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CMU Info
Top Stories
BMG and Universal may co-bid for Warner and EMI
In The Pop Courts
Conrad Murray trial postponed
Spector appeal knocked back
Hip hop label sues Warner
Village People cop sues for bigger royalty slice
Perry sues over magazine's affair allegations
Heart North Wales chief dies
Release News
Com Truise announces debut album
Films & Shows News
Michael Jackson's Neverland to move to Las Vegas
Gigs & Tours News
Florrie shoots first video, announces gigs
Festival News
City Showcase this week, TW guide available
Festival line-up update
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Bands could secure mini-sponsorship deal at The Great Escape
The Music Business
Festival promoters to send out tickets earlier in a bid to stop the scammers
Lee & Thompson recruits new music lawyer
The Digital Business
Has Apple bought the iCloud domain?
Fugazi preparing online gig archive
And finally...
Sit down Justin

A native of Kentucky, classically-trained James Friley made his double A-side debut as Idiot Glee with 'All Packed Up/Don't Drink The Water', which came out last year on Moshi Moshi. When performing live, James works solo to churn out samples and loops from several toy keyboards, which he then sings over, creating music that's at once expansive and intimate.

He collaborated with homespun London cup-stackers Lulu & The Lampshades on a Christmastime remake of 'Baby It's Cold Outside', has toured with Moshi Moshi kin Summer Camp, and has support slots booked with Black Lips and Kurt Vile. His debut full-length effort 'Paddywhack' is due out on 7 Jun.

He will be kicking off the Idiot Glee UK tour in London at The Vortex on 12 May. Ahead of that and a handful of later dates, which include an appearance at the Liverpool Sound City festival, we sneak-attacked an unsuspecting James with our unsurprising Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I started piano lessons at age seven and immediately started writing little piano pieces. I wrote one called 'Cloud Circus' in third grade that won me first place in a state composition contest! My older brother started writing and recording rock music when I was about thirteen, so I started trying that out. We had this Boss digital eight-track recorder with Zip discs that we recorded everything on... it was pretty cool at the time.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The album itself is part album, part compilation. During chunks of it, I was listening heavily to 'Pet Sounds', 'Smile', Arthur Russell, all the Eno stuff. A lot of local stuff influenced me - Tiny Fights, Street Gnar, Trailblazer, Resonant Hole, Candy, The Butchers. And some oldies... even some hip hop. I love 'Doggystyle'. Also seems like the last two years have been an emotional rollercoaster, personally...

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

I just start with a beat, or with a keyboard part and vocal line, and go from there. Just building on top with each instrument one at a time. Sometimes, I write away from the recording process and just jam. A couple of my favourite songs were written like that while I was playing around with my good friend Jamie Adkins.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Mostly local ones (see above), but also Eno, Brian Wilson, Arthur Russell, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles for sure, The Zombies, etc...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen to the whole album - there's something for everyone.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

I hope people like it. Doing lots of touring. I feel like it's just a seed I'm planting, I've got lots of good ideas for the future!

MORE>> idiotglee.tumblr.com
In the run up to this year's Great Escape, which takes place in venues across Brighton from 12-14 May, we'll be previewing some of our favourite artists who are playing the festival this year. And today, we're kicking things off with DJ Shadow, who, as well as speaking about his music and career at the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, will be playing one of the three headline shows at the Brighton Dome.

An innovator in live and recorded music for more than 20 years, he'll be bringing his impressive 'Shadowsphere' show to the UK (and indeed Europe) for the first time, which sees him perform inside a giant globe displaying 360 degree visuals before opening up to show the man doing what he does.

What he does, of course, is technically impressive in itself, as he recreates music from across his albums using numerous turntables and samplers, from classic tracks like 'Midnight In A Perfect World', through his work with James Lavelle on the first UNKLE album, and up to his forthcoming new record. The next day Great Escape delegates will be able to see Shadow discussing all of the music and the Shadowsphere as part of the convention's In Conversation programme.

To get into this show, plus all the other hundreds of panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com.

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GigSell want a proven sales and marketing professional who can lead the launch and sale of the ticketing platform. The approach will be to sell directly to significant event organisers, venues, promoters and marketing agencies but also to organise a network of sales people who target smaller and regional opportunities.

You must have significant experience of entertainment marketing and a track record of successful sales and promotion. You must have an enthusiasm for the web and a good understanding of social media and digital marketing. You should also have a strong network of relevant industry contacts.

We are offering a good salary plus a straight forward performance bonus scheme. We want an energetic, entrepreneurial marketer that can take a fantastic technical solution and turn it into a commercially successful business.

Please send a CV and covering letter 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 18 May 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 1 Jun 2011

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

BMG and Universal might make a joint bid to buy EMI, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, and the two firms might even mount a last minute bid to buy Warner Music together. If either were successful it is thought BMG would take any publishing assets while Universal would take ownership of the record labels.

That's a big "if" though. In the case of Warner Music, it is thought two of the various parties who have bid to buy the US-based music major in recent months - Len Blavatnik's Access Industries and a consortium led by the Gores brothers - will be asked to make final formal offers this week.

BMG's previous bid to buy the whole Warner Music Group was knocked back based on the price it was offering. Even if, through an alliance with Universal, the company could now outbid Blavatnik and the Gores (and that seems unlikely), or those two big bidders both dropped out at the last minute (which is possibly what BMG is hoping for), the combined BMG Universal offer wouldn't necessarily win the approval of the Warner board.

First, said board has said it wants Warner to be sold to one buyer as a going concern, and for it not to be split up, as BMG and Universal reportedly plan. Second, any major sale of assets to Universal Music - the world's biggest music company - is sure to attract the attention of competition regulators in the US or Europe, slowing down any sale. The Telegraph says Universal insiders reckon they have found a way to circumvent regulatory concerns via their BMG partnership, but not everyone will share their confidence on this issue.

A BMG/Universal acquisition of EMI is more likely - given they aren't entering at the final hurdle there - though even then they are not likely to be preferred bidders, and for the same reasons as with Warner. First, current EMI owner Citigroup has reportedly assured the music company's top man Roger Faxon that its intent is to sell the London-based music major to one buyer as a going concern. And second, a Universal acquisition of EMI's record labels would almost certainly spark the interest of European competition regulators, both EMI and Universal being headquartered within the EU.

Though, that said, if BMG and Universal did offer the highest price, given how much Citigroup has already written off with regards Terra Firma's disastrous takeover of EMI in 2007, which it financed, the bankers might have to accept a bid that would result in their music asset being broken up, whatever the strategic logic in keeping the EMI publishing and record label businesses together.

Citigroup is expected to start publicly taking bids for EMI in the next two months, so we'll no doubt see sooner rather than later if there is any truth in the BMG/Universal alliance reports.

Talking of the EMI sale, Charlie Allen, the former ITV boss who was involved in Terra Firma's running of EMI, on an executive level at one point, says that the best outcome of any upcoming sale would be for one wealthy individual to take ownership of the big British music company. So much so, he told The Telegraph, he'd be happy to advise any rich dude interested in making such a bid. Yeah, wouldn't we all, because one assumes Charlie wouldn't provide said advice gratis for the good of the British music industry.

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Any of you planning a trip to LA later this month for what is set to be one of the biggest celebrity trials for years better postpone those flights. The trial of Dr Conrad Murray, who is accused, of course, of causing the death of Michael Jackson by negligently administering the drug Propofol, has been pushed back to September.

Murray's lawyers asked for the court case to be postponed so they can better prepare for new witnesses set to be put on the stand by the prosecution. Judge Michael Pastor allowed the postponement, and dismissed the jury, the selection of which began back in March when the trial was originally due to begin, before being pushed back for a first time to next week.

As previously reported, the prosecution claims that Murray was negligent in administering the shot of the surgical drug Propofol - being used by Jackson to cure insomnia - which killed the late king of pop, and that the medic failed to properly monitor his patient after giving him such a powerful sedative.

Murray's people are expected to claim that the doctor didn't administer the shot of the drug that actually killed the pop star, alleging that either Jackson injected himself, or that a mysterious third party was somehow involved.

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A Californian appeals court has rejected a bid by legendary producter Phil Spector to overturn his murder conviction in relation to the death of one time actress Lana Clarkson at his home back in 2003.

As previously reported, lawyers for Spector - led by Dennis Riordan - last month submitted a lengthy document claiming the producer was not given a fair trial when he was found guilty of shooting dead Clarkson back in 2009.

They argued that the prosecution should not have been allowed to present former girlfriends of Spector as witnesses - they all told the jury of times when the producer had threatened them with a gun - and also accused Judge Larry Fidler of various procedural errors.

But a three-member panel of the Californian appeals court has rejected all of Riordan's arguments, insisting the producer received a fair trial, and adding that the former girlfriends were justified witnesses as part of the prosecution's efforts to show that Spector was prone to point guns at women.

Responding to claims that it was unfair of the prosecution in the original case, when summing up, to suggest some of the defence witnesses (in particular those testifying on forensics) only spoke up in support of Spector because they were paid for their expertise, the appeals judges said "harsh and colourful attacks on the credibility of opposing witness are permissible".

Referencing some of the key elements of the original trial, the appeals ruling also rules out one of the defence's original arguments - that Clarkson was suicidal and most likely deliberately shot herself - as well as recalling the testimony of Spector's then chauffeur, who said that shortly after hearing gunfire at his employer's home the producer walked towards him proclaiming "I think I killed somebody".

Needless to say, Riordan was not impressed with the appeals court's ruling. He told reporters that the appellate decision "does not begin to adequately address the prosecution's remarkable assault on constitutional rights to a neutral judge and to cross-examine all adverse witnesses". He said he would seek a rehearing in the appeals court and, if that was denied, take the case to the Californian Supreme Court.

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Miami-based hip hop label DM Records, which boasts some Tupac, MC Breed and Prince tracks in its catalogue, is suing Warner Music in a dispute over digital distribution rights.

In a slightly confusing case, DM seems to be accusing Warner of failing to pay it all the royalties it is due, of failing to report on the sales it has facilitated, and of re-licensing the label's digital catalogue to The Orchard on an exclusive basis, when the major label didn't have the rights to enter into any such deal.

According to Allhiphop.com, DM began working with Warner when the latter acquired Ryko, the former independent music company which had provided the hip hop label with distribution services. DM renewed its deal with the now Warner owned distributor, but says that with regards digital it did so on a non-exclusive basis.

It's not clear how long DM is alleging that Warner has been failing to pass on the digital royalties it is due, though the other complaints are thought to be relatively recent. According to Allhiphop.com, DM filed its lawsuit against Warner early last week.

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Former Village People frontman Victor Willis - usually dressed as a police officer during his relatively short time with the group - is suing for a bigger slice of the royalties from the pop combo's catalogue.

Willis was recruited to front Village People by the producer behind the venture, Jacques Morali, in 1978, the rest of the group only coming on board once the album Morali and Willis had created topped the chart. Willis says he penned the lyrics to some of the group's biggest hits, including 'YMCA', 'Macho Man' and 'In The Navy', and that he should therefore be due a bigger cut of the revenue those songs continue to generate.

It's not clear what royalties Willis is currently receiving, if any, though the company which now controls the Village People catalogue, Can't Stop Productions, insists Willis' claim is "without merit".

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Katy Perry is suing an Australian magazine which claimed she had an affair after marrying that Russell Brand geezer.

According to MTV, NW magazine claimed Perry had an "intimate relationship" with record producer Benny Blanco, who worked with the singer on 'California Gurls' and 'Teenage Dream'. The mag headlined their piece 'World Exclusive: Katy's Other Man - Split Fears After Shock Revelation'.

Perry's lawsuit is seeking six figure damages, claiming: "By reason of the publication of the article the plaintiff [Perry] has been gravely injured in her reputation and feelings [and] has suffered distress, embarrassment and humiliation".

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The MD of the North Wales offshoot of Global Radio's Heart network, Clive Douthwaite, died suddenly this weekend. The circumstances of his passing are not known.

Douthwaite had led operations for Global Radio, and its predecessor GCap, in the North Wales region for some years, in particular heading up the region's main local commercial station Marcher Sound and its various spin offs. He took over as MD of the Heart network in the region when Global rebranded its local FM stations under the Heart banner in 2009.

Paying tribute this weekend, Chris Jones, Heart's Regional Managing Director, told Radio Today: "Clive was a hugely admired and respected leader of Heart North West and North Wales and we are shocked and saddened by the news of his sudden death at the weekend. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the whole family, and our thoughts are specifically with his wife and children".

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Previously CMU approved lo-fi electronic producer Com Truise has announced that he will release his debut album, 'Galactic Melt', in July via Ghostly International.

The album's tracklisting is as follows:

Cathode Girls
Air Cal
Ether Drift
Galactic Melt (vinyl only)

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Michael Jackson's estate and Cirque du Soleil have announced plans to recreate Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch in a hotel in Las Vegas. A new complex at the Mandalay Bay hotel will house a theatre based on the late king of pop's former home, as well as a Jackson-themed lounge and museum, where fans will be able to see items taken from the real Neveraland.

Cirque du Soleil president Daniel Lamarre said at a press conference in the hotel last week: "This place, Mandalay Bay, is going to become the home of Michael Jackson in many, many ways".

John Branca, co-executor of Michael Jackson's estate, added: "Very few fans would ever get to visit Michael's [real] Neverland Ranch because of its remote location".

It seems odd that Jackson fans would be put off by mere geography, though I guess the majority of those who might be persuaded to go to a museum about the late king of pop aren't actually as crazy as the fans they always wheel out on TV shows.

The exhibit is due to open in 2013 and will be previewed in December, when Cirque du Soleil's previously reported Jackson-themed show reaches Las Vegas after a North American and European tour which kicks off in Montreal in October.

Director (and former backing dancer for Jackson) Jamie King said of that $57 million show: "I feel like I am not doing it alone, I feel like I am doing it with Michael as my co-director all the way".

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CMU Approved pop type Florrie has finally got around to making her first music video. About time, too. It's for a track called 'Begging Me' from her new EP, which is available on iTunes now.

Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj8122XxqDA

You can catch Florrie live at the following shows:

11 May: Manchester, Sound Control
12 May: Brighton, Queens Hotel (The Great Escape)
13 May: Birmingham, Academy 3
14 May: London, The Borderline

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It's the City Showcase festival in London this week, kicking off at The Social tonight and The Bowery tomorrow before getting properly underway on Thursday at both fashion stores and gig venues across central London, and on Saturday in the open air as well on Heddon Street. Among the bands playing the new music festival this year are Anitaprime, Bonfire Nights, Jah Marnyah, Morning Lane, Scams, Two Charming Men and Zugzwang.

As always, there's also a workshops side to the proceedings. These take place at the Regents Street Apple Store on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at The Gibson Studio on Rathbone Street next Monday and Tuesday. At the latter there will be sessions on music careers and marketing and PR, plus a one-on-one interview with veteran artist manager Marc Marot.

There is more information on all this at www.cityshowcase.co.uk, plus our very good friends at ThreeWeeks have published a special TW Guide to all of the proceedings, including interviews with many of the participants and some great tips for those pursuing a career in music. You can pick this up from bars, cafes and shops across London, or check out the digital version here: http://bit.ly/k8L4wS

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THE APPLE CART, Victoria Park, London, 7 Aug: The organisers of Field Day present the inaugural edition of this new one-dayer, which features a musical line-up consisting so far of Badly Drawn Boy, Chilly Gonzales, Soul II Soul, The Magic Numbers and Saint Etienne. Festival goers can expect DJ sets from the likes of Giles Peterson and Dexy's Midnight Runner bloke Kevin Rowland, as well as an array of food, art and magic-related delights. Yes, magic. www.theapplecartfestival.com

NOZSTOCK: THE HIDDEN VALLEY, The Farm, Bromyard, Herefordshire, 29-31 Jul: A capacity of just 5000 guests will be privy to performances from The Jim Jones Revue, Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds, The Wurzels, Foreign Beggars and blues rocker CW Stoneking. In-keeping with this year's 'twisted carnival' theme, this rustic cider-filled fest will also host Andy C, Toddla T, Netsky and Sonic Boom. www.nozstock.com

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This year's The Great Escape will include an exciting new session being staged in association with leading brand partnerships agency Vision Artists, which could see some grass roots managers or promoters walking away with £500 in cash.

Representatives from Boxfresh, O2 and marketing agency Cake will all be in attendance on day two of The Great Escape, and up to four managers and promoters will be able to pitch mini-projects - maybe a special gig, a fan promotion or a publicity stunt - to the brand managers, who will each have up to £500 to spend. Those pitching will need to outline their project and explain what a sponsor will get in return.

Any bands, managers or promoters who would like the opportunity to put themselves in front of this panel of leading brand managers, and to pitch for the cash, should email [email protected] by 5pm on Sunday 8 May telling us your name, the name of your band or project, an outline of the promotion, event or stunt you have in mind, and an outline of what you could offer a sponsor in return. The best will be picked to pitch to the brands panel at this year's Great Escape.

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Live Nation and its subsidiary Festival Republic have both signed up to a plan put forward by the police to try to combat the sale of fake tickets for festivals.

Basically, both will send out tickets for their big summer events earlier than normal. In the past, the logic has been that festival tickets should be sent out relatively late in the day so that dodgy types can't get their hands on tickets and manufacture fakes to sell, either online or outside the festival site. But police say that a bigger problem these days is ticket agents who take money off music fans online with no intent of sending them any tickets, real or fake.

Because said fans know official festival tickets often aren't sent out until a few days before the big event they are not suspicious about their lack of tickets until the very last minute, when its often too late to do anything about it.

Deputy Chief Superintendent Steve Head of the City of London Police told the BBC: "We believe that [posting tickets early] would stop a lot of people being the victims, because we'd be able to act on it quicker, convicting the kind of people we want to convict".

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Media and entertainment law firm Lee & Thompson has announced that a new music lawyer will join its team as a partner this month. Kieran Jay comes to Lee & Thompson from Herbert Reeves & Co, and will bring some of his clients - including Lily Allen, Paolo Nutini and Sophie Ellis-Bextor - with him.

Lawrence Engel, head of the music group at Lee & Thompson, told CMU: "We are delighted that Kieran has agreed to join us and his arrival will further enhance our current music team. He is very highly regarded within the industry and we are committed to expanding our existing strong presence in music. I have no doubt that Kieran will play an important role at the firm going forward".

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A Swedish company called Xcerion has rebranded its digital locker service from iCloud to CloudMe, according to tech website GigaOM. So why's that important to us? Well, the site also cites sources as saying the Swedish firm's rebrand was in part motivated by the fact it sold the iCloud.com domain to Apple for $4.5 million. If true, that only adds to speculation that Apple's expansion of its cloud storage services - possibly with a high profile music and movie based service linked to iTunes - is getting ever closer.

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Fugazi have been on hiatus for twelve years now, but in that time all four members have worked on numerous projects. What may turn out to be their most ambitious is a massive archive of videos of the band performing live currently being prepared to be put online.

Frontman Ian Mackaye told Approaching Oblivion: "I wanted it to be up last fall ... We had to digitise every show, they are on cassette and DAT for the most part. So we got that stuff done. Now we're in the process of mastering all the shows so they play at the same volume. That stage is not too hard, it's pretty mechanical, there's a mastering program that does most of the work. Then we have to edit the shows which means we have to put in index points in between every song so they are not these two hour long files".

He added: "It's a fuck of a lot of work. We're hoping it will be up in the near future. The idea at the moment is to start it with 100 shows. Then put 20 more on every month or something. We're still building the site, it's an interesting and complicated process".

Mackaye also commented on the possibility of Fugazi once again playing together again, perhaps adding some more films to this archive. He said: "The four of us love each other dearly … We didn't break up, I coined the indefinite hiatus term specifically because I thought it was absurd to break up ... It is entirely possible that we will play again and it's also possible that we won't … We've been offered an insane amount of money to play reunions, but it's not going to be money that brings us back together, we would only play music together if we wanted to play music together and the time allowed it".

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Justin Bieber got a bit of a telling off this weekend after he was caught wandering around a plane that was taxiing onto the runway at Sydney airport.

Accordingly to a tweeter who was also on the flight the Biebster ignored the customary calls for all passengers to be seated, and was subsequently on the receiving end of some harsh words from a flight attendant. But he quickly apologised though, so that's OK. Said tweeter wrote: "I was sitting right behind him... he did say sorry after being quite naughty... He was a little naughty but did apologise and the flight attendant wasn't out of order".

Perhaps it was another airline steward whose rules the teen pop star had previously disobeyed that felt the urge to do this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e50vqY7Szo

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Donald Trump
Chief Conspiracy Theorist

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