27 FEB 2013

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Formed in 2009, Mazes signed to FatCat Records and released their debut album 'A Thousand Heys' in 2011. For their second album, 'Ores & Minerals', which was released earlier this month, the band adopted a new, more focussed songwriting method. With the album now out, the band are currently on a tour of the UK, with a show in Brighton's Prince Albert tomorrow night and one at Birthdays in East London on Thursday. Ahead of the tour, we asked Cooper to make us a playlist, which he did more>>
As frontwoman of alt-pop act Paintbox, Linnea Olsson and her cello were always flanked by a range of sounds to push up against. Her solo work places them in much more open territory. Creating layered pieces built by looping her cello, Olsson's voice is able to ring out and also expose its fragility more so that with her former band. This Saturday she begins her first ever tour of the British Isles with a show in Dublin, before heading to Bristol, London, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Glasgow more>>

- Record industry sees slight growth for first time since Napster
- Judge likely to let stripped back Jacksons v AEG case to proceed
- YouTube streaming data not coming to UK Top 40 any time soon, says OCC boss
- Justin Timberlake working with Marcus Mumford on Coen Brothers soundtrack song
- AlunaGeorge to release Body Music
- Charli XCX romances True new LP
- Cody Simpson to publish autobiography
- St Vincent & David Byrne touring anon
- The Weeknd adds arena dates
- Tegan & Sara playing live in June
- Chvrches to tovr
- Senses Fail playing shows in May
- Festival line-up update: Creamfields, Benicassim, SXSW, Secret Garden Party and more
- Morrisons buys six HMV shops
- Kobalt makes two NYC-based appointments
- New CEO for Nordoff Robbins
- SFX buys Beatport
- Timberlake not sorry for sweary show
- Robbie and Guy Chambers reunite to bitch about the BRITs
Domino Recording Co is seeking a skilled individual for the full-time role of Digital Operations Assistant in their London office. This position will oversee the management and generation of creative digital assets for the label under the direction of the Head of Digital with a specific focus on the label’s video catalogue, label and artist apps, image and data assets.

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Colluded Talent is the artist agency division of Defected Records and represents a broad roster of leading house music and electronic music DJ/producers and performers and Defected In The House branded events. We are looking for an experienced Booking Agent to join our team.

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Eight week evening course with music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine). Learn how to source hot music stories, network with industry insiders, interview artists, write reviews and features, and deliver copy under pressure. You will also get to pitch your interview and feature ideas to editors at our partner publications: Clash Magazine, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag. Guest tutor: Matt Bennett, Deputy Editor, Clash Magazine. 

For more information including a full course description and how to book click here.
Interested in gaining marketing and promotional experience? Then a three month internship with one of the country’s leading music festivals maybe just what you are looking for. Experience what it is like in our busy, friendly office, and how to market a music festival.

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Mute is hiring. Do you have experience of working in a digital environment and have a good understanding of music marketing? Do you have a passion for music and love the idea of working within a creative and independent environment? We have a vacancy for a Junior Digital Product Manager to work within the marketing and promotions team on our wide-ranging roster.

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Anorak London is looking for an exceptional, talented digital PR person to join their multi-award winning team. The successful applicant will have at least two years experience as a digital PR with known acts. They will have excellent media contacts across the board, solid working relationships within the music industry and an excellent knowledge of the digital music marketplace. A strong passion for music is integral, as is someone who works well in a team and is full of ideas.

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A rare opportunity to join the UK’s leading music and entertainment PR Agency, LD Communications. LD Digital, a division of LD Communications is expanding. We are seeking a talented and creative digital PR Account Executive with at least two years experience to join the team. If your network of digital media contacts is unrivalled and the latest social trend is another great opportunity to gain visibility, then we would like to hear from you.

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MAMA & Company are looking for a dynamic, experienced General Business Manager with a proven track record of business development within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company at one of London’s most established venues, incorporating food, drink and live music.

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Involved Management represents a range of electronic music artists including Above & Beyond, Mat Zo and Dusky, and is affiliated with Anjunabeats, one of the UK’s leading independent dance labels. We are recruiting a new team member within our artist management division, reporting to the MD. The successful candidate will be a dynamic, self-motivated individual with excellent organisational and communication skills, good attention to detail, and prior experience of promoting and marketing live events within the music industry.

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

So good news, people. Revenues generated by the global record industry were 0.3% higher in 2012 than they were in 2011, though if you're good news averse, that means the recorded music sector is now just 40% smaller than it was in the late 1990s. Party time.

But with 2012 the first year since 1999 (aka the birth of Napster) in which the global record industry saw any improvement in its fortunes, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry was in good spirits yesterday morning as it published its rather glossy 2013 Digital Music Report. "It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air", said IFPI boss lady Frances Moore.

The continued growth of digital is, of course, key in the albeit nominal revival of the record industry, even though physical music products still account for more revenue overall. The wider digital revenue stream is still growing rapidly partly because many consumers are still only just making the switch to digital platforms, but also because, as the market develops, a greater variety of services are being launched on a greater variety of devices in an increasing number of territories.

Major music services were available in just 23 countries at the start of 2011, the IFPI report notes, and now they are live in more than a 100. Concurrent growth in smartphone and tablet usage - finally enabling the potential of the long hyped mobile music market - has also been key, and, along with the arrival of the internet to the car dashboard, is likely to shape much of the next phase of growth in the digital music domain. Though that said, for all the innovation, for the time being, in the same way CDs still outsell digital overall, iTunes-style downloads still actually dominate in the digital space worldwide.

Nevertheless, the record industry's tendency in recent years to licence less conventional digital services, and a general appetite in particular to back subscription, ad-based and mobile-centric platforms, has certainly played a big part in the recent maturing of the digital market, and in building a foundation for the future that isn't based on just one or two major digital partnerships (ie with Apple and Google).

Of course there remain concerns about the long-term viability of some of those alternative (to straight a la carte downloading) services, and a sizable part of the 10% of digital revenues that came from subscription platforms in 2012 was in essence subsidy from the venture capitalists and tech firms currently bankrolling those companies.

But the optimists - of which there seem to be more in the label community these days - hope that if and when these services reach critical mass in terms of user-base (either through organic growth or by merger with similar on-demand telly and movie platforms), then they will become more viable long-term. And if mobile subscription operations can take off in places like Brazil and India, on a global basis there are massive new revenue opportunities for labels that were never available in the CD age.

And in the meantime, with the success of ad-funded platforms like Google's YouTube and the industry's own VEVO, coupled with iTunes-style stores that can provide global access to new tunes with minimum effort, there are plenty of new opportunities for labels to generate revenues, and to capitalise on an unprecedented level on short-term pop phenomena - whether that be 'Gangnam Style' or 'Harlem Shake', or whatever reality show story is pleasing the tabloids today.

So that's all rather rosy isn't it? And even if you prefer to focus on the 40% slump in revenues since 1999, it's worth remembering that the IFPI's figures relate only to the record industry, and specifically the money generated by the single copyright that exists in any one sound recording.

The burgeoning merch and brand partnership strands of the music industry - of which the labels, especially the majors, are seeing an increasingly large slice - are not included here (which makes the IFPI's "labels invest 26% of their revenues in A&R" claim a little circumspect, even if you accept the inclusion of marketing costs in the A&R column of the spreadsheet). And, of course, publishing income and the live sector - for established artists, always the bigger cash cow - are outside these stats too.

Though, even if we question the IFPI's 26% talent investment claim, it's true that the labels in the main remain the entities that make the serious cash investments into new talent, and new works by existing acts, which in turn drive everything else, which is why the fortunes of the record industry are always of relevance to the wider music business, even if it's tempting for those elsewhere in the sector to secretly smile when they see the labels they've resented for years take a wobble.

And with digital now starting to deliver, not to mention the labels' newly acquired interests in merchandise and brand partnerships (which the IFPI says it's considering including in these annual stats at some point in the future), the record industry does seem to have turned a big corner, which is actually good news for the rest of us.

Though we are talking less than 1% growth. And it does remain to be seen if that can be sustained. And Spotify's about to ask for its royalty rates to be cut. Just as the streaming services reach the car and start competing head-on with the royalty-paying radio sector. And what will really happen when the CD finally dies? Hmm, perhaps the IFPI shouldn't have wasted so much on printing that very glossy report after all.

No, let's not end like that. Let's instead note that, while the UK recorded music market itself hasn't seen the growth that occurred on a global basis, British music did more than its fair share to drive the worldwide uplift, by providing the two biggest album selling artists (by some margin) of 2012 in the form of Adele and One Direction. Indeed some reports yesterday were spinning these stats as proof that 1D were single-handedly saving the music industry. Though if the future of the entire music business really does rely on One Direction, someone should probably be doing more to protect poor Harry Styles' balls from his fans' shoes and bandmate's microphone.

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The judge overseeing Katherine Jackson's lawsuit against AEG in relation to the death of her son Michael said she was likely to let the case proceed to court earlier this week, though with its claims and listed defendants likely to be limited a bit.

As much previously reported, the Jackson matriarch claims that AEG, promoter of the ill-fated Michael Jackson 'This Is It' London residency, should be held liable for the actions of Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the late king of pop's death through negligent treatment.

Mrs Jackson argues that AEG hired and paid Murray, and is therefore liable for his negligence. The live firm, though, insists that, while it paid Murray's bills, he was hired at Jackson's request, and managed day to day by the singer himself, meaning the company is not responsible for the medic's actions.

AEG's lawyers have been trying to get the case dismissed, but LA judge Yvette Palazuelos said in a tentative ruling on Monday that she was likely to let the claim that AEG was negligent in hiring Murray proceed to court. However, some other claims are likely to be removed from the lawsuit by the judge, and the list of defendants is likely to be reduced as well, to just the AEG Live tour promotions business, taking parent company AEG Inc and its CEO Tim Leiweke out of the mix.

AEG's legal team welcomed Palazuelos's comments, adding that they hoped to still persuade the judge to dismiss the entire case. Though, assuming they fail in that bid, the stripped down lawsuit looks likely to reach court in April.

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The Official Charts Company will not be following Billboard's lead in the US and adding YouTube streaming data to the UK Top 40 any time soon, the company's CEO Martin Talbot has said. As previously reported, the compliers of the main Billboard track chart, who started counting streaming data last year, recently added YouTube stats into the mix too, resulting in the 'Harlem Shake' track being catapulted up to the number one spot.

But Talbot told BBC Newsbeat: "[Billboard's] Hot 100 has never been a purely sales based chart, incorporating data such as radio airplay since the 50s. In contrast, the UK's Official Singles Chart has been a purely sales based chart ever since it launched in 1952. With singles sales currently at an all-time high following nine years of continued year-by-year growth, there are currently no plans to incorporate streaming information in the UK".

This echoes Talbot's comments regards streaming date when he spoke to CMU last year on the singles chart's 60th birthday. He said: "We are already collecting streaming information from audio services such as Spotify, Deezer and Napster among others. But, at the moment, with singles sales still booming, the time isn't right at the moment to introduce streaming to the singles chart".

He continued: "The reality is that the Official Streaming Chart is more languid than the Official Singles Chart (tracks move up and down at a much slower rate) and it also follows a week or two behind, as singles make an impact on the sales chart before they peak in terms of streams. It has, to an extent, been easier for a decision like this to be made in the US, where airplay has long since been part of the Billboard chart formula. But we have always prided ourselves on having a totally transparent chart based on sales and sales alone, pure and uncut".

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Justin Timberlake has confirmed that he is working with Marcus Mumford (though not his sons) on a song for the soundtrack of new Coen Brothers film 'Inside Llewyn Davis'. So that's a thing I'm sure you're all excited to hear.

Timberlake told Capital FM: "There's a Coen Brothers film coming out soon that I was lucky enough to work on with Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan. And [I also worked with] Marcus Mumford on the soundtrack, so I became very good friends with them. Marcus and myself, we all kind of worked on the music together, and I don't know any other world where we would have the opportunity to collaborate like that, but it was so much fun. So not only will that be a great movie, but the music to it will be fantastic".

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Really great news, all... many-times-CMU-Approved R&B/pop act AlunaGeorge's first LP is finally a thing of reality. They're releasing it via Island on 1 Jul, and its official name is 'Body Music'. That's all the detail we have at present, bar a play of its first single, the attractively-titled 'Attracting Flies', which has an individual release on 10 Mar.

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Nouveau-grunge-age popstar Charli XCX has said that her long-long-belated first long-player, 'True Romance', will, at long, long last, be released on 15 Apr. We've been waiting for this for some time, did I successfully communicate that there?

But still, it's done, and so this is Charli laying bare the themes and real meaning of the LP: "Each song is about love in some shape or form, whether that be euphoric love, heartbreak or obsession. Every corner of my own romantic history is explored on this record, so for me it's very raw, it's very honest and it's very true. I've written a pop record from the heart, and when people hear it I hope they want to dance and cry at the same time".

Quite apart from all the romance and truth, she's announced a practical trio of shows, too, the first of which is at London's Old Blue Last on 17 Apr.

Album tracklisting:

Nuclear Seasons
You (Ha Ha Ha)
Take My Hand
Stay Away
Set Me Free
So Far Away
Cloud Aura
What I Like
Black Roses
You're the One
How Can I
Lock You Up

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Well, this is good news for my collection of hastily-produced pop autobiographies (pride of place: Vanilla Ice's 'Ice By Ice' and Darius' 'Sink Or Swim: My Story'), Cody Simpson is going to publish the first volume of his life story. HarperCollins will publish the sixteen year old singer's first book, 'Welcome To Paradise: My Journey' on 22 Oct.

Says Simpson: "It's incredibly exciting for me to be partnering with HarperCollins to tell my story. I hope that my journey inspires kids from all around the world to pursue their passions and work hard for their dreams".

Echoing similar sentiments, Harper Non-Fiction Publishing Director Anna Valentine added: "Cody Simpson is one of the most exciting up-and-coming artists of his generation and I'm thrilled to welcome him to HarperCollins. Having toured the world with Justin Bieber, Cody has thrilled millions of teenage fans with his chart-topping music - and I'm excited for him to do the same with his debut book".

I'm not sure The Kids read any more, do they? Oh well, there might be an audio-book version.

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The president and first lady of alt-pop duets, Ms St Vincent and Mr David Byrne (who, to clarify, aren't married or anything) will make a plush live progress of European concert halls, but not till August.

The pair will play a repertoire of tracks from their collaborative 2012 LP, 'Love This Giant', on the following British dates:

27 Aug: London, Roundhouse
28 Aug: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
29 Aug: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall

Watch the video for 'Who' from 'Love This Giant' here.

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Hey, The Weeknd's Abel Tesfaye is playing three arena dates in November, one for each third of the triple 'Trilogy' LP he released officially last year. What symmetry.

Though by that, I don't mean he'll be playing only one of his initial works at each show. Just there's a three theme going on here. Providing you don't count the four previously announced dates Tesfaye is playing in March.

Speaking of which, if you want to catch him in a relatively small venue any time soon, you'd better check those out.

Tesfaye's new single, 'Twenty Eight' will be available on 25 Mar, by the way, and he's made a sexually-explicit new video to go with it. Watch that, if you like, or just look at this list of shows:

22 Nov: Birmingham, NIA
23 Nov: Manchester, Apollo
26 Nov: London, O2 Arena

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Alternative pop types Tegan & Sara are going to endorse their new LP, 'Heartthrob', via a very enticing four date tour. So enticing, in fact, that fans won't be able to resist buying tickets to it when they go on sale on 1 Mar. Or perhaps they will, who can say?

The dates:

8 Jun: Manchester, Ritz
9 Jun: Glasgow, ABC
11 Jun: London, Troxy
12 Jun: Birmingham, Institute

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Glaswegian band Chvrches are back 'on the road' again. At least, they will be in April, when, like spring lambs, they'll gambol forth on a trail of live dates. Okay, so lambs don't really do that, but... whatever.

Chvrches will gambol as follows:

24 Apr: Aberdeen, The Garage
29 Apr: London, Village Underground
30 Apr: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
1 May: Manchester, Sound Control

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Post-hardcore artistes Senses Fail have arranged a tour starting in May. They're even fitting in appearances at this year's Leeds, London and Wolverhampton-based Slam Dunk festivals, which is nice of them. The band's new LP 'Renacer' is released on 25 Mar, and one of its tracks, 'Mi Amour' sounds like this.

Tour dates:

8 May: Kingston, Peel
19 May: Southampton, Talking Heads
20 May: Bristol, Thekla
21 May: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
22 May: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
23 May: Glasgow, King Tuts
24 May: Newcastle, Academy 2
28 May: Manchester, NQ Live
29 May: Norwich, Waterfront Studio
30 May: London, Underworld
31 May: Exeter, Cavern
1 Jun: Oxford, Academy 2

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So as dance festival Creamfields - which was half-cancelled last year because of "significant flooding" - splashes £500,000 on improving its on-site drainage, trackways, bridges and contingency plans, it also announced the first wave of acts on its 2013 line-up this morning. The festival's watertight artistic listings features superstar DJs Tiësto, Steve Angello, David Guetta, Eric Pryz, Paul van Dyke and Above & Beyond. Oh, and playing live in what'll be their one and only "UK PERFORMANCE" of 2012 are The Prodigy.

And what else is new in this year's fluid FLUU influx?

Well, since you ask, Vince Power's Arctic Monkeys, QOTSA and Killers-headlined Spanish fiesta Benicassim has taken La Roux, Miles Kane, Woodkid and Everything Everything into its midst, so that's nice. The Netherlands-based Awakenings and Pitch have also expanded their billings, with Pitch confirming James Blake, Azealia Banks, Trentemølller and AlunaGeorge, and the less 'alternative' Awakenings naming Carl Cox, Sven Väth, Ben Klock & Marcel Dettmann as new bookings.

Oh, and you'll probably want to know that Soulwax and Django Django are the initial headlining acts added to this year's superstition-themed Secret Garden Party, which centres on CMU columnist Eddy Temple Morris' "lovingly curated" Temple Of Boom.

Fred Fellows, the festival's programming boss at large, says: "Every couple of years it seems that music bubbles up an endless host of new wonders in a relatively short space of time. In such a moment as this, we feel incredibly honoured to be hosting so many of these incredible new bands at the Garden Party. When added to the amazing new site works I really just can't wait for this year's SGP".

That said and done, read on to view news of other new additions to the above plus Deer Shed, FarmFestival, Secret Garden Party, South West Four and Folkestone's newly-renamed Ska Splash. Oh, and confirmation of Billy Joe Armstrong's first post-rehab appearance (with Green Day) at this year's South By Southwest fest.

AWAKENINGS, Spaarnwoude, Netherlands, 29 Jun: Carl Cox, Sven Väth, Ben Klock & Marcel Dettmann, Marco Carola, Jeff Mills, Loco Dice, Blawan, Peter Van Hoesen, Speedy J, Ben UFO, Nina Kraviz, DJ Koze, Modeselektor, Gui Boratto.

BENICASSIM, FIB Heineken, Valencia, Spain, 18-21 Jul: La Roux, Miles Kane, Everything Everything, Woodkid, Le Carousel, Childhood, Christian Smith, Chvrches, The Coronas, El Gran Manel, Hanni El Khatib, Hyetal, J Roddy Walston & The Business, Jacco Gardner, Pegasvs, Ratoniles, The Riptide Movement, Terrence Dixon, Toddla T, Toundra.

CREAMFIELDS, Daresbury, Cheshire, 23-25 Aug: The Prodigy, Madeon, Zane Lowe, Zedd, Borgore, Major Look, Tom Staar, Avicii, Knife Party, Nicky Romero, Nervo, Norman Doray, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold, Arty, Norin & Rad, Andrew Bayer, Gareth Wyn, Rob Harnetty, Gareth Emery, Steve Angello, Benny Benassi, AN21, Max Vangeli, Third Party, Tim Mason, Qulinez, Wayne & Woods, Eric Prydz, Marco Carola, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex, Scuba, George Fitzgerald, Fehrplay, Maya Jane Coles, Annie Mac, Julio Bashmore, Eats Everything, Toddla T Sound, Justin Martin, Baauer, Monki, AlunaGeorge, Pete Tong, Solomun, Joris Voorn, David Squillace, Hernan Cattaneo, Hot Since 82, Jaymo & Andy George, Sasha, Skream, Benga, Andy C, Redlight, Rustie, Jack Beats, Alvin Risk, Zinc, Bondax, Clean Bandit, Kidnap Kid, Woz, Phil Faversham, Carl Hanaghan, Sam Cannon, DJ Eibhlin, Dean Oram, Tom Da Lips, Tiësto, Steve Angello, Hardwell, Tommy Trash, Alvaro, David Guetta, Afrojack, Feed Me, Porter Robinson, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Pegboard Nerds, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, Otto Knows, Mat Zo, Deniz Koyu, Carl, Armand Van Helden, Ferry Corsten, John O Callaghan, Simon Patterson, Jordan Suckley, Adam Sheridan , Richie Hawtin , Loco Dice, Seth Troxler, Gaiser, Paco Osuna, Hobo , Groove Armada, A-Trak, Fake Blood, Jaguar Skills, Jackmaster, Burns, Eli & Fur, Laidback Luke, Eddie Halliwell, Chuckie, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Tom Swoon, La Fuenta, Steve Aoki, Sub Focus, Modestep, Mistajam, Shy FX, Friction, Monsta, Killsonik, Majestic, Decibel, North Base, BitR8, Kutski, Andy Whitby, Alex Kidd, Andy Whitby , Hard Organ Donors, Hard Mark EG, Cally & Juice, Sam Townend, Jimmy Dean, Tone b2b Shaun T, Phil Mackintosh b2b Sykesy, Andy Daniels, Phoebe D'Abo, Stu Ojelay, Andy Norman, Deniz Koyu, Danny Avila, Mixmag Allstars, Duke Dumont, Shadow Child, Riva Starr, Russ Chimes, Citizen, Unit 7.

DEER SHED, Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 19-21 Jul: Edwyn Collins, The House Of Love, King Creosote, The Phantom Band, Smoove & Turrell, Deaf Club, Novella, Moulettes, Sweet Baboo, AlascA, David McCaffrey.

FARMFESTIVAL, Bruton, Somerset, 26-27 Jul: Ghostpoet, Art Brut, The Skimmity Hitchers, The Skints, DJ Die, Reeps1, Son Of Dave, Typesun, Mt Wolf, Nimmo And The Gauntletts, DJ Woody, Leftside Wobble, Laid Blak, and The Fire Beneath the Sea, The Standards, Three Kings High, Harting, The Flamenco Thief, Dropbear, Francis & Boyd, The Drystones, Ick Bin Finn, Thyla, Ay Ducane, Blue Skin Fever, Louie Louie, Slatternly, Mishima, Dr Fish, COR DJs, Farmfestival DJs, James Bell.

FOLKESTONE SKA SPLASH, various venues, Folkestone, Kent, 16-18 Aug: Skatalites, The Selecter, The Neville Staple Band, The Beat, Bad Manners, The Toasters, The Dualers, Toot'n'Skamen, The Equators, King Hammond, Freddy Loco & The Gordos, Dub Tonik, The Skanx, Blaster Master, Orange Street, By The Rivers, Goldmaster Allstars, Skamanians, The Estimators, The Ghouls, Tallowah, Les Gueules Noires, Hey Rudi, The Snare, Skatacus, ChainSka Brassika, The Apocryphalites, The Skatonics, Covered In Skas, The Skangsters, The Talks, Rhoda Dakar, Trevor Evans, Ska Shack, Phil Enthucol, Olas Boss, Tony B, Roger Twiggy Day , The JJs, Ali Skaba, Dangerous Dave, Nathan Atkins, Chris Watts, Lee Edgington, Madam Scorcher, Darren Bennett, Andy Barton, Skaoovie, DJ Tiddles, Mick Jeffries.

PITCH, Cultuurpark Westgasfabriek, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 5-6 Jul: James Blake, Disclosure, Django Django, Azealia Banks, Jamie Lidell, Mykki Blanco, Bonobo, Trentemølller, AlunaGeorge, Baauer, JETS, Bicep, Jon Hopkins, Cashmere Cat, MØ.

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, 25-28 Jul: Soulwax, Django Django, Bastille, The Strypes, Big Youth, Wolf Alice, Childhood, Eliza And The Bear, Public Service Broadcasting, Rodigan, Findlay, Mø, Roo Pains, Dan Croll, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Winston Francis, Skip 'Little Axe' McDonald, Son of Dave, Ava Leigh, The Family Rain, Ben Caplan, Deep Sea Arcade, Big Boy Bloater, Treetop Flyers, Annie Eve, The Ladykillers, Steve Hooker, Blackbombers, Unkle DJs, Embrace DJs, Evil Nine DJs, The Correspondents, Loadstar DJs, The Other Tribe, Wilkinson DJs, Foamo DJs, Never Say Die Allstars DJs, Josh Butler DJs.

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London, 24-25 Aug: Boys Noize, Marco Carola, Sander Van Doorn, Solomun, Boys Noize, Nicky Romero, Baauer.

SXSW, various venues, Austin, Texas, USA, 12-17 Mar: Green Day.

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Supermarket chain Morrisons has bought six of HMV's stores, according to City AM.

Morrisons has been mooted as a possible buyer of some of the flagging entertainment retailer's shops ever since the HMV Group went into administration last month, it looking to expand its convenience store brand M Local, a rather late in the day competitor to Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local. Morrisons has also reportedly acquired 49 former Blockbuster stores for the same purpose.

As previously reported, administrator Deloitte has confirmed that 103 of HMV's UK stores, plus all its Irish shops, will close as it and preferred bidders Hilco work out how to rescue the entertainment retail firm.

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Kobalt has announced the appointment of two new execs. Karen Lieberman will work in a digital and marketing role across the group, while Shari Segalini will lead sales activities for the Kobalt Label Services business in America.

Lieberman joins the independent from Sony Music, and will take the title VP Digital Strategy and Marketing, supporting both Kobalt's music publishing and label services divisions from a New York base.

Confirming the appointment, Kobalt Music Group President Richard Sanders told CMU: "As Kobalt continues to grow its client services around the world, Karen's expertise in all areas of social media, analytics and digital marketing is an invaluable asset to our writers, producers and artists".

Segalini's appoint comes as Kobalt Label Services, launched early last year, opens a New York office for the first time. Also joining Kobalt from a Sony business, though the major's indie distributor RED, Segalini will be VP of Sales, North America for the label services business, reporting to KLS MD Paul Hitchman.

He told CMU: "We are very pleased to have Shari join the KLS team. From unknown and established artists to superstar talents, Shari has contributed to the success of artists in all genres and at all levels of development. Her deep experience and contacts will be a tremendous asset to Kobalt Label Services clients".

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Music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins has announced that Pauline Etkin will retire as CEO of the organisation tomorrow. Etkin, who has been with the charity for three decades, will be replaced by Marcus Stephan, who has previously led and consulted for a number of charities in the healthcare space.

Confirming the changes at the top, the charity's Chairman, former EMI man David Munns, told CMU: "There are many thousands of disadvantaged children and adults whose lives have been transformed as a result of Pauline Etkin's work. Pauline's dedication to Nordoff Robbins is a lasting legacy for us all. She is leaving Nordoff Robbins in great shape to take on the challenges ahead and I believe that Marcus, with his strong third sector background, has the skills and expertise to meet those challenges".

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The all-new SFX Entertainment has bought dance-centric download site Beatport in a deal thought to be worth just over $50 million.

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions and partnerships in the EDM space led by Robert FX Sillerman, whose original SFX business became a live entertainment powerhouse that was subsequently acquired by what became Live Nation, and who went on to create CKX, the company best known for controlling the Elvis Presley estate and buying Simon Fuller's Idol-franchise-owning 19 business (and now operating as the CORE Media Group under the ownership of Apollo Management).

With EDM becoming big business in the US of late, and with various corporate players in the American industry seeking a slice of the newly appetising dance music pie, Sillerman announced he had set aside a billion for acquisitions in the genre early last summer. Since then his new SFX business has acquired various players in the EDM space, mainly club and festival promoters such as Dayglow Productions and Disco Donnie Presents, as well as taking ownership of more eclectic events like Voodoo Experience and striking up a joint venture with Dutch dance promoter ID&T.

Launched in 2004, Beatport has succeeded in the competitive digital music market by finding and servicing a niche ignored by the major players in the download space, not least by striking up deals with specialist dance labels whose catalogue was and sometimes still is missing from more mainstream platforms. The digital firm also sees itself as a destination site for dance music fans, and sees the potential to extend its brand further, possibly into live events, which is seemingly why the SFX acquisition seemed attractive to the company's owners.

Beatport boss Matthew Adell told the New York Times: "We already are by far the largest online destination of qualified fans and talent in the market, and we can continue to grow that".

Meanwhile Sillerman said of his latest acquisition: "Beatport gives us direct contact with the DJs and lets us see what's popular and what's not. Most important, it gives us a massive platform for everything related to EDM".

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If you were offended when Justin Timberlake swore at you from the stage of London's Forum last week at his late-night post-BRITs gig, well you can fuck off can't you?

Asked about the bad language, the one time boy band boy told Capital FM (again): "I swore a lot, every club show we do is age appropriate... I'm 32 years old, sweetheart, nobody's going to tell me anything... it's all in good fun".

Just to reiterate, Justin Timberlake said the words: "I'm 32 years old, sweetheart, nobody's going to tell me anything".

He added: "This is my analogy, it's like dressing for the weather. If you are going to play at The Forum, it's a proper rock n roll venue... I'm not a rock n roll star but we're gonna put on my version of a rock n roll show. And it's eighteen [years] and up".

Though Justin mate, I wouldn't worry about swearing in front of the kids. Just ask that veteran rock n roller Pete Townshend - the way you do it is say you're not going to swear as you berate the child for taking an interest in your music, and then you mouth your curse words of choice anyway.

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Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers have patched up their differences and written a new song. It's a bit sweary. It also reveals that Robbie thought The BRIT Awards ceremony was "fucking boring" this year. Robbie Williams appeared on stage at this year's BRITs twice, both singing and presenting. And was interviewed during the TV broadcast. I'm sure he doesn't mean those bits though.

In a blog post, Robbie wrote: "Here's a gift from me and Guy (Chambers). We wrote it on Saturday recorded it on Sunday. If you have kids in the room, don't play it".

Equally, if you don't want the hook of "It's like a VD clinic only pricks are in it" stuck in your head for the rest of the day, don't listen to it.

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