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"She has not heard of HQ recording. She has not heard that postmodernism is passe. She wishes she was born in the 1980s and born again in the 1990s". This is Estonia-via-London soloist Maria Juur's artistic manifesto; an apt keynote for her iconoclastic alt-pop alias Maria Minerva. Having released debut LP 'Cabaret Cixous' in 2011, she's now back with 'Will Happiness Find Me?' more>>
- Three-strikes cuts piracy in New Zealand, says local record industry
- Benn admits Olympics weren't main reason for cancelling Big Chill
- Gary Lightbody guest stars in 'Game Of Thrones', Snow Patrol granted late live license
- Jackson estate expresses concern over guardianship of late singer's children
- PRS launches Music Makeover competition for 2012
- Kobalt signs McCartney administration deal
- Dan Snaith announces Daphni album
- Bat For Lashes debuts new single, nude LP art
- Kreayshawn screens new video
- Boys Noize announces album
- PAWS to release debut LP
- Ne-Yo declines Martin Luther King film role over fat fears
- Tall Ships announce XOYO show
- Green Man sponsors cricket team
- Festival line-up additions
- Popkomm closes
- Amazon accounts for fifth of UK entertainment retail sales
- Jazz Atkin joins Ooh Brilliant
- CAA recruits ITB agent
- DJ Shadow strikes up partnership with BitTorrent
- Flo Rida "definitely" doing workout DVD
Two desk spaces for rent in our vibrant and stylish Anorak London office at Spitalfields. Use of kitchen area with sink, microwave + use of big, furnished meeting room. Office looks good and is an inspiring, creative place to work. Would suit like minded folk working in creative industries or music industry. We promote free working in our offices (no fixed desks).

Price: £500 each per month, prices includes phone use and internet + FREE yoga lesson in the office every Weds evening

Contact: laura@anoraklondon.com

EMI is seeking an online publicist to join its Artist Publicity Team to plan, manage and deliver online publicity campaigns for EMI artists across the Parlophone, Virgin, Music Services and catalogue rosters.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Air MTM is seeking someone to join its management department in a Direct To Consumer role. Key roles and responsibilities include maintaining artists online presence, updating social network profiles and artist websites, creating web content, overseeing sales and distribution of merch for live gigs and online stores, and liaising with merchandise companies.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A sought-after role, driving new business opportunities in sync and responding creatively to client briefs. Dealing with an exciting, large and diverse repertoire, you will generate revenue and promotional opportunities through licensing, and building relationships with agencies, film companies, music supervisors, broadcasters and video games clients. This is a fantastic opportunity for an accomplished and pro-active Sync Manager to further your career with one of the biggest names in music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Demon Music Group (one of the UK's largest independent record companies owned by BBC Worldwide) is looking to recruit a Product Manager for its 100 Hits and Crimson Productions ranges. You will be based in our Foley Street office. Demon controls a vast catalogue of rights, and key artists include: Al Green, Suede, Ian Dury, T. Rex, Steve Miller Band and Average White Band.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Please note this role is being re-advertised, previous applicants need not apply

Future is looking for an Events Manager to on work its London based music, technology and gaming events. These events range from Classic Rock Roll of Honour and Metal Hammer Golden Gods to the T3 Gadget Awards and the Golden Joysticks.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A fantastic opportunity has arisen to join the Royalty Department based in Wandsworth. Duties include the processing of both incoming and outgoing royalty statements, maintaining catalogue data, mechanical reporting and invoicing as well as other ad hoc tasks.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Piracy rates have halved in New Zealand since the introduction of a so called three-strikes system there, according to The Recording Industry Association Of New Zealand, though the labels group says more can still be done, and that the fee charged to rights owners each time they instigate a 'stop blood file-sharing you bastard' letter should be cut.

As much previously reported, New Zealand is one of a handful of countries to have introduced what labels like to call a 'graduated response' system for combating illegal file-sharing, via which internet service providers are forced to send warning letters to suspected file-sharers, usually with the ultimate threat of some kind of sanction if warnings are not headed (eg a fine, net suspension, public exposure of all the Justin Bieber tracks they've downloaded, that kind of thing).

So far, says RIANZ, some 2766 warning letters have been sent out, and handful of those accused of file-sharing have now reached strike three, according to TVNZ, though they are yet to face the Copyright Tribunal where they could face a fine of up to NZ$15,000.

According to the record industry trade body, there has been a noticeable drop in file-sharing in the country since the new rules went live - with one stat claiming that, whereas before three-strikes the top 200 movies of the moment would be illegally downloaded up to 110,000 times a month in the country, that number has now dropped to 50,000.

But, RIANZ adds, while progress has been made, 40% of New Zealanders still routinely access unlicensed content on the net, and more should be done. The solution, in the trade body's mind, is to reduce the fee to the rights owners for instigating a three-strikes letter from the current NZ$25 to NZ$2, so that labels could increase their letter requests by more than tenfold.

Three-strikes, of course, has been contentious wherever it has been proposed, and there were initial delays getting the system live in New Zealand because of protests and disagreements as to how the letter sending should work. Stats from South Korea, where three-strikes is also live, as well as these from New Zealand, both suggest graduated response warning letters can have an impact on file-sharing, though those who oppose the whole thing would likely interpret data differently.

In the UK, of course, the 2010 Digital Economy Act provided the framework for a three-strike system (well, for strike one anyway), though as yet no warning letters have been sent. A stack of celebrity musicians put their name to an open letter this week calling on PM David Cameron to prioritise getting the graduated response process described in the DEA live as soon as possible.

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Festival Republic's Melvin Benn has admitted that the original reason given for the cancellation of this year's Big Chill festival - a clash with the Olympics - wasn't strictly (or, at least, totally) the case. Rather, doubts over its creative direction caused him to can the event's 2012 edition back in January.

As previously reported, Festival Republic acquired the previously independent Big Chill in 2009, after a tough few years for the event forced it into liquidation. Plans for the 2012 edition were already underway, and some bands had already been booked, when Benn announced that it would not go ahead.

At the time, Benn said: "I looked long and hard late last year at moving the date so it didn't clash with the Olympics, but with the mix of the festival fans desire to keep the date and an inability to find an alternative date that works, I plumped for maintaining the existing weekend. Sadly, the artist availability and confirmations we were achieving led me to conclude that I couldn't risk going ahead with the event [in its usual form] this year".

However, yesterday he told BBC Newsbeat that he is trying to come up with a new format for Big Chill, saying: "I'm sure something will return that will have a completely fresh take on what a festival should be. The Big Chill [cancellation this year] was [due to] a clash with the Olympics [in part]. But more importantly with The Big Chill, it was me not being absolutely certain where I wanted to take the festival and what I was doing with the festival".

He added: "I'm actually going down there next week to the very same site to have a look. I'll go with a couple of people that I hope will be working with me on - not The Big Chill, it won't necessarily be The Big Chill - but a replacement or something to be born out of that".

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I've always thought Gary Lightbody had that 'medieval' look about him, so perhaps it's no surprise that the Snow Patrol frontman has made an acting cameo in a forthcoming episode of US fantasy series 'Game Of Thrones'. No, actually, it is still quite surprising.

Posting a photo of himself in authentic GOF garb on Snow Patrol's Facebook page, the radio rockstar and part-time thespian added: "So I did my scene this morning for 'Game Of Thrones'. I looked like this. Can't say much, just it's no pivotal role. Fun!"

Yes, what fun. What's also fun is that Snow Patrol, who will perform at the opening of the BT-sponsored Olympics fest in London's Hyde Park on Friday, have been granted a late-night license entitling them to make loud sounds beyond the park's customary curfew. Unlike poor old Bruce Springsteen, whose set at this year's Hard Rock Calling festival was halted at 10.40pm as per normal noise regulations, Snow Patrol are permitted to play until half past midnight. Hurrah!

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TMZ claims that the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate may support a court application to give Tito Jackson Jr temporary guardianship of the late king of pop's three children, amidst concerns over the health of their current legal guardian, 82 year old Katherine Jackson, and growing tensions between the estate and various Jackson siblings.

Katherine Jackson was reported missing to the police last week, but she turned up at the home of her daughter Rebbie. Another of her sons, Randy Jackson, subsequently told MSNBC: "She's been playing cards every day. She is having a good time. Her health was ailing. And her doctors ordered that she get immediate rest, isolate herself from the outside world and rest. She wasn't doing too well".

While it's good that the Jackson matriarch is safe, Randy's comments have only increased concern about his mother's abilities to care for Michael's children, one of whom - Paris - said on Twitter this week that she hadn't seen her grandmother for eight days, and "something is really off, this isn't like her at all - I wanna talk directly to my grandmother". Randy Jackson said that he and his sister Janet had tried to visit the three children at their LA home to explain the situation regards their grandmother, but that "we were kind of denied access".

Although stressing it wasn't their role to directly intervene on the guardianship of the Jackson children, estate bosses John Branca and John McClain did express concern yesterday, saying in a statement: "We are acutely concerned about the welfare of Mrs Jackson, and most particularly with Michael's minor children. We are concerned that we do what we can to protect them from undue influences, bullying, greed, and other unfortunate circumstances. While we do not have standing to directly intervene, we have monitored the situation and will continue to do so. We believe measures are being put in place that will help protect them from what they are having to deal with".

In his interview with MSNBC, Randy also accused his late brother's estate of exaggerating the issue around Katherine Jackson's ability to care for her grandchildren in a bid to distract attention from the recent letter in which a number of Jackson siblings accused Branca and McClain of forging his brother's will in order to take control of his estate. As previously reported, the executors last week issued a statement denying those allegations, pointing out a court had already debunked the 'fake will' conspiracy theory, though Randy and several other Jacksons are standing by those claims.

With the exception of Tito, who yesterday retracted his support of the 'fake will' allegations, saying in a statement: "I completely retract my signature from the 17 Jul letter sent to the executors of my brother's Michael's estate and repudiate all the claims made against them. I don't want any part of that letter whatsoever".

Whether that's linked to the rumours the estate plans to smile on the idea that his son, the aforementioned Tito Jr, should care for Michael's children isn't clear.

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PRS For Music has launched its Music Makeover competition for 2012, offering pubs in the UK the chance to bid for £5000 to help improve their facilities for staging live music. This year's competition comes just as the impact of the previously reported Live Music Act is felt, removing the need for most pub owners to apply for specific licences to host live music events, something many in the music industry hope will result in a resurgence of the pub gig circuit.

PRS said in a statement yesterday: "Research conducted by PRS For Music with pub-data specialists CGA Strategy Ltd identified the significant positive impact of live and recorded music on sales in pubs - an increase of £667 on Fridays and Saturdays and 36 more units each day during the week. In deeply challenging economic times for the great British pub, the research confirms that live music is a vital life-line to many venues".

As well as staging the Music Makeover competition, the song rights collecting society will also be sending packs to pub owners this summer offering advice on how to make live music work. There's more about the competition at www.prsformusic.com/musicmakeover

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Music publishing firm Kobalt Music Group has announced it has signed an exclusive administration deal with Paul McCartney and his MPL Communications company in all countries globally excluding North America, the UK and Ireland.

The deal will cover all of McCartney's post-Beatles solo songwriting work and his output with Wings, plus compositions by over 1200 other songwriters in the MPL Communications, MPL Music Publishing and Cherio Corp catalogues.

Kobalt founder and CEO Willard Hadritz told Billboard: "It's one of the biggest privately-owned catalogues in the world. We will put the focus on creating some noise around this catalogue going forward".

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Caribou's Dan Snaith has announced that he will release the debut album from his more club-focussed Daphni side-project on 8 Oct. Entitled 'JIAOLONG', the album will be released through his own label of the same name.

Says Snaith: "DJs have the potential to blindside you. During the time I was making the Caribou album 'Swim', I fell back in love with those moments in small, dark clubs when a DJ puts on a piece of music that not only can you not identify, but that until you heard it, you could not have conceived of it existing. Daphni tracks are rough and spontaneous. They're about working fast and intuitively, capturing the manic energy needed to start a track one afternoon, and have it finished and be playing it in a club that night".

Listen to one of those "rough and spontaneous" tracks, 'Ye Ye', here, after which you'll find the album's tracklisting.

Yes, I Know
Cos-Ber-Zam - Ne Noya (Daphni Mix)
Ye Ye

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Bat For Lashes lady Natasha Khan has premiered the very serious first preview of her new LP, 'The Haunted Man'.

It bears the title 'Laura', and will be available free to all those pre-ordering the long player prior to its release on 15 Oct.

As well as listening to 'Laura' and weeping to your heart's content, you can also now look at BFL's risqué LP artwork, as features a naked Khan carrying an (also naked) man in a kind of artistic fireman's lift. The image is credited to revered NYC photog Ryan McGinley - for whom nudity is a longstanding visual motif - though, so it's all okay.

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Having prepared her very first LP 'Somethin Bout Kreay' for release on 13 Aug (and undergone a chart-honed pop makeover), 'Gucci Gucci' rapper Kreayshawn has just debuted the new video for the second single to be taken from it, aka the inexplicably-titled 'Go Hard (La. La. La.)'.

And here is the equally inexplicable video for it, as includes a fuzzy dip-dye weave and various other feats of wig-making.

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Electro-favouring Berliner Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, has listed a lot of live dates to accompany word of his Snoop Dogg-featuring new LP, 'Out Of The Black'. He'll self-release said long player via Boysnoize Records on 1 Oct, and has shared its first track 'What You Want' for immediate listening.

Here's a tracklisting, after which you'll note those tour dates:

What You Want
Ich R U
Rocky 2
Circus Full of Clowns
Touch It
I'll House You feat Snoop Dogg

Tour dates:

9 Oct: Glasgow, Academy
11 Oct: Dublin, Academy
12 Oct: Manchester, TBC
13 Oct: London, Coronet

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Lo-fi Glasgow band PAWS, who signed to FatCat Records for the release of a five-track cassette titled 'Misled Youth' back in April, have just announced their debut full-length 'Cokefloat!' And just as well, if anyone's going to exclaim anything in this weather, it may as well be 'cokefloat!'

Speaking about the LP, which is out on 1 Oct, guitarist/vocalist Philip Taylor says: "The thirteen tracks that make up the album are a mixture of old and new. We just picked thirteen puzzle pieces from our catalogue that we could piece together to make a final picture, representing the past two years of our writing. The choices all came comfortably and they flowed together without much thought".

The album's double A-sided lead single 'Jellyfish/Bloodline' is released on 30 Jul, and you can listen to both halves of it here.

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R&B star Ne-Yo has revealed that he passed on the chance to portray Martin Luther King Jr in a new film, after movie execs asked that he gain weight for the role. Apparently, in Ne-Yo's mind, looking svelte for his new LP campaign took precedence over the honour of portraying the great civil rights leader. Well, it's understandable.

The singer, whose acting CV includes a part in big-screen action smash 'Battle: Los Angeles' (great preparation for playing King, surely), tells The Mirror: "I definitely want to do more acting but it's got to make sense with the music. I recently had to turn down an amazing opportunity to be in a movie playing Martin Luther King".

But wait, it gets better (worse): "They wanted to start shooting at the time my album 'RED' comes out and wanted me to gain 30 pounds, so I couldn't do it. I'm kicking myself but acting can't take the place of my music. Plus, I've been killing myself in the gym for months preparing for this album because I wanted a complete makeover".

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Rock trio Tall Ships have announced that they will play their biggest headline show to date at XOYO in London on 22 Oct. The gig will follow the release of their debut album, 'Everything Touching', via Big Scary Monsters and Blood & Biscuits on 8 Oct.

Check out new single 'Gallop' here.

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While many other festivals rush around trying to find sponsors, Green Man has announced a new sponsorship deal in which it is doing the sponsoring. The event has provided new cricketing gear for the Crickhowell Cougars Cricket Club, the nearest club to the festival's site in Wales.

Marc Jones from CCCC told CMU: "The club would like to say a huge thanks to the Green Man Festival for the sponsorship of the new kit this year. It's great that they choose to support a local club and we will be repaying the favour by coming to taste their cider and listen to some good tunes over the festival weekend. The club is always looking for new playing members and volunteers to help out and the festival and their organisers have done us a real favour by supporting us this year".

Green Man MD Fiona Stewart added: "Cricket is very popular with the crew and the annual end of festival game has become legendary for a number of reasons. All of us at Green Man have been bowled over by the friendliness we have experienced from local people, and we are delighted to offer support to the Crickhowell Cougers Cricket Club and are looking forward to hearing about their victories this season".

"Bowled over", very good. Green Man takes place from 16-19 Aug with sets from artists including Van Morrison, Feist, Mogwai. And maybe some cricket.

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BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, Catton, Derby, 10-12 Aug: Andraste, Dave Macpherson, IAMI, Kyrbgrinder, Kobra And The Lotus, Absolva, Orianthi, Dakesis, Skarlett Riot, Triaxis and The Mercy House. www.bloodstock.uk.com

ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Pink. www.itunesfestival.com

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German music business convention and trade fair Popkomm is no more, according to Billboard, which reports that organisers of the long-standing music industry get-together have decided to call it a day.

The annual event had seen delegate numbers drop off for a number of years, as the traditional big trade-fair model became less viable for budget sensitive music companies - so much so it didn't take place at all in 2009.

It continued to struggle on its return in 2010, not least because of new competition in Germany from Berlin Music Week and the Reeperbahn event in Hamburg, both arguably more suited to the modern industry, where execs prefer more intimate networking opportunities, and look for more credible artist showcases.

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Amazon now accounts for a fifth of the UK entertainment retail market, according to the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel. As previously reported, according to the retail stats, Amazon overtook HMV as the country's biggest entertainment retailer late last year, though in spring the two firms were more or less neck and neck.

But, according to the latest stats, Amazon has now grown its market share by 3.2% year on year, meaning it now accounts for 21.1% of entertainment product sales, giving it quite a lead over HMV, which now accounts for 16.6% of sales, down from 17.4% in the same period a year earlier.

Kantar Worldpanel Consumer Insight Director Fiona Keenan told Retail Week: "Amazon has grown its market share considerably since last year and now has a convincing lead over HMV, which has again seen year-on-year losses. The retailer will undoubtedly have been affected by its store closures; however, the trend of consumers switching spend online has also had an impact".

"However, HMV is not alone - supermarkets too are feeling the squeeze as Tesco dropped 1.7 percentage points and Asda 0.2 percentage points in the past year. Sainsbury's is the notable exception to this rule, increasing its share of the market to 5.3% as a result of a strong focus on its video offer".

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Digital marketing and PR agency Ooh Brilliant has announced the appointment of Jazz Atkin as Digital Project Manager. Atkin joins from Vice UK, where she was Social Media Manager.

Ooh Brilliant's James Penycate told CMU: "We're delighted to welcome Jazz Atkin to the role of Digital Project Manager. Jazz will become an integral part of all our digital campaigns working with the PR team and external PR teams, labels and management companies on our rostered acts. Jazz has first rate skills and an fantastic energy about her, which will benefit everyone we work with".

He added: "She joins Ooh Brilliant at a very exciting time with campaigns underway or due to start shortly for Niki & The Dove, Gold Panda, Best Coast, Peggy Sue, Ghostpoet, The Neighbourhood, Fixers, Star Slinger, Echo Lake, Swiss Lips and No Pain In Pop, Wichita Recordings and more".

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The Creative Artists Agency, or CAA, has recruited agent Maria May for its London office. May previously worked at International Talent Booking, or ITB.

Confirming the appointment, CAA's music boss Rob Light told reporters: "Maria brings to CAA an exceptional eye for talent and an expertise in developing artists. She has a deep understanding of the electronic music landscape and will be a terrific asset to our team as we continue to expand the agency's global business".

Last week CAA's US team lost one of its agents, David Zedeck, to live music giant Live Nation, where he will become Exec VP Global Talent & Artist Development.

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The BitTorrent company behind the file-sharing technology of the same name, which is employed by many illegal file-sharers of course, has announced an alliance with DJ Shadow. BitTorrent will promote the producer's previously reported new album 'Hidden Transmissions', which will contain rarities and unreleased material from the 1990s, pre-orders for which are now being taken.

BitTorrent users will be invited to download a free digital package including three tracks from the record, plus videos and photos. They will then also be invited to "support" the DJ by downloading a new bit of RealPlayer software, with BitTorrent and Shadow seemingly getting a commission every time a fan does so.

BitTorrent's Director Of Marketing Matt Mason told reporters: "This is the first time ever that an artist has worked directly with BitTorrent to monetise content. It is kind of a giant leap forward".

While BitTorrent has become favoured by many illegal file-sharers in recent years, the tech company itself is not involved in any of the piracy services that utilise its technology, though its relations with the music industry have nevertheless suffered over the years because of its association with file-sharing.

As previously reported, in addition to the rarities record, Shadow also plans to release a best of box set later this year.

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'Whistle Song' MC Flo Rida has said his much speculated-about home workout DVD is a definite future prospect, so that's exciting, isn't it?

Having spoken about his present LP 'Wild Ones' (out now, everyone) and his loyal fanbase to Billboard, the rapper was then quizzed on the rumoured fitness venture, to which he answered: "I'm definitely going to do that. I have quite a workout regimen. I've always been about fitness and my fans can definitely appreciate that".

Asked if the regime would be suitable to do at home, Flo said: "It will definitely be flexible".

As will his fans, presumably, once they've watched it.

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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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