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Top Stories
Terra Firma confirm appeal in Citigroup litigation
Conrad Murray to face full trial over Jacko death
In The Pop Courts
Majors pay out millions to settle Canadian mechanicals dispute
Long-time Sussex radio DJ dies
Reunions & Splits
Combes reveals Supergrass split via email
Artist Deals
50 Cent might have signed Gamu
In The Studio
Arctic Monkeys working with James Ford
Flo and Drake to collaborate
Release News
The Kills announce new album
Fire to reissue classic Spacemen 3 twelve-inches
Cocknbullkid announces new single and debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Bruno Mars announces UK tour
Jack Beats announce UK tour and Fabric residency
The Music Business
China says 4000 arrested in piracy crackdown
The Digital Business
MySpace confirm 500 jobs to go
Believe announce free digital tools for artists
The Media Business
Jobs to join Murdoch for The Daily launch next week
And finally...
Sarah Palin helped launch Adele in the US

2011 holds much in store for new Polydor signing Jodie Connor. With impressive grime-pop credentials (last year she notably lent her vocals to Roll Deep's UK number one 'Good Times' and Tinchy Stryder's 'In My System'), she is now working with Rihanna and Beyonce's songwriting team on a debut album that looks set to place her at the forefront of the chart-dominating wave of what the Guardian has dubbed "rave&b". Ahead of her first solo single 'Now Or Never', out on 16 Jan and featuring a cameo from friend and sometime-collaborator Wiley, we caught up with Jodie to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My mum paid for me to spend a day in a recording studio when I was younger. I loved the experience and decided to send some of my demos off to producers in the hope someone would take me under their wing and give me the opportunity to continue writing and recording songs. They did and here I am...

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I wouldn't really say that there's anything that inspired it, the album is really a collection of music I enjoy listening to - upbeat dance-pop tracks mixed with slower urban numbers. It's music that I like that I hope other people will like.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well, my producer Dawood will usually come up with the production or an idea, and we will sing different melodies over it. Then I usually think of a concept, visualise a video and start to pen the lyrics.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I think Rihanna and Beyonce are great, plus the you can't beat old skool Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
It does what it says on the tin - enjoy it!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would love to have a number one album, who wouldn't? My upcoming record is great music that I've worked hard on and I would love as many people as possible to hear it. Touring is also high on my agenda - so look out, I'll be coming to a venue near you!

MORE>> www.jodieconnormusic.com
Originally a solo project for composer Oli Barrett combining his classical cello training with the skills he'd learned on his then recently completed Sound Art & Design degree, the first Bleeding Heart Narrative album was 'All That Was Missing We Never Had In The World' in 2008. It was only then that Barrett began to bring in additional musicians, slowly amassing a seven-piece band which includes artists who have worked with Brian Ferry, The Ting Tings, Patrick Wolf, Emmy The Great and more. Shortly after the release of second album 'Tongue Tangled Hair' in 2009, that line-up was complete.

Having been something of an experiment until that point, the group set about developing and honing their sound. The first results of this new approach came with the release of new single, 'Perun', in December, which builds on the soundscapes of earlier releases and combines classical music, post-rock and strong song-writing. A number of other equally impressive new songs were showcased at an amazing performance at the Union Chapel in London shortly before Christmas, at which they added a string quartet to the line-up.

Their new album is due for release later this year, but right now you can hear a huge amount of music, and download 'Perun' for free, on their SoundCloud page. Plus, you can catch them live at the next Shhh! all-dayer at Cecil Sharp House in London on 22 Jan on a bill with Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite, Banjo Or Freakout, The Mariner's Children and more.


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].

Terra Firma has formally filed its appeal with the New York courts regarding last years disastrous litigation against Citigroup in which the equity twonks claimed the US bank had tricked them into buying EMI back in 2007 by providing misleading information regards other bidders.

Terra Firma big cheese Guy Hands, the one time private equity genius who came across as a bit of bumbling, bitter fool at the trial, alleged Citigroup's man David 'The Worm' Wormsley misled him during three phone calls the weekend before his equity company made its bid for the music major. That misinformation, Hands said, caused him to bid too soon and too high for EMI, a deal which has cost the equity firm millions and seriously tarnished its once enviable (within City circles) reputation.

But The Worm denied ever making the calls, and Hands couldn't provide any real proof they took place, while his recollection of everything else that happened that key weekend - other than that biscuits were eaten - was rather sketchy. So, while the bankers didn't come out of the court hearing completely untarnished either, the New York jury were nevertheless unconvinced by Hands' claims and found in Citigroup's favour.

Terra Firma's appeal filing challenges certain technical aspects about the way last year's trial was conducted, presumably hoping appeal judges might overturn the ruling based on legal procedure.

In a statement, Terra Firma said: "Boies, Schiller and Flexner, on behalf of Terra Firma, [have] filed a notice of appeal in the litigation against Citigroup. The appeal will challenge legal rulings made by the court in the litigation". Meanwhile Citigroup responded thus: "Citigroup's conduct in the EMI transaction was entirely proper. We are confident the appeals court will confirm that Terra Firma received a fair trial".

If the US appeals court agrees to hear Terra Firma's case, it is thought the equity group's legal dispute with Citigroup would run at least another year, and perhaps considerably longer. It seems almost certain now that by the time there is a resolution on this Terra Firma will have bailed on EMI, allowing Citigroup to instigate a sale of the flagging music company.

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Somewhat faster than expected, US judge Michael Pastor has ordered that Dr Conrad Murray stand trial for involuntary manslaughter over the death of Michael Jackson. The doc is accused of negligently administering the drug that caused the cardiac arrest that in turn caused the late king of pop's death in June 2009.

As previously reported, for the last week a preliminary hearing has been taking place in California to ascertain whether prosecutors had a strong enough case against Murray for a full trial.

Prosecutors presented various witnesses who alleged that, in the minutes and hours after Jackson's death, Murray tried to cover up the fact he had given the singer the dangerous drug Propofol, implying the doctor knew he had been negligent to do so. The prosecution also claimed Murray failed to properly monitor Jackson after administering the drug, and failed to call emergency services quick enough once the singer's condition took a turn for the worse.

It was thought the preliminary hearing could run for another week, but the prosecution wrapped up their case yesterday, and the judge then quickly denied a motion filed by the defence to have the whole case dismissed. A full trail will now take place at a date to be determined. Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Deputy Attorney General, who represents the Medical Board Of California, has asked the judge to suspend Murray's license to practice medicine with immediate effect.

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The Canadian divisions of the four majors have agreed to pay $47.5 million in damages into the country's songwriting community to settle that previously reported lawsuit filed by the estate of late jazz man Chet Baker in 2009 which alleged the big record companies were routinely failing to pay songwriters and publishers when their songs appeared on compilation albums.

The lawsuit claimed that major record companies in Canada frequently release compilations carrying recordings of songs without securing the appropriate licence regarding the literary and musical copyrights that exist in said songs (ie in the lyrics and musical score). Officially, the labels are assuming there will be no problem securing a mechanical licence for those songs, and are just putting off the paper work, and payment, until later, by plonking the name of the unlicensed track onto a "pending list". However, lawyers representing the Baker estate claimed many label execs who follow this practice just hope no one in the songwriting or publishing sector will notice one of their songs has slipped through the net, meaning no royalty payment will ever have to be made.

The Baker estate's lawyers claimed some 300,000 unlicensed works were now on the four major's collective pending list, and pushed for their lawsuit to become a class action so that any songwriter with a song on that list would be due damages. Had the lawsuit gone all the way through court, and had the major labels lost, and had statutory damages been applied under Canadian copyright law, the damages bill for the country's record industry could have been as high as $6 billion.

Though that was never likely to happen, the labels clearly took this lawsuit seriously, hence the multi-million dollar out of court settlement. According to reports the four majors will pay the following amounts in damages: Universal Music - $17.5million, Sony Music - $17.3 million, EMI - $7.3 million and Warner Music - $5.5 million. Assuming the settlement gets court approval, the Canadian publishing collecting societies CMRRA and SODRAC - who were initially named as defendants in the lawsuit - will now administer the distribution of the damages to songwriters whose works were on a pending list.

As part of the deal the four majors have also committed to review their internal processes for sorting out mechanical licenses on all releases.

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Tributes have been paid to radio presenter Chris Copsey, who had been a mainstay on the local commercial radio airwaves in and around Sussex for years. Copsey died unexpectedly yesterday after presenting his breakfast show as usual, the circumstances around his death are as yet unconfirmed.

Copsey was originally a long-standing DJ on Southern Sound, later Southern FM, though was sidelined there once owners Global Radio decided to relaunch the station as Heart Sussex. Then eighteen months ago the DJ arrived on the small network of local stations operated in Sussex by Media Sound Holdings, including Arrow FM and Splash FM.

A spokesman for Media Sound confirmed Copsey's death yesterday, with the following statement posted on the company's stations websites: "We are very sad to hear the news that our much loved Breakfast Show presenter, Chris Copsey, has passed away unexpectedly. Coppo had been a constant voice on the Sussex airwaves since 1983, and we were very proud to have him as one of us. He was a Sussex broadcasting legend, a consummate professional - but, more importantly than that, he was a great friend, and so much fun to be around and have as a colleague".

It continues: "Chris had been with us for a little under eighteen months, but many of us had known him for a number of years. Others, at the very least, grew up listening to him. The whole team are in total shock at this devastating news, and our thoughts are with his wife and family at this terribly sad time".

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Former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has revealed that he split his band up via email, adding that "the connection wasn't there" and that the three band members "weren't on the same page". I think those two quotes are metaphors for the situation the band found itself in, and not related to technical problems in sending that email. Because if he was taking about email issues, the band might still be together.

Anyway, Coombes told Bang Showbiz: "I just sat down one night and just wrote an email out to everyone, saying we should call it a day and I kind of want to put my effort into something that I'm going to get immediate reward from and excitement. I didn't feel like we were challenging each other in the right way, or things just weren't coming out the way they should".

Speaking to Digital Spy, he added: "I think it was just that the connection wasn't there. For whatever reason we weren't on the same page, so why force something mediocre? It just doesn't make any sense. We were only holding ourselves back really. Individually I just felt that we were all capable of so much more. Let's just have a look around and fall down a few rabbit holes and see what each of us can come up with. We're all capable".

Asked if he thought the band might reunite one day, he said: "No. I really can't see it. It's not what I want to do. I can't imagine what's going to happen in five or ten years, but I think it would only happen if we miss each other ... I can't imagine I'll be eating these words, I feel very strongly about it, but you have to correct me if I'm wrong in five or ten years! I feel really comfortable with the way things are. I want to leave Supergrass in the place where people remember it and I don't want to dilute it and fuck it up".

Having broken up the band last April, Coombes is now working on his debut solo album. Speaking to Spinner he said: "I've got five or six completed and totally mixed, so half the album's totally finished, and the other half is written and just in the process of recording bits and bobs and finished vocals. It's sounding great, I'm really chuffed".

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According to reports 50 Cent has signed Gamu Nhengu, the Zimbabwe-born 'X-Factor' hopeful who garnered many column inches last year, first when Cheryl Cole took the unpopular decision not to put her through to the live show stage of the contest, and then when it materialised her family faced deportation. Reports suggest Fiddy will sign Nhengu to G-Note, a newish pop and R&B spin off from the rapper's G-Unit record company.

We're getting this from Micro Blog Buzz, which reported earlier this week: "[Gamu] has been signed to 50 Cent's new record label G-Note. G-Note will focus on 50's favourite acts that don't fit neatly into G-Unit's hip-hop categorisation and will favour pop and R&B artists. It is believed that many labels have been interested in signing Gamu but G-Note offered the best deal and are best connected to make her dreams reality".

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Arctic Monkeys are currently working on their fourth album in LA with producer James Ford. Ford also co-produced the band's 2009 album, 'Humbug', with Josh Homme.

According to the NME, recording sessions for the album began in London late last year, and the band are hoping for a late spring release. They recently confirmed that they will headline the Oxegen festival in Ireland in August.

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Florence '& The Machine' Welch is set to go into the studio with Canadian rap type Drake. It seems the duo became matey after meeting at last year's MTV VMAs. Florence was recently a surprise guest at a Drake gig in London.

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The Kills have announced that they will release their fourth album, 'Blood Pressures', via Domino on 4 Apr. Over a year in the making, the album is the follow-up to 2008's 'Midnight Boom'.

Here's the tracklist:

Future Starts Slow
Heart Is a Beating Drum
Nail In My Coffin
Wild Charms
Baby Says
Last Goodbye
Damned If She Do
You Don't Own The Road
Pots and Pans

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Fire Records has announced it will re-issue three classic Spacemen 3 twelve-inch EPs next month, 1986's 'Walkin With Jesus', 1987's 'Transparent Radiation' and 1988's 'Take Me To The Other Side'.

All three records, originally released by Glass Records, will go on sale on 17 Feb.

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Cocknbullkid has announced that she will release a new single, 'Hold On To Your Misery', via Moshi Moshi and Island Records on 20 Feb. She says of the track: "It's about stopping putting so much value on being happy. When I'm happy, things start to drop. Sometimes you have to go back to that point when you're fourteen and you think everyone hates you".

The song is taken from her debut album, 'Adulthood', which is due for release in the spring and was co-written with Chilly Gonzales.

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Grammy-nominated American singer songwriter bloke Bruno Mars has announced a short run of UK tour dates in March. However, if you can't wait that long, he'll be in London sooner than that, to play a special album launch show on 24 Jan at Café de Paris. His debut album, 'Doo-Wops And Hooligans', will be released on 17 Jan.

Tickets for all shows are on pre-sale now at brunomars.warnerartists.com and will go on general sale on Friday.

Tour dates:

24 Jan: London, Café De Paris
10 Mar: Manchester, Club Academy
11 Mar: Glasgow, Oran Mor
15 Mar: Birmingham, Institute

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DJ duo and popular remixers Jack Beats, aka Niall Dailly and Ben Geffin, have announced that they will tour the UK in February and March. As well as this, they are due to launch a new residency at Fabric in London, the first of which will take place at the club on 4 Mar as part of its Fabriclive strand.

The duo told CMU: "This is our first ever official full tour together, so we're going to make sure every show gets smashed hard. In the run up to our debut album we'll be showcasing all our new material and a completely new show, so we can't wait to get on the road, its going to be massive! We're also super excited to be bringing a new night to Fabric, one of the most famous clubs worldwide. Fabric is a true institution and to be working with them to put together our own club night is going to be amazing!"

Tour dates:

29 Jan: Leeds, Stylus
5 Feb: Cambridge, The Junction
11 Feb: Lincoln, Engine Shed
15 Feb: Sheffield, Tuesday Club
18 Feb: Aberdeen, Origin
19 Feb: Portsmouth, SUMO
19 Feb: Southampton, Audio
25 Feb: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
26 Feb: Cardiff, Millenium Music Hall
4 Mar: London, Fabric
11 Mar: Swansea, Vice

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Chinese officials say they have arrested 4000 people in relation to 2000 separate cases of intellectual property infringement since last November. Gao Feng, Deputy Director of China's Ministry Of Public Security's Economic Crimes Investigation Bureau told reporters that over twice as many cases if IP theft had been investigated since November, when the Chinese government stepped up its efforts to fight commercial piracy operations.

IP piracy of all kinds have always been rampant in China, of course, and the better protection of copyright, patents and suchlike is a frequent topic for discussion in any trade talks between the Chinese government and Western countries. It is thought such things will be on the agenda when Chinese president Hu Jintao visits the US next week, which might explain the timing of Feng's press conference to big up the country's recent efforts in cracking down on piracy.

He told reporters: "On one hand [these figures] demonstrate the achievements we've made in cracking down on the violation of IP, on the other hand it also indicates that IP violation is still quite rampant and frequent. So we want to introduce heavier punishments".

Although the US government has welcomed recent anti-piracy initiatives in China, American officials say they want to see ongoing efforts to protect IP rights rather than occasional crack downs. And given that Feng reckons the value of the pirated goods seized in the recent crack down are worth $348 million, while the US reckons American IP industries alone lose $3.5 billion a year to Chinese piracy, presumably Western officials will be looking for even more action from China in this domain.

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So, as expected, yesterday MySpace announced it would be axing 500 jobs, or 47% of its overall workforce. The cull comes as the one time king of social networking continues to see traffic and revenues slump as it tries to reinvent its business model so to distance itself from rivals Facebook and Twitter.

On confirming the cuts, CEO Mike Jones insisted the redundancies were not a sign that the revamp of MySpace that took place late last year had been a failure, rather they were necessary because that revamp had changed the nature of the MySpace business, and therefore how many employees were required. Many reckon the headcount cut is part of plans by owners News Corp to offload MySpace to another media or digital company.

Although the vast majority of MySpace's 1060 staff are based in the US, the smaller teams elsewhere in the world, including London, will also be affected by the cull. In particular, all sales for MySpace UK will be taken over by another News Corp company, Fox Networks, removing the need for an in-house sales team. It is thought some of MySpace's UK sales execs may be moved over to the Fox company.

Looking forward, Jones told reporters: "We are committed to rebuilding the company with an entrepreneurial culture and an emphasis on technical innovation. The new organisational structure will enable us to move more nimbly, develop products more quickly, and attain more flexibility on the financial side. While it's still early days, the new MySpace is trending positively and the good news is we have already seen an uptick in returning and new users".

No, I've no idea what 'uptick' means either. Actually, I do, he's adapting a City term to mean 'increase'. But I'm pretending not to understand, because otherwise everyone will start using 'uptick' when what they mean is 'increase'.

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Digital distributor Believe Digital has announced the full launch of Believe Backstage, a suite of online tools offering artists and labels fan analytic, social networking, database management and iPhone tools. And access to all of these digital services will be free, baby, totally free.

Says Believe Digital UK's MD Stephen King: "In a highly competitive marketplace, it is vital to keep adding value wherever possible. Believe Backstage brings together a range of tools that can help artists and labels gain unprecedented control over their digital activities. By helping our clients improve and evolve their online presence and by giving them the facilities to do it we are confident that we can help them drive both sales and fan engagement, which can only be good news for everyone".

You can access all the Believe widgitary at www.believedigital.com

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It is thought Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs will share a stage next week for the launch of The Daily, Rupe's new iPad-only newspaper. One of Murdoch company News Corp's biggest digital innovations to date, the media mogul reportedly hopes the new subscription-based digital venture - which will only be accessible via the Apple tablet device, and not via the web - might help kick-start a new era of digital media, one where people willingly pay to access content. A launch event is reportedly planned at the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art a week today. As previously reported, the Virgin Group are also planning an iPad-only magazine, though with more of an entertainment bias than Murdoch's title.

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Adele reckons that Sarah Palin played a key role in launching her career, because the singer and the nutty Republican appeared on the same episode of 'Saturday Night Live' in 2008. Palin's appearance on the US TV show during the 2008 presidential election majorly boosted the size and demographic of its audience, all of whom then saw Adele do her warbling thing.

Talking to Attitude while promoting new album '21', Adele said of her 'SNL' gig: "Sarah Palin made my career by coming on that show. I saw the back of Sarah Palin, and I thought it was Tina Fey, and I fucking love Tina Fey, and I was, 'Tina, Tina'. She didn't even acknowledge me, she was just completely oblivious. Then Sarah Palin asked to come and meet me, and my gays were in the room, saying, 'If she comes in, I'm leaving'. She cornered me and said hello. And I had a massive Obama badge on my tit".

I wonder what you have to do to become one of Adele's "gays"?

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Business Editor &
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