TUESDAY
9 APR 2013

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PLAYLIST: THE BLACK ANGELS
Texan psych quartet The Black Angels released their debut album, 'Indigo Meadow', earlier this month. Currently touring the US, and with their annual Austin Psych Fest event coming up, the band will work their way around Europe this summer, heading to the UK with a headline show in London on 25 Jun, followed by an appearance at the Hop Farm Festival. We asked the band to put together a playlist of artists who have influenced them more>>
 
APPROVED: TY
This week Ty returns with a new EP, 'Kick Snare And An Idea Part 1'. Ty has always has great backdrops to his tracks - chock full of funk and soul - so much so the instrumentals excel in their own right. But these are tastily glazed with Ty toasting on top - his lyrics are thoughtful and make you think, as he passes a slightly acerbic social commentary through his music. On lead track 'Like You Never' Ty assesses the state of the music industry more>>


TOP STORIES
- IFPI publishes stats report providing more insights on record industry's slight growth in 2012
IN THE POP COURTS
- Jacksons v AEG will not be televised
- The Pirate Bay moves to Greenland domain
POP POLITICS
- Morrissey and Bragg on Thatcher death
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Viagogo publishes ticket fraud report
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Diplo on Switch: "He can't finish songs, but he's still my homie"
IN THE STUDIO
- New Adele LP is go, apparently
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Black Sabbath to play live in December
- Angel Haze pauses May shows... again
- Braid re-playing Frame and Canvas in London
- Cuushe announces UK shows
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update: Wireless, British Summer Time, Fusion and more
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Universal announces partnership with Roc Nation
- Liverpool's Masque to reopen as East Village Arts Club
- Anorak closure: Ollie Clueit launches new agency, Lucy Allen joins Listen Up
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Danielle Perry takes over Xfm evenings
AND FINALLY...
- Gig phone camera ban? Yeah Yeah Yeah please
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. Course starts 18 Apr.

For a full course description and how to book click here.
RADAR - PR & DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER, PART TIME
We are an established, substantial network connecting record labels and independent artists to thousands of professional music video directors worldwide. We are looking for a stand-out individual to help build our business by promotion across multiple channels, including trade press, improving user engagement and developing new partner relationships. A successful track record is essential.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CRYPTIC - HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
Cryptic is recruiting a Head of Communications to play a vital role in ensuring the on going success and growth of the company. The Head of Communications is responsible for developing and delivering marketing, communications, digital and audience development strategies. As part of a small but dedicated team the Head of Communication will have the opportunity to make a difference in how Cryptic and its brands are perceived globally.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
!K7 - PRODUCT MANAGER
!K7 Label Group is looking for an experienced Product Manager to join its London team. Founded in Berlin in 1985, !K7 is a multi-faceted music services and label group with offices in London, New York and Berlin, with partners across the globe. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with at least three years of product management experience.

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

IFPI PUBLISHES STATS REPORT PROVIDING MORE INSIGHTS ON RECORD INDUSTRY'S SLIGHT GROWTH IN 2012
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry yesterday published its Recording Industry In Numbers report for 2013, which mainly confirms trends and achievements of which we already knew, though does so with some more detail in terms of stats.

As confirmed by the IFPI's Digital Music Report in February, the global record industry saw its revenues (generated by recorded music) increase ever so slightly in 2012, the first increase since 1999 (though actually, the size of that increase, originally estimated at 0.3%, is now reckoned to be 0.2%). Ever growing digital revenues, including those from the rapidly expanding subscription and streaming service domain, coupled with boosted income from a number of emerging markets, combined to help compensate for the continued decline in physical product sales.

Indeed all of the various sound recording related revenue streams that the IFPI tracks saw growth last year, with the all important exception of physical records of course. Overall digital accounts for 35% of the wider record industry's global trade revenues, of which downloads still account for around 80%, though in Europe subscription and streaming sets ups are now bringing in a third of digital income.

While digital overall accounts for just over a third of total income, physical products bring in 57% of the money worldwide. The rest comes from other licensing-based revenue streams, chiefly performance rights, which was actually the fastest growing part of the record industry last year, and now accounts for 6% of income overall, while sync also saw some albeit modest growth in 2012.

In terms of emerging markets, Brazil, India and Mexico are picked out by the IFPI as being amongst the most crucial, them having seen market growth of 24%, 42% and 17% respectively since 2008. Unsurprisingly given those stats, India is slowly moving up the list of most lucrative recorded music markets, as is Sweden, it being arguably the most mature digital market. Though the US, Japan, Germany, UK and France remain the biggest markets overall, in that order.

Commenting on the latest batch of IFPI stats, that can be bought online for a mere £750 if you're hungry for all the figures, the trade body's boss lady Frances Moore told CMU: "This is a must-read publication for anyone following the global music industry. It is packed with the latest data and analysis, broken down by formats, revenue streams, regions and countries. Recording Industry in Numbers also reveals the sheer diversity of the modern music business. Notable highlights in this year's edition are the increasing role of subscription services and the growing importance of emerging markets in driving the industry's recovery".

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JACKSONS V AEG WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
The upcoming Jacksons v AEG Live trial will not be televised, it has been confirmed. The judge overseeing the legal battle between the Jackson family and the promoters of Michael Jackson's ill-fated 'This Is It' project has never been keen on the idea of having the civil case screened on the news networks, though as jury selection began last week CNN and NBC had one last try at changing her mind. And the Jackson family, for their part, supported the call. AEG's legal reps, however, did not, arguing that the presence of TV cameras would make the court case even more of a media circus.

As much previously reported, the Jacksons claim that AEG should be held liable for the late king of pop's demise, because it hired Dr Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the singer's death through negligent treatment. AEG counters that, while it may have paid Murray's bills, the doctor was appointed and managed by Jackson himself. The court battle is expected to last at least two months, with the Jackson side in particular expected to call an array of celebrity witnesses to the stand, alongside many of the late singer's siblings and his three children.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos gave now explanation for her decision to keep the TV cameras out of her courtroom yesterday.

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THE PIRATE BAY MOVES TO GREENLAND DOMAIN
The Pirate Bay has changed its web address, dumping its Swedish top level domain for one using Greenland's .gl suffix. According to Torrentfreak, the change has been made in anticipation of a possible move by the Swedish authorities to seize the thepiratebay.se URL.

The controversial file-sharing service switched from its traditional .org domain to .se early last year following the shut-down of MegaUpload by the US authorities, fearing that its American registered domain could be seized by the powers that be there.

Of course for most Pirate Bay users the change will hardly be noticeable, especially those living in countries where ISPs block the file-sharing site's official domain anyway. Though it may require rights owners to issue new takedown requests to Google for specific Pirate Bay URLs linking to copyright infringing content that pop up in the search engine. Fun times.

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MORRISSEY AND BRAGG ON THATCHER DEATH
So, the recently late Margaret Thatcher united the country in celebration yesterday - even if half were celebrating her life and legacy while the other half celebrated her mortal demise.

As the former British Prime Minister's death aged 87 hit the headlines, the mainstream media, in the main (outside of Argentina, that is), focused on the former, using the euphemistic phrase "she was a divisive figure" to politely reference just how much hate there is in certain quarters of UK society towards the ex-PM.

On the social networks and blogosphere, though, those who see Thatcher and Thatcherism as a manifestation of the worse traits of British politics let loose, some openly delighted the Iron Lady was no more. Which began a circle of online comment - should you so quickly speak ill of the dead? Of course you should, this is Thatcher. But should you really? Yes you should. And so on.

In the creative world, of course, Thatcher's detractors were always more obvious (and probably more numerous) than her sympathisers and supporters, partly because creative minds more often lean to the left poltically, and partly because the former Tory leader was never seen as a champion of the arts. Though, ironically, some of those artists who found the former PM's polices most offensive in the 1980s might now admit that, so "divisive" was Thatcher, she fuelled (albeit angry) creative passion even if her government chose not to fund it.

But hey, this is really a very long drawn out way of saying: Maggie Thatcher's dead then, I wonder what Morrissey has to say? In an open letter published by The Daily Beast, the former Smiths frontman was typically forthright following the news the former political leader was dead.

"Thatcher is remembered as The Iron Lady only because she possessed completely negative traits, such as persistent stubbornness and a determined refusal to listen to others", he began. "Every move she made was charged by negativity; she destroyed the British manufacturing industry, she hated the miners, she hated the arts, she hated the Irish Freedom Fighters and allowed them to die, she hated the English poor and did nothing at all to help them, she hated Greenpeace and environmental protectionists, she was the only European political leader who opposed a ban on the ivory trade, she had no wit and no warmth and even her own Cabinet booted her out".

"She gave the order to blow up The Belgrano even though it was outside of the Malvinas Exclusion Zone - and was sailing AWAY from the islands! When the young Argentinean boys aboard The Belgrano had suffered a most appalling and unjust death, Thatcher gave the thumbs up sign for the British press. Iron? No. Barbaric? Yes. She hated feminists even though it was largely due to the progression of the women's movement that the British people allowed themselves to accept that a Prime Minister could actually be female. But because of Thatcher, there will never again be another woman in power in British politics, and rather than opening that particular door for other women, she closed it".

He concluded: "Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership, but the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death. As a matter of recorded fact, Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity".

Meanwhile another of the former Tory chief's most vocal critics within the music fraternity predictably took a different approach, resisting the temptation to go over old ground about "Thatcher the Barbarian", instead urging those whose anger towards Thatcherism was rekindled by the former PM's passing to channel that anger into activism.

Posting to his Facebook page from Canada, Billy Bragg wrote: "This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today".

"Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing; of why domestic growth is driven by credit, not by real incomes; of why tax-payers are forced to top up wages; of why a spiteful government seeks to penalise the poor for having an extra bedroom; of why Rupert Murdoch became so powerful; of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society".

"Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don't celebrate - organise!"

Ah, sensible words from Mr Bragg even in this time of national mourning/jubilation (delete as applicable). Though if you're in the latter camp and want some silly fun before plotting something more tangibly worthwhile, 'Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead' is currently just inside the top 20 on the iTunes chart.

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VIAGOGO PUBLISHES TICKET FRAUD REPORT
A new report from secondary ticketing website Viagogo, with the only slightly emotive title Scam Nation 2013, reckons that up to 4.7 million people paid for non-existent tickets last year, of which about a quarter probably never got their money back. That, the report reckons, could amount to up to £50 million in money lost to fraudsters, though, Viagogo's paper adds, only 4% of those affected likely reported the fraud to police.

The new report, based on a survey of 2000 live entertainment consumers and some estimates about average ticket prices, echoes that issued by the London Metropolitan Police in February which also raised concerns about the growth in ticket fraud in the internet age, where it's easier than ever for fraudsters to trick fans desperate for tickets for in-demand events out of their money even when there is no assurance the ticket being sold exists. The London Met had a slightly more conservative estimate of the value of the ticket fraud market, though still reckoned the figure could be as high as £40 million.

Of course in the live entertainment industry, secondary ticketing - the resale of actual tickets for sizable profits - has been the controversy that has demanded most attention in recent years. And while online ticket touting, and the companies that profit from it, remains a touchy topic, Viagogo, as one of those companies, clearly hopes that with this report it can redirect attention to the actual criminal side of unofficial ticket selling. Sites like the one it operates, Viagogo will point out, offer a guarantee to buyers that tickets being resold at a mark up exist.

Of the 4.7 million tickets fraudulently sold in 2012, Viagogo says music events accounted for the highest number, followed by comedy, theatre, football and rugby in that order. The report also reckons in the region of 240,000 fake tickets for Olympic events were sold.

Commenting on the report, Viagogo's Ed Parkinson told CMU: "The results of Viagogo's Scam Nation 2013 Report are shocking, with almost five million failing to receive the tickets they paid for last year - that's the equivalent of the combined populations of Birmingham and Manchester. Worryingly, the report shows the amount fraudsters are making has increased by 67% in the last twelve months alone. It's not just money that the public lose when targeted by scams, they also miss out on the event itself".

Concluding with a plug for his company's service, Parkinson continued: "Viagogo was founded on the principle of consumer protection - we exist to eradicate ticket fraud. With online scams on the increase, we urge people to be vigilant when buying tickets. Never buy from a site that doesn't offer a 100% guarantee that you'll get the tickets you paid for, in time for the event".

So there you go. And here are the most scammed events of the last year according to Viagogo's research...

1. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto Tour
2. Rolling Stones - 50th Anniversary Tour
3. One Direction - Take Me Home Tour
4. V Festival 2012
5. Jay Z and Kanye West - Watch The Throne Tour
6. Bruce Springsteen UK Tour
7. Stone Roses - Reunion Tour
8. Madonna - MDNA Tour
9. Michael McIntyre - Showtime! Tour
10. One Man Two Guvnors

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DIPLO ON SWITCH: "HE CAN'T FINISH SONGS, BUT HE'S STILL MY HOMIE"
So, Diplo has had a go at clarifying why his Major Lazer venture no longer involves former collaborator Switch. For those that aren't aware, Switch disappeared off the Major Lazer map last year, leaving a solo Diplo to take credit for ML's new LP, the many-times-delayed 'Free The Universe', when it's released via Secretly Canadian on Monday.

Talking to inthemix on his and Switch's (apparently) amicable split, Diplo says: "I couldn't make music if it weren't for Switch - he and MIA were my main influences, and he taught me how to make music and gave me my style 100%".

Ah, that's nice. But wait, it gets less nice. Diplo adds: "But in terms of actually making records and finishing them, Switch doesn't do that. And everyone knows that. He just can't finish songs. He's the best when he does it though. But for me, I had to take it in my power to finish this record because no one was helping me".

But "he's still my homie, 1000%", he swears.

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NEW ADELE LP IS GO, APPARENTLY
That Adele is in the studio again after a long time, well... not in it (brief Bond-based dabblings aside). The Sun says Ms Adkins is - as with past LPs '19' and '21' - collaborating with Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford, and also Ben Hull, aka Kid Harpoon, of Florence And The Machine's 'Shake It Out' and Jessie Ware's 'Wildest Moments' co-writing fame. So, that's all quite promising.

Given the three-year gap that occurred between 2008's '19' and 2011's '21', it isn't inconceivable that Adele's new LP could be released next year. That would certainly be mathematically pleasing.

The tab quotes an unofficial source as saying: "Adele wants to move with the times and is trying to make her new record sound as edgy as possible. The team she's assembled is first rate and she's confident they can help match the success of her first two albums. It's no easy task as the world will be desperate to hear it".

Yeah, tell the world something it doesn't know.

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BLACK SABBATH TO PLAY LIVE IN DECEMBER
Black Sabbath (still minus drummer Bill Ward) have added a fair-sized set of dates to their live diaries. There aren't quite 13, despite the fact that that'd be apt in light of the band's new LP, but it's a start. That album, by the way, is due out on 10 Jun.

If you'd like to go to one/all/any of the six shows, you'll have to look at the following listings, and stay vigilant on 12 Apr, aka the day tickets go on sale.

10 Dec: London, O2 Arena
12 Dec: Belfast, Odyssey Arena
14 Dec: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
16 Dec: Glasgow, Hydro
18 Dec: Manchester Arena
20 Dec: Birmingham, LG Arena

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ANGEL HAZE PAUSES MAY SHOWS... AGAIN
Rapper Angel Haze still isn't happy with her TBA first LP, and so has cancelled a series of shows she was meant to be playing in May so that she can give all her time over to it. If you're having déjà vu about this, it's because the May dates are themselves a revision of a postponed February tour. A single show, the one at London's Scala on 7 May, has survived the cull and will go on as planned.

Haze, who's still to reset the remaining dates a second time, says via Facebook: "Guys, I've made a tough decision to postpone my UK and European dates in May. I am totally committed to finishing this record as soon as possible and that means not leaving the studio for now! I promise though when I do come it'll be worth the wait! Thanks for all the support".

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BRAID RE-PLAYING FRAME AND CANVAS IN LONDON
Post-hardcore quartet Braid have booked a one-off show at London's Garage on 27 Jul. They'll be playing their most-loved LP 'Frame And Canvas' from front to back, primarily because this year is the fifteenth since it was first released.

The band, who quit the indie biz in 1999 only to change their minds in 2010, also plan to release a brand new Braid LP this year.

Since they're all 'on the same page' nowadays, they chant in sync: "We've been feeling re-energized and inspired to create more Braid music for our fans, old and new. Given the new ways to connect to our fans, not to mention the crop of young amazing bands coming up now, we couldn't just keep quiet and watch".

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CUUSHE ANNOUNCES UK SHOWS
CMU Approved Japanese producer Cuushe will play two shows in the UK later this month, including a performance at Café Oto in London as part of a showcase night for her label, Flau, where she will be joined by aus (aka label boss Yasuhiko Fukuzono), Dale Berning and James Blackshaw.

Cuushe has also just released a new song, entitled 'I Love You'. The track is taken from her new album, which is due out on 8 Jul. Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/flaurecords/cuushe-i-love-you

Tour dates:

15 Apr: London, Café Oto
17 Apr: Glasgow, Glad Café

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE: WIRELESS, BARCLAYCARD BRITISH SUMMER TIME, FUSION AND MORE
The Rolling Stones have announced that they will play the new (and now expanded to three weekends, rather than two) Barclaycard British Summer Time festival not once but twice. Having already sold out a headline performance in Hyde Park on 6 Jul, the band will now play a second show the following Saturday on 13 Jul. Support for that date will come from Jake Bugg, Tom Odell and The 1975. And assuming you can afford them, tickets will go on sale this Friday at 9am.

Elsewhere, there's a new charitable pop party in town: the Birmingham-based Fusion. A la its name, the festival will present a diverse blend of genres via guest artistes like Jessie J, Ne-Yo, McFly, Wiley, Wretch 32, The Saturdays (and various ex 'X-Factor' contestants). £5 per ticket purchased (something you can do at this link) will go towards The Prince's Trust.

Speaking as the festival's all-star act bar none, J says: "I can't wait to perform at Fusion Festival, it's exciting to be headlining a brand new UK festival with such an amazing line-up, it's one of the performances I'm most looking forward to this summer. The Prince's Trust is one of the charities closest to my heart and makes me even more proud to be on the line-up. Roll on 31 Aug, it's going to be big!"

Contesting Fusion in the artist additions game is self-styled "village fete with bands" Truck, as has attracted new FLUUs in the shape of And So I Watch You From Afar, Patrick Wolf, Foy Vance, Alessi's Ark, Wild Swim and Public Service Broadcasting. They join The Horrors, Spiritualized, Ash and Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip on the line-up at large. Says Truck organiser Ralph Broadbent: "This year will be a memorable chapter for Truck - I'm not sure what I'm more excited about, the lineup or the food! I'm looking forward to Spiritualized and sushi at Hill Farm!"

Oh, and another thing. 'Game Of Thrones' fans with tickets to this year's Isle Of Wight Festival will be pleased to note that one of the fantasy show's stars, Carice Van Houten, will be playing live at the festival with her band. And she says: "So proud to show 'our baby' to the Isle of Wight Festival where my heroes Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and The Doors have all played. I am looking forward to seeing Laura Mvula, Paul Weller, Jake Bugg and I Am Kloot play".

Still thirsting after extra FLUU juice? Read on:

BARCLAYCARD BRITISH SUMMER TIME, Hyde Park, London, 28 Jun - 13 Jul: The Rolling Stones (now twice), Jake Bugg, Tom Odell, The 1975, Kaiser Chiefs, Bush, The Futureheads, Charlie Simpson, Bernhoft, The Coronas, Little Barrie, Funeral Suits, Leo Gun, All The Young, Josh Flowers & The Wild, The Virginmarys. www.bst-hydepark.com

FUSION, Cofton Park, Birmingham, 31 Aug - 1 Sep: Jessie J, Ne-Yo, JLS, The Wanted, McFly, The Saturdays, Wiley, Wretch 32, Union J, Conor Maynard, Amelia Lily, James Arthur. www.thefusionfestival.co.uk

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle Of Wight, 13-16 Jun: Carice & Band. www.isleofwightfestival.com

SOUND ISLAND, Quex Park, Ramsgate, Kent, 27-28 Jul: MK1, The Vamps, Joywride. www.soundislandfestival.com

TRUCK, Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire, 19-20 Jul: And So I Watch You From Afar, Patrick Wolf, Foy Vance, Alessi's Ark, Wild Swim, Public Service Broadcasting, Royal Republic, Milo Greene, Wounds. truckfestival.com

WEYFEST, The Rural Life Centre, Farnham, Surrey, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: UB40, The Wurzels, Three Bonzos And A Piano, Pylo, The True Deceivers, Grizzly & The Grasshoppers, Simon Kent, Circle Of Reason, Mark Nelson, Caught On The Hop. www.weyfest.co.uk

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UNIVERSAL ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH ROC NATION
Universal Music has announced a new partnership with Roc Nation, which will see the major handle record releases for the Jay-Z/Live Nation owned joint venture globally. The multi-year deal covers upcoming releases by Jay-Z himself, other artists who have previously released music via Roc Nation, and some of the acts the firm manages, including a forthcoming long player from Rihanna. It brings to an end the firm's previous distribution deals with Sony and Warner Music, and re-allies the rapper and hip hop mogul with Universal, his original business partner in the music business.

UMG CEO Lucian Grainge told CMU: "In just five years, Roc Nation has established itself as one of the most successful brands in music with a reputation for developing some of today¹s most influential and popular talent. Not only does this agreement provide a dynamic platform for Roc Nation's exciting emerging artists, it extends our relationship with the extraordinary Rihanna and represents a homecoming for Jay-Z - a brilliant artist and entrepreneur, who has been a creative cornerstone of our company. All of us at UMG are thrilled that Jay and Roc Nation chose UMG as their partners, knowing we will support their artists with a level of resources, expertise and passion that is simply unmatched in the industry".

Jay-Z added: "We are looking forward to working with Lucian and the incredible team he's assembled at Universal. We would like to applaud Lucian for collaborating with us to strike a new age deal. This agreement presents a unique opportunity for Roc Nation's artists - being able to continue to operate as an independent label with the strength, power and reach of the best major. I look forward to a long and prosperous collaboration with UMG. It feels good to be home".

And just in case you missed it, I think this is also confirmation that Rihanna is keeping up with her album-a-year release schedule for the time being.

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LIVERPOOL'S MASQUE TO REOPEN AS EAST VILLAGE ARTS CLUB
Liverpool venue The Masque will reopen later this month as the East Village Arts Club, it has been confirmed. The gig space has been empty for over a year, but its relaunch was confirmed in late 2012, and is being led by MAMA & Company, which has previous links to the venue from when it was part of the Barfly network. A new bar and kitchen will be part of the revamped Arts Club, while the venue side will also be refitted.

Commenting on all this, Glasswerk quotes Arts Club MD David Laign, who says: "Myself and Archie McIntosh, MAMA's MD of Property, and all the team here in Liverpool working on the Arts Club, feel proud and privileged to give this great building a new lease of life. There's an incredible history to the place, from Charles Dickens' readings to being The Royal Institution's base, using the stunning Theatre as its auditorium. The city has such a rich cultural legacy and we want the Arts Club to continue this. My family are local too, so this project's success is important to me on a personal level too".

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ANORAK CLOSURE: OLLIE CLUEIT LAUNCHES NEW AGENCY, LUCY ALLEN JOINS LISTEN UP
Following the closure of music PR agency Anorak London earlier this month, more former members of staff at the company have announced new roles.

First up, Anorak's former Festivals & Events Publicist Lucy Allen has moved over to Listen Up to head its Events department. She brings with her the Outlook, Dimension and MIDI festivals to add to the company's existing roster of events and venues.

Listen Up director Jack Mack told CMU: "We are extremely pleased to have Lucy on board to head up our events department. Her experience in her field speaks for itself and will ensure that we can continue to provide the best and most inclusive service possible to our clients".

Elsewhere, Anorak radio plugger Ollie Clueit, aka Ollie Russian, has announced the launch of his own agency, My Band's Better. Taking its name from his My Band's Better Than Your Band blog, the company will mainly focus on radio plugging, though also has one management client at launch in singer-songwriter John Newman. Clueit's plugging roster includes Michael Kiwanuka, Kissy Sell Out, Say Lou Lou, Tribes, WALL and Misty Miller.

More information here.

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DANIELLE PERRY TAKES OVER XFM EVENINGS
Global Radio's Xfm announced last week that Danielle Perry, formerly of Bauer's Kerrang! and Q radio stations, is to become its new evening presenter, hosting the 7pm-10pm slot from 22 Apr.

Perry takes over from Jon Hillcock, who has been covering the show on a temporary basis since January, and who said via his website: "As of the 22 Apr I'll no longer be presenting the Xfm Evening Show, and very pleased to be handing over the reigns to the hugely talented and passionate Danielle Perry".

Confirming his stint on Xfm's evening slot was always a temporary arrangement (something we didn't know at the time), he continues: "At the start of the year I was asked to step in and mind the show on an interim basis (something I was always aware of but unable to mention), and in that relatively short space of time I've had the chance to give airtime to loads of amazing new bands and artists, host awesome live sessions and interview a wide range of musical heroes - both new and established - from James Blake, Fryars and Ty Segall to Bobby Gillespie, Foals and Biffy Clyro".

Hillcock, of course, can still be heard online via his own rather marvellous regular podcast All Back No Front.

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GIG PHONE CAMERA BAN? YEAH YEAH YEAH PLEASE
I suspect this will get a positive response from many CMU readers (and even more the CMU Editor), because, of course, none of the cunts who ruin gigs, by holding up their smart phones throughout so to block the view of all the people behind, hang out in these parts.

Spin magazine recently spotted a sign at a recent Yeah Yeah Yeahs show in the US which read "Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera. Put that shit away as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian. Much love and many thanks! Yeah Yeah Yeahs".

And in case there was any doubt that the message came direct from the band themselves, frontwoman Karen O told her audience at the start of her band's second song that they were welcome to snap some pictures during the next track, but after that "put those motherfuckers away". And, according to Spin, most (though with a few detractors) obeyed their host. Which is delightful.

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