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CMU Info
Top Stories
HMV looks to majors for better terms to help with cash woes
In The Pop Courts
Lil Wayne did not cancel UK tour because of visa issues
The Osbournes face claim for unpaid taxes
Charts, Stats & Polls
U2 tour biggest ever
Books News
Lennon letters to be published
Gigs & Tours News
Dylan plays in Vietnam for first time
Friendly Fires announce new May dates
The Music upgrade penultimate show
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti announce additional UK shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
Burberry inflict Keane on the Chinese
Jagermeister stage cold gig
Jedward are the new face of Coco Pops
Heineken team up with Tiesto stateside
The Music Business
Another bidder joins the Warner Music party
The Digital Business
Toshiba launch download store with 7Digital
The Media Business
Virgin employees sacked over sneaky X-Factor gambling scam
And finally...
Fergie, and loads of others, in running for X-USA judging role

I'm not actually here, I'm in Italy. But look, I've still put together this Five Day Forecast for you. That's nice of me, isn't it? Obviously, while on holiday I won't have checked my email or interacted with the outside world at all, so it's entirely possible that the UK has now been overrun by a race of super intelligent, giant beatles. If that's the case, hello to our new rulers. I hope you all enjoy this daily music business news bulletin. Please note, any jokes about The Beatles are not aimed at you. Now, let's have a look at what's happening this week, assuming the insects haven't cancelled it all.

01: Record Store Day. I'm very excited about this. So excited that I'm willing to break the very simple rules of this column (which I'm sure you're all aware I never ever break) to tip something that doesn't actually happen in the next five days (this is the 'five day forecast' remember). As usual, all manner of bands will be releasing special records that will be available for one day only, all in an attempt to lure you down to your local independent record store. I don't generally need much coaxing, but I do like exclusive records, and my record store of choice, Rough Trade East, will also be hosting many a special in-store performance too.

02: Coachella. Now, see, this one does start on Friday, but it doesn't take place in the UK, so I've already alienated most of our readership. Sorry. But, in my defence, Coachella is arguably the first major festival of the year, and this year it will feature performances from artists including Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Interpol, The National, The Chemical Brothers, Mumford & Sons, PJ Harvey and the newly reunited Death From Above 1979.

03: Dangerous Dave Pearce on Radio 2. Last week Jo Whiley started her new life as a Radio 2 presenter. This week another of Radio 1's old guard is being shunted across. Actually, Dangerous Dave Pearce is coming to R2 via 6music, but still. Pearce is a more interesting move than Whiley, as while she has become something of a generic radio presenter, he still operates in his specific genre, that be commercial dance music. And if commercial dance music is now the preserve of Radio 2, then we're all very old indeed. Why don't you just think about that for a second?

04: New releases. There's a new Foo Fighters album out this week, but we don't really need to talk about that, do we? I mean, you probably already listened to it anyway. And there are some far better things coming out this week. Ninja Tune holds up its usual high standard with a new album from Daedelus and a new single from Emika. Plus TV On The Radio, Vivian Girls, Low, Architecture In Helsinki and William Fitzsimmons all have new albums out. Jamie Woon's debut is also out, but we weren't that struck by that, which is a shame.

05: Gigs. Right, let's get the short bursts out of the way first. Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis will be playing a one-off show at Cargo in London on 14 Apr to promote his new solo album, 'Several Shades Of Why'. Also in town will be Icelandic quintet Rökkurró, who will play The Windmill in Brixton on Wednesday and The Queen Of Hoxton on Thursday. Meanwhile, doing the proper touring thing will be Lykke Li, Lone Pigeon, Architecture In Helsinki, and the always brilliant Steve Mason.

Although I'm writing this note to you from the distant past (well, last Monday), I will be back on UK soil later this week, so you can expect the triumphant return of the CMU podcast, and to see me talking about actual things that actually happened in my CMU Weekly editorial, both on Friday. So, that's all still to look forward to.

Meanwhile, don't forget the next round of CMU Training courses kick off this week, with our rather popular course on all things music rights. We have may be two spare seats at this course, so if you want to make a last minute booking and learn everything there is to know about music copyright, get to www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Every day in CMU this month we are 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.

And last week we told you about the first of our case study sessions, which will take place on the Friday morning and focus in on specific companies and projects. So how about another of those now?


Well, there's been a lot of talk about so called 'fanalytics' in the last year or so, and as a result more and more labels, managers and artists are staring with some intensity at all the stats that can be pulled out the back end of social media pages, direct-to-fan platforms, Google Analytics and other web searches - but what are you looking for and how exactly can it help?

Well, Musicmetrics have carved themselves a reputation for being experts in this area, and at TGE this year we will be talking to one of their founders Marie-Alicia Chang (pictured), as well as one of their clients, Neu Management's Henning Dietz, about how they have been using web analytics to achieve tangible results with the band The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.

To get the insight on all this, plus to attend all the other great panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com - and to it today to get the early bird rate of £125, which expires tomorrow.

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

Your Army, one of the leading music promotions companies in the UK, is now looking for an intern to work alongside our busy radio, club, press and online departments.

The successful candidate will be required to involve themselves in all aspects of the business, guaranteeing not only a varied workload but also a unique opportunity to gain a wide experience of the music industry and work with some of the world's most iconic record labels.

A knowledge of current music trends, specifically electronic/dance music, is vital and ideal candidates will be enthusiastic, reliable, passionate about music and serious about wanting to work in the music industry. Due to the nature of the position candidate must possess a valid driving license and be comfortable with driving in London and across the UK.

An internship will normally last three months and is full-time. This is an unpaid position, but we will be able to provide travel and meal expenses. For more information about Your Army and our clients please check our website www.your-army.com

Send a CV to [email protected]

"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 is hoping that the major labels can help it deal with its current cash flow stresses by offering the music retailer more favourable terms on the CDs it stocks, according to The Sunday Times. The broadsheet says that HMV has asked the big record companies to provide some back catalogue releases on a sale or return basis, with only a nominal upfront payment, possibly in line with what Tesco is paying for chart releases.

The proposal is one of a number of measures being considered by HMV management in a bid to reduce its dependency on bank loans as the entertainment company struggles to meet the terms of its £130 million debts. As previously reported, the firm's bankers have given HMV until July to pass loan covenant tests that should have been applied this month. Other measures being considered to free up cash include the sale of the Waterstones chain and the group's Canadian business.

It is thought that renegotiating stock terms on some back catalogue with the majors could cut between £10m and £15m off HMV's capital requirements. The majors have previously expressed public support for HMV since its financial situation turned sour last year, insisting they would continue to provide stock to the retailer despite the profit warnings and City concern.

Whether that commitment will extend to taking a hit on cash flow remains to be seen, though that HMV are asking for the new terms on back catalogue is significant: the retailer knows that record companies rely almost exclusively on their retail chain to get such stock onto the high street these days, where browsing shoppers might be persuaded to buy old albums they didn't know they wanted.

Insiders say the labels are up for considering any moves that help HMV, though they will have their own cash flow situations to consider. When Tesco pushed for more favourable terms recently Warner Music, for one, expressed concerns of the impact it may have on their own finances.

In related news, it's thought proposals to issue more shares to raise extra cash are off the agenda at HMV Plc, after a bad response to the idea from existing shareholders.

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Management for Lil Wayne have denied reports that recently circulated to the effect that the hip hopper had to cancel plans to tour the UK after British officials refused him a visa on the basis of his past law breaking. Wayne's reps insist that, while a UK tour is being considered, no actual plans had been made and therefore no visa application has even been submitted.

Wayne's management said in a statement this weekend: "No visa was ever filed, nor were there any tour dates announced, or tickets sold. Lil Wayne is currently headlining his I Am Still Music Tour across the US and Canada with plans to extend the tour through North America this summer. We hope to bring the I Am Still Music Tour to the UK in the latter half of the year".

Whether visa issues will then kick in remains to be seen. Perhaps The Guardian, who first reported on Wayne's alleged visa issues, are sourcing stories from the future.

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The Osbournes - Ozzy and Sharon that is - are facing a tax bill of over $1.7 million, according to reports. The unpaid taxes relate to earnings made in 2008 and 2009, according to TMZ, who say that the US Internal Revenue Service filed a lien against the couple at the LA County Recorder's Office earlier this month. Ozzy and Sharon's alleged tax bill makes the $34,000 tax lien filed against Kelly Osbourne last month seem pretty inconsequential.

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U2's 360 Degree venture is now the highest grossing tour in music history; they've overtaken the Rolling Stones, whose 2005-2007 Bigger Bang tour previously held that record.

Ticket sales at U2's show in Sao Paulo this weekend took revenues above the $558 million the Stones tour made over its three years, even despite the postponements caused by Bono's bad back last year. According to reports, by the time U2 complete the upcoming North American leg of their 360 Degree tour they'll have raked in over $700 million.

Commenting on having a record breaking tour on his hands, U2's manager Paul McGuiness told Billboard: "It's kind of mind-blowing".

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A book of letters written by John Lennon will be published next year, according to the LA Times. Yoko Ono is reportedly working with official Beatles biographer Hunter Davies on the compendium of letters, postcards and drawings, which were originally sent to various people during Lennon's lifetime. The book is due to be published in October 2012 via Little, Brown.

Elsewhere in Beatles news, the first ever recording and publishing contracts signed by the Fab Four are due to go under the hammer after they were found in Switzerland earlier this month. The contracts were signed in Hamburg in 1961by Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, original drummer Pete Best and Bert Kaempfert, an arranger and producer working for the band at the time. It's thought the documents could fetch up to fifty grand when they are auctioned off this Thursday.

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Bob Dylan played his first ever gig in Vietnam yesterday, though he did not play his 1960 songs that were famously associated with the anti-Vietnam war protests of the era. So while the 4000 fans amassed at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City got 'Jolene' and 'Like A Rolling Stone' and some newer tracks, 'Blowin In The Wind' and 'The Times They Are A-Changin' were not performed. As with his recent gig in China, Dylan's set list had to be pre-approved by officials in the communist country, though promoter Rod Quinton says no restrictions were actually imposed.

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Following a cheeky one-off gig last week at London's XOYO, during which they aired material from forthcoming LP 'Pala', Friendly Fires have announced a further trio of intimate dates, this time extending their reach beyond the capital. The new shows, which precede a previously reported headline slot at The Great Escape, should do an excellent job of whipping up excitement in the run up to the new album's release on 16 May on XL Recordings.

Here are the dates:

9 May: London, Heaven
11 May: Glasgow, Arches
12 May: Manchester, Sound Control

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Forget everything you once knew about The Music's impending farewell concerts (assuming you knew something), because the game has changed with an announcement from the band that they are to upgrade the venue of their penultimate gig in London.

Due to overwhelming demand for tickets (apparently), the last ever show of the band's ten year career has been bumped up from its original location in Shepherds Bush to the much roomier surroundings of the Brixton Academy. The final Leeds date is still the same, though, so leave that in your diaries for now.

The revised tour dates look thus:

4 Aug: Brixton Academy, London
5 Aug: Leeds Academy

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Already booked to play several UK festivals this summer, with appearances confirmed at Animal Collective's ATP, Field Day and The Big Chill, contrary American bunch Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti have added some prior live commitments to their touring itinerary. These include some all-new UK dates, which are as follows:

13 May: London, KOKO
17 May: Bristol, The Thekla,
18 May: Manchester, The Academy 3

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DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, 10-12 June: There are 43 acts newly set to storm Donnington's premier rock riot, with Skindred, BioHazard, CKY and Anti-Flag leading the charge alongside Young Guns, Malefice and comedian Al Murray's band T-34. Already confirmed to pull in smooth yet foamy performances alongside the 'pub landlord' are the headlining trio of Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park, plus a host of others www.downloadfestival.co.uk/2011/

GUERNSEY FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS, The Rabbit Warren, Guernsey, 2-3 Jul: Primal Scream and Chipmunk are the latest pairing of acts adding to this Guernsey-based festival's appeal, taking their place on the line-up alongside past announcees Ocean Colour Scene, The Go! Team and Example. www.guernseyfestival.gg

INDIETRACKS, Midland Railway Centre, Ripley, Derbyshire, 29-31 Jul: One-time Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins, Johnny, and Swedish popsters Suburban Kids With Biblical Names lead the latest confirmed acts for this intimate three-dayer, with Pocketbooks and Ringo Deathstarr also newly-booked. Jeffrey Lewis, Sweet Nothings and The Hidden Cameras feature highly on the existing line-up. www.indietracks.co.uk

JERSEY LIVE, Royal Jersey Showgrounds, Jersey, 3-4 Sept: Heading across the Atlantic for this year's Jersey Live are recent line-up additions Santigold and Cage The Elephant, who join a host of home-grown talent including Madness, The Streets, Katy B and Jamie Woon on a mixed billing. www.jerseylive.org.uk

WICKHAM FESTIVAL, Wickham, Hampshire, 4-7 Aug: Hurrah! In the biggest coup of the festival season so far, organizers of the Wickham Festival have snagged Rolf Harris as the star attraction at their family-friendly fest. The veteran wobbleboard-wibbler is kept in good company by Toyah, Eddi Reader, Mary Coughlan and Coast. www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

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Keane will this week team up with fashion brand Burberry to stage a "digitally charged event" in Beijing that will use "groundbreaking virtual imagery to create a completely unique experience", whatever the hell that means. The event, which will be hosted by Burberry designer Christopher Bailey, will be the tedious warblers' first ever Chinese gig, and will also be streamed online via both Keane and Burberry's websites.

Keane's Tom Chaplin told reporters: "I met Christopher Bailey a few years ago in a room full of incredible clothes designed by the man himself. He's a big fan of Keane and I'm a big fan of what he does for Burberry so we hit it off. Then far too long went by until at the beginning of this year Christopher suggested that we should team up to create an incredible event combining music, new technology and fashion in one of the world's most vibrant and exciting cities, Beijing. It'll be our first trip to China, and we hope to put on a show that will surprise and delight the folks of that mysterious, fascinating and brilliant country".

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Jagermeister will host a gig in the coldest place in Britain this weekend, in Altnaharra in chilly old Scotland, though it is unlikely to be as cold as it was there earlier this winter, when temperatures slumped to minus 21.3c. The gig, featuring Jagermeister-supported band Brigade and Ryan Bisland, is part of the drinks brand's Ice Cold gig series.

Brigade's Will Simpson told CMU: "We're absolutely stoked to be part of the Jägermeister's Ice Cold gig series in Altnaharra. Having toured around the UK for many years you think you've seen it all, having been to some pretty remote places, but it's clear we ain't seen nothing yet! We're chuffed to have been chosen by Jagermeister to perform to this hamlet's locals and give them some straight up no pretence British rock and leaving them with some memorable melodies to hum whilst fishing in the nearby lochs. And most important of all, Jagermeister is served best ice cold and so what better place to visit?"

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Jedward are to replace Coco The Monkey as the face of the Coco Pops breakfast cereal, according to the News Of The World. Presumably someone at Kellogs saw the most classic Jedward tweet-come-typo of all time ever last year - "this morning Edward cracked a bowel and coco pops went everywhere" - and so the perfect marketing partnership was born.

The tabloid quoted one half of Jedward (I forget which) as predicting that children will be "begging their parents" to buy a box of the chocolately cereal once the pop twosome's faces are on the box. "When you walk into the shop all you will see is our faces," he said, "that's going to be cool". Of course you might argue it's the best strategy ever conceived for getting the kids to eat chocolate-free healthy muesli.

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The dudes at Heineken have teamed up with Tiesto once again for a US promotion that will give fans access to concert tickets and meet and greet type shenanigans, and all they have to do to enter is signed up to the beer's Facebook page. Simples. There will also be a free download of an exclusive tracks called 'Green Sky'.

Says Heineken's US VP Of Marketing Filip Wouters: "In addition to our Dutch roots and long standing commitment to dance music, Tiesto and Heineken share a progressive style and passion for constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation". Yep, that's true, never put any boundaries near Tiesto or Heineken, they just kick em on down with all their innovation. I tried it once, what a mess.

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Another freakin bidder for the Warner Music Group? These rich kids know the record industry's doomed, right? Perhaps they read one of our optimistic editorials saying the music business had turned a corner, but we were lying, everything is totally fucked. So bid carefully suckers, bid with care.

No not really, though even the 'glass-is-half-fullers' here at CMU didn't expect this many people to bid for the flagging American music major when it was put up for sale earlier this year, and I bet original contenders BMG didn't expect so much competition either.

According to the New York Post, Oaktree Capital Management are the latest bidders to join the party, having teamed up with independent music publisher Primary Wave to make a $1.5billion offer for the Warner publishing business Warner Chappell.

As previously reported, Ron Burke's Yucaipa, the KKR-backed BMG, Leonard Blavatnik's Access Industries, Sony/ATV, Live Nation, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Permira, Platinum Equity, Gores Group, Guggenheim Partners and Promthus are all thought to have made formal bids for some or all of the Warner Music Group.

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The cool dudes, and they are cool, I checked before saying so, over there at Toshiba are launching a new music and video download store which will be available over the web, and will allow users to play tracks on multiple devices made by the technology firm, including PCs, tablets and net connected telly sets. The download store will be powered by 7Digital, while there'll be some photo and video sharing stuff going on too, powered by Flickr and Dailymotion respectively.

Talking of 7Digital, they have announced the appointment of James Wheatley, formerly of eMusic, to the role of VP Of Business Development. In his new role, Wheatley will be looking for new revenue and partnership opportunities around the world. Says James: "7digital has a reputation of providing high quality services to a range of partners. I am thrilled to be joining them at this pivotal moment to support the company's ambitious growth plans, and expand upon the existing partnerships at the global level".

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Three employees on the tel co side of Virgin Media have been sacked after it was discovered they had used data held by the company to inform bets made on the outcome of punter votes on 'X-Factor'.

Two of the three would monitor which 'X' wannabes Virgin customers were calling to vote for and, taking those figures as being representative of the wider British public, got a third employee to place bets on online betting sites. Presumably with some success.

Betting site Betfair somehow figured out what was going on, and shopped the threesome to the Gambling Commission, who said last week: "We are satisfied that the bets placed were substantially unfair as the individuals involved had inside information. We have worked closely with all the bodies involved to ensure that those individuals do not profit from their activity and that appropriate action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of such activity in the future".

A Virgin Media spokesman said they took the matter "extremely seriously", confirmed the employees involved had been dismissed, and added that the company had cooperated with the Gambling Commission and media regulator OfCom throughout when they both looked into the case. Mr Virgin added: "We have since introduced additional monitoring to our systems to ensure this cannot happen again".

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Talking of the 'X-Factor', The Fergster, as I'm pretty sure Will.i.am doesn't call her, is apparently a contender for one of the judging roles on the all new US version of the show.

As previously reported, 'X' man Simon Cowell and former Universal exec Antonio 'LA' Reid have already been confirmed as judges on the new US version of 'X-Factor', while Reid recently seemed to confirm rumours Cheryl Cole will also cross over to the American show. But what about judge number four? All sorts of pop names have been linked to the role.

Cowell admitted to reporters that Black Eyed Pea Fergie was being considered, but added that so were numerous other (mainly female) pop types, and that producers were really struggling to pick between them. Whether anyone has asked Fergie whether she'd do it I'm not sure, perhaps when Cowell calls these days you're not given a choice, you just fit it into your schedule.

With rumours Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan and Cowell's old 'Idol' compatriot Paul Abdul were also in the running, Cowell told reporters last week: "We are still having nightly arguments with everyone, trying to get everyone to agree. If you asked everyone involved on this show who they would like on the panel, you would have 25 different opinions. It does show publicly our complete and utter indecisiveness".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
John Vickers
Ringfence Coordinator

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