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Everyone loves a bit of rivalry. So much so that lines are often drawn on the most arbitrary of terms. In London, East hates West and North hates South. That's just the way it is, and Londoners on any one side can give you endless reasons why. So, in the spirit of promoting togetherness in the capital, Eddy invites you, wherever you're from, to join him at his new club night in Brixton
If I don't mention Nick Cave here, you're just going to go and think of his name anyway as soon as you listen to Grass House, so let's just get it out of the way now. Cave's synonymy with dark, broody, deep-voiced storytelling is so strong that whenever someone else does it, your brain immediately places it within that familiar framework. But the more you listen to Grass House, the more>>
- Live Nation forms new business with Universal Music
- Joel Tenenbaum higher damages reinstated
- Viacom sues former Rock Band shareholders
- John Mayer suffering from throat condition
- Sharkey to debate DEA at Lib Dem party bash
- Arcade Fire win Polaris Music Prize
- MTV Europe Music Awards nominations announced
- Lou Reed and Metallica release clip
- Peter Broderick announces new album
- The Big Pink announce tour
- Lana Del Rey rejigs tour
- Three Trapped Tigers release video to coincide with tour
- Festival line-up update
- PRS For Music to bring music and games companies together
- Another metal label withdraws from Spotify
- MySpace relaunch announcement still incoming
- Bauer launches bilingual chart show
- Radiohead to appear on The Colbert Report

Live Nation's Executive Chairman Irving Azoff last week promised a big announcement for yesterday, and 'big' was definitely part of it, in that two of the world's biggest music companies announced an alliance, Live Nation and the Universal Music Group.

It is Live Nation's management division, Azoff's own Front Line business, which will form a new joint venture with Universal, which will seemingly focus on extending the reach and revenue potential of big name artists through brand partnerships, and the creation of packages containing recordings, tickets and merchandise sold direct to fans via artist websites. It seems that the new venture will be primarily led by the Front Line team, with Universal bringing artists to the table.

Confirming the new alliance, Azoff told reporters: "This is an unprecedented partnership that unites the world's top music artists with the world's leading artist management, live entertainment, event ticketing and sponsorship resources to drive innovation across our industry. We see tremendous opportunities to work together to create a broad range of products built on the power of music and the direct connection between artists and fans. We look forward to working closely with Lucian Grainge and the talented UMG team in this new and exciting chapter of the music industry".

The aforementioned Grainge, Universal Music's CEO, added: "Together with Irving and [Live Nation CEO] Michael [Rapino], we are creating a series of new platforms and global direct-to-consumer initiatives that will further expand the presence of our artists in this evolving marketplace while providing music fans with even more flexibility in how they consume music. Our artists and their music are at the heart of everything that we do, and by leveraging our combined skills, strengths and global reach with that of Live Nation Entertainment, our management companies, artists and their fans will benefit immeasurably".

Of course, alliances between companies as big as Live Nation and Universal pose a number of interesting questions. Not least, will the managers of Universal's big name artists want to work with what is basically a spin-off from a competing management firm? Will the alliance reduce Front Line's abilities to make demands of Universal where the artists it manages are signed to the major's labels?

Will those who tour with Live Nation's bitter rivals AEG Live be discouraged from using the new JV's services? Will the JV result in other alliances between Live Nation and Universal businesses, especially in the areas where they compete head on, such as merchandising (Live Nation Merchandise v Bravado)? And what to Ticketmaster owners Live Nation think of Universal parent company Vivendi's recent moves into the European ticketing sector? What if Vivendi decided to brand its ticketing companies Universal?

Still, in theory there's nothing to stop big companies which compete in some markets from collaborating in others, and if the new company can prove itself in the brand partnership and direct fan engagement space, even those allied to Live Nation and Universal's competitors may wish to hire the new business's services.

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Up then down then up, sometimes I think this case will still be rumbling on even once human civilisation has rejected the very notion of currency-based exchange.

Joel Tenenbaum, possibly America's most famous file-sharer, or possibly second most after single mum Jammie Thomas, is once again facing the challenge of finding $675,000 to pay the US record industry after an appeals court overturned an earlier judicial ruling which slashed the sum of money the file-sharing student should pay in damages.

As previously reported, Tenenbaum was once of the few file-sharers sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America for file-sharing last decade who let the case go to court. Despite having some very bullish lawyers on his side, he lost somewhat spectacularly and was ordered to pay the record labels $675,000 in damages.

But the judge hearing the case, Nancy Gertner, subsequently reviewed the jury ruling, and decided that damages that high were unconstitutional, resetting the figure at a more modest (for the labels, it would still be arguably more than Tenenbaum could ever raise) $67,500.

However, the RIAA then appealed Gertner's amendment, and the First Circuit Court Of Appeals have now sided with the trade body, mainly on procedural grounds. The appeal judges said Gertner should have first amended Tenenbaum's damages under a process called 'remittitur' which would have given the record labels the chance to accept or decline, the latter forcing a new trial. To immediately slash the damages payment on constitutional grounds, the appeals court says, did not follow accepted procedure.

The case against the aforementioned Jammie Thomas, which has had rather more chapters than that of Tenenbaum, has already seen a judge reject sky high damages through both remittitur and on constitutional grounds, though that legal dispute is still ongoing too, the RIAA currently appealing the most recent lower damages figure set by a judge. It seems almost certain that the Tenenbaum case will rumble on too, despite Gertner's attempts to fast track things, and despite the fact the defendant has already said he'll likely be forced to bankrupt himself if the damages awarded to the record industry run into five figures or more.

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MTV owner Viacom is suing the founders and initial shareholders of 'Rock Band' maker Harmonix regards payments made as part of the media giant's 2006 acquisition of the games developer.

As previously reported, late last year Viacom announced it had sold Harmonix, reportedly for less than a dollar, after the bottom fell out of the pretend-to-play-music games market. Viacom's MTV Games division, which published the 'Rock Band' series, was subsequently shut down too.

The founders and initial shareholders of Harmonix were due a series of so called earn-out payments from the 2006 takeover deal, which rewarded them in addition to the monies they received from the actual sale, based on their continued commitment to the business and its financial performance.

The specifics of the dispute are a little confusing, but basically the original Harmonix shareholders believe they were underpaid by Viacom based on the performance of the business in 2007 and 2008, while the media firm reckons the shareholders were, in fact, overpaid due to miscalculations. The shareholders previously sued for £13 million, and now Viacom is suing for £131 million.

Talks have seemingly been ongoing in this dispute for much of the year, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Viacom has now filed legal papers with the Delaware Federal Court.

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John Mayer has announced that he is cancelling all of his forthcoming singing commitments due to a throat condition. As well as tour dates, this also includes the final stages of recording for his next album, 'Born And Raised'.

Mayer wrote on his blog: "After several months of going week to week monitoring and hoping to correct the condition, I am forced to cancel my upcoming singing engagements due to something next to my vocal cords called a granuloma. I'm bummed to have to bow out of both the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas and an appearance with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles. I know there were people depending on me to be there and I'm sorry that I can't be on those stages".

He continued: "'Born And Raised' is complete as far as music recording, song selection, and in some cases mixing, but because of this condition I couldn't finish singing on several of the tracks. This means the record will be released next year instead of this fall or winter".

Although he was unable to put a time frame on his recovery, Mayer insisted that this was only a "temporary setback".

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Following Hugh Grant's guest spot at the weekend, Feargal Sharkey will be taking to the stage at the Liberal Democrats' Party Conference later today, which will be jolly exciting I'm sure. The one time Undertone and current boss of cross-sector trade body UK Music will be debating the copyright elements of the Digital Economy Act at a fringe event with Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who has been critical of that part of the DEA, despite the Coalition government being committed to enacting it (albeit at a snail's pace).

Huppert told local newspaper Cambridge First: "I am looking forward to a lively debate on issues that have wide-ranging implications for the music industry but at the same time threaten the freedoms of the public. Feargal is always an interesting speaker, and it promises to be an interest exchange of views. We both share the aim of supporting music in the UK, and the wider creative industries".

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Do you think it bothers Arcade Fire that arguably their weakest album to date is the one winning all the prizes? Probably not. And I suppose a slightly disappointing Arcade Fire album is still a good album in the wider scheme of things. Certainly it was the best album to come of Canada last year. Or at least that's what the judging panel of the Polaris Music Prize reckon, despite them having The Weeknd's 'House Of Balloons' and Austra's 'See It Break' also on the shortlist to choose from.

Yes, the Fire, as no one has ever previously called them, last night won Canada's equivalent of the Mercury Prize. I also learned that there is no submission process or entry fee for the Polaris Prize, unlike there is - somewhat controversially in some parts of the grass roots music community - for the Mercury. So those who are offended by the Mercury Prize's entry process and fee should probably move to Canada. It's not a cheap option I realise, but if you stick it all on your Barclaycard and then don't give them your new address, I'm sure they'll understand.

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I lose track of all these MTV awards ceremonies, it really doesn't seem like a whole year since we last celebrated the best European music, like, erm, Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Snoop Dogg. Presumably the MTV Europe Music Awards are about the music people in Europe like rather than the music people in Europe make. That would certainly explain why they've added a Latin American section to the regional awards. Though why they are celebrating artists whose fans just happen to be big I don't know, perhaps obesity is in vogue in Europe just now. Anyway, whatever, there'll be a bash in Belfast on 6 Nov and awards will be handed out to people, for whatever reason, and everyone will be happy.

Here are the non-region specific nominations:

Best Song: Adele - Rolling In The Deep, Bruno Mars - Grenade, Jennifer Lopez feat Pitbull - On The Floor, Katy Perry - Firework, Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Best Live: Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Best Pop: Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna

Best New: Bruno Mars, Far East Movement, Jessie J, LMFAO, Wiz Khalifa

Best Female: Adele, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga

Best Male: Bruno Mars, David Guetta, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Kanye West

Best Hip Hop: Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z & Kanye West, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg

Best Rock: Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Kings Of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Best Video: Adele - Rolling In The Deep, Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise, Beyoncé - Run The World (Girls), Justice - Civilization, Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Best Alternative: Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, 30 Seconds To Mars

Best World Stage: Arcade Fire, The Black Eyed Peas, Diddy Dirty Money, Enrique Iglesias, Kings Of Leon, Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Ozzy Osborne, Snoop Dogg, 30 Seconds To Mars

Best Push: Alexis Jordan, Big Time Rush, Bruno Mars, Far East Movement, Jessie J, Katy B, LMFAO, Neon Trees, Theophilus London, Wiz Khalifa

Biggest Fans: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Paramore, Selena Gomez, 30 Seconds To Mars

And not that we are horribly insular or anything, but of the 27 region-specific awards, here's the ones we suspect you're all actually interesting in:

Best UK & Ireland Act: Adele, Coldplay, Florence And The Machine, Jessie J, Kasabian

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Lou Reed and Metallica have released a 30 second clip of a song from their forthcoming collaborative album 'Lulu'. What do we learn from this clip? Well, 30 seconds isn't really long enough to get an idea of what the album will offer, but we can confirm that it sounds a bit like Lou Reed shouting over some Metallica riffs. We'll be able to verify that for sure when the album is released on 31 Oct.

Watch the clip here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZhnTY_tdeU

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Peter Broderick has a new album coming out this year, which is good news. The sometime Efterklang violin player and an multi-instrumentalist wunderkind will release 'Music For Confluence' on 28 Nov via Erased Tapes. The album will also serve as the soundtrack for a new documentary called 'Confluence', which focuses on a number of cases of missing and murdered girls in Idaho in 1980.

Broderick explains: "The film is based in the Lewiston, Idaho area, not too far from where I grew up in the USA, and it chronicles several mysterious cases of young girls found murdered or gone missing around 1980, all of which seem to lead back to one man who for a variety of reasons has not been able to be charged with these crimes".

He continued: "I set out to create some textural soundscapes which could complement the building tension of the story without being too intrusive or suggestive. Days and nights, snowed in and experimenting with layers and layers of whichever instruments I had around, finding a murky atmosphere that fit with the uneasy feeling which the film gave to me".

You can hear two clips of tracks from the album here: soundcloud.com/erasedtapes/sets/peter-broderick-music-for-1

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Having announced that their second album, 'Stay Gold', will be released next January, The Big Pink have now revealed that they have tour dates lined up for November. These dates, I would guess, will give you the opportunity to hear some of those new songs. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am sharp.

Tour dates:

1 Nov: Glasgow, Classic Grand
12 Nov: Leeds, Metropolitan University
14 Nov: Manchester, Academy 3
15 Nov: Liverpool, Academy 2
17 Nov: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
18 Nov: Brighton, Digital
19 Nov: Birmingham, Institute
21 Nov: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
22 Nov: Bristol, Thekla

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The sudden spike in interest in Lana Del Rey last week has caused her to rethink her upcoming tour dates, adding a few extra dates and upgrading her show at Madama JoJo's in London to The Scala.

Here are the dates:

4 Nov: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
5 Nov: Glasgow, Oran Mor
16 Nov: London, The Scala
17 Nov: Birmingham, Institute

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Three Trapped Tigers began their latest tour of the British Isles in Sheffield last night, and to mark this new run of dates have released a rather good video for their song 'Reset', which stars comedian Matt Berry. You can watch that here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWOwLKcqb40

But now, dates!

10 Sep: Sheffield, The Harley
20 Sep: Nottingham, Spanky Van Dykes
21 Sep: Glasgow, The Captain's Rest
22 Sep: Liverpool, The Shipping Forecast
23 Sep: Dublin, Crawdaddy
24 Sep: Cork, Crane Lane Theatre
22 Oct: Swn Festival
26 Oct: London, The Garage

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BRAINWASH FESTIVAL, Various Venues, Leeds, 14-16 Oct: Acts including Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Circles and Howard James Kenny supplement the bill at this most illustrious of Leeds-based indie bashes. They join The Icarus Line, Dananananaykroyd, Echo Lake, Maybeshewill and Mojo Fury on a diverse overall line-up. brainwashfestivalleeds.tumblr.com

HOUSE OF FUN WEEKENDER, Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 25-27 Nov: At the special behest of festival hosts and curators Madness, Maverick Sabre and Baxter Dury form latest additions to this year's House Of Fun programme, which will also see sets from Beardyman, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, The Correspondents and Man Like Me. www.bigweekends.com/splash-pages/madness.aspx

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Collecting society PRS For Music has announced it is teaming up with TIGA to stage an event in London next month. Though before you get too excited, that's TIGA the trade body for the UK games industry, and not the quirky Canadian DJ, producer and, as it turns out, if you've seen the Chilly Gonzales film 'Ivory Tower', comedy genius. But still, music companies, gaming companies, that sounds like fun, right? Basically the music people are going to explain to the gaming people why licensing music for their games is such a fucking nightmare.

There'll also be some chat about how the gaming sector, especially start-ups and developers, could better work with music publishers, composers and other music rights owners, and what the two industries can learn off each other. Actually, I'm sort of regretting starting this story with a slightly mocking tone, because this does sound like an interesting event. The half-day bash takes place at PRS HQ in London on 14 Oct, more info at this URL. Don't forget your joystick.


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The metallers don't like that Spotify, do they? Well, the American metal labels aren't so thrilled with the streaming music platform, anyway. Perhaps it's because metal fans are among the few still buying music the old fashion way. Anyway, Prosthetic Records has followed Century Media and Metal Blade in pulling its content from the Spotify service, with its co-owner EJ Johantgen telling LA Weekly "there [does] not appear to be an upside" to being part of the Spotify party and that payouts are "fractions of pennies".

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For all of you out there (anyone?) wondering what the hell happened man to that big MySpace press conference we were all waiting for with baited breath last month - you know, the one where new Creative Director Justin Timberlake was going to tell us why the flagging 'no one can quite remember what it's for' website will still be here in a year's time - well, hang in there.

A source has told the Wall Street Journal that the big announcement was delayed because "plans for transforming the site into a hot spot for entertainment have been more 'incremental' than anticipated", which is an interesting euphemism. But worry not, there will still be a big announcement, at the Advertising Week conference in New York next month. Which is very exciting indeed, no? I wonder if Justin will wear a hat.

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Bauer-owned commercial radio station Moray Firth Radio will next week launch a new chart show broadcast in both English and Gaelic. MG ALBA, which works with the BBC on its Gaelic language services North of the border, are involved in the new show, which will be presented by Davey D and Roya McLean, the latter the Gaelic speaker.

Commenting on the new Scottish Chart Show, MFR MD Danny Gallagher told reporters: "I think it's really important that we engage with a number of partners for specific ventures and MG ALBA have been very supportive of our production values on this project. We are really excited about leading the way in pioneering radio shows".

MG ALBA's CEO Donald Campbell added: "This is another fantastic step forward for Gaelic broadcasting. We have been delighted to support the Moray Firth Media Trust in previous years and it's pleasing to see that work lead to this new initiative. We would like to praise Moray Firth Radio for working effortlessly with us in order to bring the first ever bilingual Scottish Charts in English and Gaelic to the audiences across the Highlands, Moray and Aberdeenshire".

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Radiohead are to appear in a special edition of 'The Colbert Report', the late night talk show fronted by one time 'The Daily Show' contributor Stephen Colbert. I'm not entirely sure why, but they are. The band will perform four songs, including unreleased track 'The Daily Mail', and another bonus song for the online version of the show.

Colbert said: "I look forward to meeting the Radioheads and leveraging their anti-corporate indie cred to raise brand awareness for my sponsors".

The show will air on Comedy Central in the US on 26 Sep, then at a later date on FX in the UK.

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