4 DEC 2012

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So, the CMU Podcast, looking back at happenings in the music industry during the month of November, is now ready for your listening pleasure. On it, Chris and Andy can be found discussing the impending relaunch of MySpace, Pandora's campaign to pay lower royalties and Radical.fm's attempt to run a streaming service on a pay-what-you-want basis; plus, Robbie Williams' departure from the Radio 1 playlist, Death Grips' departure from Sony Music, and Rihanna's departure from various airports with 150 journalists in tow more>>
So, to Scandinavian reggae and its most 'relevant' representatives, Stockholm's Elliphant, who've previously released just two singles: lurid rap hallucinogen 'Tekkno Scene' and its provocative plus-one 'Cian't Hear It'. A divisive and much-sidelined micro-genre as micro-genres go, that Scandinavian reggae, but it's one that Ellinor Olovsdotter et al are just about able to carry off. Just. New track 'Down On Life' is nothing but exemplary alt-pop, a lurching, dancehall-furred leviathan birthed via Icona Pop/Niki & The Dove MDs Company Ten more>>
- HMV sells MAMA Group
- Pirate Bay blocks knock out new legit sister site The Promo Bay
- Rights industries pre-empt fair use report with 'Licensing UK'
- UK Festival Awards presented
- Das Racist split, moneymaking scheme foiled
- 4AD re-imagining Grimes' Visions as two disc LP
- Maya Jane Coles to self-release EP via new label
- Rebekah Delgado announces debut album
- Marvin Gaye's son calls new biopic "shameful"
- Suede to play at Ally Pally, release new LP
- Mylene Klass, Guy Garvey added to Save The Children's Christmas Tree Sessions
- Blondie, The Script to tour forests
- Ora to tour-a
- Festival line-up additions
- Murdoch shuts iPad-only newspaper
- Paul McCartney to appear in final print edition of The Dandy
London’s finest clubnight dedicated to unearthing new Nordic talent is looking for a new Project Co-ordinator. You’ll be responsible for making sure the event takes place, overseeing the booking process and managing a five-person booking group, liaising with the Music Export Offices, the Ja Ja Ja team and the artists’ management and booking agents. Generally making sure the event is booked, promoted, and run efficiently on the day, acting as an artist liaison/gig-rep.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
An experienced promoter/booker is required to work in our events team. Based in Manchester the position will include overseeing the booking of events for all four Manchester Academy venues, as well as into the company’s other venues around the UK. The ideal candidate will already have a well established network of industry contacts and must be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of negotiating and delivering shows at all levels.

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Eventim UK, part of CTS Eventim AG, the leading ticketing company in Europe, is looking for a Client Account Manager to join its London team. You would be the first point of contact for clients, using in-depth knowledge of Eventim’s ticketing technology to provide business analysis and support for promoters, accurately building events using the Eventim ticketing system and providing ongoing management of events throughout their lifecycle.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Fast growing Music PR agency is looking for a sharp Online PR account executive who loves the web and takes pride in doing a superstar job. You will require solid music online experience, with a proven track record of working high profile releases. You must also have exceptional writing ability. Superb training and support provided.

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The MAMA Group has new owners after a £7.3 million deal backed by Lloyds Development Capital.

The live music and management company became a division of HMV in 2010 as part of the flagging retailer's then strategy of diversifying its brand away from high street retail. However, as the wider HMV Group began to run into financial problems, that strategy ran aground, and the retailer never seemed to capitalise on its new interests in the artist management and live sectors. Instead, in late 2011 the retail firm let it be known it had begun a 'strategic review' of its live division, which basically meant it was planning a sale.

MAMA's biggest single asset, the Hammersmith Apollo, was sold to a joint venture between AEG and Eventim in May. Since then it's seemed most likely that the rest of the business - incorporating a network of smaller venues, a number of festivals, the Mean Fiddler tour promotion business and some other music and media assets - would be bought by a consortium led by MAMA's existing CEO Dean James.

He confirmed that LDC was his backer yesterday morning, shortly after HMV confirmed it had sold most of the rest of its live division to an LDC-owned company called Juno Newco Ltd (MAMA's interests in the GAY and Heaven ventures will be sold off separately). Saying he was pleased that his company had finally "untangled" itself from HMV, James pledged to initiate a new period of growth at the firm, particularly beyond the UK, and to rebuild the MAMA artist management division, which was wound down earlier this year when the managers affiliated to the company departed as a result of the insecurity created by HMV's "strategic review".

James told CMU: "To say I am pleased that MAMA has been able to partner with LDC seems inadequate. MAMA has for some time been one of the leading live music companies in the UK and with LDC we will develop our venue and festival business to consolidate our position in this market, and will look to expand into Asia and America. We will build on our recent additions to the promotions team and will also re-establish MAMA's artist services business - MAMA's distribution assets, The Fly, venue estate, festivals and our tech platform, make it the perfect partner for any artist wishing to build and engage with its fanbase".

He added: "Over the past three years we have been able to open venues as well loved as The Ritz in Manchester, create festivals as wonderful as Wilderness with our partners Secret Garden Party, establish The Fly as the number one music magazine in the UK and make our brand partnership business one of the best in the market. With LDC's help and support we will build on all these existing achievements to establish MAMA as the best live music business in the world. Untangling ourselves from HMV has been a long and difficult process but one that has been handled with extraordinary grace and patience by all involved. I would like to thank Simon Fox and all at HMV, Tim Farazmand, Alistair Pendleton and Richard Barley from LDC for their skill in negotiating this deal and last but not least the extraordinary management team, employees and business partners of MAMA for their loyalty and support over the past eighteen months, this would not have happened without you".

Confirming his backing for MAMA, LDC's Investment Director Alistair Pendleton told CMU: "Live music is a growing and increasingly important sector of the UK economy and in supporting the MBO of MAMA Group we believe we are backing the best management team and the most recognised, successful brand in the business. MAMA Group is renowned for its iconic venues, where some of the world's most successful music artists have performed, and hugely popular music festivals, both in the UK and overseas, which have attracted strong followings and showcased some excellent new artists. Management have an exciting buy-and-build strategy and LDC has the resources, skills and track record to help them accelerate their plans and develop the Group into a globally-recognised business and brand".

James's bid to re-expand the MAMA business has already begun, of course, with the announcement in October that the business had taken a stake in the All Tomorrow's Parties company, while last month it was confirmed MAMA was involved in the relaunch of Liverpool's The Masque venue.

The end of HMV Live means the struggling entertainment retailer's future is now pretty much exclusively based around the HMV store network and mail-order website (and a stake in 7Digital). While HMV management remain confident that the sale of gadgets in its high street stores can ensure a long-term future for the company as CD, DVD and physical game sales decline to nothing, the general doom and gloom that hangs over high street retail at large makes many commentators less optimistic now the 'expand-the-brand' experiment is over.

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The web blocking system introduced in the UK through the courts rather than via parliament is being tested this week following the launch last week of a new sister site to The Pirate Bay.

The Promo Bay is a new spin-off site that takes a promotion originally launched by The Pirate Bay earlier this year and makes it into its own platform. Under the original scheme independent artists, film-makers and creators were encouraged to submit their work, with the best being featured on the home page of the controversial file-sharing platform, giving those creators exposure to the site's large daily audience.

The Promo Bay, as a standalone site, will expand the opportunities available to promote the work of participating artists, though presumably reduce the number of people exposed to their work somewhat, the majority of TPB users looking for content by mainstream rather than new acts, so unlikely to go digging for the new stuff.

But, either way, unlike The Pirate Bay, which was deemed liable for copyright infringement in the English courts earlier this year because the majority of the content files it links to are unlicensed, The Promo Bay, by definition, hosts content with the blessing of whoever owns the copyright in it, the copyright owner having originally submitted it.

However, some UK internet service providers, which have been forced by the courts to block access to the copyright infringing Pirate Bay, were also blocking The Promo Bay after its launch last week. This angered the people running the new site, and a petition was quickly set up demanding that the blocks against The Promo Bay be lifted.

But Virgin Media, one of the ISPs blocking the new promo site, told Tech Radar that The Promo Bay URLs were included in the court injunction that forces it to block The Pirate Bay, an injunction based on legal proceedings pursued by record label trade body the BPI. This has led some of those who oppose the concept of web-blocking on copyright grounds to say this proves the problem with the URL block system, that it might be misused by rights owners - deliberately or otherwise - to stop consumers from accessing websites which are, in fact, operating legitimately.

Loz Kaye of the UK Pirate Party told Tech Radar: "This is exactly what we warned would happen. We hope it's a mistake, and we hope it will be rectified as soon as possible, but it really illustrates the dangers of web-blocking. This censorship [ie the original web-blocks] was justified by protecting artists and preventing copyright infringement, and it is now being used in ways that are directly harmful to independent artists. It's time to put a stop to this. We cannot have private companies in charge of censoring the internet for their own ends".

Meanwhile Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group added: "Blocking of legitimate websites is unacceptable. The wide blocking order that the courts granted against The Pirate Bay made it likely that this could happen".

To be fair, the promobay.org and promobay.com domains were registered in January when The Pirate Bay first launched its new talent promotion, and it's highly likely that - when the BPI pursued its web-block litigation earlier this year - that those URLs were pointing to the main TPB site, hence their inclusion on the block list.

It seems likely that, once aware that those domains are now being used for a legitimate service, that those ISPs blocking The Promo Bay will remove the blockades (indeed, there were reports that O2's Be Broadband was blocking the promo site at the weekend, and as of this morning it is not). Though whether, technically, the web-block injunction will also need to be amended in court isn't clear.

If so, that perhaps backs the opposite argument to that of Kaye and Killock, that a more formal web-blocking system should have been put in place by the Digital Economy Act, providing a more flexible framework (albeit one with a judicial element) for deciding when there is a case for blocking a website on copyright grounds, and to react if and when circumstances change.

A web-blocking framework was including in a late draft of the DEA (and technically is still in there, but with a 'wait-and-see-before-we-do-this' clause rendering it redundant), but parliament decided to prioritise yet-to-launch three-strikes instead, meaning the BPI's TPB blocking injunction was achieved under existing copyright law through the courts.

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A coalition of trade bodies representing rights owners, including many of the music industry's trade organisations, will today publish proposals for alternative ways to deal with the copyright issues currently being considered by government in the wake of last year's Hargreaves Review.

Much of the review of copyright led by Ian Hargreaves focused on so called fair use provisions (or fair dealing to use the English law term), ie statutory exemptions that allow users, in certain circumstances, to copy or perform a copyright work without the permission of the rights owner.

The UK copyright system has less such provisions than in many other jurisdictions, and Hargreaves recommended introducing more fair use exemptions into British copyright law. A consultation on those proposals took place earlier this year, and the Intellectual Property Office is expected to publish a report on the matter later this month, which will likely lead to legislation altering copyright law.

Pre-empting that report, the rights industries are making their own alternative proposals under the title 'Licensing UK', which will likely suggest that rather than creating new exemptions when the public can use copyright works without permission (and therefore without paying any royalty), the rights industries could set up a quick, simple and cost effective licensing framework, which would likewise make it easier for people to make use of works in certain scenarios, while still giving the rights owner an element of control, and certainly a right to recompense.

More information about the proposals, which are being shared with the IPO and the Secretary Of State For Business, Innovation & Skills, Vince Cable, today, will be posted online by PRS For Music at www.prsformusic.com/licensingUK

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The UK festival community amassed in Camden last night for the UK Festival Awards, and look here at all the lovely winners...

Best Major Festival: Bestival
Best Medium-Sized Festival: Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Best Small Festival: Y Not Festival
Best New Festival: Festival No 6
Best Dance Event: GlobalGathering
Best Metropolitan Festival: Camden Crawl
Best Family Festival: Latitude
The Grass Roots Festival Award: Green Man
Best Overseas Festival: Benicassim (Spain)

The Greener Festival Award: Croissant Neuf Summer Party
Best Line-Up: Download
The Extra-Festival Activity Award: Live From Jodrell Bank
Best Toilets: Lodestar

Agency Of The Year: William Morris
Promoter Of The Year: Gareth Cooper (Festival No 6, Beach Break, Lollibop)
Concession Of The Year: Paelleria
Best Brand Activation: Southern Comfort Juke Joint

Headline Performance Of The Year: New Order at Festival No 6
Best Breakthrough Act: Jake Bugg
Anthem Of The Summer: Django Django - Default

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Probyn

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New York rap trio Das Racist have split up, it was announced on Saturday. And as break up announcements go, it was slightly unusual.

The group had been booked to play the On3 festival in Germany, but only one member, Heems, arrived for the performance. Organisers were told that the other two members, Kool AD and Dapwell, had missed their flights, but when he took to the stage, Heems told the audience: "You guys wanna know the secret? OK, so, I'm gonna do some Das Racist songs, but Das Racist is breaking up and we're not a band any more".

Kool AD then tweeted: "For the record, I quit Das Racist two months ago and was asked by our manager not to announce it yet. Apparently [Heems] wanted to do it though".

Dapwell, meanwhile, spoke to Spin, expressing frustration at his group splitting so soon, because being in Das Racist was an easy way to make cash, and he'd thought the plan was to make a little more money from it all before properly calling it a day. He said: "I was bummed when we actually broke up, mostly because it [the group] was a way to make money really easily. Now, I probably won't be able to make money that easily ever again. We had a plan to break up around [next] May. We had just signed this record deal and we were going to put out one proper album and then go on a farewell tour, release a proper breaking up statement that could have been really funny, maybe a weird, stupid video. Now, all of that has gone to shit".

Explaining what led to the split, he rambled on: "When we started in 2009, 2010, there wasn't a New York rap scene. All that shit wasn't around. And now there is all of this stuff that, when I see it, I'm like, 'Man, that looks like more fun than what I'm doing'. But we kinda checked out and it was just about money, which some people can do, but apparently, we're not good at doing things we don't want to do any more. It made everyone go crazy and get angry in such typical band fashion: guys arguing and then drinking. It's just stupid. Because in the beginning, it was just us. We'd all hang out all the time, we all lived in this apartment together. Not that we were super friends, but sort of, you know? Really, it's a huge opportunity squandered".

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4AD is making much of the fact that Grimes' 'Visions' has been crowned LP Of The Year by independent record stores Rough Trade and Resident, and thus will re-release the record with added extras at both shops.

Available over Christmas-time only, Rough Trade's bonus disc will feature the 'Visions'-era tracks 'Ambrosia' and 'Christmas Song', Majikal Cloudz duet 'Song For Ric' and remixes of original LP tracks 'Be A Body' and 'Genesis'. Resident, meanwhile, will sell a special edition featuring 'Angel', 'Life After Death' and remixes of 'Oblivion' and 'Be A Body'.

Details via this 4AD info page.

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House DJ and now solo artist Maya Jane Coles has established a label, I Am Me. That done, she'll self-release her new digital EP 'Easier To Hide' via Beatport on 7 Dec, and other retailers on 16 Dec.

Hear 'Easier To Hide' now on Fact.

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Singer-songwriter Rebekah Delgado has announced that she will release her debut album, 'Don't Sleep', on 28 Jan.

Preceding it is the 'Ménage À Moi' EP, which was released in October, featuring a title track written with Rob Davis (co-writer of Kylie Minogue's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head').

You can listen to the EP in full here and check out the video for 'Ménage À Moi' here.

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Marvin Gaye's son Marvin Gaye III has called the previously reported biopic of his father, directed by Julien Temple and starring Lenny Kravitz, "shameful.

Gaye Snr's former wife Janis Hunter has already said that she is "very sceptical" about the film, which will focus on a problematic and non-prolific time in Gaye's life, and subsequent fatal shooting by his own father. His son, however, seems more angry about the movie venture.

Gaye III told TMZ: "The producers and directors of this film are very wrong and shameful ... [They're] trying to do a film about a low period in his life. They don't even know the whole story".

He added that he and Kravitz went to school together and remain friends, adding: "I would hope he doesn't [currently] have any idea that we are against this film being done".

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Suede, who began a Girls Aloud-style countdown to a mystery thing this past Saturday, have just revealed what that mystery thing is... or since it's really two things, what those two mystery things are.

Essentially, the band will play a singular date at London's Alexandra Palace on 30 Mar, after which - aka in spring 2013 - they'll release the LP they first alluded to back in September.

As of 7 Dec, tickets to the Ally Pally show will be advance-bookable via www.suede.com

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With a duet between Myleene Klass and Elbow's Guy Garvey now present on its live programme, Save The Children's charitable Christmas Tree Sessions will also feature pared-back acoustic sets by psych astronauts Spiritualized, Guillemots' Fyfe Dangerfield, Summer Camp, Josh Kumra and Kodaline, plus Christmas-themed readings by Caitlin Moran, Chris Addison and Stuart Maconie.

It's all going on at London's Union Chapel on 14 Dec, so RSVP now.

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Blondie and The Script have just been added to the Forestry Commission's summertime series of Forest Tours. As such, Blondie will play the following dates, while The Script - being less fond of forests seemingly - will appear just the once in Suffolk's Thetford Forest on 11 Jul 2013.

The Blondie dates, all of which will also feature The Lightning Seeds, are:

4 Jun: Nottinghamshire, Sherwood Pines
15 Jun: Suffolk, Thetford Forest
21 Jun: Gloucestershire, Westonbirt Arboretum
22 Jun: Kent, Bedgebury Pinetum
28 Jun: Yorkshire, Dalby Forest
29 Jun: Staffordshire, Cannock Chase Forest
6 Jun: Cheshire, Delamere Forest

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Kosovan Rihanna-bot Rita Ora's people are having her do an eight date 'Radioactive' tour of Great Britain, starting on 28 Jan at Manchester Academy. It's shares its name with the single the 'Shine Ya Light' popstar is releasing on 10 Feb, and will go on (and on) as follows:

28 Jan: Manchester, Academy
29 Jan: Newcastle, Academy
30 Jan: Glasgow, Academy
1 Feb: Sheffield, Academy
2 Feb: Cardiff, Great Hall
5 Feb: London, Shepherds Bush Empire
8 Feb: Bournemouth, Academy
9 Feb: Birmingham, Academy

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T In The Park celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, and getting in a party mood early its organisers have just announced that Rihanna and Mumford & Sons will headline the event. What a combination.

Also new in the realm of artist additions to festivals are the likes of Blondie, The Maccabees, Bloc Party, Ellie Goulding and Jake Bugg, who'll all be playing at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 2013. The Berlin-based CTM, meanwhile, makes its presence felt via new consignments Dean Blunt, Simian Mobile Disco, Pantha du Prince, Holly Herndon and Skream. Oh, and American nu-metallers Coal Chamber are going to be at Download, so that's nice.

And now, if you like, look at an extended version of everything I just said:

CTM, various venues, Berlin, Germany, 28 Jan - 3 Feb 2013: ︻╦╤─ ƱZ ─╤╦︻, Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory, Material Object, AtomTM & Marc Behrens, Simian Mobile Disco, Skream feat Sgt Pokes, Xiu Xiu & Eugene S Robinson, Dean Blunt, Terre Thaemlitz, Demdike Stare, d'Eon, Holly Herndon, Forest Swords, Set Mosaic, Ghédalia Tazartès, Pete Swanson, People Like Us, Boris Hegenbart, Gatekeeper, EAN, Necro Deathmort, Sun Worship, xorzyzt, BlackBlackGold, Tom Ass, reliq, Wife, Lucas Abela. www.ctm-festival.de

DOWNLOAD, Donington Park, Leicestershire, 14-16 Jun 2013: Coal Chamber. www.downloadfestival.co.uk

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 13-16 Jun 2013: Blondie, Bloc Party, The Maccabees, Ellie Goulding, Fun., The Script, Paloma Faith, Republica, Bonnie Raitt, Jake Bugg, The Farm, Imperial Teen. www.isleofwightfestival.com

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, Scotland, 12-14 Jul 2013: Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, The Script, Alt-J, Paloma Faith, Jake Bugg, Of Monsters And Men. www.tinthepark.com

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While newspaper and magazine publishers all still hope that the market for paid-for tablet-based magazines is set to boom as tablet ownership becomes more mainstream, meaning that media titles that have so far failed to persuade users to pay to access web-content (and which are not profiting from ad sales either) may be able to start generating decent revenues from their online content, one of the most high profile stand-alone tablet-only publications is closing.

Rupert Murdoch's iPad-based The Daily launched in the US in February 2011, and became available via Apple's App Store in the UK the following September. Having lost in the region of $30 million a year, and having signed up only about 100,000 subscribers in that time, Murdoch said this week: "From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term. [But] we will take the very best of what we have learned at The Daily and apply it to all our properties".

The shutdown of the iPad magazine comes as Murdoch reorganises his media empire, with the newspaper and book publishing business spinning-off from the more lucrative film and TV entity. The former will keep the News Corporation name, while the latter will be renamed under the Fox brand.

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Paul McCartney is to appear in the final print edition of The Dandy before it becomes a digital-only publication. The former Beatle was apparently a big fan of the comic when growing up in Liverpool and when it was announced in August that it would soon become a digital-only venture, he sent a letter to The Dandy's publishers to ask if he could be in it.

He wrote in his letter: "I feel a little sadness that I see its final issue is appearing in December. In 1963, in the NME, when asked what my personal ambition was, I replied: 'To have my picture in The Dandy!' I hope it's not too late!"

Seemingly it was not, the print edition's editor Craig Graham saying: "When the decision was taken to stop printing The Dandy and take it online earlier this year, it really was a case of now or never. Sir Paul wrote a lovely letter to us, wishing The Dandy well and hoping it wasn't too late to make an appearance. How could we refuse?"

And so, it shall come to pass that McCartney will not only appear in the publication shaking hands with Desperate Dan, but he'll also lead the magazine's cast of characters in a 'singalong' of 'Hey Jude', which should ensure that a) children reading the final Dandy comic will be confused, and b) it'll be about 132 pages longer than usual.

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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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