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So, I'm writing to you this week from a frosty corner of Cheshire, having headed North yesterday to take part in the recording of a special edition of the BBC Introducing show on Radio Lancashire, put together in association with Creative Lancashire. I'll try my best to remind you when it appears on the iPlayer later this month. Meanwhile, let's get on with the Week In Five shall we? more>>
Every year, Guanabara hosts a lively New Year's Eve party, with an authentic Brazilian theme where the guests wear white, eat twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight to bring good luck for each month of the new year, and wear 'ribbons' of Senhor do Bomfim to assure yet more good fortune. Two hours later we do it again - with a live transmission from Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro more>>
- Napster name dropped in US market
- Music Week Awards to streamline in 2012
- Nordic Music Prize shortlist announced
- Drake now working with agents WME Worldwide
- Bastille signs to Virgin
- [PIAS] signs Zulu Winter
- PJ Harvey announces Let England Shake film release
- David's Lyre presents advent
- Team Me announce debut album
- Green Day musical to cross the pond
- Dizzee to play at opening of pop-up mall
- AlunaGeorge announce end of year party
- Copyright headline Bodymove Xmas bash
- Earth to tour
- HMV's Next Big Thing to expand
- Festival line-up update
- Springsteen to keynote at SxSW
- Cherry Red takes distribution to Essential
- Sky Arts to resurrect South Bank Show
- Beef Of The Week: Preston v Preston
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]

So, much was made yesterday of the demise of Napster, as the one time rogue brand of the music world, for much of its life actually the name of a rather lacklustre subscription music service, disappeared from the US market following its acquisition by rival Rhapsody. Though that Rhapsody bosses shunned the excellent alternative of rebranding their own platform Napsody is surely the bigger story here.

Napster, of course, was the first file-sharing client to go truly global, and therefore the first major enemy of the wider music industry in the internet age. Created by then students Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, Napster v1 was actually pretty short lived, investors quickly bailing on the rapidly growing business once the record industry's lawyers scored the first of many successes in the US courts against the file-sharing companies.

Despite efforts to fall inline with the court's demands regarding filtering copyright content, the original Napster went bankrupt, and the brand name was put up for sale. For a time it looked like Napster might become a porn brand, but then tech firm Roxio bought the trademark and set up a legit download service, a subscription-based offer where users could download as many tracks as they liked, but they'd only play while subscription fees were paid.

Although is was essentially an early version of what services like Spotify now offer in the mobile domain, it relied on DRM in an era where DRM was seen as evil by music fans. It also didn't work on Apple devices, and the iPod was supreme. A niche product as a result, it's amazing Napster lasted this long, most of its rival subscription-based music services from that era quickly failed, the big exception in the US market being its new owner Rhapsody.

Roxio spun Napster off into its own publicly listed company, then Best Buy bought it, and then in October this year Rhapsody took it over, with plans to combine the two services and user bases to create the undisputed market leader in what is finally becoming a more buoyant market place: the 'access model' or subscription-based digital music market.

Yesterday that happened and, in the US, the Napster name ceased to be used. It's probably not as big a deal as some have suggested in their reports of this development, if it wasn't for the occasional stories about new ownership many wouldn't have even realised there still was a music service called Napster (management at the v2 Napster having never managed to capitalise on the rebellious and popular heritage of the brand). And, of course, for the time being at least, the Rhapsody company will seemingly continue to operate a service outside the US, including here in the UK, under the Napster name, Rhapsody having never expanded beyond North America.

But still, a bit of an end of an era I suppose. And possibly proof that it's very hard to take a brand associated with file-sharing - however many millions of users it may have worldwide - and use it for another kind of music platform. Tell me, has anyone out there ever thought about signing up for the Kazaa streaming package? It exists you know.

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Music Week has announced that its annual awards ceremony will be stripped back next year "to increase the prestige attached to winning an award - and get away from any sort of 'school sports day' approach". Which is bad news for the Universal Music accounts department, who have now won the egg and spoon race for seven consecutive years.

The list of categories still looks pretty long to me, so it's not too radical a stripping I don't think. Indeed, probably of more significance is that it will now be free to enter these awards, meaning anyone in the industry can put themselves forward, and not just those with an awards fee budget. Which is a pretty big step in a world where many awards are run for profit, so charges are applied at every possible corner. So, hurrah for that.

Nominations are being accepted now until 17 Feb via the email address [email protected], and close. The event itself will take place at The Brewery in London on 26 Apr.

The new line-up of categories looks like this:

Best Live Music Venue
Best Music & Brand Partnership
Manager Of The Year
Best A&R
Publisher Of The Year
Best Independent Publisher
Best High Street Retail Brand
Best Online Retail Brand
Best Independent Retailer
Best Non-Retail Digital Music Service
Best Radio Station
Best Radio Show
Best TV Show Featuring Music
Best Distribution Team
Best Sales Team
Best Catalogue Marketing Campaign
Best Artist Marketing Campaign
Best PR Campaign
Best Independent Record Company
Best Record Company
The Strat Lifetime Achievement Award

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The final twelve nominees for the second Nordic Music Prize have been announced, with artists from across the region represented. A panel of judges, which includes Domino Records founder Laurence Bell, Rough Trade co-founder Jeanette Lee and Sony/Columbia A&R and former Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering, will select the overall best Nordic album of 2011, which will be announced at the by:Larm festival on 16 Feb.

Organisers said in a statement: "The jury agrees that it has been a very strong year for Nordic music, even stronger than 2010. The Nordic countries definitely have something in common, and the Nordic music territory is one of the strongest in Europe now, only England can compete. And that is something to be proud of. The output from each country was very even in terms of quality, with a big healthy variety of genres from leftfield punk to avant-garde jazz, and also artists from several generations. [We also had] established acts and debut artists competing on the same level. And [it was] a very strong year for female artists as well, with Lykke Li, Björk, Ane Brun and Anna Järvinen".

The final shortlist is as follows:

Ane Brun - It All Starts With One
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
Rubik - Solar
Gus Gus - Arabian Horse
Malk De Koijn - Toback To The Fromtime
Siinai - Olympic Game
Björk - Biophilia
Iceage - New Brigade
Montée - Renditions Of You
Anna Järvinen - Anna Själv Tredje
Goran Kajfes - X/Y
The Field - Looping State Of Mind

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Rap type Drake has dropped the services of agents ICM, and will now be represented globally by William Morris Endeavor. However, this does not affect his management relationship, with Drake's career still being managed by Hip Hop Since 1978, the management agency that also looks after Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.

A New York Post report on Drake extending his relationship with WME claimed the deal also saw the star parting company with Hip Hop Since 1978, but Billboard have confirmed that is not true via a WME spokesman. Drake actually confirmed he was working with the William Morris agency last month, but the original plan seemed to be that ICM would continue to handle his bookings in North America, but that is no longer the case.

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CMU approved outfit Bastille have signed to EMI's Virgin division, it has been announced. The band are currently working on their debut album, which will be released next year.

Virgin's VP A&R Nick Burgess, who recently rejoined the company, told CMU: "The signing of Bastille is something everyone at Virgin is incredibly excited about as, not only are they a fantastic band with great songs, they also have massive potential to grow and connect with a very wide audience. Winning this very competitive deal is testament to the passion and enthusiasm of the whole team at Virgin".

The band's manager Polly Comber added: "With EMI/Virgin we have found the perfect home".

"Perfect" might be a strange choice of words for a company with as uncertain a future as EMI, which will - regulatory investigations permitting - become part of the Universal Music Group by next summer. And however much senior record label execs say a change in ownership won't result in dramatic shifts and culls, it always does. Still, perhaps Team Bastille fancy working with the mega-major that is Universal Music, and see this as a handy route in via the back door.

Certainly Bastille aren't the only artists still happily signing with EMI subsidiaries, Eric Prydz was also announced as a new Virgin signee this week.

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Rising art-pop five-piece Zulu Winter have just joined the [PIAS] fold, signing to the label on the strength of their double A-side debut, 'Never Leave/Lets Move Back To Front'.

James Sandon of the band's management company SuperVision says this of the deal: "We're delighted to be signing Zulu Winter with Play It Again Sam. We're relishing the year ahead, and the localised attention to detail and knowledge this team will bring to the band's debut album campaign".

The band's next live appearance will be at a New To Q session at London's XOYO, which will take place next year on 26 Jan. Get tickets for that here: www.aloud.com/tickets/q-now-the-sessions

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PJ Harvey has announced that later this month she will release the twelve short films made to accompany the songs on her Mercury winning 'Let England Shake' album, which were screened at various festivals this summer.

The new film package will also include a bonus previously unreleased short for the song 'England' and notes from director Seamus Murphy about each piece. The collection will be available on DVD and download from 12 Dec. And to get you in the mood, here's the film that accompanies title track 'Let England Shake':


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Never mind chocolate calendars, Advent this year comes courtesy of oft-masked singer-songwriter Paul Dixon, who, as David's Lyre, so ably demonstrated a deft touch for folkloric pop on his debut EP 'In Arms'.

But how exactly is David's Lyre owning the online countdown to Christmas this year? Well, this message from Camp Lyre should explain: "As we approach the Season Of Goodwill we are offering a gift every day from our very own advent calendar. From 1 Dec a succession of self-produced covers, original tracks, poetry and live acoustic performances, set to visual pieces created by students from the world famous St Martin's College Of Art, will be unveiled". I couldn't have put it better myself. No, seriously.

You can enjoy all this via the David's Lyre YouTube channel. Then, come Christmas Eve, all tracks and treats released throughout Advent will be available for free download via Facebook. Which just about brings us to yesterday's offering, a cover of Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games' (the best I've heard yet, not that Kasabian's attempt is any competition). It's set brilliantly to student filmmaker Will Hazel's short about Knight Warrior, the Salford superhero.



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Brilliant news, everyone. Team Me have announced details of their debut album. The CMU approved Norwegian sextet will release 'To The Treetops' via Propeller Recordings on 5 Mar. You can listen to a track from it, 'With My Hands Covering Both Of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have A Look At You Now', here: snd.sc/urfmvI

The band will also perform live at The Lexington in London on 7 Mar. I urge you to go, they were one of the highlights of this year's SPOT festival in Denmark.

Here's the album's tracklist:

Riding My Bicycle (From Ragnvalsbekken To Sorkedalen)
Show Me
Patrick Wolf & Daniel Johns
Weathervanes And Chemicals
Dear Sister
Favourite Ghost
Looking Thru The Eyes Of Sir David Brewster
With My Hands Covering Both Of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have A Look At You Now

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Having played on Broadway for over a year, the stage adaptation of 'American Idiot', named after and featuring songs from Green Day's 2004 album, will make its way to the UK and Ireland towards the end of 2012.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who wrote the book on which the musical is based, says: "We can't wait for our friends across the pond to see the musical. We played to some of the most insane crowds when we toured the album there".

Tour dates:

9-13 Oct: Southampton, Mayflower Theatre
15-20 Oct: Cardiff, Millennium Centre
22-27 Oct: Edinburgh, Playhouse
29 Oct-3 Nov: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
5-10 Nov: Dublin, Grand Canal Theatre
12-24 Nov: Manchester, Palace Theatre
26-30 Nov: Birmingham, Alexandra Theatre
3-8 Dec: London, HMV Hammersmith Apollo

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Dizzee Rascal will perform live this weekend at the official launch and ribbon-cutting ceremony of Boxpark in East London's Shoreditch, which is apparently the world's first pop-up mall. Or, as we'd be more likely to say outside of America, pop-up shopping centre.

If you're trying to picture what that might look like, it's basically a load of black shipping containers all set up in a long line on some gravel next to Shoreditch High Street Station. Though it is just round the corner from CMU HQ, so obviously the whole set up is incredibly cool.

More info on the brands selling their wares at Boxpark can be found here: www.boxpark.co.uk And if you fancy joining Dizzee in a rendition of 'Dirtee Disco', or that holiday one, he'll be popping up on site at around 1pm this Saturday.

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CMU approved alt-pop pairing AlunaGeorge are to cap off 2011 with an end of year party at go-to Dalston spot, The Nest. Riton, Lapalux, Canblaster, Sam Tiba and Raffertie are amongst those also listed to perform at the show, which takes place on 8 Dec. More details here: www.alunageorge.com/endofyearparty

Now, imagine this news set to the tempting sounds of Lapalux's Bass Ballad Remix of AlunaGeorge's breakout single, 'You Know You Like It', which you can download for free here.

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Talking of end of year parties, if Vigsy wasn't already in New Year mode in his Club Tip spot, he'd have definitely been tipping this little pre-Christmas party taking place at the Egg venue at Kings Cross this weekend.

It's the Bodymove Christmas Party with Defected duo Copyright headlining on the decks, plus singer Rae of 'Hide U' and 'Can't Stop' fame doing some singing, and in room two a Confusion Reunion party with DJ Kid Batchelor, Roots and MC E-mix doing the house thing

It all takes place this Saturday from 10pm all the way through to midday on Sunday. Tickets are £13.50 in advance, £20 on the night. More info at www.egg-london.net.

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With 'Angels Of Darkness/Demons Of Light II', the sequel to their last album, due out next February, experimental drone trio Earth have unfurled a full set of tour dates in its honour.

Here they are:

3 Mar: Bristol, Arnofini Gallery
5 Mar: Dublin, Button Factory
7 Mar: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
8 Mar: Edinburgh, The Caves
9 Mar: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
11 Mar: London, Union Chapel
12 Mar: Brighton, The Haunt

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Details have been announced about next year's HMV Next Big Thing festival, which will take place from 2-12 Feb at nine venues around the UK, including various London haunts and HMV venues in Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

200 bands are set to play, with various nights curated by different labels and music media also thrown into the mix this time round. Each night will be a tenner including booking fee, and tickets are on sale right now. This time round the gigs will also be recorded, with highlights made available via HMV's websites.

Artists already confirmed for 2012 include: Emeli Sandé, Delilah, Lianne La Havas, All The Young, Dry The River, Clement Marfo & The Frontline, We Are Augustines, Loick Essein, StooShe, Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny, Jodie Marie, Yasmin, King Charles and Fatoumata Diawara.

More at hmvnextbigthing.com.

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PRIMAVERA SOUND, Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, 30 May - 30 Jun: Having not done much of late, bar launching a blog, The xx will be back in action at next year's Primavera Sound. They're the latest addition to a line-up that features Björk, Wilco, Yo La Tengo SBTRKT, The Drums and Washed Out. www.optimusprimaverasound.com

NORTHSIDE, Aarhus, Ådalen, Denmark, 15-17 Jun: The Stone Roses pencil yet another festival date into their busy summer schedule, joining acts including Justice on Northside's 2012 bill. www.northside.dk

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Organisers of South By Southwest have announced the one and the only Bruce Springsteen as their keynote speaker for next year's convention. I dare someone to ask him what he thinks about secondary ticketing, and watch that keynote run till Christmas. Springsteen will speak on 15 Mar as part of the music strand of the ever-expansive music, film and tech convention and festival. More at www.sxsw.com.

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Independent record company Cherry Red has announced a new deal with Essential Music & Marketing, which will handle the label's distribution from the beginning of the new year. And with a Cherry Red group-wide release schedule that frequently includes 40 to 50 album releases a month, that's going to keep the Essential team rather busy.

Confirming the new deal, Cherry Red's Adam Velasco told CMU: "We have known and respected [Essential Music bosses] Mike [Chadwick] and Martin [Goldschmidt] for many years, and we now look forward to a successful working relationship with them, with what should be an exciting and always busy 2012 schedule and beyond for Cherry Red".

Meanwhile Chadwick added for Essential: "To be working with Cherry Red is a real honour. It's a legendary label and the sheer scope of the catalogue is awe inspiring. It's a great start for 2012 which I think is going to be a very successful year for Essential".

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New editions of 'The South Bank Show' are set to air on Sky Arts next year it has been confirmed. ITV axed the 30 year old Melvyn Bragg fronted cultural show last year, of course, though Sky quickly picked up the spin off awards show and has also been airing archive editions on its increasingly well respected arts channel. Bragg will now make six new programmes for Sky Arts.

Says the Braggster: "I'm chuffed to bits that the South Bank Show is back in town. I very much wanted to continue to make 'The South Bank Show' and I'm delighted that Sky Arts has given me the chance to do that".

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The Ordinary Boys, as you might have heard, are back. Or at least Preston and drummer Simon Goldrig are, but that's all you need really. They've roped in some other people to help out. Why? Well, Preston explained last month: "There is no reason beyond the fun of playing... I just need something loud and fast in my life and I want to do it before I turn 30 next year".

He's getting old see. He's almost an old old man and this is his last chance to go wild. Although, he told The Sun this week, it may already be too late. "I'm an adult now. I've matured into a grown up man with responsibilities", he explained. "Before I used to wear the same jeans for the whole tour and throw some things into a duffle bag. Now I have a cat to think about. I have to arrange a cat-sitter and make the house tidy for her".

So there will be no sign of the raucous Preston of days gone by. In fact, he thinks that guy was an "insufferable arsehole".

"I feel like a neurotic Woody Allen instead of the confident kid I used to be", he said. "It's not a coincidence that most frontmen in bands are insufferable arseholes. I was an insufferable arsehole. I used to go on stage and swear and neck bottles of wine. I was a real dickhead ... [This time] I'm going to limit myself to a few drinks before I go on stage and try not to swear. That was unnecessary".

Well thank heavens he's not wandering around all drunk and insufferable any more. What else have you been up to lately, Preston? "I'm embracing singleton life - it's the first time I've been single for a while. I went speed dating the other day".

That sounds nice! How did it go? "It was a disaster of epic proportions. I got so drunk and kicked out".

Oh dear. Won't someone think of the cat?

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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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