An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Wednesday 21 May 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Despite interest from various suitors, and one in particular, the people behind streaming service Bloom.fm last night announced that they had not been able to do a deal that would allow the company to continue as a going concern, and therefore the firm's administrators would now sell off its assets. As previously reported, Bloom.fm, the mobile-centric streaming service... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: So who is hip hop phantom Spooky Black, the shy-voiced hood martyr of snowy Minnesota? I have no idea who he is, to be honest, but I know who he's like. He's like the odd-looking misfit kid in the playground that some are laughing at, some look straight through, and more than would like to admit are fascinated with. And any which way, they're all sneaking glances... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Bloom.fm fails to find buyer, administrator to sell assets
Twitter isn't considering a SoundCloud acquisition, though it was
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Self-proclaimed 'father of Beats' sues headphone firm
Joss Stone plotters see sentences cut
JUMP | ONLINE
DEALS 7digital merger with UBC complete
Counting Crows sign to Capitol
!K7 sign Hundred Waters
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Big Top 40 to include streaming and social data
GoldFlakePaint to release DIY rarities via new Tapes label
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LIVE BUSINESS Brighton Council responds to Blind Tiger closure
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Global artist management group relaunches with Luxembourg base
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BRANDS & MERCH Little Mix headphones incoming
JUMP | ONLINE
ARTIST NEWS Axl Rose wins at singing
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RELEASES Release Round-Up: The Knife, Everytime I Die, Cold Specks, Die Antwoord and Mo Kolours/John Wizards
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AND FINALLY... Michael Buble loses tooth to microphone on stage
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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.
 
 
CMU INSIGHTS: THE MUSIC BUSINESS IN 2014
Eight evening seminars providing a complete overview of the music business in 2014 - covering all key revenue streams, music rights in detail, music PR and social media, direct-to-fan and artist deals.

For more information and to book on to individual seminars or the whole programme click here.
   
WARP RECORDS - UK PRODUCT MANAGER
Warp is looking for an outstanding person to become our new UK Product Manager. You will be managing the promotional, marketing and sales campaigns for our artists’ releases, helping them reach their potential through media, retail, advertising, digital, radio and new innovations and opportunities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - MARKETING ASSISTANT
This Manchester-based role involves assisting and supporting SJM's marketing team to maximise exposure for the company's events. This will include helping to implement marketing campaigns that generate sales for new tours and events via various platforms including press, radio, TV, digital and print.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MINISTRY OF SOUND - SYNC LICENSING MANAGER
Ministry of Sound are looking for an experienced Sync Licensing Manager to handle all areas our sync licensing for our new artists and tracks as well as our back catalogue, making sure revenue is maximised and proactively seeking out new sync opportunities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AUDIO - PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Brighton's number one music venue Audio and Above Audio is recruiting a Promotions Manager. Regarded as one of the best small clubs in the UK, Audio regularly hosts some of the worlds best DJ's and is also a well established live music venue. Above Audio, one of Brighton's premier cocktail bars, boasts the largest back bar, and is home to some of the finest mixologists in the city.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
[PIAS] ARTIST & LABEL SERVICES - INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL SALES MANAGER
[PIAS] A&L Services have a vacancy within the A&L National Accounts Team as International Digital Sales Manager. The role has responsibility for maximising digital revenues outside of the core [PIAS] territories as well as coordinating activity and campaigns on a pan-territory basis.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ALPHA MUSIC PUBLISHING UK LTD - ROYALTY AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER
We are a small but very established French music publisher looking for a French-speaking Royalty And Administration Manager for our London office.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
   
DHP FAMILY - DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Based in Nottingham, we are looking for a creative individual who has a love for the opportunities that digital media presents. Primarily working on concerts and festivals, you will be responsible for our social media channels, e-mailouts, websites and online advertisements. We expect you to be able to deliver reach, growth and engagement with our online community, and be able to lead the development of our online marketing strategy going forward.

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 fails to find buyer, administrator to sell assets
Despite interest from various suitors, and one in particular, the people behind streaming service Bloom.fm last night announced that they had not been able to do a deal that would allow the company to continue as a going concern, and therefore the firm's administrators would now sell off its assets.

As previously reported, Bloom.fm, the mobile-centric streaming service that grew out mFlow, and which was pursuing an alternative pricing structure to most of its competitors, arguably giving the set up more mass-market potential, shut down abruptly at the end of last month after the company's backer pulled the plug.

However, after the service's sudden demise various parties came forward expressing an interest in buying into the firm, with one offer in particular attractive to all parties. As a result Bloom's closure was postponed a couple of weeks. But the company confirmed last night that that deal had not, in the end, come off, and as a result administrators Moorfields would now wind the business up.

Bloom.fm co-founder and CEO Oleg Fomenko told reporters: "After Bloom.fm was placed into administration we received incredible amount of support from our users and a lot of commercial interest from prospective buyers. One offer stood out in particular, as it would have allowed Bloom to continue in the spirit we originally intended. We have worked furiously on finalising it but unfortunately, due to very tight timelines and complexities associated with the administration process, the deal fell through at the last minute".

He went on: "I would like to offer massive thanks to my team who have supported us through such a difficult time, our users who gave us a reason to get up in the morning and all our business partners for the rare opportunity to launch something truly innovative. We strongly believe in what Bloom.fm was trying to achieve and look forward to seeing someone else give UK music fans a fantastic streaming service at a reasonable price".

Confirming things from his side, Administrator Simon Thomas added: "Bloom.fm has had an incredible response from their customers and we received a lot of offers. Sadly, we were unable to finalise a deal within the timelines".

Given that most players in the streaming sector seem to need to achieve mass market reach in order for their low profit margin business models to succeed long term, Bloom.fm's approach was interesting. Team Bloom argued that a cheaper subscription option was needed for streaming to go truly mainstream, even if such an option is more limited to the classic Spotify style subscription package.

The demise of Bloom doesn't really mean that argument or that approach isn't still valid; it's more proof that getting a streaming service off the ground is an incredibly expensive business and requires substantial financing, ideally from multiple backers.

According to Music Ally, the Bloom company made a net loss of £6.6 million last year, with over £200,000 in royalty payments, over £950,000 in wages and £2.5 million to fund the company's high profile above-the-line marketing campaign. And while the company signed up 1.1 million registered users since going live, according to Music Ally's sources only 8500 were paying subscribers, the majority on the one-pound-a-month tier.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if any other start-ups - or some of the more established players in streaming - now pursue a Bloom-style approach to pricing and marketing.

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Twitter isn't considering a SoundCloud acquisition, though it was
So that story went past tense rather quickly did it not? Rumours that Twitter was considering acquiring SoundCloud that circulated widely yesterday were, it seems, true, though probably not by the time you read them.

In that Twitter has been in talks with Berlin-based SoundCloud about buying the audio-sharing company, but the social networking firm let an exclusivity deadline pass without reaching any firm agreement about the acquisition, and now looks like it's walked away from the deal entirely. For the time being at least.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the asking price for SoundCloud would be simply to high for the tweets firm. As noted yesterday, at its last round of financing SoundCloud was valued at $700 million, which is twice the price of Twitter's biggest purchase to date. And while the publicly listed firm is under pressure from its shareholders to expand its reach, investors won't want to pay over the odds to expand user base.

Another issue may have been SoundCloud's relationship with the music industry. As previously reported, artists and labels like the SoundCloud technology, but many don't like the fact there is no inbuilt system for content owners to generate revenue. Tensions already exist between some labels and SoundCloud, and said tensions would only increase if the company was the subject of a mega-bucks takeover.

There may well be a solution to those issues - in that with Twitter's audience and growing ad sales abilities combined with SoundCloud's popular and often-shared-on-Twitter audio platform - there may well be a service that could provide both promotional value and revenue to rights owners. But such a solution probably needs to be much more clearly defined, with the labels on board, before Twitter could take a gamble on the whole proposition.

Either way, it seems the deal was off before we knew it was on. Though speculation will no doubt now turn to whether Twitter approached SoundCloud, or the other way round, ie is the audio-sharing firm actively looking for a buyer. There were a few unsubstantiated rumours that it was before its last round of financing was secured, though went for another round of investment instead after no decent offers could be found.

Self-proclaimed 'father of Beats' sues headphone firm
"Where there's a hit there's a writ" music lawyers always used to say. So, erm, "where there's a mega-bucks tech deal conversation, expect plenty of new litigation". No, that doesn't work, does it? "Start-up gets bought, see you court". That'll do.

So, yes, as the much mooted acquisition of the Beats company by Apple Inc goes through the deal making motions, litigation against the cans and streaming plans business is mounting up.

Following the news that the founder of MOG, the streaming service Beats bought and later morphed into Beats Music, was suing the firm, claiming he was pushed out of his job there prematurely in a bid to avoid equity commitments, now there's a new lawsuit from the man who claims to have devised the original Beats business plan.

According to a Billboard report, one time hedge-fund manager Steven Lamar claims he first took the idea of celebrity-endorsed headphones to Universal exec Jimmy Iovine back in 2006, with the latter bringing Dr Dre into the equation. Lamar says that, via his businesses SLS International and Jibe Audio, he then put together a consortium of companies to make the project happen, including Pentagram who designed the initial product and a Chinese company who would handle manufacture.

The whole venture quickly went legal though, after Iovine and Dre accused the other partners in the project of failing to meet contractual commitments and of plotting to bring out their own Beats headphones without Dre's involvement. That dispute was settled out of court, with the early partners in the business - ie Pentagram and Lamar's companies - being offered a 4% royalty payment on the sale of certain Beats headphones.

The Beats company subsequently partnered with tech firm Monster Inc and turned what was allegedly Lamar's original idea into the company Apple is now rumoured to be offering $3.2 billion to buy.

And all went quiet on the Pentagram/Lamar front until earlier this year, when an accountancy firm called Hinrichs & Associates, which has seemingly been assigned Pentagram's rights to its Beats royalties, filed a new lawsuit. That litigation centred on which headphones Beats was obliged to pay royalties on, with H&A stating that Lamar reckoned the royalty should also be due on later headphones that were "substantially similar" to those originally designed by Pentagram.

Though Lamar's new lawsuit is bigger than that, he suing not only Iovine, Dre and Beats, but also his former partners Pentagram, and the main man he dealt with there, Robert Brunner. His litigation alleges that after the original legal agreement between all the founding partners in 2006, Brunner and Pentagram reached a separate arrangement with the Beats business that basically cut him and his company out of the royalty revenue stream.

With that in mind he is suing everyone, for breach of contract and bad faith, with some parties also facing allegations of tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duties. Good times.

Lamar's lawsuit also reveals that way back at the start he and Iovine were talking to Apple as being the primary seller of the Dre-backed headphones, to the extent that there were discussions about what form packaging should take so they could be stocked in the IT giant's high street stores. The partnership wasn't to be, though is kinda interesting in the context of the current Apple/Beats takeover talks.

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Joss Stone plotters see sentences cut
The two men convicted of plotting to kill Joss Stone have had their prison sentences reduced on appeal.

As previously reported, in a bizarre plot Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw travelled to Devon from Manchester with the intention of stealing £1 million they believed pop star Stone kept in a safe, before kidnapping the singer, beheading her and dumping her body in a river. The plan was thwarted when locals spotted the two men acting suspiciously as they attempted to find her home and reported them to the police.

On original sentencing, Liverpool, seen as the instigator of the plot, was handed a life sentence, with a minimum jail term of ten years eight months before any parole could be considered. Bradshaw was sentenced to eighteen years in prison with parole an option at six years seven months.

Liverpool appealed against his life sentence, with his legal team arguing that the burglary and murder plans were so shambolic that they weren't serious enough for a life term. The appeal judges did not agree, however, but did cut the compulsory jail time down to six and a half years. Though the appeal court was keen to stress this didn't mean they were saying he should be released at that time.

Meanwhile Bradshaw's sentence was properly cut, down to ten years, with the judges stating, according to Sky News, that the defendant was "of exceptionally low intellectual capacity and [had he been more intelligent] he would have realised that the chances of a successful and profitable robbery were so remote as not to be worth attempting".

The judges agreed with the lower court ruling that Bradshaw was very much the "foot soldier" in the escapade, and therefore if Liverpool's sentence was being reduced, so should be Bradshaw's.

7digital merger with UBC complete
The previously reported merger of media firm UBC and digital music service provider 7digital is complete, with the former acquiring the latter in a deal worth £16.5 million. The deal constitutes a reverse takeover, in that the combined business will take UBC's stockmarket listing, but as the 7digital Group. The newly formed company will list on 10 Jun with an expected valuation in the region of £29 million.

Under the arrangement, 7digital's existing shareholders will control 75% of the new business, with UBC boss Simon Cole becoming CEO and 7digital chief Ben Drury taking the position of Chief Strategy Officer. Former London Stock Exchange chair Donald Cruickshank will become Chairman of the new entity.

Bigging up the merger form his side, Cole told reporters: "This transaction will create a world leading digital music and radio platform that is ideally positioned to exploit the convergence of radio and digital music services. The new business will also be well-placed to drive consolidation of the fragmented B2B digital music industry".

Meanwhile Drury said: "Look at iTunes radio in the US and Apple possibly buying Beats. The two worlds are converging. The 7digital open platform simplifies access to the world's music and the combination with UBC will help further enhance the platform to include radio-style capability and services to help unlock the mass market for our customers and partners".

In a separate deal, UBC reduced its stake in audio-sharing platform Audioboo, from 34% down to 18.7%. Audioboo - under the new moniker Audioboom - is now a separately listed company, with the 7digital Group now controlling UBC's stake.

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Counting Crows sign to Capitol
Counting Crows have signed to Universal's Capitol Records division in the US, so that's something. The deal will facilitate the release of the band's new LP, 'Somewhere Under Wonderland', their first since 2008 and seventh ever, later this year.

Essentially repeating that, only phrasing it a bit differently, CC lead singer Adam Duritz says: "I'm happy to announce that the new Counting Crows album will be coming out this Fall on Capitol Records!!! Just like The Beatles!!!".

Yes, exactly like them. Capitol Music Group CEO Steve Barnett, meanwhile, had this to add: "It's not surprising that Counting Crows have built and maintained such a successful career for more than 20 years. The solid bond between the band and their audience has been forged through their great recordings and exciting live performances, and that relationship will continue with the release of 'Somewhere Under Wonderland' and their forthcoming tour".

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!K7 sign Hundred Waters
!K7 has bonded, contract-wise, to Florida-based hypelings Hundred Waters, who are signed to Skrillex's OWSLA label in America. The band's new LP, 'The Moon Rang Like A Bell' will have a European issue via !K7 on 26 May, though you can listen to it prior to that via NPR.

This is the first signing to have been sealed by Head Of A&R Will Saul since he joined his Aus Music label to !K7 back in January. Saul says: "It's rare that I get so completely captivated by an album, but an hour of goosebumps made my decision very easy - a breathtaking record from a truly exciting band".

A "humbled" Hundred Waters add: "!K7 have released some of our favourite records and it's an amazing feeling to be part of a label that's done so much for music these past three decades".

Big Top 40 to include streaming and social data
What is basically the successor to the old Network Chart Show - the weekly singles chart carried by commercial radio stations that always differed from the 'main chart' by including radio airplay data in addition to sales figures - has announced it will start taking into account streaming data too, plus YouTube and social media stats as well.

The commercial radio sector's main chart relaunched as the Big Top 40 five years ago, taking 'live' iTunes data into account to spice things up a bit. Made by Global Radio and sponsored by Vodafone, this summer the Big Top 40 will become even more complex, mixing in stats from audio streaming platforms and YouTube, plus some social media gubbins, in order to, says Global, "more accurately reflect the way people listen to and engage with music today, making the chart bigger and better than ever".

The move comes as an increasing number of singles charts around the world start to incorporate streaming as well as download data into the mix, though the main singles countdown from the UK's Official Charts Company is yet to follow suit. Many reckon it will do at some point later this year, though work still seemingly needs to be done on how exactly download and streaming stats should compare in the chart compilation process.

In some ways bringing new stats into the mix is easier when your chart has always including numbers beyond straight record sales - and in that respect the Big Top 40 is more similar to the big Billboard Hot 100 countdown in the US, which start incorporating streaming data in 2012.

Confirming the upcoming changes to the Big Top 40, Global boss Ashley Tabor told CMU: "More and more people consume music and interact with music on many platforms including downloads, streaming services, YouTube, social media and radio. The new chart will reflect how people listen to music and interact with music in 2014 and beyond. With the new Vodafone Big Top 40, however our listeners are getting their music fix, we're there and we're counting their music choices and we will continue to add new relevant data sources as consumption and interaction habits continue to evolve".

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GoldFlakePaint to release DIY rarities via new Tapes label
Scottish blog GoldFlakePaint has this week announced it is launching its own little record label, with a mission to unleash free digital tracks and limited edition cassette tapes onto the world.

The first release, available now on Bandcamp and/or as 50 limited cassette tapes, is called 'Nothing If Not Loved' and is a compilation featuring fifteen tracks by GFP's fave independent and DIY artists, not least Brooklyn band Small Wonder, Madrid's Deers and Norwich-based Teen Brains.

"With so many wonderful bands slipping through our fingers on an almost-daily basis, we thought the time was right to start giving some of them a home", states the blog, adding: "The label will be releasing a number of albums - on limited edition cassettes and free download - over the coming months".

Stream and claim 'Nothing If Not Loved' now via Bandcamp.

Brighton Council responds to Blind Tiger closure
Brighton & Hove Council has issued a statement following the closure of the popular music venue in the city The Blind Tiger.

As previously reported, the team behind the gig venue revealed last weekend that they had received a noise abatement order from the local council. Unable to assure gigs in the space wouldn't breach that order, and unable to fund expensive new sound-proofing (the venue having already admitted to financial hardships last year), the team confirmed they had decided to call it a day, at their Grand Parade home at least (the same team had run some pop-up venues prior to moving into their current premises and indicated they might do the same in the future).

The announcement led to a petition - now signed by over 12,800 people - calling on the council to revoke the order, not least because, according to The Blind Tiger's management, the local authority had stepped in because of complaints from just one local resident, who had moved into a flat directly above the bar about a year ago.

Petitioners rightly asked why you would move in above an existing music venue and then seek to have it shut down because of noise issues, while the Blind Tiger team expressed disappointment at the fact that, even though a music venue had operated in their building for three decades, complaints from a single new neighbour had seemingly led to the issuing of the noise abatement order resulting in closure.

However, in its response Brighton & Hove Council has insisted that noise complaints relating to The Blind Tiger do not just originate from one resident, and that there have been issues for years. The local authority said in a statement: "The council has received numerous noise complaints from local residents about this venue for several years. Complaints have been received from residents in North Road, Grand Parade and Marlborough Place".

"By law we must investigate noise complaints made to the council. We also have a legal duty to serve a noise abatement notice on those responsible when a noise nuisance is identified. On 14 March 2014 a noise abatement notice was served on the leaseholders who operate Blind Tiger following complaints about noise from live music. The business was given two months to comply with the notice. This gave time for assessments to take place and any necessary sound insulation work to be undertaken".

The Council concluded: "Blind Tiger chose to stop operating at the venue when the abatement notice period ran out on May 14 2014. The council has not closed the venue. The council's environmental health team has worked with the business and the police and council's licensing team to try and resolve any complaints received. The council is continuing to work with all parties to try and resolve this case".

Although yet to fully respond to that statement, The Blind Tiger team quickly countered the Council's position via Facebook, writing: "Just seen the Council's statement about our venue today in response to the spontaneous public petition - it's a bit breathtaking, because their reply is variously untrue, very partial and ignorant. We were not angry with the Council before we read that statement. We genuinely sympathised with them that they were only doing their jobs and were quite philosophical about it all. Now we're absolutely livid! We'll write another blogpost tomorrow when we've calmed down!"

Global artist management group relaunches with Luxembourg base
The International Music Managers Forum, the global grouping for artist managers, has recently relaunched, with the formally London-based body now having a base in Luxembourg.

The move coincides with a revamp of the organisation's structure, including the creation of a number of new committees focused on different areas of the business, and the appointment of Daria Wabnitz to coordinate the body's affairs day to day. The number of national and regional artist manager groups affiliated with the global body has also increased, while you sense the IMMF plans to have a higher profile at key music business events moving forward.

One of those involved in the relaunch of the IMMF is lawyer Kari Karjalainen, who is also chairing the group's copyright committee, and who told CMU of the revamp: "People need music, and in order to support music making, music creators seek audiences for, and income from their creations. For some time the market for music has not functioned either fairly or efficiently, imbalances which affect the creation of new music. One of the core problems is that the marketplace for music rights does not work. The growing ambition of IMMF is thus no coincidence, but a necessity".

Little Mix headphones incoming
Bin your Beats, squash your not at all ridiculous ladies-only Skullcandies, and, for the love of Louis Walsh, X-terminate your SiCo-designed 'X' phones, pop-loving audio fans, because Little Mix are taking over the headphone game with a new line of ZIP-UP in-earphones, this coinciding with their impending 'Salute' UK tour.

Hitting shops on 2 Jun via a licensing deal with Universal's Bravado, the Vibe Audio-made listening devices, which have a zip cable to eliminate tangling, will be available in twin shade combos, pink and white and/or black and red. And at a penny less than £10, they're pretty cheap. I'm getting a pair!

As is Vibe Audio MD Daryl Street, who says: "We love to work with exciting people and brands, Little Mix are a fantastic British girl band and we hope to see many of the UK's teen girls wearing the new Vibe Audio Little Mix zip earphones throughout the summer. We're proud to support them during the tour".

Elsewhere in product extension news, grime MC Big Narstie is launching a product of his own. It's 'piff sticks', aka vapouriser pens for smoking... well, just for smoking. Which is a bad thing to do. The limited edition sticks are, FACT is confident, "out soon", and will include "a special lil sutton sutton, but it's all random". Save your pocket change for the headphones, kids.

  Approved: Spooky Black
So who is hip hop phantom Spooky Black, the shy-voiced hood martyr of snowy Minnesota? I have no idea who he is, to be honest, but I know who he's like. He's like the odd-looking misfit kid in the playground that some are laughing at, some look straight through, and more than would like to admit are fascinated with. And any which way, they're all sneaking glances.

Hey, he's even made it to the Popjustice thread, splitting its members, who think he's both "terrifying" and "like a mini The Weeknd". And for another thing, Spooky, for one, is taking this shit seriously (look how seriously), so it's only right to give him a shot.

In the hope that you'll go with that last bit, hear Spooky done three ways; singing against Bobby Raps on caramel 'sadwave' jam 'Ready', stemmed and trimmed to devastating effect by remixer Eric Dingus (Dingus, I know), and chilling on his own in 'Without You', the dark heart of his 'Black Silk' EP (which is still available to play online), via the relevant links. And PS, he has a new EP on its way as well, which was previewed this week in 'Interlude'.

This is 'Without You'
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Axl Rose wins at singing
The wacky team at live listings site Concert Hotels, who clearly have time to spare, have made a chart measuring famed artists' vocal ranges. And the man with the widest range, say their findings, is... it's insects'-best-friend Axl Rose. And whilst being able to shriek the highest and growl the lowest isn't really the same as being a great singer, it does mean Axl has a vocal span of five big fat octaves. So go on, give him a clap.

In a list of artists both living and dead, Axl leads the likes of Mariah 'Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse' Carey, Prince, Steven Tyler and James Brown at the top of interactive vocal range chart, whilst Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Karen Carpenter, Sam Cook and JUSTIN BIEBER languish at the bottom. Also, Lorde beats Whitney, Bono beats Aretha, and Eminem and Lou Reed have identical ranges. What a mix!

Anyway, it is really quite a good 'water cooler'-type read, so check the rankings here.

Release Round-Up: The Knife, Everytime I Die, Cold Specks, Die Antwoord and Mo Kolours/John Wizards
Synthpop oddbins The Knife are releasing a mini-LP of classic tracks from their past, only with the tracks 'Shaken-Up'. It's got 'We Share Our Mother's Health' on it, and 'Silent Shout', and 'Bird', and 'Ready To Lose'. Not in that order, though. Anyway, 'Shaken Up Versions', which carries eight tracks in total, is arriving at all good and bad pop stockists on 16 Jun.

And to get a better insight into what all this 'Shaken-Up' business actually means in real terms, here is the video for the 'Shaken-Up' edition of 'Without You My Life Would Be Boring':

Also putting out an album soon are long-haul hardcore band Every Time I Die, who are putting out an album titled 'From Parts Unknown' on 1 Jul. This is 'Thirst', one of its tracks, which, like all the other tracks, had Converge's Kurt Ballou as its producer.

Now it's over to Mute-signed lady Cold Specks, aka doomy pop artist Al Spx, who is following the fashion of the day, and confirming an LP. Her new record, the "wintry-feeling" 'Neuroplasticity', will be released on 25 Aug, at the height of what's meant to be summer. Swans Michael Gira appears on a track titled 'Exit Plan', taking full-circle a collaboration that started with Spx singing on Swans' last LP, 'To Be Kind'.

Hear lead single 'Absisto' (which is Latin for 'to withdraw'), the first inkling of the fixation in 'Neuroplasticity' on "the notion of obliteration" and "blood, animals and earth", now, and/or translated to the live stage, when Spx plays an intimate show at London's The Lexington on 11 Jun.

And nearly finally, parents and children, leave the room immediately. Because "freakishly captivating" Zef-rap angels Die Antwoord are back, and rising from the South African soil (again) with a long disc named 'Donker Mag'. I've already had a nightmare relating to its lead video, 'Pitbull Terrier', which came as a shock, since it features a man pretending to be Pitbull being savaged by a different man pretending to be a pitbull. Die Antwoord's 2013 single 'Cookie Thumper!', plus this new track 'Pitbull', will both come out with 'Donker Mag' on 3 Jul.

And really finally, get rid of the 'Pitbull' taste with a nice cleansing John Wizards mix of approved warmwave man Mo Kolours' track 'Mike Black', which just debuted c/o the Boiler Room.

Michael Buble loses tooth to microphone on stage
It's a dangerous world out there popstars. You might think of that friendly looking microphone as an ally, whose only reason for existing is to help your voice boom above all others. But perhaps you're using a rogue mic. One that's just biding its time to attack.

Just ask the Buble. Mike's mic attacked him mid-song last Friday night during a show in Australia, out there on stage in front of his adoring audience, and he lost a whole tooth during the skirmish. Though ever the pro, the Buble didn't even flinch and the show went on regardless; which is good news for the microphone, imagine being at the receiving end of a room full of angry Buble fans.

The crooner revealed the terrible tooth incident over the weekend by posting a photo from his dentist's chair onto Instagram, noting: "Thankfully no one knew, but I knocked my tooth out with my microphone last night during the second song!! Don't worry, I'm at the dentist getting fixed up for my final show tonight in Sydney".

Buble's tour moves on to New Zealand today where the authorities are on high alert for any unruly microphones trying to enter the country. Meanwhile, popstars, be careful out there. But don't have nightmares. And do sleep well.

 
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.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
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.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
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.
Email aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
© UnLimited Publishing at division of UnLimited Media

CMU, Fl2 Unicorn House, 221 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk | complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk