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CMU Info
Top Stories
HMV issues new profit warning
Rick James estate to test extent of FBT ruling
In The Pop Courts
Producer to challenge James Brown estate settlement
Artist Deals
Believe signs Roy Harper to digital deal
Release News
Kate Bush announces new album
William Fitzimmons prepares physical release of new album
Petrels announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
Pet Shop Boys to support Take That
Ke$ha announces UK shows
Comanechi, Bo Ningen and The Catcher Nines announce Japan aid show
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Talks, Debates & Conventions
One Movement to rest for 2011
The Music Business
AIM AGM speakers announced
The Digital Business
MySpace piloting social networking management tools
David Bowie launches Golden Years remix app
The Media Business
Harcourt becomes sync man in residence at MTV
Kiss launches new urban chart
LA Reid seemingly confirms Cheryl Cole as X-Factor USA judge
And finally...
Axl Rose agrees to lateness clause in Rock In Rio contract

Original members Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd formed rock trio The Joy Formidable in 2007, taking on Justin Stahley on drums prior to the release of debut single 'Austere' the following year. The band put out a mini eight-track album entitled 'A Balloon Called Moaning' in 2009 through Pure Groove Records, then recruiting a "human dynamo" in new powerhouse drummer Matt Thomas upon Stahley's departure.

Having toured extensively with Editors, The Temper Trap and Chapel Club, the band re-released 'Austere' and another single 'Whirring' to herald the release of full-length LP 'The Big Roar' via Atlantic/Canvasback earlier this year.

Currently riding high on the album's transatlantic success with a series of US live dates, the band will return to our shores on 10 May for a headline slot at London's Koko. Vocalist Ritzy took some time out from the band's busy touring schedule to address our Same Six questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I grew up in a very music orientated household, lots of guitars and instruments. I started playing classical guitar when I was young and spent a lot of my youth writing songs and poetry. Rhydian discovered Jimi Hendrix in his early teens and music obsession ensued, and I think Matt was paradiddling in the womb.

Q2 What inspired your new album?
It's an emotive record, it's captured a reaction to circumstances, it's personal, it's social, but it's not indulgent to any one sentiment. It chronicles a period of grief and running parallel the pursuit of hope.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
There is no process, we write and record in several ways, it depends on the spawning of the track and how we decide to develop it. Some are studio based, others begin in rehearsal. We have a modest studio setup in our bedroom, so it's very easy to capture tracks as and when they happen.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We're inspired by many artists and art forms but it's very unconscious, it's not apparent in the music that we're making. I grew up on a musical diet of Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Soul & Motown, The Smiths and Van Morrison. Outside of music, there's so many, the films of Sergio Leone, Hieronymus Bosch, Magritte, Pollock, De Kooning, Philip Guston, Carl Ray, Dan Beard, Werner Herzog. Lots.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I wouldn't say anything, I'd let them listen, music doesn't need an explanation.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
We're proud of the album we've made, we're glad to be sharing it and it's just the start. Just the first in a long line of tracks and albums to come.

MORE>> www.thejoyformidable.com

Every day in CMU this month we'll be previewing a different session taking place at this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which takes place from 12-14 May at the Brighton Dome.

First up, this year for the first time the TGE programme will include three masterclasses, short focused sessions offering valuable advice and insights on specific topics aimed at those at the start of their music business careers - so self-releasing artists, or those who have just started managing bands, running a label or promoting events.

And the first masterclass will be led by some bloke called Andy Malt (pictured), Editor of CMU, who will be telling you exactly What Journalists Want when approached by people pushing new talent. What should you send, what should you say, why won't anyone ever return your calls? Andy will explain all. And then Debbie Ball of Create Spark, a brilliant Brighton-based music PR will provide some tips on how to build productive relationships with key media people.

The What Journalists Want masterclass takes place on the first morning of the convention, Thursday 12 May. So get there early to benefit. And to get your full delegates pass for just £125, register now at escapegreat.com

For details of advertising opportunities still available at The Great Escape this year click here.

"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:


A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 13 Apr 2011


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 20 Apr 2011

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

HMV has issued its third profit warning so far this year, but on the up side has announced that its bankers will not now apply financial tests linked to their bank loans until 2 Jul, rather than doing so at the end of this month as originally planned. It's widely assumed that if loan covenant tests were indeed undertaken on 30 Apr the company would fail them.

As previously reported, HMV bosses issued a profit warning and announced a store closure programme at the start of the year following disappointing pre-Christmas sales, especially in the HMV chain. Since then intense negotiations have been ongoing with the firm's bankers regarding the terms of its £130 million in debts.

The company has more recently admitted it is considering selling off both the Waterstones chain and its Canadian arm in a bid to raise quick money so to meet loan terms. Presumably the two month extension on applying those loan tests is in part to allow any such sales to get underway.

Although admitting that trading conditions remained "difficult" and that end of year profits were now more likely to be in the region of £30 million rather than the previous estimate of £38 million, HMV stressed its money lenders remained supportive, credit facilities were still open, and talks regarding restructuring debts were ongoing.

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Universal Music maintains that the previously reported FBT Productions v Interscope case does not set a more general precedent regarding the digital royalties paid on pre-internet contracts, but that viewpoint is going to be tested by the estate of the late Rick James.

As previously reported, FBT Productions successfully sued Universal's Interscope for a bigger cut of digital royalties relating to the early Eminem catalogue - in which it has a stake - based on the notion that the music major's relationship with services like iTunes should be treated as a licensing arrangement rather than a record sales relationship akin to that record companies have with traditional retailers. It's an important distinction because many record contracts give artists a bigger cut of royalties when they are generated by licensing deals rather than record sales.

This debate only affects record contracts written before the internet because post-iTunes contracts will clearly state that download revenues are subject to the lower royalty. But record companies are sitting on a lot of pre-internet artist agreements, a handful of which generate a lot of cash.

FBT Productions were not the first royalty beneficiaries to go legal over this, but previous attempts by artists to win a bigger cut of digital royalties via the courts were unsuccessful. But FBT won though, as we say, Universal insist the ruling in this case relates specifically to the wording of the hip hop producers' contract and doesn't set a more wide-reaching precedent.

But that's not stopping the Rick James estate having a go at forcing such a precedent. They have filed a class action lawsuit against Universal calling on the major to apply the ruling in the FBT Productions case to all artists under other similar record contracts.

The lawsuit says: "By this lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks to compel UMG to account to and pay its other recording artists and music producers (ie, those not directly involved in the FBT litigation) their rightful share of the licensing income paid to UMG for downloads and mastertones of the recorded music licensed by UMG to these entities".

Commenting on the action, Jeff Jampol, manager of the James estate, told Billboard: "In assessing and watching the Eminem case, the original judge found for the production company and declared these were indeed licenses, and said it's a matter of law unless there's specific language in the contract to address this. Many entertainment industry attorneys have been lobbying about this issue for years".

The courts must decide whether to accept the James estate's case as a class action, ie one that would allow any artists in a similar position to claim the larger royalty on digital revenues if the lawsuit were to be successful. Legal reps for the estate reckon thousands of artists could benefit.

Needless to say, Universal were dismissive of the lawsuit, telling reporters: "The complaint filed by the estate of Rick James suffers from many infirmities, not the least of which is that the claims asserted are not appropriate for class treatment. We intend to vigorously defend against it".

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A producer who worked with the late James Brown reckons that a court ruling relating to how the late Godfather of soul's estate be divided up went against the singer's wishes, and he has announced he will challenge the decision.

As previously reported, Brown left much of his estate to two trusts, one to educate his grandchildren and the other to educate needy children. But in 2009 a South Carolina court ruled that while a half of the late singer's fortune should go to the trusts, a further quarter should go to his wife Tomi Rae Hynie Brown and their young son and the remaining quarter to his various adult children.

But former producer Jacque Hollander reportedly argues that that decision put a much bigger slice of Brown's money and future royalties into the hands of his family, over the trusts, than the singer would have wished. And according to the New York Post he plans to challenge the decision.

The Brown family are yet to respond.

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Digital distributor Believe Digital has announced it has entered into an exclusive deal with singer-songwriter Roy Harper which will see the company represent his nineteen albums and a new compilation in the digital domain. Previously Harper's digital catalogue was only available via his own website. Now his releases will be sold via iTunes and all other major digital retailers. The partnership comes as Harper approaches his 70th birthday, and will coincide with an ITV TV special and rare live show at the Royal Festival Hall later this year.

Believe Digital UK MD Stephen King told CMU: "This new agreement with Roy Harper is a major coup for Believe Digital. Roy is a genuine original who cares deeply about his legacy and how it is exploited. He is trusting Believe to oversee the distribution of his music to mainstream online retailers for the first time and it is a task we don't take lightly. We are deeply honoured to be working with an artist of his stature during this important new step in his stellar career".

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Kate Bush has announced details of her ninth studio album, the follow-up to 2005's 'Aerials'. Entitled 'Director's Cut', the album will feature new versions of previously released songs by the singer and is due for release on 16 May via Bush's own Fish People label, in conjunction with EMI.

The tracklist is as follows:

Flower Of The Mountain (originally The Sensual World)
Song Of Solomon
Deeper Understanding
Red Shoes
This Woman's Work
Moments Of Pleasure
Never Be Mine
Top Of The City
And So Is Love
Rubberband Girl

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Singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons will release his new album, 'Gold In The Shadow' in physical form on 11 Apr, following the digital release last month. Arriving via Nettwerk Records, it features several UK exclusive tracks, including a re-recorded version of 'Let You Break' with Julia Stone.

'Gold In The Shadow', Fitzsimmons explains, breaks the cycle of lyrical bleakness found on his earlier records: "I had reached the point where I was either going to yield to my sicknesses or engage them headlong. In either case, I could no longer continue the way I was. [It's] a real and long-coming confrontation with personal demons, past mistakes and the spectre of mental illness which has hovered over me for the great majority of my life".

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Drone artist Petrels has announced that he will release a new album, entitled 'Haeligewielle', via Tartaruga on 25 Apr. Created using bowed strings, cut up electronics, a variety of percussion samples and the odd vocal, the album will be available digitally with 100 physical CDs pressed, each in screen-printed, hand-stitched cases. Two limited edition screen-print posters will also be available from the Tartaruga website, with will also come with a free download of the album.

You can stream and purchase the album from Bandcamp, here: petrels.bandcamp.com


After Francis Danby
The Statue Is Unveiled With The Face Of Another
Winchester Croydon Winchester
William Walker Strengthens The Foundations

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The Pet Shop Boys have been announced as the support act on Take That's upcoming UK tour, which seems all kinds of wrong.

They don't seem to mind, though. Messrs Tennant and Lowe said yesterday: "We are delighted to accept Take That's invitation to be part of their 'Progress' show and tour which is undoubtedly going to be one of the most exciting events of 2011. We look forward to every night being a huge celebration of pop music".

Robbie Williams chipped in: "I'm a huge Pet Shop Boys fan so for me it will be an absolute joy to be able to watch them every night".

Jason Orange added: "I'm flattered and very happy they've agreed to do it. They're so talented; I thought they'd be above it and us".

Then Gary Barlow said: "Pet Shop Boys was the first CD I ever bought. I've followed their whole career and always loved their unique approach to records and live performance. That combined with two lovely people means we're in for a great tour".

Mark Owen and Howard Donald said nothing, which I'm taking to mean they hate the Pet Shop Boys.

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Ke$ha is coming. To Europe, I mean. Please don't impart anything smutty from that statement. Otherwise you're no better than she is. I thought you were better than that. Clearly I was wrong. Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Anyway, Ke$ha is going to come over here and play some of those songs of hers live. I'm not sure if she'll be throwing condoms with her face on them into the crowd like she did in the States. If not, she clearly has no regard for the sexual health of the British public and should be turned away at the border.

Especially when this is how she announces her tour dates: "Europe! UK! Are you ready for the sleaziest summer ever? I am so excited to bring my 'Get $leazy' tour to you. It has been a longtime dream of mine to play these epic festivals. I can't wait to be there and party with the English and European members of my cult of rabid misfits, The Family. Join us! myfansruleharderthananyoneselsesfansinthewholeworld!"

Here are the dates, including two "epic festivals":

23 Jun: Glastonbury Festival
3 Jul: Birmingham, Academy
9 Jul: T In The Park
11 Jul: Manchester, Apollo
13 Jul: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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Comanechi, Bo Ningen and The Catcher Nines have announced that they will play a show in aid of the Japan Red Cross at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 10 Apr.

All three bands have one or more Japanese members, which gives the show particularly special resonance. £400 has already been raised by promoter God Don't Like It on pre-sales, with a target of £1200 by the time the last chord rings out on Sunday night.

More info at www.goddontlikeit.co.uk

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DEVON ROX, Powderham Castle, Devon, 6-7 Aug: Funeral For A Friend find themselves in good company at the inaugural edition of Devon's rowdiest rock riot, with The Quireboys, Heaven's Basement and The Treatment also fresh on the bill. www.devonrox.com

INMUSIC FESTIVAL, Lake Jarun, Zagreb, Croatia, 21-22 Jun: An array of acts incluing Jamiroquai, Cypress Hill, TV On The Radio and Mastodon are those most recently confirmed for this lakeside festival, joining bill-toppers Arcade Fire and Nick Cave's Grinderman at the T-Mobile-sponsored weekender. www.t-mobileinmusicfestival.com/en

TRUCK FESTIVAL, Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire, 22-24 Jul: Graham Coxon, The Go! Team and folksters Tunng lead the latest announcements for this Oxfordshire-based bash, with Edwyn Collins, Roddy Woomble and Graham Coxon also foremost amongst the latest announcements. The three-day event will also feature stages curated by Transgressive, Heavenly Recordings and Bella Union, showcasing the cream of emerging talent from each label, from Dry The River, to Sea Of Bees to Radiohead's Philip Selway. Bellowhead, Gruff Rhys and Johnny Flynn head up an existing bill. www.thisistruck.com

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Australian music festival and conference One Movement will not take place this year, it has been announced. Organisers say that while the conference side of the proceedings - which included the Asia-Pacific spin off of the MUSExpo franchise - was a success, the festival side is incurring bigger losses that original anticipated, even for a new event, which will normally take a few years to become profitable.

David Chitty of one of the event's promoters, Sunset Events, told The Music Network: "We planned on some losses because this type of event takes a long time to get established. But the losses from the commercial side were greater than we planned, to the point we didn't want to continue on that basis unless we restructured".

Chitty says that he and his co-promoters approached Eventscorp, the events division of Tourism Western Australia that has supported the Perth-based event, and proposed either resting the venture for a year or staging it in a reduced form. The tourism body opted for the former proposal, allowing time to work out how the event can be restructured.

Chitty adds that the decision to rest One Movement for a year is not linked to that previously reported government investigation that is reviewing the investment Tourism Western Australia made into the venture, and whether there were any conflicts of interest when it committed to support the project.

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AIM has announced an impressive line-up of speakers for its AGM this year. The event will take place on 6 May at Glaziers Hall in London, following the trade body's annual Music Connected event the day before at the same venue.

XL founder Richard Russell, Mute's Daniel Miller and Bella Union boss Simon Raymonde will all speak about their careers to date. This will be followed by a panel discussion led by Music Week's Paul Williams on the current radio landscape and how indie labels can navigate it. Panellists are still to be confirmed.

AIM chairman and chief executive Alison Wenham told CMU: "The last twelve months have seen a phenomenal number of independent label successes, not least those coming from the XL Recordings and Bella Union stables, so we are very honoured to play host to Richard and Simon. We are also delighted that Daniel Miller, whose company Mute has returned to the indie sector, will be talking us through his career to-date and what the future might hold for his artists. We intend this year's AGM to be a positive and forward-thinking affair showing the industry and outside world the resilience and passionate commitment of our sector".

More information at www.musicindie.com.

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MySpace is set to hand over its financial information to interested buyers this week as owners News Corp look to offload the flagging website, according to AllThingsD.

Although quite a number of parties have expressed an interest in buying MySpace since News Corp announced it would sell it, according to Billboard most of those expressions of interest have been pretty vague to date. Once MySpace's bankers Allen & Co give access to the books to serious bidders, the media giant will find out whether it can actually find someone to take the one time social networking giant off its hands.

Meanwhile, despite the uncertain future, MySpace Music continues to add new services into the mix. The latest new bit of technology coming your way via MySpace Towers is called Wildfire.

Digital Music News reports that MySpace Music Vice President Of Product Roberto Fisher told a meeting of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association in LA on Saturday: "Are you aware of the people that are most valuable to you in social media marketing, to help amplify what you do? Wildfire is designed to help you understand the tree of engagement that happens in the time that someone does something. So, we can pinpoint in any tree of distribution the people that gave you the most reach when they heard something and re-amplified it".

He added: "You can score it all. I can tell you if user A is more valuable than user B. And when you did X, these are the things that caused Y to happen".

Which does all sound quite useful. It'll be interesting to see how MySpace manages to completely stuff up its implementation.

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David Bowie and EMI have announced that he will release an iPhone app which allows fans to remix his 1975 song 'Golden Years'. The releases follows last year's 'Space Oddity' remix app.

Through the app, which will be released on 6 Jun, fans will be able to muck about with eight steams (bounced down from the original sixteen track recordings), or they can just shake their iPhone and allow the app to come up with a new version of the track on its own. The finished results can then be exported as an MP3.

Coinciding with the app release, Bowie will release a new EP of remixes created by KCRW DJs Jeremy Sole, Anthony Valadez, Eric J Lawrence, and Chris Douridas. Their remixes can be heard now at www.kcrw.com/bowie.

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Nic Harcourt, best known as a presenter on and former Music Director at Californian radio station KCRW, has joined MTV as their 'music supervisor in residence'.

In his new role he will work as an advisory music supervisor on shows across the MTV network, as well as acting as a creative consultant to Hype Music, a new venture that looks to discover new and unsigned musical talent with sync potential, whose work may then be synced on MTV itself or by others via Sony/ATV's Extreme Music business.

Says Joe Cuello, Senior Vice President of Creative Music Integration for MTV: "Nic Harcourt is synonymous with music discovery and we are excited to bring his wealth of music knowledge and experience into the dialogue that MTV has with our audience about music. As MTV's first 'Music Supervisor in Residence,' Nic will help shape the sound of MTV's programming as well as expand the scope of our relationships with emerging talent through Hype Production Music".

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Bauer's Kiss Radio is launching a new chart show, the UKHot40 Big Beats Chart, which will air on both the radio station and its sister TV channel. The chart will count down the best selling dance and urban tracks each week. The TV version of the new chart will be hosted by Kiss's breakfast show presenters Rickie and Melvin, who are leaving MTV to work on the Kiss telly channel.

Kiss PD Andy Roberts told CMU: "This is one hell of a big chart - Rickie and Melvin will present the official biggest tunes in the UK each fortnight on Kiss TV and Box TV and with the weekly show on Kiss radio - that's over 4.7 million viewers and listeners who will get a chance to hear and see the most wanted 40 tunes each week".

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We're not supposed to know who the judges on the US version of 'X-Factor' are going to be, except the already announced LA Reid and, of course, that Simon Cowell fella. But Reid has seemingly let slip that Cheryl Cole will definitely be making the jump to the Stateside version of the show.

The Mirror quotes Reid as saying: "We're gonna compete against 'American Idol' just fine. I'm very confident. But along with Simon Cowell and Cheryl, I don't know who the other judge is".

Back in the UK, it seems that Cole's arch nemesis Lily Allen will not be replacing her on the judging panel. Responding to rumours that she had all but signed up for the UK edition this year, Allen said via Twitter: "Nice to know that I'm 80% confirmed to be a judge on 'The X-Factor', anyone thinking about running it by me?"

She added: "I'll only do it if there's a 'pop songs in a foreign language' week".

I'll only watch it if that happens, too.

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Axl Rose is adamant that he won't be late when Guns N Roses play Brazilian festival Rock In Rio this October. So sure is he of his ability to step out on stage exactly when expected, he's agreed to a clause in his contract with the festival that commits him to pay a fine if he fails to do so.

Rose has a reputation for making fans wait for gigs to start, of course. At shows in the UK and Ireland last year the band sometimes started as much as two hours after their planned stage time. This means festivals and venues often get slapped with large fines for breaking curfews, not to mention disgruntled fans who often either give up and go home or start breaking stuff.

The band played Rock In Rio in 2001 and 2006. On the former of the two shows, they arrived two hours late, and the festival's vice president Roberta Medina was in no mood to risk having that happen again. She told Brazlian magazine Epoca: "[Guns N Roses' appearance this year was] the hardest to arrange on the history of the festival. Bands are usually on time, but Guns is a different case. Latenesses like the one in 2001 ... can make the public feel uncomfortable and cause them to possibly start a riot".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Mohammed al Fayed
Monument Consultant

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