An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 4 February 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Ah, at last, the big punch up between veteran artists and the record companies over digital royalties has an appropriate soundtrack. Yes, Survivor are the latest band to go legal over the download money, mainly in relation to their 1982 'Rocky III' soundtracking hit 'Eye Of The Tiger'. Bam. Bam, bam, bam. Bam, bam, bam. Etc etc. As much previously reported, a stack of artists with pre-iTunes... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Released last week through Holy Roar, hardcore quartet Bastions' new EP, 'Bedfellows: The Forgotten Daughter', accompanies 2012's 'Bedfellows: The Bastard Son'. Together the two releases complete a narrative which explores mental health treatment past and present through the stories of two characters - the bastard son and forgotten daughter of the titles. Combined with the fiercely... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Survivor join the digital royalty fight
YouTube music payouts pass $1 billion, rep claims
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES New DJ app integrates Spotify
Tribune completes Gracenote acquisition
ARTIST NEWS Black Flag apologise for shortfalls, hire and fire vocalists
Wiley scraps new album
RELEASES Klaxons share new single
The Cure hint at LP, live DVD, Trilogy shows
Clean Bandit title first LP, New Eyes
GIGS & FESTIVALS Kwabs adds headline date
Trevor Jackson to host art-inspired NTS Radio night at London's ICA
Goldfinger, Zebrahead and Fandagle to play Slam Dunk ska punk tour
A post-CBB Dappy lists London shows
Festival line-up update: Bestival, Green Man, Isle Of Wight, and more
AWARDS Blondie to receive NME's Godlike Genius Award
The Vamps deemed newest of the MTV Brand New
AND FINALLY... Kevin Jonas becomes father, detergent brand Dreft informs the world
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This two-hour session provides an overview of the music rights sector in 2014, looking at trends in the digital market, plus the future of physical products, and where sync, public performance and other IP revenues fit in.

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Survivor join the digital royalty fight
Ah, at last, the big punch up between veteran artists and the record companies over digital royalties has an appropriate soundtrack. Yes, Survivor are the latest band to go legal over the download money, mainly in relation to their 1982 'Rocky III' soundtracking hit 'Eye Of The Tiger'. Bam. Bam, bam, bam. Bam, bam, bam. Etc etc.

As much previously reported, a stack of artists with pre-iTunes record contracts have hit out at the labels for paying them a 'record sale' rather than 'licensing' royalty on downloads, even though download income stems from 'licensing deals' between the record companies and the digital service providers. Traditional record contracts usually gave artists a much bigger cut of the money from licensing deals versus record sales income.

Early Eminem collaborators FBT Productions won the landmark judgement in this domain in a legal battle with Universal, and since then a plethora of American heritage artists famous enough to have recouped on their original record contracts, but not so famous that they've been able to amend legacy agreements over the years, have filed litigation. Both Sony and Warner have proposed settlements offering artists a (very) slight increase on download royalties, while a few angry artists have reached their own deals, though loads of lawsuits remain pending.

Founding Survivor members Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, the latter still performing with the band, have sued Sony Music for a 'licensing' cut of the revenue generated by their recordings, which they say should be 50% of the money (the record sales cut they are getting is likely to be somewhere closer to 15%). The same lawsuit also claims that the major still owes the duo money stemming from settlements the American record industry reached with the big file-sharing platforms of old like Kazaa, and alleges a bunch of other customary royalty gripes like improper deductions.

Adding the kind of drama you'd expect from a legal battle soundtracked with "Bam. Bam, bam, bam", Peterik and Sullivan's lawsuit also alleges that an unnamed Sony rep threatened the musicians with 'the nuclear option' if they went legal on the digital royalties issue. School boy error, never threaten born Survivors with the nuclear option. That, by the way, would be the withdrawal of Survivor's big catalogue of hits - so mainly 'Eye Of The Tiger' - from iTunes entirely, depriving all parties of all and any download income.

But, say the Survivor duo, the fact that option exists proves the label has a licensing arrangement with iTunes. Says the lawsuit, according to Billboard: "A Sony representative threatened that in the event Survivor persisted in its objection, Sony would exercise what it termed 'the nuclear option' - removal of the Survivor masters from the songs licensed to iTunes for download by consumers, thereby wiping out that revenue stream altogether. By threatening 'the nuclear option', Sony has conceded that its transaction with iTunes is a license subject to termination, and not a sale of the Survivor masters to iTunes. If it was a sale, Sony would have no right to demand return of the songs".

Knockout blow? Well who knows, we just wish one of these cases would get to the ring already so we can have a referee, or judge if you like, rule on whether the 'FBT' ruling sets an industry wide precedent. If said judge said 'yes', well then things would go nuclear. "It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight". Etc etc.


YouTube music payouts pass $1 billion rep claims
YouTube has paid out over $1 billion to the music industry "over the last few years", Vice President of YouTube Content Tom Pickett announced during a panel at MIDEM yesterday. Something which, contrary to what Pickett probably hoped, didn't stop people from heckling him.

While Google has been on the receiving end of quite a lot of dissing from the music industry for a couple of years now - labels, publishers and managers routinely questioning why the web firm doesn't do more to block court-acknowledged piracy operations from its search engine results - in the main, outside of Germany at least, Google subsidiary YouTube has avoided too much music community rage.

Presumably because the video platform has been a significant revenue generator for the labels for some time now, not to mention one of the most important digital marketing platforms. YouTube stats have become so important that new talent can't really steer clear of the party, and the video platform has built an advertising-based revenue stream for digital music few others can match (without launching within Google's platform like Vevo).

Yet, as the artist community has got about slagging off Pandora (in the US) and Spotify (in Europe) over the last year about the tiny royalties paid out by the streaming services, we have wondered how long YouTube, which generally offers even smaller per-play pay outs, could avoid the musical wrath. Well, until MIDEM this year it turns out. Perhaps the subscription-based streaming services like Spotify - desperate to reach a mainstream audience to make their business models work - have started telling the labels that the big fat free-to-access YouTube, with its massive reach and licensing preferential rates, is a major problem.

But YouTube is a friend of the music industry, Pickett was keen to stress, hence the one billion dollars line. The stat being a bit of a throw away remark, it's not really clear what that means. Aside from the fact the figure referred to pay-outs over an ambiguous "last few years", we don't know whether that sum includes Vevo money (if not, most Sony and Universal content is not included), or revenue generated by other content owners who have won the right to sell their own advertising on the YouTube platform. And is the billion shared between both the labels and the publishers?

Either way, the claimed billion dollar pay out didn't really placate anyone in Cannes, many honing in on the fact that Spotify has also paid a similar amount into the music industry, and half of it in just 2013, suggesting that the audio streaming platform - so often knocked for its poor pay outs - is actually paying out lots more than YouTube, despite having a smaller reach and a lot less content consumption overall.

According to The Guardian, the BPI's Geoff Taylor, sitting on the same panel, voiced that sentiment, suggesting that YouTube should be looking into going the same route as its audio rivals, ie with a premium as well as freemium level. Said Taylor: "I think YouTube has lacked [a mix of free and premium tiers], and that has been a problem for the industry. When I looked at the billions of streams there were in music videos, and the pounds and pence coming in to the industry from that, it was a very small number".

New DJ app integrates Spotify
A new DJ app is on the market that uses Spotify as its source of content, allowing people to iPad DJ to their heart's content utilising the streaming platform's catalogue of tip top tunes.

The new app, from a Swedish company called Pacemaker, operates in a similar way to the various DJing apps already available that allow users to mix their own MP3 collections - and indeed the Pacemaker firm previously launched such a thing - but the new product also brings Spotify into the mix. It's not the first such app to link into a streaming platform, but its the first officially integrated with the Spotify system.

Pacemaker CEO Jonas Norberg told The Guardian that the app is more aimed at the bedroom DJ than the professional mixer, explaining: "We hope it's accessible: we believe that there is a big bunch of people out there who want to do a little bit more than just passively consume the music. They want to mess around with it. That's the kind of need we are targeting".

Though he adds: "We also want to give professional quality to our users, so they can grow with the app. You see this trend of self-publication: things being democratised all over the place like photography and video, but this is something that hasn't really been democratised yet".

The app is free to download, with Pacemaker's business model being the sale of add-on effects. They also upsell premium Spotify subs, because after a two-day free trial only paying users of the streaming service can do the mixing.

Pacemaker can also be used with the user's MP3 collection, and doing so enables some extra functionality such as storing mixes for future listening, though Norberg reckons its the Spotify integration that's most important.

Interestingly, a similar DJ Spotify app was the winner of the Hack Day proceedings at MIDEM this year. More on that here.


Tribune completes Gracenote acquisition
Media firm Tribune announced yesterday that its $170 million acquisition of Gracenote from Sony Corporation of America had been completed.

As previously reported, the deal will bring music metadata firm Gracenote together with its new owner's existing TV data company Tribune Media Services, giving that business a presence in the download and streaming sectors for which Gracenote is a key provider of music data.

Announcing the deal completion, President of Tribune Digital Ventures Shashi Seth told CMU: "The acquisition of Gracenote is a natural extension of our current portfolio. This reinforces Tribune's commitment to investing in cutting edge technologies that will shape the way consumers interact with digital media now and in the future".

Gracenote President Stephen White added: "I am inspired by Tribune's vision of digital entertainment and the role Gracenote can play in making it a reality. The acquisition by Tribune just makes sense. We see great opportunities to leverage Gracenote's technologies, data and expertise with Tribune's core media business to create more dynamic entertainment experiences".

Sony also confirmed its previous estimate that the sale of Gracenote would provide it with an additional $60 million in operating income come the end of the company's fiscal year on 31 Mar, beyond the original forecast it published in October last year.

  Approved: Bastions
Released last week through Holy Roar, hardcore quartet Bastions' new EP, 'Bedfellows: The Forgotten Daughter', accompanies 2012's 'Bedfellows: The Bastard Son'. Together the two releases complete a narrative which explores mental health treatment past and present through the stories of two characters - the bastard son and forgotten daughter of the titles.

Combined with the fiercely delivered, razor pointed hardcore sound, which on the latest EP the band have really honed to a new level, it's certainly one Bastions' most engaging releases, and marks them out as leaders in the current hardcore scene.

The impressive level of research and detail covered across the nine songs on these two EPs, is outlined in this Punktastic interview with frontman Jamie Burne. Listen to 'The Bastard Son' in full here, and 'The Forgotten Daughter' here, or sample a single track, 'Foreign Bodies', here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Black Flag apologise for shortfalls, hire and fire vocalists
Following some very public turmoil in the Black Flag camp of late, guitarist Greg Ginn has said sorry for the band's "sub-par" 2013 LP 'What The...', their first since 1985, and a shaky last year in general.

Black Flag founder Ginn, as you may know, picked up again with his band's one-time vocalist Ron Reyes just over a year ago to write 'What The...', only to 'fire' his bandmate, live and mid-show, on a tour of Australia late last year. Black Flag's then-manager Mike Vallely has since been hired as a new lead singer (in fact taking over the mic from Reyes at that same show), he having previously spent a brief time in the band in 2003.

Talking to Rolling Stone, former pro skateboarder Vallely says: "We feel that, generally, the band fell short in 2013 because of a difference in the philosophies of Ron and Greg - it just led to dysfunction. It could have been better Black Flag can be a stronger, more cohesive, tighter band. We want to prove that".

Reyes issued a statement following his on-stage sacking in which he said it was "a great relief", adding: "I have been excommunicated in a very strange fashion. I truly feel sorry for anyone who had to witness the infantile behaviour and the relentless provocation I was subjected to both on and off the stage. I regret that under such fierce provocation and taunting I sometimes responded in manners below my standard".

Yes, this is all quite silly isn't it?


Wiley scraps new album
Wiley has announced that he's scrapping his new album, 'Snakes & Ladders', and starting again. The long player, which was apparently finished, had been due for release through Ninja Tune/Big Dada. The rapper also says that he'd spent 42,000 Canadian dollars (the album was recorded in Toronto) on the new record before deciding that it wasn't good enough. That works out a little more than the £15,000 he was planning to "piss up the wall" last year.

"I am gonna scrap 'Snakes & Ladders' and start again cos I ain't happy with it - [it] needs to be epic or else there is no point", he tweeted, adding: "I very rarely [scrap something and restart from scratch] this that's why I am gonna try it".

The last time something about one of his albums displeased Wiley he leaked it - on that occasion in protest at an error on one of the tracks his then label Warner Music had sent to iTunes. And, of course, there was that time he uploaded every unreleased track on his hard drive to the net. Don't expect that to happen again any time soon, though.

"I ain't leaking shit either", he said. "Not this time - I'm 42 thousand dollars in ...NO LEAKS".

Don't worry though, you can still listen to the five tracks he has already released from the new album, 'Flying', 'And Again', 'One Step Further', 'Born In The Cold' and, appropriately, 'Fuck It'.

Klaxons share new single
STILL RELEVANT ALERT! Klaxons gave their new single 'There Is No Other Time' its first airing last night via BBC Radio 1.

A collaboration with Gorgon City of 'Ready For Your Love (feat MNEK)' fame, it will be present on the band's very 'present' upcoming third LP, which is, says Jamie Reynolds "very much about the present, an emotionally honest album about technological and personal progression".

So I guess it's time to present Dev Hynes and Metronomy's new Pharrell-featuring single 'There Is No Other Time' (that's what it sounds like, anyway), because, well, there really is no other time like the present.


The Cure hint at LP, live DVD, Trilogy shows
The Cure have pulled back the (figurative) curtain on their fourteenth studio LP, which has the working title '4:14 Scream'.

It was made at the same time as its prequel, 2008's '4:13 Dream', and will be released later this year, as will a live DVD. The band are also said to be planning some one-off shows in which they'll play through their 1980s albums 'The Top', 'The Head On The Door', and 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me', in full.

And, having sold out that previously reported Teenage Cancer Trust on 28 Mar, The Cure have added another fund-raising show the following night, also at London's Royal Albert Hall. Buy tickets to it and any of the other non sold-out TCT gigs at this link.


Clean Bandit title first LP, New Eyes
Many-stringed EDM intellectuals Clean Bandit have revealed the title of their first LP, which is set to be released on 12 May, and that title is this phrase: 'New Eyes'.

The Warner/Atlantic-signings have made it a fortnight at number one in the British charts with new track 'Rather Be (feat Jess Glynn)', which will feature on the disc beside past singles 'A&E', 'Mozart's House' and 'Dust Clears', and other collaborations with Lizzo, Rae Morris, Stylo G and Elisabeth Troy.

CB cellist Grace Chatto chats this: "Our first album is finally here and it feels so good to draw everything together into one piece of work. The title track 'New Eyes' was written in a special place in France called Nouailles, but no one was quite sure how to pronounce it and our manager nicknamed it as 'New Eyes', which stuck... It's the most personal song on the album, so we gave the album the same title".

While we let that sink in, here's a link to its tracklisting, and here's 'Rather Be (feat Jess Glynn)'.

Kwabs adds headline date
London songwriter Kwabs is taking his beautiful voice to Village Underground, in the capital, on 10 Apr. By doing that, Kwabs, aka Kwabena Adjepong, will showcase his debut EP, 'Wrong Or Right', following its release via Atlantic Records this week.

Tickets are on sale as of today, on this page. And this is what the SOHN-produced 'Wrong Or Right' - the new EP's title track, that is - looks and sounds like.


Trevor Jackson to host art-inspired NTS Radio night at London's ICA
Producer/artist Trevor Jackson will programme the first in a chain of Parallel Visions events, presented by online radio station NTS, and based at the ICA in London.

Happening on 18 Feb, Jackson's event, a "multi-dimensional experience" titled 'Palindrome', is based on a 1974 painting of the same name by Richard Hamilton. It'll take place inside a specially commissioned installation, and will feature DJ sets by Jackson and The Horrors' Tom Furse, and live acts in Luke Abbot and Dave ID.

The whole thing will be streamed live on the night (from 8pm) via and the ICA site.


Goldfinger, Zebrahead and Fandagle to play Slam Dunk ska punk tour
"Pop punk, emo and metal" promotions co Slam Dunk has booked Goldfinger, Zebrahead and Fandagle for its inaugural Ska Punk Tour. Consisting of four shows, all with the same line-up, it'll go as follows:

22 May: Manchester, Club Academy
23 May: Newcastle, Academy 2
27 May: Norwich, Waterfront
28 May: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms

"Also, I wonder what the gap in the tour dates is all about", asks the maker of its poster, making an oblique nod to Slam Dunk's 2014 festival, whose line-up will be announced on 12 Feb.


A post-CBB Dappy lists London shows
Having re-inserted himself into the 'real world' last month after losing out on 'Celebrity Big Brother' to Jim Davidson (I repeat: JIM DAVIDSON), sympathetic reality TV character and monster Dappy, aka Tarzan, has confirmed a pair of solo (pop) shows in London. Because he is, apparently, a musician.

They're both at Islington Academy, in case anyone cares, on 10 and 11 Apr. Megafans can get tickets here.


Festival line-up update: Reading/Leeds, Bestival, Green Man, Isle Of Wight and more
The Reading and Leeds twin festivals have announced a few new additions to their line-up, including new headliner Arctic Monkeys, who join the previously announced Blink 182. Also amongst the new names on the bill are The Courteeners, The 1975, You Me At Six, SBTRKT, Warpaint, and Pusha T.

Meanwhile, this year's Desert Island Disco-themed Bestival will, as per festival Boss-tival Rob Da Bank's latest line-up reveal, be headlined by Beck and Foals, as well as existing lead billings Outkast, and recent addees like Disclosure, Major Lazer, London Grammar, Sam Smith and Wild Beasts.

RSVP-ing to the beachy bash as one, Foals say: "We couldn't be more excited and honoured to be part of Bestival this year; it's the perfect end to our touring for 'Holy Fire'. We promise a night of madness, mayhem and good times!"

A good time it surely will be. Almost as good, I dare say, as the festivities at this year's Green Man, which will, its news centre stated this week, feature Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Daughter, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten, Waxahatchee and Fat White Family.

What it won't feature, though, is Kings Of Leon, who now I mention it have just been confirmed to join Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris at the top of 2014's Isle Of Wight Festival listings.

Stay tuned for more on all that, plus some banging additional updates from British Summer Time, Forest Live, NASS, Other Voices, Parklife, Tramlines and Willowman.

BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 4-7 Sep: Beck, Foals, Disclosure, Major Lazer, London Grammar, Sam Smith, Wild Beasts, Clean Bandit, Caribou, Chvrches.

BRITISH SUMMER TIME, Hyde Park, London, 4-13 Jul: Half Moon Run, Lucy Rose, Ethan Johns, The Webb Sisters, Jack Savoretti, To Kill A King, Hero Fisher, Lawson, Five, Neon Jungle, Elyar Fox, Ollie Marland, George Barnett, Joel Baker, Mike Dignam.

FOREST LIVE, various venues, full dates TBA: Suede, James Blunt.

GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glanusk, Wales, 15-18 Aug: Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Daughter, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten, Jeffry Lewis, Tunng, Toy, I Break Horses, Ry X, Waxahatchee, Lanterns On The Lake, Fat White Family, William Tyler, Speedy Ortiz, Georgia Ruth, All We Are, Happyness, Plank!, Eaves, Sons Of Noel & Adrian, John Mouse.

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, 12-15 Jun: Kings Of Leon, Travis, Clean Bandit, The Specials, John Newman, Deap Vally, Nina Nesbitt, The Horrors, Gorgon City, The Strypes, The Polyphonic Spree, From The Jam, Neon Jungle, Swim Deep, Chloe Howl, The Selecter, Duke Dumont, Peace, July Talk, The Move, Dappy, Lawson, The Vamps.

LEEDS FESTIVAL, Bramham Park, 22-24 Aug: Arctic Monkeys, Courteeners, The 1975, You Me At Six, SBTRKT, Warpaint, Netsky, Annie Mac, Royal Blood, Hozier, Architects, Issues, Pusha T, Krept & Konan.

NASS FESTIVAL, Bath & West Showground, 11-13 Jul: Cypress Hill, Netsky, Noisia, Mistajam, Krept & Konan, DJ EZ, Black Sun Empire, TC, Hanna Wants, My Nu Leng, Nicki Blackmarket.

OTHER VOICES, Dingle, Londonderry, Ireland, 7-9 Feb: Public Service Broadcasting, Foy Vance, Poliça, George Ezra, East India Youth, Bell X1, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Little Matador, The Amazing Snakeheads, Walking on Cars, The Bohicas, The Gloaming.

PARKLIFE WEEKENDER, Heaton Park, Manchester, 7-8 Jun: Snoop Dogg, Foals, Rudimental, Bastille, London Grammar, Sam Smith, Warpaint, Clean Bandit, Ella Eyre, Annie Mac, Katy B, Bipolar Sunshine, Becky Hill, Will Tramp, Nero, Gorgon City, Shy FX, Nero, Gorgon City, Shy FX, B Traits, Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, Skream, Scuba, George Fitzgerald, Jimmy Edgar, Wilkinson, Breakage b2b Dismantle, Hannah Wants, Joel Compass, Matt Jam Lamont, North Base, Flying Lotus, Gold Panda, Captain Murphy, Zomby, Jacques Greene, Indigo, Illum Sphere, My Nu Leng, Throwing Snow, Thundercat, Happa, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, Eats Everything, Ben UFO & Pearson Sound, Paul Woolford, Ben Pearce, Greg b2b Krysko, Duke Dumont, Redlight, Maribou State, Waze & Odyssey, Route94, MJ Cole, Javeon, Eton Messy DJs, Ed Norris, Oli Hackett, BrEaCh, Kaluki, MK, The Martinez Brothers, Davide Squillace, Lee Foss, Richy Ahmed, Catz N Dogz, Pirate Copy, DJ Ellesse, a UK festival exclusive from Kendrick Lamar, Chromeo, Bonobo (DJ set), Cyril Hahn, Mount Kimbie, Bondax, Submotion Orchestra, Childhood, Now Wave DJs, Andy C, High Contrast, Camo & Krooked, London Elektricity (DJ Set), Fred V and Grafix, Spy, Etherwood, Metrik, Logistics, Lynx, MC Wrec, Juicy DJs, Now Wave DJs, Justin Robertson, Johnno, Jackmaster & Oneman present Can U Dance, Heidi, Dixon & AME, Hot Since 82, Green Velvet, Bicep, Benoit & Sergio, Daniel Avery, Krankbrother, Disclosure, Julio Bashmore, Kerri Chandler, Dusky, DJ Koze, Pusha T, DJ Ez, Preditah, David Rodigan, Soul II Soul, David Rodigan, Mike Pickering, Artwork, Randall & MC GQ, Stylo G, Venum Sound, Tale Of Us, Joy Orbison, Erol Alkan, Tensnake, Andrew Weatherall, Unabombers, Greg b2b Krysko, SBTRKT, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, Jamie XX, Danny Brown, East India Youth, Ryan Hemsworth, Jessy Lanza, Now Wave DJs, Damian Lazarus, Art Department, TEED (DJ Set), Subb-an, Mano le Tough, Ida Engberg.

READING FESTIVAL, Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, 22-24 Aug: Arctic Monkeys, Courteeners, The 1975, You Me At Six, SBTRKT, Warpaint, Netsky, Annie Mac, Royal Blood, Hozier, Architects, Issues, Pusha T, Krept & Konan.

TRAMLINES, various venues, Sheffield, 25-27 Jul: The Cribs, Katy B, Gold Panda, The Toddla T Sound, The Wedding Present, Deap Vally, The Gaslamp Killer, Moxie, Benji B, Leon Vynehall, Jonwayne, Lewis Watson, Blessa, Shy Nature.

WILLOWMAN, Hillside Rural Activites Park, Knayton, Yorkshire, 19-22 Jun: The Wailers, Craig Charles, Radical Dance Faction, Jeramiah Ferrari, Mountain of Love, New Electric Ride, Thatcher's Bush, Pikey Beatz, Biggles Wartime Band, Sound Of Ravens, Kickshaws, George Borowski, Pink Diamond Revue, Willowman Allstars, DJ Dan Fantoni, Instrument Of Jah Sound System.

Blondie to receive NME's Godlike Genius Award
Blondie will be the recipient of the Godlike Genius Award at this year's NME Awards. Which is nice. For them.

Upon hearing the news, Blondie said, in perfect unison: "We've always had a special relationship with the UK and this is great, it's nice to be recognised and it's an outstanding list. To be honoured so nicely, and to play music. What could be better?"

What indeed? And just in time to coincide with their 40th anniversary too, which is an amazing stroke of luck.

NME Editor Mike Williams added: "They re-wrote the rulebook in the late 70s by dragging punk rock to the top of the charts, and their classic songs still sounds as fresh as ever today. Everyone from Iggy Pop, Lily Allen, Lady Gaga and Julian Casablancas have looked to Debbie Harry for inspiration - she's the most iconic frontwoman rock n roll has ever produced. It goes without saying that NME is hugely proud, not to mention extremely excited, to be honouring her and Blondie with our most coveted award in 2014".

The NME Awards will take place at the Brixton Academy on 26 Feb. And that's that.


The Vamps deemed newest of the MTV Brand New
Fans have chosen pop-rock boyband The Vamps to win MTV's Brand New For 2014 tiara.

The Brit quintet beat finalists Sam Smith, Ella Eyre, Elyar Fox, BANKS, Royal Blood, Kwabs, George Ezra and Marie Naffah to take their Brand New title, held in previous years by In Case Of Fire, Mona, Ebony Day and, of course, Justin Bieber. All of whom have gone on to do big, big things in the world of pop.

#1 Vamp Bradley says his piece on the win, which is: "A big thank you to all our fans who voted for us, you're all amazing. It's a bit weird winning it when we've all grown up and seen the artists who have won it so thank you very much".

#2 Vamp Tristan adds: "We're very lucky and we feel very humbled and honoured to win such an awesome competition we've been growing up with".

Time now to watch the official clip for The Vamps' still new-ish single, 'Wild Heart'.

Kevin Jonas becomes father, detergent brand Dreft informs the world
So Kevin Jonas - one of the Brothers - is now a father after his wife Danielle gave birth to daughter Alena Rose. And how do we know this? Well, because washing powder brand Dreft - aka THE OFFICIAL BRAND PARTNER OF THE JONAS FAMILY BIRTH - told us. "Follow @Dreft for exclusive content from our growing family!" said Jonas as his wife went into labour. "Meet Alena Rose Jonas", the detergent people later tweeted, complete with the first photo of the new arrival.

Imagine how silly every other popstar parent in the world is feeling around about now. How could they possibly have missed out on the obvious brand partnership opportunities created by the birth of your child. Just think, Ferrari could have sponsored the ambulance ride to the hospital, Nurofen the epidural, Evian the waters breaking and Gilette the cutting of the umbilical cord. You only need to bring in Dreft for the clean up.

Anyway, congrats to Kevin and Danielle Jonas and little Alena Rose. Hey Kev, add a tiny little acute accent onto that name and you've got a ready made wine brand there.

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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