30 MAY 2013

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A big part of the brand partnership is 'engagement'. It's a cold and clinical way of saying that the result of any partnership should bring value, whether tangible or intangible, to both sides of the partnership, by giving fans of the artist involved a positive view of their involvement with the artist and the company itself. Which is an even more cold and clinical way of saying that it's important to do cool shit more>>
I've waited way, way too long to catch Mac Demarco live and now, in the wake of this year's Primavera Sound, I can finally say I have... twice. Admittedly, the two times I saw Demarco and his band play at the festival, the setlists were near identical replicas, but when the first was so great, to have it repeated all over again was no bad thing, if only because Mac said "very sessy" a lot more>>

- "Don't be a Dr Nick": Jacksons v AEG update
- Velvet Underground settle with Warhol Foundation over banana
- Hacker pleads guilty to stealing nude photos of Carly Rae Jepsen
- George Michael leaves hospital following crash
- Elvis Costello & The Roots releasing LP
- Justin Vernon's Volcano Choir pave way for new LP
- Outfit outline first LP
- Funeral For A Friend to play November shows
- Mount Kimbie add live dates
- Festival line-up update: Weezer Cruise, Creamfields, Lovebox and more
- Arts Council chief responds to pop fund critics
- Ticket buying bots causing live music woes
- Ticketscript appoints global marketing director
- Twitter advertises for Head Of Music Partnerships
- Jon Hillcock to present Amazing Radio review show
- Gary Stein leaves Bauer for Global
- Hanson officially launch badly named beer
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Snapper Music plc, the independent record group seeks a full-time (or possibly part-time) Royalty & Copyright Assistant at its head office in Camden Town. Snapper is a well-established company including the frontline labels, Peaceville (metal) and Kscope (prog), alongside a portfolio of catalogue imprints which operate across a wide range of musical genres.

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Cherry Red Records are looking for an assistant to our digital manager in the creation of a marketing/project management department within the company. The successful candidate will work closely on our new frontline releases, but also assist in the general running of the digital department across our entire catalogue and various media platforms.

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London office for well-established rock/metal label is looking for a dynamic and experienced Promotions Manager to handle TV and Radio promotion for its rapidly diversifying roster. The ideal candidate should have at least two years experience in a similar role with existing contacts within the rock/metal media. Working in a fast-paced environment, organisation, communication and motivation are all key, as is a strong passion for rock/metal music.

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The Jackson family's legal team have been furthering their bid to show top managers at live music giant AEG in a bad light as one of the key executives involved in the ill-fated 'This Is It' venture has been giving testimony at the long-running Jacksons v AEG court case in LA this week.

Although AEG Live President Randy Phillips was more publicly associated with the planned 'This Is It' residency when it was first launched in early 2009, the company's co-CEO Paul Gongaware played a key role in negotiating and then coordinating the firm's partnership with Michael Jackson. And for the Jackson family, who claim AEG should be held liable for the late king of pop's death in June 2009, certain emails sent by Gongaware, and his past associations with the singer, are key to the case.

As much previously reported, the Jackson family argue that AEG is liable for Jackson's demise because it hired and put pressure on Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter for causing the singer's death through negligent treatment. AEG counters that while its cash may have paid Murray's bills, the doctor was hired and managed by Jackson directly, and execs at the live firm had no knowledge of or control over the treatment the medic dished out.

In some tough questioning of Gongaware this week, the Jackson lawyers have honed in on two key things, first what they have called the 'smoking gun' email in which the AEG exec seems to suggest the company did in fact wield influence over Murray, and second the claim that the witness should have been aware of Jackson's health and drugs issues, because of his past work with the singer and concerns expressed by his own staff and contractors.

The "smoking gun" email is the one Gongaware sent to 'This Is It' director Kenny Ortega, after he expressed concerns that Jackson had missed rehearsals at Murray's request. Just eleven days before the singer died from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol, Gongaware wrote to Ortega: "We want to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him".

This email seems to contradict AEG's insistence that it was merely advancing money to Jackson to pay Murray, and not directly employing the doctor, and also possibly suggests that management at the live firm were putting pressure onto the medic. Pressure, Jackson's legal team would argue, along the lines of "get Jackson fit enough to perform, whatever it takes, or else".

Though Gongaware would not concur. The AEG exec says he doesn't remember writing the email. Indeed in a deposition given last December, and screened in court this week, Gongaware said he didn't even know what the email meant. Although more willing to concede what the note seemed to mean in court this week, the AEG CEO maintained that it was a clumsy use of words, because his company never was directly paying Murray's salary.

In questioning the insistence by AEG management that they were ignorant of Jackson's drug dependencies, and the dangers around the treatments Murray may be administering, the Jackson family's legal team took the questioning back to Gongaware's work on the singer's 'Dangerous World Tour' in the early 1990s, and further still to his involvement in the final tour of Elvis Presley in 1977.

There has long been a theory that Presley's death was actually caused by the over consumption of prescription drugs designed to cure the singer's insomnia - ie exactly as with Jackson. Presley's doctor at the time, George Nichopoulos, was subsequently charged with over-prescribing medication to the singer, but was acquitted. Nevertheless, when Gongaware, who cut his teeth in concert promotion on the final Presley tour, was running Jackson's 'Dangerous' trek fifteen years later, he alluded to "Dr Nick" in a conversation with the king of pop's then private medic.

That medic was Dr Stuart Finkelstein. He has testified that, when providing pain relief medication to Jackson during the 1993 tour, he discussed with Gongaware a fear that the singer was showing signs of opiate addiction. Although both Finkelstein and other physicians working on the show still administered various pain relief drugs to Jackson, the doctor says he was concerned for the singer even then.

As was, it seems, Gongaware, who told Finkelstein "don't be a Dr Nick". That, Finkelstein says, was the tour boss "warning me, you know, don't get all infatuated where you start administering meds to a rockstar and have the rockstar overdose and die on you".

Therefore the AEG CEO, the Jackson family claim, knew about Michael Jackson's drug dependencies, and the dangers of medics who struggle to say "no" when treating a powerful star. So why didn't he use that knowledge to put measures in place to protect the king of pop he had just struck up a multi-million dollar business partnership with?

Other emails were then presented that, the Jacksons' lawyers argue, show that Gongaware and AEG ignored various red flags in spring 2009. The AEG Live CEO himself sent an email to the PA of the boss of parent company AEG, Tim Leiweke, admitting to having "nightmares and cold sweats" about the then still in development 'This Is It' shows. But that wasn't referring to any real concerns about the singer's health, Gongaware countered this week. In fact it wasn't really referring to anything. "It was just playing around, joking", he said of the email. "[Leiweke's PA] Carla is an absolute babe and I was just chatting her up".

The flippant remark got some laughs in court, though others may have seen it in a more negative light, not least because the exec had already said he had a girlfriend who also worked for AEG. Other 2009 emails from Gongaware's inbox showed the AEG boss encouraging his staff to be selective with the figures they shared with Jackson about the 'This Is It' project, so to focus on the bigger numbers, and also asking a colleague to use a colour scheme on a show calendar that made the days off more obvious, presumably in a bid to allay Jackson's concerns than he was committing to too gruelling a production schedule.

So, yet more emails cleverly selected from the AEG servers to suggest the company's chiefs held their star attraction in contempt, or were trying to pressure him into more shows than he was physically able to do, or just weren't very nice people.

AEG's legal team will presumably fight back against what they have already portrayed as corporate character assassination via a plethora of selective evidence that is, in their opinion, irrelevant to the core allegations in the case. Though, following the testimonies from Gongaware and last week his colleague Shawn Trell, the Jackson team are doing a pretty good job with the 'bad light' thing. Whether they are also convincing the jury of the live giant's liability for Michael Jackson's demise remains to be seen.

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The Velvet Underground have settled their legal grievances with The Andy Warhol Foundation over the iconic artwork from their 1967 album 'The Velvet Underground & Nico'.

As previously reported, reps for Lou Reed, John Cale and other former Velvet Underground members began legal proceedings last year over the commercial use by the Foundation of the famous Warhol banana image that appeared on the record. The use of the image on various products implied endorsement by the long defunct band, the claimants argued.

The Foundation initially called for the slightly complicated case - which ultimately relied, in the main, on trademark law - to be dismissed on legal grounds, but then earlier this month wrote to the court requesting the case be closed because a confidential out of court settlement had been reached between all parties. A judge has duly dismissed the case.

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A Canadian man has pleaded guilty to hacking into singer Carly Rae Jepsen's computer and stealing naked photos of her - or, to be precise, the specific charges of mischief and possession of stolen property. Christopher Long was not expected to admit the crimes when he appeared before a court in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Long was originally charged with criminal harassment, unauthorised use of a computer and fraudulently obtaining telecommunications services, along with the charges he pleaded guilty to this week. He was arrested in March last year, following a complaint from Jepsen's management, and formally charged in December.

It seems Long never actually posted the photographs online, though images which were claimed to show Jepsen topless did circulate in July last year. Those turned out to actually be similar looking US model Destiny Benedict.

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George Michael has left hospital, following a car accident earlier this month. As previously reported, Michael was seen falling out of a car in which he was travelling as a passenger at around 70 miles per hour on the M1. The exact circumstances behind the accident are still unknown.

Having been kept in hospital to monitor head injuries he sustained during the accident, the singer's official website yesterday confirmed that he had been discharged, saying in a statement: "We can confirm that George Michael has been discharged from hospital and continues to rest and recuperate. He is well and thanks everyone for all the messages of support".

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In a figurative warning to naïve spectres all over the netherrealm, Elvis Costello has detailed 'Wise Up Ghost', a new LP he's made by channelling (aka collaborating with) The Roots. It'll be on general release via Blue Note Records on 16 Sep, after a partial release of limited test pressings this past Record Store Day.

Costello says it is "the shortest distance between here and there" and contains "both rhythm and what is read", whilst The Roots' Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson claims it's "a moody, brooding affair, cathartic rhythms and dissonant lullabies". Hmm.

Questlove adds: "I went stark and dark on the music, Elvis went HAM on some ole Ezra Pound shit".

I guess that'll all make sense in September.

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Bon Iver's Justin Vernon is to release a new LP via his six-man sideline Volcano Choir, which is essentially him and post-rock band Collection Of Colonies Of Bees.

'Repave', as Justin and co's sophomore collaboration is titled, will be available via Jagjaguwar on 2 Sep.

Here is its 100% official trailer, and here's its tracklisting:


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If it seems like it's taken years for Outfit to finally finish their first LP, it's because it has. Still, they've made one now, so anyone complaining over the wait can stop doing so on 11 Aug, when said long-in-the-making disc, 'Performance', is released via Double Denim.

In the meantime, satisfy those Outfit cravings via a listen to one of its tracks, as is titled 'I Want What's Best'.

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Still in the era of their last LP 'Conduit', Wales-based post-hardcore dragons Funeral For A Friend are playing several 'intimate' shows in October. So please, get ready to sing, scream and dance, all whilst wearing suitable mosh attire.

And no, that isn't me saying that, it's the band's frontman Matt, who advertises the four live dates like this: "We're incredibly excited to hit the road again in support of 'Conduit' and after having so much fun on tour earlier in the year we decided to step things up a little but not too much. We wanted to play some bigger shows but still retain that intimacy that we all loved from playing the shows back in January. So make sure to wear your best mosh shoes and come sing, scream and dance with us!"

Yeah! Here are the dates:

2 Oct: Cardiff University
3 Oct: London, Electric Ballroom
4 Oct: Glasgow, Garage
5 Oct: Manchester, Academy 2

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Hi! Mount Kimbie have added a nice array of dates to the promotional trail for their King Krule-featuring new LP, 'Cold Spring Fault Less Youth'. They, and potentially Krule, will appear on the following occasions:

6 Nov: Brighton, Concord 2
7 Nov: Manchester, Ritz
8 Nov: Glasgow, SWG3
11 Nov: Bristol, The Fleece
12 Nov: Leeds, Leeds University Stylus
14 Nov: London, Koko
14 Nov: Norwich, Arts Centre

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As cheap 'early bird' Field Day tickets go on sale for 2014 (already!), and London's Steve Aoki/Eddie Halliwell headlined SW4 finally (finally!) finalises its line-up via star attraction Sven Vath et al, so too are a plethora of other fests adding extra - if not final - appeal in the shape of new names.

Take the Croatia-based Terraneo, for instance, as has called on Wu Tang Clan to share prime billing with My Bloody Valentine and The Prodigy. Or Serbia's 'R:Evolution'-themed Exit, which now features EDM renaissance men David Guetta, Steve Angello and Mark Knight. And/or a brand new event at the QE Olympic Park in London, Open East Festival, an internationally-inclined celebration that so far stars Toots And The Maytals, Amadou & Mariam, Fatoumata Diawara, Don Letts, Wire and Stealing Sheep.

Or Yorkshire's specialist music/beer/cider/fun fete Galtres, the MD of which, one James Houston, says this of persuading Johnny Borrell to play: "Johnny Borrell will be playing Razorlight smash hits like 'America', 'Somewhere Else' and 'In The Morning' as well as brand new material which is sounding superb. He's played the biggest stages in the world, and it will be an honour to have him at Galtres".

Or Weezer's Weezer Cruise, which is going to bear the likes of Cat Power, Toro Y Moi, The Cribs, Bleached and Diiv over the sea to a Bahamian rock paradise, and back. Or Creamfields, or Truck, or the Secret Garden Party, or Hard Rock Calling, or Canterbury's small-but-shapely Brainchild. The 'festivals adding artists' list really is endless...

BRAINCHILD, Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent, 5-7 Jul: King Krule, Benin City, United Vibrations, 9mary, Jamie Isaac, My Panda Shall Fly, Filthy Boy, Moko, Haraket, Southpaw, Nomad Soul Collective, Valve Control, Ben Hayes, Yancey Boys, Theo Bass, The Majestic, Psylus, Sascha Keable, Rakiki Music, Cholombian, Thidius Risk, Marie Naffah, Martyna Baker, Bagel Project, Adam Blake, Jerkcurb, The Energy, MVC, Oscar Lawrence, We Are Goose, Big Beat Manifesto, Audio Doughnuts Live Showcase, EZRA, CIRUS, Cisza & Indea, Kirk Spencer.

CREAMFIELDS, Daresbury, Cheshire, 23-25 Aug: Andi Durrant, Anton Powers, Nicola Bear, Sean Hughes, Spacestation DJs, James Dutton, Josh Demello, George Kafetzis, Tim Owen, Data Transmission DJs, Ed Mackie, Jack Eye Jones, Jigsaw, Tom Grainger, Dave Whelan, Ian Longo, Denny Dowd, Liam Hincks, Billie Clements.

EXIT, Petrovardin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia, 10-14 Jul: David Guetta, Steve Angello, Mark Knight, Tom Staar.

FARR FESTIVAL, Bygrave Woods, Newham, Hertfordshire, 29-21 Jul: Waze & Odyssey.

GALTRES, Duncombe Park, Helmsley, York, North Yorkshire, 23-25 Aug: Johnny Borrell, Frankie And The Heartstrings.

HARD ROCK CALLING, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, 29-30 Jun: The View, Mayer Hawthorne, Lawson, Lissie, Yellow Wire, China Rats, The Flamin Groovies.

LEEDS FESTIVAL, Bramham Park, Leeds, 23-25 Aug: MC Doom, Shlomo & The Lip Factory, Propaganga feat Haim, Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain, Transgressive Records DJs, Reeps1.

LIVERPOOL PSYCH FEST, Camp & Furnace/Blade Factory, Liverpool, 27-28 Sep: Moon Duo, Dead Meadow, Peaking Lights Sound System, Hookworms, White Manna, The Besnard Lakes.

LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 19-21 Jul: The Correspondents, A Love From Outer Space, Horse Meat Disco, Andreya Triana, DJ Yoda & The Transiberian Marching Band.

OPEN EAST FESTIVAL, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 27-28 Jul: Toots And The Maytals, Malian Supergroup, Amadou & Mariam, The Waterboys, Sean Kuti, Don Letts, Wire, Stealing Sheep, Vieux Farka Toure, Fatoumata Diawara, The Rockingbirds.

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, 25-28 Jul: Gypsy Disco, Fleet Macwood.

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London, 24-25 Aug: Sven Vath, James Zabiela, Scuba, Blond:ish, Blackhall & Bookless, Jesse James & Johnny Bloomfield.

TERRANEO, Terrane Beach, Sibenik, Croatia, 7-9 Aug: Wu Tang Clan, Aloe Blacc, The Cribs, Duncan Sheik, Bosnian Rainbows, Woods, Mambo Kurt, KOAN Sound, Blond:ish, Pinkunoizu, Eyesburn, Straight Mickey And The Boyz, SevdahBABY, Peses, Vlasta Popic, Chew The Fat! DJs.

TRAMLINES, various venues, Sheffield, 19-21 Jul: Tensnake, BrEaCh, Koreless, Throwing Snow, Jolly Mare, Squarehead.

TRUCK FESTIVAL, Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxon, 19-20 Jul: Ags Connolly, Beta Blocker & the Body Clock, Duchess, King of Cats, Von Braun, Jordan O'Shea, Traps, Truly Ford, Elephant Shampoo, Grudle Bay Falls, Dallas Don't, Empty White Circles, Sam Green And The Midnight Heist, Pete Kosanovich, The Ramshackle Union Band, The Spare Room, Swindlestock, Arrows of Love, Lillian Todd Jones, Candice Gordon, Rachael Dadd, Ichi, Katy Rose & The Cavalry Parade, Co-Pilgrim, Danny George Wilson, Jason Serious, The Shapes, Siblings, The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band, The Dreaming Spires, The Epstein, Society, Troubadour Rose, Marvellous Medicine.

THE WEEZER CRUISE, a boat, Florida/The Bahamas, 13-17 Feb 2014: Weezer, Cat Power, Toro Y Moi, Diiv, The Cribs, Ash, Palma Violets, Holy Fuck, Bleaches, Caveman, The Orwells, Ozma, The Relationship, Adam Devine.

Y-NOT FESTIVAL, Pikehall, Matlock, Derbyshire, 2-4 Aug: Deaf Havana, Chapel Club, InMe, Chloe Howl, Temples, The Temperance Movement, Night Works, Maybeshewill.

ZOO PROJECT, Boughton House, Northamptonshire, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: Acid Mondays, Benjamin Damage, Boddika, Bonobo DJ, Blackhall & Bookless, Defex, Derrick Carter b2b DJ Sneak b2b Mark Farina, Evan Baggs, Federico Grazzini, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Funk E, George Fitzgerald, Grandmaster Flash, Greymatter, Huxley, James Zabiela, Jaymo & Andy George, Joy Orbison, KRL, Medlar, Michael James, Milou, MJ Cole, Midland, Maribou State, Pedestrian, Richard Rowell, Spencer Parker, The Mountain People, T Williams, Throwing Snow, Tom Rankin, Wolf DJs, X-Press 2.

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Arts Council England chief Alan Davey has penned a new blog post on his organisation's website, in a bid to address some of the questions raised about its new Momentum Music Fund - specifically the question, why the hell are you spending tax payers' money on funding pop acts when that's what the record label system is for, it funded by the commercial profits of the One Directions and Adeles of this world.

As previously reported, the Momentum Fund was launched by Davey at The Great Escape earlier this month, and will see the arts organisation hand out grants of £5000 - £15,000 to pop and rock musicians for the first time, its music initiatives traditionally focussing more on classical, folk and jazz.

Appearing in Radio 4's 'Today' programme earlier this week, he was quizzed on the exact point of the fund, and in defending it managed to piss off lots of people at record labels. Davey claimed that labels were failing new artists by not investing enough money in developing them to their full potential.

Geoff Taylor, the boss of record label trade body BPI, later called this view "ill-informed and out of touch", pointing out that UK labels, both major and independent, had invested £1 billion in developing new talent over the last five years, and as a result had given the world the likes of Adele, Mumford & Sons, Emeli Sandé, Ed Sheeran, Muse and Jessie J.

In his new more conciliatory blog post, Davey wrote that while the UK music industry's £3.8 billion revenues in 2011 were clearly a huge success story, and while that industry was indeed reinvesting a sizable portion of its profits into new artists and releases, ACE research had nevertheless shown that "whilst considerable investment in talent was clearly going on, it appeared to be getting harder and harder for emerging talent to progress" due to a combination of factors.

He continued: "This fund is a two year pilot, to see if what we have identified is the right help to be offering. We need to be cautious in any intervention we make in a market to ensure it has the right effect - hence the small beginning of just £500,000 over two years. If it works, and if we have the money, we'd like to expand it. Because giving talent the ability to find its way really matters - to anyone who is concerned about culture in this country and the music they love".

Read Davey's full blog post here.

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The New York Times has thrown the spotlight on the software that automatically buys up tickets to in-demand events, usually for resale on the secondary ticketing market. The paper this week published an article on the problems it is causing big players in the US live sector, and on how the big primary ticketing providers are trying to combat the auto-buy phenomenon.

Ticketmaster now has a system in place which can spot users on its website most likely to be 'bots' and slow their progress down. Though this doesn't mean they aren't getting through there and elsewhere. Jim Glancy of independent promoter The Bowery Presents explains: "There are sold out shows in reserved seat houses in New York City where we will have 20% no show, and that 20% will be down in the front of the house. It's speculators who bought a bunch of seats and didn't get the price they wanted".

According to the Times, last month Ticketmaster sued 21 people for buying tickets fraudulently by using bots, with one accused of buying up as many as 200,000 tickets per day before the general public could get to them. The case is yet to come to court but could provide some insight on how American law might be used to counter what is perhaps the real problem with the burgeoning secondary ticketing marketplace.

Read the full New York Times report here.

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Online ticketing company Ticketscript has appointed Jenni Young as its new Group Marketing Director. Young was previously Marketing & Communications Director at youth charity vInspired, and prior to that worked as Marketing & PR Director at Live Nation.

Ticketscript CEO Frans Jonker told CMU: "We are very delighted to have Jenni on board. Her experience within the events industry will prove valuable for the future vision of the company. Her expertise in online marketing and brand development will be an asset to building the awareness of the brand within the UK and across all territories. As we continue to grow across Europe, it's great to have a dynamic and international management team. With Jenni's knowledge of the industry and vast expertise in brand communications and partnerships, we will further drive our business forward".

Young added: "I'm delighted to be joining Ticketscript. Their innovative technology is a real game changer for event organisers. To be able to empower people to grow their social communities, sell more tickets and be in control of their events is an incredibly exciting proposition. I'm looking forward to working with the team to grow the business even further, especially within the UK".

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Twitter is advertising for a Head Of Music Partnerships, to be based at the company's LA office.

The role will focus on the US music industry, with the winning candidate charged with cuddling up to artists, managers, agents, labels, radio stations and festivals in the hope of forming mutually beneficial partnerships. It also requires a minimum of fifteen years in the music industry, so sorry if you're a bright young thing with a few smart ideas. Try to get older really fast, or something. Or lie. People respect lying, especially in job applications.

The bad news is, as well as the fun stuff you'll be responsible for coming up with a strategy to make people want to use Twitter's new #Music app, which I think is probably an impossible task and one that'll probably get you sacked when you fail at it. Oh well, given you're going to get sacked anyway, you might as well not bother applying.

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Xfm and BBC 6music presenter Jon Hillcock has been announced as the new host of Amazing Radio's weekly review show, 'It's Amazing', replacing Chris Martin (not that one). Hillcock joins as Amazing Radio returns to the DAB network in the South East and Dublin.

Amazing Radio Programme Director Matt Jamison told CMU: "Jon brings with him a fantastic ear for new music alongside a huge contact list of the music industry's great and good. I'm really excited about hearing Jon's first show and the guests he will attract to the table in the coming weeks".

Hillcock added: "It's great to be joining the team at Amazing Radio. I have admired their ethos for sometime and I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into reviewing new music with my guests".

The first show with Hillcock as host will go out on DAB and online at midday on 8 Jun. Should you want a dose of Jon Hillcock sooner than that, he's covering for John Kennedy on Xfm's 'X-Posure' tonight and will be in for Tom Robinson on 6music's 'Now Playing @6music' this Sunday. Plus, of course, you'll find him on his ever brilliant 'All Back No Front' podcast.

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Bauer Media's Garry Stein has announced that he is leaving the company after seventeen years for a new role with rivals Global Radio. Stein will take up the position of Managing Editor for Heart London in August, having only moved from being Station Manager at Manchester's Key 103 to Director Of Music for Bauer stations in the North Of England and Scotland five months ago.

Stein told Radio Today: "This is an amazing opportunity for me to head one of the greatest radio brands in the country and I look forward to working with the team and helping to ensure Heart 106.2 continues to build on its incredible success".

In a statement, Bauer Media added: "We are sorry that Gary is leaving, but we are proud that Bauer's deep pool of programming talent continues to be attractive to other broadcasters".

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Hanson have officially launched their own ale, a year and a half after the new brand extension was originally announced. Clearly a lot of time was needed to refine the product - for example, the India pale ale is now called MMMhops, rather than its original name MMMhop. It's all about the refining. Also, it probably took a while to come up with the tagline, 'From the guys that invented 'MMMbop'".

The launch of the beer coincides with the band's 21st anniversary, and comes just weeks after this year's Hanson Day (which I see from their website is a thing). And, somewhat irritatingly given the cynical tone I'm enjoying employing here, proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to the Red Cross tornado relief effort in Oklahoma, where the beer's brewery Mustang Brewing is based.

Announcing this bit, the band's Taylor Hanson said: "The tragedy hits close to home, especially since this community was among the first places our band performed together, including schools which were lost in the storm. We are hopeful that the proceeds we can galvanise will play a lasting role in the recovery efforts. We have loved bringing people together around music for the last 21 years, and 'Mmmbop' which inspired the beer's name is a song about holding onto the friends and moments that count. We want to use this opportunity to make the release of MMMhops one of those moments".

The beer will officially go on sale at the same time as the release of the band's sixth album, 'Anthem', on 18 Jun in the States. Apparently you need to drink at least seven bottles before listening to the album becomes enjoyable.

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