5 FEB 2013

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January was a busy month in the world of music, so our first edition of The CMU Podcast for 2013 is jam packed. In it you'll find Chris and Andy discussing HMV's slip into administration, the launch of Kim Dotcom's new file-storage service Mega, Beggars group chief Martin Mills' speech and the indie labels' attack on MySpace at MIDEM, plus the surprise comebacks of Justin Timberlake and David Bowie more>>
The Domino/Weird World-signed Melody Prochet had a classical schooling as a child in Paris, beginning via the viola. After that, she started playing in bands like the since-dissolved My Bee's Garden, and began a Perth-based collaboration with Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, as has since been immortalised in her eponymous debut LP as Melody's Echo Chamber more>>
- Google denies Parlophone is boycotting its locker
- Boyfriend of disgraced AKB48 singer apologises to fans
- Reg Presley 1941-2013
- Fall Out Boy fall back in love, make post-fallout LP
- Drake premieres new track
- Vampire Weekend share real LP info, live dates
- Beyonce adds Mrs Carter Show World Tour dates
- Fleetwood Mac going own way... on tour
- The Postal Service playing London/Manchester shows
- Minus The Bear announce UK shows
- Festival line-up update
- Universal renews Republic relationship
- Ingenious announces new live investment ventures
- European PR firms merge to become Factory 92
- Ministry appoints new A&R director
- Local content obligation removed from Magic AM licences
- Vanilla Ice sees himself in Justin Bieber
- Britney's dog going to Vegas (residency still not confirmed)
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Google has denied a report that the Parlophone Label Group - so those former EMI labels not absorbed by Universal Music last year and still awaiting sell-off to meet Universal's competition regulator commitments - is boycotting the web giant's digital locker service.

As previously reported, Google Play initially launched in the US without any music companies on board, relying on the principle that in most countries (though not the UK) basic cloud-storage of music files is possible without a licence from rights owners, because users are simply exercising their private copy right when they upload digital music files to a Google server.

However, Google wanted to add so called scan-and-match to its locker service, where the web firm will scan your MP3 collection and automatically make copies of tracks it already has stored on its system available to you without any need to upload them. Apple entered the digital locker market with that extra functionality. Because with scan-and-match the service provider, rather than the user, does the copying, a licence is required.

Google added scan-and-match to its digital locker late last year, arriving to the UK market with the extra functionality already in place. All three majors were on board for launch, but did that include the in-limbo bit of the now defunct EMI, which includes the former Parlophone UK division, the Chrysalis recordings catalogue and various other former EMI units in Europe?

Well, the Telegraph yesterday cited sources at the Parlophone Label Group who allegedly told the broadsheet that the former EMI division hadn't signed up to the Google Play digital locker, and that it didn't intend to because bosses there weren't convinced the web giant was offering a reasonable deal.

However, Google has denied that Parlophone is boycotting its digital locker, and Billboard says it managed to buy tracks released by the former EMI label via the Google Play download store, and to then transfer them over into a Google locker.

So was there any truth to the rumours reported by the Telegraph? Are bosses at Parlophone, still awaiting news on their fate as Universal decides who to sell the company to, reviewing all the digital deals they've inherited from what was the EMI Group, and questioning the benefits of some of them?

And are the former major label execs in charge adjusting to the prospect of leading a smaller music rights company where perhaps the big digital players are less willing to bend over backwards? Perhaps - if an independent Parlophone Label Group is a possible outcome of Universal's sale - the company should be filling out a Merlin application firm, learning how to hate the all new MySpace, and getting some "Justin Timberlake's a cunt" t-shirts printed up (something I'm expecting every indie label employee to wear at the BRITs later this month). Maybe. Maybe not.

Or perhaps if Parlophone bosses want a technology company closer to home to vent about, they could try BT instead. The phone firm has just launched its own cloud-storage service, bundled in with its broadband subscriptions.

Although it isn't a music-specific service, and doesn't offer scan-and-match, it does tell users approximately how many songs they could fit in each kind of locker. Except, of course, there is no private copying right in the UK (not yet anyway), so if those songs originated on CD (as many probably did) BT customers would be infringing copyright by storing music in their BT digital locker. So there you go Parlophone - get angry about that.

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The alleged boyfriend of AKB48 singer Minami Minegishi, Aran Shirahama, also a J-pop star in his own right, has made his first public comment on the scandal surrounding the two of them.

As previously reported, the couple fell under the media glare in Japan after Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun published an exposé claiming that Minegishi and Shirahama had spent the night together, breaking the 'no dating' rule put in place by AKB48's management. Minegishi was subsequently demoted to the lowest rank in her hierarchical band and shaved her head in order to show the sincerity of her regret over the matter.

A video of Minegishi, with her newly shaved head, issuing a tearful apology was uploaded to YouTube last week but removed after widespread derision both within Japan and internationally.

The only initial comment from Shirahama's side came in the form of a statement from his management reps immediately after the exposé was published, saying: "We leave his private life up to him. He told us that they were nothing more than just good friends".

Though on Sunday at an event to launch his group Generations' new single, 'Animal', Shirahama told 1500 assembled fans: "I am so sorry for the trouble I've caused. I will try to be better in future". According to Sponichi Annex, he also claimed that he had never touched Minegishi.

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REG PRESLEY 1941-2013
Reg Presley, frontman with The Troggs, probably best known for their 1966 cover of 'Wild Thing', has died aged 71 after losing a battle with lung cancer.

Presley, born Reginald Ball, founded The Troggs in the early 1960s in the Hampshire town of Andover. Signed up by Larry Page, manager of The Kinks, they began releasing singles, initially via Page's own label in the UK and various record companies in the US.

It was arguably their cover of Chip Taylor's 'Wild Thing' that brought the band to mainstream attention, it topping the charts in the US and reaching number two in the UK. Other hits followed, including 'With A Girl Like You', 'I Can't Control Myself' and 'Love Is All Around'.

By the 1970s, and after various members, including Presley, had attempted to launch solo careers, the band's hit rate started to dwindle, despite temporarily hooking back up with Page for management. They continued to record and tour, though for a time within the music industry were perhaps better known for the infamous Troggs Tapes, a recording of studio chatter which featuring sweary bickering between band members and which, legend has it, inspired at least one scene in the movie 'Spinal Tap'.

Although they never regained their 1960s height, interest in the band rose again in the 1990s, partly because of a collaboration with REM, and partly because of the Wet Wet Wet cover of the Presley-penned 'Love Is All Around', which spent nearly four months at the top of the charts, mainly thanks to the popularity of the film it appeared in, 'Four Weddings And A Funeral'.

The cover reignited some interest in the band who sang the original, not to mention providing a sizable boost to Presley's PRS cheques. Presley continued to play live until 2011, when ill-health forced him to retire.

Confirming Presley's passing, writer and long-term friend of the Troggs frontman, Keith Altham wrote on his Facebook page yesterday: "My dear old pal Reg Presley of The Troggs died today at 1pm surrounded by family and friends at his home in Andover following a succession of recent strokes and a losing battle with cancer. He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world. Our thoughts are with his wife Brenda and the family and those legion of fans who loved his music and his band. I will miss him hugely".

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After four years of hiatus-type apathy and 'going solo', Fall Out Boy are back, and recording as one once again. They'll give 'Save Rock And Roll', their first all-new LP since 2008's 'Folie à Deux', a live baptism via a series of international dates. The most relevant of those - if you're Britain-based, that is - is a show at London's Underworld on 25 Feb.

The band say: "When we were kids the only thing that got us through most days was music. It's why we started Fall Out Boy in the first place. This isn't a reunion because we never broke up. We needed to plug back in and make some music that matters to us. The future of Fall Out Boy starts now. Save rock and roll...".

Yes, do that. I'd imagine they'd like to add "and buy the record when it's released on 6 May", but are too modest to do so.

Though FOB's new single, co-starring rapper 2 Chainz, 'My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)', is, as per its title, not all that modest, so hear that/download it via iTunes now.

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Drake has premiered a new single, titled 'Started From The Bottom'. No laughing in the back, please. It's basically a muted 'no I'm not, actually' to anyone who ever said Drake is/was a fake, and will feature on the rapper's still-tba follow-on to 2011's 'Take Care' LP.

Says Drake: "I did not buy my way into this spot and it was the furthest thing from easy to achieve. I am proud of every part of my past and I'm excited for this song to find a place in your life as well".

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So, we at last have the real title (aka not that faux 'Lemon Sounds' hoax) of the new Vampire Weekend LP. And a tracklisting, too, if perchance that floats your boat.

Anyway. The band revealed said title ('Modern Vampires Of The City') plus an all-essential release date (6 May) via a classified ad in yesterday's New York Times. It's been reprinted here by Pitchfork, if you want to have a look. And if, in this era of post-'Lemon Sounds' cynicism, you're still an 'Unbeliever', here are the details verified via an official VW tweet.

Vampire Weekend will be playing certain 'Modern Vampires...' tracks at the one British live date they've set so far, which is at London's Troxy on 8 May. Those certain tracks may be any one/all of the following:

Obvious Bicycle
Diane Young
Don't Lie
Hannah Hunt
Everlasting Arms
Finger Back
Worship You
Ya Hey
Young Lion

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A brazen post-Super Bowl Beyonce has alerted the cosmos to her new 'Mrs Carter Show World Tour' dates via a set of what are perhaps the most OTT-looking promo shots ever. Still, she is Beyonce, and it is her first world tour since 2009, so why not?

There will be six dates in the UK. Thanks to a "priority partnership" with O2, customers of the useless tel co will be able to buy tickets to all shows 48 hours in advance of their official 23 Feb sale date. Details here.

And now, the dates in question, plus a lavish 'Mrs Carter Show World Tour' trail directed by Jonas Akerlund:

26 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
29 Apr: London, O2 Arena
30 Apr: London, O2 Arena
1 May: London, O2 Arena
3 May: London, O2 Arena
7 May: Manchester, Evening News Arena

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Well-coiffed pop/rock dinosaurs Fleetwood Mac will promote the upcoming re-issue of 1977 LP 'Rumours' by taking its hits for a five-date British spin. All tickets - prices of which (minus fees) are set between a barely reasonable £56.75 and an even less reasonable £138.50 - are available as of Friday.

20 Sep: Dublin, The O2
24 Sep: London, O2 Arena
29 Sep: Birmingham, LG Arena
1 Oct: Manchester, Arena
3 Oct: Glasgow, The Hydro

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Another lot partaking in what we'll all surely look back on oh-so fondly as the 'getting back together band craze of 2013', The Postal Service, are going to start a nice miniature live stint in May.

Band originals Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tambarillo (aka Dntel), plus a live band starring a past TPS collaborator, Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, will play Manchester's Academy 2 on 18 May, moving on to London's Brixton Academy (20 May) and the Barcelona-based Primavera Sound festival (23 May).

As a physical memento of touring times to come, Gibbard et al will be releasing a deluxe tenth anniversary edition of their one and only LP 'Give Up' via Sub Pop on 8 Apr.

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Minus The Bear will be in the UK playing some gigs in a couple of months. They'll also release a new single from their 'Infinity Overhead' album to coincide with the dates. That will be 'Listing', and it'll be available on 15 Apr. You can see the video for that here, right before these tour dates:

24 Apr: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
25 Apr: Kingston, McClusky's
26 Apr: Birmingham, Academy 2
27 Apr: Glasgow, King Tut's
28 Apr: Liverpool, The Kazimier
29 Apr: Manchester, Academy 3
30 Apr: Leeds, Cockpit
1 May: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
2 May: London, The Garage

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So, the Reading and Leeds festivals have just announced their next wave of line-up additions, with Biffy Clyro joining Eminem as headliners for their only UK festival appearances of this year. Also on the bill with them will be System Of A Down, Fall Out Boy, Foals, Bring Me The Horizon and that Jake Bugg.

Elsewhere, Irish festival Oxegen has confirmed its return after a one-year break (albeit reduced from a three to a two day event), while Wakefieldian all-dayer Long Divison has added some acts, with organiser Dean Freeman (also editor of Rhubarb Bomb zine) saying this of booking 2013 headliners The Fall: "We have wanted to book them since our first year and to finally have them coming to Wakefield is a dream come true. They are utterly unique and the perfect headliners for a festival run by a fanzine; contrary, awkward, endlessly creative and never bowing to commerciality".

So, that's nice. And now, info on other nice listings missives care of Benicassim, Blissfields and Cornwall's pleasingly-programmed Pleasure Principle...

BENICASSIM, FIB Heineken, Valencia, Spain, 18-21 Jul: Dizzee Rascal, The Courteeners, Guadalupe Plata, Spacin. fiberfib.com

BLISSFIELDS, Vicarage Farm, Hampshire, 5-7 Jul: Mystery Jets, Bastille, Clean Bandit, Matt Corby, The Other Tribe, Post War Years, Marika Hackman, Public Service Broadcasting, Far Too Loud, Zion Train feat Perch & Dubdadda, Subgiant, Subsource, Beans On Toast, Ally Wolf, Animal, Axis Mundi, Beard Of Wolves, Belligerence, Bellyeyesmile, Ben Goddard, Bitr8, Bosch Stacey, Boule, Charlie Ayliffe, Charlie Fox, Cholombian, Chris Ward (Tropics), Deadproud, Dem Hungry, DJ Grey Jumps, Dr Strangelove's Burlesque Discotheque, Eddy Rocksteddy, Fervent, Flight Brigade, Hairy Hands, Heathward, Holy Vessel, It's A Sin DJs, Jay B, Joe Raygun, Josh Savage, K1r3y, Kemp, Kill Em Dead Cowboy, Loveless DJs, Luca Pilato, Mary Miss Fairy, Matt Perriment, Matty Lah , Morgan Hislop (Remnant Psyche), Nathan Lambert, Nick Tann, Psychedelia DJs, Remnant Psyche, Reventure, Rockfeedback DJs, Sean Mcgowan, So8l, Soundtracks, Suicide Party, Terminal Fear, The Raged, The Widowmaker, Tom Lowman, Transgressive Records Soundsystem, Tyde, Upon The Shore, Will Chump, Will Ozanne (Gang Colours), Willow, Winterhours, Zenthetix. www.blissfields.co.uk

LEEDS FESTIVAL, Bramham Park, Leeds, 23-25 Aug 2013: Biffy Clyro, System Of A Down, Fall Out Boy, Foals, Jake Bugg and Bring Me The Horizon. www.leedsfestival.com

LONG DIVISION, various venues, Wakefield, Yorkshire, 8 Jun: The Fall, Ghostpoet, Howard Marks, Nine Black Alps, RM Hubbert, Ed Tudor Pole, Skint & Demoralised, Dead Sons, Post War Glamour Girls, The Spills, Johnny The Firth, Michael Ainsley, The Matadors, The Sunbeams. www.longdivisionfestival.co.uk

PLEASURE PRINCIPLE, Trevelgue Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall, 26-28 Apr: David Ram Jam Rodigan, Ruff Sqwad, Optimo, Leroy Burgess (Live PA), Benji B, Mr. Saturday Night, L.I.E.S. ft. Ron Morelli & Steve Summers, Artwork, Krystal Klear, Kowton, Awesome Tapes From Africa, Kool Clap, All Caps. pleasureprinciple.net

READING FESTIVAL, Richfield Avenue, Reading, 23-25 Aug 2013: Biffy Clyro, System Of A Down, Fall Out Boy, Foals, Jake Bugg and Bring Me The Horizon. www.readingfestival.com

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Universal Music has announced a new deal with Monte and Avery Lipman, the founders of Republic Records, which has operated in one form or another as a Universal affiliate or division since 1995.

Confirming the brothers had entered into a new "long-term agreement" to stay with Universal, taking the jobs titles of CEO and COO of the Republic Records unit, Universal boss man Lucian Grainge told CMU: "Monte and Avery have established themselves as one of the industry's most formidable creative teams. They are truly world class music executives who have rewritten the rules for breaking new talent. We couldn't be more delighted that they will continue building Republic as a home for truly inventive artists".

The brothers added, seemingly in unison: "We work every day towards building a culture that supports the artist community and the entrepreneurial spirit that shapes our company. The unparalleled support of Lucian and [UMG East Coast labels chief] Barry [Weiss] for Republic continues to inspire us to be competitive, while serving the needs of our extraordinary artists, venture partners, and dynamic executives".

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Entertainment investment outfit Ingenious has announced the launch of two new initiatives that will, in total, pump in the region of £30 million into the live events sector. Fund-raising is now underway.

The first venture is a new company to be called Impresario Festivals that has been launched to buy, develop and operate music events, with its first acquisition the nostalgia-fest-franchise Rewind. Ingenious is investing £2 million itself in the new entity, and will look to invest in the region of £4.2 million into music events via Impresario in the coming years.

The second initiative is a new fund called Entertainment VCT H Share, which will look to raise and invest £25 million into music festivals, trade fairs and sporting events.

Confirming the new ventures, Ingenious said in a statement: "The team have identified a significant market opportunity to invest in independent, niche music festivals, which with good management have shown they can outperform their mainstream peers. This is due to their ability to adapt quickly to evolving trends and attract a targeted, loyal following through online and social media channels, all without diluting their brand identity".

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Hamburg-based music PR agencies The Rocking Factory and Queen About Music have announced that they are merging to become Factory 92. The new company will offer services to international clients with interests in Germany and Europe as a whole.

Factory 92 will operate two brands, maintaining Queen About Music, which is focussed on radio, tour and festival promotion in Germany, and The Scoop Engine (previously run by The Rocking Factory), which provides pan-European PR services.

Christian Hald Buhl, formerly MD of The Rocking Factory, told CMU: "In a period of profound change and challenges in the European music industry there are so many opportunities. Our era of digital distribution, blogs and social media has opened Europe to the new players that manage to operate across the borders".

Meanwhile Jan Clausen, formerly MD of Queen About Music, added: "By combining Queen About Music's strong set-up in Europe's biggest music market Germany and The Rocking Factory's European partners and networks, we can assemble the right team across Europe according to our client's needs, a service that is needed but often missing in the continental European market right now".

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The Ministry Of Sound record label has promoted existing A&R exec Dipesh Parmar to the role of A&R Director for the company.

Confirming the appointment Dave Dollimore, MD of Ministry Of Sound Recordings, told CMU: "Dipesh, a vital member of the Ministry team for the last eleven years and one of the best A&Rs in the industry, has also this week delivered yet another UK number one single with Bingo Players. There is no-one better positioned to drive our growing artist development business forward".

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Media regulator OfCom has approved a change to the licences used by Bauer's Magic AM network, which has outposts in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Liverpool, Preston, Newcastle and Stockton-on-Tees, removing the requirement for local shows and news bulletins.

Although the various Magic stations carry much of the same programming around the UK, each one currently has its own breakfast show and locally produced news content during peak times. However, the licence change will allow Bauer, should it so wish, to axe those local elements, and to pump out a national Magic station via all its local frequencies.

Although its not clear what Bauer plans to do with its amended licence, a spokesman for the media company told Radio Today: "We believe these changes will not substantially alter the character of the service as Magic is a soft pop station and listener's choice is driven by its music; the changes will not alter this".

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How many times have you looked at Justin Bieber and thought to yourself, 'Ah, there goes Justin. He's just like Vanilla Ice in many ways'? A few right? OK, at least once. Never? Oh, OK then, never. But you're not Vanilla Ice, are you?

The rapper told Access Hollywood: "I see similarities, I definitely see similarities. He's a great guy. He's doing great out there right now". See? Loads of similarities. Not any he could name, but they're definitely there.

And having such insight, Vanilla Ice is in prime position to offer words of warning: "Let's hope that it doesn't train wreck, you know, because I had a weekend that lasted a few years and you have to figure out your purpose in life after you're through with your artificial life of being on stage and all the glamour and everything. There's a real life in there and then you have to do that while growing up... So there's going to be some growing pains and everybody is going to be watching. It's going to be entertaining!"

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Britney Spears confirmed that she's going to Las Vegas yesterday. Kind of. Well, her dog Hannah is seemingly going there, though possibly on a solo trip unrelated to the singer's rumoured Vegas residency, on which there is still no official word.

Hannah tweeted to Britney yesterday (yeah, Britney's dog has a Twitter account, what of it?): "Mommy, are dogs allowed to gamble in Vegas? Gonna cash all my bones in for chips".

To which Britney replied: "I don't think so honey".

So that's a thing that happened.

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