An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Thursday 29 May 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Not since Homebase bought Texas Homecare in 1995 has there been so much excitement over an acquisition. Yes, it's true, Apple has done the deal, inked the line and shaken a few hands, and is now the proud owner of a box full of Beats: shitty headphones, fledgling streaming platform, celebrity endorsements and all. Well it will be by quarter four. Boot up your Mac Classic, don your most... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Tove Styrke released her eponymous debut album back in 2010, featuring the still-much-played-in-the-CMU-office single 'Call My Name' (no relation to the Cheryl Cole song of the same title. Apart from both being brilliant, of course). Although bits and pieces of new music emerged from the 2009 'Swedish Idol' finalist subsequently, she gradually fell more and more quiet. Which makes the exuberant... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Apple buys Beats
Universal pays tribute to departing Iovine, confirms his replacement
LEGAL Offspring frontman in hot water over aeroplane arrears
LABELS & PUBLISHERS UK record label sync revenues up in 2013, BPI announces
TuneCore promotes Scott Ackerman to CEO
LIVE BUSINESS Music Venue Trust calls for review of noise abatement laws
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify goes live in Brazil
Djay iOS app adds Spotify integration
THE GREAT ESCAPE Watch footage of WhoSampled's Samplethon at The Great Escape 2014
ARTIST NEWS George Michael receives emergency medical treatment
Pharrell Williams denies Blurred Lines controversy
La Roux talks disco rift with bandmate
RELEASES Release Round-Up: Fucked Up, Marianne Faithfull, Rat Fist, Neon Jungle and Mina Tindle
GIGS & FESTIVALS Irregular Folk all-dayer returns to Oxford in July
AND FINALLY... Russian alt Eurovision
One Direction. Joint. Camera. Crisis Talks. Blah
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.
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.

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London office for well-established rock/metal label is looking for a young, dynamic and creative Press Officer to handle PR for it's rapidly diversifying roster. The ideal candidate should have at least two years experience in a similar role with existing contacts within the rock/metal media.

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Play It Again Sam Recordings are looking for an in house publicist to manage the press campaigns of artists on the label. The applicant should have current experience in the print field and some experience of the on line world would also help. A good eye for detail, a broad musical interest and an eagerness to be part of a label team are also essential.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Circus Records and its associated group of companies are looking for an exceptional and motivated addition to their team. As assistant to the Label Manager you will be entrusted to perform, plan and execute all the standard processes required to ensure successful label functions for Circus Records and it's group of managed labels.

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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.
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 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.
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.

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[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.
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

Apple buys Beats
Not since Homebase bought Texas Homecare in 1995 has there been so much excitement over an acquisition.

Yes, it's true, Apple has done the deal, inked the line and shaken a few hands, and is now the proud owner of a box full of Beats: shitty headphones, fledgling streaming platform, celebrity endorsements and all. Well it will be by quarter four. Boot up your Mac Classic, don your most ridiculous looking pair of Beats headphones, and let's collaborate on a weak gag about not forgetting about Dre.

The news that an Apple/Beats deal was imminent having broken earlier this month, Apple Inc confirmed last night that an agreement had now been reached. The IT giant will pay $3 billion for the headphone and speaker maker, and it's young streaming service Beats Music, breaking down as a $2.6 billion upfront payment and "approximately $400 million [in stock] that will vest over time". As part of the deal Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre will join the Apple company.

Confirming the arrangement last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook told reporters: "Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple. That's why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world".

Meanwhile Iovine added: "I've always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple. The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple's unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple's deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special".

Opinion is rather divided on whether this is a genius move by Apple, or a sign that the company is losing its way, panicking at the decline in download sales on American iTunes last year, depressed by the lacklustre consumer response to the iTunes Radio service, no longer able to innovate internally, and therefore just grabbing the coolest looking streaming service on the block. Certainly bringing such a high profile third party brand into the Apple family is unusual for the firm, though there is nevertheless some logic to the deal.

Of course, we don't know what the key motivating factors were for Cook's team - though most people reckon it was the streaming service rather than the much more substantial Beats headphone business that was the main attractor.

That said, bringing the Beats headphones and speakers into the Apple portfolio, and into Apple's online and high street stores, does make a certain amount of sense. While long-term Apple snobs (like myself) might look down on Beats' technologies, with the younger tech consumer that Apple arguably needs to better engage, Iovine and Dre's brand not only enjoys loyalty, but quite a bit respect too.

But many have noted that Apple's statement last night listed Beats Music before the hardware business, and Cook's accompanying memo to staff waxed lyrical about the streaming service, noting that "we think it's the first subscription service to really get it right". And 'it' presumably doesn't refer to paying mega-bucks to Ellen DeGeneres to gurn at the camera shouting "look at me, I'm streaming, how modern am I?"

But whatever 'it' is, the current Beats subscriber base can't be what Apple is interested in, because in the wider scheme of things it's tiny, so the tech giant must have been attracted to the catalogue, the technology, the curation approach or, possibly most likely, the team.

Iovine is both old school and new school, both major label man but also mate to the stars, so perhaps Cook reckons that his new colleague can bridge the gap that needs to be bridged to help his company lead the way as digital music shifts from reworked retail to reworked radio, with all the challenges on both the rights owner side and the consumer side that that shift brings.

In his staff memo, Cook wrote: "Jimmy has been on the cutting edge of innovation in the music industry for decades, including as a key partner for Apple in the launch of the iTunes Music Store more than ten years ago. He has produced or collaborated with some of the most popular artists in history, and been an important contributor to the success of the iTunes Store".

Beyond exploiting Iovine's contacts, the potential of bundling may also be behind Cook's grand plan for a Beats/Apple alliance. Even if Iovine and Team Beats do have the best streaming platform on the market, and the right industry contacts to move it forward, they still face the same challenges of everyone dabbling in the subscription service space: the fact it's not been proven there is mass-market interest in a ten dollar a month music set-up, and the big upfront costs and low profit margins of the streaming business.

But lock the content to the hardware - so an iPhone/Beats phone/unlimited music for life combo with some iCloud goodness thrown in - and maybe the ever so tight margins can be loosened a little. And while such content/device combos have never really worked in the past, with Apple's infrastructure, Beats' celebrity friends, and the two brand's existing profile, perhaps their bundling plan can succeed in grabbing at least the premium end of the mass-market, leaving the musos for Spotify and the freetards for YouTube.

So maybe the barmy big bucks Beats deal isn't so barmy after all. Providing Iovine can fit himself in to Cupertino culture, and the Apple/Beats bundling strategy can work where others have failed. Neither of which is assured, but there's definitely some potential there.


Universal pays tribute to departing Iovine, confirms his replacement
As Beats founder Jimmy Iovine properly makes the move from music to tech as a result of the big Beats deal and the Apple job that comes with it, his outgoing boss at Universal Music rolled out a tribute. And not just because as an early backer of Iovine's Beats venture, Universal stands to make a reported $400 million from the sale.

Said Lucian Grainge last night: "History teaches us that great entrepreneurs are few and far between. Jimmy Iovine is one of that small number of entrepreneurs who, by doing so much so well in so many different arenas, have left their indelible mark. He founded, and for more than 20 years has led Interscope, a label that has consistently been in the forefront of the music business, both artistically and commercially. He has put in place, developed and mentored there a world-class management team".

"At the same time, Jimmy co-founded Beats, a wildly-successful, cutting-edge company that revolutionised how consumers listen to music, and from there went on to build a platform that is advancing the evolution of the access model for the entire music industry. Based on mutual trust and respect, UMG's singular relationship with Jimmy permitted his innovation to flourish in all these ways. Together we created a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allowed Jimmy to maximise the use of his many talents".

Grainge went on to reveal that Iovine's COO at Interscope, John Janick, will take over the running of the Universal division. He said: "In recent years, as Jimmy partnered with John Janick, one of the industry's most talented and promising young executives, Interscope's results have skyrocketed. We thank Jimmy for both the incomparable leadership he's provided to Interscope and UMG and for the highly beneficial partnership UMG has enjoyed with Beats. We wish Jimmy the very best and look forward to enhancing our partnerships with Apple and Beats for many years to come".

While on Janick he added: "I'm thrilled to announce John Janick's promotion to Chairman and CEO of Interscope. Since coming to UMG nearly two years ago, he has consistently shown why he is widely regarded as one of the most talented, innovative and entrepreneurial executives in the music business today and will be a key player in the future generation of industry leaders. John is the ideal executive to be writing the next chapter in Interscope's illustrious history".

Offspring frontman in hot water over airplane arrears
Dexter Holland, the pretty fly white guy who sings in The Offspring, is facing legal action from a maker of light aircraft called Cessna after he missed a series of payments on his latest plane. Because he has three planes, all told, though there's nothing 'fly' about the fact that he hasn't paid in full for one of them. Always pay for your planes, kids.

Let's get this thing, and any fly/flying jokes anyone wants to make, out the way first.

And, back in the real, post-noughties world, Holland is over $780,000 (approx £466,000) in debt to Cessna for a plane that was purchased in 2007. The firm claims in legal papers, filed this week and picked up by TMZ, that it made a deal with him whereby he'd sell the newest plane privately, and have until 2017 to pay off his debt. That, and give Cessna his two 'old' flying machines to offset the balance. A deal he clearly hasn't kept to, hence all the suing.

The Offspring are coming over to Europe and the UK this summer, to play various outdoor stages in festival-type situations. I guess they've been saving air miles.

UK record label sync revenues up in 2013, BPI announces
Revenues for UK record labels from TV, film and advert syncs rose by 3.2% in 2013, the BPI announced this morning. The boost brought sync income up to just under £19 million.

Commenting on the figures, BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor told CMU: "With so many talented British musicians across such a broad range of genres, it is no surprise that producers and directors continue to turn to UK talent to source music to bring their creative vision to life".

He continued: "2013 saw an increase in the demand for music to be used in movies, TV programmes and adverts with many new and established artists reaping the benefits of national exposure. Not only do sync deals act as a profile-raising opportunity with a mass audience but with the tagging technology of Shazam and the connectivity of a smartphone a well-placed sync can lead to discovery of an artist's entire catalogue and, importantly, a boost in sales".

The announcement comes as the record industry trade body prepares to head out on its annual sync mission to LA next week. Joining the trip to schmooze US music, TV, film, and advertising execs are representatives of Cooking Vinyl, Faber, Ministry Of Sound, Amazing Radio and the London Symphony Orchestra, amongst other smaller businesses and individual composers.

These figures add to the previously announced 1.9% rise in annual revenues on recorded music in the UK in 2013.


TuneCore promotes Scott Ackerman to CEO
Scott Ackerman has now added CEO to the list of job titles he's held at digital distributor TuneCore, having previously acted as COO and President. And he gets to keep his President badge, which is nice.

TuneCore Board Chairman Art Shaw said in a statement: "As we look ahead, Scott is a natural choice to lead the company as TuneCore strives to give musicians ever greater support and opportunities. Not only have we developed more significant ways to help artists be discovered and earn meaningful revenue from their gift, but under Scott's leadership we are growing quickly, allowing us to invest more than ever to help artists".

Ackerman joined the company in 2010 and, despite only just earning the CEO title, has actually been running it since 2012, following the extremely acrimonious departure of co-founders Jeff Price, Peter Wells and Gary Burke.

Music Venue Trust calls for review of noise abatement laws
A newish organisation called the Music Venue Trust has launched a petition calling on the Secretary Of State For The Environment Owen Paterson to "carry out an urgent review of noise abatement legislation", after concerns that long-standing gig venues could face closure because of a small number of noise complaints.

As previously reported, both Night & Day in Manchester and The Blind Tiger in Brighton have run into problems after their respective local councils received complaints from local residents about noise. In both cases it has been alleged that the complaints have come from people who have relatively recently moved into properties near the venues, raising the question why would you choose to live in a street famous for its live music, and then complain about the noise?

Scenarios such as these have resulted in venue owners becoming super concerned when flash new property developments occur near their premises, fearing that a bunch of new neighbours will move in, likely attracted by the neighbourhood's cultural credentials, but then start complaining when the music doesn't stop at 10pm every night. And, critics say, it only takes a couple of complaints for councils to step in, even though you might say there should be a 'first come, first heard' system.

Owners of popular Bristol venue The Fleece just this week launched a petition in the city to try and stop an office block across the road from their space from being turned into flats, fearing future noise complaint issues. And, of course, it's not just smaller gig venues that fear licensing problems if new neighbours move in, the Ministry Of Sound fighting a long battle to ensure a new property development next to its South London HQ wouldn't result in noise abatement orders down the line.

Explaining its petition, the Music Venue Trust writes: "The Music Venue Trust believes that venues should be good neighbours, engaging with their local communities and addressing concerns around noise and anti-social behaviour. But we believe that being a good neighbour is a reciprocal process, and that people who choose to live near to community spaces are accepting the responsibility to behave as a good neighbour to their adjoining music venue, church or community space; anywhere it is inevitable and should be acceptable that noise will exist. We believe this is a common sense approach - if you hate sport, why move next to a football pitch? If you hate music, why move next to a live music venue?"

Find out more about the campaign here and sign the petition here.

Spotify goes live in Brazil
Spotify announced yesterday that it has now gone fully live in Brazil, having been available on an invite-only basis there since earlier this month. And just in time for the World Cup and everything. Football, hey? Is the 'Anfield Rap' on Spotify? Yes, it is. But only the 1996 rework. Great days.

Anyway, this means that the streaming service is now live in 57 countries with a potential market reach in excess of 1.5 billion. Which possibly puts that ten million paying subscribers stat into perspective, if you're a cynical old pessimist. Anyone?

Confirming the Brazilian excitement, Spotify said in a statement: "We are thrilled to announce that as of today, Spotify is available to everyone in Brazil. Your friends in Brazil can now join the 40 million people around the world who are enjoying a new way of listening to music".


Djay iOS app adds Spotify integration
Music app maker Algoriddim has partnered with Spotify for the latest version of its iOS-based DJing software, Djay 2. The hook-up means that Spotify premium subscribers can access the streaming service's full catalogue while DJing on the app. Previously, users could only access MP3s or AACs held locally on their mobile device.

The app also adds a number of other features, including 'intelligent song selection'. Powered by the now Spotify-owned Echo Nest, this feature recommends tracks that will 'work well' with the one currently playing, thus eliminating most of the thinking involved in DJing and, therefore, the fun. Hooray! I hate fun.

And if thinking really isn't your thing, you can also use the new 'automix radio' feature, which just does all the thinking and mixing for you, leaving you to just enjoy the music. Unless it plays a load of stuff you don't like. That would really put a downer on it. Good. That'll teach you to be lazy.

This isn't the first DJ app to provide Spotify integration, the Pacemaker iPad app having beaten it to the party back in February. However, Djay is aimed at slightly more serious music mixers (or at least people who consider themselves to be more serious about mixing music). It's also available on iPhone, which Pacemaker isn't, and is free in that version until the end of today.

DJing apps seem like an obvious market for streaming services to try to tap, and with its Algoriddim partnership, Spotify has bagged one of the most popular. It's not alone in making moves in this area though. Earlier this month, Rhapsody announced that it had invested in Dubset, a service which helps DJs to monetise their mixes.

Watch footage of WhoSampled's Samplethon at The Great Escape 2014
Earlier this month at The Great Escape in Brighton, WhoSampled hosted its first ever Samplethon.

Run as part of tech mini-conference Blueprint, the sampling database got a group of producers in a room, gave them pre-cleared access to music from the Boosey & Hawkes and Cavendish catalogues, and then gave them a few hours to create their own new music.

We interviewed WhoSampled's James Hamlin about the event in the run-up to it, which you can read here. And now you can check out some footage of the Samplethon in action too, if you weren't able to make it down and see it for yourself.

Watch the video here. And have a listen to some of the tracks created during the event here.

  Approved: Tove Styrke
Tove Styrke released her eponymous debut album back in 2010, featuring the still-much-played-in-the-CMU-office single 'Call My Name' (no relation to the Cheryl Cole song of the same title. Apart from both being brilliant, of course).

Although bits and pieces of new music emerged from the 2009 'Swedish Idol' finalist subsequently, she gradually fell more and more quiet. Which makes the exuberant 'Hey Mickey'-esque style of her big comeback single, 'Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking To You', all the more exciting.

Released last week, you can check out the lyric video for the track here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

George Michael receives emergency medical treatment
George Michael was taken to hospital yesterday morning after being treated by paramedics at his home for four hours.

According to The Sun, two ambulances ("ambulances with blue flashing lights", the paper notes, should you have thought otherwise) arrived at the singer's home in North London at around 8am yesterday, following a 999 call. He was then taken to hospital at around noon.

In a statement, a spokesperson did not say why the singer had required medical treatment, telling reporters: "George Michael was in hospital for routine tests, but there is nothing further to say".


Pharrell Williams denies Blurred Lines controversy
Robin Thicke's 2013 hit 'Blurred Lines' has been the subject of much controversy, though its co-writer Pharrell Williams has dodged much of the criticism thrown at it. However, in an interview aired on 'Channel 4 News' last night he was asked to justify the song's lyrics and video.

Though before those questions could be asked, the producer made sure to state his political stance, reiterating his support for Hilary Clinton as a candidate in the next US presidential election and speculating on a world where "75% of our leaders were female". He added: "People ask me if I'm a feminist. I don't think it's possible for me to be that. I'm a man. It [only] makes sense up to a certain point. But I do support feminists, I do think that there's injustices, there are inequalities to be addressed".

At this point, interviewer Krishnan Guru-Murthy raised 'Blurred Lines', focussing on one of the more controversial lines in the song, the repeated "I know you want it", which Williams admitted that he, and not Thicke, had written. But he refused to accept that the line held sexually aggressive connotations, or was necessarily explicitly sexual at all.

"I don't know where the forcing himself and a woman's right to say no was ever addressed in that song", he protested. "'Is it sexually suggestive when a car salesman says to a person who's trying to buy a car, 'I know you want it?' Does [the fact that it is often used as a sexually suggestive term] make it off limits for me to use it in a song, especially when the overall arching context is that there are good women who also have bad thoughts? If a good woman can have sexual thoughts, is it wrong for a man to have a correct guess that a woman might want something?"

Going on to say that the nudity in the video for the song was also not sexual, but rather "inspired by editorials by high fashion magazines", he addressed another line in the song - the far less ambiguous, "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two".

"That was what TI wrote. I didn't write that", he said. "I'm not disowning the line, [but] I didn't write it. I'm not uncomfortable with that line. Why should I be uncomfortable? I love women. I love them inside and out. That song was meant for women to hear [it] and say, 'You know what, I'm a good woman and sometimes I do have bad thoughts".

Watch the interview in full here.

As previously reported, 'Blurred Lines' and the controversy around it was the focus of one strand at this year's CMU Insights-programmed Great Escape convention. Over four sessions, a variety of speakers discussed misogyny in the UK music industry, the influence of sexism in US music over here, music videos and censorship, plus whether or not 'Blurred Lines' should have been banned by UK radio stations.

Read our reports and listen to all four discussions here.


La Roux talks disco rift with bandmate
A now-solo Elly Jackson has reacted a bit to the glaring fact that her one-time La Roux collaborator, Ben Langmaid, is missing from LR's new LP, 'Trouble In Paradise'. Apparently the pair were simply on different pages sonically, since Langmaid wanted to stay with the synth-pop vibes of La Roux's debut for its follow-up, whilst she was on a real "rare disco" hype.

Speaking in this week's NME, Elly said: "I came to him with some rare disco references and he made it very clear he didn't like them. There wasn't a great deal of understanding. Sometimes I thought we were on the same level, but then from the production that would come to light, I didn't feel that we were. I wasn't happy with the way some of the demos were sounding".

She added (with some sang-froid): "On the album, there are maybe two songs that have similar production styles to the way that I started them with Ben, but they were essentially demo tracks and I felt they needed a lot of subsequent work".

Ow, that's cold. Hear Elly forcing those "rare disco" vibes she so loves on 'Uptight Downtown', the topmost official single off 'Trouble In Paradise', which drops on 7 Jul.

Release Round-Up: Fucked Up, Marianne Faithfull, Rat Fist, Neon Jungle and Mina Tindle
So Canadian hardcore-o-nauts Fucked Up have just shared dual online playbacks of their latest LP, 'Glass Boys', ahead of its release next week. One stream is at a standard speed, and the other is a 'deluxe' slow-mo one that runs at half the pace. Pop over to Pitchfork's Advance platform to hear the regular preview, and visit Exclaim to gradually listen to the slow edition. And/or go watch the band deliver the album live, at whichever speed they choose, on a forthcoming UK tour, which hits the UK on 15 Jun with a show at the Gorilla in Manchester.

Now it's time to talk Marianne Faithfull, mainly in light of her newly-detailed LP, 'Give My Love To London', which is due in September. Featuring, as is typical with Maz, a shiny shiny rack of celebrity foils, not least Portishead's Adrian Utley on guitar, Ed Harcourt on keys, plus Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave's Bad Seeds. Also, it contains songs written by Nick Cave, Anna Calvi, Roger Waters, Pat Leonard, Tom McRae, and Steve Earle. Whilst there's no preview of it yet, the lengthy guest-list is fine to be getting on with.

Next is a new band spliced together from members of Pissed Jeans and No Age. PJ drummer Sean McGuinness and No Age's Randy Randall, who are labelmates at Sub Pop, have formed an exclusive club, and are calling it Rat Fist. Rat. Fist. Yuck. So as Rat Fist, the pair have released a scrappy new single, their only joint creation to have seen the light of day so far, titled 'Disrupt Yr DNA', which goes like this.

Now you'll have to BUCKLE UP FOR A POP PREVIEW. It's from urban girl-band Neon Jungle, who can't stop, won't stop releasing singles. In fact, they're lining one up right now, titled 'Louder', and have just trailed it in this half-minute clip.

Standing back and considering the track at a distance, from all angles, the band say that: "Lyrically it's very relatable, it's about drowning out feelings and emotions. It's about not being in control of the way you feel because of someone else and wanting to turn everything up louder to escape that. I think people expected our fourth single to be another dance track but it was always in our plans to release a slower song and surprise people. It's still got the energy and power but in a more subtle way".

NJ's very first experiment in LP-making, by the way, the inevitably titled 'Welcome To The Jungle', hits the shops on 20 Jul.

Finalement, Parisian new wave lady Mina Tindle has set free a new video, on the sly, as a way to advertise the fact that she has a new LP, titled 'Parade', on the way in October. The track, which will feature on 'Parade', is named 'I Command', and I command you to watch it right now.

Irregular Folk all-dayer returns to Oxford in July
Like live folk music? LOVE live folk music with an 'alt' slant to it? If you answered one or both of those in the affirmative, you should probably know about Irregular Folk's Summer Session, an all-day, multi-band show taking place on 12 Jul.

Featuring 'art-pop' group The Irrepresibles, avant folk vocalist You Are Wolf, all-girl soul quartet The May Birds, BBC Folk Award-winning band Duotone and solo singer-songwriter Jess Hall amid a heap of hand-picked headliners (all the acts are deemed headliners), the event is at The Perch, in Oxford. And there's a bar serving beers and ales, which is always nice.

Details and advance tickets are available via this FB page.

Russian alt Eurovision
Russia is holding not one, but two, singing competitions to take on Eurovision, Billboard confirms. Because apparently it took a glamorous lady with a handsome beard, aka this year's Eurovision queen Conchita Wurst, for Russia's publicly anti-LGBT governing authorities to realise that the Song Contest is, in fact, quite camp. And all the richer for it, I say.

But the Russian Ministry Of Defence doesn't say. And it has now proclaimed that a brand new international competition it is organising, that aims to find kids and teens with musical talent, is "an alternative to bearded Eurovision".

The final of the clean-shaven comp takes place this coming Monday, hot on the heels of the news that Intervision - a Eurovision rival staged in the then USSR a few times in the late 1970s - is coming back. A return of Intervision has been mooted for a while, and it's now been confirmed that a song contest for former Soviet Bloc and various Asian countries will be staged in Sochi later this year.

Certain Russian officials, of course, were disdainful of Wurst's Eurovision win earlier this month, with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin saying on Twitter at the time: "Eurovision showed European integrators their Euro-prospect - a bearded girl".

Bearded 'lady', if he pleases. This bearded lady.


One Direction. Joint. Camera. Crisis Talks. Blah
One Direction. A puff on a joint. In a van. In Peru. Captured on Louis' phone. Alleged use of a racial slur.

"Dad's worried", says the Mirror. "Harry's outraged", says The Sun. "Who'll think about the children?" asks the Mail. "They'll be banned from America", says rent-a-quote lawyer. "Crisis talks underway", says them all. "This matter is in the hands of our lawyers", says exasperated PR guy.

Ah well, there's always Harry Styles' solo career, which is currently being stored in a shiny Perspex case at Syco Towers. "In case of emergency break glass", says the sign.

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 (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 (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 (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 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.
Send ALL press releases to - 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.

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