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CMU Info
Top Stories
Fabric director discusses administration and the future
U2 prepare for comeback
Security stepped up around Jacko grave to stop graffiti
In The Pop Courts
Hendrix estate sued by former Jimi collaborator
Ne-Yo sued over New Year no show
Gaunt loses OfCom litigation
Release News
Bryan Ferry works with Eno and more
Leaf Label announces Efterklang reissues
Gigs & Tours News
Lydon to take PiL to Israel
Soil & "Pimp" Sessions announce UK shows
Tinie Tempah announces UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single Review: Pezzner - Blacklist (Freerange Records)
The Music Business
Was RIAA chief really worth two million in 2008?
The Digital Business
The digital age, more music than ever, but most of it is shit
We7 to take Real news
The Media Business
Mirror sales up 27% on Prince giveaway day
New boss at RAJAR
Sky complete Living TV purchase
Celador buy Portsmouth FM, merge it with Southampton and Winchester service
Manchester has two number one hit music stations, lucky Manchester
And finally...
Bret Michaels engaged
Bieber digs God
John Lennon fans attack Sean over Gaga pic

With her country-rock/bluesy sound, American singer-songwriter Lissie's vocals have been compared to the likes of Stevie Nicks, Chrissy Hynde and Neko Case. Having gained high praise for her debut EP 'Why You Runnin' and having caused quite a stir at SxSW earlier this year, Lissie has since been touring the UK and has just released her debut album 'Catching Tigers'. She's is now set to play several festivals over the summer, including Latitude and Bestival, and has just performed at the Flowerpot in London as part of the previously reported Communion takeover. With Lissie in town, we decided to take the opportunity to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
As a kid, I naturally and intuitively loved to sing, and would make up words and melodies to express myself. In my teenage years I began to teach myself to play the guitar, and started writing songs to actual music and loved it and the outlet it became for my thoughts and feelings. So much so, that I just kept doing it. Then I started playing out, writing more songs, playing out, writing more songs, etc...

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Just the last few years of my life really... the end of a relationship and an occasional, overall feeling of being lost, and longing to connect a bit more. Amongst a few other thoughts and observations.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's all just come together through the creation of this album and I think I'm still perfecting my process. I used to just write a song by myself when I felt like it or had something to say. But I also like it when someone gives me a loop of music and I just freestyle melody and lyric ideas over it on tape. Sometimes that can end up being the base of a track that is then added to, but usually it's a way of finishing the writing of a song. Then to record it, I would hope to sit down and play live with a band, then maybe have to overdub some bits in. That's ideal, but sometimes it's just me playing the rhythm guitar and singing my lead and harmonies and letting my producer layer it with goodness afterwards. At this point, it's always different and I'm still trying to figure out what's best.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I wish I knew. I think of my life and experiences as being more of an influence than other artists. I like the idea of what The Grateful Dead created or how Bob Marley's music makes people feel. When people are so moved by music, when it brings them together, offers them a respite from the real world, I think that's an inspiration of what to aspire towards. But I'm far, far away from there at this point - haha!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Hmm... just that I hope they like it, that they can relate to it and feel that I mean it and am musically there for them!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
For my first album, of course I hope that it does well! Both critically and commercially. I'd like it to sell lots of copies so that I can feel the freedom to create more and more music, and have a long career, fulfilling these whims and honing my craft as a songwriter, singer, performer, and human being.

MORE>> www.lissie.com

Lissie performed at Communion's takeover at The Flowerpot in Kentish Town, supporting Mt Desolation, on Monday. Tonight you can catch Kill It Kid and The Joker And The Thief. Entry is free, more details here.
After writing yesterday's CMU Approved feature on Émilie Simon, I was reminded of another electro-pop musician who uses a custom built instrument which straps to her left arm - Sputniko! - aka Tokyo-born and now London-based Hiromi Ozaki. Great minds think alike, or something. Or maybe not, as Simon's 'Arm' is quite different to Sputniko!'s 'Wakki' - a creature (or family of creatures) which lives in her armpit and makes sounds using a modified Nintendo Wiimote that it swallowed.

Combining influences as disparate as Laurie Anderson and J-Pop, Sputniko! writes songs about modern and future life, covering such topics as stalking potential lovers on Google, android social network addiction and machines to allow men to experience menstruation. All bases are covered. Currently she is working on building an artificially intelligent robot crow (or 'crowbot') which speaks fluent crow-language. Seriously.

Sputniko!'s well-stocked website will keep you entertained for hours. Look out for links to download her free 'Parakonpe 3000' album, which includes 'The Google Song' (although, be warned, this song will never leave your head once you've heard it).


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 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
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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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Following London nightclub Fabric's brief stint in administration recently after it became caught up in the financial difficulties of sister club Matter, company director Cameron Leslie has spoken to Resident Advisor about the situation, Fabric's new owners and the future of the club under the Dome.

As previously reported, the popular London club and its spin off label and music publishing company went into administration at the end of May following the closure of Matter. Launched in 2008 as part of The O2 complex, Matter failed to take off despite a multi-million investment in it and a generally good reception from clubbers and DJs regarding the state-of-the-art venue. The club is currently closed for the summer, and its future uncertain. Rumours are circulating that the Matter company will be liquidated and the club shut for good.

Explaining how such a seemingly well-liked club as Matter came to fall into such financial difficulties as it did, Leslie told RA: "Matter opened in September of 2008, and there was almost a complete corporate collapse by that Christmas. Matter was meant to be multi-purpose venue, it wasn't meant to be just a nightclub. There were other revenue streams that contributed to make that project work, and as such, if those revenue streams aren't there ... then the club element of the business has to over-perform".

Transport problems have frequently been blamed for the club's woes, and in particular engineering work being undertaken on the Jubilee underground line, and Leslie confirmed that had been a big issue: "60% of the weekends [Matter] was open, you couldn't get there. When we opened in September of 2008, the Jubilee line was supposed to be finished in January of 2009; here we are in July of 2010, and they're saying they're not probably going to be done by the end of this year".

As for how Fabric came to fall into administration, Leslie continued: "The inability to restructure our financing at Matter had an unfortunate and very consequential knock-on effect onto Fabric ... The state of the banking sector in terms of trying to take the pressure off businesses is hard, especially when you're in a sector such as nightclubs which banks perceive to be risky and unattractive. We had an uphill task for quite a long period of time".

He added: "You have to realise, Fabric wasn't a bad business. It's not a business that was necessarily failing, it was a business forced into administration by the financial structure of a greater group of companies. It was no fault of Fabric that that happened to it. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances, but that doesn't mean that Fabric was under-performing. Far from it; given the current climate, Fabric is doing well".

As revealed by CMU last month, Fabric the nightclub and its spin-off record label were bought from parent company Fabric 591 by the newly incorporated Fabric Life in mid-June, making them a separate entity from the other related businesses (the Fabric publishing company was also sold to another buyer).

Leslie insists that the new owners are keen to allow the club to continue running as before, with the same team and ethos. He said: "There's really not a lot to talk about with Fabric Life; to anybody on the front end, it's the same Fabric. [The new investors are] a group of people that we'd had a relationship with. There were a number of people that wanted to take the name Fabric off the door and do something totally different ... but this was a group that really wanted to preserve Fabric as it was, they weren't looking to change it".

So, with the future of Fabric assured, what about Matter? Leslie said that it was "probably too early to say" if the liquidation rumours were true, adding: "The reality is that we've shut the doors at Matter for the summer, we're in discussions for what that means ... we're going to know a lot more shortly".

Read the interview in full at www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=12485

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U2 have announced that they are now preparing for their rescheduled US tour dates, which will take place in August. The shows were postponed, of course, because Bono had to undergo emergency back surgery earlier this year, followed by a programme of rehabilitation. However, in a video message on the band's website, the singer promised that he would be "fighting fit" for the upcoming gigs.

Bono also showed off what an incredibly humble and down-to-earth guy he is by telling fans: "I actually wanted to apologise for the trouble that this injury has put you all through. Those of you who bought tickets, organised hotels and travel plans - it's a very big deal. People go to a lot of trouble to get U2 tickets and we don't take it for granted. Thank you for standing by us in our hour of need". He was wearing sunglasses as he said all this, of course.

As well as finally getting to see U2's '360 Tour', ticketholders may also get an extra bonus. Bono revealed that the band have written "some great new songs, which ... we've been recording" that they "might be playing" at the shows.

Watch the video in full here: www.u2.com/news/title/were-coming-back

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Security has been stepped up around Michael Jackson's tomb at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in California because fans have been writing messages to the late king of pop in permanent ink on the building where the singer's body was interred.

Although, as far as I can seen, the graffitied comments are, in the main, complimentary of the singer, and therefore clearly written by his fans, bosses at the cemetery aren't happy that their property is being defaced.

A representative for Forest Lawn told TMZ: "Activity such as this is a prime example why we are evaluating the level of access to the various entrances of the Great Mausoleum".

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The Jimi Hendrix estate has been sued by a former collaborator of the guitarist, who claims one of his collaborations was licensed by the estate to a TV series soundtrack without his permission.

Lonnie Youngblood became friends with Hendrix in the late sixties, and recorded several songs with the star before his death in 1970. One of those tracks, 'Georgia Blues', appeared on a Hendrix-themed album that was released alongside 'Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues', a Scorsese-produced American TV series documenting the history of the blues genre.

Youngblood says his permission was not sought by the Hendrix estate when they licensed 'Georgia Blues' to the Scorsese project, and that the album failed to credit him as a co-creator of the song. He also claims to own the copyright in the recording, which he says he registered and released, albeit online only, in 2002, a year before the Scorsese produced compilation was released.

According to the Associated Press, Youngblood is suing the Hendrix Estate as well as MCA Records, who released the offending album, and Scorsese himself. Apparently a lawyer for the estate has previously offered Youngblood a three grand out of court settlement, but the musician declined, probably rightly assuming he could get considerably more if he wins his case in court.

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Ne-Yo is being sued for a million dollars by the promoters of a Seattle show where the R&B type was meant to perform on New Year's Eve 2009. Wet Entertainment says it were hugely out of pocket and that its reputation was damaged when Ne-Yo pulled out of the New Year gig at the last minute.

Wet's lawsuit, which is looking for a million in damages, says: "Ne-Yo failed to appear at a New Year's Eve concert and no defence exists that would excuse his failure to appear. [As a result of his actions, the claimants'] reputations in the music industry and entertainment community have been damaged".

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Judges have dismissed a legal attempt by controversial radio presenter Jon Gaunt to have a ruling by media regulator OfCom overturned.

As previously reported, media regulator OfCom ruled that Gaunt had breached broadcasting codes when, during a heated interview on TalkSport in 2008, he called the Head Of Children's Services at Redbridge Council, one Michael Stark, a "nazi", a "health nazi" and an "ignorant pig" over plans to ban smokers from fostering children. TalkSport had already fired Gaunt over the incident ten days after the interview, they having received numerous listener complaints in addition to the 53 formal complaints made to OfCom.

But Gaunt disputed that he had breached OfCom's own codes, and argued that their ruling breached his right to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act. The media regulator countered that the HRA was irrelevant, but in January a judge ruled that there was enough of a case under human rights legislation that Gaunt's claim should go to a court hearing.

That court hearing happened this week, but the radio man's case was quickly dismissed by the two judges overseeing the claim.

They noted that Gaunt's show was "political and controversial" and that Stark, as an elected official, should be prepared for a "rough ride". They also conceded that both the interviewer and interviewee's human right to freedom of expression should be protected in this context, but not, the judges ruled, to the extent that it "gratuitously offensive" remarks should be tolerated. OfCom rules that banned such remarks, therefore, did not impinge on Gaunt's human rights.

According to Radio Today, one judge hearing the case said: "The broadcast was undoubtedly highly offensive to Mr Stark and was well capable of offending the broadcast audience ... The essential point is that the offensive and abusive nature of the broadcast was gratuitous, having no factual content or justification".

Needless to say, OfCom welcomed the ruling. And even Gaunt, who was fighting the case on a point of principle (he'd been fired by TalkSport before the OfCom ruling, and has another job now, presenting online radio shows for The Sun), managed to give the ruling a positive spin, saying the judge's decision did back up his basic argument that the media regulator couldn't use broadcasting rules to restrict a radio host's freedom of expression.

He concluded: "I invite anyone to listen to the tape and make their own judgment, but in my opinion it clearly illustrates that I used that term ['nazi'] completely in context after Councillor Stark clearly insulted me and the kids who are still in care in this country".

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Bryan Ferry has announced that his new solo album, 'Olympia', will feature an array of guest musicians, including Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Primal Scream bassist Mani, members of Scissor Sisters and Groove Armada and more. It also sees Ferry record with his former Roxy Music bandmate Brian Eno for the first time since 1973.

The first single from the album, 'You Can Dance', is due for release on 9 Aug. The album will follow on 25 Oct. For a quicker Bryan Ferry fix, you can catch him (with Roxy Music) headlining the Lovebox festival in London this Saturday.

The tracklist for the album is coincidentally the same as this list I have just typed out here:

You Can Dance
Heartache By Numbers
Me Oh My
Song To The Siren
No Face, No Name, No Number
BF Bass (Ode To Olympia)
Reason Or Rhyme
Tender Is The Night

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The Leaf Label has announced that it will reissue Efterklang's first two albums - 'Tripper' and 'Parades' - complete with new deluxe packaging and the albums' accompanying EPs - 'Springer' and 'Under Giant Trees' - as bonus discs.

'Springer' was originally self-released by the band in 2003, limited to 500 copies with handmade fake fur covers. The band then signed to The Leaf Label while recording their debut album, 'Tripper', that same year.

The follow-up, 'Parades', was released in 2007 and receive high acclaim, though the band admit that it was "a complicated album to make" which still remains "a mystery" to them. Its release was preceded by the 'Under Giant Trees' EP, which had been written in 2005, but was eventually recorded to give the band a break from working on 'Parades'.

The band signed a new deal with 4AD last year to release their third album, 'Magic Chair'. However, they maintain close links with The Leaf Label, sticking with them to release a live recording of 'Parades' recorded with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra.

The reissued albums will both be released on 23 Aug. While you wait for them, why not have a listen to this playlist put together for us by Efterklang frontman Casper Clausen: www.thecmuwebsite.com/playlists/efterklang.html

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John Lydon has revealed that he plans to perform in Israel with the reformed Public Image Ltd. Many artists have boycotted the country in protest against its ongoing conflict with Palestine.

However, Lydon told 6music that his decision to play in Tel Aviv was not politically motivated. He said: "Of course, there are all sorts of terrible politics going on down there but there is just about all over the world. You cannot separate yourself from your audience because of the political powers that be. I mean, I'm anti-government - I have been all my life no matter where I go - and I shall be making that loud and clearly proud once I'm in Israel".

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Japanese 'death jazz' band Soil & "Pimp" Sessions have announced two UK headline shows ahead of their appearance at the WOMAD festival on 23 Jul. If you have any sort of sense inside your brain, you will go to one or both of them, S&PS live shows are something that need to be experienced by everyone.

21 Jul: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
22 Jul: London, Jazz Cafe

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Tinie Tempah will be touring this October. Let's hope he doesn't pass out. Ha! Do you see what I did there? Do you? No? Oh come on, I'm wasted on you people. Rumour has it he will be wearing some of the clothes he keeps at his aunt's house at the shows, tickets for which go on sale on Friday.

Tour dates
10 Oct: Cardiff, Solus
14 Oct: Newcastle, Academy
15 Oct: Edinburgh, Potterow
18 Oct: Manchester, Academy 2
19 Oct: Birmingham, Institute
21 Oct: Lincoln, Engine Shed
23 Oct: Liverpool, Academy
24 Oct: Sheffield, The Plug
25 Oct: Norwich, UEA
26 Oct: Brighton, Concorde 2
27 Oct: London, Koko
28 Oct: Bournemouth, University Fire Station
29 Oct: Bristol, Academy
31 Oct: Oxford, Academy

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THE LITTLE LONDON FIELDS FESTIVAL, London Fields, London, 7 Aug: Mirrors, Laura J Martin, Don't Wait Animate and Robot Disaster are amongst the acts confirmed to play at this new free boutique fest in London. www.littlelondonfields.co.uk

TRAMLINES, Various venues, Sheffield, 23-25 Jul: Rolo Tomassi, Tinchy Stryder and Gallows are amongst the latest acts added to the Tramlines line-up, along with Grammatics, Professor Green, 65daysofstatic, Daisy Dares You, Pulled Apart By Horses and many more. www.tramlines.org.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Pezzner - Blacklist (Freerange Records)
Househead Dave Pezzner recently released a rather fruitful debut LP, 'The Tracks Are Alive', on Jimpster's London-based label. 'Blacklist' was one of the tougher cuts on the album, bumping along with pace, with some aquatic little chimes thrown in. A good track, but not the album's stand out point by any means.

But what do the remixes included in this package add to the proceedings? Well, the Teutonic Stimming jacks up the tempo and throws in some weird samples, but it's nowt special. The Lusine remix begins in an edgy disjointed way, then turns a bit more manic before building to something more satisfactory towards the end, with some nice horn accompaniments.

Also included in this single release is 'Chiuso Per Ferie', another track taken from the album, which is again fairly tough house with a lush spacious breakdown that takes the foot totally off the pedal for over a minute before coming back even harder.

The package is, on the whole, average - which is a tad disappointing if only because Freerange's output is usually of such exceptional calibre. PV

Digital release: 12 Jul
Press contact: Freerange IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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There has been chatter in some quarters of the US record industry regarding the Recording Industry Association Of America's wage bill after it was revealed what key execs at the trade body were paid in 2008. Top man Mitch Bainwol took home $2 million, while ten other execs were being paid over $200,000. Given the RIAA is primarily funded by the major record companies, was this a good use of their money?

Well, assuming your key aim as an industry is to hand over vast sums of money to lawyers to pursue litigation which everyone with a brain knows will achieve absolutely nothing in combating online piracy, and which will make the world at large (the whole world, not just the US) - including consumers, politicians, academics, journalists and even judges - believe you're all a bunch of money grabbing cunts with no interest in the actual music you sell, then Mitch is your man, and Team RIAA are your guys.

So, money well spent Mr Sony, Mr Universal, Mr Warner and Mr EMI?

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So, the problems, or not, of a more level playing field in the music domain have been aired more publicly than normal this week thanks to an interview in Wired with Tommy Boy man Tom Silverman who - while you may not agree with his opinions and you might question the stats he uses to justify them - is always interesting to listen to.

Silverman, who has previously questioned the ability of the DIY approach to launch new bands (ie he argues new talent still need a record label and six figure budget to get established), recently gave an interview in Wired in which he discussed the thousands of artists who are now self-releasing, capitalising on the fact that in the internet age anyone can get their music stocked in download stores like iTunes, utilising user-friendly independent distribution platforms like TuneCore.

But, Silverman reckons, the vast majority of the people selling music that way - 80% he claims - are selling only a handful of copies. These are not professional musicians, he reckons, but "hobbyists" who happen to have their music on iTunes via TuneCore.

In itself, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some of those hobbyists may be future pop stars at the start of their careers. And, even if they're not, and their music simply isn't good enough to ever interest more than a handful of people, why shouldn't everyone be able to get their music online?

Except, Silverman argues, all that music - a lot of it pretty mediocre - is clogging up the internet and making it harder for the real talent to get through, certainly without a largish record company on board and significant marketing budget to spend.

He told Wired: "Some companies like TuneCore [are building their businesses based on the thousands of tiny selling musicians] because they get the same $10 whether you sell one copy or 10,000. [But that is] cluttering the music environment with crap, so that the artists who really are pretty good have more trouble breaking through than they ever did before".

Having picked specifically on TuneCore in the interview, it's not surprising that that company's co-founder Jeff Price felt the need to respond, and he has done just that via a rather long blog posting on his company's website.

He points out, as Silverman critics have done before, that the Tommy Boy chief's stats are often based on album sales rather than single sales, and that in the digital era the latter are becoming more important than the former. Price also suggests that Silverman's criticism of the DIY approach and everyone-is-welcome distribution services like TuneCore is based on a fear that old-school record label chiefs - like Silverman - can no longer control what music we, the music consuming public, get access to.

Of course, the levelling of the music distribution playing field that has come about because of the web and services like TuneCore is in many ways brilliant, and for some artists - who would probably have never been signed to a label, but who might be able to generate and service a big enough fan base to make a living - the whole thing is hugely liberating.

But then Silverman is right to point out that while distribution is a whole lot easier now than it used to be, that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to launch a band, even if you're only aiming for nominal commercial success.

And while it is possibly true that in the future there will be more small-time bands who make a sufficient (but no more) living from their music, and less globe-trotting millionaire popstars - which is possibly a good thing - that doesn't mean everyone who puts there music online will be able to give up the day job. Many bands will still fail, and as there are more bands than ever, more bands than ever will fail. Silverman would presumably argue that aspiring music types should be aware of that fact.

To be fair to Mr Tommy Boy, while critical of the DIY approach, he isn't holding on to traditional record industry business models either. On the contrary, in the same Wired interview he says the traditional record deal has had its day, and advocates the 50/50 label/band business venture model that an increasingly number of clever people in both the label and management community seem to be advocating.

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We7 has added news into the mix, which is interesting. The digital music service has struck a deal with Guardian-owned Real Radio which will now make up-to-date news and entertainment news bulletins available to We7 listeners, should they want such a thing.

Via the deal, those using We7 for their music can opt to get regular news updates via the service too, meaning the on-demand streaming platform is now offering other elements of the radio experience. And, as an added bonus, once you hear Real Radio's terrible 1984-style idents, you'll be reminded why you're using a We7-style service in the first place, rather than listening to a traditional radio station.

Confirming his company's news partnership with GMG Radio, We7 top man Steve Purdham told CMU: "This partnership marries high quality news production and delivery with the new paradigm of on-demand music. Radio and 'cloud-based' music can learn a great deal from each other, so we are really excited about working with GMG Radio".

GMG Radio's top man Stuart Taylor added: "Working with We7 means that we can continue to grow our strong reputation for quality news coverage by making that content available across a variety of platforms for the benefit of the end user. We're thrilled to be providing news for listeners in this format, it's not only changing the offering to the consumers but shows the real evolution of the market".

The partnership comes just days after Real Radio's news team were in the news themselves by scoring an exclusive interview with a very slurry Paul Gascoigne about Raoul Moat, who the ex-footballer claimed to know. Gazza spoke to Real Radio from Rothbury as the stand off between Moat and police approached its tragic climax on Friday night.

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Last weekend's Prince freebie helped the Daily Mirror sell an extra 334,000 copies compared to the previous weekend. Sister Scottish title Daily Record, which also bundled copies of new Prince album '20Ten' in with their paper, saw a sales uplift of 45,000.

Well, I'm assuming it was the free Prince CD that helped the two tabloids sell more copies. Although I heard somewhere that the internet is dead, so perhaps it's a sign of one time web surfers returning to print.

We don't actually know what either title's total sales were on 10 Jul or 3 Jul (ie with and without the Prince), but Billboard did some maths based on both papers' most recent ABC circulation figures and reckons the Prince CD helped the Mirror score a 27% increase in paper sales, while the Record only had a 14% increase. It's thought that when the Mail On Sunday gave away Prince album 'Planet Earth' in 2007 they experienced an uplift similar to the Mirror.

It's not really known what the Mirror paid to licence the new Prince album, though some are quoting figures in the region of £250,000, which is considerably less than what the Mail spent in 2007, but that's not surprising given promotional budgets have fallen across the newspaper industry, and the Mirror has never had the same level of budgets as the Mail. The quarter of a million would not include the publishing royalty Prince will get from the release, which will be paid via MCPS rather than directly to the singer.

Whatever, the MD of Trinity Mirror's national papers, Mark Hollinshead, seemed happy. He told reporters: "We are delighted with the huge response to the Prince promotion which has proved to be a successful sampling opportunity for both titles. This was also a great example of our editorial and commercial teams working closely together which resulted in the most effective way for Prince to reach his legion of UK fans".

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RAJAR, the people who make up the radio listening figures (or who apply rigorous statistical formulae to accurately ascertain how many people listen to each radio station, depending on your viewpoint) have a new boss, or they will do come September.

RAJAR's previous boss Sally de la Bedoyere stood down last month, and yesterday it was confirmed Jerry Hill will take over the CEO job in September. Who's in charge in the meantime I don't know. What if all the RAJAR staff get out of control and start making up the radio listening figures. How would we ever be able to tell the difference?

Hill comes to RAJAR from ad agency Initiative, which is sensible given radio listening figures really exist to convince advertisers they should be paying the sort of rates radio stations ask for, on the basis their ads will be heard by a certain number of people.

Confirming Hill's appointment, RAJAR Chairman David Mansfield told reporters: "I am very pleased Jerry Hill has accepted the position as CEO of RAJAR. He is a highly rated individual with a very impressive track record in media spanning over 20 years. It is very important for the radio industry that the day-to-day running of RAJAR is in professional and capable hands and we feel confident that Jerry is this person".

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BSkyB completed its purchase of Virgin Media Television yesterday, the deal having got the OK from regulators in both the UK and Ireland.

The arrangement sees the Living, Bravo, Challenge and Virgin1 channels become part of the Sky empire, though they will continue to operate autonomously from the satellite company's other telly stations under the Living TV Group banner.

Sky have not acquired a licence to use the Virgin brand as part of the deal, meaning Virgin1 will have to be renamed in due course. No word on what name Sky will go with. I don't think my suggestion of SH1T TV has been officially knocked back as yet, though that would require the channel's current programming policy to be maintained.

Ad sales for the four channel brands will be moved over to Sky's sales house at the start of next year.

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Celador Radio have bought Portsmouth radio station The Quay, which was facing closure after its owners Portsmouth Football Club put it into administration last week.

Celador will use The Quay's frequency as a Portsmouth outpost of its new South coast radio service The Breeze, which is due to go on air in near by Southampton and Winchester at the end of the month. In Southampton and Winchester The Breeze will replace Play Radio, a radio service that only went live on FM last summer, and which Celador acquired back in April.

The Breeze will be aimed at the 40 plus audience and broadcast "classic and contemporary easy listening music". It's thought Celador's purchase of The Quay from Portsmouth Football Club will include rights to air coverage of their matches.

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According to Radio Today, two radio stations in Manchester are now claiming to be the city's number one pop station, with both Global-owned Galaxy and Bauer-owned Key 103 using the same strapline - "Manchester's number one hit music station".

It seems both stations have recently changed their straplines, though Key 103 have used variations of the "Manchester's number one" shtick before. It's possible Global have deliberately chosen to move into Key 103's territory positioning statement wise to stress that their service in the city, a relative newcomer, has faired better in recent RAJAR ratings for the area than the Bauer station, despite (Piccadilly) Key 103 being Manchester's long established primary pop station.

Or it's possible Global never even considered what Key 103 were claiming strapline-wise at the moment, and instead picked Galaxy's new positioning statement because it mirrors that of the radio group's main London station, Capital FM, or "London's number one hit music station".

That Capital in London and Galaxy in Manchester are now using basically the same strapline has led Radio Today to speculate that Global is planning on bringing the Capital service into its Galaxy network as part of the group's mission to reduce the number of brands and programming formats it operates.

Whether that would mean the Galaxy stations would be rebranded as Capital - even though that name doesn't really make sense outside of London (not that that ever stopped the Capital Gold brand from being used nationally) - or, in what some radio geeks would consider a sacrilegious move, Capital FM would become Galaxy London, isn't known.

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Poison man Bret Michaels reportedly proposed to longtime girlfriend and baby mother Kristi Lynn Gibson during the recent Independence Day celebrations in America. Gibson, of course, has helped nurse the rocker through his various recent health scares.

A source tells US tabloid mag Star: "Bret felt like now was the time, because Kristi has been through so much with Bret, and has been by his side every step of the way. [Following his health scare] he's woken up. He now knows he wants to be a husband ... Kristi is thrilled that they will be getting married".

The source continues: "They haven't set a date and no plans are in the works yet. But when Bret's tour ends they will work out the details. Bret wants to be in excellent health before he walks down the aisle".

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Justin Bieber has revealed that both he and his non-Playboy-posing mother Pattie Mallette are "very involved" in Christianity, and that he believes God has been there supporting his family throughout his life. Which possibly means the scale of Bieber's success is all God's fault. Which would figure. It's probably revenge for all those terrible hymns Christians insist of singing to him every Sunday morning.

The teen warbler told USA Today: "[We] are really involved with God. He's always been like - I don't know - he's held our family together. We grew up with not a lot of money, my mum and I. She was young when she had me. We struggled, but we never blamed him [God, that is]".

That said, the Bieber did leave the window open for a future turn to Satanism, adding: "I'm still young, I'm still trying to figure out who I am, and I'm just trying to have fun. I don't know what I'm here to do yet".

In the same interview Bieber joked about his short stature, blaming his busy schedule for his failure to grow. "I put in a lot of time on the road", he mused, "going to radio stations at 6am, and singing, all in the middle of my growth spurt. Thanks to the music industry, I'm going to be really short".

I'm not 100% sure on the science behind that statement, but he's an American Christian, so I don't suppose science matters.

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Fans of John Lennon have hit out at his son Sean after he posted a picture of Lady Gaga playing his father's famous white Steinway piano which is kept at his mother Yoko Ono's house.

Here's the offending photograph: tweetphoto.com/31537987

Lennon pointed out to those who complained that "pianos are meant to be played" and ordered them all to stop being so "uptight". Which seems fair.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Paul the Psychic Octopus
Head Of Strategy

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