An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 5 November 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Lady Gaga has parted company with her long time manager Troy Carter, according to The Hollywood Reporter and various other US media. Carter, a much admired artist manager and regular on the music and tech conference circuit, has worked with Gaga since 2007, when he was asked to represent the singer by Vincent Herbert, who had signed her to his Interscope-affiliated label Streamline Records... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: New York City's Ejecta are a duo comprising Neon Indian's Leanne Macomber and Joel Ford of Tigercity. Whereas their debut single 'Jeremiah (The Denier)' was a shimmering slice of Italo-disco, albeit tinged with melancholy (heartbreak amid the glitterballs), 'It's Only Love' is slightly more sedated and the missing link between Kraftwerk's 'Neon Lights', The Golden Filter and mid 80s synth-pop, with... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Gaga and Carter part company
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Lyor Cohen reveals his battle plan for new firm 300
Warner appointments: Ewald for catalogue, Dworkin for digital
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV relaunches loyalty scheme
LIVE BUSINESS SFX buys Electric Zoo
Ministry asks Boris for binding agreement to safeguard club's future
ARTIST NEWS Morrissey sustains concussion
The Young Knives make LP for £12,000
RELEASES NME to present the 1990s in new compilation
GIGS & FESTIVALS Arctic Monkeys postpone shows
The Prodigy announce NYE show
MONEY add Heaven date
AWARDS Annie Lennox presented with MIT honour
The Fly launch awards
AND FINALLY... Bieber hits brothel/bottle hits Bieber
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Gaga and Carter part company
Lady Gaga has parted company with her long time manager Troy Carter, according to The Hollywood Reporter and various other US media.

Carter, a much admired artist manager and regular on the music and tech conference circuit, has worked with Gaga since 2007, when he was asked to represent the singer by Vincent Herbert, who had signed her to his Interscope-affiliated label Streamline Records.

Although Carter himself admits that Gaga had a very strong vision of where her career would go from the start, the manager is credited with helping the singer build a very lucrative global business, and especially in advising her on the use of online channels to build and engage a worldwide fanbase.

The manager once said that his relationship with Gaga centred on the balance between creative and business objectives, with her making 95% of the creative decisions, him 95% of the business ones. Though with rumours suggesting the two have now ended their alliance over "creative differences", perhaps Carter was pushing for a 6% control of that side.

Although there has been no official comment from either party, one of those insiders told the Reporter that Carter felt "liberated" after standing down from his Gaga duties. It means he can spend more time on his other management clients, including John Legend, as well as his recently launched record label venture with Universal's Capitol Records.

Lyor Cohen reveals his battle plan for new firm 300
The new music company from former Warner Music recorded music boss Lyor Cohen has a name. Oh, and a bunch of cash rich backers, which is probably more important.

In an interview with Billboard, Cohen has confirmed that his former Warner (and before that Def Jam) colleagues Todd Moscowitz and Kevin Liles will join him in the new business, which will be called 300, after the 300 Spartans who fought against the odds in a vicious battle against a massive Persian army in 480 BC.

"It was a battle that changed the way wars are fought", Cohen told Billboard. "These guys found that if you were well synchronised, strategic, loyal with great planning and preparedness you could do much more with less and be highly effective".

Of course the 300 Spartans were famously overwhelmed and then slaughtered by the Persians on the seventh day of the battle, but let's not dwell on that.

Cohen's point, I think, is that in this new fangled digital age a label - or "music content company" as Cohen refers to his new business - is better if it's small, because you can be more responsive to changes, in technology and in the market.

Though we're talking small by major label standards, Cohen still plans to recruit about 30 industry veterans plus a team of younger digital wunderkinds, and has reportedly secured $5 million in backing from Google, which is just one investor of several alongside the likes of investment firms Columbus Nova and Toms Capital.

Plus Cohen has confirmed that he will connect with his former employer, which will provide distribution support. So he's got plenty of folks helping out. Then again, the Spartan 300 actually went into battle with up to 8000 allies. Though the story goes that most of them retreated when the shit hit the fan; but I think we all agreed to not take Cohen's Greek analogy too far.

Instead let's hear from Cohen himself, who says of his vision for 300 to Billboard: "We want entrepreneurial people, industry veterans that are loving the opportunity of the change to the here and now. We also want people from outside the industry, chief content officers, chief consumer officers".

Meanwhile, confirming its backing, Google said in a statement: "With YouTube, we have a long history of supporting artists and content creators. So we're excited to invest in 300, a new, innovative company designed to create opportunities for artists".

And Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik also bigged up his firms new alliance with its former employees, saying: "Lyor, Todd and Kevin all have well-established reputations as accomplished executives and entrepreneurs. This agreement will provide Warner with a great source of artistic talent and creativity and we are thrilled that they chose Warner as their home".


Warner appointments: Ewald for catalogue, Dworkin for digital
Warner Music yesterday announced two new appointments, one in its catalogue division, and another in its digital business development team.

First up, former EMI man Dirk Ewald, who came to Warner via its acquisition of Parlophone, becomes SVP of Global Catalogue Management. Based in London, and reporting into Warner's global boss of catalogue operations (including the Rhino label) Kevin Gore, Ewald will "work with recorded music teams around the world to harness consumer insights, identify commercial opportunities and devise high profile global, regional and local marketing campaigns for catalogue and compilation releases". Which sounds like fun.

Says Gore: "Dirk is a fantastic addition to our line-up of executive talent. Not only does he bring a passion for great music and a deep knowledge of the catalogue industry, he has a flair for innovation that results in fresh, impactful campaigns that deliver real commercial success. The PLG acquisition brought together two amazing catalogues and united many of music's crown jewels under one roof. With Dirk's appointment we are further strengthening the global team responsible for maximising the potential of that tremendous body of work and ensuring we continue to provide the best possible results for our legendary artists in every market".

Meanwhile in New York former Nokia man Jonathan Dworkin has been appointed SVP for Digital Strategy & Business Development, reporting into EVP of the same Stephen Bryan, and focusing on "forging relationships with digital start-ups, negotiating with new services and driving the expansion of Warner Music's partnerships with existing players".

Says Bryan: "Jonathan is a first-rate executive with wide-ranging commercial acumen, a proven track record in deal making and a deep understanding of technology, particularly in the carrier and wireless spaces. His expertise in building compelling music experiences, combined with his background as an artist manager, has equipped him with impressive strategic insight and a deep understanding of our industry. His appointment further strengthens our ability to be the most nimble, ambitious and digitally progressive music company in the world".

HMV relaunches loyalty scheme
Hey people, PureHMV is back. Remember, it was the entertainment retailer's loyalty card programme? The one Simon Fox wouldn't shut up about when I interviewed him at The Great Escape in 2010.

Apparently a million people signed up after the scheme was launched in 2008. Imagine that, a million people all in a line, browsing through HMV's racks of great new music, and then buying a loss-leading discounted album from the 1990s before going home and ordering the new stuff cheap online.

But that was the old HMV, and this is now. Though if you had 'points' on your old PureHMV card before the retailer went into administration at the start of the year, the all new HMV will now return them to you, providing you reactivate your account by the end of January. So that's all very nice of them, isn't it? Bet you feel bad now for using HMV to shelter from the rain and then buying all your CDs and DVDs from cost-cutting Amazon.

Loyal (registered) customers will now get a shiny new point for every penny they spend in HMV shops (or every two pennies they spend with the new HMV download store), and as we all know, as long as Brucie's alive (so at least for the next week) points mean prizes.

Or, as HMV puts it, "cool stuff money can't buy". Though, if you had enough money, you could almost certainly get One Direction to sign a book, Hugh Jackman a poster or Jake Bugg a guitar. Actually, I know for a fact that the Bugg would sign your guitar for a fiver. Though this way you don't have to actually meet Jake Bugg, so there's definitely something to be said for HMV's scheme.

Which is why I tracked down Dan Truscott, MD of PureHMV, for this money can't buy quote: "We're delighted to bring PureHMV back to our loyal customers and thank them for their patience whilst we rejuvenated the programme. Returning previous point balances to our members in the run up to Christmas, whilst also inviting new members to join, is great news for all HMV enthusiasts who want access to great offers and exclusive money can't buy opportunities".

SFX buys Electric Zoo
Another day, another SFX acquisition. Perhaps we'll do an issue of the CMU Daily where we just cover EDM nonsense, and see if we can get a few million out of them.

The recently floated EDM-focused live firm has bought Made Event, the company behind the Electric Zoo festival, the major New York-based bash that was cut short by one day this year after two drug-related deaths. The Made Event team, who also stage various other events in the US, will now also input on other SFX activity, while the deal will also see the expansion of the Electric Zoo brand around the world.

Confirming the deal, SFX boss Robert Sillerman told CMU: "The acquisition of Made is strategically important for SFX, as it establishes a strong foothold for us in the New York City region. Co-founders Mike Bindra and Laura De Palma are the ultimate industry professionals, and our management team will benefit greatly from their years of experience".

He went on: "We plan to develop the Electric Zoo brand internationally and have the opportunity to build other SFX brands in the US with the support of Mike, Laura and the team at Made".

Meanwhile the there mentioned Bindra added: "After years of independence, we couldn't be happier about our venture with SFX. To date, SFX has brought together the top companies and individuals in the electronic dance music industry".


Ministry asks Boris for binding agreement to safeguard club's future
The boss of Ministry Of Sound has asked Boris Johnson for a binding agreement that says, if a major residential development goes ahead next to his venue in South London, it will not have future repercussions on his operation's licence.

As previously reported, Ministry previously succeeded in blocking the plans by property developer Oakmayne to build a big residential complex next to the superclub, after the property firm's proposals were unanimously rejected by Southwark's planning committee.

Ministry successfully argued that it was an important employer in the area, that it played an important role in the capital's clubbing culture and local community, and that the planned residential development would cause problems because future residents would be certain to make demands on licensing officials regards noise at the venue.

But despite winning at the local authority level, a few months later London Mayor Boris Johnson's office agreed to reconsider the decision, placing the club under threat once again. After various delays, a decision is due to be made by Johnson's office later this month. When similar plans rejected by local authorities in London have subsequently gone to the major for consideration, he has tended to green light them.

Ahead of the planned hearing on the matter, Ministry boss Lohan Presencer has written an open letter in the Evening Standard in which he asks for a binding guarantee that if the residential development goes ahead, it won't cause licensing issues for his venue in the future. He also wants a legal agreement that Oakmayne really will install sound-proofing into its new apartments, like it has promised as part of its planning application.

Presencer says he wants a "legal agreement that guarantees that everything that is being promised, such as these acoustically sealed windows, is not reneged on at a later date. The second thing we want is a legal mechanism put in place to ensure the current noise levels will be able to lawfully continue as they are".

The letter goes on: "Ministry of Sound has been at the heart of London for a quarter of a century. We've earned our right to stay here. Over the past decade all of London's big clubs have closed as a result of redevelopment. We're the last man standing. Do you want to bring the shutters down on nightclubs in London for good? Please Boris, do the right thing for London, don't stop the music".

Both sides will now present their arguments at a meeting on 19 Nov.

  Approved: Ejecta - It's Only Love
New York City's Ejecta are a duo comprising Neon Indian's Leanne Macomber and Joel Ford of Tigercity.

Whereas their debut single 'Jeremiah (The Denier)' was a shimmering slice of Italo-disco, albeit tinged with melancholy (heartbreak amid the glitterballs), 'It's Only Love' is slightly more sedated and the missing link between Kraftwerk's 'Neon Lights', The Golden Filter and mid 80s synth-pop, with Macomber's crystalline vocals glistening despite framing the inevitable tale of romantic woe.

Taken from their debut album 'Dominae' (released on the 25 Nov on brand-new London-based label Happy Death), 'It's Only Love' is previewing now on SoundCloud.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Morrissey sustains concussion
Morrissey has been in hospital again, this time with "concussion, whiplash and an arm injury", reports his fansite True To You.

Whilst the cause of those injuries isn't public at this point, the 'whiplash' would seem to point to some sort of car accident. This is, of course, only the latest in a string of setbacks to the singer's health, he having received treatment for a bleeding ulcer, pneumonia, and food poisoning all in the past year.

The True To You piece states that Morrissey has since been discharged from the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in LA, and passes on his gratitude to doctors for their "outstanding level of care and attention".

In other Morrissey news, it's been confirmed that actor David Morrissey will give voice to the audiobook of Moz's 'Autobiography', which will be released digitally on 5 Dec. Rather him than Bob The Builder.


The Young Knives make LP for £12,000
One-time Mercury nominees Young Knives have discussed (in The Independent) how they managed to make their new LP, 'Sick Octave', on a budget of just £12,000. Amongst other thrifty ploys, the trio built a home studio, customised their own instruments (including a Theremin) and equipment, and made 'organic' beats using junk and a free iPad app. Oh, and funded it all with a £12,000 Kickstarter boost, which must've been useful.

Singer/guitarist Henry Dartnell says: "The old funding model is unsustainable. We spent £60,000 recording our last album but we didn't make £60,000. You pay £500 a day to hire a studio then find that the demos you made at home actually sounded better".

He continues: "You have to be a cottage industry these days. It was daunting because the industry tells you that you have to spend money on an expensive studio to sound good. But once you've got some mics for £9 and a few bits and bobs off eBay, it's much more fun and creatively inspiring to do it yourself".

'Sick Octave' is released this week, and the band play the first in a long line of live dates - all featuring the LP played in its entirety on their DIY 'rig'- tonight at Glasgow's ABC.

NME to present the 1990s in new compilation
NME is to ride the '1990s renaissance' wave by releasing a compilation of the era's greatest hits. Due next week via Sony Music, the three-disc 'NME Presents The 90s' will feature over 50 tracks by the likes of Radiohead, Blur, Oasis, The Notorious BIG, Fatboy Slim, The Cure, Jeff Buckley and Wu-Tang Clan. And the rest, listed here.

NME editor Mike Williams says: "You only need to look at how influential these artists are in 2013 to understand why the 90s were such a big deal for music, and such a big deal for NME. Every single artist on this album still resonates today, every single artist still matters".

Mike's quite right. I mean, we have only to check the faint 1990s vibe resonating on the cover of NME's super-grungy 'Young Britannia' issue to realise that the decade was, as he says, a big deal.

Arctic Monkeys postpone shows
The Arctic Monkeys have postponed a haul of upcoming shows on their European tour to later this month, whilst Alex Turner gets over a case of laryngitis.

The band set back dates on the continent, and in Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow last week, stating that medics had advised Turner not to sing.

All being well, the Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow shows will now take place on 18, 19 and 21 Nov respectively.


The Prodigy announce NYE show
The Prodigy have confirmed they're headlining a happy new year's rave party at the O2 Arena, so that'll be nice, will it not?

The show adds to other dates for the band at the Bournemouth International Centre (16 Dec) and Warehouse Project (18 Dec), and will feature earlier sets by Rudimental, Jaguar Skills and Modestep.

Bore all that info into your brain by looking at this scary poster.


MONEY add Heaven date
Post-rock philosophers MONEY have added a non-intimate date at Heaven in Charing Cross to their live timetable. It's next year, on 20 Feb, and will still count as support to the band's debut LP, 'Shadow Of Heaven'.

MONEY begin a separate tour that has nothing to do with the Heaven show tonight at Brighton's Green Door Store. As we await that, here is the very moony 'Goodnight London' being played to some bemused people in a pub.

Annie Lennox presented with MIT honour
So, following his arrest as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation last week, Paul Gambaccini stood down from MCing the annual fundraising Music Industry Trust Award dinner last night, which is probably just as well. Whenever Gambo pays tribute to an artist at an awards event you can't help suspecting that the tributee is thinking "yeah, this is just the dress rehearsal for your BBC News stint on the day I die".

It was the loverly Annie Lennox getting the MIT gong last night, which is still quite an honour, even if they did give the prize to tedious tax dodger Gary Barlow last year. And a barge full of celebrities were on hand to pay tribute to the one time Eurythmic yesterday, amongst them Adele, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Elton John, Stephen Fry, Chrissie Hynde, Emeli Sandé and a certain Desmond Tutu, oh and former MIT Award recipient Peter Gabriel, who actually presented the gong this year.

Responding to all the tributes and the MIT honour, Lennox told reporters: "I'm very touched and honoured to receive this award. Music has given me a lifetime of experiences and opportunities that I would never have dreamed possible, and I feel very privileged to have been able to become an artist and communicator, especially as a woman".


The Fly launch awards
The Fly is to host its inaugural awards do, the plainly-titled Fly Awards, on 6 Feb next year at London's Kentish Town Forum. The monthly mag, which marks its fifteenth year as a national circular in 2014, will partner with the War Child charity and Xfm for the prize-giving event, also putting on a number shows around the time of the awards, one of which (at Liverpool's EVAC on 2 Feb) will star Foals.

JJ Dunning, editor of The Fly, introduces it thus: "We want The Fly Awards to recognise credible artists. There are too many awards ceremonies that mean too little. Ours will celebrate the mould-breakers; the influencers, risk-takers and true originals whose innovation makes modern music so exciting. [Meanwhile] the awards shows are a thank you to readers across the country. Your appetite for our magazine is insatiable, and we want to show you our gratitude".

Go here for info and links to pre-order tickets to the ceremony and shows.

Bieber hits brothel/bottle hits Bieber
So as you might've already learned to your horror - if not surprise - pop's main manchild Justin Bieber - that's nineteen year old Justin Drew Bieber - paid a flying visit to a Brazilian brothel last week. Biebs, who was in Rio for a concert, is seen here trying to flee the scene in a bed sheet, hopefully a clean one. He is said to have spent three hours in the establishment, leaving with two women who were then 'escorted' to his hotel in SUVs.

Taking to Twitter in apparent denial that anything had happened, Biebs said in a since-deleted tweet: "Please stop believing rumors, they are just that; BS rumors, getting tired of it, no truth to them. Moving on now. Seriously moving on".

I'd hardly call a photo of a boy who's obviously Justin Bieber coming out of a known brothel a 'rumour', but what do I know? The whole Brazil trip, as in turns out, was a waste of time anyway, with Bieber storming off mid-show because someone threw a bottle at him. Here's a video of it.

And finally, Justin has just released a new track as part of his #MusicMondays thing. Its name is 'Bad Day', which is presumably dedicated to all those working in the sex trade who'd rather not be.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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