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Top Stories
Appeals court dismisses EMI's claim over Pink Floyd ruling
In The Pop Courts
Basshunter charged with sexual assault
Police drop investigation over Bieber pushing over kid claim
Awards & Contests
Trent Reznor soundtrack gets Golden Globe nod
Reunions & Splits
Sepultura deny reunion claims
Artist Deals
Cooking Vinyl announces four signings
Release News
Simian Mobile Disco produce Beth Ditto solo EP
Biffy Clyro fine with, but not massively keen on, X-Factor
Gigs & Tours News
Paul McCartney to play 100 Club
Talks, Debates & Conventions
MIDEM gets a new chief
The Music Business
Labour's culture man wants cross-government taskforce to consider creative industries
Is Live Nation about to axe its new German tours division?
Infectious launches own online shop
The Digital Business
More job cuts at Yahoo!
The Media Business
X-Factor magazine closes
Global Radio rejigs execs
Gold reshuffles schedule
And finally...
Papa Roach: Burn aimed at former label

In 2006, a year and a half after The Beta Band had come crashing to the ground, frontman Steve Mason released 'Black Gold', the debut album from his occasional solo project King Biscuit Time. Following on from a couple of well-received singles, the album was hailed as a as a welcome return and Mason's solo career looked set to get off to a good start.

But then, on the eve of a national tour, Mason posted the message, "I've had enough. Over and out" on his MySpace page and disappeared. The tour was cancelled and King Biscuit Time came to an end. In the two weeks he remained out of contact, Mason admitted to the Guardian earlier this year, he'd been contemplating suicide and later asked his GP to have him sectioned.

When he returned to music the following year, it was as Black Affair, an 80s electro-influenced project that was notably darker and more stripped down than his earlier work. He released one album under this moniker before drifting out of view once again.

This could quite easily have been where Mason's solo career ended. And as a big fan of both The Beta Band and all of Mason's solo output, it always frustrated me that this was the way, it seemed, it was going to be. But, thankfully, last year something changed. Or two things. Firstly, he overcame the depression that had dogged him throughout his career. Secondly, he allowed someone else to produce his recordings; Richard X.

Recorded in 2009, the result of this was 'Boys Outside', easily one of this year's best albums. It features Mason's most personal lyrics to date, and is appropriately the first work he has released under his own name (though the album was originally conceived as the second Black Affair album). With the guidance of Richard X, he allowed himself to fully realise his pop tendencies that would previously have been subverted somehow, whether intentionally or involuntarily.

Everything about it feels like an exorcism of the past, and though the lyrics do not always come from the happiest of places, there is an overriding feeling of hope that is infectious. In fact, asked what his ambitions for the album were prior to its release, Mason told CMU: "My ambitions have never changed in twelve years. I want to be a huge success, without betraying my personal beliefs. In the future? Well, I will be a huge success. Finally! As long as I don't go mental again!" Which somehow seems to sum up the content of the album perfectly.

The album release also saw Mason finally tour properly as a solo artist. Over the course of the year I've seen him play three times, on each occasion he's been noticeably more confident being back on stage and has even allowed a few Beta Band and King Biscuit Time songs to creep into the set. In fact, a definitely highlight of the year was seeing him play 'Dry The Rain' at a packed show at XOYO in Shoreditch in October.

I'm loathe to call it a comeback, because, for me, Mason's recorded output has always been of a high quality, whatever his mental state. But 'Boys Outside' is certainly the best work of his solo career, possibly even bettering his Beta Band days, and has finally pushed him closer towards the level of recognition he undoubtedly deserves.

Website | iTunes | Amazon | Spotify | CMU Powers Of Ten playlist
So, earlier this year I became slightly fixated on Danish popstars. After approving RebekkaMaria, I did a little digging around and found a whole load of really good and slightly odd singers who, despite signing major record deals in their home country, have never had any of their music properly released anywhere else.

One such artist who particularly stands out is Fallulah, aka Maria Apetri, who, as far as I can see, is a pretty big deal in Denmark. And with good reason. Her debut album, 'The Black Cat Neighbourhood', released via Sony Music, is bursting with great songs, in particular the single 'Bridges', the chorus of which will lodge itself in your head for somewhere close to the rest of time. You can listen to that and a number of other songs on her MySpace page, or find a clutch of Fallulah releases on iTunes.


CMU is looking for a full time (Mon-Fri 10.30am-4pm) intern to assist with editorial tasks at its Shoreditch-based HQ.
Working closely with the Editor, the intern will manage the reviews database, input content into the CMU content management system, prepare photos for email bulletins, and assist with other editorial tasks. There will also be opportunities to write, including artist biogs and reviews.

Some writing experience and a passion for music are a must, while any admin, CMS and/or Photoshop experience will also be useful. Although unpaid, this internship role will provide excellent hands-on experience and some formal training. Zone Two travel will be covered. The post runs from one month minimum to three months maximum. Early January start.

Send your CV and two recent examples of your writing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, indicating how soon you could start and how long you would like your internship to last. Deadline 5pm Wednesday 15 December.
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The Court Of Appeal yesterday upheld a High Court ruling against EMI with regards the way the digital catalogue of the most Pink of all the Floyds is sold.

As previously reported, this particular dispute between Pink Floyd and EMI centred on the sale of the band's albums on a track-by-track basis on digital services like iTunes. Although a number of artists have complained about the tendency of consumers in the digital age to pick and mix tracks rather than buy and listen to full albums, the very album-centric Pink Floyd went legal over the issue, claiming that their 1967 contract with EMI prohibited the record company from selling their music in this way.

The dispute focused on one particular clause in that contract which referred to EMI not selling any Pink Floyd records as 'single records' without the band's permission. EMI's legal team somewhat optimistically argued that the use of the word "records" in that clause only referred to physical records - ie vinyl or CDs - and not digital albums or singles. The Floyd's lawyers argued that that was clearly not in the spirit of the original agreement, and that the clause referred to the sale of all of the band's recordings, not just those on physical products.

Back in March a High Court judge sided with Pink Floyd at a private hearing. EMI sought to appeal that judgment, but the Court Of Appeal yesterday dismissed their case meaning the earlier ruling still stands.

I'm not sure what that means regarding the sale of Pink Floyd's music digitally, their albums are still available on a track-by-track basis on iTunes this morning. Though the single track issue is one part of a wider royalties dispute between the band and the record company, so there may be other things at play that could further delay the actual impact of this ruling.

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Basshunter, aka Swedish producer Jonas Erik Altberg, has been charged with sexual assault in Scotland following an incident in a Fife nightclub on Friday. The producer is accused of assaulting two female fans at Kitty's nightclub in Kirkcaldy where he was performing. He has been bailed pending a court appearance in January.

A police spokesman told the BBC: "Police in Fife can confirm that a 25 year old man has been arrested in relation to alleged offences committed at Kitty's, Hunter Street, Kirkcaldy, and has been bailed to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in due course".

Altberg's manager said that the accusations were "totally untrue".

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Police in British Columbia have said no charges will be pressed regarding allegations squeaky popster Justin Bieber pushed over a twelve year old boy at a Laser Quest type facility in Vancouver back in October.

As previously reported, the alleged pushing took place when Bieber was playing laser games with two of his security guards ahead of a gig in the city. While running around with his pretend laser gun it seems Bieber somehow injured the twelve year old in question, making the kid cry. Some reports suggested that Bieber accidentally knocked down the pre-teen while trying to escape from some approaching fans, while others said the singer deliberately pushed the other boy, possibly after the twelve year old accused the singer of being a "faggot".

Despite the confusion as to what actually happened exactly, the crying kid's father called the police. But they said yesterday that "the investigation into this incident is now complete [and] no charges will be forwarded as the evidence collected does not support doing so". They added that the twelve year old suffered minimal injuries and didn't require medical attention. And presumably he's not the first person to be accidentally knocked over at a place where people are running around pretending to shoot each other with lasers.

It's never actually been confirmed that it was the Bieber involved in this at all, because given both he and the crying kid are under eighteen the police have never named any names.

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Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' soundtrack to David Fincher's Facebook movie 'The Social Network' has been nominated in the Best Original Score category at the Golden Globe awards, it was announced yesterday. The Nine Inch Nails frontman and his long time collaborator are up against more seasoned soundtrack writers AR Rahman ('127 Hours'), Alexandre Desplat ('The King's Speech'), Danny Elfman ('Alice In Wonderland') and Hans Zimmer ('Inception').

Reznor recently told The Quietus that his first foray into soundtracks was an eye opening experience: "[It was interesting] watching how the music we made transformed this film from the rough cut we saw, which had no music, when the film felt a certain way, to seeing this whole different impression of the film come out. At first, the film felt comfortable and familiar, college kids doing their thing, fucking people over, but when we put 'Hand Covers Bruise' in there it felt completely different. It felt that there was something going on under the surface, it felt that there was a frailty and vulnerability to it, and I was blown away at how music could do that".

He continued: "I knew it could, but I hadn't been involved in putting the ingredients together and making it happen. It seemed to make people respond positively to the film and our work in it, and it has felt flattering, it has felt good, it has felt energising and I get goosebumps when I think about it. It was a nice charge that I needed - music is a powerful thing, and sometimes I forget that in my day job. It has been a great inspiration and I'm sure it'll transfer into what we'll do next, because it feels as if we've been recharged now".

The Golden Globe ceremony is due to take place on 16 Jan at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood.

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The current members of Sepultura have denied claims made recently by founder and former frontman Max Cavalera that there is the possibility of a reunion of the band's classic line-up.

Cavalera left the band in 1996, followed by his brother Igor in 2006, making bassist Paolo Jr the only remaining founder member. Current guitarist Andreas Kisser is, however, considered one of the group's key members by the band's fans.

As previously reported, Cavalera recently told Sonic Excess: "I did call Andreas, and I had a real good talk with him. It sounded like he wanted to do it, and I had Igor onboard for the reunion. I think the only person preventing it is Paulo. I don't know why, but I think Paulo is really against the reunion. People should ask him why he is so against it, because I think it would be a great think for the fans to see the original line-up".

However, this week the band issued a video statement, in which Kisser told fans: "Don't listen to rumours anymore. We're tired of listening to the bullshit that Max is talking all over the world. There's no communication. There's no talks about any type of reunion with the Cavaleras. We're Sepultura for 26 years and we're celebrating it. I hope this is the end of the rumours and lies".

Watch the video here: youtu.be/Kij4DPoeT4I

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Cooking Vinyl has announced a "quadruple whammy" of artist deals, and if you don't believe me I'll email you the press release which definitely says so.

The London indie has signed licensing deals with four artists - an eclectic bunch including Ron Sexsmith, Asian Dub Foundation, Peter Bjorn & John and Does It Offend You, Yeah? - and will now release the next long players from each of them. Options to work on future releases are also part of each deal.

New albums from both Sexsmith and ADF will be released in February, with the new Peter Bjorn & John long player due out in March, and a new Does It Offend You, Yeah? album out in the spring.

The chief Vinyl Cook Martin Goldschmidt told CMU: "It's been a great year for us, with great results - Groove Armada, Charlatans, Underworld - and great records - Turin Brakes, Audio Bullys, Ocean Colour Scene and many more. Bring on 2011!"

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Simian Mobile Disco have produced a four track solo EP by Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto. It will be released through Sony/Deconstruction in January. No title has yet been announced.

The dance duo previously worked with Ditto on 'Cruel Intentions', a track for their 2009 album, 'Temporary Pleasure', which was also released as single back in January.

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Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil has said that he doesn't want his band "to be too closely associated" with 'X-Factor' after their song 'Many Of Horror' was covered by the show's winner Matt Cardle as his first single. Neil said he hopes "it doesn't impact on the [original] song too much" but that "no one is too pissed off about it".

He told Kerrang!: "We don't want to be too closely associated with ['X-Factor']. That being said, I think when you look at the classic songs they have used in the past, like Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' for example, it hasn't really affected my take on that song. I still think the Jeff Buckley version is the best. The same goes for when David Bowie let them use 'Heroes' this year. So I'm hoping it doesn't impact on the song too much".

He added: "But you know, it's too fucking surreal and subversive to possibly be made up! It's very surreal to think about our music being used on prime time British TV like that. I just hope no one is too pissed off about it".

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Paul McCartney will play the 100 Club this Friday. That's former Beatle Paul McCartney at the 350 capacity 100 Club. How exciting. Unfortunately, tickets went on sale at 10am this morning and were all sold in about 2.7 seconds. But it's still exciting news, huh? Come on, it's not like you would have got tickets anyway.

The lunchtime show is, of course, part of the ongoing campaign to save the possibly soon to be defunct London venue.

Announcing the show, McCartney told reporters yesterday: "I've played all sorts of different venues over the years and this kind of show presents a different challenge to performing in a stadium. I love performing and I love connecting with audiences, be it in a stadium or arena or in a club. I'm looking forward to being able to interact with fans on a face-to-face basis, not to mention the smell of sweat and beer".

On Friday evening Macca will also play the Hammersmith Apollo. It's going to be a busy day, I hope he has a nap at some point.

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Reed MIDEM, the Paris-based bit of the Reed conference group that, well, you guessed it, oversees MIDEM, amongst other things, has announced the appointment of a new Director Of Music Markets, former Sony Music France VP Bruno Crolot.

Crolot will take over the running of MIDEM itself from Dominique Leguern, who has already confirmed she will depart the company after next month's event. He will also be involved in two other creative industry flim flams being developed by Reed, including the US-based Rethink Music conference and the Connected Creativity Forum, which will take place in Cannes next April.

He will report to Reed MIDEM Entertainment Division Director Anne de Kerckhove who told CMU yesterday: "MIDEM, Rethink Music and Connected Creativity will significantly benefit from Bruno's knowledge of the music industry, combined with his extensive experience in the digital entertainment sector. In the transmedia age, MIDEM will increasingly bring together the international music community with the major players operating in the technology and digital media arena. An example of this will be how the music industry will be an integral part of the Connected Creativity Forum".

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Remember the Labour Party? Well, they've got a culture guy called Ivan Lewis and he wants the government to create a cross-department task force to provide help for the creative industries, which is something similar to what UK Music has been calling for.

Lewis says that the task force should bring together all government departments with an influence over the creative sector, including the culture and business secretaries Jeremy Hunt and Vince Cable. He wants the committee to come up with an action plan by next summer, covering issues like intellectual property, broadband roll out, creative education and skills programmes and a particular favourite of UK Music and the Music Managers Forum, better schemes to offer access to finance to small and middle-sized creative enterprises.

Speaking at a Work Foundation event yesterday, Lewis said: "This is no time for ideologically driven laissez faire, 'leave it to the market', economic policy. Neither business leaders or I are asking the Coalition to exercise centralised control or heavy handed interventions - what we want is leadership. Leadership which recognises active 'joined up' government strategy and policy can make the difference between Britain's creative industries building on their success - generating jobs and growth - or falling back and falling behind our competitors".

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Live Nation is planning on scaling back its German live music operations, which it only launched back in March, according to a report in German magazine Business Week.

Live Nation announced earlier this year that it was launching its own concert division in Germany for the first time, its interests in the territory having previously centred on its stake in Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur.

Hamburg-based Johannes Wessels was brought in to head the new division, but he is seemingly now out, and it is sources close to him that have told Business Week the Live Nation Germany experiment could be culled altogether. The move would not effect Ticketmaster's German operations.

Live Nation is yet to comment.

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Indie label Infectious has launched its own online store selling music and merch from its current artists, ie The Temper Trap, Local Natives, Cloud Control and General Fiasco. T-shirts and tote bags bearing the Infectious logo (a spotty dog) are also available if you're stuck with what to buy Aunt Maud for Christmas.

As part of the launch the label are offering 'VIP membership' to anyone who tweets 'I Love @Infectious_UK' or who 'likes' the label's Facebook page. VIP members get various discount offers, including 25% off an Infectious album bundle deal. So don't go saying we didn't tell you.

You can access the shop at www.infectiousmusicuk.com.

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Yahoo! announced yesterday that it would cut a further 4% of its workforce, which I think means we now have to stop referring to it as a "web giant". 600 jobs will go at the web dwarf, though the company says that while some parts of its operations will be cut others will continue to expand.

The struggling web firm has actually seen profit margins grow since current CEO Carol Bartz took over in early 2009, but revenue growth has stalled and the number of people accessing websites on the Yahoo! platform is in decline while traffic at main rivals Google and Facebook continues to grow. A spokesman said yesterday that the latest jobs cull was "part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo! for revenue growth and margin expansion".

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The 'X-Factor' magazine, X, is no more. Just three months after its launch, publisher Haymarket has announced the latest edition of the title will be its last.

Although carrying news and articles about the ITV show, X also featured other music, fashion and showbiz content and the original plan was for it to be a year round magazine capitalising on the 'X-Factor' brand.

However, Haymarket's contract publishing business, which won the rights to publish the title from the show's makers Syco and Fremantle back in July, admitted yesterday that sales had not met with expectations. Presumably the thinking is that if sales aren't great while the 'X-Factor' is on TV, once the series is off the screen readership will only decline.

The magazine's editorial team confirmed the closure via Twitter yesterday saying: "The final issue of X Mag is out on Weds. Thanks to all who worked with us and to everyone who wrote/tweeted/emailed - it's been brilliant". Meanwhile Popjustice's Peter Robinson, who was Senior Editor of the X title, wrote yesterday: "Thanks to everyone who bought the magazine and in some cases enjoyed it enough to subscribe".

A spokesperson for Freemantle and Syco also confirmed the magazine's closure, though indicated they might have a second go at taking the talent show into print next year, telling Digital Spy: "We can confirm X magazine will be closing after the final of 'The X-Factor' broadcast this month. We are reviewing its status ahead of next year's series and looking at what options there are for the magazine moving forward".

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Radio giants Global yesterday announced an executive rejig which will see former Mail On Sunday boss Stephen Miron, currently CEO of the company's Global Radio division, become CEO of the wider Global Group, which also includes the firm's albeit much smaller talent management and music publishing companies. Elsewhere Mike Gordon, currently Global's Commercial Director, will become MD Commercial, which is apparently different.

With Miron basically taking on the current job title of Global's main top man Ashley Tabor, he will become Executive President, and will also have the word "founder" printed on his business cards. Global Radio's top programming man Richard Park will continue to report straight into Tabor, rather than one of the other two elevated execs.

Confirming the promotions, Tabor told reporters: "I made these appointments because as we continue to develop the business it's important to ensure that the company has the right leadership structure in place for the needs of the business today, and also for the future. Global is virtually unrecognisable from the company I launched two years ago. Today, we are a significant media and entertainment business with a weekly radio audience of nearly 20 million, and successful and growing publishing and talent divisions and I am excited at the prospect of further growth in the year ahead".

The Miron man added: "I am genuinely delighted to be given this expanded role. In only two years Global has transformed the commercial radio industry and personally for me it has become a very special company to work for. I'm tremendously excited about the opportunities the future holds for us as a business".

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Elsewhere in the Global empire, the company's golden oldies radio network Gold has announced a new schedule for the New Year.

Current breakfast show hosts James Cannon and Erika North are out, with current drive time host Paul Coyte taking their place. He, in turn, will be replaced by current early afternoon guy David Andrews, who will, in turn, be replaced by Eamonn Kelly, who used to be with Smooth Radio.

Talking of which, we already know Gold's David Jenson is moving to The Guardian's Smooth station next month, and now we know that he'll be replaced on the Gold morning show by Tony Dibbin, currently with Bay Radio in Swansea. You kept up with all that, right?

Look, here's Global Radio's programming man Richard Park saying words: "Gold's 'Red Hot' music policy playing the greatest hits of all time has already been a massive hit with our audience and this new presenter line-up, coupled with even more music, will take Gold to the next level as the UK's greatest hits network".

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Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix has confirmed that his band's recent single 'Burn', which I think is about watching someone who stabbed you in the back burning, was aimed as his former record label. The band are currently embroiled in a nasty split from Universal's Interscope/Geffen label, with the band claiming they are owed lots of money from the record company. The bad blood between the band and label is no secret, the former having earlier this year urged fans not to buy a greatest hits album release by the latter.

Commenting on 'Burn', which appears on the band's album 'Time For Annihilation' released by new label Eleven Seven earlier this year, Shaddix told Rock AAA: "There's a lot of two-faced shit in this business. Interscope/Geffen pissed me off - it was a really bad ending with them. They owe us a good chunk of money and they don't want to give it to us. We're like, 'Fuck you, we're done'".

We should stress that we don't think this means Shaddix has any plans to burn down Interscope and Geffen. Though if their offices were now to catch fire, the Papa Roach man might regret his lyrics when the police show up.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
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Club Tipper
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