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FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
With the ongoing EMI sale, more speculation about Google's download store, and, outside the industry news zone, the Conrad Murray trial rumbling on, it sort of felt like we were on the verge of some really big news stories this week, none of which actually delivered. Though that's not to say it's been a quiet news week in the music biz. But what were the big five developments of the week? more>>
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: V RECORDS HALLOWEEN SPECIAL
South London's Cable underneath London Bridge racks up another spectacular drum n bass night, this time courtesy of the seminal Planet V label. V's head honcho Bryan G will be on the decks and he has roped in some right big hitters, including Good Looking Records boss LTJ Bukem with MC Conrad, Bristol's Die and Krust, and Artificial Intelligence, the original master Jumpin Jack Frost more>>
TOP STORIES
- Universal out of race to buy EMI
IN THE POP COURTS
- Jackson was probably dependent on Demerol: Murray trial update
- Poison respond to 1980s song theft allegations
- Cops called after Minaj mistakenly identifies maid
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Brit Awards 2012: New trophy, same old host
- A Greener Festival awards presented
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Marilyn Mason tops poll of creepy celebs
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Jesus And Mary Chain will work together again
IN THE STUDIO
- No Stipe solo album likely
RELEASE NEWS
- Adele plans live DVD
- Lex Records celebrates anniversary with compilation, MF Doom tour
- New Active Child
FILMS & SHOWS NEWS
- Shane Meadows hoping to direct Stone Roses documentary
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Oneohtrix Point Never tour
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Sony Corp takes complete ownership of Ericsson phone maker
AND FINALLY...
- Beef of the week: Coldplay v Spotify
MEAN FIDDLER, DESIGNER
Mean Fiddler are currently seeking a talented designer/e-CRM exec to join our team in East London. You’ll be working alongside our Marketing and Digital teams on a variety of projects promoting tours, gigs and artists. You will need to have strong design skills, and have strong proven experience in Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, HTML, CSS & XML.

Responsibilities: Design high quality print advertising and e-newsletters; Liaise with marketing, digital and other departments to deliver campaigns to brief; Resizing artwork; Working on multiple projects and meeting tight deadlines; Knowledge of latest design trends and technologies.

Requirements: Strong skills in Flash Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, HTML, CSS, XML; Strong communication skills; Mac experience; php, javascript and actionscript experience desirable but not essential; 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 5mb) to laura.bailey@mamagroup.co.uk
   
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.
   
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.

UNIVERSAL OUT OF RACE TO BUY EMI
Following those reports yesterday that Warner was now favourite again to buy the EMI record labels, a source close to Citigroup's EMI manoeuvrings has told Reuters its main rival, Universal Music, has dropped out of the race.

As previously reported, we are expecting word very soon now regarding who the US bank will sell their big music company to, and everyone seems certain that EMI will be split up for sale. It's long been assumed that, should the big split happen, Warner would get the record companies.

But then, in recent weeks, insiders were saying Universal was ahead in the bidding. But now, it seems, Warner's new owner Access Industries has come up with a bigger offer price, forcing the French-owned major out of the race.

Reuters yesterday quoted a source as saying, simply: "Universal has dropped out of the bidding for EMI". Meanwhile other sources close to the sale negotiations were increasingly certain that some sort of announcement about a Warner deal regards the EMI record labels was now imminent.

As for the other half of EMI, the more valuable music publishing company, Reuters' source said both BMG and Sony/ATV are still in the running, though, as previously reported, it is thought the former have the upper hand simply because it has access to more cash.

While a lot of this remains speculation aided by a few insider gossipers, it does look like this incredibly long drawn out story could be about to reach some sort of conclusion. EMI staffers are sure to be keeping a closer eye on their inbox for that all important memo, while the rest of you should follow twitter.com/cmu, where we'll announce anything as soon as we hear something more certain than off the record murmurings or informed speculation.

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JACKSON WAS PROBABLY DEPENDENT ON DEMEROL: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
So, as the Conrad Murray trial gets close to completion, the defence yesterday returned to Michael Jackson's alleged use of the painkiller Demerol.

This line of defence has already been raised in court, both in the defence team's opening remarks and on a couple of occasions during the testimonies of prosecution witnesses. Murray's lawyers argue that Jackson had become dependent on and possibly addicted to the painkiller Demerol, a drug which, unbeknownst to Murray, he was getting from another doctor, dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein. A prosecution witness previously confirmed that Demerol can cause anxiety, and may well have contributed to the acute insomnia Murray was trying to cure, with fatal consequences.

The defence team's expert was Dr Robert Waldman, an addiction specialist. He also confirmed that Demerol can cause anxiety and insomnia, and added that medical records suggested Jackson may have become dependent on the painkiller in the months before his death, though under cross-examination he conceded that he couldn't say for certain it went as far as addiction.

Waldman noted that, on three occasions in May 2009, Klein gave Jackson the painkiller at the same time as Botox and Restylane, treatments to deal with wrinkles and excessive perspiration. Although the painkiller may well have actually been used to relieve pain during the skin treatments, Waldman said Jackson had been given "stiff doses" of the painkiller, much more than would be necessary for the administration of Botox and Restylane. That, he reckoned, could imply a dependency on the pain relief drug - a dependency that, the defence will argue, contributed to the unusual circumstances in which Murray was operating when he chose to give his patient a surgical anaesthetic in a domestic setting.

The defence had wanted to call Klein himself to testify, but Judge Michael Pastor refused permission, seemingly seeing the Demerol line of the defence's case as something of a distraction from the core question as to what happened in the hours before Jackson's death, and whether the doctor was sufficiently negligent to be liable for the singer's demise.

The case continues.

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POISON RESPOND TO 1980S SONG THEFT ALLEGATIONS
A legal rep for glam metallers Poison has responded to that previously reported lawsuit relating to alleged song theft 25 years ago.

As previously reported, songwriters Billy McCarthy and James Stonich are claiming that some of their songs were incorporated into tracks on Poison's multi-platinum selling 1986 debut album 'Look What The Cat Dragged In'. They allege that Poison's guitarist CC DeVille auditioned for their band in 1984 and was given a number of their studio tapes. When DeVille subsequently joined Poison, they claim, sections of their songs were lifted.

Quite why the two songwriters would wait 25 years to make a legal claim over this is a bit of a mystery, and the delay, Poison's legal rep says, proves the lawsuit is baseless. Mark D Passin told The Hollywood Reporter: "Poison will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint. Obviously, if the Poison songs that are the subject of this complaint infringed any songs written by plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago when Poison released the albums on which the songs are embodied. It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits".

Aside from such a long delay in taking action arguably damaging the credibility of McCarthy and Stonich's lawsuit, there has also been some discussion in legal circles as to whether the duo can actually sue, even if they have a great case, because of America's 'statute of limitations', which sets a deadline for plaintiffs to take action when they believe they have been wronged. In this case the claimants' lawyer has cited a precedent that says that - as the harm being sued over continues (because the allegedly stolen songs are still be sold) - the statute of limitations does not apply. But Passin disagrees.

So, it remains to be seen if this case is allowed to proceed to court for technical reasons, before the credibility of McCarthy and Stonich's claims will even be assessed. Passin confirmed that he will seek to have the lawsuit dismissed forthwith.

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COPS CALLED AFTER MINAJ MISTAKENLY IDENTIFIES MAID
There was a fracas at the home of rapper Nicki Minaj yesterday, according to TMZ, which resulted in the cops being called.

The pop hip hop type had a run in with one of her maids, seemingly because she thought the staff member was actually a different women who had been fired earlier this month. A male friend of Minaj seemingly got involved in the firey argument that followed, who allegedly started pushing the staff member, who promptly called the police and filed a battery report.

That said, no one was arrested or taken into custody, so it's not clear if the altercation will result in any legal proceedings for either Minaj or her pushy friend.

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BRIT AWARDS 2012: NEW TROPHY, SAME OLD HOST
So, who'd like a few facts about the 2012 BRIT Awards? Anyone?

Well, firstly location and date, and next year's big ceremony is due to take place at London's The O2 Arena, as per this year, on 21 Feb. And, also once again, the evening will culminate with the Mastercard British Album Of The Year Award (ie not a lifetime achievement prize like in the olden days), which this year was scooped by Mumford & Sons' 'Sigh No More'.

As for host, well, for the third time (second time solo), the night will be fronted by James Corden, that ever-reliable source of wide-eyed enthusiasm for the BRITs show, who is confirmed to return as gushing compere. See, he's at it already: "I enjoyed presenting the show so much last year, so being asked back for the third time is a real honour. Ever since I was a teenager I've loved the BRIT Awards. As a music fan I feel totally privileged to have the best seat in the house. I can't wait".

But, you are now surely asking, what about the awards themselves, aren't they being redesigned each year under the new regime? Well, what a good memory you have. Yes, after last year having Vivienne Westwood design the BRIT gongs, this year Peter Blake, the pop artist perhaps best known for the iconic 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' cover, has got the award designing gig. Well, at least that's one thing new and different from last time.

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A GREENER FESTIVAL AWARDS PRESENTED
46 festivals - that's right, 46, count them now - have been handed a Greener Festival Award for reducing the environmental impact of their events in 2011. As previously reported, the Greener Festival programme, now sponsored by music business insurers Robertson Taylor, encourages festival promoters to make their events more green by addressing areas such as carbon footprint, traffic plans, and waste and recycling management schemes. The programme is global, and festivals being presented with awards come from Europe, Australia and North America.

Organisers say that they were pleased with the number of festivals meeting their environmental objectives this year, especially given the tough economic climate and "challenging summer weather" in both hemispheres which adds to the challenge of reducing environmental impact.

Commenting on this year's eco-friendly fests, and noting how festival-goers themselves have a part to play, Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said: "One highlight was the real reduction in car use at many festivals as people swapped to coaches, trains, shared cars or even cycled. A downside was the thousands and thousands of tents and other perfectly reusable camping equipment left behind at festivals in the UK - what a mess and what a waste".

The winners of a Greener Festival Award this year are as follows...

Outstanding: Croissant Neuf Summer Party (UK), Falls Festival Lorne (Australia), Falls Festival Marion Bay (Australia), Isle of Wight Festival (UK), Lightning In A Bottle (US), Øya Festival (Norway), Peats Ridge (Australia), Shambala (UK), Sunrise Celebration (UK), We Love Green (France), Wood (UK), Woodford Festival (Australia).

Highly commended: Bestival (UK), Bonnaroo (USA), Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), Glastonbury Festival (UK), Grassroots (Jersey), Lollapalooza (US), Malmo Festival (Sweden), Island Vibe (Australia), SOS 4:8 (Spain).

Commended: Austin City Limits (US), Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada), East Coast Bluesfest (Australia), Festibelly (UK), Heineken Dia de la Musica (Spain), Ilosaaririock (Finland), Hadra Trance Festival (France), The Open Air Festival (Czech Republic), Rock For People (Czech Republic), San Sebastián Quincena Musical (Spain), Sonisphere (UK), Splendour Festival (UK), Splendour In The Grass (Australia), Summer Sundae Weekender (UK), T In The Park (UK), Waveform (UK), Welcome To The Future (Netherlands), WomAdelaide (Australia).

Improving: Camp Bestival (UK), Download (UK), Greenbelt Festival (UK), Hard Rock Calling (UK), Lounge On The Farm (UK), Radio 1 Big Weekend (UK), Wireless (UK).

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MARILYN MASON TOPS POLL OF CREEPY CELEBS
What a shocker. Marilyn Manson has been voted America's creepiest celebrity. E-Poll Market Research surveyed 1100 people for the Halloween-themed poll, asking them to rank celebrities' overall creepiness from 1-100, and to select qualities ('creepy' being one) that they felt best suited each celeb. Manson leads the poll with a 69% creepiness rating. Also featured: OJ Simpson, Charlie Sheen, Woody Allen, and so-called 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman. Happy Halloween.

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JESUS AND MARY CHAIN WILL WORK TOGETHER AGAIN
Jesus And Mary Chain vocalist Jim Reid has said that the band will work together again at some point in the future. Though that's all your getting for now. You see, it all depends on whether he can agree on things with brother and bandmate William Reid.

Speaking to The Quietus, Reid said: "The Mary Chain will do more stuff, whether that will be records or whether that will be tours, [though] we still have a few fences to climb before that happens. The idea of doing another Mary Chain album is always around, but it's sort of difficult with me and my brother; we still have a difficult relationship. And he lives in Los Angeles and I live in the south west of England. So it's kind of difficult to get it together. We will probably do another record at some point, and we do talk about tours and stuff like that. It's just so difficult to agree with each other. I mean I'm not saying it's all his fault, but we have problems basically".

Sounds like the perfect relationship to be working in. "Well it [is] better than it was", he says. "We went through a year or two where we didn't actually speak to each other when the band was breaking up in 1998. So it can't be worse than that. It's not ideal but it's not terrible. We can talk now whereas at one point we couldn't even do that".

The Reid brothers last played together in 2008, and released a new song - 'All Things Must Pass' - on the soundtrack album of US TV series 'Heroes' the same year.

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NO STIPE SOLO ALBUM LIKELY
This is 'not in the studio' news really. Former REM-er Mike Mills has said that while he is looking for new musical projects now his band have split up, his former bandmate Michael Stipe probably isn't, instead focusing on his sculpture and photography.

Asked by Mojo whether we can now expect a Michael Stipe solo album, Mills said: "I doubt it. I don't think that's where his passion lies. I think he wants to be in the visual arts. I imagine Michael will do a lot of sculpture and photography. I think those are his big interests now".

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ADELE PLANS LIVE DVD
Since Adele and her haemorrhaged vocal cords are taking an "extended rest period" from singing, it seems a new concert CD/DVD package will be the closest anyone's going to get to seeing/hearing her "live" for some time.

Due out via XL on 28 Nov, 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall' will feature full footage from a performance that originally took place at the venerable London venue on 22 Sep. A companion CD will include a mixture of live performances of tracks from Adele's studio albums, '19' and '21', alongside covers of Bonnie Raitt's 'I Can't Make You Love Me' and The Steeldrivers' 'If It Hadn't Been For Love'.

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LEX RECORDS CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY WITH COMPILATION, MF DOOM TOUR
As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, Lex Records has announced news of 'Complex', an exclusive ten-track compilation album featuring artists signed or connected to the label, including Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood, plus Neon Neon and Boom Bip. Each of the ten tracks on the record will be made available digitally one by one over ten weeks, before the full compo is released on picture disc vinyl in January.

Talking of the so called Lex10 celebrations, they include a UK tour by MF Doom - or DOOM, as he prefers to be called at present - which kicks off in Glasgow next week, and includes a special show with guests Ghostface Killah and Jneiro Jarel at London's Roundhouse on 5 Nov.

Full dates as follows:

3 Nov: Glasgow, The Arches
4 Nov: Manchester, HMV Ritz
5 Nov: London, Roundhouse
7 Nov: Leeds, O2 Academy
10 Nov: Oxford, O2 Academy
11 Nov: Hatfield, The Forum
15 Nov: Bristol, Motion
16 Nov: Birmingham, O2 Academy
18 Nov: Brighton, Concorde 2

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NEW ACTIVE CHILD
With his delightful debut album, 'You Are All I See', out this week, Active Child has unveiled a brand new track bearing the title 'Diamond Heart'. A clear-cut gem of eighties-aping electronica, the song is set to feature on a deluxe edition of the LP which will be available exclusively on iTunes as of 31 Oct.

Listen to the song here: soundcloud.com/vagrantrecords/active-child-diamond-heart

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SHANE MEADOWS HOPING TO DIRECT STONE ROSES DOCUMENTARY
Shane Meadows is hoping to direct a documentary following The Stone Roses as they unite for the first time in fifteen years next year. Best known for directing stories (albeit fictional ones) where tense and complicated relationships occasionally result in violence, Meadows seems the perfect man for the job.

Though, while Meadows has already done some filming that may be used for the documentary, the film project is not yet 100% confirmed. The director said via Twitter: "We filmed the press conference [announcing the reunion] last week but until we finish [post-production] on 'This Is England 88' [a TV spin-off from Meadow's film 'This Is England] in [December] nothing will be finalised. We just jumped at chance to film the announcement. Exciting though!"

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ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER TOUR
Oneohtrix Point Never is to drop by the UK for a three-date live spell next month in support of his new LP 'Replica'. With that due out on 7 Nov, a free copy of somnambulant album cut 'Sleep Dealer' is free to download here: soundcloud.com/mexicansummer/oneohtrix-point-never-sleep/

Tour dates:

22 Nov: Bristol, Cube Cinema
23 Nov: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
24 Nov: London, St Giles Church

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SONY CORP TAKES COMPLETE OWNERSHIP OF ERICSSON PHONE MAKER
Apple having well and truly shaken up the market in the last five years, the smartphone industry now looks set to enter a new era as the third of the traditional big players in the handset space announced a corporate rejig yesterday.

Nokia having thrown out a lot of the old to strike up a new partnership with Microsoft, and Google having taken ownership of the Motorola phone firm as part of the Android revolution, now Sony Corp has taken complete ownership of its mobile maker, Sony Ericsson, buying Swedish telco Ericcson out of the firm in a billion pound deal.

The move is seemingly part of Sony's bid to have a more integrated approach in the sale of its various consumer electronic devices - so phones, PCs, TVs, games consoles and tablets - all of which increasingly provide access to the same content and services.

Sony was now the company, the Corp's supremo Howard Stringer said when confirming the Ericcson deal yesterday, which could truly let customers connect with content "wherever they are, whenever they want". Which is almost true, though I was always promised that my kitchen would become net-connected via my fridge, and I don't see Sony helping me out there just yet.

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BEEF OF THE WEEK: COLDPLAY V SPOTIFY
Coldplay, it seems, have decided to shun Spotify with the release of their new album 'Mylo Xyloto'. In fact, you won't find the band's new long player on most of the licensed streaming music services. According to CNet, in the US the band have also chosen to not distribute their new record to MOG, Rdio or Rhapsody, while back in the UK, although We7 does list the album, its tracks are currently limited to 30 second previews.

But it's Coldplay's decision to shun Spotify that has grabbed most attention, partly because they are the one service that operates in both the US and UK, and partly because it fits into the 'artists hate Spotify' narrative that has begun appearing in the media as part of the recent backlash to the onetime darling of digital music. Quite why 'Mylo Xyloto' is non-streamable isn't clear, and when asked for a comment on the matter, EMI was non-committal saying only: "We always work with our artists and management on a case by case basis to deliver the best outcome for each release".

But some have noted Coldplay's new record isn't the only big new release not to be found on Spotify. Hunt around all you like, but you'll not find Adele's second LP '21' on there either. And as fans of music industry sales stats will already know, that's a record breaking best seller, shifting over three million copies in the UK alone (over a million more than the top selling album of 2010, Take That's 'Progress').

And look at all the other records in the best selling albums of 2010 list, they've sold nowhere near as many units. Is that partly because Adele fans were forced to buy the record old school style when they found it wasn't available for free streaming on Spotify et al? And has that fact (or theory, perhaps) motivated Team Coldplay to likewise shun the streamers?

Of course on the back the success of '21', Adele has also sold another million copies of her debut '19', which is sitting there on Spotify all ready to be played for free. So how do you explain that? And who's to say it's Adele's Spotify-shunning that has aided her success? She also refused to play any festivals this year, perhaps wary of the negative impact of over exposure. Did that aid record sales? Maybe Coldplay have already scuppered their chances of Adele-level success by headlining Glastonbury.

Though, as previously reported, Coldplay are on track to have the fastest first week sales of the year. Perhaps Spotify is to blame for every other album's poorer sales performance after all. Or perhaps it's just that Adele and Coldplay are the biggest pop acts of the day, appealing to more casual music consumers who are still buying records old school style, while Spotify users - getting empty returns when searching for the two acts' new records - are just returning to the file-sharing networks and grabbing them from there. Perhaps both Adele and Coldplay could have had both record traditional sales and record streaming royalties if they'd only taken the plunge.

Who knows? Who cares? If Coldplay reckon the old school way works, let's sort this out the traditional way too: Chris Martin, Daniel Ek, in the car park now, fight, fight, fight.

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