13 NOV 2012

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Immediately following the Iceland Airwaves festival, You Are In Control takes place in Reykjavík each November. Looking at the digital future of the arts, the conference had its fifth outing earlier this month. In the first of a series of guest columns, Vasilis Panagiotopoulos sat in on this year's music industry-focussed panels and debates for CMU more>>
Signed by White Fence's Tim Presley as the first artist to his new label Birth Records, San Francisco folklorist Jessica Pratt has just released a new LP bearing the title 'Night Faces'. Pratt's voice, likened by an enamoured Presley to "Stevie Nicks singing over David Crosby demos, with the intimacy of a Sibylle Baier", is at the heart of her rare artistry; a hushed, Eskimo-kiss tenor that bats at the pane between vintage wist and modern angst more>>
- As IFPI releases its 'Investing In Music' report, what role do record labels play in 2012?
- Bragg hits out at music education plans, urges radio to do more to support new talent
- Jacksons not behind AEG emails leak, says judge
- UKMVAs presented
- Nominations announced for European Festival Awards
- Bad Religion name new LP
- Apple, Mccartney, Ono soundtrack new Apatow film
- Loserville to close early
- Jagger comments of Stones ticket pricing
- Girls Aloud, One Direction, Pink to ring in Jingle Bell Ball
- Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins to co-headline arena shows
- Egyptian Hip Hop touring anon
- Festival line-up additions
- Mega v2 to have New Zealand domain
- One Direction hit 100 million Spotify streams, launch app
- Ministry allies with Omnifone to put Hed Kandi on Sony streaming platform
- Frank Ocean scores Gossip Girl
- McFly don't offload shit songs onto One Direction, OK?
Academy Music Group are recruiting for an Assistant Content Editor based at O2 Academy Brixton who will be responsible for the email marketing activity and day-to-day management of website content across Academy Music Group’s (AMG) portfolio of fourteen venues. The ideal candidate will have excellent working knowledge of MS Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver; good working knowledge of HTML, CSS and be proficient at copy writing, editing and proofing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Circus Records, a leading independent EDM label, are looking for a dynamic and talented individual to join our team through our Digital Internship. Working directly with the label manager, the role will be to help enhance Circus Records' presence within the digital sphere.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Warp Records are looking for an energetic and enthusiastic new person to assist the head of marketing and promotions team. Your role will be to help us deliver great promotions for our artists and will include coordinating the creation of promo materials, performing research/sales analysis, producing and communicating plans, timelines & updates and contributing ideas to our projects.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The AMP group is excited to announce the launch of AMP Printshop, a new in-house facility for t-shirt printing and other artist merchandise alongside its Radio Plugging and Online PR departments.

The addition of a full screen printing press to our studio means we can now produce high quality t-shirts, hoodies, bags and more. Not only a great way to strengthen the image and identity of your band/project, merch is an increasingly important income stream for artists and labels to support recording, video production and touring.
To celebrate AMP is offering 50 super soft 100% cotton t-shirts with one colour design print for just £200 if ordered before 10 Dec. Perfect for autumn/winter tours or promo, for more info visit www.amp-publicity.com/t-shirt-printing or email printshop@amp-publicity.com

Hey record company haters, gather round here and listen to this.

OK, so sometimes it might feel like the major record companies are all run by aging luddites in ill-fitting suits who type with two fingers.

And we all know how labels used to promise every new signing the world, lavishing them in stretched limos, private jets and copious amounts of coke, despite knowing full well most artists failed, and all that lavishness simply meant that even moderately successful bands would never ever recoup.

And we all know a few artists who were led to believe by their labels that everything was going swimmingly, only to be dropped without warning, because an anonymous figure on high ordered some random roster culling so that his spreadsheet would have fewer red cells in it at his monthly shareholders meeting.

And we all know the artist who made a brilliant record at a label's expense, only for it to be released to just seven record shops worldwide with zero marketing, because the one A&R guy who "got the band" was headhunted by a rival label, but the current record company wouldn't let the band follow him, despite deleting the album from their active catalogue six weeks after release.

And we all know the older artists whose records are still shifting OK units, but whose quarterly royalties statement still has a minus figure at its base, because of loads of cost lines they don't understand, and no one can explain, possibly because of legitimate expenses incurred by the label, possibly because the label's business affairs team are secretly incentivised to pay out as little as possible to talent, but either way the artist can't afford the services of the kind of lawyer or accountant who could work it all out, because of the aforementioned minus figure at the bottom of their royalties report.

Phew, that was a long sentence, wasn't it? What was I saying again?

Oh yes, record labels are brilliant. No, really. Fucking brilliant.

Well, that was the message delivered by the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry yesterday which, as the global trade body for record companies, probably shouldn't be relied on too much as an unbiased source.

But the organisation's 'Investing In Music' report still contains plenty of interesting facts and figures, and you don't need to rely on the IFPI to tell you this basic fact, because I'll tell you it myself: new artists will always need investment to succeed, and while the emerging pre-order/fan funding model remains interesting, in the vast majority of cases for new talent, it is a record company which will provide the funding that unlocks the revenue potential of an artist and their songs, recordings, live performance and fan relationship.

After all, if the record label is redundant in the internet age, as so many people have said in the last ten years, why are artists still constantly signing to labels? And why do 71% of unsigned bands surveyed by the UK's Unsigned Guide still want a record deal? And why do 80% of unsigned bands surveyed by the German record industry say the same? (And the experience of the CMU Insights team running workshops for new bands backs up those stats).

So, for all their sins, record labels remain the key investor in new music talent, for the time being at least. And while labels are generally more risk adverse than before, and may be doing fewer deals overall, the record industry at large continues to pump a lot of money into developing and marketing talent.

According to the IFPI report, the global record industry at large spends $2.7 billion on "A&R" each year, which includes artist advances, the costs of developing and recording new albums, and accompanying videos and tour support. And an additional $1.8 billion is then spent marketing those new releases.

The labels body adds that overall A&R spending by the global record industry in 2011 is only slightly down from 2008, (when it was $2.8 billion), despite the trade value of recorded music worldwide declining 16% in that time. This means that the percentage of revenues reinvested by record labels into A&R activity has increased, from 15% to 16%, in that time.

And if A&R spend is equated to the research and development undertaken by other sectors, that means the record industry spends substantially more on R&D than most other industries, with even the pharmaceutical and biotech sector only investing 15.3% of its overall turnover into research.

Elsewhere, the report reckons that the cost of breaking a new artist in a major market in 2012 can run up to $1.4 million (of course that depends greatly on the kind of the artist and label); it notes that despite reports of the increased importance of live, the live sector has not become a prolific investor in developing and launching new talent; and also confirms that brand partnerships and sync income have become ever more important revenue streams for record companies.

Of course none of this is to say that record labels are perfect, but it's definitely not true that record companies are becoming irrelevant in the internet age. Some of the things said at the top of this article are true of some record companies some of the time. The trick, I suppose, is doing the right deal with the right label and, as artists and managers are more aware now than ever before, that doesn't necessarily mean the deal with the most cash attached to it. Labels in 2013 are open to (and indeed many are insisting on) new ways of dealing with talent, which is bother liberating and frightening.

Though perhaps the internet's greatest gift to new artists isn't social media, D2C, fan funding and all that jazz, but access to knowledge. So much information and advice now sits online, and it's so much easier to network with other artists, to learn from their experiences, successes and failures. Of course a label will hype up a deal to an artist it is desperate to sign, and of course no record company can truly assure any act success or even constant support, but even new artists and managers without expensive lawyers and business advisors can now make more informed decisions before "doing the deal". And, I suppose, if it does all go wrong, if you can get 200,000 Twitter followers at the record label's expense, there's always the Amanda Palmer option down the line.

Anyway, quotes...

IFPI chief Frances Moore: "'Investing In Music' highlights a simple truth - that behind the highly visible world of artists who touch people's lives there is a less visible industry of enormous diversity, creativity and economic value. This report shows the role record companies, major and independent, play around the world in discovering, nurturing and promoting artistic talent".

Alison Wenham, chief of the Association Of Independent Music, in her guise as chair of the World Independents Network, which partnered on the report: "Today, the relationship between the artists performing music and the investors supporting them has subtly changed and is continuing to evolve. The traditional model of significant advances and marketing support from larger record companies to artists remains widely in place, but there is now a greater emphasis on partnership, shared skills and shared revenues".

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In a far more interesting address to the Radio Festival than that delivered by Pete Townshead a year ago, Billy Bragg focused on music education in his John Peel Lecture last night, and expressed a concern that creativity is increasingly a pursuit of the wealthy.

Warning that the government's current meddling with the GCSE-level examination system, and its ambition to launch an English baccalaureate, would result in the arts being downgraded in the classroom, Bragg told his audience, reports The Guardian: "At a time of cuts to the education budget, the pressure on schools to dump subjects like music and drama in favour of those that offer high marks in performances tables will only grow. [There's an] insistence that knowledge is more important than creativity. [But] as Albert Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the whole world".

And a move away from teaching creative subjects in secondary schools wouldn't only be unfair to those children who are creatively gifted, it would have wider social implications, Bragg reckons. He continued: "Evidence shows that pupils from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to go on to higher education. Young people do better in English and maths subjects if they study the arts. They are more easily employable, more likely to vote, to volunteer and to get a degree. You might add to that they will be more likely to get into the charts too".

And children from higher-income families will increasingly dominate the creative industries, Bragg added, because private schools will continue to pump money into arts education. "A decent education in the arts will only be available to those able to pay for it", he said. "Now, I realise that private education is something that no one really wants to talk about in the UK. Politicians would rather lay the blame for inequality at the door of the underfunded state system than discuss the excessive influence of the privately educated. But the fact is that, for the first time since the 1960s, our society is dominated by the 10% of the population who go to private school".

"The prime minister went to Eton", he continued, "the archbishop of Canterbury went to Eton; the mayor of London went to Eton: even the man they tell me is the new Billy Bragg - Frank Turner - went to Eton. Now you may be thinking here he goes - middle-aged Clash fan railing against the state of modern music. I don't have anything against those who were sent to private schools by their parents - Peel himself went to Shrewsbury public school and Joe Strummer went to Westminster. And my only real criterion when it comes to music is whether or not a song moves me. This issue here is not one of social class, but of access".

The radio industry itself could help ensure more access to creativity for all, Bragg said, by taking more risks in the music it plays, and operating more proactively at a local level, so that new talent with limited means would see options open to them other than Simon Cowell's telly talent show franchises. Jake Bugg, he noted, benefited from early support from BBC Radio Nottingham. Bugg's local commercial station had also been an early champion via its "unsigned" initiative, but that programme was axed when owner Global rebranded local station Trent FM as another outpost for national brand Capital FM.

He concluded: "I can't believe that there aren't plenty of articulate teenagers out there with an ear for a good tune and a chip on their shoulder who have something to say. Given the crucial role that radio played in bringing Jake Bugg to the attention of the music industry, and the good work that is being done to introduce new talent to the airwaves, why aren't there more kids from his kind of background in the charts?"

Listen to the lecture in full here.

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The judge overseeing the Jackson family's wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live last week said she was not convinced that the Jacksons were behind the leaking of various emails between AEG employees and associates discussing work on the ill-fated 'This Is It' live show, both before and after Michael Jackson's death.

As previously reported, the Jacksons want AEG held liable for the death of Michael Jackson as employers of Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of causing the late king of pop's death through negligent treatment. AEG contends that Jackson himself hired and managed the medic.

In September a batch of emails between AEG execs were leaked to the LA Times. They were embarrassing because private statements about Jackson's physical and mental well-being while preparations for 'This Is It' were underway differed from public statements at the time.

In legal terms, the emails were arguably more damaging to AEG's since settled lawsuit against 'This Is It' insurer Lloyds Of London, which was refusing to pay out on the cancelled Jackson shows over allegations the live firm misrepresented the singer's health when taking out its insurance.

But either way, AEG accused the Jackson family, which had confidential access to the leaked emails as part of prep for its legal dispute with the live firm, of being behind the LA Times exposé. The live firm asked the judge hearing its case to ban the emails from any court hearings relating to the two parties' dispute, and to fine the Jackson family.

But legal reps for the Jacksons denied that the family were behind the leaks, arguing that they had no interest in making public emails that portrayed Michael in a negative light, nor which damaged their own legal fight with Lloyds.

And last week LA Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos agreed with the Jackson family, ruling that AEG had failed to prove that the Jacksons were behind the link, or to demonstrate why the emails being made public would have a detrimental impact on any court hearings in the Jacksons v AEG case.

That case will now continue as planned.

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The UK Music Video Awards were presented last Thursday, and I bet you'd all like to hear to whom they went. Well, MIA's 'Bad Girls' won most definitively in three classes, not least 'Video Of The Year', also earning its director Romain Gavras a professional gong. One Direction were given one fan-voted 'People's Choice' trophy to fight over - quelle surprise - while LCD Soundsystem and Chemical Brothers had to share the 'Best Live Music Coverage' title.

Anyway, the uncensored winners list:

Best Pop Video: MIA - Bad Girls
Best Dance Video: The Shoes - Time to Dance
Best Urban Video: Plan B - Ill Manors
Best Indie/Rock Video: Spiritualized - Hey Jane
Best Alternative Video: Alt-J - Breezeblocks

Best Pop Video (International): Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
Best Dance Video (International): Duck Sauce - Big Bad Wolf
Best Urban Video (International): Frank Ocean - Novacane
Best Indie/Rock Video (International): The Shins - Simple Song
Best Alternative Video (International): The Hickey Underworld - The Frog

Best Pop Video (Budget): Rent Boys - Shoot The Shot
Best Dance Video (Budget): Todd Terje - Inspector Norse
Best Urban Video (Budget): Noisses feat RTKAL, Lady Leshurr & Foreign Beggars - Run Your Mouth
Best Indie/Rock Video (Budget): When Saints Go Machine - Parix
Best Alternative Video (Budget): The Death Set - They Come To Get Us

Best Art Direction & Design: Justice - New Lands
Best Styling: MIA - Bad Girls
Best Choreography: Will Young - Losing Myself
Best Cinematography: Feist - The Bad In Each Other
Best Telecine: Temper Trap - Trembling Hands
Best Animation: Fleet Foxes - The Shrine/An Argument
Best Editing: The Shoes - Time To Dance
Best Visual Effects: Woodkid - Run Boy Run

The Innovation Award: ALB - Golden Chains
Best Live Music Coverage: Chemical Brothers - Don't Think/LCD Soundsystem - Shut Up And Play The Hits
Best Music Ad (TV Or Online): Kasabian - Velociraptor

Best Producer: Lee Groombridge
Best Commissioner: John Moule
Best New Director: AG Rojas
Best Director: Romain Gavras

The People's Choice Award: One Direction - Live While We're Young
Video Of The Year: MIA - Bad Girls
The Outstanding Contribution Award: David Knight
The Icon Award: Jamie Thraves

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Following the announcement last week of the shortlists for this year's UK Festival Awards, now the noms are out for the European equivalent, which takes place during the Eurosonic festival in Groningen each January.

And the nominees are...

Best Major Festival: Exit Festival (Serbia), Heineken Open'er Festival (Poland), Hurricane & Southside (Germany), Optimus Alive (Portugal), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Sziget (Hungary), Tomorrowland (Belgium), Wacken Open Air (Germany), Woodstock Festival (Poland),

Best Medium-Sized Festival: Area4 Festival (Germany), Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival (Ireland), Heineken Balaton Sound (Hungary), Lokerse Feesten (Belgium), Melt! Festival (Germany), Off Festival (Poland), Pohoda Festival (Slovakia), Rock-A-Field (Luxembourg), Smukfest (Denmark), Ursynalia - Warsaw Student Festival (Poland).

Best Small Festival: Absolutely Free Festival (Belgium), Appletree Garden (Germany), Bialystok Pozytywne Wibracje Festival (Poland), Grape Festival (Slovakia), Mini-Rock-Festival (Germany), Plai (Romania), Tauron New Music Festival (Poland), Vestrock (The Netherlands), We Love Green (France), Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (Switzerland).

Best New Festival: Electro Magnetic (Germany), Dimensions Festival (Croatia), Hadra Trance Festival Vi (France), Liss Ard Music Festival (Ireland), Mair1 Festival (Germany), Pestivals (Latvia), Ronquieres Festival (Belgium), Vestrock Junior (The Netherlands), Warriors Dance Festival (Serbia), Xo Live (The Netherlands).

Best Indoor Festival: Blues In Hell (Norway), Dia De La Musica (Spain), Eurosonic Noorderslag (The Netherlands), I Love Techno (Belgium), Le Printemps De Bourges (France), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), Sensation (Denmark), Sensation (Netherlands), The Rolling Stone Weekender (Germany), Waves Vienna (Austria).

Best European Festival Line-Up: Melt! Festival (Germany), Optimus Alive (Portugal), Primavera (Spain), Pukkelpop (Belgium), Rock Am Ring / Rock Im Park (Germany), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Southside / Hurricane (Germany), Tomorrowland (Belgium), Way Out West (Sweden).

Anthem Of The Year: Die Toten Hosen - Tage Wie Dieser, Florence & The Machine - Shake It Out, Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks, Jack White - Seven Nation Army, Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers, M83 - Midnight City, Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man, Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks, The Black Keys - Lonely Boy, Will And The People - Lion In The Morning Sun.

Headliner Of The Year: Bon Iver, Florence & The Machine, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Mumford & Sons, Pearl Jam, The Black Keys, The Cure, The Killers, The Stones Roses.

Newcomer Of The Year: Alabama Shakes, Alt J, Anna Calvi, Azealia Banks, Dope D.O.D, Dry The River, Ewert And The Two Dragons, Jessie Ware, Kraftklub, Of Monsters And Men.

Artists' Favourite Festival: Openair St Gallen (Switzerland), Optimus Alive (Portugal), Oya Festivalen (Norway), Parades De Coura (Portugal), Primavera Sound (Spain), Pukkelpop (Belgium), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Way Out West (Sweden), Roskilde (Denmark), Woodstock (Poland).

Promoter Of The Year: Everything Is New In Lisbon (Portugal), ID & T (The Nederlands), Live Nation Belgium, Luger (Sweden), Pukkelpop (Belgium).

Green Operations Award: Boom Festival (Portugal), Maifeld Derby (Germany), Open Air St Gallen (Switzerland), Way Out West (Sweden), We Love Green (France).

More at eu.festivalawards.com

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LA punks Bad Religion will release new LP 'True North' on 21 Jan via Epitaph, it's just been officially decreed.

Guitarist and Epitaph boss Brett Gurewitz has this to say about it: "We went back to our original mission statement of short concise bursts of melody and thought. The intent was to record stripped down punk songs without sacrificing any conceptual density".

Frontman Greg Graffin adds: "I think working within certain restrictions took away the mental aspect and let us devote more attention to conveying feeling. We all go through pain and the best elements of punk give us hope in those dark times".

Hear a featured track from the album now, the succinctly-titled 'Fuck You', if you so choose.

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Paul McCartney, Ryan Adams, Yoko Ono and others have lent music to the soundtrack of alt-Hollywood director Judd Apatow's new comic film, 'This Is 40', the sequel to 2007's 'Knocked Up'. Whilst McCartney et al's 'vintage' donations are recycled from past releases, Fiona Apple and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham have composed new tracks especially for the score. The film itself premieres in February 2013.

OST tracklisting:

Yoko Ono - I'm Your Angel
Norah Jones - Always Judging
Graham Parker And The Punch Brothers - What Do You Like?
Lindsey Buckingham - Sick Of You
Paul Simon - Rewrite
Ryan Adams - Shining Through The Dark (Live)
Paul McCartney - Lunch Box Odd Sox
Lindsey Buckingham feat Norah Jones - Brother & Sister
Jon Brion - Theme 1 (Debbie & Oliver)
Graham Parker And The Rumour - Watch The Moon Come Down
Loudon Wainwright - Days That We Die
Lindsey Buckingham - She Acts Like You
Fiona Apple - Dull Tool
Ryan Adams - Lucky Now (Live)
Wilco - I Got You
The Avett Brothers - Live & Die

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We live in a world where people will flock to see theatrical reworkings of Patrick Swayze films, even though they could stay at home and watch the film that actually has Patrick Swayze in it. But an original musical based on an album by a shortlived band formed by one ex-member of Busted? Apparently not. The world is a fucked up place.

The West End run of 'Loserville', the previously reported musical co-written by James Bourne and based on his post-Busted band Son Of Dork's one album, 'Welcome To Loserville', is to close two months early. The good news is, despite this, you still have until January to go and see it, and also it may be transferring abroad, so it's not going to die. Look after it foreigners, apparently we can't be trusted with it over here in the UK.

Producers Teresa and Craig Beech told What's On Stage: "We are incredibly proud of 'Loserville'. The creative team worked tirelessly to deliver an imaginative show, full of heart, which is fun for the whole family ... There has been quite a bit of interest expressed in the show from abroad, and we are currently in negotiations for our first overseas production, the first of, what we hope are, many to come".

The show will continue at the Garrick Theatre until 5 Jan, by which time I hope every single CMU reader will have gone to see it. Seriously, how can 'We Will Rock You' run for over a decade and this only get a few months? Apart from the whole Queen songs being part of the national consciousness thus negating any need to worry about anything like writing a decent show thing.

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Mick Jagger has addressed complaints that ticket prices for The Rolling Stones' upcoming 50th anniversary shows in London and New Jersey are too high in an interview with Billboard. According to the singer it's fine for standing tickets bought direct from the promoter to cost £375 because if people sell them on the secondary ticketing market they'll do so for a profit.

Yeah, I'm struggling to work out the exact logic of that, but maybe a quote from Mick will clarify. "I don't think there should be a secondary ticket market", he began. "I don't think it should be legal".

Now, you might say that's a strange thing to say in response to the question, "There's been controversy about your ticket pricing for the London and New Jersey shows. What's your take on that?", but that's not all Jagger said, so let's just allow him to continue, shall we?

"To my mind, there has to be a better way of doing it, but we're living, really, with the way the system functions. We can't, in four shows, change the whole ticketing system".

Yes Mick, but why are the cheapest tickets £95? "You might say, 'The tickets are too expensive' - well, it's a very expensive show to put on, just to do four shows, because normally you do a hundred shows and you'd have the same expenses".

Ah, so it's a matter of costs, I see. Why didn't you just say that in the first place instead of banging on about secondary ticketing? Glad we cleared it all up. Oh, what's that, you're not finished?

"So, yes, it's expensive. But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we've sold them for, so you can see the market is there. We don't participate in the profit. If a ticket costs 250 quid, let's imagine, and goes for 1000 quid, I just want to point out that we don't get that difference".

Oh right, I see. What Mick's saying is that if people are willing to pay over the odds for tickets to a show, then they might as well do so at a point where the band actually earn some of that extra cash for themselves, rather than it going to a tout. There's a logic to that. Of course, it's a logic that only really works if you assume that the majority of tickets are resold for a profit after their primary sale, and that Rolling Stones fans are all have limitless amounts of money to spend on entertainment.

Basically what he's saying is that if you're on a moderate to low income, he doesn't want to see you at his show. Not unless you're so desperate to see The Rolling Stones play that you've saved up especially to be able to do so. And, as we've noted before, it's that sort of attitude to ticket prices by top level artists which ensures that people go to fewer live music events and ultimately damages the industry as a whole. Well done, Mick.

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Capital FM has just finalised the list of artists playing its live Christmas pop-tacular, the two-day Jingle Bell Ball, this year. Bruno Mars, One Direction, JLS and a solo Cheryl Cole top the Saturday billing, whilst Chez is back again the following day as one fifth of 'surprise' Sunday co-headliners Girls Aloud. The weekender will also feature Pink, Calvin Harris, Little Mix, Rita Ora, The Wanted, Lawson and Rizzle Kicks. It's all happening on 8 and 9 Dec at London's O2 Arena.

Details and tickets - as are on sale now - available via this Capital page.

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Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins is to tour various arenas with mahogany opera quartet Il Divo, it has been classically proclaimed. Il Divo will be shoving their new 'Greatest Hits' LP into the live spotlight following its release on 26 Nov, whilst Jenkins has a festive collection, 'This Is Christmas' - also presented on 26 Nov - to endorse.

Tickets are purchasable from 16 Nov at 9.30 am sharp.

4 Apr: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
6 Apr: Brighton Centre
7 Apr: Bournemouth International Centre
9 Apr: Glasgow, SECC
10 Apr: Liverpool, Echo Arena
12 Apr: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
13 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
13 Apr: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
17 Apr: Manchester Arena
18 Apr: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
19 Apr: London, O2 Arena

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Having played three shows last month in promotion of their just-released debut LP, 'Good Don't Sleep', sphinx-like synth types Egyptian Hip Hop have now doubled their live quota via a new six-date tour. You do the math.

Tour dates:

1 Mar: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy's
2 Mar: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
4 Mar: London, XOYO
5 Mar: Bristol, Fleece
6 Mar: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
8 Mar: Manchester, Gorilla

Acting as an apt soundtrack to the above, have a Lone remix of EHH's new single 'Yoro Diallo'.

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LE GUESS WHO, Utrecht, Holland, 29 Nov - 2 Dec: Matthew Dear, Foxygen, Dignan Porch, Bersarin Quartett, Allah-Las, AmenRa, Lapalux, Cate le Bon, Fidlar, Mala In Cuba, Dam Mantle, Team Ghost, Chain and the Gang, Old Apparatus, Palmbomen, Night Beds, Chris Cohen, Sinkane, Oathbreaker, Erin Lang & The Foundlings, Land Observations, St. Paul Psycho, Man From The South, Birdt. www.leguesswho.nl

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A new vinyl-only record label, Demand Vinyl, is to launch on New Year's Day with a subscription singles club. Members of the club will get a series of singles, each of which will feature an exclusive track from an established artist and another by a newer artist on the b-side. Amongst the artists signed up to contribute music are Hot Chip, St Etienne, Memory Tapes, Niki And The Dove and Air France.

Each single will also come with extra content, including explanations of the songs by the artists involved, plus mixtapes, video and other online additions. In total, the set will cost £55, including delivery and a box to keep it all in, with subscriptions being handled by Pledge Music.

One of the singles will also feature a track by a new artist selected via a competition. Judged by Rob da Bank, the winner will also receive a day in Beggars Group's in-house studio to record their track.

More information on all of this at www.demandvinyl.com

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Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz has announced that he will use a New Zealand domain for his new file-transfer venture, after a minister in the African nation of Gabon prevented the controversial entrepreneur from using the domain me.ga.

As previously reported, Dotcom, founder of MegaUpload, plans to launch new service Mega in January, a year after the US authorities shut down his original file and video sharing platform amidst allegations of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement. The US is currently trying to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand to face the charges against him and his company in the American courts.

Keen to assure that neither his servers or domains are located in the US, where the American authorities could turn any new Mega operation off, Dotcom has said he will host his new venture in various non-US territories. The original plan was to use the domain me.ga instead of mega.com, but the political overseer of the .ga domain in Gabon overruled that plan (under American influence, says Dotcom).

So the plan now is to go with mega.co.nz. "New Zealand will be the home of our new website: Mega.co.nz - powered by legality and protected by the law", Dotcom said on Twitter yesterday.

As previously reported, the American authorities have said that they believe that, by launching the new Mega, Dotcom could be in breach of his bail conditions as he awaits an extradition hearing in the New Zealand courts.

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With a new album to promote, and having now been streamed more than 100 million times on the popular streaming service, One Direction have announced a new tie up with Spotify, in the form of a 1D Music app available on the digital platform.

Via the new 1D app, available on Spotify in every territory where the streaming gizmo currently operates, you can not only listen to new LP 'Take Me Home' in its entirety, but you can also access playlists compiled by each of the 1D boys - Harry, Niall, Zayn, Truman, Wallace and Miles - plus share your own playlists with the group, who will pick their favourites.

So, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky you.

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Ministry Of Sound yesterday announced an alliance with Sony Corp's Omnifone-powered streaming platform Sony Entertainment Network to make its Hed Kandi compilations and singles available via a licensed streaming service for the first time. The new Hed Kandi channel will be promoted across the Sony Entertainment Network's Music UnLimited platform worldwide as part of the deal.

Ministry Of Sound's Tom Bulwer told CMU: "Our partnership with Sony and Omnifone allows us to reach a new truly global audience for Hed Kandi's uplifting catalogue. Sony's Music Unlimited service also enables us to introduce the Hed Kandi experience to our fans via a vast range of connected devices and mobile apps from wherever they are around the word. The service's premium model also enables us to deliver our music in a way that is economically viable".

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OMFG, bitches. Frank Ocean has soundtracked a new episode of aspirational American television drama 'Gossip Girl', which was screened in America last night.

The new episode, titled 'Monstrous Ball', features a number of tracks from Ocean's official debut 'Channel Orange', not least the aptly-titled 'Super Rich Kids'. The commission represents the first time Ocean's music has appeared on a TV programme, and also the first time one artist has wholly scored a single episode of 'Gossip Girl'. Wow.

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Tom Fletcher from McFly would like you, well, One Direction and their reps at Syco really, to know that he doesn't offload all his shit records onto the world's biggest boyband. Which I, for one, believe. I mean, if that was the case, then the new McFly single would be a One Direction song, wouldn't it?

Fletcher recently spoke to Metro about writing pop songs for other acts, and in particular One Direction, and observed: "It's hard when you're writing for someone else. You obviously always want to do your best work, but sometimes you write and have a song idea and you're like, 'Oh, it's so good I want to keep it for us'".

Fletcher's bandmate Danny Jones, also present at the interview, and who worked with Fletcher penning songs for 1D, then chipped in: "You sent [them] that slightly shitter one, didn't ya?" A jokey aside that led to some claiming that Fletcher kept his good songs for his own band, while selling on the misfires to others.

But, says Fletcher via Twitter, that just ain't true. "So, the stuff in the press today about us giving One Direction our 'shit' songs is obviously completely false" he tweeted. "What Danny said was obviously a joke. We would never, NEVER, give anyone 'shit' songs and as I clearly say in the interview 'You obviously always want to do your best work'. In fact all three songs I've written for 1D are some of my favourites I've EVER written".

He added: "How would that [providing other acts with poorer songs] ever be good for me as a songwriter? And the most important point of all is... I've never written a shit song. Anyway, if you want to hear the song we did for 1D then it's 'I Would', track nine [of new 1D album 'Take Me Home']. Hope you like it".

Well, you heard the man, let's all go and listen right away.

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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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