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WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: Q&A - ADAM FICEK
You may know Adam Ficek best as the one time drummer with a modest little band called Babyshambles. However, the third album from his solo project Roses Kings Castles - or, as of now, RKC - 'Plastic British', will be released by Adam's own label next month. CMU's Chris Cooke spoke to Adam about the Babyshambles experience, the evolution of RKC, and the ins and outs of releasing your own records more>>
TODAY'S APPROVED: THIS FRONTIER NEEDS HEROES
Siblings Brad and Jessica Lauretti, aka This Frontier Needs Heroes, released their second album, 'The Future', this week. Their folk sound is familiar and warm, but also drifts off into more experimental territories. Open track 'Space Baby', echoes in its own sparseness, gradually filling the space with more sound but always maintaining an intimacy that makes you feel like a part of their club more>>
TOP STORIES
- Pukkelpop 2012 to go ahead
IN THE POP COURTS
- Soulja Boy arrested for "substantial" marijuana possession
- Kanye and Jay sued over Watch The Throne track
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Planet Rock poll for the best driving rock songs
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Mazzy Star reunite for new single
- Stone Roses reform
IN THE STUDIO
- Lil Wayne making two album sequels
- Garbage discuss nerdy new album
RELEASE NEWS
- Joker details debut LP
- Fixers to release EP
BRANDS & STUFF
- Topman teams up with Parlophone signing
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Sean Parker denies Zuck feud
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- BBC still committed to DAB roll out
- Iain Lee departs Absolute Radio
- GMG rejigs Real Radio execs, makes two redundant
AND FINALLY...
- Noel dubs Oasis a "sham", Liam reacts
PROUD, VOLUNTARY PROMOTIONS INTERN
Leading music and entertainment company Proud Group is looking for an experienced and highly enthusiastic promotions volunteer to assist the Head of Live Bookings at Proud2 at The O2. Tasks include, but are not limited to: advancing shows, artist liaison, researching promoters, maintaining and updating databases, and planning and executing marketing campaigns. The right candidate will be self motivated and driven; possess an innate and broad knowledge of a wide range of music genre; have strong communication skills – both verbal and written; be creatively and commercially balanced; have experience of talent scouting, have a high attention to detail be highly organised. Previous experience in either live music, events, music marketing, promotions, artist management and A&R is strongly desirable.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter to proud2jobs@proud.co.uk
   
NETTWERK MUSIC GROUP UK, PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Nettwerk Music Group in London is seeking an enthusiastic promotions manager to run the PR campaigns for Nettwerk's recording artist releases in the UK. Applicants must be creative, passionate about music, have at least one year's worth of experience in online and print PR with a strong media contact base. Salary negotiable, closing date 7 Nov. To apply email jobs@nettwerk.com.
   
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

PUKKELPOP 2012 TO GO AHEAD
Belgian music festival Pukkelpop will go ahead next year, despite the tragedy which struck this year's event. As previously reported, four people were killed when a freak storm hit the festival site on the opening day of Pukkelpop 2011. Those who died were killed when a stage collapsed, but other lighting rigs and large screens also fell and around 70 people were injured. With the storm occurring on the first day of the three day festival, the event was initially postponed, and was then cancelled.

Following an investigation by the Hasselt Public Prosecutor, a 'force majeure' ruling was put in place, stating that the festival's organisers could not be held liable for what happened. Which seems sensible, though this also means that attendees negative impacted by the storm cannot claim compensation on the festival's civil liability insurance. They can make claims on their own insurance, should they have any, or from Belgium's National Disaster Fund, although the latter will only cover direct material losses up to 250 euros.

As previously reported, the festival's organisers set up a relief fund in the wake of the disaster, which may further compensate festival goers, and organisers announced this week that anyone who bought a ticket for the 2011 event will receive free food and drink vouchers, valued at 75 euros and 150 euros respectively, which can be used at any of the next three Pukkelpop festivals.

Confirming that their fest would take place from 16-18 Aug next year, organisers said in a statement: "Pukkelpop has suffered considerable financial losses. The festival is only be able to survive with the support of many and thanks to the strong reputation it has built up in the past. The consequences of the Pukkelpop storm will weigh heavily on Pukkelpop, the festival as well as the organisation, in the coming years".

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SOULJA BOY ARRESTED FOR "SUBSTANTIAL" MARIJUANA POSSESSION
Soulja Boy was one of four men arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning after police discovered a "substantial amount" of marijuana in the car they were travelling in, according to TMZ. Having pulled the car over for a traffic offence, police also found various firearms.

Charged with felony gun and drug possession, the rapper was held in Carroll County Jail in Temple, Georgia. Temple Police spokesperson Dana Rampy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It was a lot of marijuana, [but] all of the individuals were very cooperative".

Following an initial court hearing, he was released on bail yesterday.

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KANYE AND JAY SUED OVER WATCH THE THRONE TRACK
What, another rapper accused of using a sample without permission? Ha, no, its two rappers this time, suckers. US musician Syl Johnson has filed a lawsuit against Kanye West and Jay-Z over the use of a sample of his song 'Different Strokes' on a track on the hip hoppers' collaborative album 'Watch The Throne'.

As previously reported, back in August record label Numero Uno, which represents Johnson's recordings, posted a blog entry threatening legal action over the sample. The company claimed that West's label Def Jam had got in touch about licensing the track for sampling on West's previous album 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', but that no agreement had been reached, and that no talks had ever taken place regarding 'Watch The Throne'. The lawsuit, filed last week, also names Def Jam, Universal Music and Roc-A-Fella Records as defendants.

Billboard notes that previous legal action taken by Johnson against Cypress Hill relating to an unapproved sample was unsuccessful because the track in question dated from before 1972, and judges ruled that the sound recording rights the singer said he owned were not therefore protected by federal law. As 'Different Strokes' was released in 1967 the new lawsuit specifically relies on Illinois state law, where the lawsuit was filed, which may or may not work.

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PLANET ROCK POLL FOR THE BEST DRIVING ROCK SONGS
Digital radio station Planet Rock teamed up with Jaguar this summer to survey its listeners about their favourite tracks for in-car listening, and while the resulting top ten does read a bit like every service station compilation album, the station's listeners have been good enough to pick a number one that none of you would probably have predicted. Here's the top ten...

1. Golden Earring - Radar Love
2. Deep Purple - Highway Star
3. AC/DC - Highway to Hell
4. Steppenwolf - Born to Be Wild
5. Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell
6. Boston - More Than a Feeling
7. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
8. Motörhead - Ace of Spades
9. Deep Purple - Speed King
10. Queen - Don't Stop Me Now

The tie-up between the car maker and the radio station was to recognise that all models in the Jaguar XF range now come with a DAB digital radio in built, allowing drivers to listen to the digital-only rock station. And, as it happens, we are reporting on the survey the day after Digital Radio UK revealed that a fifth of new cars now come with DAB radios, compared to one in twenty a year ago.

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MAZZY STAR REUNITE FOR NEW SINGLE
Mazzy Star will release their first single for fifteen years later this month, the website of frontwoman Hope Sandoval confirmed yesterday. Featuring two tracks, 'Common Ground' and 'Lay Myself Down', the single will be issued digitally on 31 Oct, followed by a vinyl release a week later.

Although they've never actually split, the alt rock duo haven't released an album since 1996's 'Among My Swan' and only played live on a brief tour of Europe in 2000.

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STONE ROSES REFORM
The Stone Roses have reformed after fifteen years of saying they wouldn't. The band will play two shows at Manchester's Heaton Park on 29 and 30 Jun next year, which will form part of a world tour. At a press conference in London's Soho Hotel yesterday, they also announced that they would be playing new material at the shows.

John Squire said that the seeds of the reunion were sown when he and Ian Brown met earlier this year at bassist Mani's mother's funeral (of course, at the time Mani said he was "disgusted" by rumours the funeral might lead to a reunion). Squire explained: "Everything changed when me and Ian started seeing each other again. It was surreal. We went from crying and laughing about the old days to writing songs in a heartbeat. I think it's in some ways a friendship that defines us both and it needed fixing and two phone calls later the band was no longer dead".

Although the band insisted they weren't reuniting for the money, Brown responded to a question about Shaun Ryder's recent comment, that the singer needed cash to pay for his divorce from his wife, by saying: "There's always truth in Shaun Ryder's comments". Although he added: "I think we're great and I think we've still got it and I think we've still got something to give to people. We're also doing it for ourselves - I'm not gonna lie. But I know it's not going to be shit because we've played together [over the summer] and it sounds magic".

Mani also pointed out: "I've been touring for the last fifteen years since the Roses finished and I get stopped in every city in every country in the world every day ... and get asked [about a Stone Roses reunion]. People have dreams about seeing us and we want to satisfy their dreams cos I'm getting fucking sick of being asked the question and answering it!"

As for the prospect of a new album, despite the fact that the band admitted they have written new material already, they were non-committal. Brown said: "We hope [to record a third album], but we said that before didn't we? We'll ride this until the wheels come off, like we did last time".

Tickets for the Heaton Park shows went on sale this morning. More info available here: www.thestoneroses.org

In definitely related news, Stones Roses fans will all surely be very pleased to hear that Steps have added five extra dates to their own reunion tour, due to popular demand obviously. They are as follows:

20 Apr: London, O2 Arena
22 Apr: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
23 Apr: Glasgow, Braehead Arena
25 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
26 Apr: Manchester, MEN Arena
27 Apr: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena

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LIL WAYNE MAKING TWO ALBUM SEQUELS
Despite having only just released 'Tha Carter IV', Lil Wayne is already working on a couple of sequels to his other album franchises, these being the rock-centric 'Rebirth' and last year's experimental 'I Am Not A Human Being'.

We know this because the boss of his label Young Money Records has said so. Focusing on Wayne's follow up to the latter album, Mack Maine told MTV: "He's like, twelve songs in, and he went crazy. He went left. He's in Martian land right now. He is definitely showing some weirdo, left-brain, I'm-not-from-here type side. He can say what he wants. There are no boundaries, there are no limits".

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GARBAGE DISCUSS NERDY NEW ALBUM
Never mind The Stone Roses getting back together, what of Garbage and their illustrious reunion? The band have spoken to Spin.com about what's to be their first album since 2005's 'Bleed Like Me', setting a vague release target for spring of next year.

Singer Shirley Manson said that while the new LP differs sonically from Garbage's eponymous 1995 debut, much of the spirit behind making it was the same. "There's an energy there that is, I think, reminiscent of the first record; a sort of hungriness is there", she said. "The overriding themes are pretty much about being a misfit, a geek, a nerd, a forgotten-about, in a way. It is really ironic because when the band initially started taking off, I thought, 'Wow, I'm no longer a geek! I'm cool! I'm hip! I'm popular!' And of course, the feelings never went away".

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JOKER DETAILS DEBUT LP
Bristolian dubstep producer Joker will release his debut album, 'The Vision', on 4AD/Kapsize on 31 Oct. An initial pressing of the LP will also come with instrumental versions of all the tracks, stripping them of their various guest vocalists.

Speaking of guest vocalists, amongst those featuring across 'The Vision' include William Cartright, who lends his pipes to Joker's next single, 'On My Mind'. Complete with remixes by Rustie and Goldie, that's due for release on 5 Dec. Stream it here.

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FIXERS TO RELEASE EP
We're long overdue a new musical missive from the wacked-out realm of Oxford band Fixers. So it's a good thing they're scheduling their five-track 'Imperial Goddess Of Mercy' EP for release on 5 Dec, isn't it? Another good thing is that you can download a song from it, the sweetly skewed 'Trans Love', for free by 'liking' the band's Facebook page. How nice.

www.facebook.com/Fixers

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TOPMAN TEAMS UP WITH PARLOPHONE SIGNING
Did you know Topman was "every man's favourite store"? I know this because I just got a press release from EMI telling me so. And this time I double checked, because last time I accused an EMI press release of saying something stupid it turned out I'd made it up.

So, anyway, every man's favourite store - and that's every single one remember - has teamed up with recent(ish) signings to EMI's Parlophone label The Good Natured for a little Facebook promotion. Fans are encouraged to suggest tracks that the band might want to play when they DJ in Topman's Oxford Circus store this weekend. The band will select one recommendation to include in their DJ set, and the recommender will get a signed copy of their new single and a £150 Topman voucher, which, as Topman is every man's favourite store, is a very good prize indeed. For men. Women need not enter.

This promotion is somehow linked in with Spotify too, but as I'm refusing to accept the link up between the streaming music platform and the social network I decided to not understand how that works. Those who want to know should go to Topman's Facebook page at the address below.

www.facebook.com/topman?sk=app_187825317960207

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SEAN PARKER DENIES ZUCK FEUD
Sean Parker has reiterated his denial that he recently got into a shouting match with Mark Zuckerberg over the forcing of new Spotify users to sign up to the streaming service using their Facebook accounts - the first time it having been done by a spokesperson.

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Parker said: "I love this story. It shows the potential for one little irrelevant, largely incorrect rumour to spark this large explosion of media. Mark and I were discussing this, but we weren't having a yelling match on Hollywood Boulevard".

On the subject of Spotify's integration with Facebook, he being an investor and advisor to both, he added: "The obvious thing is it gives [Spotify] access to Facebook's roughly 800 million users and it allows music to go massively viral. The social graph has always been a great promulgator of information. We didn't see it as a network of profiles, we always saw it as a way to promulgate media. You saw this with videos from YouTube. But because of licensing issues there was no way to enable that same virality with music".

Elsewhere at the Summit, Parker said he's "not actually sure why any artist would sign with a record label" (despite him being linked, earlier this year, to a bid to buy Warner Music), and he claimed that Spotify is "an attempt to finish what I started at Napster".

Watch Parker's discussion in full here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CJrlPkoXig

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BBC STILL COMMITTED TO DAB ROLL OUT
Oh look, more DAB news. The BBC has confirmed it will plough ahead with plans to roll out the digital radio network to 97% of the UK despite the Corporation's tight finances. DAB currently reaches 90% of the country. Under the Beeb's plans every town with a population of over 5000 will be covered by the digital network.

BBC radio chief Tim Davie confirmed the commitment at an event called the Drive To Digital in London yesterday, though he was careful not to discuss an exact date for turning off a chunk of FM transmissions to force everyone onto the digital system. As much previously reported, 2015 had been mooted as a date for that, though it seems unlikely enough people will have bought DAB devices by then to allow switchover to begin.

The government's media minister Ed Vaizey was also there talking up DAB, though - according to The Guardian - he did recognise that some players in the radio industry, especially smaller companies, are critical of the digital platform.

Said Vaizey: "You will no doubt have heard the negatives of digital radio, there has certainly been no shortage of column inches devoted to the subject. They often suggest that DAB is an out of date technology, that coverage and sound quality are inferior to analogue and listeners are already happy with what they've got, so why change? There are of course elements of truth in all these statements, however, it is all too often presented as a one-sided argument. There are also many positives".

Though not enough for me to bother you with them just now. Hurrah for one-sided arguments I say.

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IAIN LEE DEPARTS ABSOLUTE RADIO
Iain Lee has left Absolute Radio after three years with the station, two years hosting a late night show. His departure was somewhat sudden. Seemingly after the station told Lee his daily show would not have a place in their 2012 schedule he decided to leave with immediate effect. The end of his show was announced via its Facebook page.

Says that message: "We'd like to share the news with you that we have regrettably, mutually, decided not to continue with Iain Lee's late night show into 2012, which signals the end of the current series. As sometimes happens in radio, Iain's show ends with immediate effect, although his podcasts will naturally remain available. We wish Iain the very best with his other varied projects. The 11pm-1am Monday to Thursday will be covered by existing Absolute Radio broadcasters for the immediate future".

Absolute big cheese Clive Dickens told Radio Today: "Iain Lee is an incredibly talented and unique broadcaster who has made an enormous contribution to the brand and station over the past three years. We wish him well for the future".

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GMG REJIGS REAL RADIO EXECS, MAKES TWO REDUNDANT
GMG Radio has announced an executive rejig in its Real Radio division in North England, which will see its North West Programme Director Dave Shearer and North East MD Martyn Healy depart the company. They won't be directly replaced, with their responsibilities "allocated elsewhere". In the North West Kyle Evans will take over programming duties, while in the North East GMG Radio's Group Director Of Sales Alison Forshaw will oversee the company's Newcastle operations.

Confirming the changes, GMG Radio's Group Programme Director John Simons told reporters: "Kyle has a great track record. He's a great addition to the senior programming structure and together with Mark, I am sure will strive to continue the production of award winning content, that is Dave's legacy to the station. We thank Dave for his contribution over the last three years and wish him every success in his next venture".

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NOEL DUBS OASIS A "SHAM", LIAM REACTS
So, who's for news of the latest micro-feud between Noel and Liam Gallagher? This particular one began over a remark made by Noel that his latter years in Oasis felt "undignified" and "a bit of a sham"... Oh, go on then.

Having, of course, quit the group in 2009, Noel told the Telegraph: "There's always a power struggle in a band, and when you're young and daft and hopped up on drugs and alcohol, it can get violent".

He added: "But when you're all grown men with kids, it just doesn't feel right. I found it quite undignified. We're supposed to be the elder statesmen now! All this effing and blinding before gigs, and then going up and singing 'Live Forever'. It was all a bit of a sham, really". Oof. Even in context, it all sounds a bit provocative.

Cue Liam's response, which he chose to air on Twitter: "A sham? Speak for yourself, I never faked anything, go to bed and give me a shout in 2015".

As Liam's retaliations go, that's a pretty tame one, almost dignified. It certainly lacks the schoolboy venom of his historic "SHITBAG" tweet, for instance.

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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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