10 SEP 2013

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Released in 2009, Volcano Choir's first album 'Unmap' started life as a collaboration between members of Collections Of Colonies Of Bees and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. It was pieced together over time, with songs sent back and forth between band members before they'd even realised they were a band. As band prepare to tour their second record, CMU's Andy Malt caught up with guitarist Chris Rosenau to find out more more>>
Son Lux's experiments combining electronic production and his classical training have always been good, but he has perhaps been overshadowed by his association with Sufjan Stevens, with whom he's toured and collaborated. However, 'Lost It To Trying', the first track from his third album 'Lanterns', suggests that he's hit upon a sound that will make him far more difficult to overlook more>>

- AEG execs removed as defendants on Jackson case
- Classic BRITs nominations announced
- Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reuniting at Bridge School Benefit
- SONGS signs The Weeknd
- Team Me begin recording second album
- Arcade Fire announce new album, David Bowie confirms contribution
- Coldplay share Hunger Games track
- R Kelly talks Black Panties
- Kurt Vile releasing archive EP
- Bob Stanley plans book-related PAs; curates film season
- Kim Gordon writing autobiography
- Bruno Mars slots into Super Bowl half time
- Makin Moves to celebrate first birthday
- Festival line-up update: Beermageddon, Gathering, Tusk and more
- MU gets TUC backing for campaign to get levy from new private copy exemption
- Speculation mounts about future chief for Vivendi
- New IMPALA board appointed
- Miley Cyrus licks hammer
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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.

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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.

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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.

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As the long running and much previously reported Jacksons v AEG Live court case rumbles on and on and on and on, the live giant has scored a mini-victory as the judge hearing the case struck two of its executives - Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware - off the defendants list. It means only the AEG Live company could be held liable for the death of Michael Jackson back in 2009.

The Jackson family, of course, reckon that the live firm should be held liable for the late king of pop's demise because, as promoters of the singer's 'This Is It' venture, it covered the bills of Dr Conrad Murray, the medic jailed for causing the pop star's death through negligent treatment. At the heart of the case is whether AEG hired and managed Murray, or whether they simply advanced the cash, and actually Jackson himself was responsible for recruiting and coordinating the negligent doc.

Phillips and Gongaware, as the two most senior AEG Live execs closest to the Jackson project, were listed as defendants alongside their employer. But, while neither man came across especially well when they gave testimonies earlier in the trial, yesterday judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled that the Jackson's legal team had failed to show enough evidence that either exec was personally liable for the hiring or alleged mismanagement of Murray.

It means that when the jury finally starts its deliberations on the case, hopefully later this month, they will only have to consider whether AEG Live itself was liable. Parent company AEG and its then CEO Tim Leiweke were removed as defendants earlier this year before the court case got underway.

Team AEG still have some more experts to present in court before wrapping up their case, though there will be no testimonies this week because of an illness in the family of one of the jurors. After that the Jackson team want some rebuttal time, before deliberations in the jury room can finally begin.

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The nominations are out for this year's Classic BRITs, that annual awards bash for the part of the industry who find the idea of three hours under a plastic tent with James Cordon shouting in their faces vulgar in the extreme, and would much rather spend a night shimmying around the Royal Albert Hall with that lovely Myleene Klass.

Coming up, some nominations. But first a quote from Dickon Stainer, President of Decca Records, and Barry McCann, Director of Avie Records, who co-chair the awards, and who warbled in perfect harmony just last night: "This year's Classic BRIT Awards will be a celebration of magnificent performances, virtuoso playing and global brilliance. We are proud that the Classic BRIT Awards, as the only televised classical awards show, continues to bring these very special performers and talent to a wider audience".

Fuck yeah - here are the noms...

Female Artist Of The Year: Alison Balsom, Joyce DiDonato, Nicola Benedetti

Male Artist Of The Year: Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann, Lang Lang

Breakthrough Artist Of The Year: Amy Dickson, Alisa Weilerstein, Joseph Calleja, Tine Thing Helseth

Composer Of The Year: Arvo Pärt, Hans Zimmer, Ludovico Einaudi

Critics' Award: Boris Giltburg - Prokofiev: War Sonatas, Hallé Orchestra, Choir & Youth Choir, Elder - Elgar: The Apostles, John Wilson Orchestra, Wilson - Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies, Jonas Kaufmann - Wagner

Album Of The Year: Andrea Bocelli - Opera, Andre Rieu - Magic Of The Movies, Friar Alessandro - Voice From Assisi, John Rutter & Catrin Finch - Blessing, Joseph Calleja - Be My Love - A Tribute To Mario Lanza, Katherine Jenkins - This Is Christmas, Lang Lang - The Chopin Album, Ludovico Einaudi - In A Time Lapse, Nicola Benedetti - The Silver Violin, Richard Clayderman - Romantique

Outstanding Contribution To Music: Hans Zimmer

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Yahoo! (As in I'm excited, this has nothing to do with flagging web firms). Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young are going to sing in beautiful synch when they re-band later this year.

The special occasion for all four's first PA since 2006 is Young's yearly Bridge School Benefit charity gala, which takes place at California's Shoreline Amphitheatre on 26-27 Oct. Also playing are Queens Of The Stone Age, My Morning Jacket, The Killers, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, Heart, Diane Krall and fun.

Whilst that's all a while away, this is now.

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US-based independent publisher SONGS has announced a worldwide co-publishing agreement with Abel Tesfaye, who you and your mum almost certainly know better as The Weeknd. The deal, which includes both past and future work, comes as the producer releases his new album 'Kiss Land'.

Confirming the new deal, SONGS boss Matt Pincus told reporters: "At SONGS we invest in people and we invest in music. On both counts we couldn't have done better than Abel. He could have signed anywhere and it's a tremendous honour that he has chosen to make his home at SONGS".

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CMU Approved indie-pop troupe Team Me began recording their second album yesterday at Athletic Sound Studio in Halden, Norway. The record is due to be released next year.

In a post on Facebook yesterday, the band said: "Today we are starting the recording of our second album in the legendary Athletic Sound Studio in Halden. Will be released next year".

See? I wasn't lying. They even included a nice picture.

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Right, so yesterday Arcade Fire announced a load of stuff pertaining to their new album, 'Reflektor'. That's one of the things there - the album is called 'Reflektor' - though we'd kind of guessed that already. It will be a double album - aka too long - and the first single, 'Reflektor', features "a brief backing vocal" by David Bowie.

Limited vinyl copies of the single went on sale in some record shops at 9pm last night, listed as being by The Reflektors. Even though the song is by Arcade Fire. The liars.

What else? Oh, if you pre-order the album from arcadefire.com you'll get first dibs on tickets for the band's upcoming world tour (Arcade Fire, not The Reflektors, I think I'd already made it fairly plain that The Reflektors don't actually exist).

Talking of gigs, Arcade Fire also played a show at Salsatheque in Montreal last night, a venue with a capacity of somewhere between 100 and 750, depending on who you ask.

Most of these pieces of information leaked before the 9pm 9/9 'surprise' announcement (I'm not sure if we knew it was a double album or not), which was probably good preparation for the 'surprise' announcement of the new iPhone(s) later this evening. I imagine that's exactly what Arcade Fire were aiming for all along.

There is a video for the new single, of course. In fact, there are two. The Anton Corbijn directed promo you can see here, plus an interactive video, which is quite cool when it works. Which most of the time it doesn't. On about the third attempt I also listened to the song, which it turned out is quite good too. Check that out here.

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Coldplay are 'back', kind of, with a new track titled 'Atlas'.

Fans will hear it if/when they see the next 'Hunger Games' film, 'Catching Fire', the band having written it expressly for the feature, which hits cinemas on 11 Nov.

Or they can just look at this YouTube video.


R Kelly has assigned his latest LP, 'Black Panties', an official release date: 11 Nov. Or so says MissInfo.tv, who claim to have heard the date confirmed at a playback of the album in Atlanta.

Speaking at the same playback party, R Kelly said: "My story is all of this; sex, money, broke, women, clubs, and even church. It's all of those things mixed up into one. I'm not afraid of it; I understand that it is the nature of life. This gift I have is a beautiful disease, and I'm glad I got it".

Moving on, this is R's lead 'Black Panties' single, the 2 Chainz-featuring 'My Story'.

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On 4 Nov, Kurt Vile will disclose a trio of 'lost' (aka old-ish) songs in the form of an EP titled 'Jamaica Plain'.

Dating back to the early-2000s - prior to his forming The War On Drugs or signing to long-time label Matador - at which time Vile was working as a forklift trick driver, it's a collaboration with Vile's one-time Violators cohort Robert Robinson, alias Sore Eros. In addition to its title track, 'Jamaica Plain' carries extras in 'Serum' and 'Calling Out Of Work'.

Lacking any of those tracks to link to at this point, this photo of Beyonce posing in a forklift will simply have to do.

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Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley has curated a mini-season of films to be shown at the Barbican in London, mainly to mark the release of his new book, 'Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop'.

Starting on 3 Oct with a talk, signing, and a look at Alan Lewens' 'Arena' doc 'The Very Strange Story Of The Legendary Joe Meek', it'll go on to feature Africa-set festival film 'Soul Power' and Milos Forman's Carly Simon-starring 'Taking Off'. Info at barbican.org.uk/film

Stanley will also promote the book with an appearance and reading at Rough Trade East on 16 Oct, talking 'pop nostalgia' with Scritti Politti and writer Sian Pattenden. Details here.

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Kim Gordon, once of Sonic Youth and at present in Body/Head, is writing an autobiography, according to Publishers Weekly.

'Girl In A Band', as it's apparently titled, will chart Gordon's dealings in NYC in the early 1980s, and the first days of Sonic Youth. Once it's done, it'll be printed, confirms the New York Times, by HarperCollins.

The NYT adds that Gordon is soon to release a packet of essays written at that same time for art zines, this via Sternberg Press. Oh, and she's also going to star in HBO's 'Girls'. Body/Head's first LP 'Coming Apart', meanwhile, is available now. Taken from it, this is 'Actress'.

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It's official; digi-cig-shopping pop pin-up Bruno Mars will play the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show in 2014. A relatively 'new' artist for the big Super Bowl gig (relative, that is, to Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson and last year's star Beyonce), Mars will nevertheless 'do his thing', whatever that may be, on 2 Feb.

Here's an 'X-Factor'-style trailer celebrating Mars' SB win.

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Club promoter and record label Makin Moves will be celebrating its first birthday this Sunday at the Light Bar in Shoreditch. The label's founders DJs Matt L-S and Jamesey will be on hand to knock out a few tunes, before the main attraction, Tyrone 'Mixologist' Francis, jets in from New York for a four hour set.

Tickets are available here.

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Crack a can of ale and await the rock apocalypse, it's almost Beermageddon-time. Realising this the durable Worcestershire rager has named its first artists for 2014: Lawnmower Death, Skreamer, Diementia and Divine Chaos.

On now to news of an event enjoyable a lot sooner, October-fest Tusk, initial additions at which are the likes of Astral Social Club, Wax Magnetic and Noize Choir. Cool. Oh, and then there's all-day Oxford party Gathering, as has added Findlay, Gold & Youth, Pawws and more as the final acts on its Local Natives, London Grammar and Drenge-featuring listings.

Details on all that, and the initial billing at 2014's Beverley Folk Festival, to follow:

BEERMAGEDDON, Stoke Prior Country Club, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, 22-24 Aug 2014: Lawnmower Death, Skreamer, Diementia, Divine Chaos. www.beermageddon.co.uk

BEVERLEY FOLK FESTIVAL, Beverley Racecourse, East Yorkshire, 20-22 Jun 2014: Thea Gilmore, Eliza & Martin Carthy, John Hegley, Quebec's Le Vent du Nord, Michael Morpurgo feat John Tams & Barry Coope, Manran, Caladh Nua, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, CoCo And The Butterfields, The Nick Rooke Band, Duncan McFarlane Band. www.beverleyfestival.com

GATHERING, various venues, Oxford, 19 Oct: Aosoon, Denai Moore, Findlay, Gavin James, Gold & Youth, Hudson Taylor, Jake Hart, Jaymes Young, Laura Welsh, Nathan Ball, Pawws, Pylo, Rhodes, Spring Offensive. gatheringfestival.tumblr.com

TUSK FESTIVAL, Star & Shadow, Newcastlye-upon-Tyne, 11-13 Oct: Astral Social Club, Ambarchi/Campbell/Flower, Mark Fell Sound Installations, Blackphone666, Wax Magnetic, Roman Nose, Noize Choir, Culver, Hugh Metcalfe, Edwin Li, Midnight Doctors, Gwilly Edmondez. tuskfestival.com

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The Trade Union Congress, meeting in Bournemouth this week, has passed a motion put forward by the Musicians' Union calling on the government to include a levy as part of plans to introduce a private copy-right into UK law. They probably won't.

As much previously reported, the government is currently pressing ahead with an expansion of the so called fair dealing system in UK copyright law, based on recommendations in the 2011 Hargreaves Review of IP law. This will increase the number of scenarios where people can use or make copies of copyright material without the permission of the copyright owner.

Amongst them is the introduction of the so called private-copy or format-shifting right for sound recordings. At the moment in the UK, if a consumer rips a track from a CD they bought to a PC, they are infringing copyright. Under most other copyright systems that ripping would be allowed, providing the copy is for the private use of the person who legitimately bought the CD in the first place.

Nearly everyone agrees that this is bad law, because it turns millions of music fans into copyright infringers, and even the record industry backs the introduction of a private copy exemption. However, elsewhere in Europe a system exists where the music industry is compensated for private copies being made by a levy being charged on those products onto which copies are transferred - traditionally blank cassettes and CDRs, increasingly MP3 players - which is passed back to the music community.

However, Hargreaves proposed a private copy right without any levy to benefit the music community, and that is currently the government's plan. The music industry is planning on opposing that element of the private copy right, arguing that rights owners deserve compensation for the new right consumers will enjoy, or at the very least parity with the rest of the European music community. And it's that viewpoint that the MU promoted at the TUC Conference yesterday, getting support for the levy from the union movement.

MU General Secretary John Smith told CMU: "The MU is not proposing an 'iPod tax' on consumers. What we are asking for is fair compensation for creators from the device manufacturers. These manufacturers are already paying patent and software licences for each device sold, and yet, under the UK proposal, the act of copying music onto these devices - the content the consumer is most interested in - will not generate any income for musicians".

He added: "Despite an outstanding international reputation for British musicians, more than half of MU members still earn less than £20,000 a year from their profession. We have one of the best music industries in the world. The government should be making it easier to survive as a musician - not harder. I am delighted that the TUC have agreed to support us in this battle".

Where the private copy levy already exists is has proven controversial in recent years, particularly as standalone music devices start to disappear and the question arises as to whether or not it is right to apply a levy to a smartphone, even though many users won't copy music on to their device, or will only copy music downloaded from a digital music store with a licence that already allows the format shift.

And while some see digital locker providers as the next obvious target for the levy, as those firms are already doing deals with rights owners (to allow scan-and-match type functionality), arguably a statutory levy isn't required.

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The Chairman of Universal Music parent company Vivendi wants Bertelsmann chief Thomas Rabe to run the group, according to French newspaper Les Echos. Jean-Rene Fourtou apparently reckons Rabe, who became CEO of BMG owner Bertelsmann in 2011, is the man to oversee Vivendi's plan to focus its efforts on its content business.

As previously reported, Vivendi lost its last CEO Jean-Bernard Levy in June 2012 over disagreements regards the future direction of the company, which has both entertainment and telecoms interests. The firm's board seems keen to ultimately offload its flagging telecoms business to focus on Universal Music and French TV company Canal Plus, and probably new acquisitions in the media and entertainment space.

Legal counsel Jean-Francois Dubos has been leading Vivendi on an interim basis since Levy's departure, and was charged with the task of confirming a strategy for future direction. Meanwhile Fourtou has been overseeing the recruitment of a permanent new CEO.

And while Rabe's name is reportedly on his list for consideration it's worth noting that the Bertelsmann chief doesn't seem in any mood to leave his current employer, plus back at Vivendi one key shareholder and board member, Vincent Bollore, reportedly has another proposal - appointing him as the next CEO. Even though some have in the past tipped Bollore as a successor to Fourtou as Chairman.

Which is all fun. These rumours are seemingly doing the rounds this week because tomorrow the Vivendi board will meet to discuss the ongoing CEO selection process. Needless to say, no official statements have as yet been made.

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Pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA held its AGM at Berlin Music Week last weekend, which included the election of the organisation's board for the next two years.

The key appointments made by that election were Jonas Sjöström, who represents three organisations on the board (Playground Music Scandinavia, Edel and Swedish trade association SOM) to the role President; Kees van Weejen, who represents Rough Trade Distribution Benelux and Dutch association STOMP, to the role of Chairman; and Geert De Blaere, who represents Belgian association BIMA, and who was re-elected as Treasurer.

Referencing the previously reported agreement between IMPALA, digital rights agency Merlin and Warner Music regarding opportunities to exploit the Parlophone catalogue that the mini-major acquire earlier this year, IMPALA's Executive Chair Helen Smith welcomed the new appointments and looked ahead at the year to come.

She told CMU: "The independent sector is entering a new era. The significant market share uplift created under the agreement that IMPALA has concluded with Warner Music and Merlin is just one example of the changes taking place. With Jonas, Kees and Geert leading the IMPALA Board, our aim is to ensure that the whole sector can capitalise on this and other new opportunities coming our way".

The full list of labels and trade bodies elected to the IMPALA board are as follows:

!K7 (represented by Horst Weidenmüller)
8Ball Music (represented by Robin Van Beek)
AIM (represented by Alison Wenham)
Beggars Group (represented by Martin Mills)
BIMA (represented by Geert de Blaere)
Cooking Vinyl (represented by Martin Goldschmidt)
Cosmos Music Group (represented by Fredrik Ekander)
Edel (represented by Jonas Sjöström)
Everlasting Records (represented by Mark Kitcatt)
Epitaph (represented by Roger Dorresteijn)
Fono (represented by Larry Bringsjord)
IndieCo (represented by Tapio Korjus)
Kobalt Music (represented by Johan Ekelund)
Naïve (represented by Patrick Zelnik)
[PIAS] Entertainment Group (represented by Michel Lambot)
Playground Music Scandinavia (represented by Jonas Sjöström)
PMI (represented by Francesca Trainini)
Rough Trade Benelux (represented by Kees Van Weijen)
SOM (represented by Jonas Sjöström)
STOMP (represented by Kees Van Weijen)
UFI (represented by Noemi Planas)
UPFI (represented by Jérôme Roger)
VUT (represented by Christof Ellinghaus)
Wagram (represented by Stephan Bourdoiseau)

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So, it seems Miley Cyrus has become the new popstar we write about all the bloody time. And, once again, her tongue is involved in this story. While previously it's simply hung from her mouth looking long and pointy, she's now using it to lick hammers. Well, one hammer. But that's more hammers that most people lick in their whole lives.

Anyway, always one to shy away from controversy, Miley yesterday released the video for new single 'Wrecking Ball'. It starts with her crying in extreme close-up and quickly moves onto her swinging naked on an actual wrecking ball. In between that there's some hammer licking.

Popjustice already wrote some clever words about all this, so you should go and read those.

Or you can go and watch the video for yourself.

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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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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