13 MAR 2013

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Next month, on 1 Apr, The Leisure Society release their third album, 'Alone Aboard The Ark', the first single from which, 'Fight For Everyone', is released on 25 Mar. The album release will be followed up by a UK tour, which will wind up at Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's Southbank on 25 Apr. Ahead of that, we asked the band to put together a playlist for us more>>
They've always had a rock edge to their music, but prior to new album 'Murderopolis', Sparrow And The Workshop always had at least one foot still poked into folk. Now back with their first album for two years and a new label in Song, By Toad, the band have pulled both feet together and stood firm in the rock sound they've clearly always craved to fully experiment with on record more>>

- Entertainment sales down despite digital boost
- Jay-Z, Beyonce and Britney have financial details hacked and published
- Berry Gordy to receive Pioneer Award from Songwriters Hall Of Fame
- Snoop may return to rap. Or not. Who knows?
- Arctic Monkeys in studio "working stuff out"
- James Blunt making "usual, miserable" new LP
- Empire Of The Sun trail Ice On The Dune
- Jamie Cullum makes 'charity shop' LP
- The Weeknd to release trilogy on vinyl
- Film based on Alarm hoax premieres in London
- Caitlin Rose adds live dates
- Zebra Katz to play London's XOYO
- Festival line-up update: Reading & Leeds, Wireless, Standon Calling and more
- Label boss Halliday and manager Watt amongst PrimaveraPro line-up
- MSG company sells Live Nation shares
- R&S announces !K7 alliance for US market
- Megabox could launch in next six months, says Dotcom
- VEVO announces TV channel, new logo
- Unread Taylor Swift fan mail found in the bin
Building on our success of being voted Live UK’s National Promoter of the Year, DHP are looking for a Concerts Assistant to assist in the promotion team with our growing number of concerts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
This post heads the Ticketing operation for the DHP venues and Concert Promotions. DHP has its own Box Office system – alt-tickets and marketing (which this role is involved with) is carried out in-house. This role involves close working with DHP promoters on marketing events and generating sales.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
ReverbXL are seeking a full time Intern to work in our London office based in Chiswick. This is an ideal entry level position for a graduate looking to gain employment in the music industry. The position will give the chosen candidate a diverse range of experience in how a music publisher, record label and management company operates.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Involved Management is one of the world’s leading electronic music management companies, with an artist roster that includes Above & Beyond, Mat Zo and Dusky. Involved also shares an affiliation with Anjunabeats, one of the biggest independent dance labels in the UK and currently number one in the iTunes US dance album chart.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Sydney based company representative for Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This position supports the activities of the company globally under the supervision of the London based Director, Label and Project Management. The role will cover supporting activities surrounding master rights owners as well as retail accounts. It will also have a business development aspect to the role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Berlin based company representative for Europe. This position supports the activities of the company globally under the supervision of the London based Director, Label and Project Management. The role will cover both supporting activities surrounding master rights owners as well as retail accounts. It will also have a business development aspect to the role.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Merlin, the global rights licensing agency representing independent labels, is looking for a talented individual to join our London team through its work experience scheme. The two month placement would involve assisting staff in the central London Merlin office for two days a week, in particular in the areas of administration, royalty reporting and general operations. The role would suit a music business student or recent graduate looking to learn more about the digital music industry, as well as new and emerging services and markets.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Killing Moon is a London-based record label, artist management company, club night promoter and (nearly) award-winning new music blog. Due to recent expansion and gradually-increasing output through our record label, we are now seeking several spritely and talented individuals to learn about and assist on all of our operations.

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

Online entertainment services of all kinds continued to boom in 2012, according to stats aggregated by the Entertainment Retailers Association, though overall the entertainment retail market declined 12% to £4,213.4 million. The trade body blamed the continued stresses of the shift to digital, plus a weak and bunched release schedule, for the decline.

On the online side, when mail-order services are added to download and streaming platforms, both the music and gaming sectors now make more than half of their revenues via the internet as opposed to on the high street, with only the video side of entertainment retail still relying more on the flagging 'bricks n mortar' stores.

Meanwhile, by combining data from the Official Charts Company, GfK Chart-track and IHS Screen Digest, ERA reckons that truly digital sales of music, games and video passed £1 billion for the first time in 2012. And in the download space, sales of video was up 20.3%, games 7.7% and music 15.1%.

ERA's annual stats book also notes the significant rise of the streaming platforms which have seen by far the most rapid growth in the last year, even if overall they still account for only a minority of revenues. It is mainly music streaming services that have seen most growth so far, with at least 3.7 billion music streams delivered in the UK in 2012, 40% up on 2011.

Commenting on the streaming boom, ERA boss Kim Bayley told CMU: "Digital retailers and service providers are leading a revolution in the entertainment business. Building on the success of download stores, streaming services are changing the music landscape. Just a couple of months ago the Official Charts Company was celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Official Singles Chart and calculated that 3.7 billion was the number of singles sold in the UK since 1952. Now we discover that is also the number of music streams served in the UK by ERA members during 2012. That is extraordinary".

While on the less exciting revenue decline, she continued: "This decline cannot be blamed on the broader economy. Overall leisure spending actually grew by 3.7% [last year]. Entertainment's problems in 2012 were a combination of structural change and one of the weakest release schedules on record. And 2012 suffered from a weak schedule across all entertainment formats. It was a particular blow to specialist entertainment retailers who are reliant on the quality of the product they are delivered".

The entertainment industry always has up and down years when it comes to the number of mega-selling releases overall, though scheduling of big releases is also an issue. A frequent gripe of the entertainment retailers of late has been an increasing tendency by music, gaming and film companies to put more of their releases into the final quarter to capitalise on the Christmas market.

The retailers say that that trend reduces consumer spend overall, and especially impacts on impulse purchases (if consumers pop in store five times a year to buy the big releases, they will likely impulse buy other products five times - if all the five big releases arrive at once, there's less opportunity for those extra sales).

Retailers will continue to pressure labels, and game and DVD publishers to more evenly scatter their big product launches, though many recognise that 2012 was a particularly bad year in that domain as British entertainment firms tried to avoid clashing with major events like the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics when it came to releases.

As for the big entertainment sellers overall in the UK last year, well, DVDs and games dominate, though look at Emeli Sandé there with the fifth best selling release, outperforming even the Now albums. Well done her. Here is the Top 15 with units shifted listed on the right:

1. Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision Blizzard) - 2,672,364
2. FIFA 13 (Electronic Arts) - 2,601,877
3. The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Home Video) - 1,694,434
4. The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Entertainment One) - 1,515,604
5. Emeli Sandé - Our Version of Events (Universal/Virgin) - 1,446,844
6. Now That's What I Call Music 83 (EMI/Universal) - 1,389,006
7. Avengers Assemble (Walt Disney Studios) - 1,349,937
8. Ted (Universal Pictures) - 1,188,295
9. War Horse (Walt Disney Studios) - 986,870
10. The Hunger Games (Elevation Sales) - 946,592
11. Mrs Brown's Boys - Series One (Universal Pictures) - 913,145
12. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (20th Century Fox) - 888,629
13. Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft) - 886,198
14. Now That's What I Call Music 82 (EMI/Universal) - 866,031
15. Prometheus (20th Century Fox) - 853,079

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Jay-Z, Beyonce and Britney Spears are among a handful of US celebrities and other public figures who have had financial details stolen and published online by hackers.

In addition to the music stars, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Mel Gibson, Ashton Kutcher and Donald Trump have also been targeted.

Those involved have not commented on the accuracy of the data, which includes social security numbers, loan details and credit reports, though some details do correspond with other publicly available information.

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Berry Gordy, best known, obviously, for being the father and great uncle respectively of LMFAO's Redfoo and SkyBlu, is to be given a Pioneer Award by the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

The award will not, however, be given in recognition for bestowing the power to write 'Party Rock Anthem' upon his descendants, but rather for all that work being founder of Motown Records, writing or co-writing 240 songs in the company's catalogue, and being an all round record industry legend.

Says SHOF chairman Jimmy Webb: "Berry Gordy is an innovator and a visionary. Yes, he created a label but more than that, he created a genre. Think about it, he pioneered a marketplace for African-American artistry and then he invited the world in to enjoy it. Berry was way ahead of his time; his young and immaculately groomed and dressed artists were among the first to receive media training. Berry Gordy and the Motown sound are essential to the American music story".

Gordy, along with the other to-be-announced winners, will receive his prize at a ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on 13 Jun.

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Having been very firm on his commitment to reggae last year, Snoop Lion né Dogg is now less sure about where his future in music lies.

At a press conference last year announcing his reincarnation as Snoop Lion for reggae album 'Reincarnation', he said: "Rap is not a challenge to me. I had enough of that. It's not appealing to me no more. I don't have no challenges... I'm 'Uncle Snoop' in rap. When you get to be an uncle, you need to find a new profession so you can start over and be fresh again"

However, speaking in less certain terms to NME, he recently rambled: "I definitely feel like I'm gonna make more music but I don't know if I'm gonna go to Jamaica, I may wanna go somewhere else. I may wanna venture into another part of the world. Some things you let them be what they are. That was a priceless moment. I may wanna do something different next time ... I may wanna go to another country and make a reggae album. I may wanna make a rap album. I don't know".

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Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders has said that the band are optimistic they'll release a new LP, the follow-on to 2011's 'Suck It And See', this year. Not that they've started. At present, they're just "working stuff out" in a casual kind of fashion.

Talking to BBC Newsbeat, a non-committal Helders said he was "definitely happy" with what he, Alex Turner et al have done so far, adding: "Hopefully we'll get it out this year - that's the plan. We've just been working stuff out with the band. Nothing serious yet. It's just been us four working stuff out like we used to I guess. We had a bit of a break. It's always weird when you first get back into it, to know what kind of songs we write any more".

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Stop the presses, because - contrary to wild hearsay - James Blunt is not taking a musical break (something he actually confirmed on Twitter last month, but hey). He's been spending time in America making a new LP. So take that, JB-haters.

Intercepted by The Sun as he was leaving a "recent party" in LA, Blunt is said to have said (slurred): "I'm here recording a new album. It's my usual, miserable stuff".

Great to hear.

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Wacky pop pairing Empire Of The Sun are releasing a zanily-titled new LP, 'Ice On The Dune', in June, which rhymes. This is a trailer clarifying the band's 'artistic vision' for it, and featuring several bars of one of its tracks.

You can also read a weird (but presumably 'Dune'-relevant) paragraph on leylines, cave paintings and synchronicity via

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The latterly Universal/Island-signed Jamie Cullum has named the first LP he'll release via his new Universal division of choice, and that name is 'Momentum'. Set to represent his sixth album to date, it was made in uncharacteristically lo-fi style, on iPhone apps, cassette tapes and "charity shop keyboards". And nothing says 'lo fi' like a charity shop keyboard.

Says Jamie: "The album is about that crossover period from youth into adulthood where you still have one foot in each. You start to understand the world in such a different way and see things more as they are - both ugly and beautiful. You're caught between that fresh sense of the wider picture whilst still battling those same old issues within your own head. 'Have I done enough? Have I achieved all that I thought I would? What about everything I didn't do?'"

Yes, what indeed. Whilst I can't answer any of the above questions, I can give you this tracklisting and a 'Momentum' release date: 20 May.

The Same Things
Edge Of Something
Everything You Didn't Do
When I Get Famous
Love For $ale (feat Roots Manuva)
Pure Imagination
Sad, Sad World
Take Me Out (Of Myself)
Save Your Soul
Get A Hold Of Yourself
You're Not The Only One

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On 26 Mar, 'spectral R&B' type The Weeknd is re-releasing his 2012 LP trilogy, 'Trilogy', as a six disc vinyl set. Priced at a plush $199.99 and restricted to 500 signed pressings, it's quite the collector's item, but is available to the rich via this link.

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A film inspired by a real life hoax played by 80s punk band The Alarm, called 'Vinyl', premiered in London last night. As previously reported, the film stars Phil Daniels and Keith Allen as aging musicians who get a group of teenagers to mime to their songs in an attempt to rekindle past successes in the face of music industry ageism.

The Alarm's own hoax began when they released a single under the name The Poppyfields called '45RPM', using a group of teenagers to front the project and eventually cracking the top 30 with the song (though many fans had already twigged who was really behind the track by that point).

Frontman of The Alarm, Mike Peters, told the BBC ahead of last night's premiere: "As a fan of Phil Daniels' work, I was so thrilled and to be then told that Keith Allen was on board too to play Minto, it seemed like the perfect storm was coming together".

He added: "As the music producer [of the film], I encouraged the actors to record the song as a band before any acting took place, and I think the process really helped to bring them together and form that unique bond that is present in all great bands. It's all there - the bickering, the humour and in amongst the bitterness there is also an honesty and a genuine affection for each other that only living the rock and roll dream can produce".

The film opens in selected cinemas nationwide this Friday. Watch the trailer here.

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Singing Nashvillian Caitlin Rose, who only last week released her new LP, 'The Stand In', will later this year grace London's Shepherds Bush Empire (12 Sep) and the Manchester Ritz (13 Sep).

FAO those into timelines; the shows are happening at approximately the same time Rose will be over here playing End Of The Road and Festival No 6, but fall quite a while in the wake of her new single 'Only A Clown', which will be available on 25 Mar.

Available in the meantime, I give you its video.

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'Ima Read' hit-man Zebra Katz is playing a one-off show at London's XOYO on 6 Jun. This news coincides with the release of the rapper's new vid 'Y I Do', which isn't taken from anything particular, but is sponsored by V Magazine and directed by actor/director Nathaniel Brown.

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So, Wireless has extended itself into a triple-day extravaganza, adding a final 14 Jul rap to-do starring Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z - who'll be previewing their previously reported 'Legends Of The Summer' show, in addition to separately headlining the previous two days of the festival - and also featuring Nas, A$AP Rocky, Rizzle Kicks and a very rarely-seen A Tribe Called Quest. Wow.

Having been once wowed by the above, prepare to be so again by this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, as have each now named Green Day and Skrillex as headlining acts, and even taken in Nine Inch Nails, Chase & Status, A$AP Rocky, Editors, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, Azealia Banks, Phoenix, Bastille, Tame Impala, Disclosure, Palma Violets and Iggy Azalea.

So, that's all quite nice, as is the official initial phase of additions to Somerset House's Summer Series, that set of one-night shows in central London that this year features the likes of Richard Hawley, Basement Jaxx, Jessie Ware, Monsters And Men and Tom Odell.

But wait, there's still space for more FLUU niceties, as I segue into a summary of listings changes at the following:

AFRICA OYÉ, Sefton Park, Liverpool, 22-23 Jun: Mokoomba, ZongZing All Stars, Atonga Zimba.

ALT FEST, Boughton Hall, Kettering, Northamptonshire, 15-17 Aug 2014: Breed 77, Collapse, Seven Deadly, Zeromancer, Skeletal Family, KMFDM.

BILBAO BBK, Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 11-13 Jul: Mark Lanegan Band, Billy Talent, Soulwax, Twin Shadow, Spector, Little Boots, Benjamin Biolay & Carl Barat, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Gary Clark Jr, The Weeks, Arcane Roots, Hacktivist, The Bots, Birdy Nam Nam, Fermin Muguruza.

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR, Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, South Derbyshire, 8-11 Aug: Volvod, Sabaton, Wolfsbane, Xentrix, PowerQuest, Skiltron, Mael Mordha, Evil Scarecrow, RSJ, Gormathon.

BOARDMASTERS, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, 7-11 Aug: Frightened Rabbit, Miles Kane, The Joy Formidable, Mile Kane, We Are The Ocean, Ryan Keen, I Am Arrows, Speakerbox, Ayah Marar, Roses Gabor, MC Majestic, Decibel, Second City, Ben Caplan, Brother & Bones, Josh Kumra, Hudson Taylor, Ahab, The Skints, The Breaks Collective, MJ Cole, Devolution, Copy Paste Soul, Darko, Alex Tiernan-Locke, Robbin Parris, Tommie Quick, Tom Costelloe, Tim Nice, Ashley Thomas.

BUSHMILLS LIVE, Old Bushmills Distillery, North Antrim, Northern Ireland, 19-20 Jun: Of Monsters And Men.

CHAGSTOCK, Dartmoor, Devon, 19-20 Jul: The Boomtown Rats.

LEEDS FESTIVAL, Bramham Park, Leeds, 23-25 Aug 2013: Green Day, Skrillex, Nine Inch Nails, Chase & Status, A$AP Rocky, Editors, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, Azealia Banks, Frank Turner, Phoenix, Bastille, Tame Impala, Disclosure, Palma Violets, Imagine Dragons, Modestep, Iggy Azalea, Peace, Alex Clare, HAIM, Deap Vally, White Lies, Brand New, Magnetic Man, Knife Party, The Strypes, Swim Deep, Baauer, Mallory Knox, Temples, The 1975, The Blackout, New Found Glory, Theme Park, Tomahawk, Hadouken!, Twin Atlantic, While She Sleeps.

MAGIC SUMMER LIVE, Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey, 13-14 Jul: Bryan Adams, Jamiroquai, James Morrison, Joss Stone, Squeeze, Level 42, Soul II Soul Sound System, The Overtones, Kim Wilde.

READING FESTIVAL, Richfield Avenue, Reading, 23-25 Aug 2013: Green Day, Skrillex, Nine Inch Nails, Chase & Status, A$AP Rocky, Editors, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, Azealia Banks, Frank Turner, Phoenix, Bastille, Tame Impala, Disclosure, Palma Violets, Imagine Dragons, Modestep, Iggy Azalea, Peace, Alex Clare, HAIM, Deap Vally, White Lies, Brand New, Magnetic Man, Knife Party, The Strypes, Swim Deep, Baauer, Mallory Knox, Temples, The 1975, The Blackout, New Found Glory, Theme Park, Tomahawk, Hadouken!, Twin Atlantic, While She Sleeps.

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London, 24-25 Aug: Example, Andy C, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Todd Edwards b2b EZ, Dismantle b2b Roska, Laidback Luke, Gareth Emery, Tensnake, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.

STANDON CALLING, Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire, 2-4 Aug: Digitalism, The Joy Formidable, The DOT, TOY, DJ Yoda, Trans Siberian Marching Band, Public Service Broadcasting, The Skints, Shields, Lazarus & The Plane Crash, Rotten Hill Gang, London Afrobeat Collective, Band of Buriers, Trenton & Free Radical.

SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, Somerset House, London, 11-21 Jul: Richard Hawley, Basement Jaxx, Jessie Ware, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Lianne Le Havas, Of Monsters And Men, Tom Odell, Band Of Horses, Alex Clare.

WIRELESS, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, 12-14 Jul: A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, A$AP Rocky, Rizzle Kicks, Ke$ha, Wretch 32, Iggy Azalea, Conor Maynard, Bingo Players, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Flux Pavilion, Zedd.

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4AD boss Simon Halliday and Machine Management's Iain Watt are amongst the industry types so far confirmed for the PrimaveraPro conference, that takes place in Barcelona alongside the Primevera Sound festival from 22-26 May.

The role of artists in their professional destinies will be one of the topics up for debate alongside evolving music business models and the state of the live sector. Wall Of Sound legend Mark Jones, Drowned In Sound's Sean Adams and artists like Jon McLure and Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley will also take part in the conference sessions.

Commenting on the 2013 conference programme, Primavera Sound Director Alberto Guijarro told CMU: "The past year has been one of the most interesting times I've seen in the music industry. For every door that closed, company that faltered or festival that went under, something new and interesting sprung up to take its place".

He continued: "It was a difficult time for many people in the business but I firmly believe that we are seeing the models emerge that will support a new, sustainable music industry, in 2013 and beyond. This new industry will, I believe, be led by artists, which is why I was keen to invite them to PrimaveraPro this year for their voice to be heard".

More here.

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Not much of a surprise, but The Madison Square Garden Company has confirmed it has sold all of its shares in Live Nation Entertainment, following the recent resignation from the board of the live giant of James Dolan, aka Executive Chairman of MSG and CEO of its parent company Cablevision.

As previously reported, Dolan's departure from the Live Nation board last month, while pretty sudden, was in many ways a logical conclusion of the exiting of Irving Azoff in the final hours of 2012 from his role at the top of the live entertainment, management and ticketing group.

Dolan was a long-term friend and ally of Azoff, with MSG coming to own nearly 2% of Live Nation Entertainment through an original investment into Azoff's Front Line company, which was subsequently acquired by Ticketmaster and then merged with Live Nation.

With MSG, as the owner of some major US venues, working with many of Live Nation's rivals in both the tour promoter and ticketing domain, Dolan's position on the live giant's board and MSG's shareholding was always an interesting quirk, the down-sides of which presumably became more noticeable once the alliance ceased to be about a partnership with Azoff.

Dolan's departure and the share offload has passed with relatively little drama though, and of course MSG will continue to work with Live Nation's promoters, managers and ticketing division Ticketmaster on other ventures and projects.

Live Nation's share price is pretty good at the moment following a positive response to the firm's most recent financial update, which is possibly why now was a good time for MSG to sell its stake.

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Electronic music independent R&S Records has announced an alliance with the !K7 Label Group for the North American market, which will see !K7's New York team providing distribution, marketing and other label services for the R&S roster in the recently EDM-hungry US market.

Confirming the new partnership with some punchy quotes, !K7 boss Horst Weidenmuller told reporters: "For my company the US has always been the biggest market, and we are all working hard to achieve the same for [R&S co-founder] Renaat and his great team".

While R&S boss Renaat Vandepapeliere said simply: "R&S is on a mission in the US".

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Looking rather like Holly from 'Red Dwarf' as he was Skyped into the premises from across the sea in the land where imminent arrest is much less likely, Mega chief Kim Dotcom entertained the audience of the Interactive strand of SXSW this week.

He told his audience - of course - that evil Hollywood is operating an "outdated business model", before assuring the world he had no intention of landing up in an American prison as a result of the pending charges of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement relating to the original MegaUpload business.

Though, perhaps most interestingly for those in Austin with primarily music in their minds, Dotcom confirmed that his much mooted direct-to-fan platform, Megabox, is still very much in development.

He reckoned a release could occur in the next six months, before - according to Billboard - describing the service as being "very similar to iTunes" but web-based and faster, which doesn't sound much like the radical new artist-boosting label-killing venture previously promised, but whatever.

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VEVO is stepping forward, or maybe backwards, depending on your viewpoint, by launching a 24/7 online TV channel, aggregating music videos and original programming available elsewhere on the platform into one continuous stream, for those people just too darn lazy to go in and put together their own playlists. Which is probably most people, making this a sensible step forwards/backwards.

The new telly channel type service from the Sony/Universal-owned video platform will be available, in North America only initially, via the platform and the firm's various apps, and can be perhaps partly seen as another initiative to pull VEVO users away from accessing the music video set-up via its YouTube presence, and to instead tune in via the firm's proprietary channels.

The announcement of the new telly channel service, timed to coincide with SXSW, also accompanies a rebrand for the video service, capital letters being so February, and slightly more curvaceous fonts being much more appropriate now it's spring (it is spring right, that snow was an anomaly?) So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to vevo.

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Ah letters, remember them? A bit like email, but with the constant risk of paper cuts. Anyway, it seems that some Taylor Swift fans around the world still like to communicate with the star in the old fashioned fan letter way, with a stack of envelopes landing at the offices of Swift's management each day. Which then get promptly tossed into the trash.

Or so it seems. A Tennessee TV network has been passed a pile of unread fan letters to Swift by a woman who claims she found them in a bin near the singer's reps' offices in Nashville. But, please, whatever you do, note won't you, that this was clearly a one-off mistake, and not a sign that Taylor 'God I love my fans' Swift is far too busy ordering pizza to be reading tedious fan missives.

Or so assures the singer's publicist Paula Erickson who told WKRN-TV: "Taylor gets thousands of fan letters everyday and they are delivered to her management office. After the letters are opened and read, they are recycled. The only explanation for any letters being unopened would be that a small batch of mail that was supposed to be delivered to Taylor was accidentally put with letters headed for the recycling centre".

Yeah, that'll be it.

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