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WEDNESDAY 21 DECEMBER 2011
ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2011: AMON TOBIN
Traditionally the whole of an artist's activity is a sum of various parts. You write an album, you record an album, you get on the road and tour to promote that album. And while I'm sure that in part the same is true for Amon Tobin, it at least appeared that in 2011 he was working on one complete project, a feat of joined up thinking where each piece was as important as the others more>>
BEST OF CMU APPROVED 2011: ICONA POP
Throughout December, we will be revisiting some of our favourite artists to have appeared in the CMU Approved column this year. Despite featuring on the tenth edition of Kitsune's 'Maison' compilation series last year, Icona Pop first piqued our interest via a sample in Chiddy Bang's saccharine rap-hop treat 'Mind Your Manners'. Less cool, perhaps, but it set them firmly in our sights more>>
TOP STORIES
- IFPI rates Google on anti-piracy efforts: "Incomplete"
IN THE POP COURTS
- Universal loses Veoh lawsuit at appeal
- Bieber accuser stands by her story
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- X-Factor acts most prolific British performers, says PRS
RELEASE NEWS
- Björk releases standalone app for Christmas
- Public Image Ltd to reissue albums
- Union Square compilation series reaches 100th release
- Die Antwoord announce new LP
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Korn to tour
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Live Nation moves into South Korea
- Sony marketer joins Strutt
- Apex insurer joins Robertson Taylor
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Baidu taken off US IP offenders list
- BPI extends parental advisory scheme to digital
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- OfCom issues new guidelines for explicit lyrics on radio
- Dutch magazine apologises for racist language in Rihanna article
AND FINALLY...
- I've forgotten how to write hits, says Alex Turner
- Jon Bon Jovi insists he's not dead
EVENTIM, AFFILIATE MANAGER
Eventim UK is part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe with operations in 20 countries selling more than 100 million tickets to over 140,000 rock & pop, sports, classical music and other events every year.

We are looking for an Affiliate Manager to join our team in London and run our in-house affiliate programme. You should be capable of establishing and developing strong partnerships within the live entertainment industry and across brands that drive traffic to the websites of Eventim and our partners, help secure presales, deliver promotions and generate ticket sales.

A passion for live entertainment is essential.

To apply please send a cover letter including salary expectations together with your CV to: jobs@eventim.co.uk. Closing date: 13 January 2012
   
STUDIO MANAGER/GENERAL ASSISTANT
Enthusiastic individual required to manage a small private recording studio and generally assist a team of established dance music producers.

Must be organised and willing to deal with the day to day running of a recording studio, web/social media savvy, be familiar with Pro-Tools, Logic, Ableton etc. and have a genuine interest in cutting edge dance music of all genres.

Location: London (Kings Cross area)

Looking to interview pre-Christmas for possible mid-January start. Please e-mail CV to studiojob2012@gmail.com
 
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE, TICKETING MANAGER
Kilimanjaro Live are promoters of live music and other events including Sonisphere and Wakestock festivals and are looking for a Ticketing Manager to join our team. We work on hundreds of events a year with a wide variety of artists and at capacities from small rooms to arenas to stadiums and green field sites so ideally you would have a good level of experience in the ticketing requirements of some if not all of these event types.

An interest in music and willingness to work within a pressured environment as part of a team is essential. The role is based in London but involves some travel, particularly in festival season.

Please send your CV and a covering note to info@kililive.com

IFPI RATES GOOGLE ON ANTI-PIRACY EFFORTS: "INCOMPLETE"
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and Recording Industry Association Of America have published an overview of Google's efforts to stop its various platforms - including the search engine, YouTube, Android app store and Google advertising network - from assisting music pirates, either by providing exposure or direct revenue.

The overview relates to pledges made by Google on these issues in December last year, and concludes that while those promises are to be commended, the web giant has much still to do to make good on its commitments.

Says the IFPI report: "While Google has taken some modest steps to deal with copyright infringement online, the promises made by Google remain unfulfilled. Despite its steps, the simple fact is that Google continues to both receive financial benefits from sites and applications that engage in piracy and place artificial road blocks in rights holders' efforts to protect their content online, contrary to the [America's] Digital Millennium Copyright Act".

The IFPI paper also plays down Google's claim at a recent congressional hearing in the US that it had invested $60 million in the last year to crack down on violations of its advertising polices, by saying: "While that may seem like a large number, it has to be looked at in relation to Google's revenues. That same year (2010), Google had revenues of more than $29 billion, of which more than $28 billion were derived from its advertising business. This 'investment' in efforts to prevent violations represents only two tenths of a percent of their revenues. Not such a big investment, after all".

On specific areas, the IFPI says that...

- Google's tools for issuing certain takedown requests need more scale (the daily limit for takedown requests is far too low, the IFPI says, especially for larger rights owners).

- More piracy-aiding terms need to be removed from Google's search engine auto-complete tool.

- More should be done to stop piracy sites from carrying Google-generated advertising, especially new sites.

- There should be joined up action, so that if an app is removed from Google's Android store on piracy grounds, the corresponding website should be deprived Google-generated advertising.

- Google should factor takedown requests into its search algorithms, so authorised content providers come up higher in searches than unauthorised ones.

The report also says that Google needs to do more to speed up its response to takedown requests by copyright owners, especially when it comes to copyright infringing Android apps - though Google might argue that that would be easier to do if certain big content owners didn't submit dubious takedown requests relating to content they don't own (yes, Mr Universal Music, that would be referring to you).

So, lots for Google to be getting on with, assuming there is a genuine desire at the web giant to help combat online piracy, or at least a desire to ensure the big music companies stay supportive of its Google Music service, which, unlike YouTube, is yet to reach the sort of critical mass where rights owners would be totally shooting themselves in the foot to withdraw their content.

You can read the full IFPI/RIAA review, should you wish, here: ifpi.org/content/library/Google_update_111219.pdf

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UNIVERSAL LOSES VEOH LAWSUIT ON APPEAL
Universal Music has lost an appeal in its legal battle with one time YouTube rival Veoh, which basically reaffirms the precedent that such sites need only operate basic takedown systems - that remove copyright content at the request of copyright owners - in order to benefit from the safe harbour provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the bit of US law that means content sharing sites are not liable for copyright infringement even if they host user-uploaded content that is unlicensed.

Universal's lawsuit argued that Veoh management were aware that their website routinely hosted unlicensed videos and therefore should have done more to ensure such content didn't go live, presumably by introducing the sort of automated takedown technology YouTube has adopted in recent years. But on first hearing in 2008, and now on appeal, US judges have said there is no obligation on video site owners to run anything but the most basic of takedown procedures, even if they are aware that means they are inadvertently hosting unlicensed content most of the time.

Appeal court judges added that while there was an obligation on Veoh to deal with takedown requests "promptly", Universal had no evidence that it hadn't done so. In fact the music major hadn't sent any takedown requests before beginning legal action to test the company's efficiency. And it can't issue any test takedown demands now, because Veoh shut down in February 2010, citing the costs of fighting the Universal lawsuit as being key in its demise.

So, the ruling and precedent set in the original hearing on this lawsuit stands. That content-sharing sites need only operate basic takedown systems to get DMCA protection was also confirmed in the ruling on the subsequent higher profile legal battle between MTV owner Viacom and YouTube, which focused on the takedown procedures operated by the market leader video-sharing site in its earlier days.

As previously reported, various players in the US music industry have expressed frustration of late with the low standards expected of takedown systems by the American courts, which - some artists, labels and music publishers argue - puts far too much onus on rights owners to have to constantly monitor video sharing sites for illegal uploads of their content.

As technology to automate the takedown process, to an extent, becomes more readily available, many in the music industry would like the use of such technology to be mandatory for any sites with user-upload functionality. Rulings in the Veoh and Viacom v YouTube case contradict that desire, but we may see the record industry begin to lobby Congress for amendments to be made to the DMCA to better define, and increase, the obligations of video site operators. The Recording Industry Association Of America has already indicated this is something being considered.

But in the meantime of course, Universal knows pursuing new litigation against user-upload sites, which hide behind DMCA protection despite operating allegedly shoddy takedown systems, is a risky game, which is why Universal's lawyers have been trying to find other ways to sue Grooveshark - one such site in their eyes - in a way where DMCA safe harbours do not apply. Hence the company's most recent lawsuit focusing on allegations that Grooveshark staff, and not users, upload much of the unlicensed material.

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BIEBER ACCUSER STANDS BY HER STORY
The lawyer now representing the woman who claims Justin Bieber fathered her baby during a brief backstage liaison in LA last year has said it is the pop star's people who are delaying things, so that the paternity of the child is still to be confirmed.

As much previously reported, Mariah Yeater claims she had sex with Bieber at the Staples Center in LA last year, and that she became pregnant shortly afterwards. The singer denies any such liaison took place, adding that he has never met Yeater. She then filed a paternity lawsuit that aimed to force the teen popster to take a paternity test, but before that could reach court Bieber's people said the star would voluntarily provide a DNA sample to prove Yeater was lying. It was also suggested that Bieber's lawyers would then launch a defamation lawsuit.

Yeater then switched legal teams, her paternity lawsuit was dropped, and Bieber took the DNA test. And then things went quiet, amid rumours Yeater's lawyers were disputing the credibility of any paternity test conducted without one of their representatives present. Various reports then circulated about Yeater's private life, and an ex-boyfriend not only claimed he was the father of her child, but told reporters how a broke Yeater had made a plan to get thousands of dollars out of a tabloid magazine by making up the Bieber shag story.

There was a rumour Yeater would hand over her son for a DNA test earlier this month, but that didn't come to pass. And now the Chicago Sun-Times has caught up with both Yeater and her lawyer Jeffery Leving, who are standing by their claims that the Bieber DNA test is not sufficient, and that he must submit another sample in the presence of one of their representatives.

Talks with the Bieber camp are ongoing they add, but little progress is being made and Yeater's paternity lawsuit may as yet be reinstated.

Leving: "Although the legal proceedings have been dismissed, we have the ability and the legal right to re-file at any time. Bieber's counsel has not provided me documentation supporting that the DNA test occurred. Bieber's counsel hasn't told me where Bieber's alleged DNA is secured nor has provided information substantiating the chain of custody and protocol utilised in the claimed DNA collection and testing. If negotiations with Bieber's counsel does not result in DNA testing of everyone under mutually agreeable and controlled conditions, then the legal proceedings will likely need to be re-filed".

Meanwhile Yeater restated her claims that she believes Bieber to be the father of her son, adding "I had sex with him on 25 Oct 2010 in a bathroom at the Staples Center in LA". Asked about the recent claims made by her incarcerated ex-boyfriend Robert Powell, she continued: "I know him. He is not the father and he's locked up and out of the picture".

So, this story is not dead quite yet. Leving also revealed to the Chicago newspaper that he is working on this case pro bono, adding that his daughter is a big Bieber fan "which is making my case not popular at home".

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X-FACTOR ACTS MOST PROLIFIC BRITISH PERFORMERS, SAYS PRS
Former 'X-Factor' losers JLS and Olly Murs are the hardest working acts in British live music according to PRS For Music, though that basically means they each played gigs at 29 venues this year, which doesn't sound like particularly hard work to me. But PRS has given both acts 'hard work' awards, and sent over quotes from both of them, and it would just seem rude not to run them.

Olly Murs: "It's a real honour to be receiving this award from PRS For Music. The last two years have been incredible for me - I've achieved so much and it's great to be recognised for all the work I've put in. Thanks to everyone who's come to see me play live - there's lots more to come!"

JLS: "This is a great achievement and really goes to show how hard we have been working this year. It's an honour to be awarded this by PRS For Music and we are looking forward to what 2012 will bring!"

Only the collective 'X-Factor' show played at more "major venues" than Murs and JLS this year, while Skinny Lister played the most festival sets and The Merseybeats the most concert hall shows.

Here are the ten most active live acts in each of those categories this year, according to the PRS stats:

Most performances in major venues: X Factor, JLS, Olly Murs, Take That, Russell Watson, Alexandra Burke, Westlife, The Wanted, Beady Eye, Michael Ball.

Most performances at festivals: Skinny Lister, Ed Sheeran, Example, Lucy Ward, Pilgrims Way, Dry The River, Yasmin, Rachel Sermanni, Bellowhead, Katy B.

Most performances at concert venues: The Merseybeats, The Searchers, Chas 'n' Dave, Joe Brown, Dennis Locorriere, Tony Christie, Paul Carrack, Joe Longthorne, Mike Harding, The Blues Band.

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BJÖRK RELEASES STANDALONE APP FOR CHRISTMAS
Björk has released a standalone version of the app for her track 'Solstice', which is also available within her larger 'Biophilia' app, released alongside the album of the same name and available for Apple devices.

'Solstice' was inspired by a Christmas poem by Icelandic author Sjón, which was written as a celebration of light and seasons, and compares the solar system to a Christmas tree. Like you do. The app takes this as its inspiration too, with a sun at its centre and rays of light manipulated by the user acting as harp strings plucked by circling planets. Which all sounds very nice, though the noise I just made with it wasn't so much.

Presuming you make a sound that's a bit nicer with the app, and then want to share it with people, music created in the standalone version of the app can be sent as a Christmas e-card. Download it here: www.itunes.com/apps/biophilia

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PUBLIC IMAGE LTD TO REISSUE ALBUMS
Public Image Ltd are set to reissue most of their back catalogue next year, and have also announced plans to release a brand new LP.

The reissued set, which will include two live albums, though not their 1979 studio set 'Metal Box', is expected to be released via EMI next year.

Speaking to BBC 6music about the band's ninth album, which they've been working on since reforming in 2009, PiL leader John Lydon said: "It is probably going to be called 'This Is PiL', basically because it is, it is all the work, effort and energy we put into this record".

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UNION SQUARE COMPILATION SERIES REACHES 100TH RELEASE
Catalogue marketing company Union Square will release the 100th title in its eclectic Simply compilation series next February, a four CD release called Simply Peace featuring "freedom songs, inspirational themes, meditation music and chillout".

To celebrate the landmark in the series, which has also included compilations of jazz, chillout, country, acoustic and swing music, as well as country themed collections, Union Square has confirmed it will make a donation from every sale of 'Simply Peace' to the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity.

More on the series at: www.unionsquaremusic.co.uk/shop/labels.asp?label=Simply

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DIE ANTWOORD ANNOUNCE NEW LP
Following a falling out with Universal Music earlier this year (and a dispute of whether or not they were still signed to the label), South African rap collective Die Antwoord have confirmed plans to self-release second LP 'TEN$ION' on 6 Feb via their own label ZEF Records. The cover art features the crew's Yolandi Visser clutching a blood-soaked heart, having just had a little taste of it. See that enlarged here, if you'd like, on the Die Antwoord website: dieantwoord.com

The album's hilarious tracklisting is as follows:

Never Le Nkemise 1
I Fink U Freeky
Pielie
Hey Sexy
Fatty Boom Boom
Zefside Zol
So What?
Uncle Jimmy
Baby's on Fire
U Make A Ninja Wanna Fuck
Fok Julle Naaiers
DJ Hi-Tek Rulez
Never Le Nkemise 2

And if you missed it last time, why not watch the official video for 'Fok Julle Naaiers', which certainly put me in a Christmassy mood: vimeo.com/31730747

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KORN TO TOUR
Korn have revealed they'll promote their dubstep-inspired latest album, 'The Path Of Totality', with a string of live dates in March 2012.

The band's British tour plans look thus:

25 Mar: London, Brixton Academy
26 Mar: Birmingham, Academy
28 Mar: Manchester, Academy
29 Mar: Glasgow, Academy
3 Apr: Bristol, Academy

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LIVE NATION MOVES INTO SOUTH KOREA
Live Nation has launched a new division in South Korea to be led by Steven Kim and Yongbae Cho, both veterans of the country's live industry. Confirming the new office, to be based in Seoul, Live Nation boss Michael Rapino told reporters: "We see great opportunity for concerts around the world and our move into South Korea represents another step in the growth of this business. Our strategy is to continue our international expansion into under penetrated regions and identify new markets to deliver our unique live experience product".

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SONY MARKETER JOINS STRUTT
Former Columbia Records marketer Jo Power has announced she is joining Strutt Marketing Music Management, the previously reported music marketing agency launched by another former Sony marketer, Claire Horseman, back in July. Power, who worked with the likes of The Ting Tings, Manic Street Preachers, Kasabian, Editors, Calvin Harris and Mark Ronson while with Sony's Columbia division, will become a director of Strutt.

Power told CMU: "Claire and I have talked about running our own consultancy for a long time and are both so excited it's now a reality. We'd like to think together we represent a pretty unbeatable combination of marketing minds. Our knowledge, success, creativity and experience in music marketing is immense".

Horseman added: "Jo joining is the perfect next step in Strutt's evolution. We already have a very strong working relationship with different but very complementary strengths. Strutt feels perfectly placed to execute marketing campaigns across all areas of an artist's business, a necessity in today's challenging climate, and to advise on music campaigns across the board".

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APEX INSURER JOINS ROBERTSON TAYLOR
Entertainment industry insurer Robertson Taylor has announced it is being joined by Martin Goebbels from rival insurance firm Apex Insurance. He will bring with him both his existing clients and his team at Apex, Pamela Choat and Holly Leary.

Robertson Taylor CEO John Silcock told CMU: "We are delighted to welcome Martin to our team. He is very experienced with a proven track record in music and touring insurance and will be a great asset to our business, as will Pamela and Holly. These appointments underline our strategy to grow our core business, both in the UK and internationally, and we anticipate making further announcements shortly".

As previously reported, Robertson Taylor was bought by Entertainment Insurance Partners last month.

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BAIDU TAKEN OFF US IP OFFENDERS LIST
Chinese web search firm Baidu has been taken off the US government's list of 'notorious markets', which are company's (or, more conventionally, market places) that are seen to aid - directly or indirectly - large scale IP infringement.

The move follows the Chinese web firm's deals this year with the major music companies and a local music publishing collecting society for a licensed music service. Prior to that the big Western music firms were highly critical of Baidu's specific MP3 search service, which linked to vast libraries of unlicensed music, some of it seemingly only available via the Baidu platform.

Baidu is one of a number of companies to be taken off the US government's list of IP offenders, though many still remain, including the likes of The Pirate Bay.

Commenting on those companies still on the list, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told reporters: "The notorious markets highlighted in this review negatively impact legitimate businesses and industries of all sizes that rely on intellectual property to protect their goods and services. We hope that this review will continue to yield the kind of concrete action from highlighted markets that led to the removal of several markets from the list this year".

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BPI EXTENDS PARENTAL ADVISORY SCHEME TO DIGITAL
Record label trade body the BPI yesterday formally announced the expansion of its parental advisory scheme to online music services, a move it originally announced back in June ahead of the release of a government report that stressed about the ever increasing amount of sexualised imagery children see in music videos, TV programmes and advertising.

The BPI reckons its parental advisory stickers, used on CDs and DVDs, are widely recognised, so it makes sense to extend the same scheme to digital services, including a la carte download stores and streaming and music video platforms, so that parents are more readily informed about the suitability of different content.

Digital services and etailers set to participate in the new programme include VEVO, iTunes, TuneTribe, eMusic, Napster, ASDA, Orange, 7Digital, Tesco, HMV, Amazon, Play, Digital Stores, Fairshare Music, MTV.co.uk, The Hut, Trackitdown and Badlands, with the aim to add more in due course. A new parental advisory website better explaining the scheme has also been launched.

Confirming the expansion of all things parental advisory into the digital domain, BPI top man Geoff Taylor told CMU: "We know that the parental advisory logo on CDs and DVDs has been a useful tool for parents, offering them a simple means of identifying music content that may not be suitable for their children. We believe that parents need the same guidance when their children are downloading or streaming songs or videos online, so we have extended the logo to digital music services. Meanwhile our new website, www.parental-advisory.co.uk gives parents the details they need".

For reasons not entirely clear (well, she is a mother, and she will have a new record that needs flogging next year), Jamelia flew in from the past to give her backing to the new scheme, telling reporters: "As a parent, naturally I worry about whether my kids are viewing and listening to appropriate content when they're online, but without some form of guidance it can be almost impossible to stay on top of what's suitable and what's not. I think parents would agree that having the same logo for online music services that we're used to seeing in the high street gives parents the ability to quickly and easily judge whether a song or music video is right for their child".

For all sorts of parental advisory fun go check out www.parental-advisory.co.uk.

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OFCOM ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES FOR EXPLICIT LYRICS ON RADIO
Also thinking about the children (well, it is Christmas) is media regulator OfCom, which has released its previously promised new guidelines for UK radio stations which aim to bring broadcasters in line when it comes to inappropriate tracks being played during the daytime.

In theory rules banning inappropriate lyrics already exist, but the media regulator said last month that too many stations are routinely breaking those rules, and the new guidelines will be clearer about what is and isn't suitable. These guidelines are also designed to deal with those aforementioned concerns that children are too frequently exposed to inappropriate content in this here Broken Britain.

Subject matter is as relevant as the quantity of swear words, says OfCom in its new guidelines, stressing that "radio broadcasters should avoid broadcasting lyrics that clearly focus on the taking of drugs, sexual acts or behaviour, or convey a clearly sexualised theme, when children are particularly likely to be listening".

Times when children are likely to be listening are listed as 6am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm on weekdays during term time, and 6am to 7pm at weekends, though I knew a child once who stayed up to 7.10pm. I dread to think what sort of filth he'd be hearing in those dangerous ten minutes after seven.

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DUTCH MAGAZINE APOLOGISES FOR RACIST LANGUAGE IN RIHANNA ARTICLE
Dutch magazine Jackie has apologised after it published an article in its latest issue referring to Rihanna as "the ultimate niggabitch". Titled 'De Niggabitch', the piece offers fashion advice on how to dress your children like Rihanna and also incorrectly identifies her as being Jamaican.

Translated into English by Parlour magazine, it reads: "She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what's on can come off. If that means she'll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren't like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let's hope she won't beat anybody up at daycare".

On Monday, Jackie's Editor-in-chief Eva Hoeke published an apology on the magazine's Facebook page. In it she said: "This should never be allowed to happen. The author meant no harm - the headline of the article was meant as a joke, but it was a bad joke, to say the least. And it slipped through my fingers. It's stupid, painful and sucks for all concerned. The author has now been addressed on it, and I will ensure that this kind of wording no longer appears in the magazine".

She continued: "I hope that you guys believe that there was absolutely no racist motive in the choice of words. It was stupid, it was naive to think that this was an acceptable form of street language - hearing this sort of language on the radio and TV apparently shifts your idea of what is normal - but it was also especially misguided. There was no malice intended".

Taking to Twitter to give her opinion on the matter, Rihanna said: "I hope you can read English, because your magazine is a poor representation of the evolution of human rights! I find you disrespectful, and rather desperate! You ran out of legit, civilised information to print! You put two words together, with the intent of abasement, that made no sense... "NIGGA BITCH"?! Well with all respect, on behalf of my race, here are my two words for you... FUCK YOU!"

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I'VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO WRITE HITS, SAYS ALEX TURNER
Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner seems to be suffering a slight crisis of artistic confidence, having told The Sun he doubts his ability to write hit songs any more. And he's not too certain about his ability to sing them either.

Asked about the band's debut single, 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor', he said: "I have fucking forgotten how to do that. I don't know what that is any more, it's a different landscape these days".

Turner then appraised his voice, which, despite it maturing markedly since the Arctics' early career, he's still not satisfied with. Says Alex: "I was never a singer. I have had to practice at that and writing melodies is something that didn't come naturally. I was more comfortable writing lyrics".

He adds: "I am still working on it but I think we are getting there with the singing thing".

These perfectionists, what to do with them? Presumably this all came about after he'd written 'Piledriver Waltz'. Though not necessarily a 'hit' in the traditional, chart-topping sense, it's unarguably beautiful. Here it is accompanying the 'Submarine' trailer.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-Bysb3ceR0

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JON BON JOVI INSISTS HE'S NOT DEAD
Jon Bon Jovi, who was rumoured to have died this past Monday, has published a dated picture of himself to prove that he is, in fact, still alive. Reports of the rocker's apparent demise began when little-known Wordpress site Dailynewsbloginternational.com claimed that he'd suffered a fatal heart-attack aged 49.

The story was later revealed to be a hoax, adapted by the site from the LA Times' 2009 commentary on the death of Michael Jackson. Dailynewsblog creators seem only to have written one other article, posing the pertinent if slightly ungrammatical question: "Would you still do Megan Fox if u know that she has a HIV positive?" So, never an especially reliable news source then.

Anyway. Bon Jovi's response to the rumours was to post a photo on his band's Facebook page in which he stands, holding a piece of paper that reads: "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey". No play on 'It's My Life', then. How about 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' or 'Livin On A Prayer'? Fine.

So there you are, irrefutable evidence that Jon Bon Jovi lives. Or, at least, that his preserved corpse has been convincingly propped up next to a Christmas tree.

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