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This week Eddy looks back at the various occasions when one time Southern Death Cult drummer Aki Nawaz has had a presence in his life, poster, bandmate, old friend. Remembering how Aki, as THE cool Asian of the early 1980s, provided such inspiration for a mixed race teen living in a very different era in British culture, Eddy also celebrates the more multicultural Britain of today more>>
Throwing Snow channels the sounds of the golden era of dance music, but nevertheless manages to make his tracks sound totally 2011 with his subtle but devastating nods to dubstep. His new EP contains three tracks of evocative electronic listening music that you could probably dance to, were it not for the brilliantly unsettling and jittery pseudo-two step beats peppered throughout more>>
- CMU to return as convention programmers at Great Escape 2012
- UK Music calls on industry to respond to government's licensing review
- No additional tests: Murray lawyers return to court
- Adele and Swift dominate at AMAs
- Lady Gaga planning Elton John duet
- Springsteen And E Street Band announce album, tour
- School Of Seven Bells detail first LP as duo
- Ital Tek to release debut EP for Planet Mu
- Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs announce tour, free track
- First Aid Kit tour
- Festival line-up update
- Ja Ja Ja to host Nordic music masterclass this week
- Ben Mortimer joins Polydor A&R team
- MPA appoints new comms exec
- BPI extends Pirate Bay block call
- Spotify announces an announcement
- OfCom to investigate Tulisa's arm
- Yes, we are writing about Justin Bieber's pants, what of it?
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The CMU team will once again programme the convention side of The Great Escape in 2012, it has been confirmed. Europe's leading festival for new music and the UK's premiere music business convention will return from 10-12 May 2012 in Brighton, with the conference side of the proceedings again based around the Brighton Dome complex in the heart of the city.

CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke and his colleagues took over the programming of the TGE convention this time last year, working closely with content partners such as PPL, MusicTank, the MPA, the MDA, LIVE UK, ACUMEN and, especially, PRS For Music, to create what was widely acclaimed as the best Great Escape convention yet. And Team CMU are now already working with The Great Escape guys to make the 2012 convention even better.

Says Cooke: "In 2011 it was all about the content, to truly capitalise on our incredible family of content partners, to bring new speakers and less well trodden topics to the table, and to pull our programme together in a more cohesive way. Our content will be second to none in 2012 too - we already have some great speakers and panel topics up our sleeves - though my top priority this time round will be the experience, ensuring that for those three days the Brighton Dome is the most effective, productive and fun place to learn, share, network and do business. I can't wait to see it all come together next May".

The Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne added: "Our convention has moved forward year on year ever since we launched The Great Escape and last year, with CMU's involvement, we took an even bigger step. As I travel to festivals and conventions around the world it's clear the music industry is changing as rapidly as ever, and that big opportunities are still out there, if sometimes in hard to reach places. By looking across the industry, and bringing together all the strands, and taking a truly global view, The Great Escape continues to be the best place to navigate the changes and identify the opportunities. I look forward to being enlightened yet again by the innovators and experts next May".

A limited number of super early bird delegate tickets are already on sale for The Great Escape 2012 but, on the back of last year's successes, are already close to running out. For just £80, this ticket gets you complete access to The Great Escape convention and priority-access to the festival, which will again feature over 300 new artists in venues across Brighton. Purchase your Super Early Delegate passes from here: escapegreat.com/buy-a-ticket/delegate-tickets

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Cross sector trade body UK Music is calling on players from across the music industry to contribute to a previously reported government consultation on proposals to deregulate elements of the 2003 Licensing Act, proposals which could greatly reduce the bureaucratic strain on live music promoters, especially at the grass roots end of the market.

Tourism & Heritage Minister John Penrose announced the consultation back in September. It follows years of campaigning by both UK Music and the grass roots live music sector which argues that the 2003 Act put too much red tape in place for promoters of small gigs, making it harder for small venues to stage live music, and therefore reducing the opportunities for grass roots artists to play live.

It's not the first consultation on the issue, and a Private Members Bill drafted by Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones is already working its way through parliament addressing many of the live industry's concerns (it's been slow progress mind, interrupted by the 2010 General Election, and never enjoying the prioritisation that official government parliamentary proposals would get). But the government's latest consultation on live entertainment licensing, which actually looks into proposals more radical than those included in Clement-Jones' bill, could supersede his legislation and become law much sooner.

With that in mind, and with some groups - especially local councils - known to be opposed to some of the proposals being considered by the consultation, UK Music wants as many music industry groups to contribute to the review as possible before the deadline for submissions on 3 Dec. More details about the consultation and how to respond, plus some template response letters should they be required, are online here: http://www.ukmusic.org/policy/currentconsultations/licensingact2003

Speaking to CMU about the consultation, UK Music's acting CEO Jo Dipple said: "These proposed changes would exempt any event under a 5000 capacity from the need to obtain an entertainment licence - a huge improvement on the current situation, where any public performance of live music requires local authority permission. UK Music supports the proposals and will submit a detailed response to DCMS. However, it is very important that government is made aware of the depth of feeling in the industry - and particularly from the artists, composers and musicians who are so adversely impacted by the current legislation".

Meanwhile Musicians' Union General Secretary John Smith backed Dipple's statement on the importance of the consultation, telling CMU: "We welcome this consultation and the government's intention to cut red tape for live music. At the very least, we hope that the result will be to implement an exemption for small venues putting on live music with fewer than 200 people in attendance, which we have been lobbying on for many years now. The MU has asked its members to write in to DCMS in support of these proposals, which will do a lot to encourage live music performance in this country".

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Judge Michael Pastor yesterday refused a request by the legal reps of Dr Conrad Murray for tests to be carried out on a key vial that was presented as evidence in the doctor's manslaughter trail.

Murray, of course, was found guilty earlier this month of causing the death of Michael Jackson through criminal negligence. His was accused of negligently administering the surgical anaesthetic propofol as a cure for insomnia in a domestic environment. Although Murray admitted to giving Jackson a small shot of the prescription drug on the day the singer died, he insisted it wasn't enough to cause his patient's death, and that Jackson must have therefore self-administered an additional fatal shot.

But the prosecution's star witness, propofol expert Dr Steven Shafer, told the court Murray's version of events was unbelievable, and the most likely scenario was that the doctor left his patient with an IV drip pumping propofol into his body while he made phone calls in another room. Although the exact kit required for such an IV set up wasn't found in Jackson's bedroom, Shafer postulated that Murray had hidden the missing kit shortly after his patient's death.

Murray strongly denied Shafer's theory as to what had occurred. The witness was then recalled to the stand right at the end of the trial to respond to claims made by a rival propofol expert presented by the defence. And during that stint on the stand he said it was likely Murray mixed the propofol given to Jackson via IV with the painkiller lidocaine.

It was that final bit of postulation that motivated the Murray legal team to return to court yesterday, a week before their client is due to be sentenced for involuntary manslaughter. Murray lawyer Michael Flanagan said that there should be an independent lab test of the small amount of liquid left in a key propofol vial found at the death scene, because if Murray had mixed the propofol with lidocaine, as Shafer suggested, then an extract of the latter drug should have been in the vial.

If the lidocaine was there, he said, that would strengthen Shafer's theory. Though, of course, what Flanagan was really implying was if it wasn't there that blew a hole in the prosecution witness's claims.

But Judge Pastor was having none of it. He said that if Team Murray wanted the fluid found in the vial tested, they should have requested this test before the their client's trial, or at the very least have mentioned it before the jury began deliberating. Flanagan insisted that he only thought of the significance of the liquid after the trial ended because Shafer only mentioned the lidocaine right at the end of Murray's court hearing. But Pastor still refused the request for new lab tests.

Speaking for the prosecution, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said that the vial and its contents were irrelevant to the conviction, there was no legal basis for post-trial tests on evidence, and that Murray had received a fair hearing. He added that Shafer had told the court he could only theorise as to what happened in the hours before Jackson's death, but that he and a number of other medical experts had convinced the jury that Murray had behaved negligently in various ways while treating Jackson for insomnia.

Murray will be sentenced next Tuesday.

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So, it was the public voted American Music Awards this weekend just gone, and the evening probably belonged to Adele and Taylor Swift, who both picked up three prizes each. The absent Adele, still recovering from recent throat surgery, started the evening with the most noms, though, if you had to declare an overall winner it would probably be Swift, because one of her three gongs was for overall Artist Of The Year.

Though possibly more interesting than all that for a punter-voted bash, neither Justin Bieber nor the Gaga won any prizes. However, the Biebster did get more column inches that Bruno Mars, despite the latter beating the former in the Favourite Pop Male category, Bieber making two appearances on stage, one in his own right and one as part of LMFAO's finale set, as well as wooing the paps and tabs, who seem even more obsessed with the Bieber/Selena Gomez relationship since the Bieber Baby allegations.

Anyway, here's a list of winners for you. You lucky people you.

Pop & Rock
Favourite Male Artist: Bruno Mars
Favourite Female Artist: Adele
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Maroon 5
Favourite Album: Adele - 21

Favourite Male Artist: Blake Shelton
Favourite Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Favourite Band, Duo Or Group: Lady Antebellum
Favourite Album: Taylor Swift - Speak Now

Rap/Hip Hop
Favourite Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favourite Album: Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday

Favourite Male Artist: Usher
Favourite Female Artist: Beyonce
Favourite Album: Rihanna - Loud

Favourite Alternative Rock: Foo Fighters
Favourite Adult Contemporary: Adele
Favourite Latin: Jennifer Lopez
Favourite Contemporary Inspirational: Casting Crowns

Artist Of The Year: Taylor Swift
New Artist Of The Year: Hot Chelle Rae

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Lady Gaga has revealed that she is planning to record a track with Elton John for her next album. This will be their second track together, the pair having recorded the song 'Hello Hello' for animated movie 'Gnomeo And Juliet' (though not the spin-off soundtrack album) earlier this year. Gaga is also the godmother of John's son Zachary.

Appearing on Channel 4's 'Alan Carr: Chatty Man', Gaga said: "My next duet, I believe, will be with Elton. I'm already working on my next album, and I played him a song that I wrote and he really loved it. [But] I don't want to give anything away!" Other than she's working on a new album, will be dueting with Elton, and that he loved her song, presumably.

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Bruce Springsteen has revealed that he and The E Street Band have almost finished work on a new studio album, their eighteenth to date. This will mark their first release since the death earlier this year of E Street saxophonist and founding member, Clarence Clemons.

A statement on the band's website reads: "Well, things are starting to heat up down on E Street. We want you to know that the music is almost done (but still untitled), we have almost settled on the release date (but not quite yet), and that we are all incredibly excited about everything that we're planning for 2012. That's all the info we have for right now, but we'll get back to you - real soon".

The message comes with more concrete news of several UK dates, the first at Sunderland's Stadium Of Light on 21 Jun, and the second at Manchester's Etihad Stadium the following day. Springsteen et al are also booked to headline at next year's Isle Of Wight and Hard Rock Calling festivals.

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Having opted to press on as a duo after vocalist Claudia Deheza's departure last year, CMU favourites School Of Seven Bells are back with news of a successor to their second album, 'Disconnect From Desire'. Claudia's twin sister Alejandra and guitarist Benjamin Curtis will release 'Ghostory', a concept album about a girl besieged by ghosts, via Vagrant Records/Ghostly International on 27 Feb.

Says Curtis of the band's approach to writing the new LP: "We knew we wanted to do something that was more sensual and spontaneous than anything we had ever done before, and that meant writing together in a room, coming up with ideas quickly and immediately reacting to what the other person was doing".

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Brighton-based producer Ital Tek will release his debut EP for Planet Mu on 5 Dec, having signed to the label in September. Entitled 'Gonga', the EP is apparently inspired by the various footwork releases that have come out via his new label this year. Check out a mix of the four tracks on the EP below.


Pixel Haze
Gonga (µ-Ziq Mix)


FYI - Ital Tek should not be confused with Brooklyn-based Ital, also signed to Planet Mu, even if your CMU Daily once made that error at some point in the recent but long forgotten past.

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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, known alternatively (if no less verbosely) as Oxford-based producer Orlando Higginbottom, has announced details of a 2012 tour. Feel free to digest this news with a liberal dose of TEED track 'Dream On', which is available for free download here: emailunlock.com/t-e-e-d/totally-enormous-extinct-5

Now, the tour dates:

2 Feb: Cardiff, Club Ifor Bach
3 Feb: Oxford, Bullingdon
4 Feb: Liverpool, Chibuku
5 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
7 Feb: Newcastle, Other Rooms
8 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
9 Feb: Manchester, Deaf Institute
10 Feb: Leeds, Hi Fi Club
11 Feb: Sheffield, The Plug
15 Feb: Bristol, Thekla
16 Feb: London, Heaven
17 Feb: Southampton, Orange Rooms
18 Feb: Brighton, Digital

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Sororal Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit are to air songs from their forthcoming album, 'The Lion's Roar', during a 2012 live run. As previously reported, sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg worked with Bright Eyes producer and instrumentalist Mike Mogis on their sophomore LP, also drafting in their own father to play bass across the record. A family affair, indeed.

With 'The Lion's Roar' slated for release via Wichita on 23 Jan, you can watch the video for its title track after these here dates:

23 Feb: London, Kings College
24 Feb: Manchester, Academy 3
27 Feb: Glasgow , Kings Tut's
28 Feb: Leeds, The Wardrobe
29 Feb: Bristol, Thekla


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HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 13-15 Jul: "The Boss is back", declares the accompanying press release, thus decreeing the UK return of Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, who will top the bill at this Hyde Park-based bash on Saturday 14 Jul. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, 22-24 Jun: Bruce Springsteen and that E Street Band are the first fixture on next year's Isle Of Wight line-up too, set to close the event with a headline slot on the festival's Main Stage. More acts will be announced in The Boss' wake. www.isleofwightfestival.com

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To celebrate the second anniversary of Nordic music showcase night Ja Ja Ja, NOMEX (the Nordic Music Export Programme) has announced a masterclass and networking session to take place ahead of the monthly gig and club night in London this Thursday.

The free event at Derbyshire House will feature a masterclass by Beggars Group's Head of Strategy Jane Pollard and former Mute Records head Of Digital Iain Forsyth, plus a discussion on improving how Nordic music is imported into Britain led by Record Of The Day's David Balfour and NOMEX's Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir, as well as 'speed consultancy' and networking sessions.

Then, in the evening, attendees will be able to head over to The Lexington to watch performances by Finland's French Films, Norway's Marit Larsen, and Iceland's Sóley.

More information at www.nordicmusicexport.com.

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Universal's Polydor label has announced the appointment of Ben Mortimer as A&R Director. Mortimer arrives at the label from fellow Universal imprint Island, where he was responsible for signing Florence And The Machine. Previously he was at EMI's Virgin, where he signed Jamie T, amongst others.

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The Music Publishers Association has announced the appointment of Harriet Finney to the new role of Press & Public Affairs Officer, having previously worked in a communications role for independent music publisher Chrysalis.

Says MPA CEO Stephen Navin: "We are delighted to welcome Harriet on board and look forward to working with her on the many and varied topics facing the music publishing industry. There are a number of critical issues at hand with implications for all of our member companies, and it is fitting therefore at this time that we strengthen our voice in the public and governmental arenas on behalf of our dynamic and successful industry".

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The BPI has extended its request for a web block to be instigated against The Pirate Bay to most of the other big ISPs, including Virgin Media, Sky, O2, Orange and that old friend of the music industry, TalkTalk.

As previously reported, the record label trade body recently wrote to BT asking it to block access to their ISP customers to the rogue file-sharing website, citing the precedent set in the recent Motion Picture Association v BT court case, where a judge ordered the ISP to block access to file-sharing website Newzbin. The BPI - working in alliance with other content industry trade organisations - wants BT to voluntarily block TPB without an injunction, though the telco is still considering its response. Presumably if and when BT says no, the BPI will seek an injunction for the web block through the courts.

Of course such web blocks only really work (to the extent they can ever work) if all ISPs apply them. Earlier this month the MPA wrote to various net providers other than BT asking them to also block access to Newzbin in the wake of the MPA v BT ruling. And now the BPI has extended its call re The Pirate Bay to all the other major ISPs too.

Music Week quotes the BPI as saying: "We are engaging in further dialogue with BT on this matter. We have also written to Britain's other major ISPs - O2, Orange, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - asking them to block access to The Pirate Bay and will await their responses".

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Spotify big cheese Daniel Ek and some "special guests" will take to a stage in New York next Wednesday to say some stuff, in particular about their "latest major development" and "a new direction for the company". It's being billed as a "global press conference", leading many to speculate what kind of announcement would be relevant to Spot users in both North America and Europe.

Amongst the things speculators reckon might be announced: the addition of download sell-through in the US, and possible relaunch of the same in Europe; the addition of ticket or merchandise sell-through; some sort of mobile, or other tech firm or telco, partnership, that is somehow of interest globally; the introduction of other content types such as TV or film; improved personalised radio and playlist sharing; or confirmation that Ek is in fact the anti-Christ hell bent on screwing every artist who ever sang a note.

Or what about a Spotify smartphone? No, that's what Facebook is planning, according to AllThingsD. Well, it's planning a Facebook Phone, not a Spotify Phone. They're in love, but not married. Yes, apparently Facebook is planning a special mobile handset with HTC that will have a reworked version of Android putting all things Facebook at the heart of the phone. Sounds terrible.

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Tulisa Contostavlos could be banned from making her signature arm gesture at the start of each edition of ITV yawn-fest 'X-Factor', and not, as you're probably thinking, because it makes her look ridiculous.

No, the problem is that the arm she flashes to the camera has her nickname tattooed on it - The Female Boss - which also happens to be the name of her new perfume brand. And that, ladies and gentleman, constitutes advertising, which is not allowed, oh no.

Media regulator OfCom is investigating the tattoo-based product plug after various viewers complained that the N-Dubz star was breaching rules governing in-programme product promotion, possibly after 'X' spin-off show 'The Xtra Factor' specifically noted the link between the new perform product, launched last month, and her arm-to-camera gesture.

While putting some quality time into investigating Tulisa's tattoo, OfCom is also considering whether to investigate complaints about Rihanna's guest spot on 'X-Factor' this weekend. Although her routine this time round was somewhat less raunchy than her 2010 appearance on the show, those with incredibly good eyesight somehow spotted that her shoes had 'Fuck Off' written on them. Which will presumably mean that, moving forward, 'X' bosses will have to approve all footwear before allowing anyone on their stage. Though, to be fair, I don't think Rihanna has a perfume brand called 'Fuck Off'.

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I've no idea if this news story is true. Though I'm pretty sure it doesn't really constitute news. But hey, I'm two and a half sentences in, and that's no time to be bailing on a story. And I'm sure you're all very keen to hear about the time Olly Murs nicked a pair of Justin Bieber's used pants. Of course you are.

The former 'X-Factor' loser, current 'Xtra Factor' host, apparently found a pair of used American Apparel pants in a dressing room that had been used by the Biebster while recording a performance for the ITV talent show recently, and he seems certain they belonged to the teen star.

Quite why Justin Bieber would be leaving dirty underwear in a TV studio dressing room isn't clear, unless Mariah Yeater's "credible evidence" of her alleged sexual liaison with the pop teen is that she has a pair of his boxer shorts, and he's busy preparing a defence along the lines of "oh used pants, yeah, I'm always leaving them behind backstage, just ask that Olly Murs fella".

Except the Murs no longer has the evidence. He told the Daily Star Sunday: "I found a pair of Justin Bieber's pants in his dressing room. They were blue American Apparel pants. I was like, I'll take them. They are Justin Bieber's pants after all. I thought I could earn a fortune selling them on eBay. They had clearly been used but I was just walking around the studio swinging them around. In the end I gave them to a girl who works on the show and is a massive fan".

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email [email protected] or [email protected].

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