An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 2 May 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Bloom.fm has been given a stay of execution by founder Oleg Fomenko, as he seeks a buyer for the streaming service. Interested parties only have ten days to come forward though. As previously reported, Bloom.fm announced on Wednesday evening that it had been forced to close down after its main investor, Russian TV company TNT, pulled out, However, Formenko told Music Ally... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: This week Simon Cowell revealed that he's still trying to get together a TV (well, online video) format to help find the cream of new DJ talent. But all he really needs to do is head down to The Garage in Islington tonight for the DMC UK DJ Championship Final. Hosted by Inja, the event will see turntablists from all around the country battling it out to represent the UK in the world final later this year. As well... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: I like Lorde. I think that she released a good album last year, and has interesting things to say about music and the life of a teenager in the 21st century, and stuff. But this week, she said something that made me think, "Oh, that's stupid". "How can this be possible?!" I'm sure you're now weeping. I know, I find it a strange and confusing situation to be in too. Like most people, especially Lorde, my opinion... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Bloom.fm hoping to find buyer
Blueprint programme announced - new creative tech day at The Great Escape
Great Escape's educational programme confirmed
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DEALS Robert Plant signs to Nonesuch
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Universal and Daniel Barenboim launch digital-only classical label
Sony Corp increases loss prediction
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LIVE BUSINESS Royal Albert Hall has record year for income
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BRANDS & MERCH Klipsch to sponsor Kings Of Leon UK shows
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Kobalt earning royalties on one billion YouTube streams per month
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ARTIST NEWS Oasis guitarist probe proves inconclusive
Nadine Coyle plots comeback as Flatley's Lady Of The Dance
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RELEASES Release Round-Up: Basement Jaxx, Banks, Sampha, Krampthaft and Nathan Fake
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Libertines 2014 news: Pete Doherty loves money
Ed Sheeran playing intimate Bank Holiday shows, collaborating with (The) Game
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #204: Lorde v Journalism
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Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
ACADEMY MUSIC GROUP - WEBSITE PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Domino seeks a Paralegal / Business Affairs Assistant to join record label and publishing company assisting the Business Affairs department. Reporting to the Business Affairs Manager and Company Directors, the role will provide every opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their commercial and legal skills in the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - PARALEGAL / BUSINESS AFFAIRS ASSISTANT
Domino seeks a Paralegal / Business Affairs Assistant to join record label and publishing company assisting the Business Affairs department. Reporting to the Business Affairs Manager and Company Directors, the role will provide every opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their commercial and legal skills in the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SOUND ADVICE - MUSIC LAWYER
Sound Advice is a London based law firm specialising in the music industry, focusing mainly on the representation of artists and managers. We have a client roster to be proud of, from home and abroad. We are looking for an experienced lawyer to join us.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FUGA - SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REPRESENTATIVE
FUGA are looking to expand our London-based team with a Sales & Business Development Representative to develop the market, drive revenue and manage client relations in the UK.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AEI MEDIA - ROYALTIES ASSISTANT
AEI Media Ltd are seeking an experienced and passionate Royalties Administrator to join their team; the role will sit within a dynamic accounting function and report directly into the Finance Manager.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AEI MEDIA - FINANCE ASSISTANT
AEI Media Ltd are seeking an articulate and ambitious Finance Assistant; the role will sit within a dynamic accounting function and report directly into the Finance Manager.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DEEZER - OFFICE INTERN (PAID)
This is an exciting opportunity to gain experience working for a fast-growing company in the music and technology sector. During the internship you will assist the UK office manager and other departments when called upon. This would be an ideal opportunity for someone looking for their first steps into the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BIGBOX - ASSISTANT BOOKER
BIGBOX is looking for an exceptional individual to work within our culture team as an Assistant Booker. You will be required to source, book and manage the operations / logistics across a variety of events which fall within the realms of music, culture, fashion and beyond.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
MAMA NEW MUSIC - JUNIOR BOOKER AND EVENTS ASSISTANT
MAMA New Music are looking for a Junior Booker and Events Assistant to work at our head office in Shoreditch. This is an entry level position and will give the successful applicant an opportunity to become a concert booker in a highly efficient team of live concert and event organisers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE MOST RADICALIST BLACK SHEEP MUSIC - MUSIC RESEARCHER
The Most Radicalist Black Sheep Music is looking for a full time music researcher, based at our office in Kingly Street, London. With a minimum two years experience within a music supervision company, sync department or music production company you'll have extensive knowledge of all genres of music and be a savvy internet user with in depth knowledge of music blogs/online music magazines in the UK and worldwide.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
OUTPOST - ONLINE PR ACCOUNT MANAGER / FREELANCER
Music PR agency Outpost 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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

Bloom.fm hoping to find buyer
Bloom.fm has been given a stay of execution by founder Oleg Fomenko, as he seeks a buyer for the streaming service. Interested parties only have ten days to come forward though.

As previously reported, Bloom.fm announced on Wednesday evening that it had been forced to close down after its main investor, Russian TV company TNT, pulled out.

However, Formenko told Music Ally yesterday that he had decided to try to save the service, seemingly after a number of potential bidders came forward following that announcement, saying: "We've decided we're going to run a seven to ten day bidding process to see who wants to buy us. Around a dozen people have expressed interest already, and the process is probably going to be run by our administrators".

He added: "There is a product and there is a team that can either disappear and go to various different places, or survive. I would rather this had gone completely differently, but if the alternatives are to bury or to live, I'll choose survival".

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Blueprint programme announced - new creative tech day at The Great Escape
The full programme has been announced today for Blueprint, the new tech-focused mini-conference that will take place on the final day of The Great Escape next week at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton. Open to all TGE delegates, standalone tickets are also available for Blueprint, for anyone in the creative tech space, at just £30, click here to book.

As previously reported, through a series of talks, panels and case studies, Blueprint will consider how great new ideas for music or creative tech ventures can be honed, developed and turned into viable business propositions. There will be four key strands to the conference, including programmes presented by Joining The Dots and Strange Thoughts, plus the also previously reported Samplethon, bringing together creators, a rights owner and a music tech player to create great new music onsite.

Kicking things off in the Old Ship's Paganini Ballroom will be a session on navigating the funding maze, offering advice on when, how and where creative tech entrepreneurs can find funders. Other morning panels will then focus on the latest digital innovations in the ticketing and curation spaces.

Joining The Dots is a new initiative from The Hub which is all about supporting innovative music tech ideas, and the organisation's Julia Payne will lift the lid of the venture, and some of the projects it is supporting, in amongst an afternoon of panels looking at music tech collaborations, and some of he latest developments in the worlds of location-based technology and fan engagement.

Strange Thoughts is a disruptive agency led by Seth Jackson, and he has invited some leading creative tech innovators to present, discuss and demo their latest projects. Hear about Clare Reddington's Playable Cities, create a Colourstory with Arthur Buxton, find out about the rise of online poker with Joe Wilson, hear about Paul Archer's unique start-up journey, get the low down on the Q App from Tim Bichara and the Creative Digital Economy Catapult with Chris Thompson, and see Adam Place's stunning new musical instrument Alphasphere.

Sam Taylor from CMU Insights, who has curated Blueprint, says: "The tech community has been very much in attendance at The Great Escape for a number of years now, but we hope that with the Blueprint we will expand that part of the TGE delegation, and bring them into the heart of the conversation. While tensions continue to exist between the tech, creator and rights owner communities, we all know that when these groups collaborate great things can happen, and we hope to initiate some of those collaborations at The Great Escape this year".

Check out the full Blueprint programme here, and to buy tickets to the event for just £30 click here. Meanwhile read our interview with James Hamlin from WhoSampled about the Samplethon here.

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Great Escape's educational programme confirmed
Full details of this year's educational programme at The Great Escape have been announced, including the previously reported TGE:DIY day, aimed at the grass roots music community.

The DIY programme, supported by Arts Council England and PRS For Music, provides a user-friendly overview of the music business for artists, songwriters, budding new managers, music business entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to work in the industry.

CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke will kick off the day with an overview of the sector, and how artists and their business partners make money. PRS For Music's Andy Ellis will then lead a panel offering tips on how new talent can capitalise on revenue and funding opportunities at the start of their career, with Rob Woodland from State 51, Julia Payne from The Hub, Phil Nelson from First Column Management and Glenn Cooper from Island Records all offering tips.

In the afternoon the focus will fall on building fanbase, while Suzi Ireland from BIMM and Bearded Magazine will lead a discussion on getting gigs. Then Cooke will return to discuss the kinds of deals artists may enter into as their careers develop, including the all important record deal, after which there'll be A&R insights aplenty from Alcopop's Jack Pop and Memphis Industries' Ollie Jacob. And finally Robert Luis from Tru Thoughts will discuss what it's like running an indie label in 2014.

TGE:DIY is open to Great Escape delegates, but crucially the grass roots community can get in too by buying standalone tickets at just £15. Click here for the full line-up and here to book your tickets.

Preceding TGE:DIY on the Friday of this year's convention will be the first ever BIMM Student Sessions at The Great Escape, taking place in the Old Ship Hotel on Friday 9 May. This three hour session will bring together music business students and Great Escape delegates for a series of student-focused discussions, plus record industry legend Seymour Stein in conversation with BPI Chair and former EMI chief Tony Wadsworth.

Says Wadsworth of the Student Sessions: "BIMM and The Great Escape are two of Brighton's greatest home grown ideas! It's a huge opportunity for BIMM's students to be a part of this industry event and to get closer to the very people who do this stuff for a living. In turn, I'm sure the industry delegates will be impressed and hopefully, challenged by the questions they get from students. On a personal level I'm very much looking forward to talking with Seymour Stein about the great artists he worked with - some of the most innovative and influential names in pop history".

Meanwhile Vaseema Hamilton, Principal of BIMM Brighton, Manchester and Bristol, told CMU: "We look forward to welcoming not only students and alumni from BIMM but also students from other colleges and schools across the South East. We all share a common goal - to promote opportunities in music, encourage entrepreneurship and to motivate young people to think big and believe that everything is possible!"

Robert Plant signs to Nonesuch
Robert Plant has signed a new deal with Warner Bros Records imprint Nonesuch, which will release a new album by the former Led Zeppelin frontman later this year. Recorded with his new band, The Sensational Space Shifters, Plant will also tour in support of the record.

Says Plant: "I'm pleased to find such a reputable home for our renegade departures. The support and encouragement we have received has been strong and refreshing".

Universal and Daniel Barenboim launch digital-only classical label
Universal has announced the launch of a new digital-only classical label in partnership with pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, called Peral Music.

Barenboim told CMU: "I came up with the idea for the label because I've had the good fortune to record for 60 years and always with major companies. I've seen all the developments that the industry has made: my first recordings were on 45s. Then LP, then stereo, then CD - so I've seen a lot of changes. And I've also seen the changes to the place of [classical] music in society which is, in my view, much weaker than it was, say, 60 years ago".

Those changes, he said, came down to classical music's slowness to adapt to modern technology and "has created a generation who have grown up without [classical] music". This has spurred him to try to pull classical music into the 21st century.

He continued: "I'm fascinated by young people who have such a dominion of everything that is digital. I like the purity of it. I like the fact that you don't need all the clutter - there's something incredibly direct about it. And I'm fascinated by the possibilities it offers - there are so many opportunities! What I would like to get across to the younger generation is that they have to have the curiosity to really concentrate and listen: to basically really hang on to the first note and stay with it. Digital is a wonderful means because you don't have to do anything like putting a needle onto an LP, or putting a CD into the player. And the recorded quality is superior".

Universal Music Group International CEO Max Hole said of working with Barenhoim: "The label 'legend' is unquestionably overused, but in the case of Daniel Barenboim it couldn't be more fitting. Daniel is one of the towering figures of our time whose long career as both pianist and conductor has been matched by his work as a humanitarian that's enabled him to transcend the usual confines of the musical world. It's typical of Daniel's unending creative engagement with his times that he's partnering with us to launch PERAL MUSIC, a label that will enable him to fully explore the possibilities offered to such a figure by the digital revolution. Everyone at Universal Music is delighted and proud to partner Daniel in his latest innovation".

All releases on the label will be made available in iTunes' higher quality 'Mastered For iTunes' format on a two month exclusive, before becoming more widely available in standard download formats. The first release, 'Bruckner's Symphonies Nos 1-3', is out now.

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Sony Corp increases loss prediction
Sony Corp warned yesterday that its losses for the last financial year are likely to be higher than previously predicted, at $1.27 billion.

As previously reported, Sony announced in February that it expected to make a loss of $1.1 billion (£651 million), adding that it would sell its PC business and cut 5000 consumer electronics jobs to help make up the shortfall. It also appointed a new CFO in light of the losses.

But the doom and gloom continued yesterday, when Sony admitted that it was now expecting the final loss figure to come out closer to $1.27 billion (£752 million).

However, as previously reported, on the music side things are looking brighter, with revenues and profits for the final quarter of 2013 up year-on-year.

The full financial report for Sony Corp's year up to 31 Mar will be published on 12 May.

Royal Albert Hall has record year for income
It might all be doom and gloom over at Sony HQ, but things are looking a lot brighter over at the Royal Albert Hall, which has announced its highest ever income in its report for the last financial year. The venue, which is run as a charity, brought in operating income of £18.6 million - a rise of 10.4% year-on-year. This leaves it with a surplus of £5.3 million.

Audience numbers also grew by 7%, with 1.7 million people attending 390 shows, which helped to achieve the income boost. As did £1 million in donations and £1.7 million in sponsorship - the latter up 27% on 2012.

The venue's COO Jasper Hope said of the figures: "I'm enormously proud that our continued financial success is allowing us to build upon Prince Albert's legacy for the Hall to be a leading showcase for the arts and sciences. By encouraging more visitors through our doors we're raising vital revenues to support the maintenance and running costs of this iconic venue, as well as enabling to plan for ambitious new development projects to take us beyond our 150th anniversary and all the while offering a global stage for an annual calendar of world class performances".

Klipsch to sponsor Kings Of Leon UK shows
Headphone maker Klipsch announced yesterday that it will sponsor Kings Of Leon's upcoming UK shows this summer, having done the same on the US leg of the band's tour. Presumably the idea is that the company's headphones are so good that they can block out the awful wailing of KOL, even inside an arena.

Klipsch CEO Paul Jacobs said this: "Following on from the success of the US tour dates, we really wanted to enhance our strategic partnership with Kings of Leon further. Kings Of Leon are known for their incredible live shows and creating unforgettable concert experiences for their fans. Klipsch is about delivering a great live sound experience to music lovers through its speakers and headphones and so this partnership is an ideal way to reach our consumers and give something back to the music industry".

Kings Of Leon's Nathan Followill added: "The partnership with Klipsch works great and we're excited that they're joining us on the UK tour. We work really hard on making our records and live shows sound great. It's really important to us to provide our fans with a night to remember at the live gigs and Klipsch helps us do that. Partnering with Klipsch for the UK part of our global tour made a lot of sense".

Kobalt earning royalties on one billion YouTube streams per month
Kobalt Music Group is now monetising over one billion YouTube streams per month for its clients, thanks to its own in-house technology, the company said yesterday.

The publisher has detected over 50 million user-generated videos to date, a figure boosted by the recent launch of its own detection technology ProKlaim, which works in tandem with YouTube's audio fingerprinting system.

Discussing the importance of the technology, Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz said: "One hit song can generate up to 50,000 user-generated videos, many of which remain unclaimed by its proper rights owners. With the launch of ProKlaim, we are seeing a phenomenal increase in the speed and accuracy in which we find and claim missing content".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: DMC UK DJ Championship Final
This week Simon Cowell revealed that he's still trying to get together a TV (well, online video) format to help find the cream of new DJ talent. But all he really needs to do is head down to The Garage in Islington tonight for the DMC UK DJ Championship Final.

Hosted by Inja, the event will see turntablists from all around the country battling it out to represent the UK in the world final later this year. As well as that, there'll be performances by three reigning DMC champs, Online Champion Jon1st, World Battle Champion DJ Nelson and current title-holder and double World Champion, DJ Fly.

If you'd been at the UK finals in 2003, you would have seen fifteen year old DJ Itchy win it. He's now Kanye West producer Hudson Mowhawke. So, it's worth the trip. See you down the front - I'll be the one next to Simon Cowell. Note the early start though.

Friday 2 May, The Garage, 20-22 Highbury Corner, London, N5 1RD, 6.30pm - 10.30pm, £10-12, more info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Oasis guitarist probe proves inconclusive
Former Oasis guitarist Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs appeared on the Xfm Manchester breakfast show this morning. And, yes, host Tim Cocker did ask him about the Oasis reunion rumours.

Asked if he thought the band would ever get back together, Arthurs said: "I don't know! Don't ask me! Who knows, stranger things have happened. But I don't know. You're asking the wrong person for that. It'd be nice if they did wouldn't it?"

So, that's pretty conclusive. He added: "I'd be there like a shot and I'd do it for nothing, that's all I can say. But it's not for me to say, 'Yes, there will be'. I don't know".

While Arthurs would do it for nothing, Noel Gallagher recently said he would get the band back together in exchange for half a billion condoms. So it seems like there's some room for negotiation.

Rumours that the band were on the verge of returning were reignited last week when Liam Gallagher tweeted the band's name. Because that really is all it takes.

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Nadine Coyle plots comeback as Flatley's Lady Of The Dance
One-time Girl Aloud Nadine Coyle is leaving the pop world to rot in its own filth for a while, and going over instead to the glittering realm of 'the theatre'. Ms Coyle will star (and perhaps jig a bit) as The Goddess Erin in 'Dangerous Games', the forthcoming live spin-off to Irish tap-king Michael Flatley's 'Lord Of The Dance' show. Really.

Coyle will also sing the show's title song on an ITV TV special celebrating Flatley's 20th year at the pinnacle of the Irish dancing biz, titled 'A Night To Remember', which it likely will be. The programme is "coming soon" apparently, claim ITV, so sit tight.

Nadine says this in a press release: "It is a real honour to be working alongside Michael and his amazing troupe of dancers in the new production. To be singing the title track is an absolute dream, it's such a fantastic song which perfectly captures the energy and drama of the show and I am really excited to be performing it on a night which celebrates Michael's incredible achievements over the past 20 years".

Release Round-Up: Basement Jaxx, Banks, Sampha, Krampthaft and Nathan Fake
Boom. Yesterday, Basement Jaxx shook shook shook the room - no, the world - with a very rare new dance hit titled 'Unicorn'. A free-streaming gift to add an extra thrill to the idea of all the festival dates BJ are playing this year, like those at Wireless, Shakedown and Bestival, it also signals the approach of a TBA Basement Jaxx LP. And a DJ PA at Fabric in London tonight. Anyway this is 'Unicorn'.

And another thing. Poised R&B lady-in-grey Banks this week released the title track to her forthcoming first LP, 'Goddess'. Featuring the singles 'Waiting Game', 'Warm Water', 'Brain' and 'This Is What It Feels Like' beside nine new tracks, the latter shall descend, if Banks still decrees it, on 8 Sep. Hear that title track in the meantime here.

Also playing the track-sharing game is wobbly-voiced Sampha, whose beautifully wobbly voice is missing from a song, titled 'Slow Lights', that appeared like magic on his SoundCloud the other day. Listen to the lyric-less mix, which was really only a 'this is what I'm working right now'-type thing, designed to tide Sampha fans over till his long-time-coming first LP is finally done, now.

Now it's time to wind the clock back to that time Dutch DJ/producer Krampfhaft won CMU approval for his 'Makin Magic' EP, and forward again to the Krampfhaft of today, who has an LP to his name in the sixteen track 'Before We Leave'. Arriving on a certain date (which isn't clear) in June, it "rides", says its press release, a "fine line between dancefloor and headspace". Think that over while you look over its tracklisting, and pine for an actual track from it, via this link.

Finally, let's get real with a new track by Nathan Fake who is now streaming the closing track to Bleep's tenth anniversary compilation, 'Bleep: 10', which bears the title 'Vanish North'. It acts as a finale to a mix featuring Bleep affiliates like Lone, Machinedrum, Oneohtrix Point Never and Fuck Buttons, and will be released with the rest next week. And here it is.

In addition, Fake is starting a label of his own soon, in collaboration with his pal, Welsh DJ Wesley Matsell. Details of Cambria Instruments, as the imprint is/will be named, will all be revealed via Bleep's 5 May takeover of NTS Radio, so go to the NTS site this coming Monday to hear more on that.

Libertines 2014 news: Pete Doherty loves money
Hoist the Albion mainsail (if that's what you do with a mainsail), and away to Arcadia! Pete Doherty has said it's totally fine, and totally in line with The Libertines' highwayman-like code, that the band are playing that reconciliatory Hyde Park show with financial gain, and only financial gain, in mind. So yeah, keep on dreaming, indie kids.

Apparently PD and his Libertines co-chair Carl Barat are earning half a mill each from their headlining appearance at London's British Summer Time festival on 5 Jul, so it's no big deal at all, really. And hey, at least this way Pete'll maybe quit trying to auction off Kate Moss' old fag butts that probably aren't actually Kate Moss' old fag butts. It's a win-win!

Spitting back (via NME) at critics of the big Hyde Park bonanza, PD exclaimed: "What do they think The Libertines did? We signed to Rough Trade, right? Purely for the money. It's completely in the spirit of the band to play Hyde Park for the money! What the fuck are they talking about?! It's a fucking horrorshow, it just happens to be amazing rock n roll music".

And on the topic of all that beautiful, evil cash: "It's filthy. Last time [Reading & Leeds Festival 2010] was supposed to be £240,000 each after tax for me and Carl. But by the time they paid for all the buses and shit there was just a tax bill. This time I think we're getting half a million each, me and Biggles".

And away! Away to Arcadia!

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Ed Sheeran playing intimate Bank Holiday shows, collaborating with (The) Game
That wily Ed Sheeran is scheming, in secret, to play a trio of acoustic shows this Bank Holiday Monday, aka 5 May, behind his forthcoming LP 'X'. The banner title of the dates is 'Multiply' (or #MultiplyEd on Twitter), which might mean anything really. I'm hoping it's something to do with clones. Or maths!

Capacity at the shows, which will go ahead at TBC 'intimate' locations in London, Dublin and 'East Anglia', is quite limited, as you'd imagine (in fact the East Anglia one is sold out), so hasten to this link and fight over tickets and details, lest it's already too late. Which it might well be. In which case, soz.

In related Ed Sheeran-related news, it appears Ed (Sheeran) and rap star (The) Game, who've been 'in cahoots' for a long while now, are in fact releasing a joint dual-disc LP in late 2014/early 2015.

Breaking the news via MTV News, (The) Game said the collaboration had all been Ed's idea in the first place, adding: "We was just going. He was on that guitar. Acoustically, he's a genius, man, so when he does that, what comes out of me is songs like 'Dreams' and 'Hate It or Love It' and 'My Life.' The songs that we got, they're real songs. And I can't wait for people to hear em".

Then Ed said: "It's gonna be two different sides. So it'll be two CDs. It'll be the way I would do an album, with his help, and the way he would do an album with my features".

CMU Beef Of The Week #204: Lorde v Journalism
I like Lorde. I think that she released a good album last year, and has interesting things to say about music and the life of a teenager in the 21st century, and stuff. But this week, she said something that made me think, "Oh, that's stupid".

"How can this be possible?!" I'm sure you're now weeping. I know, I find it a strange and confusing situation to be in too. Like most people, especially Lorde, my opinion of everything every single person in the world does usually remains unchanged from the first thought I ever had about them. No, not really. Let's move on to the context.

Last weekend, Lorde placed a picture of Iggy Azalea's 2013 Complex magazine cover next to a screengrab of the same magazine's (negative) review of her new album, 'The New Classic', and posted them together on her Tumblr blog with the note: "[It] bugs me how publications like Complex will profile interesting artists in order to sell copies/get clicks and then shit on their records? It happens to me all the time - Pitchfork and that ilk being like 'Can we interview you?' after totally taking the piss out of me in a review. Have a stance on an artist and stick to it. Don't act like you respect them then throw them under the bus".

Maybe that seems like a fair statement. Iggy Azalea certainly thought so, tweeting later: "I agree, media LOVE to flop about. But when you're completely spineless I'm sure it's hard to stick to even your own opinion".

The implication, of course, is that Complex, Pitchfork et al build artists up with the express plan to knock them down again at a later date. Aside from the fact that 'This is an artist we believe is of interest to our readers' and 'This is an artist whose last album we think is not good' are not necessarily conflicting statements, just imagine if the long term plan of some publications was to only pretend to be excited about new artists in order to "throw them under the bus" six months down the line. Imagine what a depressing existence that would be.

It's already depressing enough that probably 70% of the new artists I genuinely do get excited about never really come to anything. And that of the 30% that do, about two thirds end up being a disappointment in the long term. It's not my fault they're a disappointment. It's possibly not even theirs. There are so many reasons why someone might not meet early expectations. Some people only have one good song, or one good album in them. Some people have more, but get sucked into the music industry machine and have their creativity diluted by too many third parties pulling them in different directions.

The problem here, is that Lorde and Iggy Azalea are expecting their careers to be considered retrospectively before they've even had them. Until you're done making albums, you live on an album by album basis. I love Deftones, for example. Fucking love them. But their fifth album, 'Saturday Night Wrist', is a pile of shit. Really awful. Overall though - and I can't state this strongly enough - I fucking love them. Thankfully, the next two albums after that one were pretty great, but I feared at the time that our ongoing relationship was over.

Lorde, meanwhile, is someone I wrote about early on, who I thought was interesting, had a handful of good songs to her name, and the potential to make more. And she did. I think, as I said before, that her debut album is really good. The only reason she wasn't one of our Artists Of The Year last year was because we felt that she was at the beginning of something, and would probably go on to do something even better.

She might not though. Her next album might be terrible. And if it is, I will say so. Because I'm not going to go around saying stuff is good when I don't think it is. Maybe in 20 years time we'll be able to look back on her career too and say, "Hey apart from that one album, she did a whole load of great stuff". Right now though, she, and Iggy Azalea, are only as good as the last thing they did.

Of course, there is an argument that with so much music out there to say positive things about these days, publications shouldn't waste their time by going around bad mouthing artists they don't like - if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all. And that's all well and good, but how do you work out whether or not you can trust someone who only ever says nice things? It's suspicious. I need to know both sides of your taste in order to make a reasonable judgment on whether or not to bother listening to you.

Maybe my distaste for Deftones' fifth album puts the validity of the things I say I like into question. You're a fucking idiot if you think so though, that album is bumholes. A better example might be if I said I really liked 'Lulu' by Lou Reed and Metallica, but you knew I thought everything else both of them had ever recorded was terrible. That might flag up some potential issues.

It's probably worth also noting that the person who wrote Iggy Azalea's cover feature for Complex is not the same person who wrote the review of her album. Opinions differ across the team of any one publication. Opinions about the Iggy Azalea album also differ quite strongly in the CMU office. Rather than ensuring that the artists you've chosen to profile early on only ever get positive coverage, surely it's better to have a second opinion and, as a publication, stand by both. The uncertainty of life is what makes it fun.

Complex has already issued a response to Lorde and Azaela's comments, and Flavorwire put together its own critique too. I think Flavorwire's is better, but I reserve the right to think that the next Flavorwire article I read isn't that great.

 
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 COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
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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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CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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