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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Hargreaves to propose parody and private copy right
HMV close to deal on Waterstones sale
Will artists get a share of the LimeWire money?
Reunions & Splits
Brian Wilson considering Beach Boys 50th anniversary reunion
In The Studio
Mariah Carey working on new album
Frankie & The Heartstrings talk album two
Release News
Memory Tapes announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
DJ Shadow announces new UK shows, including London residency
Festival News
Greenpeace to set up studio at Glasto
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Sebastian - Total (Because Music/Ed Banger)
The Music Business
Cooking Vinyl announces venture capital alliance
Bug man joins Eagle to set up new publishing business
Oakes and Thomas launch new comms agency
Brave Music to take on unsigned talent
The Digital Business
French government claims Hadopi is working
MySpace shuts Australian office
Nokia dumps Ovi brand
And finally...
Tegan & Sara twin objects to The Creator's lyrics
Rihanna and Chris Brown follow each other on Twitter, world shits itself


 
TUESDAY 17TH MAY
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF
CMU Approved Hurray For The Riff Raff formed in 2007 around frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra, who ran away from her home in the Bronx at seventeen to hop freight trains across the grand ole USA. She encountered members of The Dead Man Street Orchestra mid-hop and settled with them in New Orleans, going on to form a band and self-release two LPs entitled 'It Don't Mean I Don't Love You' and 'Young Blood Blues'.

 

With the group now signed to Loose Music, selected tracks from those initial albums make up Hurray For The Riff Raff's eponymous UK debut; a chronicle of rootsy American folk songs, stripped-back to a no nonsense instrumental set-up and expressed with an old soul's shrewd, world-weary wisdom. Ahead of a planned live appearance at London's Brixton Windmill on Thursday night as part of the band's current UK tour, we were intrigued to get lead singer Alynda's well-travelled take on our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I started singing with my father when I was a child. I was especially fond of musicals like 'West Side Story' and 'The Wizard Of Oz'. When I'd visit my dad he'd play the keyboard and I'd sing. Those are some of my fondest memories growing up. Once I hit middle school, though, I went through some changes and became much more introverted and insecure. I stopped believing that I had any talent and felt like I would never play music, even though I yearned to. So years later, when I came to New Orleans and met some incredible musicians, I was amazed to find that they wanted to play music with me. I'd play washboard and sing. Keeping the rhythm built my confidence to try banjo and that led back to the guitar. Learning to play music is all about trusting yourself and believing that you can do it. When you have encouraging people around you it makes it that much easier to grow.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

The latest album in the UK is a collection of songs from our first and second full albums, so I'll say that what inspired the songs are growing pains. I feel like it's a very interesting time to be alive and especially be young. It's a bit terrifying, the world is going through immense change and most people (young or old) don't know what the future will bring. My friends and I have dealt with a lot more death at this point in our lives than most, and I think that really shows through. So, I wrote these songs to feel strong.

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

It changes a lot. I will have a bare-bones song and normally the other bandmates will add their own flair to it. Sometimes a strong instrumental melody comes to me, but usually I hear the vocal melody and an overall sound in my mind. Yosi, who plays fiddle and drums, is very helpful in this process. I can tell him I want the fiddle to sound "warm" or "loose" and he understands what I mean. It's like we're trying to get that sound in my head out and often he's the key.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

I am always falling in love with different artists. It's one of my favourite things to do. Townes Van Zandt is a huge influence on my songwriting, I see him as one of the great poets of our time. Townes has the ability to blend harsh realities with myth and beauty. I feel like Townes wanted to be a poet for the bums, and I respect him for that. When I hear Townes I feel like I am with an old friend and that is so special. I also feel that way about John Lennon, especially because of the huge body of work he left us. I am very inspired by the songs he wrote towards the end of his life because they are so bare and honest. Songs like 'Mother' and 'Look At Me' have helped me in some hard times.

Besides them, there are a huge list of influences. Otis Redding, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash. Not to mention all of my friends that are always creating and changing. I feel like we have a common goal to blend the past with the present and make something honest. My friends and I here in New Orleans all share a love for old things: music, photographs, film. It's not about wishing we lived in another time, it's about keeping quality alive. Remembering that the quality of colour, and heart and sound is very important.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Bring a tissue and a bottle of Jim Beam.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I hope the record spreads in Europe and we get to tour lovely places and meet new friends. Besides that, I hope to keep feeling inspired and write songs and learn songs. Hopefully meet a pedal steel player that wants to marry us musically and hit the road.

MORE>> www.hurrayfortheriffraff.com

 
CMU APPROVED: US BABY BEAR BONES
I have a feeling that one half of this duo might be lying about their real name. Not sure if it's Daisy Emily Warne or Puff Gandalfo, though. I guess that's not important right now. The duo are based in Brighton and are just on the cusp of their 20s. Citing Why?, Broken Social Scene and Mew as their main influences, their songs are smart constructions of layered instruments and voices, though I'd say their sound was more likely to find wide commercial acceptance than any of those three bands.

 

Having discovered them a couple of weeks ago, they were one of my 'must-sees' for The Great Escape, where their already strong local following had bagged them a pretty good evening slot at Komedia. Sadly, I didn't make it, and by all accounts I missed an excellent show where they proved to be just as engaging on stage as they are on record. To hear the recordings head over to their Bandcamp page, and for the live experience, they'll be supporting The Wave Pictures at The Prince Albert in Brighton on 18 Jun.



  ANORAK LONDON, DIGITAL MARKETEER
Anorak is looking for a digital marketing expert who also has experience in working strategic PR campaigns. The position will suit a creative thinker who lives and breaths all things digital, and has a passion for executing new ideas. The successful candidate will have strong journalistic contacts and will work well in a small team. Anorak is one of the music industry’s leading PR companies with departments in digital, press, radio and TV promotion. Salary dependent on experience. Please send c.v's to laura@anoraklondon.com
       
  TFA BOOKINGS, DJ AGENT
We are looking for an highly enthusiastic, experienced, motivated & organised Booking Agent with good initiative and a passion for music required for full time role at this busy DJ agency.

Overall purpose of the job will be to sell the DJs on the roster and the branded events to the agency database of promoters. To create touring concepts and sign new acts through research and development and to maintain good relationships with all the DJs & promoters by providing a quality service to both.

Further details at jobs.thecmuwebsite.com/tfabookings-dj-agent

To apply, please send covering letter and C.V. with details of current salary structure if applicable to info@tfabookings.com
       
 

NEW STATE GROUP, ADMINISTRATION & LABEL ASSISTANT
New State Group is looking for a self motivated fired up individual as an Administration & Label Assistant. Working within a close-knit team of 20 and across many different parts of the business, this role is a perfect opportunity for a 'first timer' or graduate to learn the ropes.

The successful candidate will start work in specific areas - the Business Affairs & Finance, Royalties, and Labels and Digital Distribution sides of the business. You will need to be a smart thinker, numerate, display a great attention to detail even under pressure and confident with standard office computer software.

Established in 1995 our companies include a brace of well known dance music labels, TV Advertised compilation albums, brand licensing, digital distribution, online PR, graphic design & even iPhone & mobile application creation all under one roof. Our open plan studio style offices are located in Queens Park (NW6 London), with great transport links to the whole of London.

If you like the idea of a relaxed, friendly working environment, love music & think you’ve got what it takes to make a difference; send your CV and salary expectations and tell us why you 'have the right stuff' - jobs@newstate.co.uk



HARGREAVES TO PROPOSE PARODY AND PRIVATE COPY RIGHT
The Hargreaves Review of intellectual property law is expected to report tomorrow, and word has it the final text will be more friendly towards the traditional content industries than some in those sectors originally feared, though there will be a number of proposals to expand the rights of non-commercial users, and to make things easier for those wanting to use copyright material for commercial purposes.

According to The Guardian, among the proposals regarding fair dealing - ie that part of copyright law that enables some users to circumvent conventional copyright rules in some circumstances - will be the introduction of a right to parody copyright material without the rights-owner's permission, and the introduction of a private copy right, something which already exists in most other territories.

The parody right is something Google, which had a role in instigating this review, is known to want expanded in all copyright jurisdictions, so that when punters post piss-take videos of films or pop-promos, the owners of the originals can't order the video-sharing site to take them down.

The parody right would have prevented the songwriters of 'New York State Of Mind' from having the 'Newport State Of Mind' spoof removed from YouTube, and would mean the makers of the 'Downfall' film couldn't stop parodies of its famous bunker scene being posted to the video site.

Hargreaves is expected to also say that the new fair-dealing right would allow writers and comedians operating on more traditional media platforms to be more creative in creating parodies without the fear of being accused of copyright infringement.

The need for a private copy right in the UK was included in the Gowers Review of IP law back in 2006, but has never made it to the statute book. This would allow consumers to make back-up copies of tracks they have legitimately bought on CD to their PC, MP3 player or another CDR, something everyone does but which, in the UK, technically infringes copyright.

In some territories the music business has traditionally received a levy in return for the private copy right - added to devices on which private copies can be made - though Hargreaves is expected to propose the new right be introduced without charging any such levy.

The lack of a private copy right in the UK is interesting in the context of digital lockers, because it means that even the most basic online storage services - which even the US record industry would have to accept can operate without a copyright licence - would technically infringe copyright in this country. Introducing the private copy right would therefore open the doors for at least some basic digital locker services in the UK.

Hargreaves' other grand plan is likely to be the launch of a uber-rights agency run by the content industries that can help those wanting to licence music, film or other multi-media content to find and deal with rights owners. The review is likely to say the creation of such an agency would make the UK "the best place in the world to do business in digital content". It is a great idea, though could be a logistical nightmare to get up and running.

More on Hargreaves later this week, I'm sure.

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HMV CLOSE TO DEAL ON WATERSTONES SALE
HMV has reportedly received a £43 million cash offer for the Waterstone's book chain from Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut who, as previously reported, is already a minority shareholder in the wider HMV Group.

The entertainment and retail firm put Waterstone's up for sale earlier this year as it tries to restructure its debts following disappointing sales figures from its high street business. Mamut has been tipped as a buyer for HMV's books chain for sometime, though there were rumours last week of disagreements between the Russian and HMV's bankers on price. The £43 million offer, though, is somewhat higher than most expected. In a statement HMV confirmed it was now in "advanced discussions" regarding a sale of the Waterstones business.

Of course, the HMV Group could do with selling both Waterstones and its Canadian HMV chain as quickly as possible, to reduce their overall debts to more manageable levels, and to meet loan covenants, overdue tests for which will now be applied next month.

The banks reportedly remain supportive of HMV, and it is thought if both the Waterstones and Canadian sales can go through the immediate danger of collapse - or EMI-style repossession - will go away, though there are still many many challenges ahead.

According to Sky News, one recent presentation from HMV management admitted retail profits look likely to continue to slip in the next two years, to as low as £3 million in 2013, meaning even with debts restructured bosses at the entertainment group will have to quickly find new revenue streams to tap into.

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WILL ARTISTS GET A SHARE OF THE LIMEWIRE MONEY?
So, since last week's rather sudden settlement between the US record industry and the one time king of all file-sharing software providers LimeWire, there has been speculation in some quarters as to who exactly will get a share of the $105 million the latter will pay the former. Will any go to the artists?

Exactly what share of any file-sharing damages won by record labels in P2P litigation should be allocated to specific artists represented by said labels has been a contentious topic for some time - well, ever since the first damages cheque came in really. There are two elements to the debate, how much can the label keep and how much should be allocated to artists, and then how is the artists' allocation distributed between those whose music was shared?

The Recording Industry Association Of America, and specifically Warner Music, has told the New York Times that artists will indeed get their share, though some managers and lawyers say extracting that money from the labels may be easier said than done.

It is thought that once legal fees have been deducted, the labels will share the millions they get form LimeWire (or, more likely, its founder Mark Gorton directly) based on market share. The New York Times says that their sources expect the labels to keep about half of what they receive, and then share the rest between all the artists on their rosters, based on what portion of sales each act contributes to the overall record company, even though those artists whose music was more prolifically shared on the P2P networks might have accounted for less legit sales as a result.

Of course, only those artists who have recouped will actually see any cash from LimeWire, and even where that is the case said artists might have to wait sometime to be paid, according to some music lawyers, who say the majors do not have a good record on paying up on past P2P settlements. Lawyer Dina LaPolt, who represents Steven Tyler and the Tupac estate among others, told the NYT: "It's going to be the artists that make noise - they are the ones that are going to get paid".

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BRIAN WILSON CONSIDERING BEACH BOYS 50TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION
Last week Brian Wilson said he might give up performing live in a year, now he's said he might re-join The Beach Boys to mark the band's 50th anniversary. I think this is what's known as 'thinking out loud'. But anyway, today's story is the reasonably big news that Wilson is actually actively considering performing with his old bandmates once again.

Rumours that Wilson and co-founder Al Jardine were signed up to return to the band in 2012 began to circulate last year. The third surviving founder member, Mike Love, who fronts the current Beach Boys incarnation, denied this, telling Reuters in July: "There have been a lot of ideas floated, but nothing decided. So far it's just conversation. There are no big plans yet - although there's a lot of interest from a lot of people to see what would happen if we got together and did some new music and maybe did some shows. But so far nothing's firm".

Seemingly little has moved on since then. However, Wilson has now told BBC 6music: "I'm considering it. I don't know yet but I'm considering it. Nothing's really holding me back. I just don't know if I want to be around those guys you know. They're zany guys. They're crazy".

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MARIAH CAREY WORKING ON NEW ALBUM
Mariah Carey has only just given birth to twins, Moroccan Scott and Monroe, who were released from hospital on Saturday, but apparently she is already working on her next album. Music industry maternity leave is rubbish.

Carey's husband Nick Cannon told Billboard: "She's planning on having a record out this year. She's been working away, and we have a studio in the crib. [Being pregnant] has totally inspired her on so many different levels. You're definitely gonna see some new phenomenal music from Mariah".

By "crib", by the way, I think he means house, not cot. Having a studio in the babies' cot would be weird. If he did mean cot, it would probably be better to have the crib in the studio, rather than the other way around.

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FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS TALK ALBUM TWO
Frankie & The Heartstrings frontman Frankie Francis has told the NME that the band are tentatively writing songs for their second album.

Speaking to the magazine at The Great Escape, Francis said: "We're just hammering out ideas at the minute so we're a long way off making a second album. But the places we're going are definitely inspiring us a lot. Berlin and Hamburg are two places that come to mind because when we went over there it was really cold and there was this really strange atmosphere which was quite haunting but at the same time it was really great to be there. They're really into indie music and good guitar music over there too, which is great".

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MEMORY TAPES ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Memory Tapes, aka producer Dayve Hawk, has announced details of his second album, 'Player Piano', which will be released on 4 Jul by Something In Construction Records. He has also announced that he will play live dates in London, Manchester and Glasgow the week of the album's release.

A track from the album, 'Wait In The Dark', was made available as a free download last week. Stream it here or hit 'Buy' to access a free MP3: soundcloud.com/memorytapes/wait-in-the-dark

The album's tracklist is as follows:

Musicbox (In)
Wait In The Dark
Today is Our Life
Yes I Know
Offers
Humming
Sun Hits
Worries
Fell Thru Ice
Fell Thru Ice II
Trance Sisters
Musicbox (Out)

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DJ SHADOW ANNOUNCES NEW UK SHOWS, INCLUDING LONDON RESIDENCY
Following his headline slot at last week's Great Escape festival (and onstage interview as part of the CMU-programmed convention section), DJ Shadow has announced new UK tour dates for later in the year in Manchester and Norwich, plus a three night residency at London's Village Underground ahead of his performance at Bestival in September.

The DJ and producer's full UK dates for 2011 are now as follows:

10 Jun: RockNess Festival
11 Jun: Middlesbrough, Empire
12 Jun: Parklife Weekender Festival
23 Jun: Norwich, UEA
24 Jun: Glastonbury Festival
2 Sep: Electric Picnic
7 Sep: London, Village Underground
8 Sep: London, Village Underground
9 Sep: London, Village Underground
11 Sep: Bestival

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GREENPEACE TO SET UP STUDIO AT GLASTO
Greenpeace will set up a recording studio - made out of wood and straw - at the Glastonbury Festival this year and then encourage artists established and brand new to record songs about the environmental and economic issues that are affecting the world right now.

Says Greenpeace: "We're calling for left-field artists, musicians and writers; everyone who opposes environmental destruction, exploitation, corruption, manipulation and fraud - the things that have become staple fodder of the increasingly half-baked media reports we routinely ignore. Raising Voices aims to use the uniquely positive atmosphere that is Glastonbury to build momentum around the protest song".

The eco-group has teamed up with producer Joe Leach of Cowshed Studio London to create the temporary recording space, and a video feed from inside it will allow festival goers to see what is going on.

Any artists or labels interested in getting involved should email glasto@cowshedstudio.com

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

CONSTELLATIONS FESTIVAL, Leeds University, Leeds, 12 Nov: A stellar trio of acts has been confirmed for this music/arts festival's second year, with Wild Beasts, Yuck, and The Antlers making up the first portion of announcees to appear at the wintery one-dayer. www.constellationsfestival.com

EDEN SESSIONS, The Eden Project, Cornwall, 23 Jun - 12 Jul: Badly Drawn Boy and Seth Lakeman, are the latest additions to the Eden Sessions programme for this summer, joining Primal Scream, The Flaming Lips, The Go! Team, Fleet Foxes and Villagers who will already appear during the concert series. www.edenproject.com/sessions/

END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset, 2-4 Sep: Organisers of this Dorset-based bash have tacked a score of trendy new names onto their bill, with Austra, Big Deal, Brakes, The Unthanks and Zola Jesus featuring highly amongst the latest line-up announcements, which also include an exclusive appearance from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Previously confirmed acts include Joanna Newsom, Laura Marling, Best Coast and Beirut. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

FLOW FESTIVAL, Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland, 12-14 Aug: New additions to proceedings at this Finnish fest include The Human League, Battles, Jamie Woon and Alexis of Hot Chip's side project About Band. Amongst those acts already booked prior to this latest revelation are Kanye West, Q-Tip, Lykke Li, Janelle Monae and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. www.flowfestival.com/en/

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 24-26 Jun: Kaiser Chiefs, James, retro soul-rockers Vintage Trouble and ex Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz's new outfit Black Cards are all newly poised to head to Hyde Park, having heeded Hard Rock's call. The existing bill boasts acts including Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, The Killers and rockin Rumer. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 8-10 Jul: A host of on-the-cusp indie talent hits the tremendous T bill, with Metronomy, Grouplove, The Head And The Heart and Wolf Gang all new to the Scottish bash's weekend listings. Fellow line-up newbs including Clare Maguire, Tame Impala, Saw Doctors and City & Colour all also take their place on the billing alongside older hands like Arctic Monkeys, Beyonce, Coldplay and Foo Fighters. www.tinthepark.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sebastian - Total (Because Music/Ed Banger)
Sebastian - or SebastiAn as he will always be known to me - has been around for a while now, releasing the odd EP here and there, and doing remixes for artists like Kelis and Daft Punk, but now here comes his debut artist album - all 22 tracks of it - via the nigh-on legendary Ed Banger Records label, home to artists like Uffie and Justice.

From the off this record's style is distinctly French, with those 80s-style drums and synths, but that isn't to say its formulaic - far from it. Opener 'Hudson River' is lusciously grand, like walking into a surprise birthday party at the Palace Of Versailles. Naturally, with 22 songs to fit in, a lot of them aren't as long as you'd perhaps want them to be. 'Tough Games', for instance, is aggressive and crunchy and is a real mover, but it's a meagre 40 seconds long. But not to worry, directly after that comes 'Embody', a smooth track with bright chords and pleasantly robotised vocals. Sebastian's ability to switch from those hard dance head-shakers to a more subdued hip hop/electro sound is impressive, and shows a clever versatility.

There's a lot going on here, and if you don't like some of it, you're bound to like the rest of it, such is Sebastian's diversity. The penultimate song is an old favourite, 'Doggg', complete with superfluous 'G's, and is a fittingly mental end to wonderfully bi-polar record. JJB

Physical release: 30 May

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COOKING VINYL ANNOUNCES VENTURE CAPITAL ALLIANCE
Following his appearance on the Music Company Of The Future panel at The Great Escape last Friday, Cooking Vinyl chief Martin Goldschmidt has announced a new alliance with a venture capital organisation called Icebreaker, which will see the indie label and its sister distribution company Essential introducing artists to the investment fund with the possibility of them investing into artist ventures being managed by one of Goldschmidt's companies. Icebreaker have already been involved in some Cooking Vinyl projects, including Marilyn Manson's upcoming new album.

Says Goldschmidt: "This is the first time to my knowledge that venture capital has teamed with a record label in such a significant way. We're excited that Icebreaker have recognised the experience and professionalism that Cooking Vinyl bring to the equation. Between us we have the skills and financial leverage to maximise the chances of a project's success".

Caroline Hamilton, founder and MD of Icebreaker Management, added: "Our investors have a huge appetite for professionally managed acts. We're delighted to be working alongside the people at Cooking Vinyl and we're confident that, with their assistance, we will be able to help maximise returns for the Icebreaker LLPs, and at the same ensure that talent is properly rewarded".

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BUG MAN JOINS EAGLE TO SET UP NEW PUBLISHING BUSINESS
Eagle Rock Entertainment have launched a publishing division to be called Eagle-i Music, which will be headed up by Roberto Neri, who joins Eagle Rock from indie publisher Bug Music.

Confirming the new strand to his business, Eagle Rock founder and chairman Terry Shand told reporters: "There is an opportunity in the market for another indie publisher - and I believe that Eagle-i Music will be able to stand out from the crowd due to our strong links and history in the worldwide entertainment business".

He continued: "Publishing complements everything we do at Eagle Rock - as we already have a phenomenal physical, digital and television distribution network it is an area the organisation should have entered into sooner. It's been on the cards for a while, but we had never found the right team to work with before. Although we will be starting from scratch with Eagle-i Music, Roberto's talent and expertise will give us a flying start",

Neri himself added: "Eagle-i will offer world class, efficient administration of music rights and we will be driven by the music. With creative and synchronisation specialists, we will be setting trends in all markets".

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OAKES AND THOMAS LAUNCH NEW COMMS AGENCY
Stephen Oakes, previously a Director at Emms Publicity, has teamed up with Louise Thomas to launch a new brand communication and music PR agency called Break Communications. At the outset the new company will work on the Windrush Festival, a new nightlife industry iPhone app and a small roster of artists.

Oakes told CMU: "We've both spent nearly a decade at other agencies, and have been chatting about taking the plunge together for a while. Our backgrounds are fairly music heavy, so that¹s a big emphasis for Break, but we¹re also looking to extend beyond this and are in conversations with some exciting brands in the youth arenas".

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BRAVE MUSIC TO TAKE ON UNSIGNED TALENT
Manchester-based booking agent Damian Morgan has announced that his Brave Music Agency will now be taking on artists without record deals in place, perhaps a sign that bands are having to further develop their live careers in order to build fanbase before record companies will now get involved.

Morgan, who represents Terry Hall, ex-Smiths men Mike Joyce and Andy Rouke, The Bluetones, Dodgy and newer bands like Guillemots, says he hopes by taking on unsigned bands he can help nurture that talent, by helping them navigate the live music network in a way that will help them further their music careers.

Morgan tells CMU: "Great new bands deserve decent bookings - they should have the opportunity to build on their fanbase and get their music heard. There are some great promoters out there who care, and it's part of my job to help bands navigate those choppy waters and guide them towards the good gigs. I'm also there to protect the interests of good venues and promoters too. It's a job that takes diplomacy and sensitivity".

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FRENCH GOVERNMENT CLAIMS HADOPI IS WORKING
A report by the French government claims that the three-strikes anti-piracy system that went live there last year is starting to have an impact, with half of 1500 people surveyed saying the new copyright protection initiative had encouraged them to use legal content services, and 72% of those who knew someone who had received a warning letter as part of the three-strikes process saying they had stopped or dramatically reduced their use of file-sharing networks.

France was one of the first countries to introduce a three-strikes system to combat online piracy, with all out disconnection from the internet the ultimate penalty in the 'graduate response' process managed by a government agency called Hadopi. Since it first appeared on the political agenda, French media reports have said there is a lot of opposition among the public to the anti-piracy measures, though the government's report claims half of those questioned supported the initiative.

According to reports, the Hadopi office is now sending out 5000 warning letters a day to suspected file-sharers, with the second-strike letters starting to go out in January. Some in the French media last week questioned the reliability of the government's poll, while others have claimed that the use of less detectable file-sharing methods - including device-to-device offline sharing - are on the up in the country, counterbalancing any stats that suggest traditional file-sharing is down.

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MYSPACE SHUTS AUSTRALIAN OFFICE
MySpace will shut its Australian office this week, with some key execs among those leaving the company. Once the social networking firm's biggest base outside of the US, some thirty people were still working for MySpace in Australia in January.

Among those to go are Rebekah Horne, the firm's Senior VP of International, who divided her time between the US and Australia. As much previously reported, the flagging MySpace has been offloading staff for a while now as current owners News Corp try to offload the company.

Insiders say the loss of the Australian office should not affect the experience of those still using MySpace in Australia.

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NOKIA DUMPS OVI BRAND
Nokia is dropping its Ovi brand, including from its music store, opting instead for the very snappy name of Nokia Services. The phone firm had worked hard to develop the Ovi brand in the content and net services space, and rebranded its Comes With Music offer to Ovi Music UnLimited is those territories where the DRM-heavy all-you-can-eat service wasn't shut down.

Officially the name change should not affect Nokia's services, though some are speculating that as the phone firm moves from using its own proprietary operating system to the Windows Phone system it might phase out its own content services in favour of those offered by Microsoft, becoming very much just the hardware manufacturer in the equation.

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TEGAN & SARA TWIN OBJECTS TO THE CREATOR'S LYRICS
Everyone's banging on about hip hop collective Odd Future at the moment, particularly the group's Tyler, The Creator, who is either a genius or an idiot, depending on who you're asking. Most people seem to say genius, but there are plenty who find his lyrics offensive, what with all the homophobia and misogyny and that.

Sara Quin of Canadian pop-rock duo Tega & Sara last week posted an open letter to journalists, and anyone else calling him a genius, on her band's website, saying: "As journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate Tyler, The Creator, I find it impossible not to comment. In any other industry would I be expected to tolerate, overlook and find deeper meaning in this kid's sickening rhetoric? Why should I care about this music or its 'brilliance' when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible? There is much that upsets me in this world, and this certainly isn't the first time I've drafted an open letter or complaint, but in the past I've found an opinion - some like-minded commentary - that let me rest assured that my outrage, my voice, had been accounted for. Not this time".

She added: "No genre is without its controversial and offensive characters - I'm not naive. I've asked myself a thousand times why this is pushing me over the edge. Maybe it's the access to him (his grotesque twitter, etc). Maybe it's because I'm a human being, both a girl and a lesbian. Maybe it's because my mom has spent her whole adult life working with teenage girls who were victims of sexual assault. Maybe it's because in this case I don't think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message".

Maybe grammar obsessed journalists just like the use of punctuation in his name. I don't know. But, hey, right to reply and all that. What does Tyler, The Creator have to say about this? Well, he tweeted in response: "If Tegan and Sara need some hard dick, hit me up!"

Is this not the plot of 'Chasing Amy'?

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RIHANNA AND CHRIS BROWN FOLLOW EACH OTHER ON TWITTER, WORLD SHITS ITSELF
Rihanna and Chris Brown followed each other on Twitter the other day. She went first, he reciprocated. That's it, really. There's not a huge amount left to say about it. If anything, I'm now just waffling to fill space. I mean, you can follow anyone on Twitter. I've followed people I think are idiots before. I mean, okay, none of them beat me up and left me unconscious in the street. But still, it's just Twitter.

Anyway, once people started to notice this had happened, half the world went mad. Well, Rihanna's Twitter followers, anyway. Which I suppose is understandable, fans of both she and Chris Brown have been particularly protective of their respective favourite singer since the violent incident that led to the former couple splitting up.

Rihanna responded to one fan who expressed outrage by saying much the same as I just did, though she put it slightly more bluntly. She wrote: "It's fuckin Twitter, not the altar! Calm down". She later followed that comment up with an apology for lashing out, saying: "Babygirl, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt or offend you! Just needed to make it clear to the Navy!"

I have no idea what the Navy's got to do with all this. I thought she was more closely associated with the Army. Whatever, I'm not sure this is a matter for any branch of the military.

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Andy Malt
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