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So, here we enter week two of life with the new look CMU Daily. I hope you found it agreeable during week one. Many of you have been complimentary, so thank you for that! I hope you all had very lovely weekends. I played 'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney' on my iPhone a bit too much. Pretty sure I could hold my own in a genuine courtroom now. Maybe I'll do that next week, but here's what's happening more>>
Brooklyn-based quartet Friends are almost a bit too cool for their own good. They released their debut single, 'Friend Crush', through Lucky Number earlier this year and the limited edition seven-inch sold out on pre-order. Then the follow-up, 'I'm His Girl', appeared online last week and by the weekend it was amongst the top ten most blogged tracks worldwide. And on top of all that, more>>
- Sony changes Network terms to prevent future class actions
- Interscope responds to drugs network claims
- Did Jackson drink fatal drugs? Murray trial update
- Beatles contract confirms stand against 1960s segregation in US
- Gold Panda makes DJ Kicks mix
- Mike Patton to release film score
- Mastodon plan 'augmented reality' LP option
- Demdike Stare compile Finders Keepers album
- Vessels to tour
- Young Knives tour
- Perfume brand launches music site with Universal
- Universal appoints another globally focused digital exec
- Primary Wave forms joint venture with Violator Management
- eMusic research says ownership of music still key
- News Corp's Daily now available in the UK
- Foo Fighters sing back at Westboro protestors

Sony Corp is facing another tricky PR challenge as tech blogs and news sites around the world note a change to the terms of service attached to the electronic and entertainment giant's PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network, the latter the new name for the recently rebranded Qriocity service.

Under the new terms, users must commit to not participate in any class action lawsuits regarding any future security breaches on the Sony network. As users have to accept the new terms in order to log on to the Sony system, and given that many will do so without even reading the new conditions, some have criticised the change. Though given that one class action lawsuit launched in the US earlier this year, after that very high profile data spill on the Sony network, could cost the firm billions, some bad press now to reduce the impact of future action is probably worth it.

Under the new terms, if users felt they had suffered damage due to a future security lapse on the Sony network, they would have to pursue their own individual case against the electronics firm - initially via a Sony selected arbitrator - rather than relying on others to launch a so called class action suit where they too could win compensation if the litigation is successful, even though they are not directly participating in the legal case. The new terms will mainly affect users in America, where class actions are most common, though similar collective action systems do exist in some other jurisdictions, including some in mainland Europe.

Users can actually opt out of the new anti-collective-action term, though to do so they must send a letter (not an email) to Sony Entertainment's LA headquarters. And critics say that most users won't be bothered to that, or even get as far as reading the small print in the new user agreement that details the opt out option.

According to the BBC, a class action lawsuit filed against Sony in the US in April relating to the big data spill could cost the firm billions, despite the company having already offered compensation packages to the 100 million plus users worldwide whose personal information was leaked during one of several hacking attacks on the company's servers. The most severe attack, of course, led to the PlayStation Network being offline for 40 days. At the time Sony was criticised for how long it took to admit that so much personal data had been leaked.

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Universal Music's Interscope division has responded to those reports last week that its offices were used as a distribution point in the drugs ring network alleged to have been run by James Rosemond, the boss of Czar Entertainment and manager of Interscope artist Game.

As previously reported, papers seen by The Smoking Gun website claim Rosemond's people would drop off and pick up flight cases containing cocaine and/or cash at the Universal subsidiary's offices as they moved drugs and money around the US. It seems that the offices used were Interscope's main HQ in LA, and not its New York base as previously reported here, with the label's West Coast office allegedly a key hub for getting drugs over to the East Coast.

Interscope's statement focused in the main on assumptions by some parties that it, or some of its staff members, may have been knowingly involved in the drugs distribution network. The release stresses that this was not the case, that the authorities have said so, and that neither Interscope nor its parent company Universal Music Group are part of any drugs investigations being conducted in New York.

Says the statement: "Interscope Records has been informed by the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York that there is no evidence that any employee of UMG or Interscope Records had any involvement in the drug trafficking ring being prosecuted by that office, nor any knowledge of the contents of any of the packages that were purportedly shipped to its offices. Further, neither UMG nor Interscope Records are a subject or target of the investigation. UMG and Interscope will continue to cooperate with the United States Attorney's Office regarding this matter".

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Conrad Murray's defence team will focus on what they consider a key fact in Michael Jackson's autopsy report when the medic goes properly on trial for causing the singer's death next week.

We've known for a while that Murray's defence will claim that the singer self-administered the drugs that killed him, either to commit suicide, or simply in a reckless bid to beat insomnia. According to reports, the defence's case will focus on the fact that papers recording the late singer's autopsy seemingly say that doctors found the intravenous sedative propofol - which we know killed Jackson - in his stomach. Team Murray will say that the only way that could have happened is that the singer, unbeknownst to his private medic, drank the drug, such was his addiction to it.

The Daily Mirror quotes a source as saying: "Conrad Murray's team can't understand how propofol got into the stomach. It does not make sense unless Michael drank it. To them that will show the world how much of an addict he was. Michael was acting crazy in his last few hours, demanding drugs to help him sleep. He was always playing with the bottles, who knows what he did?"

Murray will also claim that his former patient was skilled at injecting himself with prescription drugs, and that he had detailed knowledge of IV drips and painkilling jabs, after decades of abusing such medication. All these claims will add to the key argument to be presented by the defence, that Jackson caused his own demise by dangerously self-administering drugs, whether that be orally or by injection.

As much previously reported, Murray is accused of causing Jackson's untimely death by negligently administering the drug propofol. He denies the charge. Jury selection in the previously delayed trial is reaching its conclusion, so that opening addresses should be delivered by prosecution and defence attorneys later this month.

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A 1965 concert contract, up for auction and expected to raise up to $5000, confirms that The Beatles showed their support for the 1960s US civil rights movement by refusing to play at any venue where the audience was segregated by race. The contract, signed by the band's manager Brian Epstein, includes the clause that The Beatles will "not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience".

The contract, for two shows at the Cow Palace in California, also reveals that the band received $40,000 for the performances, that a special drumming platform was constructed for Ringo Starr, and that at least 150 uniformed police officers were provided to ensure the band's safety. Not that the latter clause worked especially well, at the second concert the 17000 strong crowd broke through security barriers and stormed the stage, forcing the show to be halted for a time.

The Beatles, of course, were known supporters of the civil rights movement's campaign for racial equality, having previously refused to play a show in Florida in 1964 until officials abandoned plans to segregate the audience. At the time John Lennon said: "We never play to segregated audiences and we aren't going to start now, I'd sooner lose our appearance money".

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Gold Panda has applied the same Midas production touch that glimmers on his acclaimed debut album, 'Lucky Shiner', to the latest instalment of K7's 'DJ-Kicks' mix series, due out on 31 Oct.

Says the Peckham-based composer, a relative novice on the decks prior to compiling his 'DJ-Kicks' edition: "I'd never considered myself a DJ, but through doing this I've become more appreciative of it. I've so much more respect for people that do DJ now".

Citing dubstepper Untold's dual features on the mix as particular standouts, he adds: "LV & Untold's 'Beacon' has all these little intricacies that makes it so interesting - Untold just seems to be a master at finding and building these lovely percussion sounds".


Gold Panda - An Iceberg Hurtled Northward Through Clouds
Melchior - Pronsato: Puerto Rican Girls
Bok Bok - Charisma Theme
Drexciya - Andreaen Sand Dunes
Muslimgauze - Uzi Mahmood 8
Pawelv - Coke
Ramadanman - Revenue (Untold Remix)
SND - Palo Alto
Zomby - Godzilla
Closer Musik - Maria
Gold Panda - Back Home
Christopher Rau: Do Little
Jan Jelinek - Ifs, Ands And Buts
Nao Tokui - Monolith
Sigha - Shake
Opiate - Amstel
2562 - Dinosaur
Matthewdavid - Like You Mean It
Brainiac - The Turnover
LV & Untold - Beacon
Autistici - Heated Dust On A Sunlit Window
Giuseppe Ielasi - 2

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Polymath production sort and one-time Faith No More frontman Mike Patton is to release a new album entitled 'Music From The Film And Inspired By The Book The Solitude of Prime Number (La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi)', comprising his original score to last year's cinematic rendering of Paolo Giordano's bestselling Italian novel. Described by Patton as a "sonic departure" from his extensive back catalogue, the LP is due out via Ipecac Recordings on 1 Nov.

Marvel over this here tracklist, which is sequenced according to ascending prime numbers:

02 Twin Primes
03 Identity Matrix
05 Method of Infinite Descent
07 Contrapositive
11 Cicatrix
13 Abscissa
17 Isolated Primes
19 Radius of Convergence
23 Separatrix
29 The Snow Angel
31 Apnoea
37 Supersingular Primes
41 Quadratix
43 Calculus of Finite Differences
47 Zeroth
53 Weight of Consequences

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US metallers Mastodon are releasing an 'augmented reality' version of their forthcoming fifth album, 'The Hunter', which will be made available as part of the LP's limited edition package as of its release on 26 Sep.

As for how the 'augmented reality' perk plays out, it means you'll be able to superimpose the album's cover image (a many-mouthed beast type creature) onto your own head via some webcam-compatible software, and thus scare your auntie on Skype, or something.

Anyway, see how it all works here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kNj9ufIHyM

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Just like Jarvis Cocker before them, Demdike Stare have curated a 'Make Do And Mend' compilation for rarities label Finders Keepers. All proceeds, both from this and subsequent limited edition albums in a planned series, will be poured back into efforts to recoup stock that was lost during the fire at the [PIAS] facility at Sony's DADC Warehouse in North London last month.

Committed record collectors themselves, the duo have put together the following tracklist:

Billy Green - Toadtrip (Demdike Stare's Double Drop Crash Edit)
Vangelis - The Dragon
Horrific Child - L'Etrange Mr Whinster (Demdike Stare's Les Vampires Emeutes Mash Up)
Fusioon - Contraste
Billy Green - Death Trip
Bappi Lahiri - Disco Title Music From Dahshat
Gong - Rational Anthem
Acanthus - Violent Library
Bruno Spoerri - Background Rhythm 4
Selda - Utan Utan
Visitors - Visitors
Stanley Myers - Main Theme From Sitting Target
Philippe D'Aram - Des Ecuries

For more details on Finders Keepers' 'Make Do And Mend' scheme, or to order a copy of Demdike Stare's contribution, head here: ww.finderskeepersrecords.com/discog_helpfk002.html

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CMU stalwarts Vessels are planning a tour to further familiarise fans with material from their second album 'Helioscope', which came out earlier this year. Hurrah!

The band's winter festival calendar will also find them at Liverpool Music Week on 11 Nov and, the following day, at Leeds-based hot-ticket, Constellations.

Other tour dates as follows:

17 Oct: Leeds, The Wardrobe
5 Nov: Bolton, The Dog & Partridge
6 Nov: Manchester, Night & Day
7 Nov: London, The Borderline
9 Nov: Bristol, The Louisiana
10 Nov: Chippenham, The Old Road Tavern
13 Nov: Glasgow, Captain's Rest

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Those intrepid Young Knives are set to sally forth on a UK tour in support of their latest album, 'Ornaments From The Silver Arcade'.

Watch the deadpan trio's kaleidoscopic duvet-fancying new video for current single 'Vision In Rags' here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPobkHse7e0

Now, those live dates:

20 Oct: Manchester, Deaf Institute
21 Oct: Stockton On Tees, KU
22 Oct: Fife, The Greenside Hotel
23 Oct: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
24 Oct: Wakefield, The Black Flag
25 Oct: Derby, The Venue
26 Oct: Wrexham, Central Station
27 Oct: Buckinghamshire, University
29 Oct: Liverpool, Mojo
30 Oct: Gloucester, Guildhall
31 Oct: Bath, Komedia
1 Nov: Reading, Sub 89

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Perfume makers Paco Rabanne have teamed up with Universal Music, and specifically its French production arm Off, to launch a new music-based website around its Black XS range called be-a-rockstar.com.

The new website features short films - also accessible via YouTube and Off.tv - about nine bands, including Kaiser Chiefs, Two Door Cinema Club and Cold War Kids. There will also be some music-based games and the chance to win VIP tickets for gigs.

Commenting on the partnership, Universal's Mathieu Baumgartner told WWD: "A few years ago, when an artist joined forces with a brand, it was frowned upon by the profession. Nowadays, provided it is well done and that there are real mutual advantages, an artist joining forces with a brand is a win-win situation".

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Universal Music last week announced the appointment of Simon Watt to the role of Head Of Technology, Global Digital Group. Watt, previously a technology VP within the Universal International division, will report to Rob Wells, the major's President of Global Digital Business, in his new globally-focused role. Amongst other things, he will manage the music company's relationships with Apple, Google, YouTube, Spotify, Microsoft and such like.

On the new appointment, Wells told CMU: "As the demand for digital music continues to grow, we are committed to working with those innovative companies which bring new and dynamic services to fans everywhere. Having a results-driven executive of Simon's calibre and experience lead our technology group demonstrates that we've got the best talent in place to maximise many of these opportunities in the current marketplace".

Watt himself added: "This is an exciting time for music and technology and I am truly grateful to Rob for the opportunity to play an even larger role in shaping our digital business. We have taken a more progressive approach to working with our technology partners, while at the same time, being very responsive to what our artists, consumers and retailers want. We are determined to help create, support and nurture the very best services in the world for fans and artists alike".

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US-based independent music company Primary Wave, which boasts publishing, brand partnership and artist management divisions, has announced a new joint venture with Chris Lighty's Violator Management, which will result in a new company called Primary Violator, offering management and other music business services.

The company will sit alongside Primary Wave's other businesses, which already include a busy talent management division, which has grown quite a bit in recent years, mainly by forming partnership with various established US artist managers. Although Primary Wave founder Larry Mestel will be CEO of the new JV, Lighty will be COO, and he will be supported by Michael 'Blue' Williams, President of Primary Wave Talent.

Says Lighty: "I am excited to launch Primary Violator with two of the most talented and respected executives in the industry. The music business is all about innovation and this strategic partnership will create a more diversified company, which will bring forth a wealth of opportunities for our clients".

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Download-based subscription music service eMusic last week published the results of research it commissioned, undertaken by the Insight Research Group, which seems to show there is still an appetite among many music fans to 'own' digital music, despite the growth of various all-you-can-eat streaming platforms.

Of course, eMusic is biased here, its subscription service offering permanent ownership of a small number of tracks per month rather than temporary access to huge amounts of music. However, I think it is fair to say that the assumption some make, or have made, that 'access' music services will eventually replace 'ownership' services is possibly overly simplistic, and actually there is room in the market for both.

Top line stats from the eMusic research, which questioned 1000 music fans (some eMusic users, some not), include that 91% said they preferred to own tracks because there were no limitations on listening, while 86% said they felt ownership offered more security, ie tracks aren't likely to randomly disappear. 76% said they used streaming services to discover and sample music that they might then buy, and, presumably as a result of that fact, 74% said they wouldn't pay to access streaming platforms.

Elsewhere, only 13% of those surveyed said they currently paid to access streaming services, and of those that did 84% said they continued to buy a la carte downloads too. Meanwhile 79% said they didn't see themselves ever giving up downloading MP3s for keeps and relying on streaming services only.

Although we know the 1000 survey respondents were aged between eighteen and 64 years old, it's not clear if there were any trends in responses depending on age. It wouldn't be surprising to find that thirty-somethings plus, brought up with the perceived 'ownership' of music you got in the CD era, are more attracted to digital services which replicate that experience, while the Napster generation and younger, brought up to expect access to unlimited music from regularly replenished sources, are more attracted to streaming platforms.

Though, as I say, it still seems likely that in the long term both 'ownership' and 'access' services can co-exist, attracting different, and sometimes the same, parts of the market.

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News Corp has launched its iPad-only newspaper The Daily in the UK, seven months after its arrival Stateside. The digital title has seemingly been available for UK users via Apple's App Store for over a week, priced at 69p per day, or £27.99 for an annual subscription.

As previously reported, The Daily is an expensive experiment from the Murdoch news empire to see if people can be persuaded to pay for digitally-provided news when presented in a more multi-media magazine style than via a traditional website.

Currently The Daily that is available over here, which includes news, business, gossip, opinion, techy stuff and sport, is simply the US edition, seemingly comes with no extra UK content - according to The Guardian even the ads are American. Though whether the quiet launch of The Daily in the UK means plans are under way for a proper British version remains to be seen.

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So, those nutty Westboro Baptist Church types lined up outside a recent Foo Fighters gig in Kansas City to protest against the band, who, they claim, promote "fornication, adultery, idolatry [and] fags".

Responding, Dave Grohl and his bandmates dressed up in trucker hats, wigs and fake beards, drove a truck in front of the protestors, and sang them a special song called 'Keepin It Clean', which includes the line: "I've got a hankering for something, think I'm in the mood for some hot man-muffins".

Grohl concluded the impromptu street performance by declaring: "God bless America! Land of the free, home of the brave! I don't care if you're black or white or purple or green, whether you're Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum, it takes all kinds!"

This all actually happened at the end of last month, but is in the news today because the band have just posted a video of the whole thing on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e5hRLbCaCs

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email [email protected] or [email protected].

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