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As our politicians' summer holiday draws to a close, each of the major parties in turn gets together to talk about how great they are and how well they're all doing. Last week it was the turn of the Conservatives, who held their conference in Manchester. And this week, Eddy asks if it's right that politicians can align themselves with a piece of music without the songwriter's knowledge more>>
Despite featuring on the tenth edition of Kitsune's 'Maison' compilation series last year, I first traced Icona Pop via a sample in Chiddy Bang's saccharine rap-hop treat 'Mind Your Manners'. Well I'm not ashamed, because the duo are now stuck firmly within my sights, as is their new video, 'Nights Like This'. Taken from a new EP, the song is eccentric electro-pop at its most accessible more>>
- Did painkiller withdrawal cause insomnia: Murray trial update
- Janice Long mugged for Bunnymen backstage pass
- Yeasayer imagine "demented R&B" album
- M83 streams new LP
- Damon Albarn talks possible Blur musical
- Mitch Winehouse to write book about Amy
- Olympic composition premieres announced
- Steps to embark on Ultimate tour
- Roots Manuva announces 2012 shows
- Pop Will Eat Itself to release new album and tour (kind of)
- Festival line-up update
- Bertlesmann appoints new CEO, BMG's Bug loses boss man
- Jay Frank launches DigSin
- Spotify appoints new partnerships guy in US
- Velvet Revolver have been toying with us all this time
- Drink manufacturer makes million dollar bid for Tupac sex tape (provided the sex is removed)
- Justin Bieber's $100,000 haircut
Live Nation is currently seeking a talented Flash Designer to join our team in Central London. You will be working alongside our Content and Marketing teams on a variety of projects promoting artists, festivals and tours. You will be highly skilled in Flash (AS2 / AS3), Photoshop, Illustrator, HTML, CSS & XML.

Responsibilities: Create high quality advertising and marketing led flash banners; Design and code marketing emails; Liaise with marketing, sponsorship and other departments to deliver campaigns to brief; Resizing artwork, ensuring all images are optimised for the online delivery; Working on multiple projects and meeting tight deadlines; Knowledge of latest design trends and technologies.

Requirements: Strong skills in Flash AS2 / AS3, HTML, CSS, XML, Photoshop & Illustrator; Proven commercial experience; Strong communication skills and fluent in English; Mac experience; Knowledge of cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device design (desirable); Knowledge of ASP.NET (desirable); Interest in music (desirable).

If your skills and experiences match that of this job description, please send your CV and a few examples of your work (under 2mb in filesize in total) to [email protected].

Closing date: 21 Oct 2011
Charmfactory looking for a new Campaign Manager to run digital publicity and marketing campaigns for a diverse roster. We cover artists across pop, rock, and genres that the press hasn't yet named, from the breakthrough bands to chart-toppers to the legends.

You must have at least 1 year's digital PR experience, and good contacts with UK music websites and blogs. Charmfactory operates a Mac Computer Network so knowledge in this area would be useful. A good creative mind is essential.

Please submit CV to [email protected] Salary - negotiable based on experience
This is a senior position within the label, developing and executing comprehensive marketing strategy for key artists, events and campaigns. The role will require extensive knowledge and experience of music and marketing. Full role description available on application.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter to [email protected] with the relevant role in the subject line. Position based at our London office.
Assisting the Ninja Tune marketing team, including compiling campaign reports and sales notes, blog promotions, assisting with press promotions, video commissioning, managing club promotions, street team and online radio promotion lists. Assisting with promotional events. Applicants will require excellent communication, research and organisational skills and good initial knowledge and contacts within the music industry. Good working knowledge of Macs and HTML.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter to [email protected] with the relevant role in the subject line. Position based at our London office.
Future Noise Music are looking for a highly enthusiastic and passionate individual to join our team as an intern in their Clapham North offices starting from week of 24 Oct.

The right candidate will be: Impeccably detail oriented, have very strong communication skills, keen to learn and broaden their scope of various music genres, someone with a good understanding of social media platforms and applications, and proficient with Mac/PC, Photoshop, Excel/Word. Knowledge of HTML is advantageous.

Specific tasks will be as follows but not limited to: In-house press/online/radio PR for our catalogue label, sales support (timely preparation of sales sheets and promos), sourcing content and updating all social media platforms and website, maintaining various D2C activities (designing online & physical newsletters, maintenance of the database), assisting in uploading of various content to digital aggregators, assisting the MD with various tasks, including artist liaison.

If you feel you tick all the above boxes, then email us at [email protected] to let us know you are the ideal intern.

The ongoing Conrad Murray trial was in recess yesterday for the Columbus Day holiday, but when the proceedings resume later today more of the recording of the interview the doctor gave police two days after Michael Jackson's death will be played to jurors. And, according to CNN, in the second helping of the recording Murray will make allegations about another doctor consulted by Jackson, allegations which some expect the defence to expand upon once they begin their arguments.

As previously reported, Murray is accused of causing the death of the late king of pop by negligently administering the drug propofol, the surgical anaesthetic the singer was using to help him sleep. The doctor is yet to testify in the trial, and insiders say neither the prosecution nor the defence actually plan to call the defendant to the witness stand.

But on Friday jurors and the watching media still got to hear from the man himself when tapes of his first police interview were played. In it Murray told police he only left Jackson for two minutes, to visit the bathroom, after administering the propofol, even though other evidence previously presented by the prosecution show the doc was actually distracted for a good 45 minutes checking emails and making phone calls.

More of those tapes will be played later today and, CNN says, jurors will hear Murray allege that Jackson was receiving medication from another doctor in the weeks before his death. These are allegations Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, has already made, back at the start of the trial. Murray and Chernoff will argue that, while under Murray's care, Jackson was still visiting his dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein, a man who has popped up before in relation to the investigation into the singer's death, and who, it was once claimed, was the biological father of the pop star's two eldest children.

Having explained the various sedatives he had been administering to Jackson, Murray tells police on the tape: "I was not aware of any other medications that he was taking, but I heard that he was seeing a Dr Klein three times a week in Beverly Hills. And he never disclosed that to me". Chernoff has alleged that Klein was giving Jackson Demerol, a narcotic pain reliever, to which the singer had become hooked. In the interview Murray adds: "[Michael's] production team had said to me recently that his worst days in the set is when he had gone to Dr Klein's office, which is about three times a week. And when he came back, he was basically wasted and required at least 24 hours for recovery".

The implication is that the days when Jackson was incapable and incoherent during 'This Is It' rehearsals, witnessed in court by the slurry voicemail messages that have been played, that was the result not of the sedatives Murray was administering, but the Demerol the singer was getting from Klein. Of course toxicology results didn't find any Demerol in Jackson's system, just the propofol and other sedatives, but Chernoff and Murray are expected to argue that it was withdrawal symptoms from the painkiller that resulted in the chronic insomnia that necessitated the sedatives that subsequently killed Jackson.

Murray maintains that he was trying to wean Jackson off the propofol he had been taking to aid sleep, but adds on the tape that after two nights without using the drug a mixture of sedatives failed to induce sleep. Murray continues: "It wasn't working. So, was he going through a withdrawal from that agent [the Dermerol]? Was it his mind that was forcing him to stay awake? He said to me 'I've got to sleep, Dr Conrad. I have these rehearsals to perform. I must be ready for the show in England. Tomorrow, I will have to cancel my performance, because you know I cannot function if I don't get to sleep'. So I then decided to go ahead and give him some of the 'milk', so he could get a couple of hours sleep so that he could produce, because I cared about him".

The case continues later today.

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A woman has been charged with robbery following an incident in which Radio 2 presenter Janice Long was mugged for her a backstage pass to an Echo And The Bunnymen gig.

The attack actually took place after the gig at the London Palladium on 27 Sep had finished, as Long was arriving at nearby Broadcasting House to present her radio show. The Daily Mail reports that she was punched in the face by her assailant, who then only took the pass. Although the show was over, it still granted access to the afterparty.

Speaking on her show the day after the robbery, Long said: "There was a bit of an altercation. I was attacked on the way in to the show after being at a gig. Yesterday involved dealing with the police and having to go to an ID parade. It was very strange".

Last week a 51 year old woman was charged with robbery and remanded in custody until her next court appearance on 8 Dec.

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Yeasayer have declared plans to release a "demented R&B record" as the successor to last year's 'Odd Blood', with lead singer Chris Keating citing both Aaliyah and David Bowie as "major influences" on the as-yet untitled 2012 long player.

Spilling his proverbial guts to US rock mag Spin, Chris says: "[We're] trying to get back to the roots of the music that we like. We're asking ourselves, 'How do four white dudes in Brooklyn write a reggae song that's not cheesy?' Or, 'How do we write an R&B song but inject your own personality into it by fucking up all the sounds?'" I literally have no idea how they're going to accomplish either of those things, but I don't doubt that they will.

He goes on: "On the last record we were consciously writing love songs. So we didn't want to repeat that. I'm writing from a more depressing and darker perspective. There are a lot of shitty things going on in the world lately. And the prospect of a Rick Perry presidency is the most horrifying thing ever. He's already making George Bush look like a fucking genius".

Read Chris' full Spin interview here: www.spin.com/articles/yeasayer-record-demented-rb-next-lp

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The folks at shabby-chic fashionistas Urban Outfitters are streaming M83's new double LP, 'Hurry Up We're Dreaming', on their official site this week.

Available until the album's release via Mute on 17 Oct, you can listen to it to your heart's content here, where you'll also find an interview with M83's main man, Anthony Gonzalez.


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Now an old hand at this theatrical lark, Damon Albarn is looking to turn Blur's 1995 album 'The Great Escape' into a musical.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz, he said: "I've always thought [it] could be a great musical. We wrote that record as we were playing out the Britpop explosion with 'Parklife'. We were in the studio and every day I would go in and write about something that had happened in the papers. So it's a snapshot in time".

He added: "Maybe at the time it was a little bit too arch in its observations because it was too close. But now with the distance it might be a good thing to stage as a period piece". Hmm, now I'm picturing Alex James' character, in a ruff and full Elizabethan regalia, playing 'Country House' on a lyre made of cheese.

Discussing his opera 'Dr Dee', which debuted in Manchester earlier this year, Damon continued: "The first day after the run felt a bit empty, but I know it's there and I'm going to do a little bit more work on it, fine tune it here and there. People now know what to expect in a way, so it will be a more interesting run-up to it next year because it will be, 'Oh this is what it is' whereas before it was, 'What the fuck was that?'"

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Amy Winehouse's father Mitch has announced that he has signed a deal with HarperCollins to publish a memoir about his daughter, entitled 'Amy, My Daughter'. Proceeds from the book will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which Winehouse Sr set up following the singer's death this year.

In a statement he said: "I feel that I need to write this book to tell the true story of Amy and to help with my personal recovery. I also want to raise as much money as possible for Amy's foundation, so all proceeds from the book will go directly to help children who are disadvantaged through illness and substance addiction. I believe that through Amy's music, her foundation, and this book, her name will live forever".

HarperCollins editorial director Nick Canham added: "Amy Winehouse was a once in a generation star whose legacy will last for decades. Her untimely and tragic death has left a void in the hearts of all her fans. The strength Mitch Winehouse has shown over recent months is truly admirable. His desire to create a definitive account of Amy's life, that will solely benefit the foundation he has established in her name, is something that we are incredibly proud to be part of. 'Amy, My Daughter' will be a must read for Amy's legions of fans, and also a heart-breaking account of a father's love for his lost daughter that will speak to any parent".

The book is due to be published next summer.

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Organisers of a project called New Music 20x12 Cultural Olympiad Composers have announced details of premiere performances of new works created by the initiative.

A group of 20 composers have been commissioned to each create a twelve minute piece of music that captures the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. You know, corrupt officials, sponsorship out of control, endless tedious TV coverage and horrendous public transport congestion, that kind of thing. Each piece will be premiered during spring 2012, with a big bash at the Southbank Centre from 13-15 Jul next year. They'll also be broadcast on Radio 3 and get a formal release.

The other performances announced yesterday will all take place in Scotland: Gavin Higgins and the Rambert Dance Company's commission premiering in Aberdeen from 15-17 Feb, Aidan O'Rourke and An Tobar's piece in Tobermory on 8 Jun, Oliver Searle and Drake Music Scotland's work in Edinburgh on 15 Jun, and Richard Causton and European Union Youth Orchestras composition also in Edinburgh, during the city's summer festival, on 23 Aug.

The initiative is supported by the PRS For Music Foundation, whose Executive Director Vanessa Reed told CMU: "New Music 20x12 is a central part of the Olympics celebrations and people all over the country will have the opportunity to attend a special event which celebrates the excellence and imagination of some of the UK's most exciting composers. I am thrilled that each new work will receive three premieres and be accessible to so many people through the stunning array of nationwide performances and BBC Radio 3 broadcasts".

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In view of Steps' 'Ultimate Collection' of historic hits being in the charts, we'd expect nothing less of the resurgent late 90s/early noughties quintet than an arena tour of similarly 'Ultimate' proportions. Cue 'The Ultimate Tour'; the group's first live outing in a decade, which is scheduled to take place in April of next year.

Speaking to Digital Spy about reactions to the group's much previously reported recent TV show induced reunion, Lee Latchford-Evans said: "The response has been really positive and, scarily, the demand is steadily creeping in".

Tour dates:

2 Apr: Belfast, Odyssey Arena
3 Apr: Dublin, O2 Arena
4 Apr: Liverpool, Echo Arena
6 Apr: Glasgow, SECC
7 Apr: Aberdeen, AECC Press and Journal Arena
8 Apr: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
10 Apr: Manchester, Evening News Arena
11 Apr: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
12 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
13 Apr: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
15 Apr: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
16 Apr: Bournemouth, BIC
17 Apr: Brighton, Centre
19 Apr: London, O2 Arena

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Roots Manuva has announced a four-stop tour in honour of his latest studio LP, '4everevolution', which came out last month. Set to kick off early next year, the run will culminate with a show at The Roundhouse, otherwise known as London's most circular venue.

If you like, you can mark this moment with a free download of '4everevolution' track 'Watch Me Dance'. Here that is: www.bigdada.com/rootsmanuva/

31 Jan: Brighton, Concorde 2
1 Feb: Norwich, Waterfront
3 Feb: Bristol, Anson Rooms
4 Feb: London, Roundhouse

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Pop Will Eat Itself will release a new album, 'New Noise Designed By A Sadist', later this month and head out on a UK tour, thought the latest incarnation of the band will only feature one original member, co-frontman Graham Crabb.

"It had been my desire to revive Pop Will Eat Itself for a number of years but there came a point when it was clear the original band members wouldn't be committing to any future project in the band's name", Crabb explains. "I saw this as a sad waste, as I felt I had armed myself with the best batch of songs I've ever written, and felt I still had a lot to prove. I would like nothing better than to elevate PWEI to a higher level than before. That might be ambitious but that's the way I am".

The album release also coincides with the 25th anniversary of PWEI's debut EP. Although let's not make a big deal of that, pleads Crabb: "I don't want to make a big issue of the 25 years thing, but I think it's funny. I was chaos and mayhem personified then, so I didn't expect to be alive now, let alone writing my best PWEI songs to date".

Although former co-frontman and songwriter Clint Mansell, now a Hollywood soundtrack composer, is not involved, the revitalised band is apparently heading out on tour with his blessing. Crabb's new line-up will be completed by former Apollo 440 and Gaye Bykers On Acid frontman Mary Byker, Prodigy and Gary Numan live guitarist Tim Muddiman, This Burning Age bassist Davey Bennett and ex-Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld.

'New Noise Designed By A Sadist' will be released by Cooking Vinyl on 17 Oct and the tour dates are as follows:

12 Oct: Glasgow, Garage
13 Oct: Manchester, Academy 2
14 Oct: Liverpool, Academy 2
15 Oct: Stoke, Sugarmill
16 Oct: Sheffield, Leadmill
18 Oct: Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
19 Oct: Oxford, Academy 2
20 Oct: Brighton, Concorde 2
21 Oct: Bristol, Trinity
22 Oct: London, Islington Academy
25 Oct: Colchester, Arts Centre
26 Oct: Norwich, Waterfront
28 Oct: Birmingham, Academy 2

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EUROSONIC NOORDERSLAG, De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Holland, 11-14 Jan: Wolfram, Casper, Honey For Petzi, Reckless Love and the UK's very own Rams' Pocket Radio are amongst the initial raft of European acts confirmed for the 2012 Eurosonic conference and showcase. www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/en/festival/

BACARDI NH7 WEEKENDER, Magarpatta City, Pune, India, 18-20 Nov: The eclectic likes of Imogen Heap, The Raghu Dixit Project and US metallers Pentagram feature on the NH7's Bacardi-backed bill so far, with more names yet to be announced. Festival-goers can also expect DJ sets from Nihal, Bobby Friction and Basement Jaxx's Felix. nh7.in/weekender/

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The Chairman and CEO of BMG co-owner Bertlesmann, Hartmut Ostrowski, is stepping down, and will be succeeded by Thomas Rabe, the media conglom's CFO, who arguably has had a higher public profile than his CEO in recent years anyway. Ostrowski is stepping down for "personal reasons", insiders saying he simply didn't want to commit to the five years a new contract in the role would demand. He will stay on in an advisory role though, via a seat on the company's Supervisory Board, which yesterday announced the executive changes.

Gunter Thielen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, told reporters: "Bertelsmann owes Hartmut Ostrowski a great debt of gratitude. He led the company in difficult times. I look forward to continuing to work with him on the Supervisory Board. The timing of the changeover ensures that the passing of the baton to Thomas Rabe will be handled smoothly".

Elsewhere in the Bertelsmann Group, BMG announced that John Rudolph was stepping down as CEO of Bug Music, the US-based independent publisher Bertelsmann's acquisitive music rights business bought recently. BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch told Music Week that Rudolph, who has run Bug Music since equity group Crossroads Media took a significant stake in 2006, was always set to depart as part of his company's takeover of the publisher.

Rudolph, meanwhile, is keeping busy suing Bug's former owners over allegations they failed to come good on a contractual commitment to give him a 2% stake of the company. Presumably he wants 2% of the $300 million the publishing firm was reportedly valued at in BMG's takeover.

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Jay Frank, the digital music and media executive who wrote that previously reported book 'FutureHit.DNA' about what makes a successful pop record in the YouTube age, has launched a new venture called DigSin which will sign individual songs from artists, offering to help them build profile and generate some revenues.

At the heart of the new venture is a singles club style operation, which will be free to join, and members of which will get free copies of all songs signed to the company. The aim, it seems, is to start chatter among opinion formers and such like. The company and the artists it works with will make money through various other mainly undetermined ways, possibly including syncs and brand partnerships. Songs will also be sold via iTunes and will be serviced to streaming platforms, both of which might also bring in some monies.

Says Frank, who launched the new venture at the Digital Music Forum West in LA: "DigSin is the result of years of examining the new ways music fans find and listen to music. We are committing ourselves to expose new songs in a targeted, organic way that enables us to be a trusted filter to music fans. To succeed as a music company today, you must be open to multiple new revenue streams and new ways of thinking. Through a combination of free music, social networking, analytics and traditional promotional outlets, we will be a new model for music companies for the future".

More at www.digsin.com

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Spotify has appointed former Clear Channel Radio executive Gerrit Meier as its new GM Of Distribution & Partnerships in the US. Everyone, including my Uncle Bert and the guy who sells me my cappuccino on the way into work, thinks this is a sign the streaming music service is looking for partnerships with American ISPs and mobile firms who could bundle the music platform into their internet and mobile packages, much as Virgin Media is doing here.

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How many stories have you read claiming that Velvet Revolver are on the verge of finding a new vocalist since Scott Weiland was pushed out of the band in 2008? I don't think I could count the number I've written on two hands. And now it turns out that all this time they've not even been trying to find a new frontman. Bastards.

Bassist Duff McKagan told Noisecreep: "None of us have really tried [to find anyone] in the last few years. We've all been busy with other things. I think once that whole thing went down with Scott, we thought we'd find a guy right away. Once a few months went by, it was like, 'Oh fuck'".

The band recently performed together in New York with Ours vocalist Jimmy Gnecco. He's probably not the new VR frontman though. He's probably just some guy.

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According to TMZ, Jay Grdina, porn mogul and CEO of NOHO, manufacturer of a drink that claims to stop you from getting a hangover, has put in a bid of a million dollars for the previously reported Tupac Shakur sex tape. However, he only wants the soundtrack, which features an unreleased Tupac track. He then apparently plans to use it as an official theme tune for the drink.

It's not clear exactly how this will work. As well as the music on the apparently not particularly high quality video shot in the mid 90s, the tape reportedly features talking, snippets of Tupac rapping along with the track and presumably, er, sex noise. It's possible NOHO intends to re-record the track, though as no one from the company has heard it, this seems like a fairly foolish plan.

And besides, the Shakur estate has already indicated that it will sue the pants off anyone who tries to do anything with the tape. So, it's possible this is actually just a cunning ruse to get people to talk about NOHO. Damn.

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For most of us, there are only a few considerations when we change are hairstyle. Well, only one really: Will I look like a twat? When you're Justin Bieber and your hair is your trademark, there are more things you should be thinking about. Not that he thinks about any of them, the frivolous hair chopper.

Jay Foreman, CEO of Florida toy manufacturer The Bridge Direct, which produces Bieber's range of dolls, has revealed that when the teen pop star got his hair cut on a whim during a video shoot back in February, it cost the company $100,000.

"First off, I had no idea what he did", Foreman says of the moment Bieber tweeted pictures of his new do. "I heard a lot of shrieks around me, and people running in and out of their offices. I got everyone into a conference room and we looked at some images. We weren't sure what he had done. Then it became obvious that his trademark was gone".

With the next batch of dolls already in production ready for this year's Christmas demand, Foreman was forced to halt the production line and redesign the dolls, costing the company $100,000. Although revenues for Bieber dolls and accessories currently stand at over $100 million, so I wouldn't spend too long being sympathetic.

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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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