27 JUN 2013

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Disco-pop duo Kisses released their second album, 'Kids In LA', last month through Splendour. The follow-up to their 2010 debut 'The Heart Of The Nightlife', the record was produced by Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne and Tim Larcombe (who is more commonly found writing songs for the likes of Lana Del Ray and Girls Aloud). With tour dates upcoming, we added to their workload by asking them to put together a playlist more>>
Killer Mike's 'RAP Music' album was one of last year's finest releases, thanks both to Mike's southern toned vocals and sharp production from El-P. A week after its release in May 2012, more music from the pair turned up in the form of Mike's contribution to El-P's 'Cancer 4 Cure' album. Clearly it was a pairing that was working, and this year they've cemented it by consolidating their solo efforts into new duo Run The Jewels more>>

- iTunes Radio indie label agreement provides insight on functionality and terms
- Stage designer Fisher dies
- I am the one and only, tells Pharell Williams
- Bieber sued over pap attack
- Ludacris accused of stealing Sex Room
- Knowles Senior sues The Sun
- Motörhead cancel dates, Lemmy fitted with defibrillator
- Lady Gaga tops Forbes music celebs list
- BMG signs Stones to first new publishing deal in four decades
- Matador signs Kim Gordon's Body/Head
- The Bug releasing EP feat Danny Brown
- Seventeen disc John Martyn LP compilation planned
- Willis Earl Beal releasing nothing as nobody
- Blondes stream/release LP
- Festival line-up update: City Sounds and Wastelands
- Dave Stewart to deliver keynote at Reeperbahn
- SFX plotting IPO
- Venues and promoters are failing disabled live music fans, report finds
- Windows upgrade includes Xbox Music add-ons
- Amazon's AutoRip launches in some European countries
- Scooter Braun buys Romanian TV talent show format
- Osbourne a fan of the royals, but not ex-PM Blair
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Futuresound Events are looking to recruit a concert promoter based in its Leeds City Centre office. The ideal candidate must have a broad knowledge of the music industry, excellent organisational, digital and communication skills are required; combined with a genuine passion for music.

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based in its Leeds City Centre office. The ideal candidate must have a genuine passion for music, excellent organisational, digital and communication skills. This will be a varied role, where you will learn all aspects of promoting and you must be willing to work long hours and unsocial hours. A great opportunity for the right person!

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We are looking for an experienced online/web publicist to join our team and look after all aspects of online music promo. The position offered is full-time and based in Manchester but for the right candidate there could be an option of working in London or remotely. We offer a competitive salary based on experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
£600 per calendar month

Come and share our lovely office in Camden NW1, which is available from the beginning of July 2013

Situated in a 620 sq ft former photographic studio, up to four of you will be sharing with us - a music PR company. One third of the office is available in a friendly, spacious, airy, media environment. The space offered is partially separated from the main room and currently acts as our meeting / ping pong room! Individual desk spaces may also be considered.

The office is tastefully designed, has ample storage and is based in Camden close to all the amenities. The space would suit music professionals, designers or architects or a small company involved in the creative arts.

The studio has excellent security and is situated in a private yard off the street. It is 5 mins walk from Chalk Farm tube and Kentish Town West Overground stations. It is equally close to Camden Lock and Market with its numerous shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and a short journey on bus or tube will take you into the west end quickly.

There's a kitchenette, with sink for tea/coffee, microwave and fridge. The studio is situated on the lower ground floor of the building with its own locked door, with 24 hours access.

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Please contact for more details

A copy of the basic licensing agreement being provided by Apple to the indie labels for its in-development iTunes Radio service has fallen into the hands of Billboard, and it reveals various bits of information about how the service will work, and how labels will be paid for the use of their content.

According to the trade mag, in terms of functionality users will be able to skip up to six songs per hour, and pause and play music, though they won't be able to rewind or restart tracks. Obviously these limitations - which make the new iTunes service a Pandora-style 'interactive radio' platform rather than a Spotify-style on-demand service - are key, in that they allow Apple to secure more favourable terms from the rights owners.

In terms of those terms, Billboard says that - according to the agreement the publication has seen - Apple will pay indie labels $0.0013 per play plus 15% of net advertising revenue, with that due to rise to $0.0014 per song and 19% of net advertising revenue in year two. Although no royalties will be paid during a beta period of up to 120 days, and no royalties will be due on skipped tracks, which must be skipped in the first 20 seconds of play.

It's thought that the deal being offered to the indies is pretty much in line with that secured by the majors, though per-play royalties are very, very slightly less - though $0.000025 more per play still gives the big labels an advantage if and when the streaming platform is servicing millions of streams a day.

Read more about the contract on the Billboard site.

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Stage designer Mark Fisher, known for his groundbreaking work designing stage set-ups for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2 and many others, has died aged 66, following a "long and difficult illness".

In a long career Fisher and his company Stufish were responsible for many stand out stage designs in the music and musical theatre worlds, and he was also Senior Designer on the opening and closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics, and advised as an Executive Producer for the big London 2012 events.

Amongst those paying tribute yesterday were the Rolling Stones, who said in a statement: "We are all extremely saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend Mark Fisher. The remarkable sets he designed for us over the last two decades played a major part in the success of all those tours".

They added: "His passion, dedication and professionalism was infectious. We all loved his dry sense of humour and unflappable demeanour, a quietly soft spoken genius. Mark will be sorely missed - not only by us - but by every single member of ours and any crew he worked with. Our sincere condolences go to his wife and family".

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I AM THE ONE AND ONLY, WILL.I.AM TELLS PHARELL WILLIAMS is suing Pharrell Williams for using the phrase 'I am' in the name of his media company I Am Other. According to Rolling Stone, Will's grievance is that Williams might put the name of his company on t-shirts and then people might get confused about whether it has something to do with his I Am clothing brand. Well, I'm confused.

In legal papers,'s lawyers said: "The registration of the [new] mark ... is likely to dilute the I Am mark and the mark".

Williams told Rolling Stone: "I am disappointed that Will, a fellow artist, would file a case against me. I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions. I am surprised in how this is being handled and I am confident that [the courts will ultimately think that] Will's trademark claims are as meritless and ridiculous as I do".

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So another day, and more pap-related legal frivolities for Master Justin Bieber. The popstar is being sued by a photographer called Jose Duran, who claims Bieber attacked him in a Californian parking lot last summer. This is seemingly the civil stage of a snapper scuffle that was subject to a police investigation when it first occurred.

As previously reported, Bieber got into an altercation with the photographer as he was leaving a shopping mall with then girlfriend Selena Gomez in May 2012. Seemingly annoyed that the snapper was blocking his route out of the parking lot, Bieber allegedly got out of his car and pushed the man. Or kicked him according to Duran's lawsuit.

Indeed, according to TMZ, Duran claims Bieber "delivered a martial arts-type kick" to his rib cage, before pushing and punching him. The photographer adds that Gomez returned soon after looking for a lost mobile phone, but did take the time to apologise to the paparazzo for her then boyfriend's actions.

Duran reported the incident to the police, though they decided not to pursue charges against the singer last November. But the photographer is now suing for damages. In the lawsuit the claimant reportedly lists Bieber's other alleged misbehaviour in recent months, presumably in a bid to tarnish the defendant's reputation. Whether that would mean getting the monkey to testify against the singer in court remains to be seen.

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'Sex Room' is arguably the worst single Ludacris has ever released, so it seems strange that someone is now trying to claim that he stole it from them. Or, rather, the track's producer Kajun did.

According to TMZ, a rapper called Marvo is now suing for a cut of royalties on 'Sex Room', released in 2010, saying that he had been working with Kajun on the track before the producer gave it to Ludacris without permission. Although parts of it were changed, says Marvo, lines like "Welcome to my sex room", sung so earnestly by Trey Songz on Ludacris' record, are all his.

Honestly, this is what Marvo wants people to know he is responsible for.

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Mathew Knowles, father and former manager of Beyonce of course, is suing The Sun over an interview it published with him back in March which he claims was "personally damaging" and full of "repeated falsehoods".

Knowles hit out at the article shortly after it was published, saying the tabloid piece, based on an interview he gave the paper, included "fictitious statements" and "blatant lies", mainly about his relationship with his superstar daughter. In the piece Knowles discussed the difficulties that surrounded the break down of his professional relationship with Beyonce in 2011, with the paper also implying that Knowles Senior was yet to meet his granddaughter Blue Ivy, suggesting continued tensions between father and child.

Knowles demanded a retraction at the time, and has now gone legal, accusing The Sun of defamation and breach of contract, and seeking unspecified damages. In a statement to E! News confirmed the legal action, Knowles said: "My daughters and my family mean the world to me. The barrage of repeated falsehoods spawned by the British Sun's defamatory article has been exhausting and personally damaging to me".

He added: "No matter how many papers it sells or web hits it generates, The Sun, like any newspaper, needs to maintain a basic level of journalistic integrity. The Sun crossed the line when it went after my family. The Sun needs to be held responsible for its lies in a court of law. This happens too often to too many people, and it is simply unfair".

Neither The Sun nor its publisher - which has just changed its name from News International to News UK - have as yet commented on the litigation.

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Motörhead have cancelled several live dates, not least a show in Milan last night, whilst the band's leader Lemmy is treated for a severe haematoma. It's said the frontman has been fitted with a defibrillator to steady an irregular heartbeat.

It's still TBA whether Lemmy et al will cancel any further dates, or if his ill health has had any affect on Motörhead's new LP, which has gained the title 'Aftershock' since it was hinted at back in March.

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Forbes has published its latest Celeb 100 list, which aims to identify the most powerful celebrities based on earning power, media profile and social media reach. And while Oprah Winfrey tops the poll, Lady Gaga comes in second, leading a top ten dominated by music stars and the ladies.

And the top ten list of most powerful music celebs, according to Forbes, is also dominated by female talent, proving again that on stage the women of music are leading the way, even if behind the scenes the industry remains dominated at the top by aging white men.

The top ten music types from Celeb 100 are as follows - or click here to read why Forbes has rated them so highly.

1. Lady Gaga
2. Beyonce
3. Madonna
4. Taylor Swift
5. Bon Jovi
6. Justin Bieber
7. Jennifer Lopez
8. Rihanna
9. Coldplay
10. Katy Perry

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BMG has announced a new partnership with the Rolling Stones which will see the music rights firm represent Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' songs catalogue.

It is the first time the Stones songwriter duo have appointed an external music publisher in over four decades, they having operated their own publishing set-up since their alliance with EMI Music Publishing, which began in 1971, ended in 1983.

Under the new deal, BMG will take direct responsibility for all the songs written by Jagger and Richards since 1983, while coordinating the two men's respective shares in the pre-83 catalogue, which is controlled by ABKCO (1963-1971) and Sony/ATV/EMI (1971-1983). The rights firm will seek sync opportunities for the directly controlled songs, and assure the effective administration of digital revenues across the board.

Confirming the deal, which comes just ahead of the band's headline-grabbing headline set at Glastonbury this weekend, BMG Chrysalis SVP Alexi Cory-Smith told CMU: "Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are among the greatest songwriters in rock n roll history. It's a huge honour that they have chosen us to represent their interests. Beginning July 1, we will be working alongside all of our offices around the world to give them the very best BMG can offer".

While BMG top man Hartwig Masuch added: "This deal is incredibly important for BMG. Keith and Mick have clearly created one of the most outstanding song collections in rock n roll history. They have not only created the soundtrack of all of our lives, they have been a dynamic and constant force for cultural change. They could sign to any company they wanted to. The fact that they have chosen to sign with BMG is a significant vote of confidence in our team and in our creative and administration services. We will justify their trust in us".

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Matador has added Body/Head - Kim Gordon and Bill Nace's shared alias - to its books. The label will release the pair's first LP 'Coming Apart' - a mix of abstract noise and occasional vox c/o Gordon (at least, that's what I've gleaned via this clip filmed at Yoko Ono's Meltdown festival) - on 16 Sep. And that's that... fin.

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Noted velociraptor (says Wikipedia) Kevin Martin, nickname The Bug, will release a 'Filthy' EP on 12 Aug via Ninja Tune.

It features, says the press release, "gap tooth grin-sporting rapper/Adderall admiral" (amazing) Danny Brown, King Midas Sound's Kiki Hitomi, Daddy Freddy and Flowdan, twice.

An LP carrying collaborations with Death Grips, Grouper, Warrior Queen and Hype Williams' Inga Copeland will follow in time, but now the EP tracklist.

Kill Them

Hear the Danny Brown/Kiki Hitomi co-starring 'Freakshow' via Pitchfork.

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A new box-compilation collating classic material - and extras - by the late John Martyn will be released on 9 Sep.

Featuring twelve LPs dated between 1967 and 1987, 'The Island Years' will also contain five discs of "previously unreleased mixes, outtakes, unheard songs and two previously unreleased live solo concerts". And a DVD, and a hardback book of essays, images and memorabilia. Details here.

This is Martyn playing 'Solid Air' back in 1978.

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Willis Earl Beal has indicated he'll release a new LP in the stead of last year's 'Acousmatic Sorcery'. Since he's an all or nothing kind of man, Beal has titled it 'Nobody Knows', and called one of its tracks 'Everything Unwinds'. This is the latter.

Earthed in a bank of "orchestral blues, ambient R&B, gentle lullabies and pure cacophony", the LP is based on the idea that (adds Beal): "I am nothing. I want to be a shadow, not the man casting it. That's who 'Nobody' is".

Here's the tracklisting citing a PA by Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power):

Wavering Lines
Coming Through (feat Chan Marshall)
Everything unwinds.
Burning Bridges
Too Dry Too Cry
What's The Deal?
Ain't Got No Love
White Noise
Hole In The Roof
Blue Escape
Nobody Knows
The Flow

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NYC synth stylists Blondes released a new digital LP earlier this week titled 'Swish', streaming it at the same time online, AV-style, with graphics by Greg Zifcak. Which is all really quite swish, I'd say.

The pair's label RVNG have given 5 Aug as the disc's physical buy-date, this coinciding with the various live/festival dates Blondes are playing this year.

This is 'Swish'

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First in a relatively 'alternative' FLUU dispatch today is the Paris-based City Sounds Festival, as will validate its 'San Francisco Edition' by hosting bona fide Frisco-ites like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall (who's playing as a 'one man band') and White Fence. So hospitable of it, and what a line-up.

Moving on to Belgian festival treat Wastelands which, contrary to its name, has a fairly rich terrain of artists playing over its one-day programme, not least US Girls and Slim Twig, kraut-pop act Trailblazer and digi-horror wizard Dracula Lewis. Spooky.

And now, the cold facts:

CITY SOUNDS FESTIVAL: SAN FRANCISCO EDITION, Le Centquatre, Paris, France, 19-20 July: Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Moon Duo, Warm Soda, Shannon & The Clams.

WASTELANDS, Grindbakken, Ghent, Belgium, 10 Aug: US Girls feat Slim Twig & Floris Vanhoof, Trailblazer, Dracula Lewis, Ignatz & De Stervende Honden, Mark McGuire, Steve Gunn, Huerco S.

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Dave Stewart will deliver this year's keynote address at the Reeperbahn conference and showcase festival in Hamburg this September. With a speech entitled 'Where Is The Money?', Stewart will discuss using technology and innovation to build a stronger economy for the creative sector.

Also confirmed for the conference this year are American investor Shaun Abrahmson, CD Group founder and CEO Catherine Barba, artist manager Sat Bisla, Kobalt Label Services MD Paul Hitchman, Gamesbrief founder Nicholas Lovell, Vice President of Fojo Media Institute Anette Novak, Topspin UK Director Stephen O'Reilly and Kristina Rothe of Microsoft Germany.

Reeperbahn runs from 25-28 Sep. For more information, go here.

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SFX, the latest company from entertainment industry veteran Robert Sillerman, is floating already.

The firm has filed papers with the US Securities And Exchange Commission confirming it will seek to raise up to $175 million via an initial public offering. It's not known how many shares will be floated, and what stake in the overall company that will represent.

As previously reported, Sillerman's new SFX company has focused very much on the newly lucrative (in the US) EDM market, buying up various promoters in the dance music space and EDM-focused digital music service Beatport.

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Venues and promoters are not doing enough to ensure that disabled people can easily attend live music events, a new report by UK charity Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has found.

Often, says the report, disabled tickets for shows are only available via premium rate telephone numbers, rather than online, and sometimes an event has passed before venues agree to accept 'proof of disability' required when providing some tickets.

Those who do make it into venues often find that they are unable to sit with friends and family, due to limited number of extra seats in accessible areas, and toilet facilities are often lacking. The study also says that in some cases people in wheelchairs have been asked to leave before a performer finishes in order to "avoid disruption" for able-bodied customers.

Project Manager of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Trailblazers initiative Bobby Ancil said: "For many, going to concerts, gigs and festivals is a fundamental part of being young. The live music scene in the UK is burgeoning, however if you are disabled, accessing live music can be far from straightforward. We have heard from many young disabled people who describe their experience of getting tickets to see their favourite band or artist perform live as 'an absolute nightmare' because of drawn-out, costly booking processes and company policies that separate disabled music lovers from their friends and family at a show as 'inflexible'".

He continued: "There is no doubt that many venues have made significant headway in improving their facilities for disabled customers. However, we want to see the creation of an online booking option for all disabled music fans at live venues and more inclusive venue designs to ensure that disabled people can sit with more than one friend or assistant without compromising the view of the stage or their ability to enjoy a performance".

Read the report in full here

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After weeks of anticipation and speculation - right? - Microsoft announced its move into Pandora-style interactive radio yesterday. Did you notice?

To be fair, while Microsoft's music announcements never enjoy any of the hype rival's Apple manage to muster, yesterday's announcement was really just an add-on to the IT giant's existing streaming service Xbox Music, which launched last October, rather than a first bold move into the streamed music space, unlike Apple's headline grabbing announcement of iTunes Radio earlier this month.

But with the focus of late a little more on 'interactive radio' than fully on-demand streaming services - partly because of iTunes Radio, partly because of the Pandora debate in the US - the new features being added to Xbox Music are timely.

As with its competitors in this space, Xbox Radio users pick a song or artist, and then get a personalised playlist based around that choice. Unlike many competitors, there doesn't seem to be the option to directly inform the service about likes and dislikes ("never play this again"), though there is an unlimited track-skip option, and perhaps the service will learn from that. The interactive radio set-up is available to all, not just Xbox Music subscribers, with an ad-funded freemium option.

Though perhaps more interesting in the Xbox Music updates that come with the latest Windows upgrade is a feature that will go live later this year, whereby the platform will create a playlist based on any one web page, selecting the names of any artists mentioned. So you could take an edition of the CMU Daily, press a button, and have a playlist featuring any mentioned artists. Which is one of those things that will either be awesome, or actually fun the first time, but ultimately not that useful. Remains to be seen which once it goes live.

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Amazon's AutoRip service is now available in Italy, France and Germany, and is due to launch here in the UK today.

As previously reported, the service, which launched in the US in January, automatically adds tracks in MP3 form from CD (and more recently vinyl) purchases made via Amazon into users' Amazon Cloud Player accounts.

The AutoRip function is not available on all releases, only those where a deal has been done with the appropriate label, though according to Music Ally the service is currently attached to over 350,000 records.

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Scooter Braun has bought the North American rights for a Romanian TV talent contest, teaming up with Canadian production company Marble Media to bring it to US screens, reports Billboard.

Entitled 'Mom Made Me A Star', the show is seemingly like all those singing competitions you see, except that in this case the judges are the contestants' own mothers. No, I can't see how that could possibly work either, but apparently it does.

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So for those of you keeping track of Ozzy Osbourne's thoughts on the British establishment, take note - former PM Tony Blair is a "prick", but Prince William is a "lovely bloke". And this isn't just based on the Black Sabbath leader reading the papers, oh no, this is based on his very own, very brief conversations with the political and regal men.

Obsourne, presumably while plugging new Black Sabbath album '13', told ShortList of the time he met Blair: "I was at a charity do a while back, and Tony Blair's looking over at me. This was when the Middle East thing was going on - we're sending boys over and they're coming back in fucking boxes. He comes up, and I thought he was going to say, 'Would you mind going out to play to the troops?' but he said, 'I was in a rock band once, but I could never quite get the chords to 'Iron Man''. Are you fucking kidding me? Is that all you've got to say, you dickhead? He was a prick".

But that doesn't mean that Osbourne would always rather talk politics than his own oeuvre. On his brief encounter with king-to-be William, he continued: "When I did that fucking Jubilee thing for the Queen, Prince William came up. We'd played 'Paranoid', and he said, 'Why didn't you play 'Black Sabbath?' I'm like, 'What?' Lovely bloke. Can you imagine him headbanging at the Royal Jubilee?"

And Prince Harry also has Ozzy's seal of approval, though that opinion is based on tabloid events. Referencing last year's 'naked in Vegas' expose, Osbourne concluded: "Prince Harry in Vegas was fucking great. That's what you should be doing if you're royalty. You get anything you want, so why not? Government approved!"

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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 1, 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email or

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