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Three years after taking up with the Super Furry Animals, Gruff Rhys and the band released their much-lauded debut, 'Fuzzy Logic' in 1996. Now nearing the end of a tour in support of his third solo LP 'Hotel Shampoo', Gruff's biggest ever solo show will take place this evening at London's Shepherds Bush Empire. Ahead of that Andy Malt caught up with him for some chat more>>
Edinburgh quintet PET self-released their debut single, 'What You Building?', through Bandcamp in July, and saw it quickly propagate amongst what I'd rather not have to refer to as 'tastemakers'. The band will release the follow-up, 'Middle Child Syndrome', on 7 Nov. Louder and grimier than 'What You Building?', it still might be described as 'dreamy' when compared to other bands more>>
- X-Factor bosses screw over children's charity
- Korean pop phenomenon breaks career for military service
- Circumstances do no support self-administration: Murray trial update
- Paramore launch singles club
- Pete Doherty stars in horror movie
- Radio 1 announces student tour
- Duran Duran reschedule tour
- Official Charts Company rebrands
- Ticketing trade body launches kitemark
- Is on air, on sale now gone and forgotten?
- Really Useful recruits Wragg
- EMI announces app partnership
- 7Digital expands into Asia Pacific
- Midge Ure's Tunited closes
- Life after being convicted of leaking music online
- Chris Brown free to roam the Welsh valleys
- McCartney wedding disappointingly un-rock n roll, says council
- Snoop smokes weed with grower of swede
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.

A Kent-based charity is facing the prospect of having to change its name after a girl group competing on 'X-Factor' decided to pick the same moniker to perform under. The group is Rhythmix which, apparently, is this series of the tedious talent show's equivalent of One Direction, ie a bunch of wannabe pop stars who entered as solo artists but who were glued together into a group by the show's judges and producers, presumably because the groups category of the contest was lacking in 'X-Factor' friendly entrants.

Having been glued together, the girls had to come up with a name and they - possibly assisted by producers - chose Rhythmix. But, and here's the thing, there's a music education charity by the same name, which works with children who have been bereaved, who are disabled, or who have been sent to youth detention centres, using music as a method to aid personal and communicative development. Operating since 1999, it owns the trademark in the name in the educational space.

Now, although it is an educational organisation, given that music is at the heart of what it does, the charity felt that having a big 'X-Factor' style pop outfit on the scene using the same name could cause confusion, and might prevent it from fund-raising by selling merchandise or staging events using its own name. If nothing else, in the internet age, it will damage the charity's online profile, which is important both for raising funds and promoting the organisation's work to those who could benefit from it.

With this in mind, and given the 'X-Factor' machine had only just come up with the name, and hadn't actually invested any time or money into turning it into a pop music brand, managers at the charity were hopeful that if they got in touch with the show's makers they would be understanding and encourage the girls to think of a new moniker.

But, according to Kent News, what actually happened was that show bosses passed the matter onto their media lawyers who, as big business law firms paid mega-bucks to intimidate small organisations so often do, sent a rather harsh letter back to the charity which basically told them they didn't have a case to block the show's use of the name under trademark law so they shoud just move along and stop whinging. And there was us thinking this was a matter of basic decency and not the intricacies of intellectual property laws.

According to Rochester People, the CEO of the charity, Mark Davyd, says: "We assumed we would just be able to give them a ring, they'd realise their mistake, and that would be that. Instead, they have refused and been unbelievably arrogant. Their attitude is that they simply do not care. Now we're having to use money we could have used on children on paying legal fees. If they win we'll not be able to do things we normally do like stage concerts under the Rhythmix name, or to print t-shirts with the name on".

So, there you go. 'X-Factor', ITV, Syco, FremantleMedia, Sony Music, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Contostavlos, Dermot O'Leary, Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell all hate children. You heard it here first.

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South Korean pop singer Rain, once dubbed the "Justin Timberlake of Asia" (when that meant "really big pop star" and not "sometime actor trying to rescue a dying social network") has stepped back from his music career to go and do two years military service. Hundreds of tearful fans, some from Japan and China, watched as the singer gave a military salute before disappearing into an army base in Uijeongbu, a city north of Seoul.

All able-bodied men in South Korea are obliged to do two years of military service, and while some athletes can get out of it, in the main entertainers are not exempt. Some celebrities have tried to circumvent the system in recent years, though suffered a considerable public back lash for doing so, meaning most now accept some army time as an inevitability. Instead, they generally try to spin it into positive publicity, of them "doing their bit" for the country. As a result, some have managed to come back from two years out of the spotlight and to continue their careers where they left off, though such an absence will, presumably, have an impact on their popularity abroad.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon and who, at 29, will be older than many of his counterparts starting their military service this week, told his fans: "Thank you for the ten years of love".

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The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Michael Jackson blew a hole in the defence's main argument yesterday as the Conrad Murray trial resumed after a long weekend break. Murray, of course, is accused of causing the late king of pop's death by negligently administering the drug propofol. The defence argue that Jackson must have self-administered the fatal shot of the surgical anaesthetic while the doctor was out of his room in a desperate bid to induce sleep.

But Dr Christopher Rogers, testifying for the prosecution yesterday, said it was "unreasonable to believe" the defence's theory. According to the Associated Press, he told the court: "In order for Mr Jackson to have administered the propofol to himself, you would have to assume he woke up and although he was under the influence of ... propofol and other sedatives, he was somehow able to administer propofol to himself. Then he stops breathing and all of this takes place in a two-minute period of time [the time Murray admits to being outside the singer's bedroom]. To me, that scenario seems less reasonable than the alternate".

The alternate scenario, Rogers said, was that Murray accidentally over-administered the drug. Rogers explained that Jackson would need a little shot of propofol every hour to stay asleep, because the drug actually wears off quite quickly. He would need "a little bit every hour" he said, "two or three tablespoons" each time. But, the medical examiner added, Murray had no device for accurately measuring out the drug, making the chances of administering too much by mistake much higher.

"We did not find any precision dosing device", he told the court. "So the doctor would be estimating how much he was giving". Rogers also noted that the empty propofol vial found at the scene would have carried quite a bit more of the drug than the doctor has admitted to giving the singer.

Rogers backed up previous doctors who have given evidence during Murray's trial in confirming that the use of propofol outside of a hospital was unusual and unwise, and that monitoring equipment should be used to check a patient's condition when taking such drugs.

Being questioned by the defence, Rogers conceded that another theory as to how Jackson may have self-administered propofol was possible. Defence attorney Michael Flanagan asked the medical examiner if, once Murray had started an IV drip of propofol for Jackson and left the room, "it would be easy for someone to inject into that IV?" Rogers confirmed it would. "And if he pushed it all at once, that can stop your heart, can't it?" Again the witness concurred.

But, Rogers added, the self-administration theory still seemed unlikely and, even if that was the case, that would still constitute negligence on Murray's part because he should never have left Jackson alone with such drugs within easy reach.

It's thought the prosecution are now getting close to finishing their arguments as the case continues.

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Pop-rockers Paramore have issued details of a brand new singles club (sort of), which will allow fans to download three cheery-sounding new tracks - 'Renegade', 'Hello Cold World' and 'In The Mourning' - at some point between now and Christmas in exchange for an upfront fee.

Several packages are available to fans. The cheapest option secures copies of all three tracks and access to exclusive band merchandise. The top-shelf price (that's $54.99, kids) will purchase all that plus a t-shirt and a seven-inch box set containing the new songs plus 'Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon' soundtrack piece 'Monster'.

A statement on the band's blog reads: "We really wanted to do something special for all of you around the holidays to thank you for making 2011 so amazing and sticking with us as we go into 2012 and start working on the new album".

More details here: www.paramore.net/blog/f15482-paramore-singles-club/

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Pete Doherty, his Babyshambles bandmate Mick Whitnall, members of The Streets live band and other musicians star in a new horror film called 'Rock And Roll Fuck N Lovelies'. The film follows a fictional band, The Fuckin Lovelies, on a tour that starts our with drink and drugs and ends up in a bloodbath. The debut film from director Josh Bagnall, it's due out next year, but you can watch the trailer here now:


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Imagine that, you've just settled into your new university life, got over the home sickness, started focusing on your work and making new friends, and then Coldplay and Fearne Cotton roll into town on the same day and set up shop in your student's union. I hope the local Nightline will have extra staff on that day. Or perhaps Zane Lowe can do some counselling of distraught students.

Yes, Radio 1 has announced a student tour which will see Cotton and Lowe arrive in four university towns, with a different band headlining each date. Aberdeen get Noah & The Whale, Leicester Kasabian, Hatfield Example and Norwich Coldplay. Good times. The gigs will be broadcast on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show, with acts guesting on Fearne Cotton's morning programme earlier in the day.

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Duran Duran have rescheduled their UK tour, after they were forced to cancel five shows on their European jaunt in June while frontman Simon Le Bon underwent an MRI scan in an attempt to diagnose an ongoing vocal problem.

Bass player John Taylor told Staugustine.com: "It's going! We had such a fucked up summer and we're really just starting to get our groove on. Simon's just right on top of his fitness and it's really starting to gel. So it's exciting, you know? You live for it".

The shows will now take place in November and December.

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The Official Charts Company is having another rebrand. Well three years with any one corporate identity is enough for anyone, surely. The new logo is two arrows, one going up, one going down, which make a number one where they cross. I'm on the verge of saying it's a quite clever little image, though that depends slightly on how much they paid for it.

The plan is that the arrows logo can be used in isolation of the words 'Official Charts Company', and can be stuck on any of their data used by other media to show its official-ness. Says charts boss Martin Talbot: "Our unique new '1' icon will be the hallmark of the Official Charts Company, identifying the industry-recognised nature of the company's data, a kitemark of accuracy and robustness. It has been created as an instantly recognisable and unique symbol, which will sit at the centre of all of our communications".

The rebrand comes as the Charts Company relaunches its website - yes, again - in a bid to make it even more consumer facing, because Lord knows if the internet needs anything it's more websites covering pop music. The plan seems to be to offer more editorial and promotions, providing a new promotional platform for record labels and, possibly, a new revenue stream for the charts firm.

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Talking of so called kitemarks, the Society Of Ticket Agencies And Retailers is launching one too. The new STAR mark comes as the ticketing body launches research that shows that 10% of people have been affected by ticket fraud in the UK.

The study also found that 10% of those interviewed would buy tickets from any website that "looked genuine" and that the same amount said they'd never think to check a service's authenticity before buying tickets. The new STAR logo will be given to "reputable ticket outlets" that adhere to the trade body's code of conduct.

STAR's Jonathan Brown told reporters: "It is the show of strength that the entertainment ticketing industry has been waiting for. Ticket fraud is an industry-wide problem and we needed an industry-wide solution to tackle it head on. By introducing a ticketing industry kitemark, much like the trusted ABTA symbol consumers see when they book with reputable holiday companies, we can give the buyer confidence that they are getting the genuine article".

The new kitemark is backed by other key bodies in the live entertainment space, including the Concert Promoters Association, the National Arenas Association and The Society of London Theatre.

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Both Sony and Universal have admitted they are no longer routinely operating a system of 'on air, on sale'. Universal says that it is still committed to the release strategy in principle, but that exceptions are made depending on marketing plans for individual artists, while Sony says schedules for releases and promotional work are set on a case by case basis.

As previously reported, back in January both majors indicated that they would apply on air, on sale across the board. This means that as soon as singles are serviced to radio they are made available to buy via download stores like iTunes and to listen to via streaming music platforms like Spotify, as opposed to the traditional method of having songs playing on the radio and TV a few weeks before actually go on sale.

The traditional method is designed to maximise first week sales in a bid to make the single chart high. Whereas, via on air on sale, those sales will be spread over three or four weeks. Records released that way will never outsell, in any one week, songs released under the traditional method, meaning they won't perform as well in the charts. Pop labels argue that high single chart positions help them shift albums. All of which means on air, on sale can only work if everybody adopts that method, so no one has the advantage of maximised first week sales.

The reason for adopting on air, on sale is the belief that a lot of young music fans download tracks from illegal file-sharing networks in the weeks between them appearing on radio and TV and it going on sale because they have no other options. ie they would go a legal route if they could, but they are not patient enough to wait for the record company's arbitrary release date. So that while the label may maximise their first week sales via the traditional approach, the overall number of units sold is less, because many fans have downloaded it illegally for free during the promotional period.

Music Week has been tracking how much Sony, Universal and their major label rivals EMI and Warner - whose commitment to on air, on sale was less firm from the go - have been using the on air, on sale system, and has noted on various occasions how many releases are still being promoted and released in the traditional way.

John Webster of the Music Managers Forum, probably the most vocal supporter of an air, on sale, admits that, despite the hype at the start of the year, the new approach has pretty much died already. He told Radio 1: "I'm very sad to see it effectively die already. To deny consumers the opportunity of buying something when they've heard it is to deny them an entry point to the market. The problem is it [on air, on sale] is pretty much dead as soon as one company doesn't do it. It was doomed from the time it was voluntary and not compulsory. It needs to be everyone, and if it's not everyone, it's not going to work".

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Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group has appointed Barney Wragg, the former EMI exec who has worked as a music business consultant specialising in digital in recent years, as their MD. He will oversee the Really Useful copyright, music and artist management businesses, which were recently spun off from the company's theatre management operation. It will be a full time role which will see Wragg wind down his consultancy work.

Says Lloyd Webber: "We are delighted that Barney has agreed to join us. He is one of the entertainment industry's most exciting innovators and an expert in digital media. He has repeatedly demonstrated how new ideas can be combined with traditional forms of entertainment to the benefit of both customers and businesses".

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EMI has announced a partnership with an e-commerce company called Live Gamer which will result in a series of Facebook apps being released around artists signed to the major.

Or, as the official press release succinctly puts it: "Live Gamer, the world's first combined digital commerce and advertising platform for the interactive entertainment industry, and EMI Music, one of the world's leading music companies and home to some of the most successful and best known recording artists, have partnered to bring highly effective social game mechanics and new ways of building fan engagement and commercial opportunities to Facebook artist pages".

The first artist to "profit" (says the same release) from some highly effective game mechanics and new ways of building fan engagement and commercial opportunities via his Facebook artist page will be Professor Green. The rapper's fans will be able to access digital content using 'Greenpoints', which they can either buy or earn by watching videos, answering quiz questions, sharing content or describing this venture in words that make sense.

Says EMI's Neil Tinegate: "EMI Music is always looking to develop and support exciting new ways for people everywhere to interact with their favourite artists. Live Gamer's expertise in virtual goods and engagement combined with the global reach of the Facebook platform gives our artists, starting with Professor Green, a whole range of new opportunities to reach out to and engage directly with their fans".

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London-based digital music seller 7Digital is expanding into Asia-pacific by opening digital stores in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. I know this because top man Ben Drury just told me. Look, here he is again: "We're really excited to expand on our success in Europe and North America and to take our market-leading products and technology to the Asia-Pacific region. There is a voracious appetite for connected devices in Asia-Pacific, with a growing number of consumers demanding high quality digital content. Our platform will also be available in this region to further expand 7Digital applications and services on offer, and to provide consumers with high quality MP3 music on the platform of their choice".

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Midge Ure has announced the closure of his grass roots music service Tunited, blaming a lack of investment for the decision.

As previously reported, Tunited, which was launched at the end of 2009, offered a platform for new, grass roots and independent artists to showcase and sell their tunes, with added tools for aiding music creation and advice for new talent.

In an email sent to the site's users yesterday, Ure said: "We recognised early on that there were some key features you wanted and needed on site; the development of which requires further funding to create. For some months we've been seeking additional funding for this development work but despite raising a substantial amount of money, we haven't secured enough to develop Tunited into the best music platform it needs to be.

He added: "Although the response to the site has been phenomenal from both artists and the music industry, the recession and lack of funding has brought this, very much needed, platform to an end. The site is now offline while we continue to speak with interested people about partnering us in the work that we have begun. I sincerely hope that at some stage in the future we can relaunch all or part of Tunited in some format to help support all artists realise their dreams".

Ure also said that he still has a "desire to see a proper 'home' for real music" launched online. Whatever that means.

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We often hear about the lives of accused file-sharers through their court cases and subsequent appeals. However, it's less common to hear about how things change for them, and their relationship with music, after their lives get back to normal.

The LA Times has spoken to Rob Thomas, the owner of a Ryan Adams message board, who was prosecuted in 2005, along with another fan, for leaking tracks from the singer songwriter's 'Jacksonville City Nights' album ahead of its release. Thomas received 200 days probation and was briefly required to wear an electronic tag after pleading guilty to the charge.

Thomas explained: "The case ended with my co-defendant and I accepting a plea deal. We were originally charged with felony counts, but were able to plea it down to a misdemeanour. We both received two months of house arrest and two years of probation. I was able to have my ankle bracelet removed a few days early due to good behaviour, and my probation ended a few months ahead of schedule for the same reason. There was no restitution to be paid to the record label, as they were unable to prove that they suffered any monetary loss due to the leak of the four tracks".

Despite this, Thomas still runs his Adams fansite. Asked how he feels about the singer these days, he said: "It was quite hard to listen to his music for awhile after the case. I had shut the board down while everything was happening, and wasn't sure if I was ever going to bring it back. After everything was resolved, I decided to bring the site back, as I missed the community that was created there ... As of today, I have no problem listening to Ryan's music. It has all been put behind me, for the most part. I treat him the same as any other artist that I listen to ... He has since contacted me explaining that he did everything he could to get the charges dropped, but that it was out of his hands. Whether that is true or not, I'll never know for sure".

Read the full interview here: latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/10/ryan-adams-fans-are-so-devoted-theyll-take-a-plea-deal-for-it.html

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Chris Brown isn't banned from the UK, you know. The reason he didn't play the big Michael Jackson tribute gig in Cardiff on Saturday was that he had something else on already. He's allowed into Wales whenever he wants, he just doesn't want to go there. So say his management anyway, who have denied claims that Brown's non-appearance was visa related.

A rep told TMZ: "His previously booked domestic [US] FAME tour concert dates didn't allow him to accept the honour, and therefore he never planned to go to the UK. He was not banned".

Brown did have to cancel a UK tour last year when the Home Office denied him a visa on the grounds that he once beat Rihanna unconscious and drove away leaving her lifeless body lying on the pavement. This has nothing to do with that though.

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Westminster Council has deemed that Paul McCartney's wedding reception wasn't loud enough to warrant any formal action. The council's noise abatement team did visit the former Beatle's home in St John's Wood at 1.30am on Sunday, after complaints from local residents, but say the matter was dealt with there and then.

McCartney had sung in the marquee set up in the garden to celebrate his marriage to third wife Nancy Shevell, and Mark Ronson played a DJ set, but it wasn't so raucous any further action is required. Head of Noise and Licensing Andrew Ralph told the Daily Mirror: "A complaint was received about an address in St John's Wood, officers visited and the volume was reduced on request. No further action is being taken".

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Snoop Dogg invited a veteran Welsh farmer Ian Neale, cultivator of the world's heaviest swede, to share gardening tips and smokes with him at the Cardiff leg of his 'Doggumentary' world tour.

The rapper and comedy actor, also an avid connoisseur of all things horticultural,
summoned the 65 year-old Welshman via his YouTube video blog, declaring: "I want you to come backstage and see me because I do vegetation myself and I want to know your secret".

Having turned up to divulge his squash-growing expertise with Snoop, Neale confessed to the Daily Star: "I had a smoke with him. I don't smoke, but he offered me one, so I had one", he said, later adding that the roll-up's contents weren't 100% tobacco-based.

Where Snoop's tunes were concerned, however, he seemed less obliging. "I wouldn't pay to see him. I'm still deaf", he shouted.

Sky News has the full scoop here in what may be the best video you will ever see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=73V2g1tYVqk

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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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