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MONDAY 17 OCTOBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: FIVE DAY FORECAST
Welcome to Week 42 of 2011. That means it's worryingly close to the end of the year. I hope you've all started making your lists. Any lists. The end of the year is all about lists. For an example of a list, why not take a look at this week's Five Day Forecast, which is a prime example of a loosely ordered, pre-emptive list. In simpler terms, it's a list of things that are going to happen this week more>>
TODAY'S APPROVED: TRAILER TRASH TRACYS
A one-time SNAP Of The Day (remember that?) circa 2009, shoegaze sect Trailer Trash Tracys score another CMU endorsement by virtue of the fact that they're finally ready to release a debut album. Well, nearly - 'Ester', as it's called, is due out on 16 Jan. Recent single 'Dies In 55' is a dream-pop oddity, whirling inside a carousel of clipped arpeggios, drum-pad slaps and jaunty bass more>>
TOP STORIES
- HMV in talks to sell 7Digital stake
IN THE POP COURTS
- High court to consider Terra Firma's EMI documents claim next month
- A slight delay: Murray trial update
- Big Boi dodges prison over drugs run-in
IN THE POP HOSPITAL
- Rick Ross taken ill twice in one day
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Stone Roses to announce reunion
IN THE STUDIO
- Radiohead to begin new LP in winter, says Yorke
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Limited edition New Order prints sold in aid of Shamberg
- Florence And The Machine's Hackney show will be streamed online
BRANDS & STUFF
- EMI partners with PUMA for Prof Green show
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Google MP3 store not imminent, say labels
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- UTV Radio appoints new programming boss for local stations
AND FINALLY...
- Sonic Youth couple split
- Zuckerberg and Parker row over Spotify sign-up policies, allegedly
- Fred Durst cast as rock star in new US sitcom
NINJA TUNE, PROJECT MANAGER
Ninja Tune is seeking applicants for a senior position within the label, developing and executing comprehensive and exciting marketing strategies for our artists, labels and events. We are looking for a someone with initiative and self-motivation willing to take responsibility for planning and implementing great campaigns, including forthcoming campaigns for The Cinematic Orchestra and Coldcut. Applicants will need to demonstrate substantial experience and success in marketing within a record label or other relevant music company, both in the UK and internationally. The role will require extensive knowledge of music, especially current electronic music, and a strong creative eye.

Core responsibilities: Plan, write and execute marketing campaigns for all artist and label releases which are both sensitive to the needs and aesthetic of each artist and work to build profile and sales; Manage campaign activities including asset creation, radio & TV promotion, launch events, live/gig execution, video commissions, brand partnerships, advertising, blog communications and street team; Run campaign events including key gigs, album launch parties, listening parties, installations etc; Analyse and evaluate the commercial effectiveness of campaigns, their costs and results; Work with the Ninja Tune international team and our international partners to build campaigns that work internationally as well as domestically; Main contact point for artists, artist management and internal team on all campaign logistics

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter to job@ninjatune.net
   
FUTURE NOISE MUSIC, INTERN
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 enquiries@futurenoisemusic.com to let us know you are the ideal intern.

HMV IN TALKS TO SELL 7DIGITAL STAKE
HMV is in talks to sell some or all or its stake in 7Digital, according to Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman. It bought 50% of the download firm, which operates its own 7Digital-branded MP3 store and powers many others, in 2009 for £7.7 million. The flagging entertainment retailer, whose previous efforts in the digital music space had been pretty lacklustre, saw the acquisition as a way to fast-track its digital ambitions, and HMV's own download platform subsequently relaunched using 7Digital technology.

At the time of the purchase HMV indicated that it might look to take complete ownership of the digital company at the end of 2011 or 2013, but it seems that the opposite may now happen, with the struggling retail firm instead selling its half. According to Sky, HMV bosses are in talks with various technology companies interested in buying the stake.

HMV bought 7Digital during a period of expansion and diversification, when CEO Simon Fox was keen to expand his company off the high street, and during which time various new ventures and partnerships in the music and wider entertainment space were explored.

Of course in the last year, when the loans run up by that diversification started to cause problems, Fox has been forced to streamline the business, though so far has done so by selling off some of HMV's traditional retail operations, Waterstones in the UK and the HMV stores in Canada.

That said, Fox's current priority regarding further diversification is on the high street, expanding the technology departments at HMV's existing stores, so if further streamlining is required selling off one of its newer acquisitions might be the logical option.

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HIGH COURT TO CONSIDER TERRA FIRMA'S EMI DOCUMENTS CLAIM NEXT MONTH
As Citigroup mulls over the various bids made earlier this month to buy EMI, a court will next month consider whether accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers should be forced to had over documents relating to the music major to Terra Firma, EMI's previous owners.

As previously reported, Terra Firma has questioned the decisions made by PWC when, earlier this year, they decided to put the holding company through which the private equity group owned EMI into administration, a move that allowed Citigroup - as principal creditor - to take ownership of the music firm.

Last month the equity types - who have already had one court battle with Citigroup over EMI, on that occasion about the advice the bank gave before they bought the music company - went to the High Court in London to ask judges to force PWC to hand over documents that would give them a better idea of what happened on the day Citigroup seized ownership of their music firm. They also want more details of PWC's valuation of the EMI businesses.

While EMI was struggling to meet the terms of its loan agreements with Citigroup, and Terra Firma boss Guy Hands was reportedly having a tough time convincing his financial backers to keep pumping more money into the music firm so that it didn't default, sources say that Hands and his team believe that, at the point Citi seized EMI, the major, thanks to Terra Firma support, was meeting all of its commitments under its loan agreements.

According to Financial News, the High Court will consider Terra Firma's request for access to PWC documentation next month. It also notes that, had changes to UK insolvency rules currently being considered by the government already happened, it is unlikely Citigroup could have seized ownership of EMI from Terra Firma in the way that it did.

Presumably, given its interest in the PWC documents, Terra Firma is considering legal action over the way it lost control of EMI, as well as appealing the ruling on its aforementioned previous action over the way it bought it in the first place.

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A SLIGHT DELAY: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
The trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of causing Michael Jackson's premature demise, will be delayed slightly because of the death of the father of the prosecution's final witness.

As it was, the trial broke early for the weekend last week because Dr Steven Shafer, who began his testimony on Thursday, had to go to a medical convention. However, he never made it to the conference because of a death in his family. Court officials said yesterday they weren't certain when the trial would resume, but it's thought it won't be before tomorrow.

Shafer is an anaesthesiology expert who will discuss in more detail the effect propofol - the drug that killed Jackson - has on the body. Murray, of course, is accused of negligently administering the surgical anaesthetic as a cure for insomnia in a domestic setting. He is expected to concur with previous medical experts called to the witness stand by the prosecution who have said that administering propofol in the way that Murray did with Jackson is sufficiently negligent for the doctor to be guilty of manslaughter.

Despite the setback, it is thought the defence, who will start to present their arguments once Shafer has testified, will take little more than a week to call all of their witnesses, meaning the jury could be deliberating by the middle of next week, actually ahead of the original expected schedule.

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BIG BOI DODGES PRISON OVER DRUGS RUN-IN
Big Boi has avoided prison following his self-styled 'Love Boat' arrest earlier this year, when Miami customs caught him leaving a cruise liner with viagra, ecstasy and MDMA in his luggage.

Fortunately for the Outkast rapper, he was given the chance to accept a plea deal comprising community service and a $2000 charitable donation. Needless to say, he took the deal.

Under the arrangement, the two felony drugs charges the MC faced will be dropped if he can stay drug-free for three months.

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RICK ROSS TAKEN ILL TWICE IN ONE DAY
Rapper Rick Ross was forced to cancel an appearance at a college event in Memphis on Friday after having to receive medical treatment twice as he travelled to the gig.

On Friday afternoon, a Delta Air Lines flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Memphis was forced to return to base after Ross was taken ill. He received treatment from a doctor on the flight, and then from paramedics back at the airport who gave him what a spokesman called "advanced life-support care", though that's not thought to have included CPR, and the rapper was seemingly conscious and in good spirits by the time he returned to Fort Lauderdale.

He then chartered a private jet, and subsequently tweeted "Memphis here I come" and posted a video message from the second Memphis-bound plane to his website pledging to be at the university event, called Memphis Madness, by late Friday night.

However, in the end he didn't make the gig. According to local network WMC-TV, the second plane carrying the rapper was also forced to land prematurely after Ross fell ill for a second time. According to local media, the rap man was then taken to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama to receive additional treatment.

He was seemingly out of hospital by last night, with his DJ Sam Sneaker posting a photo of the rapper to Twitter with the line "the Boss is good". Although it's thought Ross had two seizures, it's not clear exactly what caused the health problems.

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STONE ROSES TO ANNOUNCE REUNION
The Stone Roses are to hold a press conference tomorrow, which, many reports have claimed, will announce that all four members of the band's 'classic' line-up - Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni - will once again share the stage next year. And not just share, but play on it. Play Stone Roses songs. Together. As if they were The Stone Roses. Which they are.

As rumours began to spread on Friday, drummer Reni sent a message to the NME saying: "Not before 9T will I wear the hat 4 the Roses again". Once deciphered, it was decided that what Reni was trying to say was that he would not perform with The Stone Roses again before his 90th birthday. Why he wrote 9T instead of 90 is anyone's guess.

Anyway, that message seemingly proved that at least one member of the band was not involved. But, according to John Robb, writing on his Louder Than War website, this was a red herring, and Reni is as much involved as the others. Robb also says he received a text message from Brown over the weekend confirming that the reunion is definitely happening.

Initially it's thought they will announce two shows in Manchester (both most likely in Heaton Park). Though at this point, whether they will "desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses", as John Squire once described a reunion of the band, remains to be seen.

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RADIOHEAD TO BEGIN NEW LP IN WINTER, SAYS YORKE
Thom Yorke has confirmed that Radiohead will begin recording a successor to 'The King Of Limbs' this winter. Speaking to Rolling Stone, he said the band were already making headway on what will be their ninth studio album, even mentioning a new track titled 'Come To Your Senses'.

"We have this version of it", he said. "It's a five-minute rehearsal, but it has the essence of what we need. There are a few of those. It would be fun to have them ready when we go to play next year. I don't know how we would release them. It would be nice to make it all part of the flow and just enjoy it - not think about it too much".

As for "going to play next year", while that does seemingly mean there will be some Radiohead live shows in 2012, don't expect a full-on tour. Asked about live activity next year, Yorke said: "It will be sort of on and off, with big gaps. But not that big".

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LIMITED EDITION NEW ORDER PRINTS SOLD IN AID OF SHAMBERG
So, who knows what Peter Hook will make of this? New Order, who, as previously reported, are reforming without their grumpy bassist for two charity shows, have announced a partnership with graphic designer Peter Saville, also designed to raise money for healthcare bills being run up by an ailing Michael Shamberg, the film-maker and long time New Order collaborator.

Saville, who designed some of New Order's most famous album covers, has created two albeit rather simple posters for the two charity gigs, that will take place in Paris and Brussels this week, and 150 copies of each - 25 signed by Saville - will be sold to raise money for Shamberg. The auction is being supported by Warner Music which has set up a website where you can buy the limited edition prints, at a mere 145 euros, or 230 euros for a signed edition.

Says Saville: "Michael's condition has been a great concern to us all. This opportunity to support his wellbeing is most welcome. The announcement of the two concerts was as great a surprise to me as I am sure it was to everyone else. Consequently whilst I was just deliberating over what a New Order poster might be in 2011, I heard the news that the performances were already sold out. There is a tradition in Europe of a diagonal line 'striking-out' a sold out event. This, in respective national colours, was the inspiration for the design".

Meanwhile, commenting on the gigs themselves and the cause they are supporting, New Order's Bernard Sumner told CMU: "Michael has been with us from the very start, initially he was in charge of Factory New York, and then he became creative producer for all our early videos. He brought our attention to the early works of directors such as Kathryn Bigelow, Gina Birch, Robert Breer, Peter Care, Phillipe Decouffle, Jonathan Demme, Robert Frank, Paula Greiff, Robert Longo, Bailie Walsh and William Wegman. Michael is very ill and needs constant medical attention. We want to help him, and these shows will contribute financial support towards his ongoing care".

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FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE'S HACKNEY SHOW WILL BE STREAMED ONLINE
The Guardian is to host a full audiovisual stream of Florence And The Machine's previously reported Hackney Empire show on 25 Oct, broadcasting the entire performance in real time at www.guardian.co.uk/music.

Despite the gig having sold out in around a minute, FATM fans can still experience the live goings-on vicariously in exchange for a viewing fee of £3.99. This will also grant access to download a souvenir programme entailing a signed setlist, photo gallery and Flo's personal performance notes.

More details here: www.florenceanthemachine.net

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EMI PARTNERS WITH PUMA FOR PROF GREEN SHOW
EMI's Virgin Records has collaborated with Channel 4 and PUMA to make a TV show around British rap dude Professor Green, who was PUMA UK's first ever Social Ambassador, whatever the hell that means. The telly show, which premiered on T4 yesterday and will be repeated elsewhere on the Channel 4 schedules in due course, follows the lives of the Prof, real name Stephen Manderson, and his team, with each episode having a specific focus on a different member of Team Green. The programmes will conveniently air in the run up to and shortly after the release of the new Professor Green album on 28 Oct.

Says Virgin Records' Manish Arora: "'Professor Green Unseen' captures the fearlessness of one of the UK's most talented artists willing to lay themselves bare in the lead up to release of their new album 'At Your Inconvenience'. Like a real life 'Entourage', Team Green invite the viewer into their world of hard work, heartache and jubilation with more than a few hi-jinx. It's been exciting to see the project develop from some self filmed footage on YouTube into what we have no doubt will be a compelling series for Channel 4".

Meanwhile Roger Harrison, UK Marketing Director of sponsors PUMA, told CMU: "We have had such a great year with Professor Green as a PUMA Social Ambassador, with him developing creative collaborations across many media platforms. 'Professor Green Unseen' is a glimpse into the future, and typical of his creative approach to media. It looks set to be magnetic viewing on C4 for the next few weeks".

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GOOGLE MP3 STORE NOT IMMINENT, SAY LABELS
Even though we all agreed on Friday (you agreed with us, right?) that the prospect of a Google MP3 store is now as interesting as the 43rd page of Google search results generated for the key words "the thoughts of Chris Martin", here's an update on last week's story.

As previously reported, both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal last week cited sources as saying a Google-owned MP3 store - a long mooted prospect - was now properly in the works and could launch imminently. However, Billboard's label sources in the US have said that while negotiations between the web giant and the major music companies are ongoing, nothing has been agreed, so it seems unlikely anything will launch any time soon.

As previously reported, while Google has previously resisted the temptation to launch a straight download store to take on iTunes or AmazonMP3, bosses at the web giant reckons its music-focused digital locker service - launched earlier this year - would be better if directly linked to a proprietary MP3 download platform, like the rival locker services of both Apple and Amazon are.

Of course the fact Google launched its music-focused locker without licensing deals from the labels has pissed off many record company execs, even though Google's argument that a basic locker service doesn't need any licences is pretty compelling. So much so, the labels are likely to demand some sort of retrospective deal on the locker in order to back the MP3 store element of Google's music plans.

Despite record industry types denying any knowledge of any major expansion of Google's music operations in the near future, others point to the fact the web firm has been quietly expanding its music team of late, suggesting that the digital locker offer - which met with a lukewarm response when launched - is just the start of the company's plans in the digital music space.

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UTV RADIO APPOINTS NEW PROGRAMMING BOSS FOR LOCAL STATIONS
UTV Radio last week announced the appointment of Terry Underhill to the role of Group Programme Director. Underhill, who has popped up in various programming and presenter roles over the years in the commercial local radio sector, especially in the North West and North Wales, will oversee programming on UTV's network of thirteen local stations.

Underhill was Group Head Of Music at GMG Radio until 2009, and has since presented shows for GMG's Smooth Radio. He has previously worked for a UTV station as well, though, having once been Head of Programmes at Signal Radio, now UTV's base in the Staffordshire and South Cheshire.

Confirming the appointment, UTV Media's Director Of Local Radio Calum Macaulay told reporters: "I'm delighted to get someone of Terry's calibre and experience into the group. We have made substantial progress with the audience over the last few years and I look forward to that growth continuing under Terry's leadership".

Underhill himself added: "I'm thrilled to be working with UTV Media. I like what they have done with their output over the last few years and I like their 'Proud to be local' philosophy. I'm confident that I can help drive further success for the group and build on the strong growth in hours and reach achieved over the last few years".

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SONIC YOUTH COUPLE SPLIT
Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon announced on Friday that they had split after 27 years of marriage. A spokesman for the couple told CMU: "Musicians Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, married in 1984, are announcing they have separated. Sonic Youth, with both Kim and Thurston involved, will proceed with their South American tour dates in November. Plans beyond that tour are uncertain. The couple have requested respect for their personal privacy and do not wish to issue further comment".

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ZUCKERBERG AND PARKER ROW OVER SPOTIFY SIGN-UP POLICIES, ALLEGEDLY
According to the New York Post, Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker recently had a rather public alcohol-fuelled argument in a West Hollywood club. But what were Facebook founder Zuckerberg and Parker, Napster co-founder and an early advisor to the social network, fighting about? The move by Spotify to force new users to sign up via their Facebook accounts, obviously.

As previously reported, there was something of a backlash among some long-term Spotify users when the streaming music service announced that, as part of its new partnership with the social media giant, all new subscribers - free or paying - would have to sign in using their Facebook login. The decision doesn't actually affect existing users, but was still criticised by a very vocal minority, possibly because they feared the new policy might eventually be rolled out to existing Spotify customers.

There was speculation that the new rules regarding signing in were forced on Spotify by Facebook, as part of a deal that pushed the Swedish streaming platform to the fore when the social media firm announced technical innovations last month that allow content providers to hook into the social network more. And if the Post's reports are true that was seemingly the case. Zuckerberg was arguing for the change, while Parker - now an advisor to Spotify too - was arguing against.

The Post cites a witness to the row as saying: "Sean argued that all Spotify users should not be forced to sign up for a Facebook account, but Mark wouldn't budge. It was a full on screaming match outside the club, but stopped short at coming to blows. They then stormed off in different directions".

While Facebook hasn't commented on the report, a spokesman for Parker told the Post: "Most stories have a grain of truth. They were together at The Beverly, they did discuss Spotify and Facebook, but they did not have an argument. They have spoken several times since. Sean is looking forward to seeing Mark at a wedding this weekend".

So that's nice. As also previously reported, although Spotify suffered an online backlash after announcing its various Facebook tie-ups, the partnership does seem to have resulted in a flurry of new sign-ups for the streaming music service, both freemium and premium, especially in the US where the company now reportedly has a quarter of a million paying subscribers.

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FRED DURST CAST AS ROCK STAR IN NEW US SITCOM
Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst is set to produce and star in a new CBS sitcom, playing the part of a famous rocker struggling to juggle his high-octane lifestyle with the more homely task of raising a family. Given that Durst is a father of two and err... in a band, the show might end up like 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', with art reflecting life, so to speak. Probably not, though.

Tentatively bearing the title 'Douchebag', reports say the show will be scripted by film and TV writer Matthew Carlson, who has previously penned episodes of 'Malcolm In The Middle' and the US version of 'Men Behaving Badly'. So who knows, 'Douchebag' could prove better than it sounds. Probably not, though.

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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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UnLimited Media also provides creative, training and consulting services for the music, media and communication industries. More at www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk.