WEDNESDAY
3 APR 2013

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Q&A: PATRICK WOLF
Marking a decade since his first EP release, Patrick Wolf last year recorded new acoustic versions of a selection of songs from his back catalogue. Split into two halves, 'Sunlight & Riverdark' explores both Wolf's darker material and his more hopeful work. Having toured with a show based on the acoustic reworkings of his songs, Wolf returns to London this Saturday to perform at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London's Southbank Centre. Ahead of the show, CMU's Andy Malt caught up with Patrick to find out more about 'Sunlight & Riverdark' more>>
 
APPROVED: BENJAMIN DAMAGE
Benjamin Damage presented his first album last year on 50 Weapons, a co-production with Doc Daneeka. After a flurry of highly regarded single releases, he now steps up with his debut solo album, 'Heliosphere', after a relocation to Berlin. Leaning heavily on early 90s techno, some of Damage's offerings could be pigeonholed alongside Dave Angel, Luke Slater and the like, but with a slightly modern twist. 'Heliosphere' is a mixture of sonic soundscapes, and not just an LP with ten club thumpers more>>


TOP STORIES
- Conrad Murray speaks (and sings) as Jacksons v AEG reaches court
IN THE POP COURTS
- New York judge throws out Exogenesis lawsuit
OBITUARIES
- Phil Ramone 1943-2013
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Chart rules tweak allows instant gratification tracks
ARTIST DEALS
- Kobalt Neighbouring Rights signs Dave Stewart
IN THE STUDIO
- Haim LP "90% done", band talk Epworth/Ford collab
RELEASE NEWS
- Great Gatsby score to feature Beyonce's "very different take" on Back To Black
- Steve Buscemi to direct Vampire Weekend live stream
BOOKS NEWS
- Union J writing 'X' book
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Frank Ocean playing London show in June
- Warpaint to tour
- Deptford Goth adds live dates
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Leefest launches Kickstarter campaign
- Festival line-up update: Liverpool Sound City and Diynamic Festival
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Bertelsmann completes acquisition of BMG
- Universal launches Motown Gospel
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Variety recruits Lefsetz
AND FINALLY...
- Freddie Mercury took Princess Diana to gay bar in drag
ADVERT: MUSIC JOURNALISM COURSE
National music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine) opens up the workings of the music industry during this practical, fast-paced eight week evening course.

As well as finding out how to unearth exclusive music stories, and write under pressure, you will develop interview and feature ideas which you will pitch to editors at our partner publications: Clash, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag. Fun and interactive exercises will help you learn interview techniques, review and feature writing, and how to pitch your work.

This course is suitable for those with little or no experience of journalism, but is also relevant to those already working in the media who want to develop new skills. A certificate from London Journalism Centre is awarded to students who successfully complete this course. Courses start 9 Apr and 18 Apr.

For a full course description and how to book click here.
9PR - SENIOR PUBLICIST
Are you looking for a change, a new challenge, or to take your career up a level? We aim to expand our current team of five full-time staff by recruiting a Senior Publicist. Applicants need to have at least three years experience working in either national print PR, online PR, or both. The ability and desire to seek out new business is essential and our salary rate is competitive, for the right person.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUR ARMY - NATIONAL RADIO PLUGGER
Your Army Promotions are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable plugger. This is an ideal position for someone with experience in plugging but wants an exciting new challenge. Minimum of one to two years experience in a relevant role required. Salary will be commensurate with the candidate's experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BLEEP - PHYSICAL MUSIC BUYER
Bleep is an online retailer specialising in independent music, film and art. We strive to provide exceptional retail experience and focus on the curation of high quality products. We are looking for a highly skilled individual to join our team as a physical music buyer. A proven track record within a similar role and existing relationships within the industry are essential. Experience measuring sales and stock performance is required.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
TRAINING ADVERT: MUSIC JOURNALISM COURSE
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. Courses start 9 Apr and 18 Apr. 

For more information including a full course description and how to book click here.
EAST LONDON CREATIVE AGENCY - JUNIOR DESIGNER
We are an East London creative agency and require a junior designer to work on a freelance basis on some short-term projects, based at our Shoreditch offices. You will be mainly working on the layout of print materials to existing style guidelines. Good working knowledge of In-Design and Photoshop essential, as is an attention to detail. These are fun music and culture-based projects that will look great in any young designer's portfolio. Daily rate paid.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
DISTILLER MUSIC - SIX MONTH PAID INTERNSHIP
Distiller Records is on the hunt for a new marketing intern that can also help us out with all manner of things. We want bright, motivated and creative folks who want hands on experience in how an independent label works. We're looking for people who have a passion for music and a crazy love for the internet.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARP RECORDS - FINANCE ASSISTANT
We're looking for a bright, enthusiastic part qualified accountant with a love of music to join our finance team. Working across all the companies in the group the main duties will include: Cash book and bank reconciliation, purchase and sales ledger processing, HMRC returns – VAT, Intrastat, writing cheques/setting up online payments, intercompany postings and reconciliations, dealing with customer and supplier queries.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ULTRA DJ MANAGEMENT - BOOKING AGENT
Ultra DJ Management is an independent company that is part of the Mission Control Group of companies including Mission Control Artists Agency and ASM Damage Ltd. We represent some of the world's leading recording artists and producers and our roster includes multi-platinum album selling and award winning touring artists. We are recruiting for a booking agent with a good knowledge of dance music, the club and festival scene who possesses excellent negotiation skills and a high degree of professionalism.

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

CONRAD MURRAY SPEAKS (AND SINGS) AS JACKSONS V AEG REACHES COURT
As jury selection began yesterday for the big and long-time-coming civil lawsuit to stem from the 2009 demise of Michael Jackson, the man the criminal courts jailed for the singer's death, Dr Conrad Murray, has given two interviews from jail with CNN, one pre-recorded and one live.

The arrival of the Jacksons v AEG Live lawsuit in court, in which the Jackson family claim AEG is liable for the late king of pop's death because it hired Murray, comes a week after the doctor himself filed his latest appeal papers.

In his interview with CNN's Don Lemon, to be aired as part of a documentary later this week, the medic again pleads innocence with regard to the death of Michael Jackson, insisting that the fatal shot of propofol he administered to the singer on the morning of his death, while perhaps unusual, was not as inevitably dangerous as the prosecution stated in court.

Going over some old ground, the former doctor reasserts that Jackson's reliance on the surgical anaesthetic to sleep predated his time working for the singer, adding that Jackson had a pre-existing supply of the drug when he first met him. And Murray again asserts that he was in the process of weaning his patient off his reliance on propofol in the weeks before the singer's death.

Arguing that he himself expressed concern over Jackson's routine use of propofol when first made aware of it, Murray tells CNN: "Michael felt that it was not an issue because he had been exposed to it for years and he knew exactly how things worked. And given the situation at the time, it was my approach to try to get him off of it, but Michael Jackson was not the kind of person you can just say, 'Put it down' and he's going to do that".

In both the interview and his latest appeal papers Murray once again also hones in on the concurrent treatment Jackson was receiving from his long-time friend Dr Arnold Klein in the weeks before his death. In Murray's criminal trial the judge deemed that any prescription drugs provided to Jackson by Klein - mainly the painkiller Demerol - were not relevant because those medications were not in the singer's system at the time of his death.

But Murray and his legal team have long claimed that it was Klein's treatment of Jackson - of which Murray says he was not aware at the time - that caused the insomnia that led to the singer requiring propofol to sleep, and that the judge was therefore wrong to refuse to call Klein to testify in Murray's manslaughter case. Murray: "I didn't know he [Jackson] was an addict. He was going to Dr Klein's office and being loaded up with humongous levels of Demerol. Basically this was causing his insomnia because that's a huge side effect".

Despite giving media interviews to coincide with the Jacksons v AEG case getting to court (including a bizarre moment in the live CNN spot where he sang a Nat King Cole song), Murray is expected to resist efforts to make him testify. That Murray's negligence caused Jackson's demise is taken as read in the civil case. AEG will argue, though, that the doctor was appointed by the singer himself at the outset of the company's business partnership with Jackson, and that they are therefore not liable for his actions, even if they ultimately paid his bills.

Indeed, in a new interview for the same CNN documentary, a legal rep for the live firm, Marvin Putnam points to an earlier TV conversation Murray gave in which he said he was under the impression he was in the employ of Michael Jackson, even though AEG was writing the cheques. Putnam says of the doctor: "He was chosen by Michael Jackson. He was brought to Los Angeles by Michael Jackson. He had been Michael Jackson's long-time physician and continued in that capacity and was directed by him and could only be fired at will by him".

With jury selection now underway, it is not clear whether the world at large will get to watch the proceedings of The Jacksons v AEG Live on their TV screens. The Judge overseeing the case, Yvette Palazuelos, previously ruled that the case would not be televised, but both CNN and NBC yesterday submitted requests that she reconsider. The Jackson side of the battle also support the admission of TV cameras into the courtroom, but AEG's reps do not, arguing that newspaper reporting can provide public scrutiny of the case, and that TV cameras will simply result in a media circus around the trial.

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NEW YORK JUDGE THROWS OUT EXOGENESIS LAWSUIT
A New York judge has thrown out a lawsuit that targeted Warner Music over the 2009 Muse album 'The Resistance'.

As previously reported, an American songwriter called Charles Bollfrass claimed last year that the last three tracks on that album, a trilogy under the title of 'Exogenesis', were ripped off from a concept he had devised in 2005 for a rock opera of the same name.

The claimant went on to allege that he had approached Muse about them collaborating on the rock opera project, but that they declined the offer, and then used his ideas for 'Exogenesis'. But the band called the claims "complete nonsense", and denied having previous knowledge of Bollfrass or his 2005 project.

The judge bounced Bollfrass's lawsuit this week, ruling that the 'plot' described by the three disputed Muse tracks was too abstract to constitute any sort of infringement of the songwriter's rock opera screenplay, even if the band had been previously exposed to the claimant's work.

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PHIL RAMONE 1943-2013
US producer Phil Ramone, who worked with artists including Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand and Paul Simon, died on Saturday, two months after undergoing surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He was 79.

Born in South Africa in 1934, Ramone showed musical talent from an early age, beginning to play the violin at just three years old. Later his family moved to the US, settling in Brooklyn, and as a teenager he studied to be a classical violinist at the Juilliard School.

However, by this time popular music had begun to pull his attention away from classical and he became interested in songwriting and production. At 20 years old, in 1958, he opened a recording studio in Manhattan with original business partner Jack Arnold, taking the initials from their surnames to name it A&R Recording.

The studio, and Ramone (as a sound engineer), quickly gained a good reputation, by the early 60s attracting many big names, particularly in jazz, such as John Coltrane. In 1965, he won the first of fifteen Grammys for his engineering work on Stan Getz and João Gilberto's 'Getz/Gilberto' album.

Ramone subsequently began to work more with pop artists, and picked up more work as a producer, his first on Burt Bacharach's 'Make It Easy On Yourself' album, while Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years' won him his first Grammy as in a producing role. He also acted as engineer on Bob Dylan's 'Blood On The Tracks'.

As well as being an accomplished producer, earning him the nickname the 'Pope Of Pop', Ramone was also at the forefront of many technical innovations in studio recording and music in a wider sense, as a founder member of the Music & Engineering Technology Alliance (META).

He pioneered the use of fibre-optic telephone lines to record different contributors in studios around the world when recording Frank Sinatra's 'Duets' album in 1993. And it was a Ramone-produced album, Billy Joel's '52nd Street', that was the first commercially released CD.

Ramone is survived by his wife Karen, and their sons Matt, BJ and Simon.

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CHART RULES TWEAK ALLOWS INSTANT GRATIFICATION TRACKS
The Official Charts Company has altered its rules regarding so called 'instant gratification tracks', according to Music Week.

This relates to the story that surrounded the surprise arrival of David Bowie's new material on iTunes earlier this year. A first single went on sale at the same time as the Apple store started taking pre-orders for Bowie's new long player. Anyone pre-ordering the new album could immediately download the single without an additional purchase. But because that 'instant gratification track' was deemed an album track by the charts system, those downloads did not count towards the week's singles chart.

Bowie sold enough single track downloads in addition to the album pre-orders for the single to enter the top ten anyway, but some argued that 'instant gratification tracks' should be counted in the singles chart mix, given the single format has long been a loss-leader to promote an album for most artists, and the 'instantly download the single when you pre-order the album' arrangement is now very common.

Under the new rules, 'instant gratification track' downloads will count for the singles chart, providing the track is also concurrently available to buy on its own, the customer is immediately charged for the download, and the downloads tied to album pre-orders do not constitute more than 50% of overall singles sales. Only one track per album will qualify.

The latest charts rule update also allows albums that are sold bundled with gig tickets to be counted in the albums chart, providing both album and tickets can be bought separately, and the album and ticket together retail for a higher price than the ticket alone.

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KOBALT NEIGHBOURING RIGHTS SIGNS DAVE STEWART
Dave Stewart has engaged the services of Kobalt's previously reported neighbouring rights business to identify and collect any neighbouring right royalties he is due from all of his previous works, including the Eurythmics catalogue.

Kobalt Neighbouring Rights will initially represent the musician in this domain in the US, before taking on the duty worldwide in October. Stewart already utilises Kobalt to manage his publishing rights.

Confirming the new deal, Kobalt Founder Willard Ahdritz told CMU: "I've had the privilege of knowing Dave for years, and I'm very proud to extend our relationship with him to include another one of the services Kobalt offers its clients".

Stewart himself added: "It's great working with a company that is completely transparent and has the artist's interest at heart. Willard and I have a shared vision".

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HAIM LP "90% DONE", BAND TALK EPWORTH/FORD COLLAB
Nardwuar-alikes Haim - that's Este, Danielle and Alana Haim - have said that their TBA first LP in-the-making, a collaboration with studio aces Paul Epworth and James Ford, is "90% done".

Talking to The Sun, Este says: "We're just fine-tuning things, it's coming along really well. We made sure we experimented and fucked around to see what came out".

Alana adds: "I can taste it, it's so close. Almost done. We're serious when it comes to recording".

Of Epworth, who in addition to Ford has apparently "made the recording amazing", Este says: "I call Paul the 'mad scientist' because he has synthesisers that have bits of wire hanging out. They are so much fun to hang out with and they love food as much as us. There is so much eating. After we're done I'll have to call Jenny Craig. It was really fun".

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GREAT GATSBY SCORE TO FEATURE BEYONCE'S "VERY DIFFERENT TAKE" ON BACK TO BLACK
Slightly predictably, Beyonce is going to feature on her significant other Jay-Z's score to that Leonardo Dicaprio-starring 'Great Gatsby' film.

She will, says an Interscope rep via E! News, partner with Outkast's Andre 3000 to sing "a very different take" on the late Amy Winehouse's 'Back To Black'.

The film will be released in May, but in the meantime, this is Beyonce's new TV special 'Life Is But A Dream' (you have until tomorrow night to watch it).

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STEVE BUSCEMI TO DIRECT VAMPIRE WEEKEND LIVE STREAM
Vampire Weekend are collaborating with actor Steve Buscemi to present a special show on 28 Apr. Taking place at NYC's Roseland Ballroom as part of American Express's 'AmEx Unstaged' initiative and with Buscemi directing, it'll stream in real time via YouTube, Vevo and amexunstaged.com

The band have been hyping it all via Rolling Stone, and say they'll play half the tracks featuring on their new LP, 'Modern Vampires Of The City', which is released on 13 May.

Bassist Chris Baio adds: "Playing a hometown show is a really intense and great experience. We haven't played a full New York show in two-and-a-half years, so we're gonna be really well-rehearsed".

Here's a relevant trailer

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UNION J WRITING 'X' BOOK
Oh my. Union J are soon to release an official 'book', having signed a deal with Penguin to share various revelations on their lives pre and post 'X-Factor'.

Penguin's Editorial Director Daniel Bunyard, who's "over the moon" to be presiding over it all, raves that the UJ boys "have huge talent, a great chemistry together and a genuine passion towards what they're doing. This will be a massive title for later this year, packed full of exclusive, beautifully-shot photography".

Speaking in sync, George, Jaymi, JJ and Josh say: "We are very excited to be working with Penguin on our first book and are looking forward to the chance to tell our stories, of how we came together and where we came from, as well as the journey we've taken since 'X-Factor'".

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FRANK OCEAN PLAYING LONDON SHOW IN JUNE
Wannabe Belieber Frank Ocean is playing an ultra-rare British show at the Brixton Academy in July, his first since 2011, and London is all aglow over it. Ocean is in the capital anyway to appear at this year's Wireless Festival (12-14 Jul), which is nice if you live in London.

Tickets to the Brixton date, which is on 9 Jul, will go on sale this Friday (5 Apr).

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WARPAINT TO TOUR
So, Warpaint's new LP is on its way and the band "can't wait to share it". This we know. But wait, what's this... live listings matching the various dates Warpaint are playing in October?

Well, yes:

27 Oct: Leeds, Academy
28 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
29 Oct: Manchester Academy
30 Oct: London, Brixton Academy

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DEPTFORD GOTH ADDS LIVE DATES
Your most favourite 'dark-pop' star and mine, that Deptford Goth, has added several dates (three, in fact) to his grand 'Life After Defo' promotional trail. The shows - in Glasgow, Brighton and London - fall on both sides of Manchester's Sounds From The Other City, which DG is gracing on 5 May.

4 May: Glasgow, Broadcast
11 May: Brighton, Unitarian Church
27 Sep: London, Union Chapel

Taken from 'Life After Defo', this is 'Feel Real'.

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LEEFEST LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Independent festival LeeFest has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £50,000 to help grow the annual event, which famously began as a party in Lee Denny's back garden in Bromley in 2006.

As is customary with crowd-sourcing, various options are available for supporters at different price tags, most including a seat on the event's 'campfire cabinet', a network that helps make creative decisions about the fest. Tickets, t-shirts, dinner with Denny and the option to have the LeeFest team organise a festival in your own back garden are amongst the other things on offer.

Explaining the motivation for the crowd-sourcing campaign, Denny says the Kickstarter idea began on the festival's Facebook page, telling CMU: "A community of creative and energetic people has been snowballing around the festival since it began. In order to grow the festival we were faced with a choice to sell out to big sponsors and investors, or do something different. We owe our current success to the amazing individuals involved, so raising finance from the people and giving them creative control of the festival in return seemed perfect!"

The Kickstarter campaign went live this morning, the 2013 edition of the festival takes place from 12-14 Jul.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY AND DIYNAMIC FESTIVAL
Today's FLUUs are pretty minimal as FLUUs tend to go, so I'll get straight to the important business of who's playing Liverpool Sound City. The festival's new conscript of 150 artists has in its midst Chloe Howl, Whales In Cubicles, Eliza And The Bear, Sun Glitters and 146 others, all of whom align with LSS stars like Enter Shikari, Thee Oh Sees, Mount Kimbie, King Krule, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bastille and Everything Everything.

That intro done, it's now time to take a look at that Sound City reveal in greater detail, plus an additional one via Amsterdam's Diynamic Festival:

DIYNAMIC FESTIVAL, Arena Park, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 18 May: Solomun, David August, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, HOSH, Stimming, Uner, Adriatique, Karmon, NTFO, Pool, Ost & Kjex, Hunter/Game, DJ Phono, Thyladomid. www.diynamic-festival.com

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 2-4 May: 16 Hole Boots, Abandon Silence DJs, Acrobat, Aeroplane Flies High, Alex Hulme, Ali Ingle, Allie Bradley, Alpha Male Tea Party, Anna Corcoran, Apollo 18, Astroid Boys, Bad Guys, Bad Meds, Baltic Fleet, Bantam Lions, Best Friends, Black Moth, Blacklisters, Blank Maps, Bleech, Blizzard, Boats, Brave Young Red, Broken Twin, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Brown Brogues, CANDIDATE23, Cats Park, Chloe Howl, Christine And The Queens, Clang Boom Steam, Clock Work Of The Moon, CMWMSMDM, Cold Shoulder, Collectors Club, Common Tongues, Cub Scouts, Cut, D'lyfa Reilly, Dead Rabbit, DJ DKHT, Dominoes, Echo, Ed Black, Eden Royals, Eliza And The Bear, Eric Fuentes, Fire Beneath The Sea, Fist City, Franco & His Dreadnaught, French Films, Galaxy Express, Gate Flowers, Gatsby's Green Light, Ghostchant, GlassCaves, Goonamguayeoridingstella, Hands, Highfields, Ilona, Iron Witch, Iyes, Jazzhands, Jethro Fox, Johnnie Selfish and The Worried Man, Johnny Sands, Kamp!, Karpia, Kepla, Killaflaw, Kof, Korda Marshall, Last Days of 1984, Laura J Martin, Leanne Robinson, Lewis Berry, Liberty Vessles, Lolito, Lunar Modular, Mara and the Inner Strangeness, Mark Magill, Matzka, Memory Men, Mercury 13, Mickey 9's, Mise En Scene, Miss Stylie, Mitzi, Moats, Mono LP's, Moulettes , Muto Leo, Nadine Carina, Natalie McCool, Natasha Haws, Nately's Whores Kid Sister, Ninetails, Noble Thiefs, Ofeliadorme, Owls, Oxygen Thieves, Palm Reader, Persian Pelican, Police Squad, Popstrangers, Rachael Wright & the Good Sons, Red House Glory, Redolent, Richard Walters, Rob Vincent, Ruby Ann Patterson, Sankofa, Sansa, Say Yes Dog, Sea Of Keys, Secret Rivals, Serious Sam Barrett, Sheepy, Sienna, Skubas, Sonny Green, Splintered Ukes, Spring Offensive, Springtime Anchorage, Stafrænn Hakon, Stereo Virgins, Sugarmen, Sun Glitters, Sunfields, Sweet Jane, Swimming Lessons, Taylor Fowlis, TearTalk, The Bazaars, The Balconies, The Boy Royal, The Chapman Family, The Cheap Thrills, The City Walls, The Cold One Hundred, The Dirty Rivers, The Excitements, The Flamin Mamies, The Formby Band, The Kill Van Kulls, The Lines, The Mono LP's, The Not Amused, The Oreoh!s, The Penelopes, The Ramona Flowers, The Red Suns, The Science of the Lamps, The Thespians, The Tom Waitresses, The Tribute Band, The Troubadours, The Trouble With Templeton, The Wild Eyes, These Monsters, These Reigning Days, Tibi & Her Cello, Tizzy Bac, Towns, Tripwires, Two Hours Traffic, Tying Tiffany, Vasco Da Gamma, Voo, Whales In Cubicles, Witch Hunt. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

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BERTELSMANN COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF BMG
Bertelsmann has completed its acquisition of equity group KKR's stake in the BMG music rights business after the deal was approved by competition regulators in the US, Germany, Austria and Ireland. The German media giant announced it had reached a deal with KKR to buy its partner out of the v2 BMG venture last month.

Echoing his boss's recent remarks regards a new hunger for expansion, Bertelsmann's board-level new business guy Thomas Hesse told Billboard that "within the next four to five years we want to increase BMG's revenues up to 500 million euros", something that is to be achieved through both organic growth and the further acquisition of song or recording catalogues "if the price is right". Hesse is particularly keen for growth in South East Asia and Latin America.

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UNIVERSAL LAUNCHES MOTOWN GOSPEL
Two Universal divisions in the US are to collaborate on a new gospel imprint, to be called Motown Gospel. The new label will combine the expertise of the Christian music wing of Capitol, the new Universal unit that brings together most of EMI's former US assets, and Motown, which operates under the Island Def Jam banner these days.

The new venture will be mainly managed within the Capitol division by those who previously led EMI Gospel, and that former EMI label's roster will move over too, though Motown Gospel will also have access to marketing and promotional expertise in IDJ, and it's hoped the link up will allow collaboration between Universal's gospel and urban talent.

Universal Music East Coast boss Barry Weiss told Billboard: "This is a great opportunity to create a fresh, new approach to gospel. We're taking the pre-existing roster of the already strong EMI Gospel and will hopefully become a magnet for the best gospel talents in the world. And they will have access to the Island Def Jam promotion/marketing machinery, offering broader urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster".

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VARIETY RECRUITS LEFSETZ
American entertainment industry magazine Variety has recruited US music industry veteran and prolific blogger Bob Lefsetz to pen a regular column for the title's revamped weekly print edition and website.

Confirming the arrangement, Jay Penske, CEO of Penske Media Corporation, parent company of Variety, told reporters: "I met with top music industry executives in preparation for Variety's relaunch and they all agreed on one thing: Bob Lefsetz is the only must-read in the music business. Bringing Bob on board as a regular voice shows Variety's commitment to the music industry, and furthers our goal of showcasing the strongest thought leaders in every key facet of show business".

While Lefsetz added: "Jay Penske is a passionate player desirous of revolutionising content distribution in a sphere that is oftentimes wedded to the past. He understands it's all about where we're going as opposed to where we've been. Jay wants to ask the hard questions and make people think, isn't that what great writing is all about? I'm thrilled to be aligned with both Jay and Variety. Be prepared, be very prepared, the future is now".

I think by definition the future isn't now, but we look forward to the hard questions and people thinking.

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FREDDIE MERCURY TOOK PRINCESS DIANA TO GAY BAR IN DRAG
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury once smuggled Princess Diana into South London gay bar the Vauxhall Tavern in drag. Or so says comedy actress Cleo Rocos in her new autobiography, 'The Power Of Positive Drinking', which is currently being serialised in the Sunday Times.

As well as Mercury and Ricos, the latter's television partner Kenny Everett also helped to smuggle the disguised princess into the Tavern. So, there you go.

Ricos writes: "When we walked in ... we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it. She did look like a beautiful young man".

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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