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MONDAY 24 OCTOBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: FIVE DAY FORECAST
I always think the best way to top off a very enjoyable weekend is by watching a really disturbing film, so last night I went off to the cinema to watch 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'. It was very good, and adapts the book brilliantly, which is a particular feat because I wasn't sure how that could be possible. But yeah, you want to know what's going to happen in the world of music this week more>>
TODAY'S APPROVED: GHOST WAVE
Seeing as it's cold outside and whatnot, what better to offset autumnal chills than a sun-baked song from jingly-jangly New Zealanders, Ghost Wave? Taken from the band's eponymous debut EP, flagship single, 'Hippy', should inject a little warmth and levity into your dark October day. Maybe not as original as fellow Antipodeans Unknown Imortal Orchestra, they still do what they do very well indeed more>>
TOP STORIES
- Google might launch download store with two majors missing
IN THE POP COURTS
- The defence fight back: Murray trial update
- Poison accused of infringement in 1980s songs
IN THE POP HOSPITAL
- Decemberists' cancer in remission
- Sly Stone goes into rehab
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Gruff Rhys wins first ever Welsh Music Prize
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- DJ Mag declares top 100
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Gallows comment on Frank Carter split
ARTIST DEALS
- The Gaslight Anthem sign to Vertigo
IN THE STUDIO
- Muse recording next album
RELEASE NEWS
- Zomby preps new EP
- Make Do And Mend announce acoustic EP
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- A Winged Tour For The Sullen
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- DEA three strike letters won't start until 2013
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- MySpace loses more users, but still significant
AND FINALLY...
- Meat Loaf hits out at AFL after bad sports show performance
CREAM GROUP, MARKETING CO-ORDINATOR
Cream Group are looking to recruit a Marketing Co-ordinator to join the team. The right candidate will have: a minimum of one to two years experience managing marketing activity and budgets - including print production, supplier management, street marketing, online, social media and radio and will be able to hit the ground running managing campaigns. They will also have excellent communication and organisational skills, commercial awareness and strong attention to detail and will be personable, outgoing, creative and flexible, with natural ability to multi task and manage projects and relationships. Ideally with a background in marketing, events and/or music industry, radio, TV, media or creative industries; educated to degree standard with marketing related degree and proficient in Word / Excel, photoshop / html advantageous.

Apply with CV and covering letter stating what makes you suitable for the job to jobs@cream.co.uk by Friday 4 Nov. Salary: £18-25K depending on experience. Location: Liverpool.

For full job description, click here.
   
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.

GOOGLE MIGHT LAUNCH DOWNLOAD STORE WITH TWO MAJORS MISSING
We've been cautious about reports that a Google download store is imminent because of claims by some major label insiders that licensing talks are someway off completion. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, the web giant is prepared to put its new music service live - in the US at least - without all four majors on board, which possibly gives more credence to rumours Google Music could go live in the next two weeks.

As previously reported, it's thought the new Google download service will sit alongside the company's existing music-focused digital locker platform, the MP3 storage service the web firm launched earlier this year without the involvement of the music industry.

Latest gossip says there will also be a tie-up between Google Music and Google+, the web giant's most recent attempt at a social network (its previous effort, Google Buzz, having now been shut down). Users will be able to recommend songs from the Google Music catalogue to their Google+ followers, who will then be able to stream a recommended song in full once for free (a little like mFlow, I suppose).

According to The Journal, EMI has all but licensed the new service, with Universal also thought to be close to agreement. Two indie label representatives are also reportedly close to doing deals, though that's likely to be aggregators The Orchard and IODA rather than Merlin, which represents most of the big independent music companies. Sony and Warner are the major labels that are unlikely to have deals in place if Google goes through with plans to launch in the next fortnight.

Of course "we'll launch without you" is a common line used by those struggling to get licensing deals in place for a new digital music service, but launching without a major label catalogue - especially one as big as Sony's - is risky, as early adopters are more prone to be dismissive of a new service if they find searches for specific artists or tracks frequently bring back no results.

The Journal's sources say Sony and Warner are not delaying simply based on price negotiations, but on other concerns. Warner wants Google to backtrack on its digital locker service, and give the labels a cut of any subscription revenues it generates (as Apple is doing with iCloud), while Sony is pushing for more proactive measures from Google against piracy across the board, including on its search engine and YouTube.

YouTube, of course, is the Google music service people actually use, even if it's not specifically positioned as a music website. As previously reported, YouTube is introducing a new sell-through platform that will enable artists to sell downloads, tickets and merchandise from their artist channels At the moment the download option there will link through to iTunes and Amazon MP3, and it remains to be seen if and how the Google Music download store will be integrated.

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THE DEFENCE FIGHT BACK: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
It was still the final chapter of the prosecution's arguments, but the defence started fighting back more fiercely than in previous cross examinations on Friday.

As the prosecution got close to winding up its case, Conrad Murray's defence team took task with the testimony of leading anaesthesiology expert Dr Steven Shafer, who, more resolutely than any previous prosecution witness, poured scorn on the defence's argument that Michael Jackson self-administered the shot of the drug propofol that killed him.

Murray, of course, is accused of causing Jackson's death through the negligent administration of the surgical anaesthetic as a treatment for insomnia. Murray claims he was trying to wean Jackson off the dangerous prescription medication, and that he only administered a tiny amount of it on the day the singer died. In a desperate bid to induce sleep Jackson must have self-administered another shot of the drug after Murray left the room, the defence argue.

Various experts presented by the prosecution have thrown doubt on this theory, but Shafer went as far as to say it was impossible. Aside from it being unlikely that Jackson, coming out of a general anaesthetic, would be capable of immediately injecting himself, the amount of propofol in the late pop star's body - Shafer argued - was simply too high to have come from one shot injected by the singer himself. More likely, he theorised, Murray left Jackson receiving more of the drug - possibly up to forty times more than Murray has admitted administering - through an IV system.

Responding on Friday, the defence argued that - while an IV set up was in Jackson's bedroom - the exact kit required to do what Shafer had claimed Murray might have done was not present. Shafer was forced to concede this was so, but added that all that was missing was a vented IV tube which could easily have been balled up and taken out of the bedroom as Murray and his patient left for the hospital shortly after the singer's death. Other prosecution witnesses have recalled the defendant seemingly trying to hide drugs and bits of kit as paramedics arrived.

Even if that was so, the defence continued, is it not possible that any IV set up was switched off, but that Jackson switched it on himself? It was an interesting comeback, because that scenario actually seems more feasible than Jackson injecting himself, or the IV system, with the extra drugs, as has previously been suggested (and remember the theory the singer may have swallowed the extra propofol has been discarded). As with previous expert witnesses, Shafer conceded that was possible, but added it was no defence, because to leave a patient alone with such a system set up, in such a way that said patient could turn it on, was, in itself, gross negligence.

All in all it was a heated exchange, so heated, in fact, that at one point the judge, Michael Pastor, had to call the lawyers to the side to tell them to calm it down a little. The defence should finally get round to beginning their arguments today. It's thought this should only take a week, so much so that Janet Jackson this weekend announced she was postponing some Australian tour dates because she wanted to be with her family as the final stages of the Murray trial begin.

The case continues.

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POISON ACCUSED OF INFRINGEMENT IN 1980S SONGS
Bret Michaels, his band Poison and their most common label partner EMI have all been sued over allegations the glam metallers stole some of the songs that appeared on their debut album 'Look What The Cat Dragged In', released way back in 1986.

Billy McCarthy and James Stonich, of an early 80s US band called Kid Rocker, are actually claiming that some of their songs were incorporated into tracks on the multi-platinum selling album. Their lawsuit, filed at an Illinois court last week, claims that Poison's guitarist CC DeVille auditioned for their band in 1984 and was given a number of Kid Rocker's studio tapes. When DeVille subsequently joined Poison, they claim, sections of their songs were lifted.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the plaintiffs are looking for the profits from the songs in question, which include 'Talk Dirty To Me' and 'I Won't Forget You', statutory damages and an injunction stopping Michaels and Poison from performing the songs in the future. What isn't clear is how the band will justify waiting 25 years to pursue this action.

Team Poison are yet to respond.

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DECEMBERISTS' CANCER IN REMISSION
Colin Meloy, frontman with indie folksters The Decemberists, has announced that the band's accordion and keyboard player Jenny Conlee's breast cancer has gone into remission.

Meloy revealed Conlee was fighting the disease back in May, and that she would have to step back from some of the band's summer gigs while she received treatment. He posted the good news on Twitter last week, saying: "For those of you wondering, saw Jenny this week; our girl's officially in remission!"

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SLY STONE GOES INTO REHAB
Sly Stone has gone into rehab in California in a bid to kick his drink and drug addictions.

The funk icon, last seen on these pages when he was in court to face cocaine possession charges back in June, told TMZ last month that he had been clean "for about a week and a half" and was now serious about getting help to overcome his addictions.

Someone close to the singer told Perez Hilton he could be in rehab for three months. Stone has reportedly fallen on hard times in recent years, and has been recently living out of a van.

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GRUFF RHYS WINS FIRST EVER WELSH MUSIC PRIZE
The first ever Welsh Music Prize was presented last week, and the rather deserving winner was Mr Gruff Rhys. The Super Furry Animals frontman was presented with the all new gong for his third solo album 'Hotel Shampoo'. The award came during the week Rhys's latest solo venture was launched, the rather nifty app game 'Whale Trail' with accompanying song of the same name, both of which were garnering much applause on Twitter last week.

The new award to recognise Welsh music talent was set up by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and his SWN Festival collaborator John Rostron, and was presented during said festival this weekend. Rostron told reporters: "To have all of the shortlisted acts attend this inaugural Welsh Music Prize speaks volumes of the interest that this idea has generated, as did Gruff's obviously emotional response to winning the Prize. I didn't envy the judges having to pick a winner - the shortlist was incredibly strong - but then that's why we started the Prize. Such great music emerges from Wales which myself and Huw Stephens feel deserves wider recognition. I'm delighted that this first event has achieved that".

Commenting on his win, Rhys told CMU: "It's a huge honour to win the inaugural WMP for 'Hotel Shampoo', the shortlist was so strong, it could have deservedly gone to anyone. It's a beautiful award, shaped like an old VHS video tape (but is made of metal). Let's hope it goes to a load of great albums in the future".

Don't forget CMU Editor Andy Malt recently spoke to Rhys about 'Whale Trail' and other ventures, and you can read the interview here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/qa-gruff-rhys/

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DJ MAG DECLARES TOP 100
So, it's official. David Guetta has been voted overall winner of DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 DJs Poll, overtaking four-time previous victor Armin Van Buuren, who emerged the eventual runner-up. Staged as part of the Amsterdam Dance Event for the first time this year, the verdict formed the grand finale to an evening of live sets from the likes of Fedde Le Grand, Markus Schulz, Van Buuren, and Guetta himself.

View the top ten rankings below, and the full results here: www.trackitdown.net/news/show/104751.html

1 David Guetta (up 1)
2 Armin van Burren (down 1)
3 Tiesto (non mover)
4 Deadmau5 (non mover)
5 Above & Beyond (non mover)
6 Avicii (up 33)
7 Afrojack (up 12)
8 Dash Berlin (up 7)
9 Mark Schluz (down 1)
10 Swedish House Mafia (up 13)

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GALLOWS COMMENT ON FRANK CARTER SPLIT
Gallows guitarists Steph Carter and Laurent 'Lags' Barnard have been talking about why the band parted company with the former's brother Frank, explaining that their former frontman wanted them to become a more straight-up rock act. As previously reported, Frank has now been replaced by Wade MacNeil, previously of Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire, and the band are now touring for the first time with the new line-up.

Speaking to Alternative Press, Steph Carter said: "While Frank was in Brooklyn, we'd all been in studio [back in London] working on new material. We were all really happy with the direction it was going, but Frank wanted a change in direction. He wanted something that took us to the next step of being a big, successful, straight-up rock band, like Queens Of The Stone Age. The rest of us weren't ready for that. It was infuriating, because we'd written loads of songs, but until we had vocals on them, we couldn't really get a sense of what the songs actually were".

Barnard added: "I just wanted to make another Gallows record. I'm all for the sound progressing, but only if it happens naturally, I'm not into the idea of going: 'We're going to make this kind of music now'. When there's five people in a band, one person shouldn't be able to dictate what everybody else does".

Gallows will play their first UK show with their new vocalist on 13 Dec at London's XOYO. Meanwhile Frank Carter is working on new material with his new band Pure Love.

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THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM SIGN TO VERTIGO
Universal's Vertigo Records has signed American rock outfit The Gaslight Anthem to a worldwide deal excluding North America, with fellow Universal imprint Mercury Records due to release the band's music in the US and Canada.

Says Vertigo MD Paul Adam: "I've been a massive fan of The Gaslight Anthem both live and on record for years and am so pleased that they have decided to join the team at Vertigo. They are planning to go into the studio early 2012 to record their new album, which will be a stunning follow up to 'American Slang'. I believe they will go on to become one of the most important and successful bands globally over the next few years".

The band's frontman Brian Fallon added: "We are pleased to announce that we've signed to Mercury Records US and Vertigo Records in the UK, it's been a long road for us. We've always had a goal in mind and we've always tried to take things one step at a time. We waited to move to each step as we felt we were ready as a band, regardless of what people told us we were ready for, we waited until we felt it in our hearts. Now we feel it's time for the next step, we look forward to the future... now let's write the best record we've ever done".

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MUSE RECORDING NEXT ALBUM
Muse hope to release their sixth studio album in exactly one year's time. Well, next October. Not in exactly twelve months from the moment you are reading this. Manager Anthony Addis told Billboard: "They've now gone into the recording studio. The plan is to do it all in London. Hopefully, the album might come out October next year".

He added: "They've written a lot of material already but you don't know how it's going to gel between them all. They write constantly. They write on the road, so before or after a gig they'll write nearly every night. It's a serious process, but you don't know how it's going to turn out until you start practicing it together, because everybody's done it individually".

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ZOMBY PREPS NEW EP
Having unleashed his debut 4AD album, 'Dedication', earlier this year, producer bod Zomby has now readied a new EP called 'Nothing' for release on 28 Nov. With a while to wait till then, why not stream its 90s rave-referencing opener, 'Labyrinth', by way of a conciliatory stop-over? www.4ad.com/news/19/10/2011/zombytoreleasenothing

Tracklist:

Labyrinth
Digital Fractal
Equinox
Sens
It Was All A Dream
Trapdoor
Ecstasy Versions

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MAKE DO AND MEND ANNOUNCE ACOUSTIC EP
Post-hardcore quartet Make Do And Mend - not to be confused with the Finders Keepers compilation series of the same name - are to release an acoustic EP, entitled 'Part And Parcel', via Pink Mist on 21 Nov. The set, which is available to pre-order in various different formats here - pinkmist.bigcartel.com - will feature acoustic versions of tracks from the band's debut album, 'End Measured Mile', and two brand new songs.

Says vocalist James Carroll: "It's something we've talked about doing for a while. We wanted to explore the versatility of our songs and also explore our boundaries as songwriters".

Coming from the album-tracks-done-quietly category, stream 'Unknowingly Strong' here: soundcloud.com/paperandplastick/make-do-and-mend-unknowingly

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A WINGED TOUR FOR THE SULLEN
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - a collaboration involving Adam Wiltzie of sonorous drone types Stars Of The Lid and melancholy piano music maker Dustin O'Halloran which sounds exactly like you'd expect things to sound when two such musical styles are combined - have announced a tour of the good old British Isles for early 2012. Look, here's some dates and everything. And do look out for their eponymous debut, out now on Erased Tapes and Kranky.

Tour dates:

14 Jan: Manchester, Academy 3
15 Jan: Glasgow, Oran Mor
16 Jan: London, Cecil Sharpe House
17 Jan: Reading, South Street
18 Jan: Cork, Cork Opera House
19 Jan: Dublin, The Sugar Club

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DEA THREE STRIKE LETTERS WON'T START UNTIL 2013
Warning letters under the three-strikes style anti-piracy system put in place by the Digital Economy Act are now not likely to go out until 2013, the Director Of Internet Policy at media regulator OfCom admitted last week. Campbell Cowie was speaking at the Westminster eForum in London, and he told delegates that drafting the code that will set out how the so called graduated response system for tackling illegal file-sharing will work has proved very difficult indeed.

Although moves by BT and TalkTalk to block the copyright section of the DEA by judicial review - which initially failed, but the ISPs have been given the OK to have a second stab - are a hindrance, Cowie indicated that other matters have caused delays in launching three-strikes, in particular gaining confidence in the technology used to identify individual web users suspected of file-sharing, and working out exactly how the appeals process will work. The music industry originally hoped strike one - the sending out of warning letters to suspected file-sharers - would have begun earlier this year, but it now looks likely it won't happen until 2013.

At the same event, TalkTalk's Andrew Heaney once again set out why his company thinks the anti-piracy system in the DEA is disproportionate, overly expensive and, in his words, "rotten to the core", adding that his company will continue to fight the introduction of anti-file-sharing measures. But Richard Mollet, now CEO of the Publisher's Association, but formerly the lobbyist at record label trade body BPI who lobbied for the DEA's copyright section, defended the graduated response system

According to ZDNet, he told the event: "We need constructive engagement from all quarters and yet again this morning it's really noticeable that the two ISPs that haven't been up on the panel today, Sky and Virgin Media... are working very constructively with rights holders, looking at ways in which we can develop voluntary solutions on things like site blocking and haven't been standing every step of the way in front of the DEA. Surely that must be the way ahead for us all in the wider creative economy?"

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MYSPACE LOSES MORE USERS, BUT STILL SIGNIFICANT
It's easy to write off MySpace, it being shit and all, and it's true that the flagging social network style service is still haemorrhaging users, with unique visitors down 7% over the summer. That said, according to ComScore, it still has 30.5million unique visitors monthly in the US making it the 35th biggest website in America. A long way off Facebook, which sits at number four in the websites chart behind the search engine and webmail providers, but only 1.8 million users behind Twitter. Which is possibly why new owners Specific Media, the ad agency which plans to relaunch MySpace as a music destination site next year, remain optimistic.

Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch, while fighting off critics at a rather tricky AGM of News Corp shareholders on Friday, was more candid about his company's handling of MySpace than most of the media conglom's other perceived failings (News Of The World phone hacking aside, of course). According to The Guardian, he said News Corp was right to pay $580 million for MySpace in 2005 (they sold it for about $35 million earlier this year), but admitted that his people had then mismanaged the asset at every turn. Murdoch: "We then proceeded to mismanage it in every possible way and all the people involved with it are no longer with the company". Ouch.

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MEAT LOAF HITS OUT AT AFL AFTER BAD SPORTS SHOW PERFORMANCE
Meat Loaf has hit out at the Australian Football League after his performance during its Grand Final event earlier this month was slammed by critics and audience members alike, who said the singer was out of tune and mumbling into the mic.

But the problem, the singer says, was the AFL's set up. He told Australian newspapers that he tried his best in difficult circumstances, but that AFL chiefs refused his request for a live piano, didn't give him any time to sound check, and that the backline wasn't working properly, so he couldn't hear what was happening.

Of the AFL chiefs, he said: "I'm sorry, [but] they're jerks. I do not like them. And I'll tell you what, anybody that I hear announces that they're going to play for them I'm going to write that particular artist a letter and tell them not to. And I hope the AFL hears this and I want this everywhere. Because I will go out of my way to tell any artist: 'Do not play for them'".

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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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