13 SEP 2013

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Last year, as I'm sure you're all aware, McFly published their autobiography as part of their tenth anniversary celebrations. I've not read it, but the blurb insists that it's written "with candour and their trademark humour" and it has a five star rating on Amazon. That's based on 144 five star reviews, eleven four star reviews and one lone single star review. Which are we going to concentrate on for the rest of this column? See if you can guess more>>
Since his debut LP 'Azymuth' on Warp two decades ago, Kenny Larkin has been riding the techno wave and championing the genre wherever he goes. And where he goes tonight is XOYO in East London. Larkin will be playing alongside fellow Detroit techster Kyle Hall, who has just released his debut album 'The Boat Party' (which reminds me, where's the CMU boat party I've been promised for so long?), plus Lone and Happa more>>

- Warner Music follows indies in agreeing new royalties arrangement with Clear Channel
- Police to pay for Sony DADC fire after insurers read the riot act
- Bon Jovi cancel shows after drummer undergoes surgery
- Stagecoach split
- Sky Ferreira to release debut album (like, soon)
- Nils Frahm announces new album
- Active Child announces new EP
- Disclosure announce new UK dates
- John Grant to tour
- Icona Pop promote new vodka and wine drink
- Mike Weatherley to advise PM on IP
- New CEO at Seatwave
- UKTI announces new grants scheme for independent music
- ADA announces Third Man Records deal
- Twitter planning IPO
- Flo Rida launches novelty DJ tool
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.

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We are growing our field presence and as part of this expansion we are recruiting for a Regional Sales Manager to cover the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The role is responsible for maximising revenue and overseeing the field force in their geographic area.

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9PR are looking to take on an online publicist with at least two year's experience. We need an enthusiastic, thorough and tenacious person who appreciates a variety of genres and has the contacts to match.

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INgrooves provides clients customized marketing, promotion, sync licensing and administrative support to help maximize the earnings potential of specific music and video releases or catalogues. Operations Associate will be client facing, assisting the Client Services department with content ingestion, catalogue changes requests and other operational activities.

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MAMA and Company is a leading independent live music business. We are looking for a talented web developer who is passionate about technology and wants to be an integral part of a dynamic and innovative digital team. If you want to build & develop some of the industry leading websites, work with cutting edge digital technology and make a difference in the music industry whilst reaching music fans worldwide, this is the job for you.

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Union Square Music, one of the UK's most successful reissue and compilation specialists, is looking for an experienced in-house designer. Working collaboratively with the marketing team you will primarily be responsible for the concept, development and design of CD and digital covers, as well as the design of marketing and PR campaign materials, promotional materials, on-line advertising and the USM website.

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A superb opportunity to join Anjunabeats, a London-based independent record label with a worldwide reputation for releasing the best in dance music and home to Above & Beyond, Andrew Bayer, Dusky, Mat Zo, Norin & Rad and more. We’re looking to recruit a front-end web developer as part of a small yet powerful tech team. If you want to develop some of the finest websites and social apps in the industry and reach millions of fans worldwide, this is the position for you.

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CSV is an established London based project management company providing, manufacturing, print/packaging solutions for the music industry and beyond. Working within the expanding Sales department we are seeking a dynamic sales person to win new business, primarily from the independent sector. Ideally, you will be passionate about music, commercially minded, resilient with a desire to succeed and have previous sales experience. A strong understanding in social media will also be an advantage.

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CSV is an established London based project management company providing, manufacturing and print/packaging solutions for the music industry and beyond. CSV is seeking maternity cover within its production department, with the potential to expand the role beyond the period of cover. Ideally, you will have previous production experience and have a good understanding of printing processes, however importantly you will be an excellent communicator and be able to work under pressure from time to time.

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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.

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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.

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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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
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The five biggest stories in the music business this week...

01: Warner Music and Clear Channel announced an alliance. Under the deal, Warner will start to receive royalties for its music being used on the US radio giant's terrestrial radio stations (something that doesn't currently happen Stateside). In return the mini-major will offer the media firm much more friendly terms for its iHeartRadio streaming platform. Warner artists will also benefit from a range of promotional ventures across Clear Channel's networks. The new alliance mirrors deals done between Clear Channel and about ten indies, but is significant because of the size of Warner's catalogue. CMU reportNew York Times report

02: Vivendi confirmed a split plan was under consideration. It's been mooted for some time that the Universal Music owner would spin-off its flagging French telecoms business to focus on its content assets - Universal and the Canal+ TV company. And this week the conglom's board confirmed it was now formally considering a plan for such a move. Meanwhile one of the company's key shareholders, Vincent Bolloré, was appointed as Vice-Chairman. It's rumoured he has his eyes on the also-available CEO role though, even if that doesn't happen, it seems certain Bolloré will now play a significant role in shaping Vivendi's immediate future. CMU reportFinancial Times report

03: Victor Willis said he had reclaimed his Village People copyrights. Willis first went legal over the copyrights in most of the Village People's hits, on which he was a co-writer, in 2011. It now emerges that Willis has utilised the so called 'termination right' introduced into US copyright law in 1978 but only just coming into effect, that allows songwriters who assign their rights to a publisher to reclaim them after 35 years. Arguments by the company which controls the copyrights that Willis contributed to the songs on a 'work for hire' basis back in the 1970s have seemingly been rejected in the courts, though all this is subject to an appeal. But if Willis does win back his slice of the hits, he'll be the first high profile songwriter to have exploited the termination right. CMU report | Billboard report

04: The MU got TUC support for a private copy levy. The Musicians Union is arguing that when the government introduces a private copy right into UK law, so that consumers can legally make private back up copies of recordings (eg by ripping tracks from CD to PC), there should be some sort of levy to compensate artists and songwriters, most likely applied to MP3 players and similar devices. Such a levy system exists elsewhere in Europe where the private copy right has existing for a long time. But current proposals to introduce the right over here do not include provisions for the levy. The Trade Union Congress backed the MU's call for the levy at their conference this week. CMU report

05: Kim Dotcom confirmed the name of his direct-to-fan platform. The often controversial MegaUpload founder recently stepped back from his cloud-storage business Mega to concentrate on his legal challenges and other projects. The 'other projects' include the long discussed direct-to-fan platform originally called Megabox. But last weekend Dotcom confirmed the new venture will actually be called Baboom when it launches. Artists will be encouraged to set up profiles, give away content, and earn a cut of ad money. Dotcom also shared some screen grabs of the in-development new service with Torrentfreak. CMU reportTorrentfreak report

In the world of CMU this week, we got ready for the kick-off of the latest CMU Insights training course season next week, plus chatted to Chris Rosenau of Volcano Choir, listened to some music picked by Sky Larkin's Katie Harkin, and caught up on happenings at this year's Berlin Music Week. Approved were Odd Future affiliates The Internet, baroque popster Son Lux, returning singer Clare Maguire and reggae MC Mark Professor.

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Warner Music and Clear Channel yesterday announced a new alliance which has various components to it, but most importantly sees the mini-major agree to a deal with the US radio giant similar to that previously entered into with some key independents, whereby the media firm will pay royalties for music used on its AM and FM services in return for better royalty rates on its rapidly expanding digital platform iHeartRadio.

As much previously reported, in the US - unlike in Europe - record companies do not receive royalties when their tracks are played on terrestrial radio services (though the owners of the song copyrights, ie the publishers, do). The record industry has long lobbied for a change in American copyright law to force radio firms to start paying to use their content, but to date without success.

Satellite and radio services do, however, have to pay royalties, and can do so via collecting agency SoundExchange, which charges rates set by a statutory body. However, some digital services reckon the SoundExchange rates are too high, and have considered doing direct deals with the labels instead. Though as some at the labels reckon the statutory rates are, in fact, too low, that approach won't always work.

What Clear Channel has done, though, is to exploit its traditional business to help it's new one, ie persuading the labels to play ball on digital by voluntarily offering the record companies a cut of profits being made on AM and FM. It's a clever way to gain competitive advantage in the increasingly competitive streaming music market, and also protects Clear Channel if and when the record industry finally persuades US Congress to introduce a compulsory royalty on traditional radio services.

US indie Big Machine was the first label to strike up such a deal with Clear Channel, and a number of other independents, and other radio firms too, have since agreed similar arrangements. Though the Warner deal is significant because of the size of the major's catalogue, which makes the alliance much more wide-ranging than anything that has gone before.

Confirming the new alliance, Clear Channel chief Bob Pittman told CMU: "The team at Warner Music understands that old formulas don't work as well as they must in the digital age, and that we have to think differently to build a robust future for the music industry. Today, music companies and media and entertainment companies need to be more supportive of each other's needs. This agreement begins that new era, and will help both companies thrive in the digital world".

In addition to the royalties arrangement, Clear Channel also commits to staging a series of promotions across its networks for new artists and new releases coming from Warner labels. The major, in return, will presumably offer exclusives and priority access to its acts.

Welcoming the partnership from his side, Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper said: "We are delighted with this multi-faceted alliance, which we are confident will generate greater overall revenue for our artists and labels, while providing a host of powerful new promotional opportunities to reach a wider audience. This deal is further evidence of our efforts to be nimble in artist development, our determination to create profitable new methods of breaking original music and our commitment to sustainable digital innovation. This agreement underscores that WMG is a music company in a class of its own".

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The High Court has ruled that the London Mayor's Office For Policing And Crime should be liable for the losses caused by the fire at the Sony DADC centre in North London, which was destroyed during the riots of August 2011. As previously reported, amongst the materials lost in the fire was the physical stock of numerous independent labels, because distributor [PIAS] used the storage centre.

Two insurance companies saddled with many of the costs relating to the destruction of the centre argued that under the Riot Damages Act the police should pay. But reps for the Mayor's Office For Policing And Crime argued that, although the raid and fire at the Sony DADC Centre took place during the riots, it was actually a "planned criminal enterprise", and not a direct result of the unrest occurring at the time elsewhere on the streets of London. A small group strategically planned the raid in an otherwise "quiet industrial area", the police overseer argued.

But the judge hearing the case, Julian Flaux, did not agree. He noted that the Sony centre had been raided by "25 youths" who had earlier congregated on a nearby housing estate, and that once they attacked "the whole incident took no more than just over three minutes". Once on site the group "ran through the property looting it of a certain amount of the stock held there" before "two of them then threw petrol bombs into the stacking within the warehouse and they all made their escape, some carrying what had been looted, and left the warehouse to burn".

Noting that police had been warned by numerous people about a local gang causing problems the previous day, but that they had failed to act, Flaux ruled that the attackers had acted "riotously" because it involved a large group of people behaving in an "excited, volatile manner". All of which means, in the court's opinion, the Riot Damages Act can apply, meaning the insurers can expect police authorities to cover many of the losses incurred as a result of the destruction of the centre (though not all the costs the insurers were suing for, including so called consequential losses such as lost rent).

Responding to the ruling, a spokesman for the London police body said: "While we are pleased that the court has recognised MOPAC is not responsible for covering consequential losses, it is immensely disappointing that they have ruled this was a riotous act. There is an important point of principle and public money at stake here and we have sought leave to appeal".

Numerous artists and independent labels lost stock in the Sony DADC fire, though [PIAS] quickly established an alternative hub for its distribution network, and various players in the indie community rallied around to help others hit by the incident.

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Well, we've discovered what it is that can stop a Bon Jovi tour in its tracks. Falling out with guitarist Richie Sambora didn't do it, but drummer Tico Torres's appendix swelling up and trying to kill him did. Make a note of that.

The band were forced to halt their current tour as Torres was rushed to hospital for surgery in Mexico City. As yet, it remains to be seen exactly how many dates will be affected, but the band hope to reschedule as many that they miss as possible.

In a post on Facebook yesterday, Jon Bon Jovi wrote: "Last night Tico Torres underwent an emergency appendectomy. Thankfully, the operation was a success and Tico is now recovering in the care of his doctors at the American British Cowdray Hospital".

He added: "We'll remain here with Tico in Mexico City and will see him through his release. David and I spent the day with him at the hospital and Tico sends his thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. He wants everyone to know that it was his desire to [still] perform. He even promised the doctors he would come back for the surgery right after the show, but the doctors prevailed".

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Rock quintet Stagecoach have announced that they are to split, after ten years together, following one final live show.

In a post on Facebook, the band said: "Although it is sad, we feel it is the right time to stop and look back proudly on what became bigger than we ever hoped or planned ... We will soon be announcing one final gig and it would be fantastic to see as many faces we've met along the way at this one as possible. Before that you can see us this Saturday at Southsea festival. Let's make it a big one!"

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Following hints that Sky Ferreira's many times delayed/scrapped/re-written/re-recorded debut album might actually be nearing release, it's now been announced that it's coming out in October. That's next month! And it looks like it might actually happen.

The album will be called 'Night Time, My Time' and will be out on 29 Oct. This is its tracklist:

Ain't Your Right
24 Hours
Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)
I Blame Myself
You're Not The One
Heavy Metal Heart
I Will
Love In Stereo
Night Time, My Time

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Erased Tapes has announced that it will release a new album from Nils Frahm, entitled 'Spaces', on 18 Nov. Recorded over two years, Frahm used old portable reel-to-reel recorders and cassette tape decks and other media to capture the different recordings, before assembling them in his own studio.

Next month, on 18 Oct, Frahm will also perform a special electronic set at Village Underground in East London, with labelmates Kiasmos (aka Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen) and Rival Consoles.

Now, watch this here trailer for the new album.

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Active Child has announced his return with a new EP, featuring guest appearances from Mikky Ekko and Ellie Goulding. Entitled 'Rapor', the EP will be released on 21 Oct through Third Rock Recordings.

The EP comes after two years of touring, and says Pat Grossi (for he is Active Child): "Being on the road for that long was exhausting, frustrating at times, but it was occasionally highlighted with the most profound outpouring of emotion. There is no way to really explain the feeling of a complete stranger coming up to you after a show and wrapping their arms around you. It was in those moments that I realised where I fit in, I guess you could say I found my place as an artist. And it pushed me further than I ever thought I could go".

Tiring it may be, but he'll be back touring again soon enough, with dates in the UK lined up for next month:

10 Oct: Birmingham, Hare & Hound
11 Oct: Glasgow, Broadcast
12 Oct: Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
14 Oct: London, XOYO

Check out the first track taken from the EP, the Ekko-featuring 'Subtle', here.

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Now with added Mercury nomination, Disclosure have announced their biggest shows to date - three of them in fact, in Edinburgh, Manchester and London next March.

Tickets are on sale now and the dates are these:

5 Mar: Edinburgh, Corn Exchange
6 Mar: Manchester, Apollo
8 Mar: London Alexandra Palace

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John Grant will be over here in the UK to tour next month, which is good. We like John Grant. And so do you. So that's all decided. He's also announced two shows for next March, just in case October is too short notice.

The dates are as follows:

16 Oct: Exeter, The Lemon Grove
17 Oct: London, The Jazz Café
18 Oct: Liverpool, East Village Arts Club
19 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
20 Oct: Halifax, Halifax Minster
8 Mar: Bexhill, De La Warr Pavillion
9 Mar: London, Roundhouse

Here's the video for the title track of John's second album, 'Pale Green Ghosts'.

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Icona Pop have teamed up with vodka brand Absolut to help launch the company's new drink, Absolut Tune. Yes, that's really what it's called. Apparently it's a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc and vodka drink. I remember at university someone once poured a load of white wine into the vodka I was drinking. It didn't end well. I'm sure this is fine though.

Anyway, Atlantic Records' exec VP Brand Partnerships And Commercial Licensing Camille Hackney told Billboard: "Absolut Tune is the perfect pairing for the girls and the creative output of the partnership is groundbreaking. Absolut will play a key role in building our story of Icona Pop as a major music artist. The partnerships that we have secured continue to solidify them as a global musical force".

There are other quotes, but I think that one best encompasses the utter nonsense they are all comprised of. So, yeah, the first thing they're doing together is teaming up on the video for the duo's new single, 'All Night'. And look! You can watch that video right here.

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Former music business exec and now MP for Hove, Mike Weatherley, has been appointed as the Prime Minister's adviser on intellectual property, with a particular focus on "enforcement issues relating to the creative industries". Best known in music circles for his work with Pete Waterman, Weatherley also spent time as VP for the Motion Picture Licensing Company so has experience of the film industry too.

Confirming his new adviser role, Weatherley told CMU: "I am honoured to be been appointed as the Prime Minister's adviser on intellectual property. The creative industries are incredibly important to Britain's economy so it is only right that the government focuses on enforcement issues. I look forward to working with the Prime Minster and my ministerial colleagues on addressing the challenges that face the film and music industries".

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Sometimes controversial secondary ticketing company Seatwave has a new boss, with former Shazam Chairman Ajay Chowdhury becoming CEO. He replaces the company's founder Joe Cohen in the top job, he having announced he was taking a non-executive role at the firm at the start of the year.

Noting accusations that ticket resale sites exploit music fans, and are mainly utilised by industrial touting operations, Chowdhury quickly defended his new employer, saying: "The majority of sellers are fans who want to sell their tickets for a variety of reasons. A significant number of tickets are sold at below face value. If they are sold at more than face value it is a result of demand for the event".

The new boss takes over as Seatwave goes into profit for the first time, and he says he hopes to expand the company's mobile credentials in the coming year.

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Following yesterday's little breakfast bash for music business bosses at Number 10 Downing Street, the government's UK Trade & Investment department announced a new Music Export Growth Scheme which will allocate millions in grants to help British independent music companies seek new business opportunities abroad.

Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the new initiative by bigging up British music, saying: "The British music industry is a real success story. We are world leaders in creative talent and our music has been exported all over the world. It's not just about enjoying the music. This worldwide success means jobs and economic growth back in the UK, so the government must do all we can to back our winning sectors and ensure their future success. Today's money will do just that by helping hundreds of small and medium sized businesses to export more".

The new scheme is backed by both record label trade bodies, the BPI and indie labels group AIM. The boss of the former, Geoff Taylor, told CMU: "Independent labels are an important part of what makes British music so special. With global interest in UK artists at such high levels, we want to ensure that indie artists and labels have the best possible chance to achieve success overseas. We are delighted that government has listened to calls from BPI and AIM for export support that will help British music do even better around the world".

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Just a day after announcing a new partnership with PRMD Music, Warner's label services business the Alternative Distribution Alliance has announced that it will handle digital and physical distribution for Jack White's Third Man Records.

ADA and WEA's SVP of Independent Distribution and Strategic Development, Ari Taitz, told CMU: "Third Man Records is redefining what a record label can be - their fondness for limited releases, unique packaging and rare recordings, demonstrates a true appreciation for their fans".

ADA President David Orleans added: "It's a great pleasure to work with a company so in love with the record release process. This is going to be a lot of fun".

Meanwhile, treating these nonsense quotes with the reverence they deserve, Third Man Record's Ben Blackwell said: "With NRP as our mastering house and URP as our manufacturer, ADA is the final ingredient in our alphabet soup dream team".

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As everyone in the tech community knows, when you run out of ideas for making your over-hyped start-up actually profitable, you flog it off to the idiots of Wall Street (or sometimes the idiots at Yahoo!) and make it all someone else's problem. Which may, or may not be behind the news that Twitter is planning to float.

The fact that Facebook, having scored one of the more lacklustre public share sales of recent years, is starting to gain some credibility again in investment circles may also have motivated the timing for the micro-blogging platform to go public. The social networking firm confirmed it had filed initial paperwork with the US Securities & Exchange Commission as a first step towards launching an 'initial public offering', or IPO, yesterday.

The exact timing of a share sale and planned valuation are not yet know, though investment types currently value the seven year old business at over $10 billion. The digital firm confirmed its IPO intent via a nifty little tweet. Obviously.

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In one of the more perplexing stories of the week, Flo Rida has launched Beamz By Flo - a DJ tool which allows you to trigger sounds by waving your hands in front of laser beams. It's basically a modern day Theremin. And who hasn't been waiting their entire lives for that?

It's currently only available via the product's own website, and on a 30 day trial too. And best of all, it looks like one of those games from the 80s that looked sort of cool but turned out to be really disappointing when you unwrapped it on Christmas morning.

As the advert here shows, it's being marketed for use "at your next family gathering or party", which is probably quite telling. Still doesn't beat 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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