An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Wednesday 11 Jun 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: There's more insecurity at the Beeb today after bosses yesterday announced they would be making 65 roles within the Corporation's radio division redundant. The cutbacks are part of a move to restructure the BBC's national radio stations into two 'hubs', one consisting of all the 'pop' music services (Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 6 Music and Asian Network) and the other of classical and speech outlets... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Sequin, aka Portuguese singer-songwriter Ana Miró, released her debut album, 'Penelope', through Lovers & Lollypops earlier this year, though it's only just found its way to my ears - another great find via the Lights & Music blog. It's a beautiful melancholic pop record. A lot more beautiful than the title of its opening track, 'Meth Monster', would suggest. The songwriting is sharp throughout, and the... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES 65 jobs to go at BBC Radio as division restructures
LEGAL Azoff buys comedy promoter
LIVE BUSINESS Seatwave buys gigs app Timbre
CAA agent Lewis moves to UTA
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES German media firm takes stake in Deezer
Guvera partners with 7digital
Mixify Clubcast to help DJs who ain't getting on no plane
MEDIA Mel B to join UK X-Factor judging panel
Bauer to broadcast Coldplay's Royal Albert Hall show
ARTIST NEWS XL man gives glimpse into new The xx and Jai Paul
Ice Cube Jr set to play Ice Cube Sr in NWA film
RELEASES Summer Camp confirm Beyond Clueless OST
Release Round-Up: Ty Segall, FKA Twigs, Erland & The Carnival, Vito & Druzzi and Deadmau5
GIGS & FESTIVALS Morrissey cancels remainder of US tour following new health scare
The Wire details Off The Page festival
AND FINALLY... Cliff Richard "so sad" about Rik Mayall's death
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65 jobs to go at BBC Radio as division restructures
There's more insecurity at the Beeb today after bosses yesterday announced they would be making 65 roles within the Corporation's radio division redundant.

The cutbacks are part of a move to restructure the BBC's national radio stations into two 'hubs', one consisting of all the 'pop' music services (Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 6 Music and Asian Network) and the other of classical and speech outlets (Radios 3, 4 and 4 Extra, and the Proms and orchestras that report into BBC Radio).

The BBC at large, of course, is under pressure to save money, with the licence fee fixed and therefore the Corporation's income in real terms declining each year. Attempts to make savings by shutting 6 and the Asian Network failed due to a public backlash to the proposals, hence the alternative approach of trying to find savings by making the various BBC stations share resources, and reducing any duplication of roles between the various strands of the Corporation's radio operation.

The new arrangement will see Radios 1 and 2 work more closely together, especially on commissioning, filming, live events and operations, though programme production and playlist management will remain separate. In the second hub, more admin functions will be shared between Radios 3 and 4. Though none of the restructuring will affect the way stations and programmes are presented on air.

The changes arguably put in place some of the reforms proposed by veteran commercial radio man John Myers in a report prepared for the BBC in 2011, even though Corporation chiefs at the time seemed to reject most of his ideas for making budget savings. Asked about yesterday's announcement by Radio Today, Myers remarked: "These look like sensible cut backs that won't affect the output too much but more needs to be done about the BBC's own central recharges to radio, that make up around 70% of the total cost of each network".

Meanwhile BBC Radio boss Helen Boaden said of the cutbacks: "BBC Radio is the envy of the world and our creativity is second to none. But we must also be as small as we can be to meet our savings challenges and increase our agility in the digital world without losing our distinctiveness or damaging relationships with our many audiences. Reducing the division's headcount by 15% is challenging, but shows just how hard we are working to drive efficiency in everything we do".

Azoff buys comedy promoter
Possibly or possibly not now in a competition to acquire more companies than Robert FX Sillerman before summer is out, Irving Azoff is buying yet another business via his Azoff MSG Entertainment firm, the previously reported JV between the former Live Nation top man and the Madison Square Garden Company.

Following recent deals to take a 50% stake in marketing firm Pop2Life and brand partnerships agency Burns, Azoff is now buying half of comedy promoter and producer the Levity Entertainment Group. Levity books and promotes comedy shows across the US, runs its own network of comedy clubs and produces comedy content for TV and online.

Confirming the deal, Levity CEO Robert Hartmann told reporters: "The partnership with AMSGE brings us a wealth of resources and relationships that will further allow us to grow our clients' careers and our overall business. There is only one Irving - his knowledge and experience is unprecedented. I also happen to think he has a promising future as a stand up".

Kicking off that new career, Azoff took to the mic and joked: "We are thrilled to have LEG join the AMSGE family. Robert Hartmann [and his team] have built a unique ecosystem to identify talent and provide them with career and content opportunities that extend across multiple distribution platforms worldwide".

Yeah, probably needs a bit more work Irving. Though that bit about "building a unique ecosystem" has definite potential.

Seatwave buys gigs app Timbre
Secondary ticketing company Seatwave, which may or may not be evil, depending on your viewpoint, has acquired Timbre. The gig listings app. Not the second half of folky combo Timber Timbre.

A US start-up which shares an investor with Seatwave, Timbre was founded in 2012, and operates in similar territory to Songkick and Bandsintown. It allows users to preview music from gigging artists via a Spotify hook-up, and links through to both primary ticketing outlets and tickets on the secondary market, which is where the Seatwave alliance will be most obvious in the short term.

Seatwave actually bought Timbre earlier this year, but is only going public with the deal now - the sneaky sneakster - to coincide with the UK launch of a revamped app. Confirming the acquisition, Seatwave's newish CEO Ajay Chowdhury told reporters: "This gives us a chance to also be involved in pre-event discovery".

And if you miss out on one of those "pre-event discoveries" first time round, don't worry, presumably down the line Seatwave will be enabling you to acquire one from a discovery tout. "Discover Jungle, get your Jungle discovery here, buying and selling".


CAA agent Lewis moves to UTA
American booking agent Jbeau Lewis has departed CAA after over a decade at the company to join rival agency UTA. In his new role he will work alongside UTA's music department head Rob Prinz, who together will set out to expand the firm's tour booking business.

The MDs of the United Talent Agency, Jeremy Zimmer, David Kramer and Jay Sures, said in a joint statement: "Jbeau is a great agent and a great addition to UTA, and his passion for discovering and nurturing exciting artists will be a significant asset as we continue to grow a thriving music practice".

Lewis, who has worked with the likes of Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Empire Of The Sun, added: "I'm energised by the opportunity to help grow an innovative music touring division. UTA is uniquely progressive in leveraging technology on behalf of its clients, and I'm particularly excited to tap that expertise at a company where every artist will reap the benefits of a full-service agency".

German media firm takes stake in Deezer
German TV firm ProSiebenSat.1 Media has taken a stake in streaming music company Deezer, in a deal that will see the broadcaster's own music service AMPYA, launched a year ago, merged with the global streaming set up.

Like Deezer, the AMPYA service makes much of the editorial content it generates around the music it has licensed from the music companies, and also produces its own music events and carries video content. Those elements will be integrated into the Deezer platform under the sub-brand MyVideo. Under the deal AMPYA MD Michael Krause will become MD for Deezer in German, Austria and Switzerland.

Confirming the deal, Deezer Europe VP Gerrit Schumann told reporters: "Deezer and ProSiebenSat.1 are moving forward together. With Deezer we are offering the most intuitive personalised music service on the market. With the reach of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group we will be allowing an even larger audience unlimited access to our music catalogue".


Guvera partners with 7digital
Streaming radio service Guvera has announced a partnership with 7digital, using the British company's platform to aid expansion into India and the Middle East.

Currently available in the US and Australia, Guvera - originally launched in 2009 - offers a personalised radio service through Lenovo mobile handsets and Onkyo net-connected hi-fi hardware. Similar to 7digital's recent partnership with Onkyo, Guvera will draw on 7digital's music catalogue and technology as it launches in new territories.

Guvera's Vice Chairman, Michael de Vere, said: "The Guvera service will offer millions of legally licensed tracks for both on-demand and ad-supported radio style streams. The Guvera app will be available for users in India, Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates in the coming months. Guvera is thrilled to be partnering with 7digital and looks forward to offering a unique and quality product to the people of the Middle East and India".

7digital's Chief Strategy Officer Ben Drury added: "The agreements with Onkyo and Guvera demonstrate the strength of our platform which has been refined over the past ten years and now sets the industry standard when it comes to providing seamless access to digital music. As the majority of consumers start to embrace music streaming, HD and download services, 7digital will look to maintain its first-mover advantage by working with high profile partners like Onkyo and Guvera to make 7digital the first choice for anyone looking to offer their customers straightforward access to the latest digital music services".

The announcement of the new partnership came yesterday as 7digital listed itself on the good old AIM stock exchange, where it's occupying the slot formerly used by UBC Media Group, the media production company with which the digital music firm recently merged.


Mixify Clubcast to help DJs who ain't getting on no plane
Live-streaming company Mixify has launched a new service, called Mixify Clubcast, which will allow DJs to appear in nightclubs around the world without the expense and hassle of getting on a plane and going there.

And before you start droning on about how 87% of DJing is being there and reacting the crowd, they've thought of that. A system of webcams and big screens on both sides means that the experience is exactly the same for everyone as if the DJ was actually there. Exactly the same. Better even.

"Mixify Clubcast is sold on a per-event basis", Mixify founder David Moricca told Techcrunch. "In many cases we're doing booking of a big-name DJ as part of the service. It works particularly well for markets where they don't have the market to support booking for these acts or the access".

Also, it's better for the environment if DJs aren't flying back and forth across the planet all the time. So, if you're dubious about this whole thing, you're basically saying that you want all the rainforest to be cut down and for all the animals to be drowned one by one in the tears of hungry, orphaned children. That's what you're saying; don't even try to deny it.

Here's a video of the world being saved

Mel B to join UK X-Factor judging panel
Mel B has been announced as the fourth judge on this year's UK outing of 'X-Factor', joining Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and that Louis Walsh.

Mel B is, of course, no stranger to judging people on TV, having worked in such a capacity on 'America's Got Talent' and the Australian versions of 'The X-Factor' and 'The Voice Kids'. Plus, she was also a guest judge on 'X-Factor UK' in 2012. The Mirror reckons she's getting paid £1 million to join the UK version full time.

Here are some words that Mel B said: "Honesty is the best policy - right? And that's what I'm going to bring more of this year, whether it's spotting an incredible singer, giving someone a reality check or debating with Simon over who's got it wrong! I can't wait to get started and find some amazing talent".

Cowell added: "I am thrilled that Mel B has agreed to be a judge. I thought she was fantastic as a guest judge. She is feisty, opinionated and, I believe, will be a great mentor".

The first round of auditions for this year's show begins in Manchester on Monday.


Bauer to broadcast Coldplay's Royal Albert Hall show
The world's most world-shakingly massive rock band - that is to say, Coldplay - are to join hands with Bauer Media, who'll broadcast Chris Martin and co's forthcoming 1 Jul show at London's Royal Albert Hall, LIVE AND DIRECT, over most of its radio stations.

The live date, which chimes with the recent release of C-Play's new LP 'Ghost Stories', will beam to millions via Absolute Radio, Magic, Kerrang! and Bauer's evening syndicate show In:Demand, which is aired by sixteen local stations around the UK.

Absolute is actually the only station transmitting the whole show though, and it'll do so live and without pauses, as part of Pete Donaldson's slot. In:Demand, meanwhile, will air select tracks AND a special Coldplay programme, whilst Magic will play a single 'highlight' on Neil Fox's Breakfast Show. Highlights and streams of the entire gig will then be available to listen to again online.

As anticipation rises, it's time to hear a suitably grand statement from Bauer Media's London MD Steve Parkinson. And he says: "Coldplay are the biggest band in the world. The Royal Albert Hall gig will be intimate and incredible, but not everyone will fit inside its hallowed walls. This broadcast will mean we can take that magic to people across the nation".

  Approved: Sequin
Sequin, aka Portuguese singer-songwriter Ana Miró, released her debut album, 'Penelope', through Lovers & Lollypops earlier this year, though it's only just found its way to my ears - another great find via the Lights & Music blog.

It's a beautiful melancholic pop record. A lot more beautiful than the title of its opening track, 'Meth Monster', would suggest. The songwriting is sharp throughout, and the production, courtesy of Moullinex, brings out the best in Miró's voice.

I really hope it's an album that will continue to pick up more fans, so that maybe I'll get to see her perform live in the UK sometime. Because, look, this performance of 'Meth Monster' in a studio and this performance of 'Flamingo' in an alleyway are both great.

Listen to 'Penelope' in full on Bandcamp, and have a watch of the video for the track 'Naïve' here.
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XL man gives glimpse into new The xx and Jai Paul
Hear ye, hear ye, The xx and Jai Paul, who I'm naming in the same breath because both acts are on the XL Recordings label, are both working on songs. As separate entities, mind, not in any kind of joint way. Still, quite exciting, right?

Any thrill you felt just now, you can credit it to Rodaidh McDonald, prolific producer, part-time A&R man and boss at XL's in-house studio, who had a talk with Dazed earlier this week and revealed all. Well, revealed a bit.

Discussing first The xx's still highly-secretive third LP, recording for which will begin in earnest in July at bases in France, Iceland and certain states of America, he said: "It's a completely different concept, just trying everything, trying to find new ways of working, new sounds".

Of its already 'international' kind of feel, he said: "There are songs which have come out of our experiences in New York and Texas that would never have come out in London; the colours and the ideas and the moods on some of these songs are just not things you would write in London. It's about opening things up a bit more. They are a London band, but they're also a band that's spent a lot of time in different countries".

Subsequently staying rather tight-lipped on the Jai Paul front, which hasn't really seen any action since 'that' LP leak last spring, McDonald said: "I did something with him last week, some vocal production on a new song. We finished it, whether he wants to put it out or not, I don't know".

He added: "It's just a very long process for him I guess, he's been working on [his album] for years. One of the things that I sort of identified was that he might benefit from some help using vocals. But his music sounds so good, he doesn't need any help, I think he's perfect".


Ice Cube Jr set to play Ice Cube Sr in NWA film
Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr has reportedly been cast to play his dad in the long-in-production NWA biopic.

The Wrap reports that the deal for the casting has been done, though there has been no official confirmation as yet. Still, Cube, who along with Dr Dre is a producer on the project, has been pushing for his son to take the role. He told The Guardian earlier this year: "I've been trying to get that pushed along. Just wanna make sure that he's the best man for the job".

The film, in development at Universal Pictures, is currently lined up to be directed by F Gary Gray, with script by Jonathan Herman.

Summer Camp confirm Beyond Clueless OST
Indie-pop freshmen Summer Camp have confirmed the official release of their original score to writer/director/film geek Charlie Lyne's new independent feature 'Beyond Clueless', which zooms in on, as does the LP, the phenomenon of the 'teen movie'.

The soundtrack, which was composed exclusively for the film at Lyne's request, will come out on Moshi Moshi on 4 Aug. And having only yesterday played their OST live against a screening of 'Beyond Clueless' at this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest, the band will do so again at a) Latitude on 20 Jul and b) at London's BFI Southbank cinema on 8 Aug.

Explaining what it was like working on the film first hand, SC's Elizabeth Sankey says: "There are a couple of songs on the OST - 'Beyond Clueless' and 'Losing It'- that could have fitted nicely on either of our previous albums, but we're also exploring new musical ground and the instrumentals are the first we've ever released".

She went on: "We composed some of our most straightforward open music ever with 'Swimming Pool', 'Learn To Love Yourself' and 'Graduation', as well as the most aggressive and mechanical track we've ever laid down in 'Weak Walls'".

And here, as the icing on this very sweet cinematic teen cake, is Summer Camp's 'Beyond Clueless' title track.


Release Round-Up: Ty Segall, FKA Twigs, Erland & The Carnival, Vito & Druzzi and Deadmau5
It's too late to stop psych-rock ripper Ty Segall from making another LP (not that you'd want to) because he's already gone and done one. Its name is 'Manipulator', it's coming out via Drag City on 26 Aug, and apparently it's full to busting with as many guitars as are (super)humanly possible to pack into an album, so make of that what you will.

Its press spiel makes this of it, which might throw a chink of light on things (or not): "Ty's a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty - like you, he'll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it - and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up 'Manipulator'". Got that? Grand. Entice your mind into the realm of 'Manipulator' by watching this teaser now.

Next, alien R&Pop aesthete FKA Twigs this week confirmed her hyper-hyped first LP. It is titled 'LP1', which makes total sense, and shall be released, XL Recordings willing, via XL imprint Young Turks on 11 Aug. And here's something to consider; it features not a single track that Twigs has released already, ie nothing off her two EPs, the ingeniously titled 'EP1' and, you know it, 'EP2'.

Since none of the tracks that are actually on the LP have gone online so far, gaze instead at its cover art, created by Jesse Kanda, on this page. And FYI, Twigs is also playing an extremely #rare live date at London's ICA on 25 Jun.

Folksy pop mods Erland & The Carnival are also in the act of rolling in a new LP, their third, called 'Closing Time'. "'Closing Time' doesn't mark the beginning of the end; rather it marks an end to permit a new beginning", ponders lead singer Erland Cooper. "When summer dies it's to let winter in, then spring opens it up again; it has to happen. It's enjoyable when you accept that you have a limited time to make things happen to the best of your ability".

So basically, YOLO, only more sensitively phrased. I like it. 'Closing Time', which was laid down in Damon Albarn's Studio13, lands via Full Time Hobby on 25 Aug. View the video for its Paul Weller-featuring lead single 'Quiet Love' here.

From the long-dead embers of The Rapture, who split surreptitiously at some unknown point in the not too distant past, rises a new band named Vito & Druzzi, made up of one-time Rapture-ites Vito Roccoforte and Gabriel Andruzzi.

The pair recently shared 'snippets' of all four tracks on their incoming first EP, 'Moon Temple', namely A and B-side singles 'Moon Temple' and 'King Of The Jungle', plus remixes thereof. The EP is released pretty soon-ish, on 30 Jun, via NYC label Throne Of Blood. So save time in the meantime by getting familiar with those snippets here.

Lastly, Deadmau5. What can I say about Deadmau5? Apart from that the world-leading dance DJ is streaming the nine minute final version of 'Phantoms Can't Hang', a new track off his new and terribly-titled LP, 'while(1<2)'. Not a lot really, so I'll cut straight to that very track.

Morrissey cancels remainder of US tour following new health scare
Morrissey has been forced to cancel the remaining nine dates of his US tour, after contracting a respiratory infection.

Moz's official Facebook page expressed "great sadness", while semi-official fansite True To You said it was "unimaginable sorrow". The exact level of misery remains unclear, though who to blame seems 100% certain - according to True To You, anyway.

The site claims that after support act Kristeen Young's set at the Kight Concert Hall in Miami on 31 May, she "confessed to 'a horrendous cold', the symptoms of which were passed on to Morrissey". Young was, the site goes on, asked not to attend the next few shows while she recovered, but instead opted to quit the tour entirely.

Young, however, denies that she made Morrissey ill, or that she had a cold with which to make him ill at all. In a statement on Facebook earlier today, she said: "I did not 'confess to a horrendous cold'. On Monday, 2 Jun, I had an allergy attack that was over within sixteen hours. I went to a doctor, an allergy specialist, who gave me drugs for allergies... and they worked".

She goes on: "It is incorrect that I 'decided to leave the tour completely'. I was asked to leave. [I] was called by Morrissey's booking agent, Dave Tamaroff, and told that there would be a new support band in Boston. I am very sorry that Morrissey is not feeling well. But I will not tolerate these lies - particularly about my health. This is really too much and bizarre".

So, that adds a whole extra layer to the story. Sadly for that new support band, whoever they were, the Boston show never took place, having been postponed, along with a Washington show earlier this week. However, after consulting doctors it was decided that Morrissey would not be well enough to perform any of the final dates on the tour. The two postponed dates had already been rescheduled for 24 and 25 Jun, though these dates have now also been cancelled.

This is the third time in the last eighteen months that Morrissey's health has caused him to cancel live shows. In March last year, he cancelled another US tour due to a variety of medical problems, including pneumonia in both lungs. The singer later revealed that doctors had advised him to retire from performing live altogether.

Then, in July, part of a South American tour was cancelled after Morrissey and his security guard contracting food poisoning in Peru, with the remaining dates later pulled due to financial problems.

This is the second big tour date cancellation for US music fans this week, with Paul McCartney also announcing that he would be forced to cancel the first two weeks of dates of his upcoming US tour. The former Beatle is still recovering from a virus that saw him hospitalised while in Japan to perform. In a statement, McCartney said: "I'm sorry, but it's going to be a few more weeks before we get rocking in America again. I'm feeling great, but taking my docs' advice to take it easy".

Maybe both of them should give up on the whole live performance thing altogether. There are plenty of other things they could be getting on with. For instance, I've just come up with the pitch for a new TV show where they team up and solve crimes, called 'Mac n Moz'. It's perfect. The story basically writes itself. And just imagine the theme tune.


The Wire details Off The Page festival
The Wire has disclosed the programme of talks, presentations and debates that will occur during the fourth edition of Off The Page, the music magazine's three-day festival of 'contemporary sound and music'-based literature.

Taking place at Arnolfini in Bristol on 26-28 Sep, the festival will kick off with a Q&A with Robert Wyatt (of Soft Machine and solo fame) on his new biography. Saturday's line-up includes audiences with Evangelista's Carla Bozulich and music/culture author and critic Paul Gilroy, and talks led by the likes of music academic Mark Fisher; composer and roboticist Sarah Angliss, and journalist David Keenan.

Mississippi Records' Eric Isaacson will round things off with a talk on Sunday, which will also feature a pub quiz hosted by The Wire. And who doesn't love a pub quiz? Find details on a series of extra film screenings and workshop-type events, plus additional speakers, and get day and weekend tickets to the festival, all via this convenient link.

Cliff Richard "so sad" about Rik Mayall's death
As you all know, Rik Mayall died this week, which is shit. I totally wasn't finished watching him yet. And other reasons that don't revolve around my selfish desire to be entertained.

Still, it wouldn't be the death of Rik Mayall without a statement from Cliff Richard. Nor would it be a statement from Cliff Richard on the death of Rik Mayall without us all first watching the latter performing a poem about the former in 'The Young Ones'.

Anyway, here's what Cliff said: "I became a fan of his when he was in 'The Young Ones' show and was always thrilled when he used my name during his series. I am so sad at his parting".

The pair, of course, worked together back in 1986 on the first and best 'Comic Relief' single, 'Living Doll'.

As is the norm in these situations, there is now a Facebook campaign to get Mayall to number one in the hit parade this Sunday. Not via his input on 'Living Doll' though, rather with his 2010 World Cup song 'Noble England'. Because the World Cup is about to start, apparently.

Back in 2010 the song failed to chart, but this year is already looking to be a different story. The campaign has gained the support of Jon Morter, who was the co-founder of the successful campaign to get Rage Against The Machine to number one in 2009 and was involved in the original promotional campaign for 'Noble England' four years ago.

Morter told the Evening Standard: "It would be great thing for Rik's memory [to get him to number one]. He was a comedy legend. Rage Against the Machine was more of a protest whereas this campaign seems to be a way of displaying respect. It's a cruel irony that on the eve of the World Cup we have lost him. It's now time for everyone to wake up to this fantastic song".

This is the video for the song, right here.

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