5 SEP 2013

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Next Wednesday at about half five there'll be that annual gathering of music and media types where everyone lines up to hear a list read out. A very short list of records. That is to say, the Mercury Prize shortlist. At 5.33pm everyone will then start complaining. That's the tradition. As is also tradition, for some reason, I've put together a list of 20 acts I think stand a chance of being the subject of all that complaining more>>
Italian jazz duo Satelliti released their debut album, 'Im Magen Des Kosmos', in 2011. Due to release the follow-up, 'Transister', on 28 Oct, they create hypnotic tracks, which borrow from genres like krautrock and techno, looping patterns and drawing you into deep, dark tunnels of sound. They can be found at their heaviest on the single 'Young Wolf', six minutes of hard drumming, monotonic bass lines and freeflowing melody more>>

- Azoff launches new business with MSG Entertainment
- MOBO nominations announced
- The xx will start LP #3 in 2014
- The Killers aiming to take #ShotAtTheNight
- Cliff Richard details centenary LP
- Kele Okereke makes Bloc Party tapes mix
- Wooden Shjips to tour new LP
- Esben And The Witch playing dates with Teeth Of The Sea, Thought Forms
- FAC Co-CEO Crispin Hunt addresses BPI AGM
- Southern Lord opens new European distribution office
- Dotcom steps down as Mega director
- Torrent usages still going up in US, despite six-strikes system
- Neil Young's PONO set for 2014 launch
- RadioCentre boss steps down
- Fiona Apple didn't storm off in Tokyo, OK?
We are recruiting for a two year fixed term contract to manage and implement a major licence simplification programme which will in turn lead to increased revenue, simplified ways of working, and transparency for licensees and reduced costs. This is a pivotal role within our Public Performance Sales (PPS) business unit and the role holder will play a large role in contributing towards our five-year plan.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Cooking Vinyl is expanding its team and is looking for a passionate music lover with at least three years previous experience of planning and managing high profile artist campaigns. You must be up to date with the current digital landscape and have a sound and current knowledge of media, marketing and retail.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Full Time Hobby is a London-based independent music company looking for a project manager to work directly on our Full Time Hobby label releases. The ideal candidate should be passionate about music, very organised and ideally have some experience of working as a project manager within a record label, though experience within other areas of the music industry will be considered.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Eight week evening course with music journalist Lulu Le Vay (Guardian, Independent, Observer, i-D, Sleaze Nation, The Face, DJ magazine), and Matthew Bennett, Deputy Editor of Clash Magazine. Learn how to source hot music stories, network with industry insiders, interview artists, write reviews and features, and deliver copy under pressure. You will also get to pitch your interview and feature ideas to editors at our partner publications: Clash Magazine, Dummy, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Music PR agency is looking for a sharp Online PR Account Manager who loves the web and takes pride in doing a superstar job. You will require significant music online experience, with a proven track record of working across artist PR, events and social media campaigns. You must also have excellent writing ability, coupled with a passion for music and youth culture.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Listen Up is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic press intern to assist our press department across their print and online campaigns. If you are a budding publicist looking to get your first foot in the door then this could be the opportunity for you.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
These five courses each work as stand-alones, but also join together to provide a complete overview of the music business in 2013 over five Wednesday afternoons. Each session costs £99, or you can attend all five courses for £399.

For more information and how to apply click here.
EMMS Publicity is looking for an experienced Music PR Freelancer, 2-3 days a week. You should have a proven track record of successfully launching new artists as well as managing high profile campaigns. The ideal candidate will have an exceptional writing ability and a great industry contact base. You'll be required to assist on existing accounts with equal focus on both digital and print media.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA & Company are looking for someone with a passion for e-marketing and database management. You will be creating and managing all of MAMA's email marketing campaigns to promote artists, gigs and tours through new announcements, pre-sales and event listings based on the requirements of Marketing department.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Never Say Die are a forward thinking electronic bass music company based in London. We are looking for a Label Manager to manage our two labels and oversee the day-to-day running of our multifaceted business. As opportunities arise for growth so do the opportunities for the role of Label Manager as we expand our PR and Management divisions.

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

Having departed his job atop Live Nation in the final hours of 2012, Irving Azoff has finally got round to announcing his next big venture. He has teamed up with The Madison Square Garden Company, led by his long-term friend and ally James L Dolan, to launch Azoff MSG Entertainment, a new business that will include artist management, TV production, live event branding and digital marketing divisions.

According to Billboard, under the partnership Azoff will bring to the table the management business he took with him from Live Nation, plus various other in-development ventures. MSG Co will pump $125 million into the new company as well as providing credit facilities, taking a 50% stake in return. Under the alliance Azoff will provide consultancy to the wider MSG Co group, and MSG Co bosses will provide advice to the new firm.

While MSG Co is a publicly listed company, the new business will be a private firm in which it simply has a 50% shareholding. Azoff made no secret of his frustration with co-running the publicly listed Live Nation, and having to constantly placate tetchy Wall Street types, especially during that year the American live sector had a bit of a wobble.

Confirming the new partnership, Dolan told Billboard: "We see it, from MSG's point of view, as a venture capital play, not run by us, but taking advantage of our position and of all our venues and combining it with the great artists managed by Azoff Music".

He went on: "It's all Irving, and what I like about it is that it doesn't go through the public company process. Irving is the first and last call with the decisions at this company. He will be able to move quickly, he doesn't have boards to answer to on this. It's just going to be him, and I have great faith in him, as does everybody here at MSG, that he's going to produce a lot of winners for us in this partnership".

Azoff added: "These days, to make an impact you need clout and financing and brains, and we think we have all three of those. Basically it's putting out a sign that says, 'come see us if you've got a great idea, because we have the management ability and financing ability and we're looking for great new businesses'".

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The nominations for this year's MOBO Awards were announced on Tuesday evening, ahead of the ceremony in Glasgow on 19 Oct.

Check out the full list here:

Best Song: Disclosure feat Aluna George - White Noise, Naughty Boy feat Sam Smith - La La La, Rudimental - Waiting All Night, Wiley feat Chip - Reloaded, Wretch 32 feat Shakka - Black Out.

Best Album: Angel - About Time, Disclosure - Settle, Laura Mvula - Sing To The Moon, Rudimental - Home, Wiley - Ascent.

Best Video: Aluna George - Attracting Flies, Dizzee Rascal - Bassline Junkie, Fuse ODG feat Wyclef - Antenna, Laura Mvula - Green Garden, Naughty Boy feat Sam Smith - La La La, Rizzle Kicks - Lost Generation.

Best Male Act: Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Rudimental, Wiley, Wretch 32.

Best Female Act: Jessie J, Jessie Ware, Laura Mvula, Lianna La Havas, Rita Ora.

Best Newcomer: Daley, Elli Ingram, Etta Bond, Fuse ODG, Jacob Banks, Jahmene Douglas, Krept and Konan, Sam Smith, Shakka, Stylo G.

Best International Act: Ciara, Iggy Azalea, J Cole, Jason Derulo, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, Robin Thicke.

Best UK Hip Hop/Grime: Akala, K Koke, Tinie Tempah, Wiley, Wretch 32.

Best R&B/Soul Act: Angel, Daley, Jessie Ware, Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas.

Best Jazz Act: Sons Of Kemet, Courtney Pine, Soweto Kinch, Jazz Jamaica, Lineage.

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Chatty trio The xx say they have already started making a new LP, and will apply themselves to it earnest in the New Year.

Speaking via Swedish festival site Festivalrykten, the band's Jamie Smith revealed they already have several track ideas in place, adding: "After finishing this tour, we will be doing some separate things, I'll produce and DJ, but we will get back together after New Year's to start recording our third album".

Meanwhile, chatting away via a separate NME interview at the AIM Awards earlier this week, xx singer Romy Madley Croft was heard to say: "We're definitely feeling inspired and ready to go. We played a lot of big stages on tour in the past year, and that's something I'm sure will come through in the next album. We've all lived a lot of life recently, which the new songs will reflect".

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Shock horror my oh my; The Killers have a 'big', unidentified thing in store for 16 Sep, a date that the band say is exactly ten years since their first London show.

The thing, be it info on a new single, shows, that M83 collaboration, or possibly the LP Flowers and co might (or might not) be working on, will have to do with the tag #ShotAtTheNight.

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On 11 Nov, Cliff Richard is going to release an LP of golden boogie-woogie oldies titled 'The Fabulous Rock N Roll Songbook', and nobody can do a thing about it. A tribute to his idols built of Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly covers, it's Cliff's hundredth full-length player since his 1959 debut 'Cliff'.

Cliff eulogises it thus: "As with all great art forms rock n roll did not stand still and there have been some phenomenal changes, bringing it to where we are now. All I know is that 'in the beginning' what kicked the whole thing off was 'The Fabulous Rock And Roll Song Book'. That whole period was new and unbelievably exciting, and to think that I was there!"

To think. Cliff's beginnings duly thunk, kindly think on this tracklisting a while:

Rip It Up
Wake Up Little Susie
Poetry In Motion
Sealed With a Kiss
Stood Up
Such a Night
School Days
Teddy Bear & Too Much (medley)
Don't Let Go
Dream Lover
Stuck on You
Rave On
Johnny B. Goode
One More Sunny Day

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Bloc Party will, in a manner of speaking, break their very indefinite 'indefinite hiatus' via a new mix LP.

Carrying fifteen tracks compiled by Kele Okereke to signal his and BP's dance-based origins, inspirations and admired acts, it's the new instalment in !K7's 'Tapes' series. And whilst it isn't technically a 'real' Bloc Party release, it does feature Okereke's mix of the band's track 'Obscene', part of their EP 'The Nextwave Sessions', circa earlier this year.

Says Kele: "I hope that this mix will illustrate where my fascination with dance music has come from. To me dance music is about transcendence. I think this mix will show it's not just a passing thing for me. It's something that's always been there and it's something that I couldn't live without".

Bloc Party's 'Tapes' is

Zia/Manifesto Meditations - Intro
Do Make Say Think - I Love You (La La La)
Tweak/Tony Allen - Leroy
Wiley - Numbers In Action (Sticky Remix)
Wookie feat Lain - Battle
French Fries - Space Alarm
Bloc Party - Obscene (Kele Okereke Remix)
Double 99 - RIP Groove
Fela Aniulapo Kuti & Afrika 70 - Shuffering & Shmiling
Torske - Jeg Vil Være Søppelmann
Larry Heard presents Mr. White - The Sun Can't Compare (Long Version)
Cajmere - Percolator (Jamie Jones Vault Mix)
Junior Boys - Like A Child (Carl Craig Remix)
Vaghe Stelle - The Platform (Samoyed Remix)
Jacques Greene - The Look (Koreless Remix)

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Psych-rock modernists Wooden Shjips will promote their new-confirmed LP, 'Back To Land', by shoving off on lots of shows towards the close of the year. Released at the same time as this official 'Back To Land' trailer, and following its 11 Nov docking date, the show times are as follows:

10 Dec: London, Scala
11 Dec: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
12 Dec: Glasgow, SWG3
13 Dec: Belfast, Menagerie
14 Dec: Dublin, Grand Social

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Esben And The Witch are tag-teaming it with Teeth Of The Sea and Thought Forms on a set of shared live dates. The bands will alternate headline placing at each show, with EATW taking the first prime billing in London on 7 Oct.

Take a look at the dates, and an 'Iceland Spar' clip taken off Esben's latest LP:

7 Oct: London, Lexington
8 Oct: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
9 Oct: Liverpool, Kazimier
10 Oct: Sheffield, Harley
12 Oct: Leicester, Cookie Jar
13 Oct: Brighton, Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
14 Oct: Bristol, The Exchange

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Former Longpigs frontman turned songwriter extraordinaire, and co-CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition, Crispin Hunt, called on the music business to improve its image at the BPI's AGM in London yesterday. And not just by staging a big PR campaign, but by addressing the negatives, in a bid to combat piracy and the people and services which capitalise on the industry's bad rep to gain support, like that "chubby Che Guevara" Kim Dotcom.

As reported by Music Ally, Hunt said: "One thing we can do, both as labels and artists, is strip Kim Dotcom of his argument for piracy. We can reveal him as the self-interested privateer that he is, and not allow him to hide behind the mantra of 'Fuck the man, it all goes into the coffers of the brothers, the artists get jack shite'".

To do that, Hunt said, the industry should "make an effort to rehumanise music, to connect with the real fans of music, to educate the casual corsair away from a life on the high seas and offer better music on land - not just as some kind of guilt-driven charity where the listener feels sorry for the artist and feels he really ought to pay for the music or the band will starve - but to successfully rebrand the music industry as the good guys who give us great music, rather than the bad guys who exploit young talent".

Adding that he wasn't "sure how the industry ended up with such a reputation, but there's probably no smoke without fire", he said his call for a rebranding of the industry didn't just "mean some re-spinning of the biz only to revert to form once the battle is won, somewhat like caring Conservatism".

He went on: "I think we need an actual sea-change, a reinvention of the internal culture of music. The age of 'don't you worry your pretty little heads about all that nonsense, you just concentrate on playing the guitar, and what hair product you'll be using today, we'll take care of the cut', so to speak, is thankfully over".

Read Music Ally's full report on Hunt's speech here

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American metal label Southern Lord has announced that it is opening a new distribution office in Amsterdam, which it says will provide faster and cheaper shipping for its customers in mainland Europe.

The news comes as the company prepares to release new albums by Pelican and A Storm Of Light.

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Kim Dotcom has stepped down as a director of Mega, the cloud storage company he launched earlier this year exactly twelve months after the US authorities shut down his original company MegaUpload.

Dotcom will cease having an active role in the new Mega venture to concentrate on other projects, including the long-mooted Megabox direct-to-fan platform (that isn't called Megabox anymore, apparently), as well as his various legal battles with the US and New Zealand governments. And, of course, there's that plan to launch a new political party in his adopted country to compete in next year's New Zealand elections.

According to news service BusinessDesk, a filing to the New Zealand Companies Office last week confirmed Dotcom's decision to step down as a director of Mega, and the firm's CEO Vikram Kumar has also now confirmed the move.

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Usage of The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites in America has not been affected by the launch of the so called 'six-strikes' system in the country back in February, according to Torrentfreak.

As previously reported, the US Copyright Alert System is the result of a collaboration between America's content industries and internet service providers, and, unlike in France and New Zealand (and in theory the UK), is not the result of legislation, but came about through a voluntary agreement.

The initiative is also less draconian than most other 'graduated response' systems, with up to six warning letters being sent to suspected shareholders before any action is taken, and generally undetermined final sanctions that would likely vary from ISP to ISP. After a few delays the venture went live in February, though no figures have, as yet, been published with regards how many warning letters have been issued.

Nevertheless, Torrentfreak has been reviewing Pirate Bay and torrent usage stats for the US since the system was launched, and says that there has been no drop in usage, indeed many sites, including the ever controversial Pirate Bay, are enjoying increases in traffic.

Based on figures supplied by TPB, Torrentfreak notes: "One of the first data points that stands out is the huge spike in traffic during March this year, the first full month after the Copyright Alert System started. Instead of a decline in traffic, The Pirate Bay nearly broke a record number of page views that month, only trailing behind September 2012. Compared to March 2012, the increase in page views is 31%, and compared to March 2011 this goes up to 113%".

Conceding that that rise may have been a result of a backlash amongst prolific file-sharers to the launch of the Copyright Alert System, and that few letters would likely have been sent by that point, Torrentfreak goes on: "After the big jump during March this year there was a slight drop in traffic, but the number of page views generated by US visitors was still higher than last year".

Read the full Torrentfreak piece here

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Neil Young has announced that his PONO high quality digital music service will launch in early 2014, which is good news for fans of oddly-shaped portable music players that won't fit comfortably in your pocket.

In an update on Facebook, Young told fans: "PONO starts at the source: artist-approved studio masters we've been given special access to. Then we work with our brilliant partners at Meridian to unlock the richness of the artist's music to you. There is nothing like hearing this music - and we are working hard to make that experience available to all music lovers, soon".

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The boss of commercial radio trade body RadioCentre is to step down at the end of the month after seven years in the job. Andrew Harrison is departing to set up his own consultancy business.

As part of that, he will continue to consult for the trade organisation for at least six months, meanwhile Linda Smith, who for the last three years has led RadioCentre subsidiary the Radio Advertising Bureau, will become interim CEO for the wider organisation while a new full time chief is recruited.

Confirming his departure, Harrison told CMU: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading RadioCentre since its formation in 2006 and working with everyone across the wider radio industry. I am proud of the many important regulatory and legislative changes that the RadioCentre team has helped secure for our members and of the growth the sector has shown in recent years in an intensely competitive media market".

He added: "I leave a rapidly consolidating sector at the top of its game, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and anticipating an exciting digital future. I am now looking forward building my new strategic consultancy practice across the brand and media sectors and am delighted that RadioCentre will be a founding client".

Meanwhile the body's Chair, Dianne Thompson, added: "Andrew has steered RadioCentre and the wider commercial radio industry very successfully through a period of unprecedented and intense change over the past seven years. We will continue to benefit from Andrew's expertise, as a founding client in his exciting new venture. He leaves with our thanks and very best wishes. Linda is a strong and extremely competent senior executive, who we are confident will ably steer RadioCentre until the handover to the new CEO".

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Fiona Apple is really, really adamant that she didn't - contrary to Women's Wear Daily's POV - "storm off stage" at a Louis Vuitton-branded show in Tokyo last week. WWD claims that, having got angry at the party's noisy fashionistas, Apple told the crowd to "shut the fuck up", adding "Predictable! Predictable fashion, what the fuck?" and, finally, making an exit.

Sharing her view of the evening's events in a statement sent to Questlove, which he has shared on Okayplayer, Apple insists she didn't leave ahead of time, saying: "I FINISHED MY SET! I did my job, and they should do theirs too. They all miss the fact that there is a difference between the back-of-the-room-chatter that is simply annoying, and the operatic drunken blather, or the heckling that is really just INTERRUPTING that makes it impossible for us to do our jobs. I hope your readers are already hip to the fact that they are consistently lied to... no apologies".

I have to say I'm with Apple on this one; I mean, Kate Moss was at the party, and we're all aware how talkative she is.

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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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