29 JUL 2013

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Hey everyone, the Edinburgh Festival starts this week, which is exciting. It's the biggest cultural festival in the entire world, don't you know? As ever, CMU's sister magazine ThreeWeeks will be there covering it all in print and online, more on which below. As for CMU, this week we'll have an interview with Raffertie and a playlist from Alela Diane to coincide with their new album releases.
First played by Micachu via her approved DJ mix at the Boiler Room, Tirza - which, aptly, means 'she is my delight' in Hebrew - is to release a slight variation on her hit 'I'm Not Dancing' in a few weeks. A co-mix with Micachu, Tirza's main aide since 2005's 'Go', 'Dancing' is an advance on that same grade of clingy garage minimalism, with bin-lid beats and a wavy bassline to sweeten the deal more>>

- Cameron's porn filters could also target copyright infringement
- JJ Cale dies
- Gallagher reps seek confidentiality agreement before continuing with child support case
- Frank Ocean damages vocal cord, cancels Australian dates
- Latest NOW! record shifts 317,000 units in one week
- Debbie Harry might retire Blondie, says drummer
- Jedward separate
- Beta Band to release six disc career compilation
- Chas & Dave detail new LP, Jools Holland and Hugh Laurie to guest
- Strangers launch free download series
- Vivendi sells most of its Activision stake
- Student marketing firm to put bands into uni coffee shops
- Westwood to leave BBC Radio 1 in schedule shake up
- OfCom says radio sector showing "enduring strength" despite new competitors
- Perry reckons acting is hard
The Secretly Label Group is looking to hire a junior press officer to manage online, print press and general public relations for select artists on the roster of the in-house labels Dead Oceans / Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
TeamRock are looking for a Deputy Art Editor for Classic Rock magazine. You will be an experienced commercial designer whose current role will include cover design, page concepts and layout, and ideally some experience of digital publishing. You will excel in making old stuff look really vital and exciting and feel comfortable commissioning and directing photographers, even if you secretly think they are a bunch of prima donnas and perverts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
London based independent record company seeks Product Manager to join our existing marketing team. Candidates will report to a Head of Marketing and be responsible for the day to day running of artist campaigns. Hard working, enthusiastic and a genuine passion for music a must. Previous experience as a Product Manager at a record label required.

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

Events, news stories, new releases and gigs happening this week...

ThreeWeeks at the Edinburgh Festival. The Edinburgh Festival begins this week. Wednesday, in fact. As ever, CMU's sister title ThreeWeeks will be there - in print and online - to observe, digest and review it all (well, most of it - 1600 shows in all were covered last year). The preview edition is online for you to read now. Edinburgh-residents could be getting a copy through their letterbox this week, or can pick up copies from most festival venues from Wednesday. Hurrah!

Andy Malt on 'It's Amazing'. CMU Editor Andy Malt will appear on Amazing Radio's 'It's Amazing!' this weekend with presenter Jon Hillcock, to mercilessly critique a selection of new music. Tune in at midday on Saturday.

Camp Bestival. Are you ready to get family-friendly? Well, you'd better be if you're planning to head down to Camp Bestival this weekend. There'll be the usual mix of music, comedy, theatre and other attractions for adults and kids alike. I don't have kids, but apparently Mr Tumble is always a big draw, so you'll be pleased to know he's back again this year.

The Sun launches paywall. The Sun is due to add a paywall to its website on Thursday, just at the crack of August. Access to the tabloid's site will be £2 per week. Incentives that, publisher News UK hopes, will persuade subscribers to pay up will include "exclusive offers and promotions" and, perhaps more importantly, Premier League football highlights, which the tabloid secured exclusive online rights to in a deal back in January.

David Jacobs leaves Radio 2. Veteran radio DJ David Jacobs will step down from his weekly Radio 2 show this week. The presenter, who has hosted 'The David Jacobs Collection' for the BBC station since 1998, is departing for health reasons, though says he will return for occasional special programmes. His final show will air on 4 Aug.

New releases. It's a bit of a quiet release week, but it's quality not quantity that counts, right? Well good, because AlunaGeorge's incredibly long-awaited debut album is finally out, and it is very good. 'Nouveau grunge' types Swim Deep also have their debut out, Luke Haines is back with a new record featuring narration from comedian Julia Davies, and The Crimea are back with an album to mark their imminent demise. If you like looking at moving pictures, Robbie Williams is releasing a tenth anniversary edition of his live at Knebworth DVD. Or if you struggle with your attention span, Sampha has an EP out (people with longer attention spans may also like to check this out).

Gigs and tours. Ludovico Einaudi will be playing two nights at The Barbican in London and Shit And Shine will play a trio of shows around the country. Meanwhile, back in London, Mutya Keisha Siobhan will play their first ever live show (as Mutya Keisha Siobhan), and The Crimea will play their last ever show before splitting up (told you it was imminent).

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After last week's announcement by David Cameron that UK internet service providers will be forced to install web-filters that are activated by default to help parents stop their children from accessing adult content on the net, speculation has begun that the same auto-filters will block copyright infringing websites too.

Although the specifics of how Cameron's anti-porn programme will work are currently sketchy, and may well vary somewhat between ISP and ISP, it is thought that the filtering system will cover various bases, and that customers will have some flexibility to turn on and off different elements (though under the government's proposals, by default all will be on).

Torrentfreak notes that TalkTalk's existing filtering system - commended by Cameron - has 'file-sharing' sites as one of its options, while net sector sources have indicated to the Open Rights Group that proxies designed to help web-users circumvent court-ordered web-blocks might be included on the filtering list.

Many of the copyright industries' lobbyists will probably welcome such a move - and, indeed, may have been pushing for it behind the scenes. Though in PR terms, the copyright sector might be better off divorcing itself from an initiative that is pretty controversial. While most would agree that protecting young web-users from being exposed to violent or explicit material is an admirable ambition, Team Cameron's faith in filter technology seems at best naïve.

Manually managing a filtering system - so to block offending websites one-by-one - would be hugely labour intensive, making automatic filtering based on key terms or content types attractive, though even the most sophisticated technology of that type is flawed. Many noted that such filtering systems - operated voluntarily on some networks already - were last week filtering out news coverage of Cameron's porn proposals because of some of the words used in such reports.

Although, of course, users will be able to turn off all filters operated by the ISPs, people are still talking about Cameron's proposals as a form of censorship - because people may, through ignorance or social pressure (ie people might not want to be seen to be 'opting in' to porn), lose access to a plethora of sites. Which would mean that, if copyright was involved, the whole thing would further the usually flawed but nevertheless attractive 'copyright as censorship' argument.

It will be interesting to see how these filters turn out, and what manoeuvres the copyright industries will make as Cameron's plans are being honed.

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Grammy-winning singer songwriter JJ Cale has died, aged 74, in a hospital in the La Jolla neighbourhood of San Diego. According to the musician's website, he died on Friday night after suffering a heart attack.

One of the architects of the so called Tulsa Sound, Cale's influence arguably went someway behind his own fame as a performer, with the likes of Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and Bryan Ferry all citing his influence on their work.

He will probably be best remembered for his collaborations with Eric Clapton. Cale wrote both 'After Midnight' and 'Cocaine', and in 2006 released an album with Clapton, 'The Road To Escondido', which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album the following year.

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A legal rep for Liam Gallagher last week reportedly attended the Manhattan Family Court seeking a confidentiality agreement from the woman who allegedly gave birth to the Beady Eye man's third child seven months ago.

As previously reported, the New York Post claimed earlier this month that a child support case in the Manhattan courts related to the daughter of Gallagher and US celebrity writer Liza Ghorbani, who the married musician seemingly had a fling with last year.

Gallagher's people have yet to comment on the allegations, also picked up by the British tabloids, but said that the singer's lawyers were considering legal action against the New York newspaper over its reports.

Nevertheless, the Post continues to report on the story, and claims that last week Gallagher sent high profile legal man Raoul Felder to seek Ghorbani's signature on a confidentiality agreement, insisting the rocker would not discuss his financial affairs until said agreement had been signed.

Ghorbani's lawyers apparently told the judge hearing the case that their client would have willingly signed such an agreement before the case got to court had she been asked to do so.

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Frank Ocean has torn one of his vocal cords, forcing him to call off the last part of his Australian tour.

Validating that last week, promoter Live Nation said: "Frank Ocean's remaining Australian dates will not go ahead due to illness. After last night's concert in Melbourne at Festival Hall, it was necessary to seek medical advice due to vocal issues Frank Ocean experienced during the show.

"It has subsequently been confirmed that Frank has suffered a small tear to one of his vocal cords and has received medical advice that he must rest his voice. This makes the completion of his remaining Australian dates impossible".

Apparently, Ocean hasn't the time to reset the cancelled dates, so that's a pity.

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So, if you've been busy writing off the compilations market - which has certainly slumped in recent years - you might need have to reclassify the NOW! franchise.

Neatly helping Sony to justify splashing out on buying EMI's half of the NOW That's What I Call Music! business back in February, the latest edition of the pop compo - now a joint venture between Sony and Universal - has sold 317,000 units in its first week.

Although large first-week NOW! sales - certainly when compared to the average featured artist album - are not that unusual, this is the first summer edition of the compilation series to surpass 300,000 copies sold in one week since 2008. And it was speculated last week that NOW! would outsell the artist album Top 100 in its entirety.

Commenting on the big sales of the latest NOW! record, Steve Pritchard, Joint MD of the franchise, told CMU: "This is the most fantastic start to the next new era of NOW, with both Universal Music and Sony Music delighted with this result. The NOW brand continues to power forward and continues to resonate massively with consumers".

He added: "There are many exciting things happening around the brand, such as the recent success of our NOW Running App, and we're looking forward to the next few months, with many interesting new tech developments to come and a great autumn schedule".

Needless to say, the latest NOW! topped the compilations chart yesterday. Meanwhile in the singles chart One Direction's 'Best Song Ever' failed to knock Avicii off the number one spot. Which surely obligates them to change the track's title to 'Second Best Song Ever'?

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Blondie drummer Clem Burke has told the Daily Mail that Debbie Harry is thinking about retiring from the band after four decades.

The Mail quote 57 year old Burke as follows: "Debbie is eleven years older than the rest of us, so it's on her mind. We've tried to keep it going for as long as possible, but it's not just up to me. Nothing is finalised yet, but obviously there's no Blondie without Debbie Harry".

A spokesman for Harry said that while the band are currently on a break, scheduled tour dates for later this year are on, and nothing has been confirmed one way or another beyond that.

The band have a new album in the bag that is expected to be released around the planned September and October US tour dates. Whether it is, indeed, the finale album, remains to be seen.

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Well, this is silly. Spiny-haired 'X-Factor' pests Jedward have decided to reinvent themselves, needlessly, as John And Edward. Apparently it's all part of a "metamorphosis" planned by the boys' management to have them taken as artistes in earnest.

John, it says in this article J&E retweeted last week, will even be seen "strumming a guitar", as the pair ditch their 'Ghostbusters'-style antics to instead play sedate Ed Sheeran and Westlife ballads.

See? Silly.

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Steve Mason et al's The Beta Band are to release a six disc compilation of the three EPs, three LPs, many singles and various rarities they made pre their split in 2004.

'The Regal Years (1997-2004)', as it's titled, will also feature live material dating back to BBC radio sessions, 2002's Roskilde festival and the band's final show at Shepherd's Bush Empire; and written sidebars by bassist Richard Greentree.

It's all set to be released on 7 Oct via Parlophone.

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Chas & Dave are back (that 2009 retirement didn't come to much) in time to celebrate their 50th year in the biz. Having camped for a week at Abbey Road Studios with Grammy-winning blues great Joe Henry in charge, the pair will now release a new record called 'That's What Happens' via a brand new deal with Warner Music.

A combination of original tracks and C&D's takes on early R&B, skiffle and rock n roll classics, it features Jools Holland and Hugh Laurie on 'keys', Buddy Holly's one-time drummer J I Allison, and guitarists Albert Lee and Martin Taylor.

Chime Chas And Dave: "This is one of the most enjoyable albums we've ever done. It was a great week in Abbey Road with top class musicians and producer Joe Henry at the helm. An unregimented atmosphere where the 'room' worked well alongside the microphone resulting in an album that ran so smooth and joyful that we've almost forgotten we did it. But we've got proof! It will be available for you all to enjoy really soon".

'That's What Happens' is released 28 Oct.

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Strangers have announced that they will be releasing a new track as a free download every month up to December. The latest, a track called 'Sense Of Liberty', being available via their website now.

Frontman David Maddox Jones told CMU: "We have been in the studio writing a lot, and thought why not give some of the tracks away for free, let people hear the music, and build our fanbase at the same time. Every time we release a new song we always reach new people. We have fans all over the world now which is really exciting".

He continued: "'Sense Of Liberty' and is about how we go through life chasing the next thrill, the things that keep us feeling alive, whether it be chasing your dream or living for the weekend".

The next free track, 'No Longer Lost', will go live on Thursday. The band will also headline Club NME at Koko in London on 1 Aug.

Stream 'Sense Of Liberty' here.

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Despite saying of late that its focus is on the entertainment side of its business, with plans to sell or spin off its flagging telecoms companies, Universal Music parent Vivendi has sold most of its majority stake in gaming giant Activision Blizzard, raising $8.2 billion in the process.

Vivendi took a majority stake in Activision in 2008, merging its existing gaming interests, mainly Blizzard Entertainment, with the company. Although it sold a very small slice of its Activision stock in 2011, it still owned just over 60% of the shares. Following the new deal announced on Friday Vivendi will become a minority shareholder with a 12% stake.

The nearly 50% of the company Vivendi has sold has been bought by Activision itself, and a consortium of individuals led by the gaming company's CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-chairman Brian Kelly. For Vivendi the deal will provide a substantial cash boost that will help overcome balance sheet issues.

The deal will likely lead to new speculation that Vivendi may also look to sell Universal Music, even though doing so would be in conflict with recent statements from the French firm's top guard. As previously reported, Japanese telecoms group SoftBank recently reportedly offered $8.5 billion for the Universal music company.

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Student marketing company Nice Curve has teamed up with Radio 1's Huw Stephens to launch a new music venture in the university market this autumn called Coffee House Sessions. Basically a series of daytime acoustic gigs from up coming music acts will be staged in a network of forty on-campus coffee shops.

Confirming his involvement as music consultant, Stephens told CMU: "I believe Coffee House Sessions is a great idea that is going to excite a lot of music fans and artists alike. Playing to music fans, hungry to discover something new, on a dedicated touring route with professionalism and expertise in a musical environment is going to make sure the Coffee House Sessions will be a very exciting project".

According to Nice Curve director Guy Robinson, who also leads the Coalition Talent agency, the new venture is designed to capitalise on the growing café culture found in some universities, which is complementing and competing with the more stereotypical boozy student union club and gig nights of old.

Says Robinson: "There's been a huge lifestyle shift amongst students. Consuming food and coffee in the daytime has become more popular than frequenting students' union bars in the evening. This has been a contributing factor to the continual decline of new live music in alcohol-lead venues".

He added: "Each University we are doing this in not only has successful daytime trade in venues that suit acoustic performances, but also have active student media, from TV and radio to social media, who will proactively support the touring artists. Students are such a receptive demographic, consistently identified by brands as key tastemakers who can make or break products, and therefore this offers artists a new and exciting platform to help build their profile".

Info about the initiative will be posted online at

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The BBC has announced a shake up of the Saturday night simulcast schedule on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, which will see MistaJam, Charlie Sloth and DJ Target get new shows, and Tim Westwood get none, meaning his reign on Radio 1 will come to an end after 20 years.

From 21 Sep, Radio 1 and 1Xtra will jointly broadcast three new shows on Saturday nights, with MistaJam taking over the 7pm slot, Charlie Sloth taking on Westwood's 9pm show, and DJ Target appearing from 11pm. New signing Clara Amfo will present 1Xtra's Weekend Breakfast show.

Of his new show, Sloth said: "Words can't describe how happy I am, it's like a dream come true for me and something that I've worked towards my whole career, especially to be succeeding a legend like Tim Westwood who has done so much for the game. I know they are big shoes to fill, but luckily, man's got fat feet".

Speaking about Westwood, who joined Radio 1 in 1994, Radio 1 and 1Xtra Controller Ben Cooper said: "I'd like to thank Tim for the last 20 years on Radio 1 - his passion for hip hop is legendary - I wish him all the very best".

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A report by media regulator OfCom reckons that radio is showing "enduring strength" in an ever more competitive world where online audio and music services, and rolling news TV stations, increasingly compete for the medium's audience.

According to two surveys, OfCom reports that radio still rates highly amongst the population, who see it as an "accessible" and "dependable" medium that delivers "timely information and stimulating content".

BBC radio was particularly noted for being a strong source of news and information, especially on the corporation's local stations, whereas commercial outlets were more commonly noted for their music provision. Presenters with local knowledge were seen as a positive thing by respondents across the board, even though some commercial networks are offering less of this.

Despite the positives, the report notes that radio faces a number of new competitors, in both the music and news provision domain. And, of course, the internet is only just reaching the car, kitchen and bathroom, where a lot of radio listening takes place, so that new competition is likely to get stronger in the coming years.

The new reports are online here.

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Katy Perry says she reckons a career in acting is harder than a career in music, though mainly because of the early mornings. The songstress is now an expert on the acting profession, of course, having voiced a Smurf.

Perry was asked about popstars becoming actors by Radar magazine. She mused: "It's definitely a lot of effort to be an actor, and it's not something just anyone can roll into. I think you get a lot of people thinking 'if I can act, I can sing, if I can sing, I can act', and it's just not true".

As for whether her Smurfing role meant Perry now had plans to become an actor herself, she went on: "I think I would have to train hard for it if I was going to take a job that works sixteen hours a day, five days a week, and you have to love it. I have a lot of friends who are actors and I see how hard they work. I think that it's actually harder and it takes more time than a music career. You wake up at 4am or 5am. That's commitment".

Concluding that music remains her real passion, Perry did add that if the film industry would just get rid of those early starts acting might seem more attractive: "If the movie would start filming at 11am then I would do it".

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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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