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Top Stories
Supreme Court declines to review appeal court's Starr v Sony decision
More EMI chatter – could BMG buy the whole caboodle?
In The Pop Courts
Rammstein did not appear on Apocalyptica's 2007 album, OK?
Elvis sues Chrysalis
Awards & Contests
Dave Grohl named NME Godlike Genius
In The Studio
Reznor to soundtrack Dragon Tattoo
Release News
Wagon Christ announces new album
Does It Offend You, Yeah? announce new album
Films & Shows News
JLS reportedly making 3D movie
Gigs & Tours News
Canadian Blast brings Cape Breton sound to the UK
The Music Business
Is Doug Morris meeting Vivendi to discuss Sony move?
MIA calls for speedier action on live licensing reform
Wasted Youth and All Press partner
The Digital Business
MySpace cuts expected today
SoundCloud confirms new investors and board members
And finally...
When Church met Z
Def Leppard tribute act seeks one-armed drummer
Marina not happy with career so far

Dusky-voiced soul songstress Rumer, the moniker of Sarah Joyce, released her debut album 'Seasons Of My Soul' in late 2010 to widespread acclaim from critics, fans and John Prescott alike. Spearheading a fresh take on vintage pastiche, her appeal was such that she became the fastest selling new female artist of last year. Following much-lauded singles 'Slow' and 'Aretha', Rumer now treats us to her third single, 'Am I Forgiven', which was released earlier this month. Currently wrapping up a sold out nationwide tour, Rumer is also due to embark on a string of spring dates which kick off on 21 Mar at Colston Hall in Bristol. We caught up with her to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I have always loved music and from a young age adapted songs by changing the melodies and lyrics so I could understand them, so it was natural to begin to write my own music when I got older. My older brothers had a room in the house which was set up as a band room, with amps and a drum kit, and they used to rehearse in there. My brothers would let me stand on a box to sing into the microphone and make up my own backing vocals at the age of six. Looking back they were really welcoming and friendly to me!

So, it was my family that got me into writing music. Music was a normal part of life growing up. Chris is a great singer-songwriter, and my brother Rob plays piano by ear and is a really really great fingerpicking folk guitarist. Steve played the drums. My sisters Kathy and Liz can pick up the acoustic and play it really well. And while my sister Felix never played, she is the tastemaker, the DJ. To this day even though she lives way out in the country she finds the most unusual music and knows all the hip new bands.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Nature, universal themes of love, loss, grief, hope, everyday life, the people I have met and loved, friendship, desolation, redemption, dreams and ideas of heaven.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I work like I imagine a painter does. I get a sense of a feeling or sentiment I want to express, and see pictures or moving images in my mind. Then I make musical sketches with vocal and guitar, record them on tape, and live with them, building on the ideas, filling in the colours. Then I record them again and add harmonies til there is form and structure. Then I will share it with my producer and he usually transposes it to piano and sometimes he adds his own arrangement, sometimes not.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
All the great singers, Aretha, Cass Eliot, Dusty, Dionne, Karen Carpenter, Jackie Deshannon, Bobbie Gentry, plus great songwriters, lyricists and composers likie Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, George and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg, Jerone Kern, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill, Jimmy Webb. So many people!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would say I hope it makes a good companion, because it's been a good companion to me.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would like to take 'Seasons Of My Soul' to the USA, Japan, China, Australia and more of Europe. I always have a variety of different projects on going. I am participating in a sound project with a classical composer and working on two new records.

MORE>> www.rumer.co.uk
Singer-songwriter Jac Stone has been gaining increasing attention in her native Australia over the last six months. Interest picked up as she began working with Darren Middleton, guitarist of the recently retired Powderfinger, one of the country's most domestically successful rock bands. The story goes that Middleton was looking for a guest vocalist for his solo work, but once he'd seen her live realised that she should be allowed to stay up front on her own.

It's easy to see why he was so enamoured. Stone has a strong, distinctive voice and some sharp songwriting skills that belie the fact that she's just twenty and is yet to release a record. She has been in the studio, though. Working with Middleton and producer Yanto Browning she's translated her acoustic songs to a full band set-up for her debut EP, 'Leave Me Here', which will be released in Australia by Amplifire Music next month.


UnLimited Media is looking for a part-time (one day a week) accounts and admit assistant to work from its Shoreditch HQ. You will process bookings for UnLimited training events, send out and chase invoices, and assist the Managing Director with other administrative tasks.

Good organisation and phone skills and an attention to detail are a must, knowledge of Word and Excel also an advantage. Daily rate of £70. Send a CV to [email protected].

America's Supreme Court has knocked back an application by the four major record companies - EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner - to stop a lower court from reconsidering price-fixing allegations that have been made against the US record industry.

A group of American consumers led by Kevin Starr (well, his name comes first on the court papers) launched a class action lawsuit against the four majors a few years back, alleging that the big players of the US record industry - controlling, as they do, about 80% of the market - had colluded to keep the wholesale price for digital downloads at 70 cents and, in doing so, had broken the country's competition, or anti-trust, laws.

In 2008, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, ruling the plaintiffs had not presented enough evidence for an anti-trust case to be fully heard in court. But Starr et al appealed, and last year the US Appeals Court in New York ruled in their favour, declaring there were enough facts on the table to at least allege there had indeed been an antitrust price fixing conspiracy. The appeals court ordered the original judge to reconsider the case.

Legal reps for the majors quickly scurried to the US Supreme Court, arguing the appeals court had got it wrong, and that the plaintiffs simply lacked sufficient evidence for their case to be considered anew. But the Supreme Court yesterday declined, without explanation, to review the lower appeal court's ruling, meaning the anti-trust case will presumably now return to the original judge for new consideration. Fun times.

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Following those reports in The Observer on Sunday that claimed equity group Terra Firma would likely hand over EMI to Citigroup within the next six weeks, spokesmen for both the equity outfit and the American bank have told Music Week that such claims are "hobdosh" (actually, they probably didn't say "hobdosh", me having just made that word up, but it's the sort of term those guys would use).

As previously reported, EMI will almost certainly need a £100 million+ cash injection from Terra Firma later this Spring to meet the covenants of the major music firm's loan agreement with Citigroup, the loan agreement put in place by the equity firm when it bought the music company in 2007.

Everyone seems certain that Terra Firma's financial backers won't let the equity group provide that cash injection, thus allowing Citigroup to take ownership of EMI so to sell it off and recoup (some of) the money it is owed. Recent gossip, including that reported in The Observer last weekend, has said that this is now such a certain eventuality that Terra Firma is negotiating with Citigroup to enable the hand over and sell off sooner rather than later.

But a Terra Firma source told Music Week yesterday that all such talk is a nonsense, and that nothing will happen regarding the equity group's ownership of EMI until March at the earliest. So, eight weeks then. March is when EMI's financial position regards the aforementioned covenants will next be reviewed, and therefore when the expected breach will actually come into effect.

Oh well, whatever, that'll be a few extra weeks for us journalists and commentators to participate in some wild and slightly idle speculation, which is how we get our kicks. Speculation like this. Sources have told the Telegraph that BMG and its private equity backers KKR may now bid for the whole of EMI, which everyone seems to think will cost £1.5 billion when it goes on the block.

As previously reported, it has long been assumed BMG/KKR would bid for the EMI publishing business, leaving the less lucrative EMI record labels for someone else. But then last month BMG boss man Hartwig Masuch said he was actually more interested in EMI's recording catalogues.

And now the Telegraph's sources are predicting that BMG will bid for the whole of EMI, publishing and recordings. They add that BMG is mainly interested in EMI's master recording archives rather than the company's active labels, or its actually rather successful distribution and label services business, both of which could be sold off once EMI belongs to BMG.

Still, all such talk is possibly jumping the gun for the time being.

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German metal types Rammstein have won 45,000 euros in damages from Sony Music Germany over a 2007 album by Finnish metallers Apocalyptica, which was released on the now defunct Sony subsidiary Gun Records.

Sony's marketing for the album, called 'World's Collide', claimed that Rammstein appeared on the record. In fact, it was only Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann who guested.

A technicality you might think, but the German metal band argued that the advertising infringed their trademark in the Rammstein name, because it was used without their permission. And a court in Berlin has agreed, resulting in a rather nice pay day for the Rammsteiners.

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So, this is nice for BMG, the new owners of Chrysalis, a five million dollar lawsuit. Hurrah.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company co-owned by Robert FX Silverman's CKX Inc and Lisa Marie Presley, is suing the London-based music publisher over allegations it has underpaid them $5 million in royalties collected from Elvis's songwriting credits.

EPE has a 50% interest in Presley's publishing catalogue, which is managed by Chrysalis. They say that an audit of Chrysalis' administration of those copyrights revealed various underpayments and other concerns.

Their lawsuit says they have been negotiating with Chrysalis for five years in relation to this dispute, but without reaching a satisfactory agreement.

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Dave Grohl has been announced as this year's NME Godlike Genius, which is nice.

The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer said of the award: "It's really flattering and really good company to be in. It's a nice thing to be acknowledged for doing something that you love to do, but in truth I don't consider it a body of work because I don't consider it work, I just consider it this incredible luxury that I get to play music and travel the world and feed my kids. It's pretty great. Awards and lists can get silly sometimes but I'm very appreciative of this. It's really cool to be called a godlike genius!"

NME editor Krissi Murison added: "An NME Godlike Genius is a very rare thing. To qualify, an artist must not only be a musical visionary, have an unparalleled legacy and a decade-spanning career, but also still be meaningful to young bands and music fans today. Whether it's headlining the world's greatest festivals, staging his own mega-gigs, releasing a series of hugely successful albums, collaborating with everyone from The Prodigy to Paul McCartney or still surprising fans with projects like Them Crooked Vultures, Dave Grohl is at the centre of everything interesting that is happening in music".

She continued: "But the Godlike Genius Award is no victory lap. It marks recognition of a stellar career thus far, and signals there's a lot more to come. With a new Foo Fighters album, festival appearances and giant gigs around the globe booked this year, the NME is recognising an artist who is still in his ascendancy and one we confidently predict will dominate music for a long time yet".

Grohl will collect his godlike gong at the NME Awards at Brixton Academy on 23 Feb before running through a few songs with the rest of the Foo Fighters. Should be better than last year when they gave it to Paul Weller.

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Trent Reznor has revealed that he and Atticus Ross will compose the soundtrack for David Fincher's movie version of Swedish novel, 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Reznor and Ross also scored Fincher's most recent film, 'The Social Network', of course.

Speaking to the New York Times last week, Reznor said that the recording of the score would be a departure from his usual work, as all instruments will be played live with nothing programmed.

'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' film is due for release in December.

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Eclectic dance producer Luke Vibert will release a new album under his Wagon Christ moniker later this year, it has been announced. Entitled 'Toomorrow', the follow-up to 2004's 'Sorry I Make You Lush' will be released through Ninja Tune on 14 Mar. The first single, 'Manalyze This!', will hit shelves on 31 Jan.

Here's the full tracklist:

Manalyze This!
Ain't He Heavy, He's My Brother
Accordian McShane
My Lonely Scene
Rennie Codgers
Oh, I'm Tired
Wake Up
Lazer Dick
Sentimental Hardcore
Mr Mukatsuku

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Does It Offend You, Yeah? have announced that they will release their second album, 'Don't Say We Didn't Warn You', through Cooking Vinyl on 14 Mar.

Having gone through some line-up changes since the release of debut album 'You Have No Idea What You're Getting Into' in 2008, the band's Dan Coop says that they're also still experimenting with their sound, explaining: "This is our break-out album. It has got balls-out angry stuff and serene melancholic, quite depressing stuff as well. We'd rather show all our hands like that rather than write a whole album that sounds the same".

The tracklist is as follows:

We Are The Dead
John Hurt
Pull Out My Insides
The Monkeys Are Coming
Wrong Time Wrong Planet
The Knife
Broken Arms

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Having released books, dolls, condoms and even some music, JLS are now reportedly planning to make a movie. A 3D movie, no less.

According to a source who spoke to The Sun recently: "It's the next logical step. JLS have a huge fanbase who are bound to lap this up and see the film over and over again in the cinema, as well as buying it when it comes out on DVD. The lads can't wait to start shooting".

I was going to make a joke about JLS condoms and 3D, but I won't. Here are my reasons for this decision:

1) It's a bit obvious
2) I think we've written quite enough jokes about JLS condoms already
3) None of you need that image in your heads
4) It's not going to be that sort of film, clearly
5) I really want to get that image out of my head.

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Canadian Blast and music website The Local have announced a new tour bringing to the UK the sound of Cape Breton Island, an island off the coast Nova Scotia. The tour promises a mix of the Celtic-influenced folk the island is best known (in Canada, at least) as well as rock and a contemporary take on the traditional sound.

The shows will feature rock from The Tom Fun Orchestra and Carmen Townsend, traditional Cape Breton music from The Beaton Sisters, and contemporary takes on the traditional from violin player Gillian Boucher and The Colin Grant Band, who mix in rock and funk.

You can download or stream a free compilation of tracks from all five artists at www.cbmic.ca/canadianblast

Tour dates:

31 Jan: Manchester, Trof
1 Feb: London, AAA
2 Feb: Cardiff, Buffalo Bar

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According to Bloomberg, Universal Music Chairman Doug Morris has requested a meeting with the major music firm's parent company Vivendi to discuss his contract. It is widely assumed that Morris is looking to get out of that contract so he will be free to consider a move to rivals Sony Music.

Morris, of course, has been in the process of stepping down as day to day CEO of Universal for a year now. New chief Lucian Grainge took over sole executive control of the world's biggest music firm at the start of the month, but the plan has always been for long time Universal exec Morris to stay on in the back seat Chairman's role.

But, as previously reported, the CEO's job is due to come vacant at Sony Music this year, and rumours are rife that Sony Corp will bring in someone from outside its music company to take over the top job there, fearing that promoting from within its US record companies will reinvigorate tensions between the old Sony brigade and the old BMG brigade, which continue despite it being nearly seven years since the SonyBMG merger.

72 year old Morris has been linked to the Sony top job since last month, with some commentators noting that a back seat Chairman's role, like that he now has at Universal, isn't really Morris's style. Bloomberg's sources say talks between Morris and Sony are ongoing, hence his need to sound out his current employers about exiting his Universal role early.

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The Music Industries Association, which represents the musical instrument sector, has called on the government to get cracking with reforms of the 2003 Licensing Act, rules from which it - and various other groups - say are damaging the grass roots music sector.

MIA says that 75% of stakeholders in live music, including the local councils which licence live events, support a change in the current licensing system, which was put in place by the 2003 act. After numerous reviews of the new licensing rules, MIA says change is needed quickly to make it easier to stage low key grass roots music events.

As previously reported, a private members bill put forward by Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones under the last government addresses many of the issues live music campaigners have raised. He resubmitted his proposals to parliament after last year's General Election, but they are still someway off becoming law, currently awaiting a second reading in the House Of Lords. The government, of course, has the power to speed up the passing of Clement-Jones' bill, or something similar.

MIA boss Paul McManus tells CMU: "We are increasingly frustrated by the failure by government to act on this matter. With growing evidence of the damage being done to venues up and down the country, we think it is about time these amendments were made into law. Live music is the lifeblood of the music industry, and small venues are often the first chance a young or new musician gets to perform and we must do all we can to ensure government legislation does not frustrate this".

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Music PR companies Wasted Youth and All Press have announced a new alliance, which will see the agencies based from the same London office and collaborating on projects. Together the two companies, founded by Sarah Pearson and Nienke Klop respectively, will offer national, regional, online and international media co-ordination for music, events and the arts.

Confirming the partnership, Pearson and Klop told CMU: "We are excited that we can provide something unique for every artist, as we have a team who are cross genre specialists, with a depth of knowledge and passion for music and the arts. Nothing is cut and dry or cut and paste about what we do, it is about original thought which creates unique opportunities, catering for our clients' individual needs".

The alliance comes as Anna Mears, formerly of Dog Day Press, joins Wasted Youth.

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Those major job cuts at MySpace are expected to be announced later today, with the London office likely to be left with just a skeleton staff.

As previously reported, rumours that News Corp-owned MySpace could shed up to half of its workforce began circulating online over the Christmas break. The one time king of social networking has been struggling for some time as both web traffic and ad revenues slump, with Facebook and Twitter now dominating in what was MySpace's traditional territory. Attempts to reposition as an music and entertainment sharing portal have not, as yet, really delivered.

As also previously reported, there has been increasing speculation that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is hoping to sell its flagging web business, and some reckon the axing of half of the firm's 1100 staff may be designed to make the company more attractive to potential buyers.

According to reports, the cuts will be confirmed today, at 5pm London time. Ahead of that announcement, it emerged yesterday that MySpace's VP of Commerical, Simon Daglish, has already jumped ship to ITV.

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SoundCloud has confirmed that it last year received new investment from venture capital firms Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures, and that both companies put one of their executives onto the tech firm's board.

There have been rumours for a while venture capitalists put up to $10 million into SoundCloud last year. Although not commenting on how much cash was involved, a SoundCloud blog post this weekend did confirm that Union Square's Fred Wilson and Index's Mike Volpi were now sitting on the tech company's board of directors. The new investment in the Berlin-based company will in part allow further expansion into the US market.

SoundCloud certainly grew considerably in both profile and user-base in 2010, and some reckon that if MySpace does go down this year it will be SoundCloud that bands drift to for audio streaming. That said, at the moment SoundCloud's revenue is mainly based on upselling premium services to content owners, rather than monetising traffic that comes to preview content.

The drain on bandwidth, and the inevitable demands that the company takes on responsibility for the publishing royalties associated with streaming, that would probably come with being the primary preview platform of choice for all bands might require a new or altered business model for SoundCloud.

Though with that big investment in place, perhaps that's already underway. And perhaps last week's announcement that SoundCloud would now be using Audible Magic's fingerprinting technology to determine copyright ownership of the music being streamed on its servers was a sign of that fact.

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What Charlotte Church said about the Queen in a recent interview with Esquire - that Her Maj had "no idea" what was going on most of the time - was widely reported, prompting a "the Queen's fab, actually" retraction from Church.

But from that interview, I preferred the one time child star's retelling of the time she met Jay-Z to her royal ramblings. Church revealed she met the rapper at the 1999 MTV VMAs. She was thirteen and a big fan of Jay's, so was very excited when he walked up to her and said: "I'm a really big fan of yours and I can't wait to hear you perform later".

It was an exciting moment, slightly ruined by Church's mother who, once Mr Z had turned away, but while he was still very much in ear shot, asked her daughter rather loudly: "Who the fuck is that?'"

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I'd give my right arm to play in a Def Leppard tribute band. Unfortunately, I don't think that would be much use in this case, as I think Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen is missing his left one. Still, I should check, as a Dallas-based Def Leppard tribute act calling themselves Pyromania are advertising for a one-armed drummer.

The handwritten ad, a picture of which was posted on music blog Exile On Moan Street last week, reads, "Dallas, Texas' hottest Def Leppard tribute band is seeking one arm drummer (no prosthetics). Must have pro gear, flame retardant kit and stick".

This band should not be confused with a Californian Def Leppard tribute act of the same name, who have issued this statement on the matter: "Seems there is a Def Leppard tribute band in Dallas who call themselves Pyromania and are looking for a one-armed drummer. We wanted to set the record straight that we have nothing to do with this ad and we are not looking for a drummer and feel it is in VERY BAD TASTE! We have much respect for Rick Allen and Def Leppard and we have a great love and honour for their music. Please do not confuse us with this complete disgusting and disrespectful behaviour".

Hmm, if I'd known in advance that it was in such poor taste, I probably wouldn't have said all that stuff about cutting my own arm off. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

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Marina Diamandis, aka Marina And The Diamonds, has said that she feels like "a failure", despite all the buzz that surrounded her this time last year. And she blames, in part at least, her American record label, Warner/Atlantic's Chop Shop.

In an interview with Undercover.fm published last week, she said: "I feel more like a failure than a success. I haven't done anything I want to do. For someone who wants to be one of the best artists of her generation, I've done fuck all ... I'm pissed off I'm not bigger. [My American fanbase has] been built purely on me and my online presence. The label haven't really promoted me at all".

In November, Diamandis cancelled a US tour, due to begin later this month, to concentrate on her second album, which she said "will be all about the lyrics", adding: "It's quite political and it's about feminism and sex. It's an abrasive pop record".

After a rush of criticism of her remarks as the interview spread its way across the internet, Diamandis tweeted: "Oh, I am terribly sorry for saying what I really feel in an interview. How obnoxious of me. I'll just lie and grin and nod like others to coax you into believing I am a 'nice' person. Drive has no relation to grace".

I like her, she's fun.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Ronnie Mitchell
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