24 JUL 2013

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The world of brand partnerships doesn't always run smooth. Unless you're Snoop Dogg, of course, who seems to have the whole thing down to a fine art. Would you like to give Snoop some money? He will take it, and he'll do anything you like for it. In the past we've seen him play Ebenezer Scrooge for Adidas and re-record one of his biggest hits for microwave snack Hot Pockets. This time around, all he had to do was order some food and then pretend to be amazed by it, so it was nice and easy more>>
Danish artist Agnes Obel will on 30 Aug follow her first flight into LP-making with a new set titled 'Avantine'. Obel has released several extra 'glimpses' into 'Avantine' since sharing its trailer earlier in the year, this scored by an unnamed track featuring the same moth-winged pianos and cold, sylvan voice that were her calling cards circa 'Philharmonics' singles like 'Riverside' and 'Just So'. Each lasts less than a minute, which is kind of irritating, like looking into a locked garden. But still, it seems a very beautiful garden all the same more>>

- "They would like to blame somebody else": Jacksons v AEG update
- Aimee Mann sues MediaNet
- Google adds Grooveshark to autocomplete blacklist
- Spinal Tap may be back next year, says Guest
- Dr Luke signs Elliphant
- Icona Pop reveal LP details
- So Solid Crew to release single
- Gang Colours LP announced
- Sacha Baron Cohen out of Freddie Mercury biopic
- Festival line-up update: Pukkelpop, Dylan Fest, Electric Picnic and more
- Def Jam founder launches new YouTube-focused label
- Glassnote confirms London office
- Universal appoint new GM to catalogue division
- Kelly Rowland's boat lost at sea, Beyonce's hair caught in fan
- Status Quo's Rossi backs ice cream vans
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

Michael Jackson had a long-term drug addiction which he and his family kept secret from the world, and which ultimately killed him, AEG Live's lawyer Marvin Putnam told an LA court yesterday, as the live music giant began its defence in the long-running Jacksons v AEG court case.

As much previously reported, the Jackson family 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 popstar's death in 2009 through negligent treatment. AEG counters that Jackson himself hired and managed the medic.

The Jackson family's case involved reviewing all the 'red flags' that, their lawyers argued, should have made AEG bosses concerned about Michael Jackson's health, and Murray's treatment of the star, as the 'This Is It' show went into production. Top execs at the live firm were portrayed as showing little concern for their artists, especially those who had worked with Jackson before and therefore - Team Jackson said - should have known about the singer's dependency on prescription drugs.

Though, the Jackson team has argued, the king of pop wasn't actually an addict, and while he displayed enough ill health in spring 2009 that AEG should have intervened, the singer was actually fit enough to do a long London residency, world tour and Vegas show - some of the 'This Is It' spin-offs discussed - providing such activity was paced appropriately. It's important for the Jacksons that the court believes the singer had the ability to deliver those shows, because that will impact on any damages if the Jackson family prevail.

Having already asked some tough questions of Katherine Jackson on Monday about her knowledge of her son's drug issues - basically suggesting that current and past comments she'd made about that knowledge conflicted - Putnam yesterday kicked off his defence presentation - according to CNN - by saying the Jackson family "kept [Michael's] private world private as best they could and now they would like to blame somebody else for things that only they knew privately". AEG bosses couldn't have known about the extent of Jackson's drug dependency, Putnam will argue, but the singer's family did, and yet did nothing about it.

Previewing testimonies still to come, Putnam yesterday promised to bring to the witness stand a line of doctors who provided treatment and medications to Jackson over the years. He is also likely to call various members of the Jackson family, including Katherine herself, the final witness called by the plaintiffs late last week. Katherine, of course, is the main litigant on the lawsuit against AEG.

Getting started yesterday, Putnam said that - while various emails have been presented in court showing that AEG executives were involved in discussions about Jackson's health during the 'This Is It' rehearsals, most initiated by concerns expressed by those actually involved in preparations for the show - these were not as significant as has been suggested; ie in the context of the wider busyness of a company like AEG, these emails do not mean that Jackson's health was at the top of any agenda in June 2009.

"They had little interaction with Michael Jackson in terms of the production and promotion", Putnam said of bosses at AEG, and so did not and could not have known about the dangerous treatments occurring at the singer's rented LA home.

The case continues. Testimonies are now expected to run into September.

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US singer-songwriter Aimee Mann is suing MediaNet, alleging that the digital content provider is distributing some music without having the proper licences in place.

MediaNet - once known as MusicNet - began life as a joint venture between EMI and the original BMG, during that short period in the very early days of digital when the big music companies hoped to control the distribution of digital music. Like that created by rivals Sony and Universal, Pressplay, the original MusicNet platform was God awful, and was kicked out of the game in 2003 by some new fangled thing called the iTunes Music Store.

But MusicNet reinvented itself, with some success, as a white-label provider of digital music services, powering the download and streaming platforms of other brands. And while its profile in the industry has waned somewhat in recent years, it still powers music services by some substantial brands including - according to its website - Yahoo, MTV and Microsoft's Zune.

MediaNet - as it became known when its ambitions moved beyond music - has deals in place with all the major record companies and a plethora of indies. Self-releasing artists can also upload their content to the MediaNet libraries via TuneCore. There have been some disputes on the publishing side, namely with the American music publishing sector's main 'mechanical rights' body the Harry Fox Agency, but that squabble was settled out of court.

Nevertheless, according to Mann, there is still music in the MediaNet system that is not fully licensed. Specifically, the lawsuit relates to an agreement she made directly with the digital company in 2003, which she says was terminated in 2006 by a legal notice, issued by her lawyers in line with the two parties' contract. Yet, Mann alleges, MediaNet continues to distribute her works, and is at the same time failing to pay any royalties.

Although the dispute really relates to that 2003 contract, Mann's lawyer is spinning the matter as being another example of the digital music industry screwing over artists, referencing the recent Spotify debate initiated by Nigel Godrich and Thom Yorke, and the ongoing Pandora-bashing that has been taking place in America (and Pink Floyd's op ed piece on that debate).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mann's lawyer Maryann Marzano said: "Not only does this case seek redress for Aimee Mann against one of the world's largest but least known providers of online music, it also serves as a call to other artists to follow the lead set by Radiohead and Pink Floyd to put an end to the unlicensed, uncompensated use of their music by online services".

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Google has seemingly added Grooveshark to its autocomplete blacklist, meaning that the search engine won't suggest to a user that they might be looking for pages on the controversial streaming website when searching for music content.

Blacklisting the names of piracy enablers in this way has been one of a number of initiatives lobbied for by the music and movie industries in recent years, who see companies like Google as having an important role to play in steering web-users away from unlicensed content.

Google, of course, has in the main been a reluctant partner in the anti-piracy domain, though has embraced some of the content industry's proposals, partly in response to pressure from the political community, partly to placate the labels and movie studios whose participation is required for the development of services like Google Play.

While the web giant has resisted calls to blacklist entire sites from its search engine (meaning that rights owners have to report every bit of copyright infringing content posted on or linked to by an infringing website), it has removed various domains that exist primarily to distribute unlicensed content from its autocorrect suggestions, so that Google will search for and find the site if asked to do so, but won't recommend it as the user types.

Google is vague about the criteria it uses for deciding what sites should go on the autocorrect blacklist. How many times legitimate takedown requests are submitted against a site is part of the consideration, but other matters are seemingly involved too. New sites are added to the blacklist every so often and, according to Torrentfreak, Grooveshark was actually added in late April, but Google doesn't announce these additions and people have only just noticed.

Grooveshark's inclusion is interesting, because most sites blacklisted are pretty clearly liable for copyright infringement, and some will have lost copyright actions in court. But Grooveshark maintains that it is protected from copyright claims by America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

And while the big music and movie companies argue that the streaming service - which allows users to upload any music content to its libraries, but only has licences from some indies - exploits the safe harbour clauses in the DMCA, if a straight forward infringement lawsuit went before a US court tomorrow there is a very high chance Grooveshark would win.

Which is why Universal Music et al have utilised technicalities in their litigation against the firm (by claiming their pre-1972 catalogues, protected by state rather than federal law, are not subject to the safe harbours, or that staff at the firm also infringed, the safe harbours only applying when users upload content without the rights owner's permission).

Though, of course, it's not the first time big web firms have been persuaded to downgrade Grooveshark based on concerns expressed by big copyright owners, with both Apple and Google's app stores refusing to approve the streaming company's smartphone tools.

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Spinal Tap's co-creator Christopher Guest, who played guitarist Nigel Tufnel in the not-real band's 1984 mock rock doc, 'This Is Spinal Tap', has said there's a chance ST may do "something" next year.

Interviewed by The Guardian about his new BBC show, 'Family Tree', Guest said, when asked if a Tap reunion was a possibility: "We get asked to do shows on a regular basis. But what I will say is that we're in the midst of talking about something for next year".

Guest and his bandmates Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, by the way, were last heard playing live at Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage in 2009.

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Sweary 'dankshall' (as they say in Sweden) star Elliphant, aka 2012 approvee Ellinor Olovsdotter, has signed a deal with Dr Luke's Sony imprint Kemosabe.

The label released Olovsdotter's new track 'Music Is Life', as features Jamaican reggae man Ras Fraser Jr, in America a few weeks back, which means a Sony label will now most likely release it in Britain later this year.

Either way, hear it here.

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Icona Pop, who look to have grown long hair overnight, have also 'grown' an LP, their first, in time to release it on 23 Sep. The imaginatively-titled 'This Is... Icona Pop' will carry the pair's #1 hit 'I Love It', and their new single, 'All Night'.

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Clock-watching garage clan So Solid Crew are going to release a single titled 'UK Hot Wid It' on 16 Sep.

Billed as the "real deal" and a "trademark blend of cutting edge R&B, rap, ragga and garage beats", Harvey, Romeo, Megaman, Lisa Mafia et al's first ensemble single since 2010's non-starter 'Since You Went Away', will feature on their new 'greatest hits' LP, which hits shops on 30 Sep.

Hear it via this illicit radio rip

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Electronica-pop artist Gang Colours, that's "lank-haired" (alleges Michael Cragg) singer/beat-maker Will Ozanne, has signalled the 16 Sep release of his new LP, 'Invisible City'.

'City' follows 2012's 'The Keychain Collection', and will be preceded by its title track, which will be available as a single on 2 Sep.

This is said title track

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Sacha Baron Cohen has quit the Freddie Mercury biopic he has been due to star in since 2011, according to Deadline. The website reports that Cohen wanted to make a gritty tell-all type of film, while the surviving members of Queen are pushing for a more family-friendly affair.

The comedian's manager confirmed to Variety that the reason for the split was "creative differences".

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Hey! Wanna see perform some of his infuriating pop hits? Well, you're in luck, the Black Eyed Pea will be over in the UK to do just that in December. Tickets for the shows will go on sale this Friday at 9am.

The dates are these dates:

3 Dec: Manchester Arena
4 Dec: Birmingham, LG Arena
5 Dec: London, O2 Arena

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Today's less-than-great festival news regards Solange, who has cancelled all her European festival sets this year, citing personal obligations, meaning she won't now appear as billed at Poland's Off, Norway's Oya, Denmark's Smukfest, Finland's Flow, Portugal's Sudoeste, Sweden's Way Out West and, finally, Belgium's Pukkelpop.

In a statement released via the latter's site, she said: "I am completely devastated to announce that I will be cancelling my international festival dates for the summer. I wish I could put in words how much of a difficult decision this was... but between moving part time to a new city, starting my son in a new school, and writing/recording my new record... I really had to make the best decision for my mental/physical health and provide some stability for my family".

With that, it's on to brighter revelations via ATP's Loop-curated End Of An Era finale, Italy's Club To Club, the aforementioned Pukkelpop, Ireland's Electric Picnic and a brand new Irish event by the makers of the usually America-based Best Fest. Dedicated to its titular star, Dylan Fest will feature The Strokes' Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr and Travis' Fran Healy, and will give all its proceeds to benefit musicians' healthcare charity Sweet Relief.

Info to follow...

ATP'S END OF AN ERA PART II, Pontins Holiday Centre, Camber Sands, 29 Nov - 1 Dec: Slint.

CLUB TO CLUB FESTIVAL, Torino, Italy, 7-10 Nov: Machine Drum, Diamond Version, Jon Hopkins, Todd Terje, Factory Floor, Koreless, Charli XCX, Holly Herndon, Dinos Chapman, James Holden, Lee Gamble.

DYLAN FEST, The Academy, Dublin, Ireland, 9 Aug: Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr, Fran Healy, Paul Noonan, Gemma Hayes, Cathy Davey, Boz Scaggs, Jape, Cast Of Cheers, Butch Walker, Gavin Friday, James Vincent McMorrow, Heathers, Danny Masterson, Jerry Fish, Ruby Amanfu, Johnny T.

ELECTRIC PICNIC, Stradbally Hall Estate, County Laois, Ireland, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: Kodaline, Two Door Cinema Club, Billy Bragg, The Duckworth Lewis Method, Young Wonder, Giorgio Moroder, Chris Cox, Cyril Hahn, Mo, Braids, Summer Camp, Indians, Sam Smith.

PUKKELPOP, Kempische Steenweg, Belgium, 15-17 Aug: Naughty Boy, Sylosis, Oathbreaker.

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Def Jam co-founder and hip hop's social conscience Russell Simmons is teaming up with film producer Brian Robbins and music business exec Steve Rifkind to launch a new company called All Def Music, which will look to build communities and businesses for artists around their YouTube channels.

The new venture combines more conventional artist management and record label businesses with the emerging markets for studios that sign up creative talent with an existing YouTube following, and help them grow their business interests by maximising revenue from the video website and looking for other content distribution and brand partnership opportunities.

A joint venture with Universal Music, the new company capitalises on Simmons' existing YouTube-focused business All Def Digital, and will also include a specific talent management wing called ADD Management.

Confirming the new company would sit within Universal Music's only slightly evil empire, the boss of the mega-major, Lucian Grainge, told reporters: "The exponential growth of internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the world's fastest growing media platform".

Meanwhile Simmons said: "This is the most exciting new terrain for me, to move talent across all media platforms and I couldn't have better partners in Brian and Steve, and the most innovative of music executives, Lucian Grainge".

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US record industry veteran Daniel Glass has confirmed that his company is opening a London office and that it will be run by Sam Rumney, previously producer of Zane Lowe's show on Radio 1.

Reports of Glassnote's plans for a London office, and Rumney's appointment, first circulated last month. Confirming that Rumney would become Glassnote Entertainment Group's Director Of UK & European Operations, Glass told reporters: "Opening our London office is a natural growth extension of our companies. Many of our artists live in the UK and Europe, and all of our artists love touring these markets".

On Rumney himself, he added: "Sam is the perfect fit with his excellent taste in music and experience in media and retail. We look forward to adding key players to our UK team soon".

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Universal Music yesterday appointed David Rowe to the job of GM A&R & Commerce within its UK catalogue division. Rowe previously ran catalogue campaigns for EMI.

Rowe will report into Universal Music Catalogue MD Karen Simmonds who told CMU: "David is a hugely experienced executive with a real love for music and artists, combined with enthusiasm, energy and focus. I am delighted he is joining the team at UMC".

Rowe himself added: "The Universal Music catalogue represents the largest collection of master recordings ever assembled by one company - the challenge is to take great care of that legacy yet while adopting new technologies. I am very much looking forward to being part of UMC's great team after ten fantastic years at EMI".

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Oh dear, Destiny's Child aren't having all that nice a time of it lately, the R&B trio's Kelly Rowland and Beyonce Knowles having faced (100% non-related) mini-disasters of a nautical/follicle variety, all in the past week.

First was Rowland, who had to be saved by the coastguard after her private boat got lost at sea. Apparently she was on a whale-watching trip off Provincetown, Massachusetts, and drove into unchartered waters after the boat's captain lost sight of the larger ship he was following.

Kelly and friends, who were towed back to shore after twelve hours adrift, were said to be "great", if slightly "shook up". You've think she would have learned her lesson after previous bad encounters with sealife. Happily, Rowland was saved in time to share her new solo vid, 'Dirty Laundry', which is watchable here.

In cleaner, drier and marginally less dramatic Destiny's Child news, Beyonce snagged her weave in a fan (that's machine, not man) whilst on stage in Canada on Monday night. Not that she really cared, or stopped singing 'Halo', because she is amazing.

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Status Quo's Francis Rossi is backing a campaign to save ice cream vans, which are apparently at risk of disappearing. According to The Sunday People, anyway. Apparently now there are only 5000 vans in the UK, down from 25,000 at their peak, and only 500 of those actually drive around and stop in different places. The humanity!

Anyway, Rossi, whose grandfather founded the Rossi's ice cream brand in 1932, said: "Ice cream vans were my family's livelihood and I grew up from the age of two and a half with them around. In the 60s and 70s the ice cream van was a massive part of British life - the van was almost like a place to socialise. It would be so sad if it was something that was consigned to yesteryear so I really hope people can come out, get out of their houses when they hear those chimes and buy some ice cream".

According to the campaign, a big part of the problem is that these days vans are only allowed to play their 'ice cream van' tunes for a few seconds at a time (this was recently raised to twelve seconds, up from four previously), so people don't realise that they're there. As a result, they're not bringing in the kind of money they used to, which might explain the existence of this and this.

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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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