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December begins this week, which means we'll be switching over to our end of year features, announcing the first of our artists of the year, as well as looking back at some of the best artists to have featured in our CMU Approved column in 2011, while Vigsy will be providing his top New Year's Eve party tips. So look out for those. And here's some of the other stuff that's going on this week more>>
"Art is cheap. I'll write you a song for £10. Send me a song title and your email address and I'll be in touch. I'm feeling inspired". Thus blogged Mazes' Jack Cooper earlier this year by way of an introduction to his 'Art Is Cheap' project, as part of which he spent a week writing songs especially for anyone who asked. Fifteen of the 35 pieces penned during that week are now available to download more>>
- Dizzee label announces Universal alliance
- Jarvis says tabloids contributed to Winehouse's death
- Kanye song theft case rests on Nietzsche quote
- Bieber baby claimer wants a second DNA test
- George Michael is getting better, friend says
- More More More singer dies
- Australia's big music awards presented
- Bee Gee brothers may tour again together
- Bowie people deny licensing tracks to 'Heroes: The Musical'
- Wild Beasts announce 2012 tour
- The Great Escape to host Balearic showcase
- Festival line-up update
- Government announces music education plan
- Dutch collecting society announces Europe-wide shop for indie labels securing mechanical rights
- Google extends search term black list to include file-sharing sites
- Unseen Jackson footage fails to sell
7digital seek an Account Manager to oversee our US based B2B clients. Reporting to the lead of the London HQ account management team with direction and priorities on North American business from the NA market lead and business development team, the focus of the role is to support all B2B API business implementation and provide general account coordination between the London and North American operations. The position is part of a small American team (consisting of: market lead, business development, technical evangelist, and marketing - all based in US; with the Account Manager role based in London).

More information here: www.thecmuwebsite.com/jobs

Please send CV and covering letter to [email protected] ensuring you put Account Manager in the subject field.
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an office manager to run and maintain our busy West London office.

Successful applicants will exhibit good written skills, ability to problem solve, multi-task, and be proficient on office software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc).

All applicants must be well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe’s prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV and covering letter to [email protected]

Closing date 10 Dec
The Zeitgeist Agency is the leading creative communications agency in the festival, brand and music space. We have the contacts, ideas and passion to consistently over-deliver and generate the right buzz at the right time for our premium brands and events.

Want to join our expanding team?

Senior Account Manager – All-rounder with music, brand account management, festival and arts experience. Must have unrivalled contacts and proven record for new business. Experienced, determined and tenacious candidates need only apply.

Press Officer / Junior Account Manager – at least one year’s cross platform experience required and ready to go to the next level.

Send your CV and a tweet-sized covering note to: [email protected]
Cooking Vinyl is looking for an experienced online marketeer with proven campaign experience across Social Online Marketing, Search, CRM, PR, retail and creative design and development.

The successful applicant should have a good working knowledge of the following programs and applications - HTML, Photoshop, Flash CSS, PHP(or similar), Javascript, Soundcloud, Topspin, Mail Chimp, etc.

All applicants must be very well organised, have a genuine love of music, enjoy going to gigs, and the ability to work as part of a team. You need to be able to work under pressure and the ability to meet deadlines is crucial.

Cooking Vinyl is a successful independent record label and has developed a reputation as one of Europe's prime artist-focused independent labels, inspiring an enviable loyalty among its artists which include The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, The Enemy, Roll Deep, Groove Armada and Billy Bragg.

Applicants should send CV, covering letter and current salary to [email protected]

Closing date 1 Dec.

Dizzee Rascal's record company Dirtee Stank has announced a "multi-layered" deal with Universal Music which will see the major's Island Records division market and distribute releases from the indie, including the next Dizzee album.

Dirtee Stank was formed in 2000 by the rapper and his manager Nick Cage. They worked in partnership with Beggars label XL Recordings on the first three Dizzee albums, but went it alone on album number four, 2009's 'Tongue N Cheek'.

The label also has the Newham Generals, Smurfie Syco and Katie Pepper on its roster, the latter of which Rascal discovered when judging on Sky's short lived talent show 'Must Be The Music', and whose recordings will also be handled by Island as part of this deal.

Confirming the new partnership, Cage, who also produces a lot of the Dirtee Stank label's output, told CMU: "I am incredibly excited as to what the new year holds for Dirtee Stank, we've achieved so much by ourselves in the last couple of years that the mind boggles as to what is possible now we have done this deal. Universal truly are universal and in Island Records they have one of the most creative and focused teams in the industry worldwide today, so ultimately there is only one place to take my artists in order to achieve world domination".

Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph added: "Dizzee Rascal is a truly exceptional artist, one of the crown jewels of the UK music scene, and we are delighted and proud that he has joined us at Universal. We are sure that together we can help Dizzee achieve his global ambitions".

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Jarvis Cocker says that the newspapers should take some responsibility for the death of Amy Winehouse, and it does seem to be the month for kicking the tabs while they're down, so why not?

The Pulp frontman reckons that having to live her life in the tabloid glare contributed to Winehouse's drink and drug additions, which ultimately led to her premature death. Speaking to The Guardian, he says he went through a similar situation during the height of his fame in the 1990s.

Says Jarvis: "Amy Winehouse passed away this year and it was all 'drugs killed Amy Winehouse'. I think that the press killed Amy Winehouse as much as drugs did, because it sends people into that place where they've got no peace, and so they just try to escape. And sometimes you use drugs and drink to do that".

He continued: "That atmosphere of fear that the tabloids cause - and I experienced that a bit, back in the bad old days - it makes you not want to go out, and it makes you act more weirdly because it makes you more self-conscious, and it makes you want to get more off your head [so you can] block it out".

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A previously reported song-theft lawsuit involving Kanye West is still rumbling its way through the US courts, though the rapper's lawyer wants the case dismissed, partly on the basis that, just because her client, like the claimant, nicked a line from the work of nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche for his rap, that doesn't mean he infringed the litigant's copyright.

As previously reported, Vince P, or Vincent Peters, says he sent a copy of his song 'Stronger' to West's manager back in 2006. A track of the same name then appeared on West's 2007 album 'Graduation' with some similarities to his work, namely both mentioned Kate Moss, and both had a play on the Nietzsche maxim "That which does not kill us makes us stronger", rhyming 'stronger' with both 'longer' and 'wronger'. Peters claims West stole his song without permission.

But the claimant failed at first instance, with a US judge ruling that there wasn't enough similarity between the two songs for there to be a case of copyright infringement, with the most similar line not being original on either counts. But Peters is appealing, which is why West's lawyer Carrie Hall has had to submit new papers calling for the case against her client to be dismissed.

According to Billboard, Hall submitted her dismissal application earlier this month, arguing Peters had failed to back up his claim that West's song was substantially similar to his, and that the lower court's judgement on the matter should therefore stand. She added that if Peters were to succeed in his copyright infringement claim, based simply on a one word title, reference to Moss and the use of a famous maxim, "it would create a dangerously low threshold for establishing copyright protection over otherwise commonplace words and phrases".

We await the judge's response to Hall's submission.

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Legal reps for Mariah Yeater, the woman who claims that Justin Bieber fathered her child, have demanded the teen pop star take a second paternity test, this time with them in attendance.

As previously reported, the Biebster attended a clinic in the US the week before last to take a DNA test to prove he wasn't the father of Yeater's young son, who she claims was conceived during a very brief sexual liaison with the pop star backstage at LA's Staples Center last year. But, with Bieber's DNA sitting in a test tube, it then emerged the pop star's lawyers were having trouble getting a DNA sample from Yeater's child so to complete the paternity test.

Now it turns out that Yeater's lawyers - who are seemingly different to the legal types who submitted her original and now withdrawn paternity lawsuit - are demanding Bieber take the test again, this time in their presence.

They are seemingly distrustful of any results from the previous test, because they did not see the pop star actually donate his saliva to the lab technicians, allowing, they say, for an alternative sample to be substituted.

Bieber's lawyers would presumably counter that they used a respected clinic for the DNA testing whose reputation means their results should be trusted, though given that Yeater's legal team are clearly going to push this one as far as it can go, you'd have thought they'd have invited one of the claimant's lawyers along in the first place, just so there was no uncertainty.

Yeater attorney Jeffrey Leving told the Daily News late last week: "I want a new DNA test with both sides together at a lab in California as soon as possible. We need proper protocol and a chain of custody. For me to feel comfortable, I want a member of my legal team in the room when Justin Bieber's genetic fluid is sampled. This case is unique in terms of media interest, celebrity, and the amount of potential child support at issue. There could be motives on the parts of many different people to corrupt the evidence".

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George Michael is slowly recovering from that nasty bout of pneumonia, according to his close friend Fadi Fawaz, who various media claim is dating the singer. Fawaz spoke amid rumours that Michael's condition was deteriorating, rumours possibly fuelled by an announcement on Friday that the singer was cancelling all remaining dates on his Symphonica tour because of his ill health.

But Fawaz told the Mirror: "George is doing well and is in good spirits. I have been seeing him each day and he is getting stronger all the time. George is trying to stay upbeat. He is smiling through it all and everyone is just willing him to get better. A lot of what has been reported isn't true. I've been with him every day and his condition is getting better. His family and friends are very happy with his care. He is in the best place, getting the treatment he needs".

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Disco singer Andrea True, best known for the hit 'More More More (How Do You Like It?)', has died in New York aged 68.

True was actually an actress, having mainly appeared in pornographic films, when she co-wrote the track in 1975. She became stranded in Jamaica, where she had been filming a commercial, after political conflict prevented her from leaving the country, so she invited songwriter and producer Gregg Diamond to join her, and together they created the song.

Subsequently released under the performing name Andrea True Connection, the song was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and an album, also called 'More More More' followed, which spurned one more hit in the UK, 'What's Your Name What's Your Number'.

However, a follow-up album failed to match the initial hit's success, and True stepped away from her music career. Keen to give up her work in the porn industry, True spent most of the rest of her life away from the entertainment business, though still earned a royalty from her big hit, which has been synced on many occasions over the years, as well as being sampled by Len in their 1999 track 'Steal My Sunshine', and being covered by various artists, including Bananarama and Rachel Stevens.

True died on 7 Nov, though her passing was only announced this weekend. No immediate family members survive her.

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So, it was Australia's big music awards, the ARIAs, this weekend. Following a 2010 awards bash that could be best described as shambolic, this year's event seemed to be much better received, though, by being shunted onto youth channel GO!, the TV transmission saw its viewing figures slump to half those enjoyed last year. But, you may well ask, who won? Well, here's the winners list. I think it's fair to say solo artists Gotye and Kimbra, as well as indie rockers Boy & Bear had a good night.

Best Male Artist: Gotye
Best Female Artist: Kimbra
Best Group: Boy & Bear

Album Of The Year: Boy & Bear - Moonfire
Single Of The Year: Gotye feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know
Best Breakthrough Artist Album: Boy & Bear - Moonfire
Best Breakthrough Artist Single: Boy & Bear - Feeding Line

Best Pop Release: Gotye feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know
Best Urban Album: Drapht - The Life Of Riley
Best Blues And Roots Album: The Audreys - Sometimes The Stars
Best Dance Release: Cut Copy - Zonoscope
Best Rock Album: The Living End - The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating
Best Hard Rock Album: Front End Loader - Ritardando
Best Independent Release: Art Vs Science - The Experiment
Best Adult Alternative: Boy & Bear - Moonfire
Best Adult Contemporary: Billy Thorpe - Billy Thorpe's Tangier
Best Children's Album: The Wiggles - Ukulele Baby!
Best Comedy Release: Hamish & Andy - Celebrating 50 Glorious Years
Best Country Album: Kasey Chambers - Little Bird
Best Classical Album: Sally Whitwell - Mad Rush: Piano Music of Philip Glass
Best Jazz Album: Elixir featuring Katie Noonan, First Seed Ripening
Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album: Chris Lilley - Angry Boys: Official Soundtrack Album
Best World Music Album: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Rrakala

Best Music DVD: AC/DC - Live at River Plate
Best Video: Goyte feat Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know
Best Cover Art: Alter, for Cut Copy - Zonoscope

Producer of the Year: Wally De Backer for Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
Engineer Of The Year: Francois Tetaz for Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know

Most Popular Australian Artist: Birds Of Tokyo
Most Popular Australian Live Artist: The Living End

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Robin Gibb would like to tour again with brother Barry, or so says former label exec and friend of the Bee Gees David English. As previously reported, Gibb is currently very ill with an unconfirmed condition, and has had a couple of hospital stints in recent weeks. However, English told the Daily Mail, he remains in good spirits, and responded eagerly to Barry Gibb's proposal that they perform together again once he is fit again.

English told the tabloid: "He's not very well, obviously. The whole family was there when I went to see him this week. The first thing I did was to give him a hug - carefully because he is quite frail. Though he is very, very thin, his mind is just as sharp as ever, as is his wonderful sense of humour. Barry and I were crying with laughter at the things he comes out with, as we always do with Rob".

He continued: "Barry came out with it and said: 'Look, why don't we go on the road again?' And Rob just grinned and said: 'Great, when can we go? We said: 'Well, we need to get you a bit stronger and better first, we will have to feed you up, none of this vegan nonsense with herbal tea'. I think it was the best medicine we could have given him".

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Reps for David Bowie have denied reports that the singer has licensed songs from his catalogue for use in a new stage show called 'Heroes: The Musical'.

The Observer, among others, reported this weekend that one Deep Singh had devised a musical including various songs from Bowie's repertoire, and that - having got the green light from the singer's people - the show would debut at The O2's IndigO2 venue next March.

The paper quoted Singh as saying: "We could not really believe it when they gave us permission. His people had warned us that it was very unlikely that he would be interested and that he had been asked many times before. We did not want Mr Bowie to think it was going to be a tribute show, and that seems to have had an effect".

But it seems Singh may have jumped the gun, because Team Bowie deny any knowledge of the show. A statement posted on the official David Bowie website reads: "Neither the David Bowie Organisation, nor its co-publishers EMI Music and Chrysalis, has issued a license for a Bowie musical at The O2, as has been reported in the UK. There are no negotiations pending for a long-running musical featuring the music of Mr Bowie".

So look at that, apparently some things are sacred.

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Having just wrapped up a weekend's worth of sold-out shows in London, Cambridge and Brighton, Wild Beasts are maintaining live momentum with news of a few 2012 dates. As for the choice of venues, they're all places the band haven't yet visited since releasing their acclaimed album 'Smother' earlier this year.

Tour dates:

11 Mar: Warwick, University
12 Mar: Norwich, Waterfront
13 Mar: Colchester, Arts Centre
14 Mar: Exeter, Phoenix
15 Mar: Falmouth, Pavillion
16 Mar: Cardiff, Coal Exchange
17 Mar: Liverpool, Masque Theatre

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The team at The Great Escape are presenting an evening of live Balearic delights upstairs at north London's The Garage on 1 Dec. With doors at 7.30pm, the live billing will offer folk-tinged alt-pop from Mallorcan outfit The Marzipan Man, exuberant lo-fi from tropical quartet Beach Beach, and dark, enveloping sounds courtesy of Poomse, aka singer and multi-instrumentalist Llorenç Rosselló.

Event details can be found here: venues.meanfiddler.com/the-garage/listings/featured/5483

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BY:LARM, various venues, Oslo, Norway, 16-18 Feb: Danish folk-pop ensemble Cody, Swedish DJ duo Rebecca and Fiona, and visceral synth outfit IGNUG are a sample trio from recent additions to live proceedings at this pan-Scandinavian festival and conference, which will celebrating its fifteenth anniversary next year. www.bylarm.no/eng/pages

NOVA ROCK, Pannonia Fields II, Nickelsdorf, Austria, 8-10 Jun: A truly mighty first group get next year's Nova Rock roster off to a strong start, as Slayer, Mastodon and headliners Metallica are set to be flanked by the live and loud likes of Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Lamb Of God at this Austrian three-dayer. www.novarock.at

ROCK AM RING, Nurburgring, Germany, 1-3 Jun: Back for a fifth appearance at the German bash are headliners Metallica, who are booked to perform their iconic LP 'The Black Album' in its entirety. They join Germany's premier punk troupe Die Toten Hosen, so far the line-up's only other occupants, with more acts to be announced in the weeks and months to come. www.rock-am-ring.com/en/

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The government announced its first ever national plan for music education in England on Friday, responding to the previously reported Henley Review of music education matters, undertaken by Classic FM Managing Director Darren Henley.

Among other things, all school children will be offered the opportunity to receive lessons to play a musical instrument for at least one term, a new music teaching module will be developed for trainee primary teachers, and new 'music hubs' will be set up around the country to assist in music education in schools, overseen by the Arts Council.

The new hubs will replace the local authority music service departments that already exist, and ministers hope the new framework will ensure there is more consistency around the country, noting that while some areas already have excellent music service units, that is not the case in every region.

According to The Stage, the government's education chappy, Michael Gove, said the new grand plan would "deliver a music education system that encourages everyone, whatever their background, to enjoy music and help those with real talent to flourish as brilliant musicians", while Culture Minister Ed Vaizey added that the new resources would help "provide our fantastic creative industries with the next generation of talent".

Meanwhile the CEO of the Arts Council, Alan Davey said: "I know from personal experience just how much early opportunities to get involved in the arts can enrich a young person's life and help develop their potential. That's why I'm so pleased to apply the Arts Council's skill and judgement to the establishment of music education hubs, which will play a key role in ensuring that every child in this country has the chance to experience the richness of music".

However, The Incorporated Society Of Musicians, which represents music teachers, welcomed various elements of the new plan, expressed concern over the speed with which the new music hubs are expected to take over from existing music service departments. Says the ISM: "We are delighted that the government recognises the pre-eminence of music education in this country and the central role music plays in our creative and cultural economy. However, we have serious concerns about the rapid pace at which the new music education hubs are expected to take forward the work of local authority music services, supposedly beginning to operate as early as September 2012".

They continued: "We already know that many music teachers' jobs up and down the country are under threat as local government and other bodies make cuts. In these difficult times, with further uncertainty following the late publication, government needs to ensure that these proposals are turned into a reality, avoiding an ill thought through implementation process".

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The Dutch publishing rights collecting society BUMA/STEMRA has joined up with pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA to create what it is calling the "first ever European portal for mechanical rights licensing".

Basically, under the new partnership any members of IMPALA and its affiliated trade bodies, which includes the UK's Association Of Independent Music, will be able to licence the Europe-wide 'mechanical publishing rights' on physical releases (so, the licence that allows a record label to sell recordings of a song, and which pays a royalty to the publisher and/or songwriter which owns it) for songs represented by the collecting society via a one-stop-shop. Which is a very long sentence.

In the words of Hein van der Ree, CEO of BUMA/STEMRA: "This new structure creates the possibility of a European one-stop-shop, a single licence for all of Europe. At the same time, the arrangement will create improved transparency for rights owners through the aggregation of these European licences".

Explaining why a one-stop-shop for mechanical rights would be useful for the labels IMPALA represents, the trade body's Executive Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "Independents currently have agreements for mechanical licences in many European countries on many different conditions. We are confident that this will streamline the whole licensing process and add value for independent labels in helping them to sustain their position in the European music market, producing over 80% of all new releases".

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Google has expanded the list of words banned from search recommendations so that it includes many of the leading file-sharing websites, Torrentfreak noted last week.

Responding to concerns expressed by rights owners, earlier this year the web giant introduced a black list of piracy-related words that would not appear in search recommendations. This doesn't stop users from searching for those terms, but it means the search engine won't suggest them as it auto-completes entries made by users.

Content owners complained that, for example, when you typed an artist's name into Google it often used to suggest searches like 'Artist Name BitTorrent', which would almost certainly link the user to unlicensed content by that artist.

The initial black list was seemingly quite short, but has been quietly extended, possibly at the content industry's request, possibly on Google's own initiative. According to Torrentfreak, recent additions to the black list include "thepiratebay", "the pirate bay", "isohunt" and "torrentreactor".

It is known that one of the issues brought up when Google was recently in licensing talks with Sony Music, for the new Google Music service, was a concern at the music major that the web firm's previous commitments to reducing the presence of piracy websites on the Google search platform had not gone as far as many content owners had originally hoped. However, it's not known if that kind of pressure has had any influence on Google extending its search term blacklist.

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That previously unseen footage of Michael Jackson recorded on his 'Dangerous' tour in 1993 has failed to sell at auction, despite expectations it could fetch over $7 million. However, auctioneer The Fame Bureau say it is hopeful it will still find a buyer.

As previously reported, the video, which features both performance and backstage footage, was recorded in Buenos Aires and given to a Brazilian chauffeur as "a bonus" for his time spent ferrying the singer around during the 1993 tour.

The driver kept the VHS tape a secret until after Jackson's death in 2009, when he posted a short section to YouTube. That clip was then taken down due to a copyright notice, and Sony Music and the Michael Jackson estate both subsequently claimed ownership of the footage. However, according to reports, the driver was later named the legal owner of the recording, allowing the big sale.

That said, there seems to still be some ambiguity about the rights in the video, so much so The Fame Bureau was forced to take a clip from it off its website, and it's very possible those ambiguities are affecting potential interest in buying the film, as a multi-million dollar buyer would almost certainly want to commercialise the content.

A spokesman for the auction house told reporters: "At this stage it has not sold. We are still talking to people, but online it did not sell".

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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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