to show - which it looks like she will - he has vowed to sue for damages of up to $40 million.

CEO Murat Bozogle told reporters yesterday: "The contract has not been terminated. If she does not show up for the concert, we will begin a procedure in the courts to claim 35-40 million dollars in damages. The cancellation ... is not covered by any clause in the contract she signed with us".

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MEL B SUED BY NON-PAP ESTATE AGENT
Mel B is reportedly facing a $1.5 million lawsuit from an American estate agent who claims the former Spice Girl, her husband Stephen Belafonte and a third man named Amin Zahedi attacked him after mistaking him for a paparazzo last December.

According to TMZ, Amado Aguirre claims he was sitting in his car near Mel B's LA home taking photos of a neighbouring property, which he was valuing, when he was approached by the trio of defendants. They allegedly physically attacked him after mistaking Aguirre for a member of the pap pack.

I'm not entirely sure how violent the attack was, by Aguirre is claiming he suffered neck injuries and a broken hand in the incident, and is now suing for $35,000 in medical costs, $100,000 in lost earnings, and an additional $1,350,000 in other damages. Nice.

Mel B's people are yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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US JUDGE ALLOWS LAWSUIT ON APPLE/AT&T DEAL TO PROCEED
A judge has given the all clear for a class action lawsuit relating to the AT&T and Apple iPhone deal to proceed to court.

The 2007 lawsuit claims that Apple breached US competition laws with its exclusivity deal with AT&T regarding the sale of the iPhone in America. The crux of the case centres on allegations that the IT and phone firm implied their exclusivity deal would only run for two years when, in fact, they'd entered into a five year agreement.

I think the claim is basically saying that people who bought an iPhone when they first went on sale in the US were led to believe that after two years they could take their device to another phone network. That, of course, was never so.

AT&T argue that they never hid the fact that their deal with Apple would run for five years, and that even if they had, there wouldn't be a case against either company under competition law.

But a US judge seemingly thinks that the claimants have enough of a case to let the lawsuit go to court. As a class action, if the lawsuit were to be successful, any American owning an iPhone could claim what ever damages were awarded to the claimants, presumably court permission to take their iPhone to another mobile network after two years.

I suspect AT&T are right in their viewpoint that this is a rather weak case, but given Apple bashing is becoming more fashionable of late, it will be interesting to see how this one turns out should it actually get a court hearing.

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THREE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO T IN THE PARK STABBING
Three men have been charged over an alleged stabbing attack at last weekend's T In The Park festival, which reportedly left two men with serious abdominal injuries. The two injured men were seemingly attacked on a walk way between the main arena at the Scottish music festival and the fest's campsite on Sunday night as the event reached its climax.

Confirming three men had been arrested in relation to the incident, a spokesman for Tayside Police told reporters: "Three males who were arrested earlier have now been charged and will appear at Perth Sheriff Court".

The stabbing followed a sexual assault that happened on the festival site on Saturday night. Both incidents have been widely reported, though the police chief who oversaw the event said the festival overall was relatively crime free.

Putting things into perspective, Chief Superintendent Craig Suttie told The Scotsman: "We have to keep things in perspective. We had 85,000 people at the festival. But we have probably had less crime than we would naturally expect in any city or town throughout Scotland, in terms of serious crimes and the overall number of crimes. The level of disorder and violence is extremely low, compared to anywhere else".

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PRODIGY MOST INFLUENTIAL DANCE ACT EVER
The Prodigy have topped a poll of the most influential dance acts of all time, which is probably fair.

Organisers of the Global Gathering festival polled 2000 festival and club goers on the most importance dance acts, and the Prodge got 29% of the vote, just ahead of those Daft Punk geezers. Faithless came in third, while Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and Carl Cox all also appeared in the top ten.

This year's Global Gathering takes place from 30-31 Jul, and is headlined by the third most influential dance act of all time, no less.

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PEARL JAM GO ON HIATUS
Pearl Jam aren't splitting up, but they have implied they are going on hiatus.

Following a string of recent headline appearances at various festivals, frontman Eddie Vedder told his audience at Portugal's Optimus Alive festival in Lisbon last weekend that that performance would be the "last in a long time" for the alt rock combo.

According to local press, Vedder signed off by saying: "Thank you for coming to our last show; not our last ever, but our last in a long time".

Hmm, I wonder if a verbal commitment is enforceable under Portuguese law?

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CHARLOTTE CHURCH "CO-WRITING LOTS OF SONGS"
Charlotte Church has revealed that she has been "co-writing lots of songs".

Speaking to The Daily Star's Kim Dawson back stage at T In The Park, Church said: "I've been co-writing lots of songs".

Don't say you weren't told.

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LEE RYAN ALBUM REPORTEDLY SHELVED
Lee Ryan's second solo album, 'Confessions', has reportedly been shelved by Universal label Geffen after the first single from it, 'I Am Who I Am', only reached number 33 in the singles chart on Sunday.

Writing on Twitter, Ryan told fans: "Really upset, 33 ain't terrible but I thought it would of done better! The album is so good, it's a shame it won't be out now! [They] only released 2000 [physical] copies [of the single]! Most of the fans said they couldn't get it, not everyone downloads! Never mind".

He added: "They just won't release [the album] now. I'm just gonna put it on the internet and the let the fans get it for free! Fuck em. I promise I will give it away! I want you to hear it! I don't care about the money, it's the body of work I want you to hear! You can have it".

As previously reported, Ryan revealed last week that Blue are already working on a new album with Ne-Yo. Probably just as well, given how well the latest solo venture is going.

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IAN ASTBURY COLLABORATES WITH BORIS
The Cult frontman Ian Astbury has teamed up with Japanese rock band Boris for a new EP, entitled 'BXI', which will be released by Southern Lord in August.

Astbury says the collaboration came about after he saw Boris perform their 'Pink' album live and was "absolutely blown away". He flew to Tokyo in April to record three original songs and a cover of The Cult's 'Rain', which he says is "certainly my favourite interpretation of any Cult song by another artist", adding: "[This was] one of the best recording experiences I have ever had".

Boris and Astbury plan to perform live together later this year, and there is talk of a second, perhaps full-length release.

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LOSERS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM DETAILS
Eddy Temple-Morris and Tom Bellamy, aka Losers, have announced full details of their debut album, 'Beautiful Losers', which, as previously reported, is due for release through Gung-Ho! Recordings on 13 Sep.

The album features a variety of guests, including Placebo's Brian Molko on a cover of Jane's Addiction's 'Summertime Rolls'. So enamoured with the instrumental version of the track the duo sent him was Molko that he apparently insisted that he would have anyone else who expressed an interest in singing on it killed.

Also included are the singles 'Sirenna (Today We See Colour)' (due for release on 6 Sep), 'No Man Is An Island', and 'Flush' featuring Riz MC and Envy, mention of which gives us another opportunity to link to the track's amazing video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsaLyUTDGTo

Tracklist:

Three Colours
No Man Is An Island (Losers Theme)
Nothing Will Die
Flush
Never Meant To Be
Azan
Sirenna (Today We See Colour)
Katana
Talk To The Hand
Summertime Rolls

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AS I LAY DYING ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Californian metallers As I Lay Dying won't be doing any lying or dying this November, because they'll be far too busy touring the UK.

Tour dates:

25 Nov: Norwich, Waterfront
26 Nov: London, Koko
27 Nov: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
28 Nov: Manchesterm Academy 2
29 Nov: Glasgowm Garage
30 Nov: Sheffieldm Corporation

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Fairmile, Devon, 20-22 Aug: Warrior One, Don Letts and James Gill head up the latest acts confirmed to play in the Little Big Top tent at the now sold out Beautiful Days Festival, along with Ben & Lex, DJ Andromeda, Maxxi P and many more. www.beautifuldays.org

THE WICKERMAN FESTIVAL, Dundrennan, SW Scotland, 23-24 Jul: I Am Arrows, Little Comets and Alan Pownall have been added to this month's Wickerman Festival line-up, with Bombskare, MetalTech, The Famous Class, Esperanza and Joe Viterbo also confirmed to play. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - From Disco To Dubstep (Exceptional Records)
Part of electronic record company Exceptional's tenth anniversary celebrations, this album sees a stack of the label's finest former releases remixed for the party.

As the title suggests, the collection is meant to take us on a journey from disco to dubstep, taking in, so the press release tells me, "lounge, electronica, house, electro and breaks" along the way. Certain sub-genres are better represented than others; anyone looking for some full on disco's going to be disappointed.

But funky beats there are aplenty, especially on the opener, Mock & Toof's remix of Plej's 'Borderline', an interesting groove that gets things going nicely. There's another Plej remix along pretty soon too, with the Toby Tobias mix of 'Safe Place', which keeps the funk, while getting us ready for the retro feel of Butti 49's 'Alan Accelerates'.

Highlights include Falconcrest's rework of Cloud's 'Innocence', which is definitely worth checking out, while techno legend Ken Ishi's 'Awakening' gets the Jimpster deluxe retouch, so, needless to say, that's a real recommend. Meanwhile, the Tom Middleton remix of Blue Mar Ten's 'All Over' provides a real hands in the air moment.

There are some weaker points, the Rogue Element remix of The Nursery Of Naughtiness in particular, though Mr Element sort of redeems himself with his own track 'Hive', although that might be down to Raffertie's rerubbing for all I know. It's here you get your dubstep, albeit dubstep with a madcap feel.

All in all, there is something peculiar about the selection here, it's definitely not one hit after another, but as a mix it generally works well, a diverse and horizon-widening piece of work for more open ears. PV

Physical release: 5 Jul
Press contact: Rocketscience Media

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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LUCID MAN TO HEAD UP RCA
Sony Music has appointed a new MD for their RCA UK division, and it's an appointment that will make any thirty-somethings out there feel very old, because the job has gone to 28 year old Charlie Lycett.

Lycett is co-founder and owner of London-based music promotions company The Lucid Group, and he has worked extensively in both traditional music promotions, and on a bunch of cutting edge digital and social media projects. He's also engineered some artist deals. He has worked with various Sony artists previously via Lucid, most notably Newton Faulkner, for whom he secured a production deal with Peer Publishing, before overseeing a licensing arrangement with RCA.

Lycett will continue to oversee the Lucid empire as well as running RCA, and Sony has taken a stake in the promotions company as part of the deal. The Lucid man takes over the reins at RCA from former MD and one time Bros man Craig Logan, who announced he was quitting RCA to set up a management agency back in March.

Confirming Lycett's appointment, Sony Music UK top dog Ged Doherty told CMU: "Charlie is the best young executive working in the industry and I am delighted that he has agreed to take over the running of the RCA Label Group. He is a proven entrepreneur and we are equally delighted to be investing in Lucid. Charlie's passion, knowledge, commitment and professionalism make him the ideal candidate to lead RCA forward as our business models evolve".

Charlie himself added: "Creating value around the artists we break has been at the core of Lucid's business since 2003 and the opportunity to do this under the guidance of such a progressive chairman is something I find incredibly exciting. RCA has an amazing roster of artists and I can't wait to get started and help them break new boundaries in this constantly shifting landscape".

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POP JUSTICE LAUNCHES LABEL
Top pop website Popjustice has announced that it is launching its own record label, Popjustice Hi-Fi. The company is a joint venture between Popjustice founder Peter Robinson, Darling Department's Dan Stevens and David Laub, and EMI/Virgin Records.

Popjustice explain: "Basically we have convinced Virgin Records to give us some cash (amazing) and we'll be releasing some stuff ourselves and some other stuff through Virgin. The Virgin Records connection is amazing. It's a label with a long, rich history covering acts as diverse as Kavana, Billie Piper and Caprice so the future of pop is in safe hands".

Speaking to Music Week, Robinson added: "They're the best match for what we want to do. Virgin's got a really rich pop heritage and I think the success of some of their recent releases speaks for itself - in the last year the team there seems to have turned it into one of Britain's best pop labels. There's an understanding there of what makes pop tick, and there's lots that will complement (and hopefully be complemented by) what the Popjustice Hi-Fi team has to offer".

The new label's first release will be a single by Swedish singer Rosanna, called 'Waterfall', on 22 Aug, while the second will be the new single from Bright Light Bright Light, 'Love Part II', on 12 Sep.

For more info on Popjustice Hi-Fi, go to www.popjusticehi.fi

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US MAINSTREAM LIVE REVENUES DOWN 17%, ACCORDING TO POLLSTAR
As previously reported, opinion is divided as to whether the US live music sector is tumbling down and the mainstream concert industry bubble has well and truly burst, or whether the number of tours being cancelled this summer isn't actually any more than normal, it's just us media types are noticing more than usual.

But either way, the mainstream live sector in America certainly isn't generated as much cash as in recent years. According to US live industry trade mag Pollstar, the hundred biggest American tours in 2010 grossed $965.5 million in the first half of the year, which is 17% or $196.8 million down on the same period last year.

According to Pollstar's stats, Bon Jovi, James Taylor and Carole King, Eagles, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney have been the most profitable touring acts in America this year.

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BEGGARS APPEAR ON TIMES FAST GROWING GLOBAL SELLERS LIST
London-based independent The Beggars Group represent the music industry on a new Sunday Times-published list of the hundred privately-owned UK companies with the fastest international sales growth.

The poll, compiled by Oxford-based research company Fast Track, rates the privately-owned companies experiencing the fastest growth in global sales based on the last two years of available accounts.

Beggars, the only music company in the 100, came in at 36, recognising the indie's rapid growth in international sales in recent years, up from £5.7 million a year in 2006 to £19.2 million a year in 2008.

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YOUTUBE TO INVEST IN ORIGINAL INDIE CONTENT
Web and mobile companies have generally not shown much enthusiasm for investing in new untested content formats, preferring to let traditional media companies take all the risks and then licensing those songs, films and TV shows that prove to be hits (and normally then complaining about the rates the risk takers charge for their finished content).

But perhaps that's about to change. YouTube has announced it will invest five million dollars in original content, working directly with some of the most promising film-makers who have, so far, been making content at their own expense and using the video sharing site as their primary distribution channel. Said film-makers may previously have got an ad revenue share from YouTube for their content, but won't have received upfront investment.

Announcing the new investment venture, YouTube Partner Development Manager George Strompolos told reporters last week: "Our goal is to catalyse the creation of new ideas and production models from some of our most innovative and original content partners. We've been amazed by the creativity and resourcefulness of many of our partners. Some, operating on shoestring budgets, have been able to produce incredible videos, generate substantial revenues and command an audience that rivals that of network television".

He continued: "Despite their success, many partners lack the resources and deep financial backing available to studio-backed production houses. The goal of YouTube Partner Grants is to act as a catalyst by infusing additional funds into the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are at the forefront of innovation".

As I understand it, the YouTube grants will initially be made available to US content partners only, and the web firm will contact those existing YouTube-using content makers who they feel might be eligible.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. AC/DC - Iron Man 2 (Sony)
2. Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street (Universal)
3. Train - Save Me, San Francisco (Sony/Columbia)
4. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Muse - The Resistance (Warner Bros)
6. Slash - Slash (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. Ozzy Osbourne - Scream (Sony)
8. Godsmack - The Oracle (Universal/Republic)
9. Vince Neil - Tattoos & Tequila (Frontiers)*
10. Bullet For My Valentine - Fever (Sony)
11. Stone Temple Pilots - Stone Temple Pilots (Warner/Atlantic)
12. Danzig - Deth Red Sabaoth (Evilive)*
13. Foo Fighters - Greatest Hits (Roswell)
14. The Who - Greatest Hits & More (Universal/Polydor)
15. Kiss - Sonic Boom (Warner/Roadrunner)
16. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
17. Paramore - Brand New Eyes (Warner/Atlantic)*
18. Whitechapel - New Era Of Corruption (Metal Blade)
19. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
20. Journey - Greatest Hits (Sony)

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USHER TO BE CANDID ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS ON BEHIND THE MUSIC
Usher is set to spill the beans about his bitter divorce from ex-wife Tameka Foster and his previous relationship with TLC star Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas in a candid interview for an edition of the 'Behind The Music' programme later this month. So that's something to look forward to. Whether he'll get on his knees and repent for unleashing the Bieber on the world we don't know.

The Usher BTM is due to premiere in the US on 20 Jul.

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Andy Malt
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