An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 30 May 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Amazon's previously mooted move into streaming music could go live next month, in the US at least, according to sources who have spoken to BuzzFeed. And if it doesn't go live in June, it should do in July. As previously reported, Amazon has been in talks with the labels for a few months now about adding music services to its Amazon Prime customer club set-up. Although the scheme was originally... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Tomorrow night, Mr Scruff is holding the launch party for his recently approved new album, 'Friendly Bacteria' at The Roundhouse in London. Kicking of at 2pm, the event has a jam-packed line-up with the likes of The Portico Quartet and Scruff collaborator Denis Jones performing live, and the mighty Alexander Nut DJing, amongst many others. Scruff himself will then turn in a four hour DJ set... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Any band will tell you that touring, rather than being a life of glamour, actually involves a lot of waiting around. And the question is, how do you fill all that empty time? Some bands, I'm sure it will shock you to discover, use that time to take drugs. Other bands do other things, but what they definitely don't do is call the police to report the drug taking. That's like an unwritten rule. But you know what they say... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Amazon Prime's limited choice streaming service preparing for launch
BPI welcomes Weatherley's report on search engines and piracy
Mike Weatherley's ten recommendations on Google's role in policing piracy
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL SoundExchange launches campaign over pre-1972 copyright debate
Billy Corgan sues distributor over unpaid revenues
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DEALS Imagem signs Pro Green
Kobalt strikes deal with Caro Emerald enterprise
Management firm Indegoot signs on four bands
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Island commercial chief to head up Universal's UK D2C operations
Turnstile extends Caroline deal to North America
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LIVE BUSINESS Agency Group appoints Paul Conroy
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BRANDS & MERCH Ed Sheeran done a Beats advert
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MEDIA Foxes in time-travelling boxes
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ARTIST NEWS Fender appoints Bono and The Edge to board of directors
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Soulfly, EMA, The Libertines, Fear Of Men and Lo-Fang
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #208: Linkin Park v Sublime With Rome
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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.
   
KINC - MUSIC CONSULTANT
The KINC are seeking a well connected music industry consultant to work alongside our account management team and music related clients.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUR ARMY - CLUB PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT
Your Army Promotions is an industry leader working with the biggest and most credible acts in the world. Our Club Promotions Department get their music into the hands of VIP DJs.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NUCLEAR BLAST - PRESS OFFICER
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM - IN HOUSE PUBLICIST
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 - LABEL ASSISTANT
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.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply 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.
 
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
 
 

Amazon Prime's limited choice streaming service preparing for launch
Amazon's previously mooted move into streaming music could go live next month, in the US at least, according to sources who have spoken to BuzzFeed. And if it doesn't go live in June, it should do in July.

As previously reported, Amazon has been in talks with the labels for a few months now about adding music services to its Amazon Prime customer club set-up. Although the scheme was originally all about providing benefits to mail-order customers, mainly free delivery, Amazon has been slowly shifting its video streaming and e-book loan services over to Prime, seemingly with a view to providing a one-stop music, movie, TV and e-book platform under the brand.

And Amazon does seem willing to increase the subscription prices of Prime to cover the costs of providing all that digital content, though only to a point. Indeed, in seems likely that Amazon will want to provide all of its Prime services for a monthly subscription in the region of ten dollars/pounds/euros - ie the going rate for signing up to Spotify, Deezer, Beats et al, which just provide the music bit. Which has made Amazon's negotiations with the labels interesting, with the money on the table significantly less than the record companies have been used to when discussing new streaming services.

But Amazon's big plan is to only licence a small catalogue of tunes, rather than going for the five million, no ten million, no 20 million tracks that has become the norm in the streaming sector, possibly reckoning that the more mainstream consumer doesn't actually want or need a Spotify-sized catalogue of music. Although it's not currently clear quite how 'boutique' the Amazon Prime music selection will be, it is thought that new albums won't appear until at least six months after release.

Word has it that both Sony Music and Warner Music are now on board for the limited-choice service, though it's not clear if the deal with Universal has been inked. A smattering of indies are also reportedly signed up, though that will likely be via distributors, with the bigger independents previously indicating that they were being offered a particularly poor deal in Amazon Prime talks.

While Amazon's streaming ambitions clearly won't see the mega-etailer go head-to-head with the more conventional streaming services, or certainly not at launch, as the streaming start-ups increasingly push for mass market custom they might find an even limited music offer within Amazon Prime stops mainstream consumers from investing a full ten pounds a month just for tunes.

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BPI welcomes Weatherley's report on search engines and piracy
Record label trade body the BPI has welcomed the previously promised report from Mike Weatherley MP, IP Advisor to David Cameron, about the role of search engines in policing piracy online.

As much previously reported, Google has been at the top of the music industry's piracy gripe list for a while now, with rights owners reckoning that the search engine should do more to downgrade and preferably remove links to unlicensed content sources from artist-based search results.

The web giant will remove specific copyright infringing URLs when labels provide them, but doesn't proactively look for illegitimate content itself, and won't instigate site-wide takedowns, even where a court has issued web-blocking injunctions against a site to the internet service providers.

When asked about Google's role in the ongoing battle against piracy in an interview with CMU earlier this year, Weatherley said: "I am not comfortable about asking Google to be the policemen - it is not them who are distributing the illegal content - but they do have a role to play in directing people to legal sites and should be part of the informing and educating agenda. As always, I would prefer government not to introduce measures by force; that should only be a last resort option".

And with that in mind, Weatherley's new paper makes few calls for new legislation, but rather calls on search engines, and Google in particular, to voluntarily become more proactive in this domain, and for ministers to encourage such action from the web giant.

Amongst the recommendations for Google are that it get better at 'crawling' and prioritising legitimate sites; that it consider marking (Twitter verified style) confirmed legitimate music sites in its search results; that it tap into industry-endorsed black lists (such as that operated by the City Of London Police) and recognise web-blocking court orders to inform the downgrading or removal of infringing sites; and that it get involved in the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme, or VCAP, that the rights owners are currently negotiating with the internet service providers.

Welcoming the report, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "Mike Weatherley's report is a thorough and carefully considered contribution to the policy debate on the need for action to reduce the prominence of illegal websites in search results. We agree with his recommendations and invite search engines to work with us without delay to bring them into effect.

"Other online intermediaries such as advertisers and payment providers have taken voluntary action to counter the growth of the online black market. Google, which dominates UK search, has paid lip service to the issue but in practice has done little to address the ethical loophole in its algorithm, which directs millions of consumers to sites it clearly knows to be illegal".

"If search engines will not now work with the creative sector to give effect to these recommendations, government should legislate to boost growth in the digital economy and to give consumers confidence they can search for entertainment safely and legally online".

You can read Weatherley's full paper here, and his ten recommendations below.

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Mike Weatherley's ten recommendations on Google's role in policing piracy
Here are Mike Weatherley MP's ten recommendations to Google et al, and to recently appointed Culture Minister Sajid Javid, about the role search engines could and, if you like, should have in helping police piracy online. Read Weatherley's full report here.

Recommendation 1: Search engines should adopt the suggestions set out in this paper but Google in particular must take the lead in setting responsible industry standards as the largest provider of search in the UK.

Recommendation 2: The opportunity for rights holders to discuss with Google how to maximise the prioritisation of sites with legitimate content would be welcome. I also believe that the publicity that such an event might garner could provide a positive contribution to the educational goal described earlier in this paper.

Recommendation 3: The proposed initiative by Google regarding 'crawlable licensed services' is explored further between licensed services, rights holders and Google, in conjunction with the other proposals set out in this paper.

Recommendation 4: An effective means of promoting/demoting search results on the basis of legality should be implemented, for example demotion based on the volume of copyright notices and [City Of London Police's] blacklist; Google and others should take steps to engage with rights holders to design a workable system. This recommendation could be quickly acted upon and a good signpost of intent.

Recommendation 5: Search engines should agree a protocol with rights holders whereby once they receive a copy of a formal court order blocking a site from access via the main UK ISPs, they must take steps to remove that site from their search algorithms promptly. This may require government assistance by amending legislation to include court orders extending to more situations than ISPs only.

Recommendation 6: Search engines should fully support the 'Follow The Money' initiative and take the lead in reducing the supply of advertising funds to pirates. Given Google state that this would be a breach of their policy to not do this, then this recommendation is not controversial and all are agreed that no revenues should find their way into the hands of those operating sites with illegal activity/downloads.

Recommendation 7: Search engines should enter into open discussions with rights holders to formulate a formal reporting and take-down system for illegitimate Autocomplete terms, the results of which should be included in Google's Transparency Report.

Recommendation 8: Search engines should explore the means of incorporating trust marks and warnings to signify legal content both into its algorithms and into the search results presented to consumers.

Recommendation 9: Everyone should support the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme and explore alternative private agreements/codes of conduct to prevent piracy outside of legislation. With the continued delay in implementing the DEA, rights holders and the Committee support the idea of putting voluntary measures to reduce piracy in place. Initiatives such as The BPI's VCAP have the advantage of flexibility over legislation and may remove the need for further legislation if proved to be effective.

Recommendation 10: The initiatives suggested by Google as set out in further detail in Appendix 2 [in my paper] should be explored further between licensed services, rights holders and Google, but only in conjunction with the other recommendations set out in this paper.

SoundExchange launches campaign over pre-1972 copyright debate
American record industry rights body SoundExchange has launched a new initiative called Project72, calling on the music community, and music fans, to back legislative proposals put forward by Congressman George Holding and John Conyers that would settle the pre-1972 debate in American copyright law once and for all.

The story so far: under US copyright law, traditional broadcasters do not pay royalties to the record companies for using their recordings. But online radio-style services do. They pay via SoundExchange. But the law that forces those payments is federal law. Copyright only started being ruled at a federal level in the US in 1972, prior to that it stemmed from state law. So some digital services are saying they don't have to pay royalties when they use recordings that pre-date 1972. Resulting in some litigation good times.

But rather than leave this in the hands of the courts to interpret (judges have swung in both directions on this one), the record industry has been lobbying for some legislative clarification, because why not? And if Holding and Conyers' proposals - dubbed the Respect Act - were to be made law, the digital services would be forced to start paying SoundExchange royalties on the pre-72 recordings. So it'd be "more money please Pandora", as they say.

Project 72, with its own website and open letters signed by the likes of BB King, The Supremes, members of Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, Roseanne Cash, Martha Reeves, Cyndi Lauper and Al Green, hopes to swing the debate in Washington in their favour.

The campaign's positioning statement reads: "In one year alone, this practice [not paying royalties on pre-1972 recordings] caused artists and record labels to lose nearly $60 million in royalties. Half of these royalties would be paid directly into the pockets of artists. This is a matter of fairness. Stand with us for the artists who inspire you and the generations of artists who followed in their footsteps. Tell Congress to support the Respect Act to ensure that digital radio respects all music!"

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Billy Corgan sues distributor over unpaid revenues
Billy Corgan has launched legal action against the distributor of material released through his Martha's Music label, Rocket Science Ventures, over alleged unpaid revenues.

The lawsuit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, names the company's President Kevin Day as a defendant, along with ten other unnamed people, who it is suggested are actually aliases of Day himself. Corgan alleges that Day and his company, with which the Smashing Pumpkins frontman signed a deal in 2010, stopped providing him with proper accounts in 2011 and has engaged in other irregular business practices.

Corgan reckons he's owed at least $75,000, and is demanding payment plus interest, as well as access to full accounts and a ruling that Day has breached their contract.

Read the full lawsuit here.

Imagem signs Pro Green
Rapper Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, has hit the headlines again with news of a still-wet deal with publishing co Imagem Music UK. So now you can all stop talking about his brush with the law for driving his car into a van, drunk, and afterwards phoning the police claiming someone had stolen his watch, okay?

The agreement applies internationally, and to Pro Green's impending LP, 'Growing Up In Public', and to future albums he may, or may not, choose to release. Imagem's Brit MD Kim Frankiewicz says this: "Stephen really got on my radar when he sampled INXS's 'Need You Tonight' for his single with Ed Drewett. He's an extraordinary talent who has boundless energy and creative spirit so we're delighted that Stephen has joined the Imagem family".

Ged Malone, Partner at Green's management firm Bitter & Twisted, adds: "As a manager you're always looking for the best possible options for your artist. Signing to Imagem was a no brainer. Within a couple of days of meeting Kim and the UK team there was a competitive deal on the table and they were keen to get the deal done quickly. It feels good to be working with a publisher who is excited about Professor Green, his forthcoming album and his long term future as an artist and writer".

Finally, saving the best till last, Manderson himself speaks: "I'm really pleased to be part of the Imagem family. It was important for me to sign to a proactive and dynamic publisher with the interests of their writers and artists at heart. I'm excited to be working with Kim and the entire Imagem team, not only in the UK but worldwide".

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Kobalt strikes deal with Caro Emerald enterprise
So good old Kobalt has done an admin deal with Grandmono, the production house, management and publishing firm in charge of a thing called the 'Caro Emerald project', which is a quick way to describe Dutch jazz-pop lady Caroline Esmeralda, songwriter/producers David Schreurs (also Grandmono MD) and Jan van Wieringen, and Canadian songwriter Vincent Degiorgio.

Kobalt has confirmed it will, via the deal (which exists internationally with the exception of the Netherlands, where Esmeralda et al are based), administer tracks written by Esmeralda, as well as Schreurs and van Wieringen, guitarist Wieger Hoogendorp and producer Robin Veldman. My my my, what a lot of Dutch names. The contract includes all Caro Emerald LPs released to date, and imaginary ones that are still to be released.

Popping in with some appropriate words, the now thrice-mentioned MD David Schreurs says: "Some people in the business - probably a lot - know I'm picky when it comes to publishing. It's not advances, names, splits or promises, but collection that makes the difference. Kobalt was the best option: accurate, fast, transparent and powerful. They will help us get the most out of our songs".

Meanwhile, Kobalt's Global Creative President Sas Metcalfe says: "The Caro Emerald project is driven by a fantastic hit-making team whose songs have taken Europe by storm. We're very pleased to help Grandmono maximise its publishing revenue across the globe".

Seizing his chance to speak, SVP Business Development Nick Robinson says: "David, Caro, Jan and the team know their way around a pop song, borne out by their incredible charts successes and radio play. It's reassuring to know that great songwriters trust Kobalt to get the job done".

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Management firm Indegoot signs on four bands
NYC and LDN-based artist management ting Indegoot Entertainment has given its client listings a boost with four brand new signings, all with ridiculous names, and all from the USA. So that's a thing to think about. Nightmare And The Cat, Highly Suspect, Bel Heir and Omniflux. Those are the names.

Nightmare And The Cat, in case you're curious, are a pop-rock band living in LA, and will release their first LP, 'Simple', in July. Highly Suspect, meanwhile, are twins Rich and Ryan Meyer, who play bass and drums, and guitarist/singer Johnny Stevens. They're signed to Lyor Cohen's new(ish) firm 300. Fancy that. Bel Heir reside in Philadelphia and have an LP winging its way in next year, and Omniflux is the pro alias of avant garde/trip hop/pop artist Mahsa Zargaran.

Indegoot CEO Bill McGathy's reaction to the above is like so: "These four new additions to the Indegoot management roster are testament to our commitment to developing new talent. All four artists are incredible and are already creating real momentum. We are very excited about the possibilities for these acts both here in the US and in Europe".

Island commercial chief to head up Universal's UK D2C operations
Universal has promoted David Hawkes to head up the UK division of the major's e-commerce operations. He will also continue to work as Commercial Director of the mega-major's Island Records label.

Universal UK CEO David Joseph says: "All our UK labels have set solid foundations in e-commerce over the past few years and David's wide experience in sales, retail, supply chain, tickets and e-commerce will ensure we continue to push the boundaries of this increasingly important area for our artists and their fans".

Hawkes added: "The area of e-commerce continues to offer exciting opportunities for growth and innovation. I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to work with all Universal Music's labels and artists to develop the business further and continue to break new ground".

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Turnstile extends Caroline deal to North America
Cardiff-based indie label Turnstile Music has extended its deal with Universal's label services division Caroline to include the US and Canada. Which means the deal now covers the entire world. Rejoice!

Says Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia: "Caroline is thrilled to have the opportunity to help launch Turnstile Music in North America. The artistry and connection of their roster to the North American market was clearly visible at their SXSW showcase this year. We are looking forward to helping Turnstile and all affiliated artists realise their creative vision in partnership with the Caroline team".

Turnstile founders Alun Llwyd and Kevin Tame then mumbled quietly together: "We are proud to be joining forces with Caroline in the US and are already impressed by the energy, enthusiasm and creativity they have shown towards the records scheduled for this year. We are fulfilling a dream by launching Turnstile US and are particularly thrilled to find a partner in Caroline that shares our enthusiasm for the records and what we can achieve in the US over the next few years".

The first US release to be affected by the deal will be the second solo album from former Girls frontman Christopher Owens.

Agency Group appoints Paul Conroy
The Agency Group has announced the recruitment of one-time Ferret Music boss Paul Conroy, who was most recently CEO of Dyrdek Enterprises in LA (so not the one-time Virgin UK chief Paul Conroy, just in case you wondered). In his new job at the mega-booking agency he'll take the newly created role of Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer.

Confirming the hire, CEO of The Agency Group's US operations, Natalia Nastaskin said: "Paul's proven experience transcends industry-specific boundaries, making his list of relationships exceptionally robust and ever-relevant in our rapidly evolving business. As we work to develop more diverse revenue opportunities for our artists, both within and outside of our core business of live music, Paul's creative deal-making, vast knowledge of media, and proven asset-building strategies will enable us to bring limitless opportunities to our roster of artists and creators".

Conroy himself added: "I would like to first thank Rob Dyrdek, Geoff Taylor, and everyone at Dyrdek Enterprises for over three years of remarkable business and friendship. Throughout my 20 year career I am fortunate to have built a vast network as a result of my time spent serving as an executive in the diverse industries of music, action sports and most recently in broadcast/digital media. This role with The Agency Group empowers me to continue and expand upon my collaboration with the significant and trusted relationships that I have developed".

He continued: "As brands, start-ups, and content curators strategically increase their appetite for alignment with influential artists and media platforms, there are vast opportunities for progressive and targeted synergies with our artists and event properties. These opportunities become increasingly more relevant as consumers shift their content consumption further into digital, streaming, gaming and mobile. This underscores the inherent value proposition that The Agency Group provides: methodically building an artist's live career trajectory and doing so while creating a robust promotional initiative to enable the artist to generate revenue across platforms".

And then everyone just stood quietly and thought about that for a while.

Ed Sheeran done a Beats advert
So, it was a big day for Beats yesterday. A big day indeed. It was, of course, as you all know, the day that Beats was finally able to officially confirm that it had, indeed, made an advert featuring Ed Sheeran.

The advert, for Beats By Dre's new Solo 2 headphones, shows how those very headphones and the Beats Music streaming service helped Sheeran to write an angry song when his girlfriend cheated on him. Apparently it did this by mysteriously playing him the song he was about to write.

That song is 'Don't', by the way, which is on his new album, 'x'. Look at Ed sucking all of the promotional value out of the partnership. Good work, Ed. That's some shrewd brand partnering right there.

You can totally buy these headphones right now too, which is nice. But as Beats Music isn't available in the UK, you won't be able to experience the magic of it playing you songs before you write them. So you'll just have to hope your girlfriend doesn't sleep with anyone else for the time being.

Anyway, you can watch the advert right now, because here it is.

Foxes in time-travelling boxes
Today's hot TV gossip is that pop starlet Foxes, aka Louise Rose Allen, is going to make a cameo in the soon-coming season of the BBC's 'Doctor Who', which will commence in August and star Peter Capaldi as the new Doc.

In fact, it's not only gossip. It's officially happening, confirms the show's writer Stephen Moffat, and also Foxes herself. She said this via BBC Radio 1 the other day: "It all came about from a chance meeting. I was playing a gig and got chatting to the show's production team. I was telling them how much I loved 'Doctor Who' and next thing they invited me to be on it!"

Then she said: "I got to go into the Tardis, which was exciting. I sound like a proper geek now, but all the controls in the Tardis actually move. So it's real!"

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Mr Scruff album launch party at The Roundhouse
Tomorrow night, Mr Scruff is holding the launch party for his recently approved new album, 'Friendly Bacteria' at The Roundhouse in London.

Kicking of at 2pm, the event has a jam-packed line-up with the likes of The Portico Quartet and Scruff collaborator Denis Jones performing live, and the mighty Alexander Nut DJing, amongst many others. Scruff himself will then turn in a four hour DJ set from 8.30pm to 11.30pm.

For those not lacking in stamina, there's then an afterparty in the Roundhouse's Studio Theatre (host to the CMU Podcast: Live in a few weeks, don't forget!), featuring more music/dancing-based shenanigans from Scruff, Nut and others until 2.30pm.

Saturday 31 May, The Roundhouse, Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH, £25-£40, 2pm - 2.30am, more info here.
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Fender appoints Bono and The Edge to board of directors
Bono and The Edge, the wacky ones from U2, have been appointed to guitar manufacturer Fender's board of directors. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking these are a couple of those made up jobs they have for pop stars now. But why don't you just wait and hear what Fender Co-chairman Mark Fukunaga has to say about it all. By "hear", I mean "read", obviously.

Here's what Fender Co-chairman Mark Fukunaga has to say about it all: "While the company's strength is rooted in its history as a maker of authentic, iconic musical instruments, Fender is also a music company. The Edge's track record as a guitarist and an innovator of unique sounds through his use of technology makes him an ideal partner to grow Fender's brand. Bono is a visionary in the music world who also has business acumen and creativity that will help Fender thrive".

Chipping in, The Edge added: "This is something of a kid in a candy store situation for me. I've been a fan of Fender guitars from the beginning, playing them on all the most important U2 tours and albums. But I'm most interested in working with the Fender design team on some new ideas".

Now if that's really true, ie he only used Fender guitars on the "most important" tours and albums, you might argue that The Edge sabotaged some of U2's projects simply by not using Fender instruments on them all. But if you did starting trying to argue that, Bono would probably just butt in and start droning on like he always does. I assume that's the explanation for his quote in the press release, anyway.

Here's what Bono said: "Wherever you go in the world Fender is a standard bearer, not just for excellence in technology and craft, but for the influence of American culture. This made-in-USA company has at its heart innovation...the iconoclasm of Jimi Hendrix, the subtle sweet murmurings of Bill Frisell, as well as the most roadworthy loudspeaker on earth. When a festivalgoer wears a Fender t-shirt, they are saying a lot about themselves. They love music; they're independent-spirited, they're proud of this truly American company, a nexus of technology and culture which, in the end, can't be copied no matter how hard the giants try. I'm excited to be part of developing newer technologies with Fender, as well as helping protect the jobs and commitment to excellence of their age-old craft".

Put a sock in it, Bono. For fuck's sake.

Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Soulfly, EMA, The Libertines, Fear Of Men and Lo-Fang
Stateside metal types Soulfly have proclaimed a string of British/Irish shows in July, primarily in celebration of their ninth LP 'Savages', which is available in shops now. The first of the nine dates the band are playing is on 4 Jul, in London's Hyde Park, as part of the Black Sabbath-headlined day of this year's British Summer Time festival. Then it's on to the Haunt in Brighton (5 Jul), and following that, to various nationwide spots, and finally to Guildford fest GuilFest on 19 Jul. Find tickets and info at this link.

Visiting the British Isles imminently is EMA, or alt-pop-inclined artist Erika M Anderson. She plays The Garage in London on 3 Jun, rolling on to Manchester's Ruby Lounge, Leeds' Brudenell Social Club, and Bristol's Lantern on 4, 5 and 6 Jun respectively. There. Go into greater details on, and get tickets to attend, said dates, which back EMA's latest LP, 'The Future's Void', here, and stream her new track 'Drown' here.

And. Dear reader, ever-fresh-faced indie mercenaries Libertines have confirmed a single, intimate show at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. It's on 29 Jun, and hence precedes Pete n Carl (et al)'s financially-motivated headlining appearance at the British Summer Time festival. Tickets are available, like all things, at a price, now.

Next are Brighton four-piece Fear Of Men, who'll round off a tour of Europe with a run of UK shows supporting both The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and also FOM's debut LP 'Loom', which is out right now. Look up all of the group's forthcoming shows on this page, and watch the video for their new single 'Descent', which is released on 7 Jul, here.

Finally, it's Lo-Fang time. Lo-Fang is the brainchild of classically-trained LA man Matthew Hemerlein, who released the long playing 'Blue Film' earlier this year. Following on from that is a fast-looming trio of shows, comprising his first British live jaunt, which kicks off with two dates opening for Lorde, at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire (5 Jun) and Brixton Academy (6 Jun), with another London-based PA, this time at Field Day festival, taking place on 7 Jun. Have a look at those on paper via this link, and also, if you've got time, look towards the official clip for 'Blue Film' track 'Look Away' now.

CMU Beef Of The Week #208: Linkin Park v Sublime With Rome
Any band will tell you that touring, rather than being a life of glamour, actually involves a lot of waiting around. And the question is, how do you fill all that empty time?

Some bands, I'm sure it will shock you to discover, use that time to take drugs. Other bands do other things, but what they definitely don't do is call the police to report the drug taking. That's like an unwritten rule.

But you know what they say about unwritten rules. Oh, come on, you must know the famous saying: Due to them not being be written down, some people might forget them and then accidentally break them.

Which brings us around to the KFMA Day festival, which took place in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. The members of Sublime With Rome - a collaboration between Sublime's Eric Wilson and vocalist/guitarist Rome Ramirez - had been kicking back and relaxing over a few reefer-style doobie pipes before their set, but then when they were on stage the police, acting on a tip-off, came and confiscated all their drugs.

But who could have been responsible for dobbing them in? Not another band, surely. Not with that whole unwritten rule thing. Though I think we all know what they say about unwritten rules by now.

Rome Ramirez certainly had an idea what had happened, tweeting: "Linkin Park called the cops on us and said that they were allergic to pot. Cops came and took all our weed while we on stage. Bitch shit".

"Linkin nark", he added, ensuring that at least something fun came out of all of this.

Getting on the case, David Accomazzo of The Phoenix New Times asked Linkin Park's people to respond to Ramirez's claims. A statement came back: "Rome Ramirez's allegations are 100% false. No one from Linkin Park's camp said anything to the police or any other authorities regarding the activities taking place in Sublime's dressing room".

Well, that seems pretty unequivocal. Maybe none of this happened at all. Maybe Ramirez and co just misplaced their drugs, or someone else took them. We can only speculate. Or, at least we could only speculate if it wasn't for the existence of THE POLICE REPORT.

As well as contacting reps for Linkin Park, Accomazzo also got in touch with Pima County Sheriff's Department. And they confirmed the whole thing.

"At approximately 1850 hours, while working off-duty FKMA Day at Tuscon Electric Park, other deputies and I were approached by the security for the band Lincoln Park", wrote the officer involved, Stephen McLeod. You can put a little [sic] next to the band name in your mind, if you like. "We were advised by one of the security guards that one of the band members was complaining about another band, known as Sublime, smoking marijuana next door. The smoke was irritating one of the band members and he is, indeed, allergic to the marijuana smoke. They were requesting for us to talk to the band to tell them to stop smoking the marijuana inside".

He and three other officers wandered over to Sublime With Rome's dressing room, following the "overwhelming odor of burnt marijuana". Once their, they found the door unlocked and the dressing room empty, so just scooped up the "bags of marijuana, a glass pipe, Zigzags and several roaches that were used to smoke" and dropped them all off at the nearby police department.

So, there you go. Case closed! Nothing more to say. Unless a member of Linkin Park wants to chip in at this point. Mike? Oh, yeah, right of course Mike Shinoda has something to say about all this.

"LP didn't 'call the cops' on [Sublime With Rome] smoking pot", Shinoda tweeted on Tuesday. "Not sure where the rumor came from. Definitely not my style, bummer it happened".

"We were at a meet and greet when Sublime was on stage, not [our] dressing room. Wouldn't even know if there was smoke", he wrote, providing a watertight alibi, before adding: "If someone was 'representing the band' to the cops in the venue about weed smoke, they were out of line".

So who actually grassed about Sublime's grass? We may never know. It was probably the same person who sent the One Direction weed smoking video to The Daily Mail. Some international vigilante trying to rid the music industry of drugs, one spliff at time. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Well, I suppose you have to find some way to fill the time while you're hanging around backstage at gigs.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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