4 MAR 2013

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Don't forget to buy your mum a card this week or you will officially be an awful person. British Mother's Day is a proper thing, you know, not some made-up money-making scheme, like Father's Day. Oh, and if you want to be extra special spawn, head down to the supermarket and pick up whatever patronising mum-based compilation(s) are being hawked down there this year. It is your duty to the music industry. In CMU this week, we'll have an Editor's Letter, an interview with Tom Odell and a playlist from Tall Ships.
A classically trained violist, Emily Wells has been releasing music that moves between classical, hip hop and folk for over a decade - her most recent project a collaboration with Dan The Automator under the name Pillowfight. Her next album, 'Mama', which delves more into singer-songwriter territory, is due out on 3 Jun through Partisan Records and is an absolute delight. Alongside Clint Mansell and Philip Glass, no less, Wells has a song on the soundtrack of new Chan-wook Park film 'Stoker', called 'Becomes The Color' more>>

- HMV debts revealed in Statement Of Affairs
- Sweat It Out Records founder dies
- RZA sues over Dark Fantasy sample allegations
- James Brown estate agreement overturned
- Producer Ramone recovering after surgery
- Vaccines man writing for One Direction
- Tiny snippet of new Daft Punk in telly ad
- Snoop Lion LP to feature Drake, Rita Ora, and reggae
- Fair Ohs to release Jungle Cats
- Susan Boyle debut movie role announced
- !!! playing London show
- Hurray For The Riff Raff make May dates
- Festival line-up update
- Music 4.5 to throw spotlight on open data
- MPA CEO to stand down
- Hadopi suggests new anti-piracy measures in France, while file-sharing levels discussed
- Bieber's birthday bash goes bad, then Barton barges in
With a split role of business development and ongoing client relationship management, the candidate will be the UK based point person for INresidence artist projects, as well as being the liaison for projects with a physical component.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The senior person in the international office for all Sales & Marketing activities. This position will work closely with label representatives and product managers to ensure maximum visibility for key projects. He/she will also manage relationships with various teams for the external clients as well as internally at INgrooves Fontana and support business development activities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for someone to provide operational and administrational support for the Music Team through the planning, delivery and execution of all Roundhouse music events. The successful candidate must have professional experience in music booking and promotion, event management and artist liaison; strong working knowledge of the live music industry and a good understanding of contemporary music genres; a solid understanding of technical and production elements involved in live music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are a fast growing and innovative company currently looking to recruit a Digital Music Content Manager. The successful candidate will report directly to the Directors & General Manager and should have the ability to work effectively on their own and also within a team environment. We require someone who possesses strong attention to detail and ability to build business relationships. You must have three or more years experience in a similar role within a relevant sector for this position.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A round up of music and music business events happening in the next seven days...

SxSW. You know the deal with this one, right? It's a big convention in Texas. There are a lot of bands. There are a lot of panels. There are a lot of barbecues. The music bit doesn't technically start until next week, but 8-12 Mar is the Interactive section of the conference, which has become a big draw for music folk with a digital bent. The film section also starts on 8 Mar and runs through to 16 Mar. And everyone likes films, don't they?

ILMC. This year's International Live Music Conference starts over there at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington on Friday, running through to Sunday, with panels, parties, networking and all that good conference stuff. Amongst this year's speakers are veteran promoter Harvey Goldsmith and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

Green Events & Innovations. Taking place the day before ILMC officially gets underway, the UK's leading conference for sustainable events takes place, also at the Royal Garden Hotel. With topics including managing waste at festivals, sustainable power and dealing with left behind tents, the whole shebang is put together by A Greener Festival, the Association of Independent Festivals and Bucks New University and takes place during Climate Week.

PRS Heritage Award for Queen. That's Queen. Not The Queen. The Queen gets nothing, because The Queen, as far as I know, has never played a gig at Imperial College in London. Let alone her first gig. But that's what Queen did, and it's about time someone gave them an award recognising that. I mean, it's been 43 years. So, tomorrow the PRS will place one of its Heritage Award plaques on a wall at the building where that gig took place and everyone will clap. Hurrah.

Fatboy Slim at the House Of Commons. This Wednesday, Fatboy Slim is set to DJ at the House Of Commons at the final of the House The House competition, the DJ equivalent to the band-focused Rock The House new talent initiative. Rock The House was set up by MP Mike Weatherly and sees other MPs nominating new bands from their local constituencies for a battle of the bands type competition. The Weatherly-backed DJ equivalent, organised by dance music charity Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, kicked off last summer.

Randy Blythe trial reconvenes. Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe's trial for manslaughter in Prague kicked off early last month, but quickly ground to a halt after a key witness fell ill. Proceedings were postponed, and Blythe returned to the States. The trial will reconvene today. Blythe, of course, stands accused of causing the death of a fan by pushing him off stage at a gig in the Czech capital in 2010. He denies the charges.

New releases. New albums this week come from How To Destroy Angels, Laura Mvula, Bastille, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Rhye, The Men, Suuns and Youth Lagoon. Plus there are new EPs from Charlotte Church and Gold Panda and a whole book of lyrics from Kele Okereke.

Gigs and tours. So, the big gigging news this week, as far as I'm concerned, is that Amon Tobin is coming over with a redesigned version of his already incredible ISAM show - set to be the last performance of it, so now's the time to check it out. Also, there are farewell shows for The Stool Pigeon and, very sadly, Wilko Johnson. Also this week, Justin Bieber is still here, and you can see more shows from Jessie Ware, Chase & Status, Anais Mitchell, Laura Mvula, Kilo Kish, Melody's Echo Chamber, East India Youth, Rhye, Cobblestone Jazz, Linnea Olsson and One Direction. I wonder if they're now making everyone take their shoes off before entering the latter.

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Banks, professional service providers, a plush London hotel and the tax man were amongst the creditors owed cash when HMV went into administration in January, a 'statement of affairs' filed by administrators Deloitte has revealed.

The flagging entertainment retailer owed £109 million to its various money lenders when it hit the wall. The servicing of bank debts had become a major drag on HMV in its last eighteen months in business, and it was a failure to renegotiate the terms of those loans - and covenant tests that the company was set to fail - that ultimately caused the business to slip into administration.

According to reports, HMV also owed £20 million to the tax man, and £53.3 million to other creditors, which included headhunter Egon Zehnder (£6000) and accountancy firms KPMG (£155,000) and Ernst & Young (£74,500). Meanwhile £700 was owed to London's Goring Hotel, where Kate Middleton apparently spent her last night as a single woman, thus finally giving Sky News a royal angle on the otherwise tedious HMV collapse story.

All the banks owed money by HMV sold on their debts to restructuring specialists Hilco once the firm was in administration, while most of the music and DVD companies supplying stock to the retailer were doing so 'on consignment' (ie on a sale-or-return basis) by the time of its collapse, though administrators were reportedly offering said companies a deal on stock in situ to save them the cost and hassle of reclaiming product from HMV stores and warehouses. The terms of all those deals, and any hit taken my money lenders and suppliers, are not currently known.

Hilco, which already owns HMV Canada, remains favourite to take ownership of HMV UK, and to bring the company out of administration. Reports suggest it will do so with a deal worth £50 million and a plan to operate about 130 shops around the UK. HMV's Irish stores have already been closed, while a small number of shops in Hong Kong and Singapore were last week sold to AID Partners Capital Ltd. It's still not known what will happen to HMV's stake in 7digital.

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Australian DJ Adrian Thomas, aka Ajax, was killed in a traffic accident in Melbourne last week, aged 41. According to reports he was hit by a truck when crossing a road in the city.

A regular high scorer in both Australian and global DJ polls, Ajax was also a founder of the Bang Gang DJs, who worked with Modular Recordings and Ministry Of Sound, and in 2008 he launched his own label Sweat It Out Records, which signed the likes of Indian Summer, Loot & Plunder and Yolanda Be Cool.

Numerous electronic music acts from Australia and beyond paid tribute as news of Ajax's death broke on Friday, while his label issued the following statement via Facebook...

"We are deeply saddened to confirm the news that our dear friend Adrian Thomas (Ajax) has passed away in a tragic traffic accident. Adrian has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of Australian dance music. He was a hugely talented individual and was highly respected by the local and international dance music community as a pioneer and innovator".

"Adrian touched so many people and it is impossible to sum up his legacy in words. We could talk about his countless successes and accolades in the many roles he played throughout his career. Instead we remember Adrian as a person who was loved by everyone, a person who was regularly described as the 'nicest guy in dance music' or the 'reason I got into dance music', a person who made time for every single fan in every club he ever played, a person who gave his unconditional support and encouragement to artists on his label and a person who was smart, funny and extremely generous".

"We are devastated and heartbroken to have lost Adrian and our thoughts are with his family and many many friends who share our grief at this time".

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Wu Tang man RZA, real name Robert Diggs, has launched legal proceedings against a company called JVC Kenwood Holdings in relation to allegations made against the Kanye West track 'Dark Fantasy', which Diggs produced.

It seems that a JVC Kenwood-owned company called Teichiku Entertainment has accused West and RZA of sampling without permission a track it owns called 'Gincyo Watadori', performed by Japanese actress and singer Meiko Kaji, and is in the process of suing West's label Island Def Jam for damages. While that litigation is pending, Universal's IDJ is seemingly withholding $50,000 in royalties from RZA, so to cover itself for any future payout to Teichiku Entertainment.

The producer, who denies the illegal sampling claim, is not impressed by that fact at all. So much so, he is now taking Teichiku to court himself in a bid to have the allegations dismissed, so that IDJ can pay him his unpaid royalties.

One of RZA's legal reps, Howard King, told The Hollywood Reporter: "We see dozens of baseless copyright infringement claims against our clients every year. Rather than engaging in costly and fruitless dialogue trying to convince claimants and their contingency lawyers that our clients do not succumb to extortion and settle ridiculous claims, we have decided to commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending same. The RZA complaint is the second one of these we have filed this month, with more to come".

On the specifics of this dispute, he continued: "RZA did not use Teichiku's piano run [as it claims], and it sounds different from the one in 'Dark Fantasy'. In fact, it would have been technologically impossible to sample the piano run without the rest of the music in 'Gincyo Watadori' and the piano run in 'Gincyo' is so simple that the least talented person in the studio could have replayed it had anyone wished to do so".

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The matter of James Brown's estate is back up for debate after the Supreme Court in South Carolina overturned a 2009 settlement.

As previously reported, after much dispute and legal wrangling between family members and the trustees of the estate of the late godfather of soul, a deal was struck in May 2009 by which half of Brown's assets would go to two charitable trusts, while a quarter would go to his widow Tomi Rae Hynie and the remaining quarter to his adult children.

By that point Brown's fortune wasn't massive, various debts having been paid off since the singer's death in 2006, and with allegations of mismanagement of the estate by trustees. But Brown's name and intellectual property remain valuable of course, so the future revenue that could be received by each of the estate's beneficiaries could be substantial.

But, said some former associates of the soul man, the deal - brokered by then South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster - ignored Brown's dying wish that the vast majority of his future fortune go to charity, to fund education for both his grandchildren and "needy children" in South Carolina and Georgia. McMaster's deal, they argued, had given family members a much bigger slice of the pie than Brown ever intended.

Trustees who had been pushed out of negotiations following the mismanagement allegations sued over the settlement, and now South Carolina's Supreme Court has agreed with the dissenters, saying that McMaster strayed too far away from the wishes stated in Brown's will, a move that would cause concern to other citizens in the state who wish to ensure that the majority of their assets go to charitable causes after death. A lower court will now have to reconsider what to do with the estate, although the Supreme Court did not reinstate the trustees who sued over the settlement.

Both McMaster and his successor in the AG job in South Carolina, Alan Wilson, last week said they believed the 2009 decision on the Brown estate was legal, though respected the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the agreement. McMaster also told reporters: "I believe we took the correct legal steps to make the very best of a bad situation. We worked hard to see that Mr Brown's wishes were effectuated to the furthest extent they could be".

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Multi-award winning American producer Phil Ramone, best known for his work with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, and for recording Marilyn Monroe's rendition of 'Happy Birthday' sung to then President JFK in 1962, was hospitalised in New York last week after suffering an aortic aneurysm.

Initial reports said that 72 year old Ramone was in a critical condition, though subsequent surgery has seemingly been successful. Gregg Field of Concord Music Group told Billboard that his long-time producing partner and friend was "resting comfortably and expected to be released in the next few days".

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The Vaccines frontman Justin Young confirmed that he's been writing tunes with the boys from One Direction last week, describing the songs he'd collaborated on with the boy band as "awesome".

Speaking to Radio 1 at the NME Awards, Young said of his recent pop song writing: "It was a really interesting creative process, writing with pretty much the biggest pop band on the planet. It was a very different world and very different process [to writing for The Vaccines] - that was one of the reasons I wanted to do it. I really enjoyed it".

He continued "I felt like I took so much from doing it. I've always said I love pop music and how much I want to write pop music, but that was the first time I've ever done anything like that", before adding of his 1D collaborators: "They do indeed contribute".

One Direction's Niall Horan had already revealed that The Vaccines man was writing some new music for the boyband.

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Daft Punk have seemingly previewed fifteen seconds of new music, so that's something to be getting on with until the release of the electronic duo's new album, possibly in May. Well, it's not all that much to be getting on with really, but perhaps you could loop it 50 times for sustained enjoyment.

The snippet of new music appeared on an advert aired during 'Saturday Night Live' on American TV this weekend and is now available via YouTube. The promo spot also includes the Daft Punk logo and then the half silver, half gold helmet image that recently appeared on the outfit's Facebook profile.

And that is all I have to say on the matter.

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So, Snoop Lion né Dogg's first ever reggae LP, 'Reincarnated', has gained a sheet of 'official info'. It'll be released on 22 Apr, and will feature earnest reggae artistes like, erm, Chris Brown, Rita Ora, Drake, Busta Rhymes and TI. Oh, and Jamaican musicians Mavado and Popcaan, who do have real dancehall credentials. Oh, and Snoop's teenage daughter Cori B, who appears on 'No Guns Allowed'. Make of that what you will.

Snoop makes this of 'Reincarnation', and "true reggae music" in general: "We were searching for true reggae music and the message of peace and hope it reflects. It's so much a part of who I am, and this record is all about paying homage and giving respect to those who created and love reggae music, and hopefully introducing it to a whole new audience. I feel truly honoured to make this album and respect to all who blazed the path for me".

Yes, respect. Meanwhile Snoop Dogg's new reggae reality film, 'Reincarnated', will be screened in British cinemas as of 22 Mar.

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Having released their inaugural long player 'Everything Is Dancing' in 2011, Fair Ohs have since signed off on a new one. Its name is 'Jungle Cats', and it'll be released via Dream Beach Records on 28 May. Apparently, it is akin to a "heat-soaked traipse through the psychedelic desert of your 20s, filled with voodoo funk grooves, solos like a thousand snakes in heat, bass-lines that could hypnotise wild beasts and enough hooks to open an abattoir".

Or alternatively phrased: "In short, it is rad".

Elsewhere, the band have made this, err... muscular video to go with the LP's first single, 'Ya Mustafa'.


Green Apple Milk
Citric placid
Mayan Flex
Panama Red Jets
Ya Mustafa
Silver Jade Mountain
Cayman Brac
Salt Flats
Mountain Bombs

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Susan Boyle is to appear in a new Christmas movie to be released later this year, it was announced last week. The British-made film, entitled 'The Christmas Candle', is based on a novella by Max Lucado set in a village at the turn of the 20th century. It will also feature Samantha Barks, Hans Matheson and Lesley Manville, and is directed by John Stephenson.

Boyle said in a statement: "Everyone on set is a delight to work with and it's a fantastic experience to be part of the team. I'm really enjoying getting dressed in the period costumes and stepping back in time and although it's very cold filming on location, I'm wearing long johns under my bustle".

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Dance punk-inclined Warp signings !!! have but one show in their current GB live itinerary, and it's at London's Village Underground on 7 May.

The band are meant to - and probably will - release their new LP 'Thr!!!er' on 29 Apr.

Glean a sense of what it'll be like via this mini promo trailer, and/or new track 'Slyd'.

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Want to see what Hurray For The Riff Raff are like live? Well, you just wait... until May, that is, when they'll be roving Britain and Ireland to kind of promote last year's 'Look Out Mama' LP.

The dates they'll be playing are as follows:

6 May: Limerick, Locke Bar
7 May: Dublin, Wheelans
9 May: Oswestry, The Ironworks
10 May: Oxford, Bullingdon Arms
11 May: Winchester, The Railway
12 May: Brighton, Green Door Store
13 May: London, The Lexington
15 May: Glasgow, Pivo Pivo
16 May: Newcastle, The Cluny 2
17 May: Stockton On Tees, Georgian Theatre
18 May: Manchester, The Castle
19 May: Nottingham, The Maze
20 May: Liverpool, Mello Mello

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Ushering in CMU's five-times weekly FLUUs this time is Japan's ultra-cool Fuji Rock fest, as has just nonchalantly named its headliners as Nine Inch Nails, Björk and The xx. No big deal. Underneath that lot, it's initial listings feature Death Grips, DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus, Tame Impala and Yo La Tengo, so that's nice.

And since we're talking Flying Lotus, I may as well say that he's also been added to Belgian festival Dour's chocolate box of live artistes, as have Trentemøller, Booka Shade and Nathan Fake. Dour's bill at large also stars Simian Mobile Disco, Amon Tobin and The Smashing Pumpkins, by the way.

Oh, and one other thing. Plan B is to play this year's edition of Rock Ness. He takes a headlining vantage point on the Scots fest's overall roster (in line with Basement Jaxx and Example), and quite rightly too.

That all revealed, I have just one final thing to say, and that is this: stay fixed to the following list to find info on artist additions to venerable (and Keane, Seth Lakeman and Squeeze co-headlined) Cotswolds idyll Cornbury, York-based enigma Galtres, Devonshire sea-sports rave GoldCoast OceanFest, hardcore-revel-in-a-zoo Hevy, brand new Bulgarian debutante Horizon, and amicable family fete WeyFest.

CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, The Great Tew Estate, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, 5-7 Jul: Keane, Seth Lakeman, Squeeze, Van Morrison, Bellowhead, Beverley Knight, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Proclaimers Amy Macdonald, Bo Bruce, Jack Savoretti, Lawson, Imelda May, James Arthur, Emilia Mitiku, King Charles, Lawson, Jack Savoretti, Lucy Spraggan, Osibisa, Tift Merritt, The Overtones, King Charles, Nell Bryden, Matthew Lee, Emilia Mitiku, Osibisa, JJ Grey, Velvet Stream, Staxs, Lucy Spraggan, The Riptide Movement, Sadie & the Hotheads, The Chipping Norton Allstars.

DOUR, Plaine De La Machine À Feu, Dour, Belgium, 18-21 Jul: Flying Lotus, Trentemøller, Booka Shade, Gesaffelstein, Joris Delacroix, Nina Kraviz, UZ, Cashmere Cat, Jets live, Nathan Fake, Fantastic Mr Fox, Calyx & Teebee feat SP:MC, Black Sun Empire, Culprate, Zomboy.

FUJI ROCK, Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, 26-28 Jul: Nine Inch Nails, Björk, The xx, Death Grips, DJ Shadow, Coheed & Cambria, Tame Impala, Yo La Tengo, Flying Lotus, Foals, Fun., Rocket From The Crypt, Of Monsters And Men, Daughter, Tom Odell, Toro Y Moi, Feed Me, Hot 8 Brass Band, Hurts, Jack Beats, Julio Bashmore, Killswitch Engage, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, CJ Ramone, Kyte, Maya Jane Coles, Modeselektor, Porter Robinson.

GALTRES FESTIVAL, secret location, York, 23-25 Aug: The Stranglers.

GOLDCOAST OCEANFEST, Croyde Bay, North Devon, 21-23 Jun: Bastille, Gabrielle Aplin, Willy Mason, Xavier Rudd.

HEVY, Port Lympne Animal Park, Kent, 2-4 Aug: Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, Horse The Band, The Menzingers, Metz, Tigers Jaw, Circle Takes The Square, Code Orange Kids, Heights, Full Of Hell, Bossk, Palm Reader, Mine, The Catharsis.

HORIZON, Bankso, Bulgaria, 23-29 Mar: Jackmaster, Crazy P, Mark E, Kink-Live, Loefah, Alex Arnout, Phaeleh, Dark Sky, Ben Pearce, Maribou State, Icicle, Wookie, Eliphino, Route 94, Throwing Snow, No Artificial Colours, Mark Jenkyns, Hannah Holland, Max Chapman, Ashley Wild, Casino Times, Guy Andrews, Kasra, Eric Duncan (Rub N Tug), Randomer, Reggae Roast, Ossie, Darling Farah, Echer, Leon Vynehall, Biome, Klose One, Benton, Planas, Jonny Cruz, Cheeba, Young Marco, Mike Gill, Soft Rocks, Maison Sky, Strategy, Nick Nokolov, Rattus Rattus, Liubo Ursiny, 1000 Names, Dan Beaumont, Brodanse, Royce Rolls, Aartekt, Moniker.

ROCK NESS, Loch Ness, Cotland, 7-9 Jun: Plan B, The Temper Trap, Alabama 3, Carl Craig, Netsky, The Futureheads, Mark Henning, Alex Metric, Mat Zo, Redlight, Joris Voorn, Len Faki, Nic Fanciulli, Proxy, Harvey McKay, Animal Farm.

WEYFEST, The Rural Life Centre, Farnham, Surrey, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: Echo And The Bunnymen, Toploader, Roachford, Nine Below Zero, Leatherat, Robin Bibi Band, Spank The Monkey, Fake Thackeray.

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The latest Music 4.5 event takes place in London tomorrow with the title 'Open Data: Devaluing Or Driving Music Business Models?'

The afternoon event will consider the value of music companies making data available for free to third parties, who may then be able to use such data to develop new products and services from which everyone can benefit. But what are the pros and cons of such an approach, and if there is something to be gained from an open data philosophy, what sort of data should be shared and how?

Framing the debate, some of those speaking at the Music 4.5 event tomorrow gave CMU a heads up on their basic viewpoints regards the opportunities and challenges in the open data domain. Says William Lovegrove, founder and CEO of mobile solutions company ReleaseMobile: "Data is perceived as the life blood of so many businesses, but in some situations it's preferable to think of data as water: a shared resource. Opening up data, and allowing others to drink from it, can solve business problems, create new opportunities and improve public relations. The art is knowing what to open, why you are opening it, and how to measure the positive impact".

Concurring on the potential of open data in the music space, Songdrop co-founder and CEO Brittney Bean adds: "The industry is currently drowning in numbers; there's information coming in from download stores, subscription streaming services, promotional streaming sites, video sites, traditional sales and social media. All of this information is meaningless without context, so there's a real opportunity for start-ups to combine their own data sets with existing, freely available information and create useable, monetisable systems".

But, of course, there is a commercial side to this debate for the original data gatherers too, as Helena Kosinski, International Marketing Manager of Nielsen Music International stressed: "The power of insights and the relevance of decisions are in some instances increased when multiple data sets are combined. From that standpoint, open data may facilitate innovative combinations of data, sometimes also providing data access where it had been previously inaccessible. However, as exciting as open data can be, there is a cost to quality data - either in the collection or in the interpretation - and somewhere in the value chain this financial element must be satisfied. Open Data still requires a business model".

The Music 4.5 debate on Open Data takes place at the London offices of Lewis Silkin from 2pm tomorrow. Also speaking will be MusicBrainz Founder Robert Kaye, Commercial Director Chris Wistow and CMU Insights Associate Sam Taylor. Info here.

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The top man at the Music Publishers Association, Stephen Navin, will step down in June, he has told Music Week. The publishing sector trade body's CEO will leave the industry to read history at Oxford University, formally standing down at the next MPA AGM on 25 Jun.

Navin told Music Week: "I have long dreamed a dream that I might go to Oxford University to read history. And the dream seems to have come true and I have seized the day! Assuming I get past Freshers' week, the 'working' hours - eight week terms - do not seem unduly punishing (at least for a modern music publisher) and I hope to be able to offer my humble services to our industry if called upon from time to time, which could be particularly advantageous, embedded as I shall be in the bosom of academe".

MPA Chair Chris Butler says it will be "business as usual" at the trade body until Navin exits, though the organisation's board will be considering its options for the future.

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A new report by the French government agency set up to combat online piracy, Hadopi, has suggested new measures to combat the distribution of unlicensed content online, including web-blocking, and the two hottest piracy-related topics in the music community just now: the downgrading of piracy-enabling sites on search engines and the cutting off of revenue stream to such services, either by freezing PayPal or credit card accounts, or by banning them from embedding ad network widgets on their sites.

Hadopi was set up to administer the three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing in France, and has initiated the sending of hundreds of thousands of warning letters to suspected file-sharers, though only a hundred or so cases are thought to have go to the 'strike three' stage, where some kind of sanction (most likely bandwidth throttling or net suspension) can theoretically be forced on persistent file-sharers.

But the latest report from Hadopi, published last week, focused on other forms of online piracy, in particular websites that directly provide unlicensed streams or downloads to users. The authority proposes web-blocking as a method to tackle these sites - an anti-piracy system prioritised over three-strikes in some other jurisdictions.

The report proposes putting statutory obligations on sites to install filters - similar to those already operated by YouTube - to help filter out copyright material uploading without permission by users, with the threat of demoting such sites on search engines or getting court ordered web-blocks against services that fail to meet those requirements.

The agency would also like the power to target the finances of sites that persistently infringe copyright, ultimately utilising court orders to stop infringing sites from taking funds via PayPal or credit card, or from benefiting from ad networks. This is an area where the music industry has already been proactive, working with credit card giants to cut off the income streams of those piracy operations that rely on subscriptions or donations from users.

French ministers will now consider the Hadopi report before making any decisions on future priorities regards its anti-piracy initiatives, at the same time as reviewing the ongoing three-strikes system. All the measures on the table are, of course, controversial in some quarters, with some arguing that three-strikes and web-blocking are overly severe and, anyway, don't work. Others, meanwhile, say that the content industries should be more focused on launching more compelling legit services than on instigating ever more drastic anti-piracy measures.

Elsewhere in piracy news, London-based analytics company Musicmetric has countered a recent report published by the NPD Group in the US that said file-sharing levels were finally in decline. Musicmetric says that while recent research does suggest that the number of people file-sharing is starting to fall in the US, worldwide BitTorrent usage is up. Though that is mainly due to increases in developing markets where the number of legit download and streaming services are currently more limited.

Gregory Mead of Musicmetric owner Semetric, told CMU: "While our data does show a decrease in BitTorrent downloads in the US, it also shows that it is increasing significantly in emerging markets such as Brazil and India and is on track to pass the US in the near future".

He adds: "The extension of legal downloading services like iTunes and streaming services such as Spotify is having a real positive effect as people have more access to revenue-generating outlets. The findings show those emerging markets with growing music piracy issues are ripe for a legal alternative, and represent very exciting opportunities for the global music industry. The key thing is for the industry to find ways of engaging with fans and using data on all online music consumption".

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Doing his bit to reassure teenagers everywhere that being rich and famous doesn't necessarily stop you from having a shit birthday party, Justin Bieber started his Friday evening in London by tweeting "gonna be fun tonight" and "big night ahead", but by 2am the next morning was declaring to the net that this had been his "worst birthday".

Though, unlike most other nineteen year olds, he did get to contemplate the shittiness of his party while spending the night with rumoured girlfriend Ella-Paige Roberts Clarke back at his luxury hotel.

According to reports, the star's nineteenth birthday party hit the rocks before it even started when some of the Bieber entourage were refused admission to the popster's venue of choice, Cirque Du Soir in London's West End, on account of them clearly not being eighteen. Clarke was among those refused entry as was Jayden 'son of Will' Smith, aged seventeen and fourteen respectively.

Those over eighteen in the posse did enter the club, presumably to see if any favours could be pulled from management, but left minutes later. According to the tabs, Bieber's birthday entourage was then seen visiting a near-by McDonalds before returning to The Langham Hotel.

Cirque Du Soir subsequently confirmed it had turned away the Bieber party, but unlike Manchester club Sankeys, which said the pop star's dance moves were behind their decision to deny him entry, reps for the London hang out stressed it was simply age restrictions that caused problems on Friday night.

A spokesman said: "We, like all clubs in London, operate a strict age policy. As a few of the members of the party were under the suitable age of eighteen, the security team at Cirque Du Soir London clearly explained this rule and refused entry to the club for anyone who could not provide us with adequate proof of age".

See, if he wasn't so rich and famous, Bieber would know to ensure all his underage mates had fake ID with them when hitting the clubs of the West End. Or would at least know which pubs and clubs in Zone 2 have less strict door policies. Thus again proving to his millions of teenage fans around the world why they are arguably better off than he is, even if they don't get the adoration and performance fees on offer from a four night sell out run at The O2.

Ordinary teens also don't have to take abuse on Twitter from footballing type Joey Barton, who this weekend called the birthday celebrating Bieber a "little gimp" and a "smack addiction waiting to happen".

Barton took aim at the Biebster after discovering that him having reached two million followers on Twitter looked rather modest when compared to the pop teen's 35 million followers on the micro-blogging platform. In fact the footballer seemed rather miffed altogether that the most popular celebs on Twitter are mainly from the pop domain.

Barton wrote: "Just been informed that little gimp Justin Bieber has 35 million followers - WTF! Put my bragging about two million right in its place", before adding: "35 million?!? What the fucking fuck! He looks little a shaved little bird with earrings. This is a truly fucked up world, if he's 'cool'".

Conceding that that other popular Tweeterer Lady Gaga "has some talent" and "endears herself to the weirdos", Barton added: "I'd rather flush my head down the toilet daily than be a 'Belieber'. He's a smack addiction waiting to happen". Though, as someone paid millions to kick a ball around a field for three hours a week, you'd think Barton would hold off questioning the popularity of pop stars based on a perceived lack of hard work or general all-round talents.

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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 or

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