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Labyrinth Ear's newly released track 'Urchin' is quite possibly their strongest so far. Moving yet further away from the Crystal Castles-esque sound of their earlier material, the reverb on singer Emily Jacobs' voice is applied with a lighter touch than much of their material, and with powerful effect. Her words carry over a simple looping synth bassline, giving the track an intimate feel more>>
- Convicted Pussy Riot members appeal
- DOOM decoy made London PA, promoters allege
- Baroness members leave hospital in the UK
- Hall And Oates shut down fan-founded political committee
- AEG's BandMerch announces Who deal
- Rolling Stones record in France
- Pond and The Horrors collaborate
- Cat Power, Jens Lekman stream new solo LPs
- Neil Young titles new Crazy Horse LP
- Converge to release new long player, tour
- A$AP Rocky resets LP release date, shares mob mixtape
- Robbie Williams to revisit 'intimate' venues
- Major Lazer, Boy Better Know, Magnetic Man, Channel One to compete at Red Bull Culture Clash
- Mono to tour
- Festival line-up additions
- HMV phases out loyalty programme in favour of My HMV platform
- IFPI appoints new legal man
- Grooveshark app returns to Android store
- Norwegian piracy spotters lose monitoring licence
- BuzzMedia acquires four more US music sites
- Slash remembers the naked Bowie of his childhood
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The three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot jailed for performing a 'punk prayer' critical of Russia's President Vladimir Putin have appealed their convictions, a legal representative has confirmed.

As previously reported, earlier this month the three women were found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after protesting against Putin in a Moscow cathedral earlier this year. They were sentenced to two years in prison, taking into account the five months they had already served while awaiting trial.

The convictions garnered criticisms from human rights and free speech groups, and musicians and artists, across the world, with many accusing the Russian government of conspiring with the country's Orthodox Church to silence critics of Putin.

A few days after the Pussy Riot three were convicted, a legal rep confirmed the womens' intention to appeal, and yesterday lawyer Violetta Volkova confirmed appeal papers had been filed with the Khamovniki district court on Monday. A decision is expected within ten days.

Meanwhile two other members of Pussy Riot have now fled Russia to avoid arrest, as the authorities there seek to prosecute the other two members of the ten strong punk outfit who took part in the cathedral protest.

Elsewhere, Russia's Orthodox Church has condemned Pussy Riot supporters who have cut down crosses in various locations around the country. The cross attacks were seemingly inspired by the cutting down of a large Orthodox cross in Kiev earlier this month, in protest at the treatment of the Pussy Riot three, by campaigning group Femen, who routinely stage headline grabbing and sometimes shocking protests to promote women's rights issues. Pussy Riot manager Pyotr Verzilov has also told reporters that the band disapproves of damaging crosses in their name.


A London hip hop collective has accused masked rapper DOOM, real name Daniel Dumile, of allowing an imposter to appear in his place at one of their club nights. Despite Dumile's being booked to make a PA at last weekend's 'Livin DOOM' party, its hosts Livin Proof allege via Facebook that "there is a very strong possibility the person that was finally sent down was not DOOM himself".

Having arranged with Dumile's management that he would deliver a DJ set as part of his appearance, Livin Proof also claim DOOM's people made a last minute "extortionate request" for a greater fee than had originally been agreed. The DJ set was then cancelled, but reinstated again ten minutes prior to the show, after which a masked man purporting to be Dumile - but not looking much like him at all - played briefly and signed autographs.

Livin Proof, certainly, weren't convinced by the apparent decoy DOOM, and say: "Doing this show has taught us a lot about how some artists operate and how they feel they can treat others and, most importantly, their fans. As fans of DOOM ourselves, this has left a very sour taste in our mouths".

Since they paid the revised fee directly to Dumile's bank account in response to his reps' sudden demand, the collective say they are "seeking legal advice" and a full refund. Camp DOOM has so far declined to comment.

This isn't the first time the authenticity of a DOOM PA has been in doubt. Several alleged sightings of fake DOOMs have been made in the past, one example being when a supposed stand-in was booed off-stage at 2008's Rock The Bells festival.

Pitchfork also draws attention to a Rolling Stone quote circa 2009 in which the rapper himself implied that, at a DOOM show, seeing and believing are somewhat interchangeable: "People are asking more now for live shows and I'm charging more, so it must've worked somewhere... [though] I tell you one thing, when you come to a DOOM show, come expecting to hear music, don't come expecting to see".

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All four members of Baroness have now been released from hospital, following their previously reported tour bush crash in Somerset earlier this month.

Frontman John Baizley was the final member of the metal band to be discharged, while his bandmates have all already returned the US, lead guitarist Pete Adams having been the first to head home a week and a half ago. As well as confirming this news, the band have also said that all remaining tour dates for 2012 have been cancelled.

As for the other people hurt in the crash, the status is unclear. Earlier this month it was announced that the driver of the bus (who was said to have sustained "live changing injuries") was still in a critical condition, though a spokesperson for the Royal United Hospital in Bath declined to comment to the BBC.

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Hall And Oates have persuaded two fans who set up a political wing for the pop rock duo's fanbase to cease their activities. Two fans in Atlanta took it upon themselves to set up the Hall And Oates Super PAC (that's 'political action committee'), registering it with the Federal Election Commission, and starting to plan fundraising activities to fund future undefined political campaigns.

Actually, it seems likely the PAC's founders mainly planned to use the venture to make politically-themed parody videos, and really named it after Hall And Oates for a joke. But Daryl Hall and John Oates were, unsurprisingly, not completely happy when discovering a political fundraising committee had been established in their name, and they reached out to the two fans that had created the PAC asking them to cease their activities.

Hall & Oates' manager Jonathan Wolfson told the New York Observer: "Daryl Hall and John Oates recognise that the personal viewpoints of their fans cross all political spectrums and are honoured to be supported by their fans everywhere regardless of political affiliation. The PAC's founders recognise that the use of the 'Hall' and 'Oates' names for the purpose of raising funds is not an appropriate fan activity no matter what the goal of the fundraising activities might be".

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AEG Live's merchandising firm BandMerch has announced a long-term worldwide deal with The Who, which will see the company handle merchandise for the band as they embark on a new AEG-promoted Quadrophenia tour this autumn, ahead of the 40th anniversary of the band's iconic rock opera next year.

BandMerch will work with the band in various ways under the new deal, providing e-commerce solutions and managing the band's own website, as well as handling tour merch sales, and forging and managing various retail partnerships. BandMerch say that, unusually for merchandising deals, this is a long-term partnership that could run for the rest of the band's career.

The Who previously had a merchandise partnership with the merchandising business of AEG's main competitor Live Nation; but with AEG also promoting The Who's upcoming tour, the band's live and merchandising activities can now presumably be much more closely integrated.

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All four Rolling Stones - so that's Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood - have been in the studio, at the same time, recording an undisclosed something.

The quartet were seen leaving Studio Guillaume Tell in Paris, after which Mick Jagger substantiated the sighting via this photo.

It's thought that Jagger and co were taping bonus material to feature on a forthcoming greatest hits compilation, which is set for release this year in honour of the band's 50th anniversary.


Pond's Nick Allbrook and Cam Avery have coerced music types from The Horrors, Spectrum, The History Of Apple Pie and Novella to play on the new LP by their plausibly-named side project, Allbrook/Avery.

Not that any of the above had much choice in the matter. Speaking via NME's Radar column, Allbrook remembers collaring The Horrors for the collaboration. He says: "We just arrived in London and said, 'You are recording our album, thanks', and they did it!"

He adds: "We assembled a crack team of prodigious sonic terrorists to lend their cacophony to our crappy album, and they fell for it! For no reason, no pay and with no warning. [They all] spent a week in a dark basement playing our songs and pretending they liked us. Well, I don't care. I had a heap of fun and I love them all so they can all ram it".

Nice, that's gratitude for you. The LP in question, which will represent the sequel to last year's debut 'Big Art', hasn't yet been given a release date, but you're sure to hear about it as soon as it has.

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Cat Power has opted to stream the entirety of her previously detailed new not-just-a-break-up LP, 'Sun', in the days prior to its official release on 3 Sep. The Guardian is hosting this particular audio preview, so take advantage of it now at this link.

Likewise, Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman's new LP, 'I Know What Love Isn't', is also available for pre-release listening. It's out the same day as 'Sun', but you can play it in full now courtesy of Pitchfork and SoundCloud.


Neil Young has just shared details of what's to be his and Crazy Horse's second collaborative LP of this year, 'Psychedelic Pill'. Comprising all-original material, it was made straight after the band's covers record 'Americana', and is set for release in October.

A post on Young's official website confirms the new long player will be available in double CD and triple vinyl formats, "because of the lengths of many of the songs". A "recommended" hi-res edition, as features the album plus the videos for all of its singles, will also be supplied on Blu-ray disc.


US hardcore enthusiasts Converge have just premiered the video for their new single 'Aimless Arrow', choosing the moment to also share notes on their forthcoming LP 'All We Love We Leave Behind'.

It's released as a normal and deluxe package (the latter having three bonus tracks and packaged with a hardcover book of original art by Converge frontman Jacob Bannon) on 8 Oct, after which the band will tour Europe.

For the record, here's a contents list, as features the deluxe edition 'bonus' tracks 'No Light Escapes', 'On My Shield' and 'Runaway'.

Aimless Arrow
Tender Abuse
Sadness Comes Home
Empty On The Inside
Sparrow's Fall
Glacial Pace
No Light Escapes
Vicious Muse
Veins And Veils
Coral Blue
Shame In The Way
On My Shield
All We Love We Leave Behind
Predatory Glow

And the relevant tour dates:

25 Nov: London, Koko
26 Nov: Birmingham, Academy 2
27 Nov: Colchester, Arts Centre
28 Nov: Glasgow, Classic Grand
29 Nov: Manchester, Academy 2
30 Nov: Dublin, The Button Factory
1 Dec: Brighton, Concorde 2

Oh, and that aforementioned 'Aimless Arrow' promo.


Contrary to his rap alias, procrastination-prone Harlem MC A$AP Rocky has further deferred the release of his debut LP, 'LongLiveA$AP' - initially meant to be out in July, then later set back to September - to 31 Oct, also known as Halloween.

Glossing over the date-change as if it had always been so, a casual A$AP named Clams Casino, Hit-Boy, Soufein3000 and Joey Fat Beats amongst those potentially lending production touches to the record.

He also mentioned Ty Beats, an affiliate of Rocky's A$AP Mob, who have just released an ensemble mixtape titled 'Lord$ Never Worry'. It features the likes of Danny Brown, AraabMuzik and Gunplay, and is available to download for free via this link.

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Last seen chasing Effy from 'Skins' in angel wings and a suit of armour (and pretending to punch a granny) pink-clad popstar Robbie Williams has now applied that same low-key theme to a very special three-date tour.

The schtick with this particular outing is that The Robster will play three of the venues he once frequented during his first solo outing in 1997. Those wanting to bid for a place at one, two or all of the 'intimate' shows can register at tickets.robbiewilliams.com. Winning fans will be chosen at random on 3 Sep, and will then be able to buy tickets in the usual way.

Just in case you're one of those people, here are the dates:

11 Sep: Leeds, Academy
12 Sep: Glasgow, Barrowlands
16 Sep: Southend On Sea, Cliffs Pavilion

Meanwhile, if this mysterious photo is to be believed, Robbie will release his still-untitled new single on 3 Sep. Either that, or he's installing his own marble bust atop Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.


Major Lazer's Diplo will contend with Boy Better Know, Magnetic Man and Channel One at the next edition of Red Bull's Culture Clash sound-off, which takes place on 7 Nov at London's Wembley Arena.

Representing dancehall, grime, dubstep and dub reggae respectively, each faction will compete across four stages to impress the crowd, who'll elect an overall winner at the end of the night.

Click here for details.


Instrumental four-piece Mono are leaving their native Japan for a spell in December, having just shared notes on a forthcoming tour. It takes place in the immediate wake of the band's booking at this year's Shellac-curated ATP Nightmare Before Christmas on 30 Nov. At the heart of all this live activity is new LP 'For My Parents', which is out via Temporary Residence on 3 Sep.

Tour dates:

1 Dec: Bristol, The Exchange
3 Dec: Glasgow, Oran Mor
4 Dec: Belfast, Mandela Hall
5 Dec: Cork, Cyprus Avenue
6 Dec: Dublin, Button Factory
7 Dec: Manchester, Sound Control
8 Dec: London, Village Underground

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ETHER, Southbank Centre, London, 5-19 Oct: Iamamiwhoami, Apparat, Anna Meredith, Horsebox. ether.southbankcentre.co.uk

I LOVE TECHNO, Ghent, Belgium, 10 Nov: Jamie xx, Boys Noize, Tiga, Major Lazer, DJ Fresh, Sub Focus, Benga, Spank Rock, Flux Pavilion, Rudimental, Martyn, Excision, Aks, NGA Sound, Joris Voorns, Dr Lektroluv, Raveyards, Chris Liebing, Len Faki, Karenn, Dada Life, Moonlight Matters. www.ilovetechno.be

ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Muse, Kindness, Benjamin Francis Leftwich. www.itunesfestival.com

SPLIT FESTIVAL, Ashbrooke Sports Club, Sunderland. 21-23 Sep: Public Image Limited, Pulled Apart By Horses. www.splitfestival.com

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HMV is axing its lacklustre loyalty programme, which went by the name Pure HMV, as it rolls out a new marketing initiative called My HMV, which aims to more closely integrate the flagging retailer's online and high street operations (and about time too), including in-store events and the previously reported 'social media' café idea being piloted in Cambridge.

Or, in the words of HMV e-Commerce And Marketing Director Mark Hodgkinson, who spoke to Marketing Week: "My HMV offers a 360 degree platform that integrates loyalty with online and offline retail, social media and content". Aha, my favourite kind of platform. He added: "It will also allow HMV to offer more personalised engagement with customers than it has previously been able to".

As part of the new programme, HMV is rolling out wi-fi into its stores, which, combined with the My HMV platform, will enable consumers who connect with the retailer both online and on the high street to integrate those experiences, and could result in regular customers getting personalised digital messages on arriving in store recommending offers, products and events.

Which you might think sounds a bit intrusive, but many reckon it's the future of retail, and others in the sector will no doubt be watching HMV's experiments in this space with interest. And for his part, Hodgkinson reckons the roll out of My HMV could help turn round the fortunes of the entertainment retail firm, which has refocused its energies more or less exclusively onto its core high street retail business, which I think everyone would agree is a challenging place to be in 2012.

The two million odd people who had signed up to Pure HMV will be transferred over to the new system.


The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry yesterday announced the appointment of David O Carson to the roll of Head Of Global Legal Policy. Carson joins the globally focussed record industry trade body from the US Copyright Office, where he has been General Counsel since 1997 (with a brief stint as Associate Register For Policy & International Affairs in 2007/8).

In his new role he will report to IFPI boss Frances Moore, and will "coordinate the recorded music industry's legal policy strategy worldwide, working with governments, lawmakers, other industries and international organisations on a wide variety of copyright issues, including the need to achieve robust legislation to help tackle online piracy and establish a sustainable digital music market".

Confirming the appointment, Moore told CMU: "I am delighted that David O Carson has agreed to join IFPI. He has a long and impressive track record of work in the field of intellectual property rights and understands their vital importance to the recorded music sector. He will be a powerful advocate for our industry".

Carson himself added: "This is an exciting time to join the recorded music industry. I look forward to working with Frances Moore and the rest of the IFPI team to make the case for ensuring intellectual property rights are respected online, enabling record companies to have a fair opportunity to recoup their costs and invest in the next generation of artistic talent".

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Grooveshark's Android app has reappeared in Google's app store, over a year after it was evicted from the official Android app platform, seemingly because of pressure put on the web giant by the major music companies.

The majors have long had problems with Grooveshark, of course, and while EMI did at one point licence the streaming music service, it fell out with the digital firm earlier this year. Universal, meanwhile, has been trying to sue Grooveshark out of business for some time, with its most recent legal onslaught also endorsed by Sony and Warner Music.

The majors, of course, accuse Grooveshark of enabling copyright infringement, by letting users as well as rights owners upload their own MP3 collections into the Grooveshark catalogue, meaning large amounts of music is available via the digital platform without the copyright owner's permission. For its part Grooveshark insists it operates a takedown system inline with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, so is fully legal (in America at least).

Official Grooveshark apps were removed from both the Apple and Android stores as Universal stepped up its assault on the rogue digital platform in 2010/11, and earlier this year the digital firm launched an HTML5 app, available via a web-page, thus circumventing the official app stores.

But then the Wall Street Journal noticed in recent days that a Grooveshark app was available via the Google app store once again, and a spokesman for the streaming service subsequently told Billboard: "After working closely with Google to get rogue apps removed, we're delighted that the official Grooveshark app has been reinstated in the Android market. Grooveshark is dedicated to helping music fans search, discover and share music while pioneering new artist promotion, distribution and monetisation techniques. We look forward to continuing to build a relationship with Android and leverage this fantastic platform for our partners".

Neither Google nor the major labels have responded to the news so far.


Whether or not copyright owners monitoring file-sharing networks in a bid to track down online pirates contravenes net users' privacy rights has been discussed at various points in the last decade, though in most jurisdictions such monitoring has been allowed, partly because any online activity monitored can only be attributed to an IP address, and it takes a court order to force an internet service provider to reveal the actual identity of the customer registered at that location.

But in some territories data protection rules have played a more significant role than others (such rules derailed three-strikes in Ireland for a time), and according to Torrentfreak privacy laws in Norway mean that, as of March, rights owners are no longer allowed to monitor any online activity. And while that rule might be hard to enforce in practice, it means no copyright action could be pursued that relied on evidence gathered via online monitoring.

It seems that in Norway online monitoring has always been more strictly regulated, though the country's Data Inspectorate did issue a licence to one law firm allowing it to monitor file-sharing according to set rules. Which was good news for that law firm, called Simonsen, it more or less giving them a monopoly when it comes to helping rights owners target file-sharers.

Except earlier this year the Data Inspectorate chose not to renew Simonsen's licence, and Norway's Privacy Appeals Board rejected the law firm's appeal of that decision. Cecilie Rønnevik, senior advisor to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, told Torrentfreak last week: "As of today no hunting of file-sharers is allowed in Norway".

Needless to say, Simonsen are critical of the current situation, telling Norwegian magazine Teknisk Ukeblad: "When no one is authorised to process personal data in order to stop copyright infringement, it weakens licensees' ability to pursue violations happening online, and thus their ability to protect their interests. We hope and believe that this problem will soon be solved".

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Fresh from buying Spin magazine last month, US digital media company BuzzMedia has announced the acquisition of four punk rock websites: Under The Gun Review, Alter The Press!, PropertyOfZack and Punknews.org. These will be allied with existing Buzz website Absolute Punk to create a family of punk-themed sites under the umbrella heading AbsoluteVoices.

Says BuzzMedia GM Of Music Bill Jensen: "AbsoluteVoices puts a spotlight on some of the most unique and up-and-coming voices in punk rock reporting, and brings them to AbsolutePunk.net, which over the years has become the largest online gathering place for the punk rock fan community".

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Slash once discovered his mother naked with David Bowie, he's revealed to Aussie radio station Triple M. And before you think the one time Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist has gone a bit crazy, his mother, Ola Hudson, was a costume designer who worked for various music stars, including, in the mid-1970s, Bowie. And during that time Mrs Slash and the Thin White Duke had a bit of a romantic fling, Slash now claims.

Talking about his late mother, who died in 2009, the NME reports that Slash said: "My mom started working with David professionally at first. I'm pretty sure that's how it started. Then it turned into some sort of mysterious romance that went on for a while after that. She did his wardrobe for his whole Thin White Duke period and 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' movie that he did. She did all that and he was around for a while".

Slash was about eight at the time, and he adds: "He was always over - they were always together. I caught them naked once. They had a lot of stuff going on, but my perspective was limited. Looking back on it, I know exactly what was going on! When I look back on that whole combination of people, I can only imagine how freaky it was".

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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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