28 AUG 2013

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We're currently putting the spotlight on the CMU Timelines, which track key developing stories in the music business. And today it's the Grooveshark timeline, which has just been added to with the announcement yesterday that the controversial streaming service has done a deal with Sony/ATV. Retrace the digital firm's various skirmishes with the music industry since EMI's first litigation back in 2009 here.
A year and a half after his last album 'Ravedeath, 1972', Tim Hecker is preparing to return with 'Virgins'. Released on 14 Oct, the album was recorded in Reykjavik, Montreal and Seattle in 2012, using live ensembles of woodwind, piano and synth players. Fans of Hecker will recognise his minimalist sound on 'Virginal II', the first track to be released from the new album. However, it also marks a development in many ways more>>

- Grooveshark announces deal with Sony/ATV
- Gatecrasher company restructures
- Madonna tops Forbes celebrity earnings list
- Judas Priest working on new album
- Arcade Fire admit Refkletor is them
- Danny Brown's Old given release date
- The Men releasing quiet campfire EP
- Haim name December dates
- King Krule adds October shows
- Twenty One Pilots map 2014 shows
- Kobalt promotes Metcalfe
- Book And Record Bar launching soon
- Former Ticketmaster boss joins Twitter
- Vevo launches on Apple TV
- Universal launches Electrospective Spotify app
- Timberlake sticks up for Cyrus
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Following its settlement with EMI Music Publishing earlier this month, controversial streaming service Grooveshark says it now has a deal in place with the EMI publishing business's sister company Sony/ATV.

As previously reported, although Grooveshark has always had a shaky relationship with the music industry, it did agree a deal with EMI pretty early on, which covered both the recording and music publishing catalogues of the then UK-based major. However, before the two sides of the EMI company were split up and sold off, that partnership collapsed, and new litigation between EMI and Grooveshark began.

But earlier this month the legal dispute between EMI Music Publishing and Grooveshark was settled, and a licensing deal agreed. The EMI publishing company, of course, is now controlled by Sony/ATV, which led a consortium of buyers to acquire the EMI songs business last year. And, it would seem, by settling its dispute with EMI Publishing, that has enabled Grooveshark to do a deal with Sony/ATV too.

Announcing the new arrangement, Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino told reporters: "We are excited to add Sony/ATV Music's impressive array of songwriters to our catalogue further advancing our mission to empower creators with the best audio platform in the world".

Grooveshark has long annoyed many in the industry by allowing users to upload music to its servers, meaning that it routinely makes available large numbers of tracks without the appropriate licences.

The Grooveshark company insists that it operates a takedown system in line with its obligations under US copyright law, and therefore is a legitimate business, though the major record companies - which are all currently suing the digital firm - say that the streaming set up is simply exploiting a loophole in American law.

Whether having a deal in place with the biggest music publisher in the world - ie the combined Sony/ATV and EMI Publishing - means Grooveshark could now finally do deals with the major record companies remains to be seen.

It's been assumed for sometime that Universal in particular would rather see Grooveshark go out of business, and is therefore possibly employing the LimeWire strategy: pursue long drawn out infringement litigation, refuse to negotiate, and wait.

The majors know that Grooveshark is operating in an increasingly competitive market place, and likely needs new and major investment to succeed, something it will be much harder to secure while big copyright litigation hangs over the business.

But time will tell.

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Clubbing business Gatecrasher has announced a restructure following a so called 'pre-pack administration', where a company's management agrees a way forward with an administrator and secured creditors before going into administration. The administrator then carries out the pre-agreed plan.

Under this arrangement, some of the UK club venues previously operated by the Gatecrasher business will be spun off into a separate company, with Gatecrasher itself focusing on its flagship venue in Birmingham, and major dance music events under the Gatecrasher banner in the UK and around the world. This includes a new event at Donington Park.

Confirming the restructure, Gatecrasher chief Simon Raine told CMU: "Substantial external equity funding is in place to allow the immediate progression of Gatecrasher's expansion plans. Critically we have a new direction and will return to producing the global events and festivals that originally made the brand a worldwide clubbing phenomenon".

He added: "Gatecrasher will return to its roots and do what we do best! We will go back to staging the highest quality production led events across the globe featuring the biggest DJs and acts. Gatecrasher events have always been renowned for the best and most awe-inspiring production. Today far more technology exists and what you can achieve on an audio-visual scale is limitless!"

And concluded: "Our challenge is return to hosting the best EDM events in the world with the most spectacular production and the biggest artists. Donington is our next big event. We are talking to promoters and event organisers in all territories with more events to be announced soon".

Gatecrasher's financiers have bought the existing company's entire Barclays Bank debt and converted that into equity in the revamped business, meaning the firm will move forward debt free.

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Madonna was the highest-earning celebrity in the last year according to Forbes. The US magazine reckons that the queen of pop raked in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013 on the back of her world tour, merchandise, fashion line and other business interests.

Madge out-performs Steven Spielberg, who comes in second place having generated an estimated $100 million in the last year. Meanwhile Simon Cowell, Howard Stern and '50 Shades Of Grey' author EL James tie for third place in the Forbes poll, with estimated earnings of $95 million each.

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Judas Priest have finished writing a new album, their first since 2008's 'Nostradamus', and their seventeenth overall. Now they just need to finish recording it and it'll be ready for you to listen to. Contain your excitement for the moment, please.

Frontman Rob Halford, who is producing the record, told Billboard: "The writing process is complete. Now it's the painstaking work of making sure that you get every single note, every single nuance of the vocal, every tiny aspect... right. We're still tracking [at the moment]. It's just a very laborious but enjoyable part of making the record".

He added: "It's heavy. It's something we think our Priest fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about Judas Priest - I don't think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered".

Blimey, I had no idea labels were getting quite so tough on leaks these days.

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Arcade Fire have confirmed that the cryptic 'Reflektor' graffiti that's been appearing, as if by magic, in various international cities, is (as suspected) to do with them. Whatever 'Refletkor' is, it will, says this giant banner pasted on a building in NYC, make itself clear on 9 Sep.

The band's new LP, meanwhile, is to be released on 28 Oct.

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Having 'done an MIA' several weeks back and threatened to leak it, Danny Brown's first post-'XXX' LP 'Old' has since gained a release date, and that date is 30 Sep in the USA, and, as per international practice, 29 Sep everywhere else.

Whilst its final tracklisting is still TBA, it will, Brown has hinted, feature collaborations with Purity Ring, Schoolboy Q, Rustie, Charli XCX and Darq E Freaker.

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An increasingly gentlemanly The Men will release an EP of 'Campfire Songs', named exactly that, which they taped 'al fresco' whilst making this year's 'New Moon' LP.

Carrying alternate takes on 'New Moon' tracks 'I Saw Her Face' and 'The Seeds', past B-side 'Water Babies' and a pair of brand new titles, 'Patience' and 'Turn Your Color', it's released 14 Oct on twelve-inch vinyl via Sacred Bones.

Hear 'The Seeds' made new here.

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The sisters Haim have named several dates on which they'll play live this winter. Taking place in December, the British finale to what's actually a larger European tour looks as follows:

4 Dec: Norwich, UEA
5 Dec: Birmingham, Institute
6 Dec: Leeds, Metropolitan University
8 Dec: Manchester, The Ritz,
9 Dec: London, The Forum
12 Dec: Glasgow, ABC
13 Dec: Dublin, Academy

And wait, who's this? Oh, it's only Haim again, giving off max sass in the promo for their new track 'The Wire', part of the band's new LP 'Days Are Gone', which arrives 20 Sep.

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King Krule is off on a royal tour again later in the year, and will headline five dates in October. He'll present his princely new LP, 'Six Feet Beneath The Moon', as listed:

3 Oct: Sheffield, Harley
4 Oct: Glasgow, Broadcast
5 Oct: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
7 Oct: Brighton, The Haunt
8 Oct: London, Netil House

And finally, since it's relevant listening, this is 'Six Feet' highlight 'Neptune Estate'.

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Fueled By Ramen's Twenty One Pilots are taking flight on a nine-show live initiative in Feb 2014. Representing their first ever headline visit to Britain, it'll happen like this:

17 Feb: Brighton, The Haunt
18 Feb: Oxford, Academy 2
19 Feb: Birmingham, Library
21 Feb: Manchester, Academy 3
22 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit
23 Feb: Glasgow, King Tut's
25 Feb: Bristol, Thekla
26 Feb: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
27 Feb: London, Heaven

Given that's still a while off, fans can at least cotton on to the band's 2 Sep-dated new single 'House Of Gold', now.

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Kobalt has announced the promotion of its LA-based Exec VP Creative Sas Metcalfe to the new position of President Global Creative.

Confirming the promotion, Kobalt Music Group CEO Willard Ahdritz told CMU: "We are pleased to promote Sas to this newly created position, which is a result of not only her hard work but also the continuing growth of the company's expansive and important global roster. One of my biggest pleasures at Kobalt is to promote great people and promoting Sas, my first employee in 2001, is outstanding".

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The Book And Record Bar, a shop/cafe specialising in the simultaneous retail of vinyl, literature and beverages, is to celebrate its first day's service this Saturday (31 Aug).

Based in West Norwood, London, the shop has obtained a liquor license for the occasion, and will host live acts like Metamono (and others TBA), who'll play live in store.

Info via

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Following his sudden departure from Ticketmaster earlier this month, Nathan Hubbard has already popped up in an exciting new role.

According to Bloomberg, he has been hired as Head Of Commerce by Twitter. In a new role for the social media firm, he'll be tasked will pursuing e-commerce opportunities for the micro-blogging platform, which is hoping that selling stuff via tweets might be a possible additional revenue stream to advertising.

As previously reported, Hubbard's exit from Live Nation, where he was global President of the live giant's ticketing business, came somewhat out of the blue. Ironically, given Hubbard's new role, rumour had it that Live Nation chiefs felt they needed someone more tech savvy to run what has become very much a data business. That said, others have suggested disagreements between Hubbard and Live Nation boss Michael Rapino may have motivated his departure.

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As expected, Vevo has launched on Apple TV, meaning anyone with one of those little black boxes can watch HD music videos to their heart's content right there on their telly. How nice. And even if you don't want to, it's being automatically added as a channel whether you like it or not. So there.

Currently the Vevo channel is live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and Poland.

As previously reported, Vevo is expected to be added to Samsung net-connected TVs in the coming weeks too, as the service attempts to break its reliance on YouTube for the bulk of its traffic.

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Electrospective, the website tracking the history of electronic music, originally set up by EMI and now part of Universal Music, is launching a spin off Spotify app, in a bid to drive streams of Universal/EMI owned electronic music, as well as downloads.

The app will offer curated and artist-focused playlists, and timely content, such as the set list of The Human League's recent shows at Kew Gardens. As with the Electrospective website, there'll also be a chronological aspect, allowing people to browse the history of electronic music, focusing in on specific decades or sub-genres.

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Don't worry Miley, JT's got your back.

Asked about all the hoo and the haa that has been hooing and haaing about Miley Cyrus's raunchy routine at last weekend's VMAs, which has somewhat overshadowed his hits set and *Nsync reunion at the same event, Justin Timberlake told AMP Radio: "I'll go easy on Miley, man. She's declaring her womanhood. Let her do her thing, man..."

He added: "I don't have anything to say about that, but she got y'all's attention! This was not the Grammys, this was not the Oscars, this was the VMAs. This was where Madonna came out in a wedding dress and humped the stage. This is where Britney did the striptease. This is where you do it. What did you guys expect?!"

So take note people, JT's spoken and this topic is now closed. Go back to discussing important world affairs instead, like One Direction's new perfume, Michael Buble's new baby, and, erm, the latest developments in the 'Great British Bake Off'.

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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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