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THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: PLAYLIST - POLYVINYL
This Saturday, Polyvinyl Records will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with a special show in Champaign, Illinois. Keen to join in with the celebrations, we asked the company's UK/EU Label Manager Mark Jiggsaw to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us, featuring some of his favourite tracks from the label's catalogue, and others that have been regularly played at the company's Champaign HQ more>>
TODAY'S APPROVED: TRIPPPLE NIPPPLES
In this internet age, it's important to have a band name that shows up well in search engines. So, well done Trippple Nippples, who hold every single position on page one of their Google results in some way or another. Well done also for having a name that brands itself onto your brain so hard that it pushes out other memories. Seriously, a chunk of my childhood is now gone, replaced by more>>
TOP STORIES
- Spotify passes two million paying subscribers landmark
IN THE POP COURTS
- Defence want to show Jackson's This Is It announcement: Murray trial update
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- BRIT School alumni have sold 65 million records
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- REM split
IN THE STUDIO
- Portishead planning new album (or at least one of them is)
RELEASE NEWS
- Mastodon stream new album
- Guided By Voices announce new album
FILMS & SHOWS NEWS
- NWA biopic in the works
- Footage of Paul McCartney's ballet appears online
- 50 Cent to play pimp in new film
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Bastille announce new EP and tour
TALKS, DEBATES & CONVENTIONS
- Live UK Summit headliners announced
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Play.com sold
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- VEVO and Ticketmaster launch Facebook apps
- Facebook, BBC online, 7Digital and Pandora revamp
AND FINALLY...
- Adele banned from piano shop, but makes up with ex
- Jared Followill drives into garage
- Dappy inspired by Brown when naked photo appeared online
DOMINO RECORDING COMPANY, INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Domino is seeking an experienced International Promotions Manager who would be responsible for all aspects of international promotion - including press, radio and TV - for the whole of the label roster (including Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Anna Calvi, The Kills and John Cale) and working closely with our international partners around the world. Minimum two years experience with artists, managers, record labels and international media is required. The position is based in our London office.

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter to: internationalpromotions@dominorecordco.com Closing date is 10 Oct.

SPOTIFY PASSES TWO MILLION PAYING SUBSCRIBERS LANDMARK
Spotify now has over two million paying subscribers, according to the company's top man Daniel Ek, who made the claim in an interview with CNBC, according to the Financial Times.

That means the streaming service has doubled its subscriber base in just six months. True, it was the six months during which Spotify severely reduced its freemium offer in Europe, resulting in a flurry of upgrades to premium accounts, and the six months during which it finally managed its long awaited US launch. But still, having the ability to turn free users into paying customers is key to Spotify's success, and scoring 400,000 paying subscribers in the US in a quarter - despite being very late to the party - is quite an achievement.

Ek is in the US this week for Facebook's much hyped f8 event, where the social network will announce details of its new music platform, which will include a Spotify service. The Facebook integration could help Spotify achieve its next subscriber landmark, though it will be up against most of its competitors on the Facebook Music platform, so it remains to be seen just how useful that partnership proves to be.

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DEFENCE WANT TO SHOW JACKSON'S THIS IS IT ANNOUNCEMENT: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
Conrad Murray's lawyers have asked for permission to show footage of Michael Jackson's 2009 press conference, at which he announced the fated 'This Is It' concerts, believing that it shows how frail the singer was in the final months of his life.

Murray, of course, is accused of causing Jackson's death by negligently administering the drug propofol as a cure for insomnia. But Murray's legal reps are expected to allege that Jackson self-administered the fatal dose of the drug in a desperate act to induce sleep, or, possibly, in a bid to end it all. As part of their case, Team Murray will endeavour to show that Jackson was in poor health in the months before his death, and was certainly not fit enough to go through with the 50 night 'This Is It' residency.

As previously reported, the Murray team hoped that outtakes from the rehearsal footage that was used for the 'This Is It' film might have shown just how frail Jackson was, but after viewing many hours of that footage they concluded it did not help their case.

However, they reckon that Jackson's conduct at the London press conference announcing the O2 show demonstrates his ill health, while adding that his firm statement at that event that there would be just ten shows proves he was pressured into increasing the booking to a fifty night residency by promoters AEG Live, despite possibly not being fit enough to take on such a project.

Judge Michael Pastor is now considering the defence's request to show footage of the press conference during the trial. Meanwhile, jury selection is ongoing, with the trial proper expected to kick off before the end of the month.

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BRIT SCHOOL ALUMNI HAVE SOLD 65 MILLION RECORDS
Alumni of the BRIT School, the Croydon-based arts and music-focused secondary school in part funded by the record industry's BRIT Trust, have collectively sold 65 million albums worldwide, according to stats published by Music Week to coincide with the college's 20th anniversary.

The Official Charts Company has confirmed that artists who studied at the school have sold 21 million albums and an additional 19.8 million singles in the UK, while Music Week's research calculates that worldwide the album sales tally goes up to 65 million. Among the artists to contribute to that number are Leona Lewis, The Feeling, Amy Winehouse, Imogen Heap, Athlete, The Kooks, Katie Melua, Adele, Jessie J and Katy B.

Commenting on the stats, Official Charts Company MD Martin Talbot told CMU: "These new statistics provide clear evidence of the impact of the BRIT School. We have all noticed the emergence of talent from the school, within the charts and at various awards shows - but this is the first time their impact has been assessed in raw sales terms. And the results are incredible".

Meanwhile Music Week's Paul Williams added: "It is no easy feat for new artists to sell albums in decent numbers these days, but many of the acts that are succeeding are graduates of the BRIT School. And in a number of instances, as demonstrated by the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis, their success has not been restricted to the UK but has happened in every major music territory in the world, which is why the collective album sales of the former students are so high".

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REM SPLIT
At last! REM have split up! And who is responsible for getting them to make this decision? Why, it's CMU, of course. We did it. Us. We're claiming it. You can't have it. Why? Well, today is exactly a year to the day since we published this news story - http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/rem-complete-fifteenth-album/ - about the band's fifteenth studio album in which we called on them repeatedly to call it a day, and that's the sort of coincidence you can't ignore.

Anyway, REM have split up. Excuse me while I do a little dance. It may be fourteen years and five albums too late, but it's still cheered me up no end. If only they'd done it when Bill Berry left in 1997. Oh well.

In a short statement yesterday, the band said: "As REM, and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening".

In other REM news, Michael Stipe got his cock out: confessionsofamichaelstipe.tumblr.com/post/8317898465

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PORTISHEAD PLANNING NEW ALBUM (OR AT LEAST ONE OF THEM IS)
Portishead are planning to begin work on their fourth album in January. Or, at least, Geoff Barrow is. But he makes up over 33% of Portishead, so it's a good start.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Barrow said: "I'm going to start in January, I don't know when Beth's gonna start or when Adrian is gonna start, but I'm gonna get my head together for January basically to start writing".

Asked when we might get to hear the new record, he continued: "Historically it could be fucking ten years. We're only ever going to release something that we feel comfortable with or else it's not worth releasing, basically. We'll release it when it feels like we've got something to say. I think most probably any one of us would prefer to go and take up some van driving job than release an album that we didn't feel comfortable about".

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MASTODON STREAM NEW ALBUM
Mastodon are streaming their new album, 'The Hunter', in full via YouTube. And rather than sticking up a grainy static image in the video player, they've made swanky visuals for each track, which is nice. As for the music itself, well, it sounds good. It sounds like Mastodon. There's a cool bit where they slow right down.

Oh, what? That's not the sort of cutting edge, insightful criticism you were looking for? Look, I've only listened to it once and I got distracted by something halfway through. Why don't you fuck off and form your own opinions?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffWVlG8rK9k

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GUIDED BY VOICES ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Having reformed for Matador's 21st anniversary celebrations last year, followed by a year of touring, Guided By Voices' 'classic' line-up (that's the incarnation of that band which existed between 1993 and 1996) have announced that they are to release a new album in January next year. This will be their first record together since 1996's 'Under The Bushes, Under The Stars'.

Entitled 'Let's Go Eat The Factory', the album will be released on 1 Jan. The tracklisting looks like this:

Laundry And Lasers
The Head
Doughnut For A Snowman
Spiderfighter
Hang Mr. Kite
God Loves Us
The Unsinkable Fats Domino
Who Invented The Sun
The Big Hat And Toy Show
Imperial Racehorsing
How I Met My Mother
Waves
My Europa
Chocolate Boy
The Things That Never Need
Either Nelson
Cyclone Utilities (Remember Your Birthday)
Old Bones
Go Rolling Home
The Room Taking Shape
We Won't Apologize For The Human Race

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NWA BIOPIC IN THE WORKS
Director John Singleton has revealed that he and rapper Ice Cube are working on a film about the rise of NWA. Cube, of course, was a member of the seminal gangsta rap group, while Singleton was behind great films like 'Boyz N The Hood' and 'Higher Learning'. He also directed '2 Fast 2 Furious', though.

Speaking to The Playlist, Singleton said: "I can't talk about it too prematurely about the stuff I'm doing because nothing's come to fruition yet, but Cube and I are talking about doing the NWA story. The script is really, really good, and so we're just figuring it out. New Line really wants to make it".

Ice Cube is lined up as a producer, while Andrea Berloff, S Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus and Matt Alvarez have written the script, which bears the working title 'Straight Outta Compton'.

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FOOTAGE OF PAUL MCCARTNEY'S BALLET APPEARS ONLINE
Behind the scenes footage of Paul McCartney's previously reported ballet, currently in production, has been posted to YouTube.

The short video shows various members of the cast and crew, including McCartney, speaking about the show as they prepare to premiere it at the New York City Ballet next January.

Meanwhile, an album of the former Beatle's music for the performance is due for release through Decca on 3 Oct.

Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8jJ6aK-8A4

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50 CENT TO PLAY PIMP IN NEW FILM
"You can't see that I'm a motherfucking P-I-M-P", once rapped 50 Cent. Well now we can, because he's going to play a pimp in a movie. It's a dream come true.

According to reports, the rapper will star alongside Nicolas Cage and John Cusack in a film about Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen. Cusack will play Hansen, who admitted to killing seventeen women in the 70s and 80s.

Filming is due to begin in Anchorage, where the murders took place, next month.

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BASTILLE ANNOUNCE NEW EP AND TOUR
CMU approvees Bastille have announced that they will release a new EP, 'The Laura Palmer EP', on 14 Nov.

You can watch the video for the title track below. But first, check out these tour dates:

24 Sep: Birmingham, Institute (supporting Fenech-Soler)
7 Oct: Windsor, The Firestation
8 Oct: Exeter, Cavern Club
11 Oct: Bristol, The Croft
12 Oct: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
13 Oct: Wrexham, Central Station
20 Oct: Liverpool, Mojo
21 Oct: Sheffield, The Bowery
22 Oct: Nottingham, Stealth
23 Oct: Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
26 Oct: Southampton, Pop Factory
27 Oct: Brighton, The Green Door Store
28 Oct: London, The Barfly
29 Oct: Bath, Moles

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXF-CSlpyxQ

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LIVE UK SUMMIT HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED
Isle Of Wight Festival boss John Giddings, Kilimanjaro's Stuart Galbraith and AEG Live's Rob Hallett are among the speakers confirmed for this year's LIVE UK Summit, which will take place in London from 5-6 Oct. Topics for debate will include the role and influence of media, agents and artist managers on the development and success of the live sector.

There will also be the customary session on ticketing, which Summit Producer Steve Parker reckons could be a stand out event this year given recent developments in the sector, including Vivendi's purchase of See Tickets UK and the announcement by eBay's secondary ticketing venture StubHub that it will launch over here later this year.

Parker told CMU: "StubHub's arrival will significantly increase activity in the resale sector, especially in the battle for hearts and minds, and general endorsement of the concept. And that will definitely upset a lot of people". Sharon Hodgson MP, who is campaigning for a legal cap to be put in place on how much tickets can be marked up on the resale market, will take part in that debate.

For more information check www.liveuksummit.com.

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PLAY.COM SOLD
Online entertainment seller Play.com is being bought by Japan's largest online retailer Rakuten in a £25 million deal. Play.com is second to Amazon in the mail-order retail space, and according to Music Week it enjoyed a 14.3% share of the UK record sales market in 2010 in terms of expenditure.

That said, its dominance is in mail-order CDs rather than downloads, with its download store accounting for less than 1% of total digital sales in terms of both units and income. The Jersey-based company has been a key user of the VAT loophole that exists for low-priced products like CDs, enabling them to sell albums without charging the 20% sales tax added by mainland retailers.

As much previously reported, a very long campaign to stop that loophole - which arguably breaches European tax laws - has gained momentum in recent months. It was thought the UK Treasury would publish a list of products barred from enjoying the tax break, which would include CDs and DVDs, though insiders say ministers may now go even further and close the loophole completely.

Such a move would severely impact the ability of Play.com - and its competitors operated by The Hut Group - to compete with mainland etailers. According to The Guardian, The Hut last week abandoned plans for a stock market flotation, very possibly based on reports that the VAT loophole that helped them build their business is about to disappear.

Not that Play.com or The Hut's operations rely entirely on those products which enjoy the Channel Islands VAT break, even if that loophole arguably enabled them to originally build their businesses. Rakuten's top man Hiroshi Mikitani said of his new acquisition: "Play.com is not only a pioneer in the market but also one of the UK's most successful e-commerce businesses. We aim to leverage our e-commerce strength and experience to further expand and develop Play.com's business model and channel its loyal user base, merchants, and deep product offerings into Rakuten's global e-commerce network".

The Play.com takeover, expected to be completed next month, follows acquisitions by Rakuten of two other e-commerce firms in France and Germany in the last eighteen months.

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VEVO AND TICKETMASTER LAUNCH FACEBOOK APPS
As Facebook gets ready to announce its new music thing - which will bring various music services into the social network's interface and allow users to share music recommendations and information - two big music players have announced new Facebook apps.

First up, VEVO, the music video platform owned by Sony and Universal and powered by YouTube technology, has launched a Facebook app that helps artists showcase their music via the social networking site, and, perhaps more importantly, sell albums and merchandise and collect email addresses. The service arguably puts VEVO into competition with other companies who provide digital tools that enable artists to engage, communicate with and sell to their fans, of which ReverbNation and RootMusic probably lead in terms of Facebook integration.

Elsewhere, Ticketmaster has announced plans to start selling concert tickets through Facebook. The service will allow music fans to share information about the gigs they are attending with friends while buying their tickets from within the Facebook interface.

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FACEBOOK, BBC ONLINE, 7DIGITAL AND PANDORA REVAMP
So, we give the CMU Daily a bit of a new look, and now everyone else is copying us. Do something original, people. Though, I suppose, September is the new look month.

So, yes, Facebook had a bit of a rejig yesterday, pissing everyone off, as Facebook rejigs do. The BBC launched a beta version of its new look home page, which is pretty rubbish if you ask me. 7Digital has launched a new look to its site, which actually looks alright. And in the US, Pandora has completely redesigned its web-based player, as well as removing the 40 hour listening cap.

So, fun times for fans of new look websites.

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ADELE BANNED FROM PIANO SHOP, BUT MAKES UP WITH EX
Adele has made up with the ex-boyfriend who inspired much of her second album, '21'. So that's nice. Though it might be a bit awkward singing songs about how much she hates him now. Maybe she could tone the lyrics down a bit.

The singer told the audience at a London show this week: "We're becoming friends again. It's alright, I know what I'm doing. Enough time has gone by. Now with what's going on with the album around the world it's important to be able to share it with him because it's marvellous what has happened. He changed my life, I can't deny that. The album helped me get over splitting up with my boyfriend. It helped me forgive and I hope that he has forgiven himself. I'm not boastful, but selling ten million albums, for a little girl from Tottenham, I'm very proud of that".

If she's now looking for a hate figure to inspire album number three, maybe she could write it about Opus II, a musical instrument shop in Dublin, which has banned customers from playing her song 'Someone Like You' on its pianos.

Assistant manager Joanna Corscadden told the BBC: "It is a very popular song, and it gets played over and over again. You get sick of songs when you hear them so often. So after hearing the same song played about four to five times in about half an hour, one staff member put up a sign stating 'strictly no Adele'. We will remove it if people are genuinely offended by it but people are still entitled to play, and they are continuing to do so".

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JARED FOLLOWILL DRIVES INTO GARAGE
Now, I admit, that headline doesn't sound very exciting. But what if I were to tell you that the garage door wasn't open at the time. And it wasn't Kings Of Leon bassist Jared Followill's own garage, huh? What about that? What if it was his neighbour's garage? And what if he'd only just moved in, meaning he's off to a bad start with said neighbour? Would that be exciting? Would it? Huh? Huh?

Well, hold onto your seats, because this is what Followill tweeted on Tuesday: "Ran my SUV through my neighbour's garage door at 2am. Lucky me, I bought the house a couple weeks ago. Unlucky me, my hood is destroyed".

Woooooooo! Can you handle more excitement? Yeah? Well, what if the reason he drove through the garage door was because he was locked out of his house? I know that doesn't make sense, but we'll have to assume he was drunk and got the wrong garage, because here's what he tweeted next: "All the doors were locked and it seemed like the best option to get inside after [Mona frontman Nick Brown] punched all the windows out and cut his hand".

Yeah! Rock and also roll! There was not only another rock star involved, but that one had punched through all the windows in Followill's house! No wonder they were confused about which garage they should crash through the door of. Man, they must have been so drunk. Drink driving is no laughing matter, though.

Except Followill insisted that he "wasn't drinking". I guess he must have just been in a panic because someone had broken all his windows. No, "it was a dare", he said. "I obliged my audience".

Oh. So, er, none of that makes any sense.

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DAPPY INSPIRED BY BROWN WHEN NAKED PHOTO APPEARED ONLINE
So, why wasn't Dappy bothered when a nothing-left-to-the-the-imagination naked photo of him circulated online recently? Not because he was about to launch a solo career and any publicity is welcome, surely? No, of course not, though he does reckon the snap won him "loads of women fans". But really his reaction was inspired by that always inspirational R&B thug, Christopher Brown.

Referencing the naked photo of Brown that circulated online earlier this year, the now solo N-Dubber with a single to sell told the Daily Mirror this week: "I saw Chris Brown had done a naked picture and he had a teeny-weeny little thing. So I thought to myself: 'I can do that too man. And mine ain't tiny'". So that's nice. Anyone wishing to compare and contrast, I'm sure Google Images will assist.

For the sake of his girlfriend, one hopes Dappy doesn't find Chris Brown an inspiration in ways other than disrobing for the camera.

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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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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