22 JUL 2013

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Well, it's still hot, isn't it? I'm so hot that I can't really think of anything to put in this intro. And it's not like I can just reel off a load of pointless nonsense about the royal baby. The baby that will be born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at some point shortly, which will either be a boy or a girl and will have a name. No, I'm not allowed to write anything like that.
Dark-psych shackle-shakers Crystal Stilts have shared what's basically a track to 'chill' to; a sacred thing in this heat. A black morass of ashy guitar drawls and Brad Hargett's "too tired" vocal torpor, 'Star Crawl' is an advance glance at the band's new LP 'Nature Noir', released on 17 Sep. Please collapse in front of it now more>>

- "There are people behind it all": Jacksons v AEG update
- Tulisa's manager slams Sun sting in letter to parliament
- Viacom loses appeal over ongoing Rock Band dispute
- Marc Bolan Junior sues for song rights
- New BRIT Award announced with its own event, Elton to win it
- Earl Sweatshirt gives away mixtape feat Tyler, Pharrell, RZA
- Nicholas Jaar releasing compilation via new 'serial label'
- Drenge share track
- Friends preview single
- Entire Morrissey South America tour is now off
- Durex launches 'Intimate Sessions'
- Festival line-up update Hevy, Fusion, HRH Blues and more
- INgrooves launches music publishing service
- Uptake for YouTube subscription channels slow, says Variety
- Jay-Z makes cray-z name change
Liverpool-based digital distributor Ditto Music is seeking an experienced Digital Content/Label Manager to join our team. The role will feature a wide range of duties including digital content delivery, liaising with retailers, customer support for artists and record labels, co-ordinating promotional campaigns with online stores and working alongside our offices in Nashville and Melbourne to provide an award-winning service.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Liverpool-based digital distribution company Ditto Music is looking for an Online Marketing Specialist with experience in planning, executing and optimising digital marketing campaigns, including paid search, display advertising, blogging, SEO and especially email marketing, to increase brand awareness and drive revenue.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We’re looking for a driven music publicist with a minimum of two years print and online PR experience to join our team in Cambridge on a temporary basis. Candidates will be results driven, able to work to deadlines, and be enthusiastic about a wide range of genres. A network of contacts across print and online media is essential. Radio contacts a plus.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Rood Media is predominantly a boutique music PR agency, handling specialist radio, online and print on a global scale for some of electronic music's most respected and popular artists and labels. Recent projects include Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Bromance Records, Felix Da Housecat and Yuksek/Partyfine. We are looking for a Freelance PR who has a keen interest in all that we do.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Management Assistant required for London-based, established artist management company. Suitable candidates must have a minimum of three years management or related experience. Knowledge of release campaigns, promotion and touring required. Candidates must be super organised, capable of multi-tasking and possess a good knowledge of the music industry. Role will include providing support to artist managers, co-ordinating day to day activities for artists including general administrative duties and personal assistant duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Partisan PR and Konkz are seeking to appoint a Social Media Manager to work across key client accounts. The candidate must have experience in devising and implementing digital campaigns for a broad range of artists. Experience of working at a record company or digital agency is preferred.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
WANTED: Experienced Communications Officer! We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing our PR and communication strategies. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge, first class experience in social media and excellent relevant PR experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA & Company are looking for dynamic, experienced General Business Managers, Assistant General Managers & Bar Managers with a proven track record within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company at some of London's most established venues. Based in London, closing date for applications is 6pm on Wednesday 24 Jul 2013.

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.

The rental cost is for the space and includes all utilities but not telephone. Wireless high speed broadband (reasonable use) could also be shared.

A one month deposit would be required with a three-month minimum agreement, with one month written notice and rent to be paid monthly in advance by standing order.

Please contact for more details

Well, it's still hot, isn't it? So that's a thing. I'm so tired and dehydrated that I can't really think of anything to put in this intro. And it's not like I work for the sort of media organisation where I can just reel off a load of pointless nonsense about the royal baby. The baby that will be born to the Duke and Duchess of Wales at some point shortly, which will either be a boy or a girl and will have a name. No, I'm not allowed to write anything like that. Anyway, here are just a few of the ways you can celebrate the arrival of our future overlord (or lady)...

Secret Garden Party. With its tenth outing due to take place this weekend, the Secret Garden Party isn't quite as secret as it when it first began as a small gathering of people in 2004. This year, for instance, Django Django, Faithless and Regina Spektor have all found out about it and have insisted on headlining. As Eddy TM revealed in his CMU column recently, there will also be free tea and toast in exchange for your problems.

New releases. People of the world, rejoice. For the debut solo album of obnoxious/good bloke Johnny Borrell is released this week. Also on offer are new releases from Selena Gomez, Jahmene Douglas and Diana Vickers. And if none of that takes your fancy, well give the new record from Olympic soundtrackers Fuck Buttons a go.

Gigs and tours. Streaming music haters Atoms For Peace will play three shows over three nights at The Roundhouse in London this week, with fans able to automatically download it as it happens. Wu-Tang Clan will only play two shows over consecutive nights, though theirs will be split between Manchester and London. Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite wins the distance-travelled-between-gigs-in-under-24-hours prize though, with Mogwai performing their score to the film 'Zidane' in London on Friday, and Braithwaite playing solo at a benefit to help save the Glashow Stone Circle up (of course) in Glasgow the next night. Braid are also playing this week, but only one show, performing their 'Frame And Canvas' album in full in London on Friday night.

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Katherine Jackson took to the witness stand on Friday as the big Jacksons v AEG Live court case continued to go through its very slow motions.

The Jackson family matriarch is the lead plaintiff in the civil lawsuit, in which she and Michael Jackson's three children claim that the AEG concert company should be held liable for the death of the late king of pop because they, as promoters of the singer's ill-fated 'This Is It' venture, hired and mismanaged Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the pop star's death in 2009 through negligent treatment. AEG counters that Jackson himself hired and managed the medic.

Under questioning from her own lawyer Brian Panish, much of Mrs Jackson's testimony on Friday was dedicated to a brief overview of her family's history. Home videos punctuated the questions as Katherine told the court how the Jacksons went from being a family of very limited means to one of the most famous in the world, explaining that her children first started singing partly to relieve the boredom when they couldn't afford to get the TV fixed.

Justifying the family biography, Panish told the court, according to CNN: "I want the jurors to just recognise that there's people involved in this case. We've seen a lot of testimony about numbers and emails, but there are people behind it all".

The questioning did turn to more recent events, however. Asked about the 'This Is It' project, Jackson said that she believed her son was capable of delivering the 50 London shows that AEG Live announced in the months before his death, but that she was very concerned about the timescales of the venture.

The fifty shows would have been realistic, she said, "if they had been spaced out". She added that she had told AEG Live boss Randy Phillips of her concerns shortly after the London residency was announced. "I told him Michael can't do those shows, you have to change the schedule" she revealed. "If they spaced them out, he could have done a million shows".

That opinion is, in part, key to the Jackson family's case, in that they allege AEG failed to take their most famous son's health into account when planning 'This Is It', but at the same time in their damages claim they reckon that the king of pop could have netted over a billion dollars from a world tour and Vegas residency that could have followed the London shows. So they need to portray Michael as having had enough health issues that AEG should have been concerned, but not so many that the full ambitions of the 'This Is It' partnership could not have been realised.

Mrs Jackson admitted that she was aware that her son was at times reliant on prescription drugs, to get relief from chronic pain caused by past injuries. She said her knowledge of this was mainly third hand, via her other children, though she once challenged Michael about it directly. "He promised, he kept saying, 'I'm OK'", she told the jury, according to Billboard. "[But] sometimes mothers are the last to know. I told him, 'I don't want to hear on the news that you're not here anymore'".

Going on to discuss the day in 2009 when that did indeed happen, she told the court: "Everything went dark and I just started screaming". Recalling how she had had to tell the singer's children about their father's death, she went on: "Paris was screaming, looking up at the sky saying 'Daddy, I want to go with you, I can't live without you'. Paris looked at me and asked 'Grandma, where are we going?' I told her 'You're going home with grandma'".

After her emotional recollections under questioning from Panish, little time was left to face the questions of AEG's lawyer Marvin Putnam, not least because the judge called a halt to the proceedings early to avoid putting two much strain on the 83 year old Jackson matriarch.

But the AEG man did have time to ask about Jackson's motivations for bringing the lawsuit against his client. "I've heard a lot of stories", the witness replied. "This trial may bring some answers. I want to know the truth, what happened to Michael".

Katherine Jackson's testimony will continue today, after which AEG's defence team are expected to start calling their witnesses.

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Tulisa Contostavlos's manager Jonathan Shalit has written to John Whittingdale, the MP who chairs parliament's Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, to complain about the Sun On Sunday's previously reported 'scoop' which saw the tabloid score a tiny amount of cocaine from a contact of the one-time N-Dubber and 'X-Factor' judge. The paper also recorded the singer discussing her various drug dealing friends.

In his letter, Shalit says the newspaper entrapped his client in order to get its story, and in doing so caused Contostavlos to be arrested and questioned by the police. The manager includes Tulisa's police statement in his letter, which confirms rumours that undercover journalists from the tabloid tricked the singer into thinking she was being lined up for a film role.

According to The Guardian, that statement reads as follows:

"I was approached by what I now know to be three journalists from The Sun who pretended to be producing a film... We all met on a number of occasions over a few weeks. During these meetings alcohol was freely available. During this time the journalists also sent texts and spoke to me on the phone.

The journalists persuaded me that they wanted me to play the lead role in a major film for which I was to be paid a large amount of money. They described the lead character as being similar to me as portrayed in the media and in my book.

At that time I was trying to find a role in a film and so was keen to be offered the part. During our meetings the journalists asked me a number of intimate questions about my private life. I answered these, sometimes in an exaggerated manner, in an attempt to persuade them of my suitability for the part.

The impression given by reports in The Sun newspaper is unfair, and my words have often been taken out of context. I am not a drug dealer. I did not initiative the supply of drugs to The Sun journalists and had no intention of being concerned in their supply".

In his letter to Whittingdale, Shalit alleges that "these journalists gave the impression that they were regular users of cocaine and sought to induce Tulisa to share cocaine with them" adding: "It is plain that the undercover journalists set out to entrap [Tulisa]. This was not an attempt to expose pre-existing criminality; rather there was an extensive, sustained and deliberate campaign to lute her into committing an offence". He also claims that The Sun failed to provide all of its evidence relating to the sting to the police.

Noting the government's recentish Leveson Inquiry on newspaper ethics, and the ongoing debate as to how the press should be regulated, Shalit concludes: "Following on from Leveson, it seems time to draw the line as to what are acceptable and unacceptable journalistic practices. There have of course been legitimate times when journalists have unearthed crimes that otherwise would not have been prosecuted, which I also applaud... However, this is very different to the entrapment of a 24 year old pop singer/TV judge on the basis of an ill-informed tip-off with no real proof [which] clearly crosses all boundaries of acceptability".

Neither Whittingdale nor any rep for his select committee has as yet responded to the letter, though a spokesman for The Sun told The Guardian: "The Sun's investigation into Tulisa Contostavlos is entirely justified in the public interest. We have handed our dossier of evidence to the police and there is a live investigation ongoing. We observed the PCC code throughout the investigation and only used subterfuge because there was no other means of securing proof".

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The Delaware Supreme Court last week upheld a lower court ruling regards the legal squabble between MTV owner Viacom and the former shareholders of 'Rock Band' game maker Harmonix.

As previously reported, Viacom bought the gaming company and the 'Rock Band' franchise in 2006. In competition with 'Guitar Hero', the 'Rock Band' games seemed to do well initially, but the bubble soon burst in the pretend-to-play gaming genre, and the media conglom sold the entire Harmonix business in 2010, reportedly for less than a dollar.

But, despite the gaming brand crashing out (and reports Viacom never made a profit from the 'Rock Band' product), the original investors in Harmonix said they were due so called earn-out payments based on the performance of the franchise in 2007 and 2008, as agreed in the 2006 acquisition deal. Viacom, though, said nothing was owed and, in fact, it was due a refund on an initial earn-out payment that was too high with hindsight.

A Delaware court ruled last August that the Harmonix investors were in the right, and ordered Viacom to pay out $299 million plus interest. Viacom appealed to the state's Supreme Court, but last week judges there backed the lower court ruling. It remains to be seen if the media firm now tries to take the case to the US Supreme Court.

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The son of Marc Bolan has launched legal action against a UK-based music publisher through the LA courts, claiming that it is erroneously representing his father's works.

The specifics of the claim against Westminster Music Limited are not entirely clear, though it seems that Rolan Seymour Feld reckons that while his father did enter into a deal with the publisher in 1968, it failed to go through the processes required by US copyright law (relating to songs published pre-1978) to renew their ownership of the song rights.

Therefore, the lawsuit alleges, Feld, a toddler when Bolan died in 1977, is the rightful owner of the songs in America. Leaving possible damages vague, the legal papers say that Feld "has been damaged in an amount that is not as yet fully ascertained but which the plaintiff believes exceeds $2,000,000".

Westminster Music Limited is yet to respond to the claims.

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Lord knows, if there's one thing the music business needs, it's more awards. I don't know how anyone hasn't spotted this before, I mean at last count there are at least seventeen days of the year when there are no ceremonies devoted to the slapping of popstars' backs. So, well done to record label trade body BPI for spotting this glaring gap and helping to fill it with a brand new spin-off to the BRIT Awards, called the BRITs Icon.

Easily confused with the existing (though occasionally absent in recent years) BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music, it must be stressed that the new Icon gong is a whole knew kettle of sycophancy. This gong will only ever be presented to "iconic artists whose writing, recording and performances set them apart as having made a lasting impact on the nation's culture". So much so, the first one will be presented to Elton John, who's already received two outstanding contribution BRITs.

A special Icon Award event will take place in London on 2 Sep, and will see Elton perform live, including tracks from his new album 'The Diving Board', which by extraordinary coincidence is also coming out in September. ITV will film the bash and air it later in the month. We're promised special guest appearances and a candid interview too, so two parts the BRITs, eight parts 'An Audience With Elton', I suppose. Still, sounds like a fun night out for Elton fans.

Says Christian Tattersfield, Warner UK boss and current Chair of the BRITs: "Britain leads the world when it comes to making great music. Part of this appeal is down to an incredibly diverse and vibrant music scene, with much of it coming from exciting new talent, but its foundation is undoubtedly built on a select group of artists that we now quite rightly revere as icons. Elton is amongst the greatest of these living legends, inspiring generations of fans and other artists alike with his era-defining music, and there can be few more worthy recipients of this inaugural BRITs Icon award".

Meanwhile BPI chief Geoff Taylor added: "The BRIT Awards has recognised many exceptional artists whose music has connected with millions of fans. A few of these artists, such as Elton John, have achieved such a level of artistic creativity and originality, critical acclaim, global recognition and popular success that they deserve to be recognised as true Icons of our cultural life. With our broadcast partners ITV, our aim is to provide the ultimate tribute to these musical superheroes, which not only recognises their unique achievements but which is also spectacular entertainment".

So, that's the gap in the awards schedule sorted. Now if only someone would do something about the lack of trade bodies in the music sector, we could really do with some more of them. I'm thinking of launching the UK Academy For Left-Handed A&Rs, anyone in?

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OFWGKTW's Earl Sweatshirt has quite literally 'paved the way' (well sort of) for his new LP, 'Doris', via a new mixtape titled 'Earl 2: The Road To Doris'.

It has 32 tracks on it, several featuring guest appearances, par example, Tyler, The Creator, Wu-Tang's RZA, Riff Raff, MellowHype, Action Bronson and, as is always the case these days, 'featured credit' addict Pharrell Williams. It's available to stream, and as a free MP3, here.

Taken straight off 'Doris', which is released 19 Aug, here is a track that's also on the mixtape, the Vince Staples/Casey Veggies-starring 'Hive'.

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Having rather flightily trashed his Clown & Sunset label only a year in, Nicholas Jaar has now announced a new 'serial label' (aka singles club type set up) called Other People. "Like a magazine", he says, it will "deliver new content each week. Every Sunday, our members receive a new issue".

To launch the new venture, we think, Other People will also put out a compilation titled 'Trust', which will feature tracks by one-time Clown & Sunset signings Nikita Quasim, Valentin Stip and Acid Pauli, as well as Will Epstein and Dave Harrington, who play in Jaar's live band. Resident Advisor says it's released on 2 Sep, which may not be right, because 2 Sep isn't a Sunday.

Nevertheless, here's a tracklisting:

Will Epstein - Trust I
Nikita Quasim - The Way I Felt Today
My Girl & Me - Always Back To You
Quentin Pistol - Qè
David Terranova - Kinq
High Water - Railroad Song
Benjha - Gravity
Acid Pauli - The Gap And The Grip
Triangleline - Chronon And Echo
Valentin Stip - Temple
Nicolas Jaar - Break My Love
Dave Harrington feat Tamara - Why Didn't You Save Me
Will Epstein - Trust II

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Politicians' choice Drenge have fairly nonchalantly shared a new track that, going on its title ('Face Like A Skull'), probably has nothing at all to do with Tom Watson.

I don't mean anything mean by that, I'm only saying Tom Watson's face isn't at all skull-like. Anyway. Hear 'Face Like A Skull', which will be released as part of Drege's eponymous LP on 26 Aug, here.

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Friends' Samantha Urbani has shared a new "Taoist power ballad" (so, track) by her slimlined band (now a trio), and its name is 'The Way'.

Facilitated by Urbani's new 'boo', one Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange, and Brooklyn artist Joey Postiglione aka Bordeaux, it'll be released as a single via Lucky Number on a TBA date.

Until that date is set, we can at least hear the track as many times as we like here.

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So Morrissey's entire Latin American tour is off, though not because of that bout of food poisoning that forced initial dates to be axed.

As previously reported, when news broke earlier this month that the one time Smiths man had fallen ill after eating some dodgy pasta, the promoter of his shows in Peru said the entire Morrissey South America tour was off. But organisers of later dates on the tour quickly disputed that announcement, and it seemed like the venture would resume. Until the singer himself announced via the True To You website this weekend that all dates were now cancelled, the later gigs due to financial issues.

In typically melodramatic fashion, Morrissey writes: "I am informed today that the projected tour of South America is snuffed out, thus euthanized - due, I'm reliably advised, to lack of funding. It's quite easy to sell tickets, yet impossible to transport band and crew from F to G".

Noting his various illnesses earlier in the year and his food poisoning earlier in the month, which together have led to the cancellation of a lot of shows, the singer continues: "In a year when far too many disappointments have been buried this really is the last of many final straws, and I am not alone in feeling this. The future is suddenly absent, and my apologies are now so frequent as to be somewhat ridiculous, and it is I who apologise because no one else would bother. It is agonizing to be responsible for imparting such news - especially when it springs upon me unexpectedly and inexplicably".

Seemingly unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel after recent woes, he goes on: "The collapse of South America rings the curtain down with a colossal thud, and the major problems remain as insoluble now as they were in 2009. The obvious conclusion stares back at me from the mirror, and the wheels are finally off the covered wagon. Cancellations and illness have sucked the life out of all of us, and the only sensible solution seems to be the art of doing nothing. As always I ask your pardon, and I offer pangs of overwhelming love and gratitude to the band and the crew, whose loyalty stretched above and beyond".

Some are now suggesting that the reference to "the obvious conclusion" is a masked announcement that Morrissey is retiring. Or maybe he's decided it's time to reform The Smiths.

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So, earlier this month when denying that Durex had any involvement with Daft Punk's promotional condoms, a spokesperson for the company said: "We do hope that by using Durex condoms, music-lovers will continue to make sweet music together and have great sex!"

Well, you'll be pleased to know the Durex marketing people have been working on better copy since then. The company has announced a new music initiative - Durex Intimate Sessions - which will see the company putting on a series of exclusive gigs in small venues. The 250 capacity shows will feature AlunaGeorge, Little Comets, Wretch 32 and Tribes, and will only be open to competition winners. The shows, Durex's tagline for them informs us, are all about "getting you closer to the music. And each other".

OK, that makes it sound like they've organised a series of orgies with live bands playing, but you have to admit anything's better than "make sweet music together and have great sex".

Packets of Durex Ultra Thin Feel condoms sold in Boots will have special codes printed on them, every code allowing its owner to register to win tickets. Which means, as the site puts it, "you can enter as many times as you like". But not with the same condom, obviously. It's also that suggested that being able to enter the competition more times if you buy more condoms is "the perfect excuse to 'run out' of Durex quicker than usual".

Oh, Durex.

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Having failed to find a viable new site for its erstwhile weekend festival, replacing that instead with a series of mini-events, Hevy has now cancelled (very nearly) all its live activity this year. This means the Killswitch Engage-headlined replacement show it advertised at the Brixton Academy won't go ahead, and all that remains is a date featuring Horse The Band, this at the London-based Borderline on 3 Aug. Tickets to that are available here.

Says Hevy HQ: "Despite our best efforts to continue without the camping set-up, the change of venue has been more problematic than anticipated. It is time to draw a line under 2013, and look to the future to make sure next year's festival is everything Hevy should be. This has been a turbulent year for us, and we are very sorry to have let our audience down".

That apology made, it's on to news of new additions at the Prince's Trust-backed Fusion, Hard Rock Hell's new-for-2014 Blues branch, Dundee's Hordes Of Belial and the first ever instance of Song, By Toad's Pale Imitation Festival...

FUSION, Cofton Park, Birmingham, 31 Aug - 1 Sep: Labrinth, Naughty Boy, A*M*E, Charlie Brown, The Vamps, Ollie Marland, Isac Elliot, Jacob Banks, Ed Drewett.

HRH BLUES FESTIVAL, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Gwynedd, Wales, 21-22 Mar 2014: Dr Feelgood, Band Of Friends, Simon McBride, Stevie Nimmo, Jo Harman, Grainne Duffy, Big Boy Bloater, Harry Manx, Lucy Zirins.

HORDES OF BELIAL, Beat Generato Live!, Dundee, Scotland, 28 Sep: Anger Management, Korpse, The Starry Wisdom Cult.

PALE IMITATION FESTIVAL, Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, 1-31 Aug: Malcolm Middleton, Sparrow And The Workshop, Iam Humberstone, RM Hubbert, William Henry Miller, Jonnie Common, Rob St John, Hanna Tuulikki, The Bad Books, Found, Adam Stafford, Mike MacFarlane, Plastic Animals, Deathcats, Mad Nurse, The Rosy Crucifixion, Siobhan Wilson, Wounded Knee, Lidh, Now Wakes The Sea, David Orphan, Eagleowl, Rachel Lancaster, Nap Sholty.

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Independent digital distributor INgrooves has announced the launch of a new division providing services on the music publishing side.

In part through a partnership with UK-based Sentric Music, INgrooves' new publishing platform will enable rights owners to directly register songs with collecting societies worldwide, manage their royalties, and seek sync opportunities. Integrated with the existing INgrooves platform for distributing recordings to digital platforms, the new service will be particularly useful for artists or smaller labels in control of both recording and song rights.

Announcing the new development, INgrooves CEO Robb McDaniels told CMU: "As the retail ecosystem continues to fragment into multiple sources of revenue for our clients, INgrooves is perfectly positioned to leverage our technology platform and global reach to monetise and collect from these various partners that are also paying copyright owners. Many INgrooves artists and label clients control some or all of their publishing rights and have asked us to assist them in administering these rights because much of the data that's needed to effectively identify and collect monies owed is already handled by our ONE Digital platform. This is a natural evolution for us".

Meanwhile, confirming his company's involvement in the new venture, Sentric boss Chris Meehan told CMU: "We're delighted to provide rights administration and platform services to the INgrooves music publishing team which will allow clients to take advantage of our international direct collection network. Our combined vision for the music rights business, coupled with the synergies between our respective technology platforms, will provide one of the most efficient and advanced music rights services available on the market".

The new INgrooves division will be headed up by Olivier Chastan, who previously worked for reggae music firms VP Records and Greensleeves. He said: "I'm very excited to be joining INgrooves to launch this new endeavour. I have known Robb and the team for over six years and am confident that we will deliver a world-class platform and service. Being part of INgrooves will allow me to build the modern and technology-driven publishing operation that I have been envisioning for years. I look forward to offering amazing service to existing INgrooves' clients and all great writers and artists".

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Uptake for YouTube's subscription channels has been modest, according to Variety, which has spoken to various media firms which are part of the Google-owned video platform's experiment in moving its service from exclusively ad-funded to partly pay-per-view.

As previously reported, 53 subscription channels went live on the YouTube platform in May, just over 30 being accessible in the UK. Mostly run by established media firms, the subscription channels are part of a pilot. Google hopes to make the option of charging for access to content available to all partners in due course.

While those participating in the pilot are not allowed to reveal actual sign-up numbers, National Geographic, which launched a paid kids channel on YouTube, told Variety "we had hoped to set the world on fire - we are not setting the world on fire right now". Meanwhile AXS TV, AEG's media venture with businessman Mark Cuban, said its subscription YouTube channel, which offers all sorts of blokey content, is "working OK, not amazing".

Cynics will see those assessments as proof that it's going to be very hard indeed for the media and entertainment industries to persuade web-users to start paying for the kind of online content they have come to expect for free, an expectation in part instilled on us all by the YouTubes of this world.

Though the Google-owned platform insists it is too soon to be concluding anything about pay-to-view YouTube channels, telling reporters: "We're in the early days of piloting paid channels. Just as the partner programme empowered creators to take their channels to the next level, we look forward to seeing how creators bring new content to their fan communities on YouTube".

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New in the 'hip hop stars making barely noticeable changes to their names' game, famed MC Shawn 'Magna' Carter has altered his rap alias slightly, from Jay-Z to... wait for it... Jay Z. Yeah, that's right, he did away with the dash between the 'Jay' and the 'Z' and... well, that's the size of it really.

Billboard boss Joe Levy was first to eye the new disparity, tweeting this last week: "Breaking: Jay Z has dropped the hyphen from his name, according to his label. I am not kidding. (Wish I was). Copy editors: take note".

Apparently, Levy added, Jay's new hypen-less pen name isn't a new thing, and has been the case since pre-Z and Kanye West's, 'Watch The Throne' LP. Oops.

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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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