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INFORMATION
Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
MySpace Music chief quits
Irish minister denies imminent three-strikes rule
In The Pop Hospital
Poly Styrene confirms cancer
Reunions & Splits
Marilyn Manson drummer quits
In The Studio
Muse to record next album in London
Keisha Buchanan song leaks
Release News
The Raveonettes return with fifth album
Amon Tobin announces new LP
Little Comets to release new single
Films & Shows News
Miley Cyrus to star in Bodyguard remake?
Gigs & Tours News
Kylie Minogue considering Las Vegas show
Shaun Ryder reveals rescheduled tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Acid House Kings - Music Sounds Better With You (Labrador)
The Music Business
HMV's lenders appointing advisors
Black Stroke man launches label
The Digital Business
MP3tunes man launches cloud-based radio record service
The Media Business
American Idol to take votes via Facebook
And finally...
Kanye West abortion cost update


 
FRIDAY 25TH FEBRUARY
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
So, this is exciting, don't you think? The mighty DJ Shadow is not only bringing his awe inspiring Shadowsphere show to The Great Escape this May, we've even managed to persuade him to give a rare interview as part of our In Conversation programme in the TGE convention which, of course, we are organising this year. We'll talk to Shadow about his inspirational career to date, and find out how the Shadowsphere show (which you get a glimpse of here) was conceived and created.

 
Shadow joins BRIT Award winning producer Paul Epworth in our In Conversation programme this year, and we're close to confirming the next addition to that bit of the proceedings, so watch this space. Meanwhile the panels are coming together very nicely and hopefully next week I'll be able to give you details of a few more of the people who will be taking part. Meanwhile you should probably get online to www.escapegreat.com and book your delegates pass, a steal at just £125. And now, your week in five...

01: Warner Music's owners started accepting offers from possible bidders interested in buying the whole company, or its publishing division Warner/Chappell, this week. It's thought there is most interest in the latter deal, and that Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jr favours that option also. KKR-backed BMG remain favourites to buy Warner/Chappell and they appointed bankers Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan to advise on a possible bid this week. Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik, already a minority shareholder in Warner, is also thought to be preparing a bid. CMU report | FMQB report

02: Reuters reported that Universal is close to signing up to Spotify USA. EMI and Sony Music are already on board, and while Warner is still holding out, it is thought that if and when Spotify secures Universal's catalogue it could conceivably launch Stateside. The arrival of the Swedish streaming platform in the US has been a long time coming because of concerns by many American label execs over the free version of the service. Meanwhile, Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies invested in the region of $100 million into Spotify this week, meaning the company is now valued at about $1 billion. CMU report | Reuters report

03: American record industry types ranted about the Grammys. The ranting was started by Steve Stoute, Nas's business manager, who took out a forty grand ad in the New York Times to express his outrage that big name acts, especially from the urban genre, are nominated for awards and invited to perform, helping secure TV ratings, but often don't win on the night. He seemed most annoyed that Arcade Fire had beaten Eminem in the Best Album category this year. He encouraged big name urban and pop acts to boycott the event, though producer Jermaine Dupri - one of many execs to respond to Stout's open letter - suggested instead that the urban community get more actively involved in the Grammy organising Recording Academy so that more people from that genre took part in the voting. CMU report | Billboard report

04: BMG announced its new UK structure bringing together its existing companies over here with the recently acquired music publisher Chrysalis. The all new BMG Chrysalis UK will be run by recent recruit Alexi Cory-Smith, with BMG Europe COO John Dobinson overseeing operations and Ben Bodie of Chrysalis and Alan Pell of previous BMG acquisition Stage Three leading A&R. The combined business will be based out of Chrysalis's HQ in West London. CMU report

05: MySpace Music's chief quit. Courtney Holt will stop working for the web firm full time, but continue to advise in a consultancy role. There have reportedly been growing tensions between him and overall MySpace boss Mike Jones, while the uncertain future of the web operation presumably has also played a part in Holt's decision making. Owners News Corp are currently trying to offload the company, and according to Reuters will start considering offers for it from potential bidders in mid-March. CMU report | Reuters report

And that's your lot, though for more retrospective chatter do download the CMU Weekly podcast this afternoon - sign up here.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Bleep 43 at Corsica Studios
There's usually a good natured vibe to be found at this stripped down no frills club, and I like the set up - the outdoor terrace bit is a great place to socialise, the sound systems are of a high quality, and it is in no way poncey or pretentious. And this weekend is as good as any to make a visit because Detroit man Omar S is on the bill. Ever since his ballsy compo last year via Fabric I've been wondering how the head honcho of FXHE Records runs things on the dancefloor, and now we'll get to find out.

 
Newworldaquarium will also be over playing a set, while residents Bean and Frith will drop some beatsy tech nuggets. So should be a goodun.

Friday 25 Feb, Corsica Studios, Elephant Road, London SE17, 11pm -5am, £15 (£12 in advance / NUS £9), info from corsicastudios.com


BRONTONE MANAGEMENT, DIGITAL MANAGER (MATERNITY COVER)
Established artist management company requires digital manager for maternity cover in London office. Working as part of a small team you will be responsible for the websites, social networks, e-commerce (including product development) and digital marketing initiatives for the artists on our roster.

Experience running digital marketing campaigns is essential in addition to familiarity with content management systems and online artist tools. HTML editing and basic Photoshop abilities will be advantageous.

Please send CV, cover letter and salary expectations to info@brontone.com
       
  UNLIMITED MEDIA, PART-TIME DESIGNER/PRODUCTION MGR
We are looking for a part-time designer and production manager to work on a number of upcoming print and online projects. You will need to know your way around InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and combine a creative spark with the drive and attention to detail required to lay-out content-rich media to tight deadlines.

This is a part-time freelance role based at our Shoreditch HQ. You will be needed at least two days a week throughout March and April, though we can be flexible on exact days and times. This would suit a junior designer with great ideas and some experience in magazine and/or website design and layout. Daily rate £90.

Send CV and cover letter to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


PROMOTING MUSIC - MEDIA, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MORE

How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 9 Mar 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training




MYSPACE MUSIC CHIEF QUITS
The boss of MySpace Music is leaving the building. An internal email to MySpace staff published by Billboard says that former MTV exec Courtney Holt will cease to hold an executive role at the flagging web firm, but will continue to advise both MySpace directly and its owners News Corp in a consultancy role. Some insiders say Holt is desperate to leave having become "miserable" in his current role. Which is understandable. I just imagined running MySpace Music for a few seconds and now I'm terribly depressed.

MySpace Music, which tried to build a music editorial service and Spotify-style streaming platform on the back of the artist pages section of the original MySpace site, was in effect an autonomous part of the business, both corporately and in the way it was originally presented to consumers.

Corporately because a separate company was set up to run the music service in which the major labels had an equity stake. And it was presented to consumers separately to distinguish the social networking part of the MySpace offer from the new music-focused service, possibly in a bid to re-engage with those consumers who had all but given up on the former but might still be interested in what the then new MySpace Music operation was offering.

Much of the early development of MySpace Music went ahead without an executive on board to run it, and when Holt was finally appointed it is thought he spent sometime undoing much of what had been set up before his arrival, delaying the global roll out of the new music proposition somewhat.

But even with Holt's refinements, the MySpace Music service was typically clumsy and frustrating to use, and therefore struggled to compete with other better streaming services, especially in Europe where the likes of Spotify and We7 provide much more pleasurable experiences.

Then, of course, the main bit of MySpace started losing senior executives as owner News Corp started to stress about plummeting user figures and revenues, while those who remained revamped the whole site putting music and entertainment at its heart, making the distinction between MySpace and MySpace Music, as far as consumers were concerned, redundant.

Which in turn made some start to speculate as to exactly why MySpace Music needed its own chief. More so when the previously high profile Holt started to be eased out of press releases and public statements, with CEO Mike Jones stepping forward to speak. And it is thought disagreements with Jones over the strategic direction of the wider company has played a big part in Holt's decision to quit. Jones will take over direct control of MySpace's music operations after Holt's departure, officially on an interim basis.

Of course, another reason for Holt's departure is almost certainly the uncertain future of MySpace, which News Corp is now looking to offload. According to Reuters, News Corp will start considering bids for the dying digital service in the second week in March.

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IRISH MINISTER DENIES IMMINENT THREE-STRIKES RULE
Ireland's Minister For Enterprise, Trade & Innovation, Mary Hanafin, has denied those reports that she and her team have been busy drafting a statutory instrument that would obligate internet service providers there to take action against file-sharers, and that she planned to enact the new rules this week just before the Irish people vote in a general election.

As previously reported, Ireland's biggest ISP, Eircom, has voluntarily instigated a three-strikes system for dealing with file-sharing after reaching an agreement with the country's record industry. But attempts to pressure other ISPs to follow suit failed when one net firm, UPC, won a court judgment that confirmed that under current Irish copyright law there was no obligation on net service providers to take action against customers who file-share.

Hanafin's office confirmed that since that judgment they have been reviewing the situation and that there will be efforts to reform Ireland's copyright rules in due course, but added there would be much more consultation before any decisions were made and denied categorically that anything would be pushed through in the closing days of the current government.

Hanafin herself told reporters: "There is absolutely no truth in the rumour circulating in the media that I am about to sign a statutory instrument relating to the Copyright & Related Rights Act 2000 and/or the EU Copyright Directive 2001".

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POLY STYRENE CONFIRMS CANCER
The one time frontwoman of punk outfit X-Ray Spex, Poly Styrene, has confirmed reports she has been diagnosed with cancer. As previously reported, the singer recently launched something of a comeback, but the cancer diagnosis will mean she has to step back from the live activity originally planned to accompany the release of new album 'Generation Indigo' on 28 Mar.

A statement from Poly Styrene's reps issued yesterday said: "It comes as a huge shock to all those who know Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex that Poly has been diagnosed with cancer. She is currently undergoing various treatments in her battle with this illness. She is devastated that she cannot commit to any live dates at this stage, but her album remains a very positive force in her current journey. Poly has been tweeting about her illness and will continue to keep in touch with fans".

One such recent tweet said: "It's been a bit of a battle fighting this cancer but hey ho, I'm still alive".

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MARILYN MANSON DRUMMER QUITS
Marilyn Manson drummer Ginger Fish (real name Kenneth Wilson) has quit the band, making the announcement with a slightly mysterious statement. Fish joined the group in 1995, replacing original drummer Sara Lee Lucas.

The drummer's statement reads: "After much deliberation and constant reflection of where my life has been and where it could or should be heading, I am regretful to inform the general population, and the fans, that I have decided to step down as a member of Marilyn Manson and see where my life, and the knowledge of my availability cares to take me".

He continued: "I can't stand by to watch opportunities pass me by simply because the knowledge of my availability wasn't clearly expressed by me. I wish my brothers well, and I expect nothing but great things from them. Any enquiries can be sent to bookgingerfish@gmail.com".

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MUSE TO RECORD NEXT ALBUM IN LONDON
Muse are planning to set up shop in London soon to record their next album, Matt Bellamy has revealed. The three members of the band are currently split between the UK, France and the US.

Bellamy told Xfm at the NME Awards this week: "We've actually never made a full album in London, we've made bits here occasionally. Chris has always lived in Devon and then he lived in Ireland for a while, but now Chris has moved to London so we have all decided to move here because I think it would be great for us all to be in the same city together - living. We've never had that luxury before, we've all been spread out, so we've always had to travel to make albums somewhere".

He continued: "It would be nice to be based in the same place so we can go out and so we can make an album together and also socialise together at the same time. It also means we can make the album over a longer period of time without having to pressurise it all in to a three week studio session, you can spread it out".

Bellamy added that the band are hoping to complete the album for release next year.

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KEISHA BUCHANAN SONG LEAKS
Former Sugababe Keisha Buchanan has said that she's disappointed that a solo song, apparently written about her former bandmates and their split in 2009 has leaked out onto the internet.

The song, entitled 'Gimme Pressure', contains the lyrics: "I heard the rumours from London to California, You're taking shots at my name, I'll put it on ya, I'm a veteran, got the upper hand, Ten years on the top".

But the singer said via Twitter yesterday: "I'm disappointed that a track written almost two years ago when I was going through a difficult time (which you all know about) has been leaked. With the support of my wonderful fans I'm now in a great place. My album is very positive, that song will not be on it".

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THE RAVEONETTES RETURN WITH FIFTH ALBUM
Darkling Danish duo Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, otherwise known as garage-rock outfit The Raveonettes, will celebrate their tenth year as a band with the release of a new album, the sombrely-titled 'Raven In The Grave', due out on 18 Apr through Vice. Lead single 'Recharge and Revolt' will be released on 4 Apr. The band will also play a one-off UK show in support of the LP, appearing at London's Islington Academy on 13 Jun.

Listen to 'War In Heaven' on their MySpace page here: www.myspace.com/theraveonettes

And now for the tracklisting:

Recharge & Revolt
War in Heaven
Forget That You're Young
Apparitions
Summer Moon
Let Me on Out
Ignite
Evil Seeds
My Time's Up

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AMON TOBIN ANNOUNCES NEW LP
Ninja Tune-signed Brazilian DJ Amon Tobin has appointed 23 May as the release date for his new album 'Isam'. His first since 2007's 'Foley Room', the LP will have the following tracklisting:

Journeyman
Piece Of Paper
Goto 10
Surge
Lost & Found
Wooden Toy
Mass & Spring
Calculate
Kitty Cat
Bedtime Stories
Night Swim
Dropped From The Sky

Meanwhile fans of stealth gaming series 'Splinter Cell', or more to the point Tobin's 2005 soundtrack for it, might want to know that Ninja Tune has also released a remix album featuring reworks of music from it this week. 'Chaos Theory Remixed (The Soundtrack to Splinter Cell 3D)' features rerubs from the likes of Daedelus, Eskmo, King Cannibal and Kid Koala. And you can preview the album in full here: ninjatune.net/release/amon-tobin/chaos-theory-remixed-the-soundtrack-to-splinter-cell-3d

Finally in Tobin news, the multi-talented producer has also collaborated with Saatchi Collection artist Tessa Farmer on a new installation entitled 'ISAM: Control Over Nature', set to run from 26 May - 6 Jun at Euston's Crypt Gallery. The exhibit, based on the aforementioned new album, sets Tobin's sonic art against a backdrop of Farmer's organic sculptures. See more details here: www.cryptgallery.org.uk/current_exhibitions.htm

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LITTLE COMETS TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE
Indie heroes Little Comets have announced that they'll release new track 'One Night In October' on 9 May through Dirty Hit. This will be the latest single to be taken from their debut album 'In Search Of Elusive Little Comets', which is out now.

To get you in the mood, you can watch a frenetic video for the new single, which features the lead singer being shoved around in a supermarket trolley, at this URL: youtu.be/KHpILkfDYIs

Or, if you'd prefer a more sedate and skillful interpretation, see the band sharing a single guitar for this acoustic version of the track: youtu.be/p5TOSpYEIQ4

Meanwhile, heralding the single release will be these UK tour dates:

8 May: Glasgow, Oran Mor
9 May: Manchester, Club Academy
10 May: Birmingham, Academy 2
11 May: London, Garage

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MILEY CYRUS TO STAR IN BODYGUARD REMAKE?
Warner Bros is planning to remake 1992 film 'The Bodyguard' with Miley Cyrus in the lead role played by Whitney Houston in the original. I kid thee not. I half expect the next announcement to be that Justin Bieber is playing the eponymous security guard.

According to Deadline, the new version will follow much the same storyline as the original, though the bodyguard brought in to protect the singer (played by Kevin Costner in the original) will be a former US army soldier who has recently returned from Iraq. Also, the stalker will use Twitter and Google Maps to track Cyrus's character, a modern day twist which won't be at all shit and is presumably meant to justify this tedious remake.

The plan, in terms of Cyrus's involvement, is to launch the singer into the global market and away from the teenage music and films she is currently associated with. Whether she will rerecord 'I Will Always Love You' for the film is not yet clear. The song's writer, Dolly Parton, once said in an interview that it now "belonged to Whitney" after the global success of 'The Bodyguard' soundtrack, though presumably that doesn't mean she'll be passing the royalties onto Houston if and when Cyrus's sure-to-be-terrible rendition tops the chart.

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KYLIE MINOGUE CONSIDERING LAS VEGAS SHOW
Kylie Minogue is considering taking her current live show 'Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour' to Las Vegas for an extended residency.

The singer told The Daily Star: "I've got my Las Vegas show right here. We've been talking about it, so if I do a residency I definitely have the show for it. It's crazy. I definitely can't top this one. I'm so pleased with it. I didn't have anybody backstage shouting in my earpiece to say, 'This isn't working', or, 'Scrap this section'. A lot has been made of the splash zone but there's a lot more to the show than just water. It's important to have moments when the music takes over".

The tour reaches the UK next month.

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SHAUN RYDER REVEALS RESCHEDULED TOUR DATES
Poor old Shaun Ryder. Having been prescribed incorrect medication for a longstanding thyroid problem, he was forced to cancel his UK tour. But fans needn't fret too much, because he's recovered enough to announce a series of rescheduled dates, which are as follows:

18 Mar: Newcastle, Academy
19 Mar: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
24 Mar: Glasgow, ABC
25 Mar: Manchester Academy
26 Mar: Leeds, Academy

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 22-26 Jun: The Edge has confirmed via a video conference that U2 are to take to the Pyramid Stage on the Friday of this year's Glasto, with a 20th Anniversary set of hits and classics. Assuming that Bono's back holds out for the performance, the band will join fellow bill-toppers Beyonce and Coldplay. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

HIDEOUT FESTIVAL, Zrce Beach, Pag, Croatia, 1-3 Jul: Welcoming some of the biggest names in dance and electro for its inaugural edition, Hideout will play host to acts including Chase & Status, Erol Alkan, Jamie XX, Annie Mac, Sven Vath, Toddla T, Nero and Crookers. Meanwhile Andy C, Danny Byrd, Simian Mobile Disco, Mount Kimbie, Ms Dynamite, Pendulum and Sub Focus are also set to impress crowds at the three-day beach party. www.hideoutfestival.com

ROCKNESS, Loch Ness, Scotland, 10-12 Jun: Scaring away the fishes at this year's RockNess will be the resounding beats of a sure-to-be legendary set from DJ Shadow. Also stirring the still waters of Scotland's most infamous lake will be Glasvegas, Two Door Cinema Club, The Wombats, Simian Mobile Disco and Groove Armada, presenting their Red Light show. The Cribs, Brother, Katy B, We Are Scientists and Boys Noize will also perform alongside DJ sets from Mark Ronson, Annie Mac, Rob da Bank, Zane Lowe and Howard Marks. Already-announced to share headline slots are Kasabian, Paolo Nutini and Chemical Brothers. www.rockness.co.uk

ROCK WERCHTER, Rotselaar, Belgium, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Rap-rockers Linkin Park are newly confirmed to head up proceedings on the first day of this meaty Belgian rock fest, adding some clout to an already a massive line-up that includes Coldplay, Fleet Foxes, PJ Harvey, Iron Maiden, Artic Monkeys and those Kings Of Leon. www.rockwerchter.be/en/home/

SPRINGFESTIVAL, Graz, Austria, 1-5 Jun, Held in the historic town of Graz, the eleventh edition of the European Festival Awards-voted Best Indoor Festival will host an array of electro acts including Caribou, Crystal Fighters, Isolee and Jungle Brothers. Aeroplane, DJ Yoda, Michael Mayer and Jesse Rose will also appear, with more to be confirmed shortly. www.springfestival.at/about.en.41.htm

WINTER SESSIONS WEEKENDER, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France, 22-24 Apr: Music, art and snowsports will collide in a flurry at this slopeside boutique three-dayer, which will feature performances from groundbreaking house DJ Norman Jay, Leeds-based dubstep band Gentleman's Dub Club, Skitz & Rodney P, and the cleverly-titled Engine-Earz Experiment. www.wintersessions.net/chamonix-event-weekender/

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ALBUM REVIEW: Acid House Kings - Music Sounds Better With You (Labrador)
It's been six long years since the misleadingly-named Acid House Kings last graced the ears of indie-pop fans. The Swedish band don't release records often, but when they do it's usually worth paying attention.

'Music Sounds Better With You' is no exception - ten slices of twee pop drenched in 60s sepia. The pace is a little faster than their previous work, but it's not a frenetic downhill tumble - it's a brisk walk along a ridgeway in the spring sunshine. Highlights include the sweeping choruses of 'I Just Called To Say Jag Alskar Dig', dual vocals on 'Under Water' and the delightfully plinky-plonky '(I'm In) A Chorus Line'.

The songs do seep into each other a little, as they're all relatively consistent in tone and lyrical content, but it doesn't detract from the overall experience - it almost adds to it. The perfect album for blaring out of open windows on the first warm weekend of the year. DG

Physical release: 4 Apr

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HMV'S LENDERS APPOINTING ADVISORS
Money lenders to the HMV Group, which includes Lloyds Bank, are reportedly in the process of appointing accountancy firms to advise them on the state of the music and entertainment retailer.

As previously reported, HMV admitted earlier this year that, following disappointing Christmas sales, the firm would struggle to meet the covenants linked to its current loans. KPMG has been working with HMV CEO Simon Fox to revise the firm's business plan, possibly in a bid to convince money lenders to restructure the company's debts.

According to Sky News, HMV creditors will now appoint their own advisors to assess the plans Fox and KPMG come up with ahead of what will presumably be tense negotiations in the coming weeks to ensure the music and entertainment firm doesn't breach loan terms. Though Sky adds that the appointment of such advisors by the banks in these circumstances is in no way unusual.

As previously reported, Russian business man Alexander Mamut, who currently owns 6% of HMV, has appointed Credit Suisse to advise on his interest in the firm. Some reckon he might bid to buy the Waterstones part of HMV outright, though it is thought that, even though that would generate much needed quick cash, Fox is against breaking up the company which he has been busy diversifying in recent years.

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BLACKSTROKE MAN LAUNCHES LABEL
Arnaud Rebotini, one half of influential French electro-clashers Blackstroke, is setting up his own label, which will be distributed globally by German independent !K7. The new venture will release Rebotini's own output as well as looking for new talent to sign, in particular the "new wave of French electronic producers".

Confirming the launch of Blackstroke Records, Rebotini told CMU: "This label has been motivated by a desire to defend new talents and to better defend my own projects. Having !K7, the legendary label, as my partner during this adventure was the obvious choice given our close history".

A spokesman for !K7 added: "We love it when artists like Arnaud take their career into their own hands and create their own labels. We are really proud that Arnaud has chosen !K7 as his global partner to market his visions and records".

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MP3TUNES MAN LAUNCHES CLOUD-BASED RADIO RECORD SERVICE
Michael Robertson, the original MP3.com founder and MP3tunes chief, has launched a new digital service called DAR.fm which enables you to record web radio shows to a central server, and then listen back to said shows at a convenient time via the web or a net-connected portable device.

Of course, Robertson has been spearheading the music-focused digital-locker type service with MP3tunes, which enables users to upload their MP3 collections to a central server and then stream them back via any net connected device. Though that service has hit on copyright issues, in that EMI has taken the digital entrepreneur to court arguing that to allow users to make remote copies of and then stream their MP3 collections needs a license from the content owners. Robertson argues no such license is needed.

He is similarly certain DAR.fm can operate without needing licenses from either the broadcasters or the music companies whose content is recorded. And he's probably on more certain ground this time, given DAR.fm is basically the digital equivalent of taping terrestrial radio shows (or TV) and listening (or watching) back at a later date, which copyright laws allow.

The new service - which Robertson unveiled at a conference in San Francisco this week - is currently in what he calls an 'alpha' stage, and the platform can currently be used for free.

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AMERICAN IDOL TO TAKE VOTES VIA FACEBOOK
'American Idol' will let viewers vote via Facebook for the first time this series, presumably hitting an important revenue stream for the show's producers, the money charged when votes are cast by phone. Anyone with a Facebook account will be able to make their vote via the Idol franchise's page on the social networking site.

This development is probably more interesting because 'Idol' is aired by News Corp's Fox network, yet they have decided to launch online voting with Facebook rather than News Corp's own web platform - the "we're all about music don't you know" MySpace. Presumably Fox has given up on its parent company's expensive web adventure like the rest of us.

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KANYE WEST ABORTION COST UPDATE
Last week it was Justin Bieber who was offering ill-advised information on abortions, this week it's Kanye West. As we've said previously, Bieber is probably too young to have any properly thought out opinion on the matter. I'm not sure what Kanye's excuse is.

The rapper (and Bieber collaborator) wasn't actually commenting on the ethics of the abortion debate, but rather seemed to claim that when guys got girls pregnant, there was a real risk the woman might blackmail the man into paying them a big chunk of money in order to go through with a termination. Which is a line of argument the people behind all those government-funded safe sex ads have never considered. They must be kicking themselves.

Anyway, here's what the K man tweeted: "An abortion can cost a ballin nigga up to [$50,000] maybe a [$100,000]. Gold diggin bitches be getting pregnant on purpose. Strap up my niggas!"

He added: "It ain't happen to me but I know people".

So, thank you Kanye West for alerting your 2.5 million followers to all those "gold diggin bitches" who are just desperate to get pregnant so they can blackmail the father. Needless to say, this tweet has created more outrage than even Kanye is used to, though Lily Allen probably summed up most people's sentiments best when she tweeted back to him: "Never has a tweet put me in such a bad mood. This is wrong on so many levels".

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Arcade Fire
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