An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 23 May 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Worldwide Independent Network, the body that brings together indie label trade groups from across the globe, has now formally gone public with its criticism of YouTube over the way the Google subsidiary is handling negotiations for its planned audio streaming service. As much previously reported, YouTube has ambitions to go head-to-head with Spotify et al by launching an audio-based... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Brixton's Plan B sees househeads Karizma and Atjazz join forces this weekend to showcase their new collaborative venture EXIST. It's a tie-up that perhaps seems a little odd on paper - bringing together Northerner Martin Iveson, aka Atjazz, creator of the Derby-based Mantis Records with East Coast US man Khris Klayton - but we've heard great things from their appearances at the... [READ MORE]
   
THIS WEEK'S BEEF: Now, we all know that the good old Black Keys aren't shy of a little casual beefing from time to time. There was the light post-Grammy beefing with Bieber (well, more the Beliebers), the declaring to Rolling Stone that Jack White "sounds like an asshole", and the recent reckoning that the new posthumous Michael Jackson album 'Xscape' - which happen to be released on the same day... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Independent labels hit out at YouTube's "unnecessary and indefensible" negotiating tactics
"It's a reminder that they need to be shown how not to be evil": Indie label reps the world over line up to diss YouTube
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Swedish Supreme Court rejects Pirate Bay founder appeal for second time
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DEALS Domino signs Bob Moses
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MARKETING & PR Universal adds to its global comms team
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Vimeo launches ContentID-style system
Samsung confirms Music Hub to close
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MEDIA Annie Mac to reveal real lives of Superstar DJs in new Channel 4 series
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RELEASES Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense to have digital anniversary release
Michelle Williams brings in Destinys Child, Solange for new single
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GIGS & FESTIVALS SFX confirms new series of international beach festivals, Corona SunSets
Spiders From Mars' Visconti and Woodmansey to play Bowie's Man Who Sold The World
Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Pharrell, Culture Club, Enter Shikari, The Growlers and Girl Band
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AWARDS Ivor Novello Awards given out
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AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #207: The Black Keys v The Black Keys
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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
 
 

Independent labels hit out at YouTube's "unnecessary and indefensible" negotiating tactics
The Worldwide Independent Network, the body that brings together indie label trade groups from across the globe, has now formally gone public with its criticism of YouTube over the way the Google subsidiary is handling negotiations for its planned audio streaming service.

As much previously reported, YouTube has ambitions to go head-to-head with Spotify et al by launching an audio-based music platform that will sit alongside the video-based music content already sitting on its network. First mooted last year, the planned new music service has taken a while to get off the ground, partly because of growing resentment in the music community over the size of the royalties YouTube currently pays when music videos are played on its site.

But it's thought that the major music companies are nevertheless close to doing a deal with YouTube for its planned audio streaming service. Which means the Google company has now turned its attention to the independent label sector, but - says WIN - the deal on the table is woeful. Though what has really angered the indies is the alleged threat made by the web giant that if the labels don't sign up to the all-new YouTube music service, their content will be blocked elsewhere on the video platform.

Indie label trade bodies from across the world planned to go public with their anger over YouTube's negotiating tactics yesterday morning, but the digital firm stepped in at the last minute requesting talks. But as of last night those talks had seemingly not dealt with the key issues, including the threat to block indies from the wider YouTube network if they don't play ball, a move WIN describes as "unnecessary and indefensible".

In a statement late last night WIN said: "We have held extensive talks with YouTube at their instigation over the last 24 hours to try and resolve this issue but no progress has been made. WIN's request for YouTube to rescind the termination letters sent to its members has not as yet been agreed to".

Meanwhile Alison Wenham, head of the UK's indie label group AIM and CEO of WIN, added: "Our members are small businesses who rely on a variety of income streams to invest in new talent. They are being told by one of the largest companies in the world to accept terms that are out of step with the marketplace for streaming".

She goes on: "This is not a fair way to do business. WIN questions any actions by any organisation that would seek to injure and punish innocent labels and musicians - and their innocent fans - in order to pursue its ambitions. We believe, as such, that these actions are unnecessary and indefensible, not to mention commercially questionable and potentially damaging to YouTube itself, given the harm likely to result from this approach".

"The international independent music trade associations call upon YouTube on behalf of their members to work with them towards an agreement that is fair and equitable for all independent labels. This has uncomfortable echoes of similar behaviour by MTV ten years ago, who chose initially to take a similar approach in undervaluing the independent sector, but who subsequently concluded a deal on fair terms, which lasts to this day. It is for every company to determine their own commercial arrangements, but it is in no one's interests to see independent artists being undervalued in the digital marketplace".

It remains to be seen how YouTube responds, and whether they would go through with their threat of taking indie label artists off their platform in a bid to realise their audio ambitions.

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"It's a reminder that they need to be shown how not to be evil": Indie label reps the world over line up to diss YouTube
Confirming that independent labels the world over are very angry indeed with YouTube over the negotiating tactics it is employing as it attempts to win super-favourable rates in order to take on Spotify et al, reps from indie label trade groups all over the planet issued statements last night. And here they all are...

Helen Smith, Executive Chairman of pan-European group IMPALA: "The proper functioning of the digital market is essential and the EU takes trading practices like these seriously because they destroy competition and innovation. Rather than moving from the 'disrupter' to the 'destroyer', the real challenge for Google should be to use its muscle to develop a disruptive remuneration system which recognises that 80% of all new releases, which are so important in YouTube's offer, are generated by independents".

Rich Bengloff, President of the American Association of Independent Music: "It is unfortunate that a service like YouTube with a worldwide scope appears not to be interested in treating all copyright owner creators equally. This has an effect not just on A2IM's label members but also upon their artists and the consumer fans of our artists who will lose this form of access to our music. We hope that we can continue discussions with YouTube and ultimately restore and grow our relationship with this very important service".

Stuart Johnston, President of CIMA in Canada: "We are disappointed with reports of YouTube not negotiating in good faith with independent music labels. We urge YouTube to reconsider its approach, and recognise that independent labels deserve to be treated with more respect. It is in everyone's best interests for music service providers like YouTube to work with the independent music community to negotiate a deal that is fair, equitable and respectful for all parties involved".

Luciana Pegorer, Managing Director of ABMI in Brazil: "The independent sector has struggled for decades to have a fair market in which to work. There is no reason for us to, at this point, give to one player privileges that could jeopardise the market health as a whole. This pressure over the labels is insane and will lead nowhere, but to a delay in service launch".

David Vodicka from AIR in Australia: "We are extremely disappointed at YouTube's decision to use its market power to unilaterally enforce inferior commercial terms on the independent sector. For a company that has arranged its structure to pay minimal tax in our market, to now see YouTube's treatment of independent Australian labels who provide so much of its Australian music content so as to further improve their profitability at the sake of local content creators is deeply concerning".

Scott Muir, Deputy Chair of Independent Music in New Zealand: "It seems obvious that a streaming/subscription service from YouTube is imminent and if the offering does not house the indie sector YouTube is plainly making the claim that this sector holds no value for them. In an age where New Zealand artists spring from the very independent ethos to achieve worldwide acclaim it makes no sense for YouTube to pursue this tactic of exclusion".

Jérome Roger, General Manager of UPFI in France: "It is regrettable and unacceptable that YouTube tends to abuse its dominant position as a digital channel to impose unfair conditions on independent labels. Further, the threat of blocking or removing their content would have the negative effect of preventing consumers from enjoying a substantial part of the whole music catalogue".

Joerg Heidemann, VUT in Germany: "We are regretful to hear of pressure being put by YouTube on suppliers who have so far chosen not to sign up to their current contract offer. We may adore new, disruptive business models, but even more we love appropriate, fair, social and artist-valuing remuneration. So dear YouTube - we'd appeal for a move towards a more co-operative understanding and negotiation, working together, not against each other".

Alexander Hirschenhauser, VTMOE in Austria: "It is deeply disturbing that YouTube so far has not even tried to negotiate deals for their upcoming streaming service with independent labels from Austria. We vehemently protest against YouTube's policy that is trying to squeeze small labels into deals that are discriminatory. YouTube as one of the world's leading online services with a significant market power is obliged to offer deals to all interested labels around the world on equal terms and conditions".

Nuno Saraiva, Vice President of AMAEI in Portugal: "The Portuguese independent music association, hereby asserts its position that any service that utilises music that takes a differentiated approach between major label vs independent content is not only on the wrong ethical path - a file is a file, a song is a song - but also on the wrong side of technological progress and development. It is the vibrant independent music community that drives creativity and growth, and any service that leaves out the independents will ultimately lose out on appealing to an ever-increasing audience. Independent music is the life-blood of the internet. Don't spill it".

Kees van Weijen, STOMP in Netherlands: "We want YouTube to reconsider its position in this matter and to work with the independent music sector to agree a fair resolution to this issue. We value and respect what YouTube has to offer to the digital music marketplace and would like that appreciation reciprocated by them so that we can all move forward towards a mutually beneficial solution".

Kristoffer Rom, Co-Chairman of DUP in Denmark: "DUP represents the Danish independent record labels and we're appalled that YouTube has issued these individual ultimatums. YouTube's self-proclaimed role as a 'a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small' is little more than hollow branding of a company that in reality is losing touch with the very creators and audience that have bloated the size of the platform into the stratosphere over the years. For a global mastodon like YouTube to further undermine the value of music to a level well below existing streaming services can spread like a virus and destroy the independent recording industry, labels and artists alike".

Mark Kitkatt, UFI in Spain: "The safe harbour provision of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act dates from 1998. It's being used to deprive culture workers and creators of their right to withdraw their labour and when you can't do that - you're a slave. Spain's parliament is considering a law which begins to adapt copyright for creators to the new landscape. We couldn't hope for a better illustration of the problems that need solving than Google's behaviour at this negotiating table. It's a reminder that they need to be shown how not to be evil".

Tapio Korjus, Chairman of IndieCo in Finland: "We find it very odd that YouTube has not contacted Finnish independent labels to negotiate deals for its streaming service, and we object to any proposal by a dominant platform such as YouTube which excludes or unfairly discriminates against independent right holders in Finland".

Mimi Nguyen, Lang Van in Vietnam: "Independent labels, organisations and even artists themselves are incubators for the new talent of the world that drive creativity and what's 'next' in music. It is through social media platforms such as YouTube that these creatives have the ability to not only survive as artists, but to thrive beyond areas that major labels do not support. By hindering the opportunities for independent artists to be discovered and making unexplored areas of creativity unsearchable, YouTube will contradict its own rule of ethics if it executes its intended plans".

Chan Kim, Chairman of LIAK in South Korea: "We fully support WIN's position on YouTube's recent policy of discrimination against the independent music sector. Independent music needs to receive fair treatment from major global platforms for healthy diversity of music in the world".

Swedish Supreme Court rejects Pirate Bay founder appeal for second time
Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde's most recent attempt to have his conviction for copyright infringement quashed has failed.

As much previously reported, Sunde was one of three co-founders of the always controversial file-sharing platform who was found guilty of enabling rampant copyright infringement in a combined civil and criminal case in the Swedish courts. He received a jail sentence and massive damages bill as a result of the trial.

However, Sunde has been fighting the case against him ever since, and so far has avoided any jail time in the process. Though his various appeals have not been successful. An appeal court upheld the original ruling (though amended the penalties), then the Swedish Supreme Court refused to hear the case, then the Swedish authorities knocked back Sunde's appeal for 'clemency', and then the European Court Of Human Rights said it wasn't a matter on which it had a right to intervene.

After all that, earlier this year Sunde had another stab at the Swedish Supreme Court, with a team of legal academics arguing that the "changing legal climate" in the European Union meant the longterm argument of the Bay's founders - that they didn't actually host any infringing content, and shouldn't be liable for the infringement the Bay enabled others to commit - had a new found credibility.

But, according to local media, the Supreme Court did not agree, stating that there was no new evidence available and therefore there was no need to revisit the case. Responding to the news, Sunde told Torrentfreak: "It doesn't affect me that much, it's just more evidence that Sweden has no intention to follow the law or EU-regulations at all".

Domino signs Bob Moses
Domino has signed on alt-dance act Bob Moses, a two-man production unit from Canada, and so will be the label to release the pair's new EP, 'First To Cry', on 16 Jun.

Keeping with the crying theme, its lead-off single, 'I Ain't Gonna Be The First To Cry', is available to stream right here.

And if you want to go watch those Bob Moses crybabies live, you can do so on any one of the duo's forthcoming European tour dates, which include UK showings at Oval Space in London tomorrow, and at The Arches in Glasgow on 31 May.

Universal adds to its global comms team
Universal Music has poached Warner Music comms SVP Susan Mazo to become its SVP Of Global Communications, heading up philanthropic efforts, major internal and external events and only slightly mysterious "special projects", as well as supporting the mega-major's media relations efforts.

Based in New York, she will report into UMG's Head of Global Communications Will Tanous who told CMU: "Susan is one of the most talented and progressive communications executives with whom I've ever worked, and I'm thrilled to welcome her to UMG".

He went on: "Her creativity, focus and passion for helping artists and the communities in which we operate has made her one of the most thoughtful and impactful executives in music, and I'm confident she will bring tremendous value to helping shape UMG's communications strategy and leading our philanthropic efforts going forward".

Vimeo launches ContentID-style system
YouTube competitor Vimeo is launching a new initiative called Copyright Match, which is similar to its main rival's ContentID system, designed to help music rights owners monitor and block the use of their audio content within the videos of third parties.

YouTube - for all the dissing it is getting from the music community today - was a pioneer when it came to developing technology that monitors the soundtracks to videos being uploaded to its servers looking for copyright material being used without licence.

In part designed to help YouTube comply with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act which provides protection for tech firms who inadvertently enable others to infringe (though to be fair, ContentID goes someway beyond YouTube's commitments under American law), if a rights owner sees a third party using its music on the video site, it can either choose to take a cut of the ad money associated with the clip, or have the video blocked.

Vimeo, which has never had aspirations to become an ad-funded network that buys in content, but rather sees itself as a distribution service for video-makers, has been much less proactive in developing tools to help music rights owners seek out unlicensed use of their tracks on its platform. Which has led to long running litigation in the US between the labels and the Vimeo company.

But Copyright Match, developed with Audible Magic, might go some way to placating the record industry. Although not as robust, from the music companies' standpoint, as ContentID - in that it involves the video-maker in the process more, and seems more open to claims of 'fair use' - it should make it easier for rights owners to police use of their music on the video site.

Video-makers who find that their work can't get past Copyright Match because of their soundtracks will be pointed to music that is cheap or free to licence via Vimeo's own music store or via Audible Magic.

While you might assume Copyright Match is a direct result of the record industry's long-running legal battle with the video site, when talking about the new venture to Billboard, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said that further growth of the company's video-maker community had promoted the new initiative.

Trainor: "This is a constantly evolving area, in terms of creativity - we really want to educate creators on the boundaries of fair use and the ways in which music and other material can and can't be used, and offer as many solutions as we can. We want to empower people who want to use music to do so, with full understanding of what's allowed under the law".

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Samsung confirms Music Hub to close
Samsung has confirmed that it is winding down its Music Hub platform, just over two years after its original launch.

As previously reported, it looked like the combined download, streaming and digital locker set up was on its way out earlier this year when the phone maker announced a tie up with Slacker Radio in the US, resulting in a new music offer called Milk Music.

After customers were alerted to the fact that Music Hub would be going offline on 1 Jul, Samsung confirmed that it was phasing out the platform, though said it remained "committed" to music via the aforementioned Milk Music and other musical apps and partnerships.

Annie Mac to reveal real lives of Superstar DJs in new Channel 4 series
BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac is to front a rolling Channel 4 show titled 'Superstar DJs', in which she'll meet with and interview, well... them. Confirming the news yesterday, Mac said she'd been pitching the idea since 2012, and had at last got the financial backing to go ahead with it.

Airing in six weeks time, the first 'Superstar DJ' in the strobe-light will be Tiesto, to whom she claimed to have had "unrivaled access", with specials featuring Diplo, David Guetta, Disclosure, Fat Boy Slim and Seth Troxler following on.

In an interview with Pete Tong at this week's International Music Summit, printed by Music Week, Mac said (making a fair point): "The world of big DJ's is still quite elusive and weird - Tiesto is one of the richest most famous DJs in the world and yet no one really knows anything about him".

On the show itself she added: "It'll give you real access to the lives of these DJs and what they have to go through to get that success. It was important to get a really good variety of DJs, I'm really happy with the variety and I hope people like it".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Simply Salacious at Plan B
Brixton's Plan B sees househeads Karizma and Atjazz join forces this weekend to showcase their new collaborative venture EXIST.

It's a tie-up that perhaps seems a little odd on paper - bringing together Northerner Martin Iveson, aka Atjazz, creator of the Derby-based Mantis Records with East Coast US man Khris Klayton - but we've heard great things from their appearances at the Amsterdam Dance Event and Southport Weekender, and very much enjoyed their guest spot on Gilles Peterson's 'Worldwide' last year.

Their first London set as EXIST comes as part of Simply Salacious, which is celebrating ten years in the game, and this weekend also includes Magic Number on the bill, plus on the decks Mr Simply Salacious himself Peter Borg, Sy Sez and special guest Ted Lawrence.

Saturday 24 May, 10pm-6am, Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, London SW9, £14 (£11 adv).
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Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense to have digital anniversary release
Talking Heads' milestone concert film, the Jonathan Demme-directed 'Stop Making Sense', which hasn't wrinkled yet, despite hitting the big 3-0 this year, is to have its first official digital release in July.

It's also going to be shown in America over a series of special anniversary screenings, which if British cinemas have any sense, will happen over here at some point too.

In addition, a new birthday edition is available on DVD and BluRay, featuring the original final edit and extended clips of David Byrne et al playing 'Cities' and 'Big Business/I Zimbra', and audio commentary from the band and Demme.

Here's the trailer.

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Michelle Williams brings in Destinys Child, Solange for new single
There'll be no more of the 'poor Michelle Williams' this, 'poor Michelle Williams' that, everyone, not now that the R&B/gospel singer has glided oh-so gently back into the spotlight with a new solo single featuring her Destiny's Child sisters, Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Kelly Rowland. And that on top of her part in America's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' arena spectacular, starring John Lydon, but we don't speak of that.

Titled 'Say Yes', the new single has the DC three AND Beyonce's real-life sister, Solange, on it, and is said to be an " inspirational gospel record". And what's not to love about that combination of things? Though 'Say Yes' streams are disappearing off the internet like 'inspirational gospel' flies, so I can't really link to the track. Maybe try Googling it. Or, find your Destiny's Child fix (via MTV) in these Instagram clips, which catch Michelle, Beyonce and Kelly in the act as they leave the 'Say Yes' video shoot.

SFX confirms new series of international beach festivals, Corona SunSets
As made official at this year's International Music Summit in Ibiza, EDM giants SFX Entertainment has announced a new international series of dance festivals on beaches named: Corona SunSets. So kind of like a Tequila Sunrise, only more of a lager-based twilight experience.

The 'beach' bit of the idea, by the way, is high on the agenda, since all the festivals will bear a 'Save The Beach'-style message promoting beach preservation, thanks to a link-in with the Foundation Of Environmental Education's Blue Flag Initiative. And you thought dance music was all about raving and taking drugs. Shame on you.

As well as SunSet events in Mexico, Canada and Spain, SFX, in alliance with Corona and Beatport, is also throwing a great British beach party on the sands of Weston-Super-Mare on 5 Sep, featuring a Disclosure DJ set, and appearances by Annie Mac, MK, Eats Everything and Sinden. And hey, Bestival has its own stage, too, with B Traits, Kidnap Kid, TCTS, Lxury and Tieks all swinging by.

Limited early bird tickets to the Weston-Super-Mare edition are available here, and an excitable statement from SFX's CMO Chris Stephenson is available here...

"We're thrilled to create this new beach concept. At any moment of the day, SunSets has its own special charm. We use Mother Nature's own magnificent fireball as a natural backdrop for the pivotal moment of the event - the sunset. As shadows grow longer and the sun lights up the evening sky, the music gradually shifts from deep melodic, easy tunes to a more up-tempo beat".

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Spiders From Mars' Visconti and Woodmansey to play Bowie's Man Who Sold The World
Tony Visconti and Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey, both of David Bowie's iconic, Ziggy Stardust-era backing band The Spiders From Mars, are to play Bowie's 1970 LP, arguably his first truly avant garde one, 'The Man Who Sold The World', live and in full at a show in London this Autumn. And don't worry, it's all Ziggy-approved.

The pair will fill the spaces in the Spiders line-up with a group of ten guest musicians, including Spandau Ballet saxophonist Steve Norman, and Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory. Visconti, producer of most of DB's albums since 1969 of course, not least his latest, 'The Next Day', will play bass on the songs for the first time since 'The Man Who Sold The World' was made, whilst Woodmansey is playing drums.

Talking to The Guardian this week, the latter said: "'The Man Who Sold The World' was the first album Mick Ronson and I played on, our first even in a proper London studio, yet it never got played live. It was the forerunner of what we could do sound-wise, and we just let rip. We spent three weeks recording it because we were creating the songs as we went".

He added: "This was the album that showed Bowie trying out things and finding his direction. 'The Man Who Sold The World' was his first step into rock'n'roll. It got critical acclaim, but we never toured it, and in the live shows the album tracks never got touched on. So the idea of being able to go out and finally play some of those great tracks live was just so exciting".

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Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Pharrell, Culture Club, Enter Shikari, The Growlers and Girl Band
Mr Pharrell 'four count' Williams is heaving his big dumb couture hat over from the States later this year, mainly to wear it while he plays twenty live dates in Europe. The 'Happy' hit-man is calling it is 'Dear G I R L' tour, after his reigning solo LP, so I guess that's what you could all call it too. The UK shows, of which two exist, are at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on 9 Sep, and at London's O2 on 14 Oct. Tickets have been on sale since 9am this morning so dash over to get em.

Also, the original line up of Culture Club have just gone and announced, oh, only their first tour in fifteen years. No big deal. The first of the dates, which will feature a special guest in the gracious Ms Alison Moyet, is on 1 Dec at Glasgow's SSE Hydro, and the last is on 15 Dec at the Bournemouth International Centre. Click here to see details of the shows in between, and click here to see the 'Karma Chameleon' video. Oh, go on, do it.

And next, get this: electro-thrash types Enter Shikari have set a single 'gig' to get them all lithe and limber pre a trip to Russia and the US, and a streak of festival appearances. The show is on 26 Jun at the Forum in Hatfield, and this is the link to get tickets. The end.

Well not quite the end, actually, because tangle-haired beach bums The Growlers have added a short UK stop-over to the far-end of an upcoming tour of Europe. Kicking right off with a show at London's Oslo on 16 Aug, the fun will go on thanks to slots supporting Fat White Family at the Bristol Fleece (17 Aug), Liverpool's Kazimier (18 Aug), and the Brighton-based Concorde 2 (19 Aug). And here's something Growlers-related to look at whilst you're turning that over in your mind. It's the aptly road-trip-depicting 'Change In Your Veins' video, the track being one off the band's latest record, 'Gilded Pleasures'.

Lastly and mostly, it's approved Dublin four-piece Girl Band, who are in fact all boys. Though they are a band. Aaaanyway, they have a virtual ton of UK shows coming up, starting at Newcastle's Dog & Parrot on 2 Jun, and winding up following a further seven nationwide dates at The Shacklewell Arms, in London, on 11 Jun. Check the GB Facebook page for all the relevant details, but not before you've watched the visuals to go with their invigorating latest single 'Lawman' here.

Ivor Novello Awards given out
So the ol Ivor Novellos got given away to their respective winners yesterday, and what a glittering occasion it was. So dripping in songwriting ability and artistry, it was practically soaked. Also, Tom Odell came, which was nice. In fact, he was named Songwriter Of The Year, so it was worth his time showing up.

Fleetwood Mac lady Christine McVie was presented with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, whilst Nile Rodgers received the Special International Award. Also, London Grammar won Best Song Musically And Lyrically for their single 'Strong', and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' latest LP 'Push The Sky Award' was deemed deserving of the Album Award. It really was wild.

Best Contemporary Song: James Blake - Retrograde

Best Song Musically And Lyrically: London Grammar - Strong (Dominic Major, Hannah Reid, Daniel Rothman)

Album Award: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Awar (Nick Cave, Warren Ellis)

PRS For Music Most Performed Work: Passenger - Let Her Go (Mike Rosenberg)

Best Television Soundtrack: Ripper Street (Dominik Sherrer)

Best Original Film Score: The Epic Of Everest (Simon Fisher Turner)

The Ivors Classical Music Award: John McCabe

Songwriter Of The Year: Tom Odell

International Achievement: Mumford & Sons (Ed Dawne, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall, Marcus Mumford)

PRS For Music Special International Award: Nile Rodgers

Outstanding Song Collection: The Chemical Brothers (Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons)

PRS For Music Award For Outstanding Contribution To British Music: Jeff Beck

Lifetime Achievement: Christine McVie

The Ivors Inspiration Award: Jerry Dammers

Beef Of The Week #207: The Black Keys v The Black Keys
Now, we all know that the good old Black Keys aren't shy of a little casual beefing from time to time. There was the light post-Grammy beefing with Bieber (well, more the Beliebers), the declaring to Rolling Stone that Jack White "sounds like an asshole", and the recent reckoning that the new posthumous Michael Jackson album 'Xscape' - which happen to be released on the same day as the duo's new record - was "bullshit".

Though do take note, all these contentious remarks stem from the same half of The Black Keys, ie drumming man Patrick Carney. Meanwhile his co-hort Dan Auerbach has never had anything bad to say about anybody in his entire life. He loves Bieber. And White. And Jackson. And you. So mild mannered is he, in fact, that when he describes his partner in crime's regular media jibes as "pretty stupid" we know he's actually really pissed off about it all. Really pissed off.

Well, definitely mildly pissed off. Or not really pissed off at all. One of those. But this is the Beef Of The Week column, so let's read this quote in a very angry voice.

According to QMI, when asked about some of Carney's recent disses, Auberbach remarked: "I think they're pretty stupid sometimes. He generally regrets them after he says them... he's always been like that. He's done it a bunch [of times] where he's said something bad about somebody and then completely regrets it, [and] then runs into that person".

Asked if he couldn't just sit the drummer boy down and tell him to keep his mouth shut, Auberbach added: "It doesn't work... he just doesn't seem to filter anything".

Though as the self-declared champions of pop beefing, more power to Carney's mouth we say. Shut it Auberbach. Bieber doesn't deserve any Grammys. White is an asshole. And 'Xscape' is bullshit.

 
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