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FRIDAY 11 MAY 2012
This week's rundown of the top five music business stories of the week will be online later this weekend, after we've got this whole Great Escape thing out of the way. If you're down in Brighton, you'll hopefully have heard plenty of insights and innovations already. If not, you can catch up with all the goings on in the music business this week here, and look out for your weekly round-up on theCMUwebsite.com very soon.
Paul Thomas Saunders released his CMU approved debut EP, 'Lilac And Wisteria', last summer and had us hooked pretty much from the off. Of particular note was lead track 'Appointment In Samarra', which builds around a slow-paced guitar loop, unfolding gently into a dreamlike atmosphere, as synths swirl through the track and the rolling drums nudge things along more>>
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- The Great Escape 2012: How to get noticed as a DIY artist
- The Great Escape 2012: Record labels v self-releasing
- Travis Barker's tonsils halt Blink 182 tour
- Björk apologises for festival no-shows
- Sabbath announce greatest hits collection
- Azealia Banks breaks release news
- J Dilla tribute LP is detailed
- Jimi Hendrix estate denies knowledge of biopic
- Biffy Clyro to visit Swindon leisure centre
- Grizzly Bear set live dates
- Festival line-up update
- Jay-Z backs cognac brand
- Rihanna Twit-blocks Brown over freestyle lyric

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One of the main strands of the first day of the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which kicked off in Brighton yesterday, was a series of panels looking at the DIY approach and offering advice to artists looking to manage their careers themselves, both creatively and commercially.

The second session of the day saw PR company Create Spark's Debbie Ball, digital marketing agency Good Lizard's David Riley, direct-to-fan service Music Glue's Joe Porn and DIY artist Chris T-T discuss getting noticed without a record label's marketing budget. Ahead of the session, we asked Debbie Ball and Chris T-T for some of their top tips.

"Be selective", said Ball. "Figure out how you want to present your act to the public from the off, both aesthetically and ideologically, online and offline".

She continued: "Build a team that suits you to advise the early stages of your musical endeavours and start off small (you don't have to have the whole range of promotional people to start with for instance). Work out a realistic plan together to loosely stick to, to create opportunities to get your music noticed and take advantage of new opportunities that may arise".

Finally, she emphasised the importance of timing. She said: "Don't rush into doing things that might be too early in relation to where you're at in your career and bear in mind that certain opportunities can be come back to further down the line. A considered approach is a good way to building your reputation and letting people know about your music. You can then adjust the pace of when you do things depending on how quickly people start taking notice and a natural momentum occurs".

On the more creative side of things, Chris T-T said: "Make everything you do beautiful and something you're 100% proud of. Get the art and craft right first, before you becoming a marketing guru. Never send out demos that are just roughs - 99% of people, industry or not, can't hear 'through' the rough sound or rehearsal-room performance, even if they claim they can".

He also emphasised the importance of trying to think differently and come up with ways of making yourself stand out from the rest of the pack: "Don't be afraid to go outside the norms of the industry - even when you're first gigging in your home town, build your own shows from scratch outside normal venues and away from regular promoters, so they're memorable, crazy and different. If you get known for running insane parties, it'll go a million times further than getting known for being a decent new band".

Finally, he advised artists to get out of their hometown and tour as soon as possible, saying: "Play away as soon as you can and only 'come home' to your hometown friends/fanbase when you absolutely need to. Learn to tour. Learn to behave right on the road and play a great set to three people. Believe in a learning period, so don't expect yourself to be sorted from the start - even if your music is amazing, you'll need to learn the language and rhythm of the live world away from your mates".

Stay tuned to theCMUwebsite.com/thegreatescape for more updates from this years Great Escape convention.

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As part of the stand of sessions giving advice for artists considering going the DIY route on the first day of the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which kicked off in Brighton yesterday, the founders of four independent labels gave an insight into what goes into running an independent record label and what they can offer over an artist self-releasing their recordings themselves.

The panel included Memphis Industries' Ollie Jacob, Robert Luis from Tru Thoughts, Alex Fitzpatrick from Holy Roar, and Song, By Toad's Matthew Young. Prior to going on stage, we asked whether they are pro artists going down the DIY route versus signing with a label.

"I think artists going the DIY route is a good way to understand how various aspects of the business of music works", said Luis. "In the long run, running a label is time consuming so you need someone fulltime working on it. As a label we offer staff who specialise in different aspects of their jobs (publishing, licensing. PR, distribution, accounts and contracts to name a few) and a set up and contact list that is well established and experienced".

He added: "My view is if you are a talented artist, keep an eye on the 'business' but let someone else concentrate on it and do the work so you can concentrate on the creative side of making great music".

Fitzpatrick added: "I think a label such as ours offers (I hope) a stamp of validity to an artist's work. I think labels can act as a filter, can elevate artists onto a pedestal somewhat and help them stand out above the clutter. Labels also offer advice on a variety of topics and help with tours, managers, booking agents, merchandise - everything really. I am very pro bands going down a DIY route, but it is a lot of work and harder than working with a label you trust and respect".

As for advice for anyone considering setting up their own label, Jacob said: "Manage expectations, both yours and the artists. Make sure, however much you love them and their music, that you don't let your spend on an artist get out of hand".

Luis added: "Ask as many people as possible who actually run labels or have released music for advice (no matter what the genre of music). Do not worry about making mistakes, this is an important learning curve. And expect to work hard to get people to pay attention to your music".

Stay tuned to theCMUwebsite.com/thegreatescape for more updates from this years Great Escape convention.

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Whilst the news that Blink 182 have had to cancel part of their US/Canadian tour might not directly concern all you Britain-based Blink lovers, the reason behind said cancellations - namely that Blink sticksman Travis Barker has had to have his tonsils taken out - not only will, but should.

A statement issued on behalf of the band, who have now rescheduled several of the dates, reads: "The members of Blink 182 have announced today the cancellation of all their May 2012 tour dates due to a medical emergency. Blink 182's drummer, Travis Barker, required an urgent tonsillectomy with a recovery period expected to extend beyond the scheduled tour dates".

It's not yet known whether Blink's UK shows, the first of which falls on 7 Jun at the Birmingham NIA, will be affected by all this, but you can keep up with any developments via the band's official website - www.blink182.com/news/

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Björk has issued an apology to all those disappointed by her withdrawing from Hungary's Balaton Sound, Russia's Afisha Picnic, and both editions of Spain's Primavera festivals. The Icelandic singer, who was this week diagnosed as having an "inflamed nodule" in her throat, has been ordered by doctors to rest her voice for six weeks, thus voiding any chance she might still headline at any of the above.

Organisers of the Poland-based Heineken Open'er have said that, as far as they are aware, Björk will still appear as billed at the festival, which takes place between 4-7 Jul.

And so to the statement, which has much to teach Ms Azealia Banks in the 'sorry I can't play festivals A and B' department. Writing via her Facebook page, Björk explains: "I am very sorry and embarrassed about having to cancel things and having promised things and then not being able to keep my word, truly breaks my heart. Especially to people who have already bought tickets".

She adds: "In the meantime, I will rest and reschedule and make a promise to my chords and especially those who want to listen to them that even though my mind and my intention gets overexcited and runs ahead , I will from now on allow breaks between 'legs' of tours to reassemble. Because like that I can give better. Warmth, Björk".

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Black Sabbath have collated fourteen of their greatest ever hits for a 'best of' compilation, which they'll release to coincide with their international reunion tour.

The previously reported outing has been rebranded as an 'Ozzy And Friends'-type affair, in part due to a dispute with drummer Bill Ward, but primarily because Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi's ongoing cancer treatment means he is unable to commit to such a lengthy live run. All being well, the band will still play a headline date at this year's Download festival.

'Iron Man: The Best of Black Sabbath', as the ultimate hits collection is titled, is out on 4 Jun.


Iron Man
Fairies Wear Boots
War Pigs
Never Say Die
Children Of the Grave
The Wizard
Sweet Leaf
Evil Woman
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Black Sabbath

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Having freed up her busy schedule by cancelling a ton of festival appearances, it seems Azealia Banks now has the time and inclination to release a new single, video and mixtape - and aims to do all this before her forthcoming debut album, 'Broke With Expensive Taste', is even out.

The '212' MC shared news of the audiovisual exclusives via her Twitter account, first confirming that her previously reported and much-delayed '1991' EP will be released "this month". She went on to discuss a new mixtape titled 'Fantastic', which is set for issue this summer, tweeting: "I've been working on SOOOOO MUCH FLY SHIT. I have enough material to drop a mixtape before my album! YAY!"

New track 'Jumanji', as features on said tape, previews today.

As for video updates, Banks says she is re-shooting a promo for her Lone-sampling single 'Liquorice' with famed photographer Rankin.

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A list of artists featured on 'Rebirth Of Detroit', a forthcoming homage to hip hop icon J Dilla, has been shared by the album's makers.

Marking the late producer's fifth posthumous LP release since his death in 2007, it will match archive Dilla beats to brand new lyrics from such Detroit-based rappers as Danny Brown, Amp Fiddler, Phat Kat, Chuck Inglish of Cool Kids, and Dilla's brother Illa J.

Speaking about the wider significance of the project, Dilla's mother Maureen 'MaDukes' Yancey says: "This will bring together artists that have drifted away from one another and haven't been able to work with each other lately. It's a healing process for the city. For individuals, it's going to bring back the love and the passion for the music and for what hip hop has to offer".

Watch a trailer for the album, which is released via Yancy Media Group on 12 Jun, here, and then check out Detroit's civic symbol du jour, aka Danny Brown, guesting on 'Jay-Dee's Revenge': www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjbSRDtlOdo

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Earlier this week it was reported that Outkast's Andre 3000 had been confirmed to play Jimi Hendrix in director John Ridley's brand new biopic 'All Is By My Side'. However, there was speculation about the level of involvement the Jimi Hendrix estate was to have in the project. Well, it seems that the Jimi Hendrix estate will have no involvement in it and as far as it's concerned there's no project in which to be involved. So there.

In a statement issued to Billboard, the estate sais: "Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and administrator of the Jimi Hendrix music and publishing catalog has made it known many times in the past that no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without its full participation".

So that's fun.

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Biffy Clyro are to preview their tbc double album, 'The Land At The End Of Our Toes/The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones', during a one night excursion to the Oasis leisure centre in Swindon. And we've all been there and done that, right?

The band will visit the venue on 8 Jun, which also happens to be the eve of their headline set at Download fest.

And look, here they are now, making an in-studio racket that will presumably feature on those just mentioned dual LPs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEVJJ0A05Lk

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South East Englanders will be pleased to know that Grizzly Bear have announced two very 'intimate' live dates in Cambridge and Nottingham. Staged in preparation for the band's festival season - which includes slots at End Of The Road and Electric Picnic - the shows will take place as here listed:

28 Aug: Cambridge, The Junction
29 Aug: Nottingham, The Albert Hall

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BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Fairmile, Devon, 17-19 Aug: Organisers find space Karima Francis, Show of Hands, Little Barrie, Liz Green and The Miserable Rich onto a now sold-out Beautiful Days' roster, with these acts joining previously announced co-headliners PiL, Frank Turner and Levellers. www.beautifuldays.org

BLOC WEEKEND, London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks, 6-7 Jul: It's been announced that Boddika, Joy Orbison, Arpanet, Levon Vincent, Pinch and Jacques Greene will deliver DJ sets aboard former Communist fishing vessel MS Stubnitz, as has now been adapted into a unique live space. This top deck Stubnitz crew join Bloc's weekend fixtures at large, as include Snoop Dogg, James Blake, Orbital, Flying Lotus, Nicolas Jaar and Battles. www.blocweekend.com

BOOMTOWN FAIR, Matterley Estate, Winchester, 9-12 Aug: The latest stage of Boomtown's grand bill unveilings co-stars Beenie Man, Alborosie, Tanya Stephens, Natty, Gappy Ranks, David Rodigan and ska types Capdown, all of whom grace the festival programme beside Reel Big Fish, Caravan Palace, Jack Beats and so very many more. www.boomtownfair.co.uk

EXIT FESTIVAL, Petrovaradin Fortres, Novi Sad, Serbia, 12-15 Jul: Artists including Knife Party, Goldie & SP:MC, Thieves Like Us, Jacques Lu Cont, Eats Everything and Claude Von Stroke prove strong supplements to Exit's established bill, aligning with the eclectic likes of Duran Duran, Guns N Roses, New Order, Plan B, Avicii, Little Dragon and TEED. www.exitfest.org

FOLKLORE, Peoples Park, Jersey, 30 Jun - 1 Jul: Badly Drawn Boy, Finley Quaye, Lloyd Yates form the latest names added to the first ever edition of this Jersey-based familial fest, and come amongst a confirmed company that also includes Van Morrison, Ray Davies, Joan Armatrading, Nouvelle Vague and Lee 'Scratch' Perry. www.folklorejersey.org.uk

GLOBAL GATHERING, Long Marston Airfield, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, 27-28 Jul: Dance maestros James Zabiela, Nicky Romero, Redlight, Breakage and Ben UFO are amongst those acts just introduced to Global Gathering's 2012 ranks, which also feature Tinie Tempah, Chase & Status, Skrillex, Friendly Fires and Nero. www.globalgathering.com

GODIVA, Memorial Park, Kenilworth Road, Coventry, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Billed as "the UK's biggest free family festival", this year's child/cost-friendly Godiva will feature live performances by Echo and the Bunnymen, Cast, The View, The Pigeon Detectives, Skepta and Dot Rotten, with more bookings yet to be unveiled. www.godivafestival.com

KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe, Lake District, 27-29 Jul: The Charlatans' Tim Burgess discloses the full line-up for his David Lynch-inspired Tim Peaks Diner showcase, as will feature appearances from Edwyn Collins, Beak> and Nick Heyward. The festival's overall line-up plays host to Dizzee Rascal, Maximo Park, Feeder, Spector, Inspirational Carpets and Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. www.kendalcalling.com

SHAKEDOWN, Stanmer Park, Brighton, 6 Oct: Knife Party, Zane Lowe, Friction, Shy FX and Ms Dynamite are notable amid a list of new Shakedown guests, joining the afore invited Dizzee Rascal, Professor Green, Katy B, Stooshe and Clement Marfo & The Frontline. www.shakedown.co.uk

WAY OUT WEST, Slottsskogen, Gothenburg, Sweden, 9-11 Aug: Friends, Nicolas Jaar, Jacuzzi Boys, Ben Howard and Alt-J represent the most recent updates to a well-proportioned Way Out West roster, which counts Blur, The Black Keys, Bon Iver and Florence And The Machine amongst its existing echelons. www.wayoutwest.se

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This has been a big week for A-list advertising, what with Brad Pitt being chosen to represent Chanel's No 5 scent, and now with Jay-Z opting to act as the official face of Bacardi's D'Usse Cognac. One of those campaigns makes much more sense than the other.

The rapper and Roc A Fella Records boss, whose past franchises have included a signature cologne and morally questionable T-shirt range, appeared at D'Usse's New York launch earlier this week to lend the liquor a little hip hop prowess.

If you live in America, you too can pick up a 750ml serving of the good stuff (as is here pictured next to what must surely be Jay-Z's hand) for $44.99. Or, just buy a bottle of cut-price supermarket rum and pretend. But whatever you decide to drink, please do it responsibly. Jay-Z would.

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Chris Brown does love freestyling (that, and other pastimes), his latest spontaneous verses being ones set against a version of Kanye West's new DJ Khaled duet, 'Theraflu', aka 'Way Too Cold', aka 'Cold'.

Aside from a lot of swearing and substandard mixed metaphors, Brown's rap also included certain pointed rhymes about an "old bitch" (ie ex girlfriend), which - for some reason - were construed by his ex girlfriend, popstar Rihanna Fenty, as remarks relating to her.

Reacting to a part of the track that ran: "Don't fuck with my old bitch it's like a bad fur/Every industry nigga done had her/Shook the tree like a pumpkin just to smash her/Bitch is breaking codes, but I'm the password", Rihanna blocked Brown on Twitter, later tweeting: "Aw, poor dat #neaux1currr". And that, for the uninitiated, means "no one cares".

It had been thought that the pair - who broke up after Brown beat Fenty unconscious after a 2009 Grammys party - had gone some way to resolving past ills (professional, if not personal), when Brown featured on a remix of Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk' track 'Birthday Cake'.

And if (that's 'if') she forgave him that, what's the odd 'pumpkin' pun between former friends?

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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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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