FRIDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Google has responded to the previously reported letter from News Corp to European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, in which the Murdoch-controlled newspaper and book publisher criticised the web giant, accusing it of anti-competitive practices, and of failing to play its part in combating online piracy. In a blog post, Google responds to various elements of News... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Beat head Doc Daneeka leads the bill in this new-ish venue in Hackney Central. Welshman Daneeka has had considerable output on labels such as 50 Weapons, Ramp, Fabric, PTN and Well Rounded and has even started his own label venture, Ten Thousand Yen. Joining Doc tonight will be Thris Tian, one of the originators of the rather revered Boiler Room sessions. Should be a good one... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: It's a good thing that we're still talking about the problem of sexism and misogyny in music. Definitely. Though it's a bit depressing that the starting point for these conversations generally remains the same. Music videos, eh? What are they like? The latest music video to spark off a big old hoo-hah is a remix of 'Booty' by Jennifer Lopez, which replaces rap farmer Pitbull with the... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Google responds to News Corp criticism
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LEGAL Universal sues Monster over unauthorised Beastie Boys songs use
Dave Lee Travis receives suspended sentence
Justin Bieber pap chase case back in court
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS American record industry revenues down so far this year
Pornhub launches record label, songwriting competition
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LIVE BUSINESS Viagogo appoints new music partnership chief
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Shazam losses up as it moves into other domains
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ARTIST NEWS Will.i.am reveals his car, didn't know ex-BFF Cheryl was even married
Documentary about proto-punk band Death receives London premiere
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RELEASES Wiley confirms LP (again)
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ONE LINERS Amazon, MIDEM, Kylie and more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #224: Brody Dalle v Jennifer Lopez & Iggy Azalea
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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.
 
 
BE BETTER AT THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC
A series of 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.
   
EMMS PUBLICITY - MUSIC PR FREELANCER (LONDON)
EMMS Publicity is looking for an experienced Music PR Freelancer, for a short-term contract. You should have a proven track record of successfully launching new artists as well as managing high profile campaigns. The ideal candidate will have an exceptional writing ability and great industry contacts. You'll be required to assist on existing accounts with equal focus on both digital and print media.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BIBLIOTHEQUE MUSIC - PRODUCTION MUSIC LIBRARY MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for an enthusiastic motivated library manager to help increase our capacity and develop new opportunities. The role will focus on marketing the catalogues to all relevant sectors of media and corporate industries, establishing and developing solid relationships, conducting searches, and taking the lead with all client-facing activity. The position has excellent career prospects going forward with scope for autonomy, innovation and growth.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NUCLEAR BLAST - PROMOTIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
London office for well-established rock/metal label is looking for a young, dynamic and ambitious Promotions Manager to handle TV & Radio promotion for its 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.
   
BOZBOZ MAS - DIGITAL MARKETING SPECIALIST (BRIGHTON)
We're looking for a dynamic Digital Marketing Specialist to develop rich, quality content for our clients' social media channels, building brand awareness and driving engagement with their fans, as well as managing the Bozboz MAS social media channels and website, to drive the external reach of the business.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DHP FAMILY - FESTIVAL EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Responsible for assisting the Head of Festivals to coordinate the operational elements of delivering the festivals portfolio, primarily the outdoor festivals No Tomorrow and Splendour in Nottingham. This is a newly created position which has the capacity to evolve with the right person.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DHP FAMILY - TICKETING OPERATIONS MANAGER (NOTTINGHAM)
Concert promoter, music venue operator, festival and club organiser and band management compnay DHP Family is looking for a Ticketing Operations Manager to ensure its ticketing team effectively supports the business in the delivery of its growing events portfolio.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HOSPITAL RECORDS - BUSINESS AFFAIRS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Hospital Records are looking for a Business Affairs / Legal Assistant to join our dynamic team. Working directly with our Label Manager and Head of Business Affairs from our office in Forest Hill, South East London, the successful candidate will have experience and relevant training in areas of music business and entertainment law.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - UK MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Domino is seeking a UK Marketing Manager to work as a central conduit to our existing marketing, project management and digital departments. The successful candidate will be well versed in the day-to-day running of a modern marketing campaign.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE - TICKETING SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Kilimanjaro Live are promoters of live music and we are recruiting a Ticketing Sales Manager to work alongside our existing Ticketing Project Managers to ensure effective inventory management and also manage premium ticket packages for our shows.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE DIGITAL - INTERNATIONAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Believe Digital is looking for an international manager to join its label services team in the UK. A deep knowledge of the independent music sector at international level, as well as the experience and knowledge to manage projects is essential as Believe continues to drive its label acquisition and marketing and distribution strategy worldwide.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
UNITED AGENCY - ACCOUNT MANAGER (SOCIAL MEDIA) (LONDON)
United Agency, the award winning social and digital marketing agency is searching for a new account manager to join our music team in London W1. The company creates and manages digital & social media campaigns for some of the biggest names in music, retail, film, fashion, celebrity and travel. Our music division represents a wide range of artists, DJs, festivals and club brands.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DISCIPLE MEDIA - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Disciple Media is looking for a business development manager. Your job will be to identify artists that will thrive on our mobile platform and convert them into clients. Disciple Media is a ground-breaking music start-up that has assembled world class technology developers and a highly experienced team from the music industry to create subscription-based platforms for artists.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SOLD OUT - AD TRAFFICKER (LONDON)
Sold Out is an independent full service advertising agency specialising in arts and entertainment, and is looking for an Ad Trafficker. You will be supporting the business through effective implementation of digital media campaigns for a variety of clients across the entertainment market.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MUSIC PUBLISHING - OPERATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
Handle Recruitment are searching for an Operations Manager to manage the day-to-day operations and projects at this Music Publishing Trade Association based in London. You will work very closely with the CEO in implementing a strategic plan for the company and manage a small, dedicated and diverse team.

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
 
 

Google responds to News Corp criticism
Google has responded to the previously reported letter from News Corp to European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, in which the Murdoch-controlled newspaper and book publisher criticised the web giant, accusing it of anti-competitive practices, and of failing to play its part in combating online piracy.

In a blog post, Google responds to various elements of News Corp's letter, which was signed by the media group's boss man Robert Thomson. The blog notes the various ways the web company has helped newspaper publishes, like News Corp, generate traffic through its search engine and sell content via its app store, and disputes the idea that, while Google began with good motives, it has become, in Thomson's words, "a vast, powerful, often unaccountable bureaucracy". Founders "Larry Page and Sergey Brin are still very much at the helm of Google" and continue to innovate, says the web firm's response.

As for Thomson's accusations that Google exploits its total dominance of web search in Europe for its own gain, the most serious allegation given Almunia's competition law remit, the web giant in the main disputes that it is actually as dominant as New Corp suggests, especially in this smart-phone, app-based era of internet usage.

Says the blog post: "As The Economist reported last week 'mobile devices have changed the way people travel the internet. Users now prefer apps to websites' home pages'. In this world Google Search is an app alongside many others. The same article adds 'the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest ... have become an important navigation system for people looking for content across the web'. It's why many newspapers get an increasing number of referrals from Facebook and Twitter".

And indeed that is true. Though you wonder whether that's Google basically telling its advertisers to shift some of their SEO and Google ad spend elsewhere. However, "we're not as big and important as News Corp says" isn't the company's only comeback to the anti-competitive charges, it also argues out that Google's own YouTube does not nearly always score top in its web search rankings, as Thomson had suggested.

"A simple Google search for 'videos of Robert Thomson News Corp' shows content from the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, and Nasdaq ranked above anything from YouTube" the article points out. "We only show YouTube results when they're relevant to a search query".

As for the piracy points made in Thomson's original letter, which, while not so directly relevant to Almunia, were very much of interest to the wider copyright industries, Google disputes that News Corp charge too; denying that, in Thomson's words, the firm is "sometimes contemptuous of intellectual property".

Not so, say the Googlers. "Google has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy" it declares, before noting the web firm's adherence to copyright takedown notices, and the system it has built to cope with the millions of takedowns thrown its way, proud that "the average take-down time is now just six hours". Takedown notice data also impacts on search results, the blog adds, and look at all the money Google spent building the ContentID system on YouTube.

Google is a friend of the copyright owner, see? Though it's not just News Corp who would ask why it is that - even when a court of law has deemed a site like The Pirate Bay to be liable for rampant copyright infringement, to the extent that it should be blocked by the ISPs - Google doesn't proactively move to de-list any Pirate Bay links from its search engine, and any proxies that jump to the site, given what a good job the web firm did exiling Rap Genius from its search results that time the lyric site breached Google's own rules.

That point isn't discussed in the Google blog; though to be fair, Thomson didn't specifically mention it in his original letter either. Perhaps he should add a last minute PS.

Universal sues Monster over unauthorised Beastie Boys songs use
Oh, well Monster Energy Drink just can't catch a break, can it? Having been ordered to pay the Beastie Boys $1.7 million for copyright infringement earlier this year, the brand is now facing legal action from the band's label and publisher, both now Universal subsidiaries. Capitol Records and Universal-Polygram International Publishing launched their own legal action this week, seeking $1.2 million in damages.

As previously reported, Monster used five Beastie Boys tracks mixed by DJ Z-Trip in a promotional video for a snowboarding event it was sponsoring, shortly after the death of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch. The rapper, of course, stated in his will that none of his music could ever be approved for use in advertising.

Monster conceded that it had used the music without permission, but said that this had been an error and that it had believed that permission had been granted. The document the company believed it had approving the use of the music was an email from Z-Trip to the marketing agency which created the video simply saying, "DOPE!"

Having failed to convince the court that $125,000 was a much more reasonable damages figure, Monster was told it would have to pay $1.7 million (still less than the $2 million the Beasties were pushing for) - half for the five copyright infringements, half for the implied endorsement of Monster from the group's surviving members.

The drinks company has said that it will appeal, but now it has to contend with this new lawsuit, which sees Universal come forward to seek its cut of the action, as the other owner of copyrights in the songs used.

Neither side has yet commented on the case.

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Dave Lee Travis receives suspended sentence
Dave Lee Travis has been given a three month sentence, suspended for two years, after being found guilty of indecent assault earlier this week.

As previously reported, DLT, real name David Griffin, was acquitted of two charges of sexual assault and indecent assault on Tuesday, but found guilty of indecently assaulting a researcher on 'The Mrs Merton Show' in 1995.

In sentencing, the judge this morning said that mitigating factors included the fact that the presenter had co-operated fully throughout the two years the investigation and trials had taken to complete, and that his conviction would likely mean that he would now struggle to find work.

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Justin Bieber pap chase case back in court
A court has ordered that old charge against a paparazzo who chased Justin Bieber's car on a California motorway back in 2012, this ending in sweet defenceless Biebs getting a speeding ticket, be reinstated following an appeal by the pop teen's legal team.

Judges at the LA Superior Court ordered last Friday that photog Paul Raef should again face 'anti-paparazzi' charges that stemmed from a new law aimed at specifically combatting aggressive driving by celeb snappers in search of financial gain.

As previously reported, Rae was the first person to be charged under the new laws, though his case was dismissed in 2012 after a judge ruled that said law was both unconstitutional and too broad.

Raef is yet to enter a plea to any of the counts.

American record industry revenues down so far this year
Good news for fans of bad news. The American record industry's half-year report shows that the revenues for the first six months of 2014 were 4.9% down on the same period in 2013. That stat comes from a Recording Industry Association Of America document summarised in Billboard.

The widely discussed peaking of the US download market is mainly to blame. Despite continued rapid growth in the streaming domain (income from directly licensed subscription services is up by nearly 25%, directly licensed ad-funded platforms by over 50%, and digital revenue via SoundExchange rose too), monies generated by download sales were down over 10%, meaning the digital side of the record industry, which now accounts for 68% of overall revenue, actually dropped by half a percent.

Coupled with a further 19.1% slide in CD sales and lower income from sync, there's plenty of room for doom and gloom here, given the line two years ago that the recorded music sector had turned a corner after a decade of decline.

Of course, emerging markets have their role to play in global recovery, and European markets do seem to be doing a better job at staying on this side of the proverbial corner, though sizable wobbles in the two biggest recorded music sectors, USA and Japan, are certainly a cause for concern. As is the US trend that rapid growth in streaming is only just - and actually not quite - compensating for declining download income.

Top level stats suggest that the streaming future is now and everything else should just be canned, and with overall streaming income now nearly equal to physical product income in the US, the Pandoras and Spotifys and YouTubes are key to the recorded music business on a whole new level when compared to three years (or even one year) ago. Though CD and vinyl sales are still slightly ahead of streaming overall, and downloading - while having peaked stateside - is still the single biggest revenue stream for now.

And let's not forget that recorded music is just one strand of the wider music business, and while stats like these continue to leave out the other revenue streams labels now routinely share in when signing new artists, it's increasingly hard to ascertain just how risky the record industry's new talent investments are.

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Pornhub launches record label, songwriting competition
So, Pornhub's latest, highly successful ruse to get publications outside the adult entertainment industry to write about it is to launch a record label and song competition. And look, even I'm writing about it, like a big idiot.

The company yesterday launched the Pornhub Song Search Contest, which is apparently a step towards formalising the use of its website as a means of showcasing music videos. Everyone from FaltyDL to Xiu Xiu has used the service to preview new videos - some SFW, some... not. Coolio also hooked up with the company recently to create and premiere his new song, 'Take It To The Hub'.

Although all songs penned for the competition must, like Coolio's, be Pornhub-themed, the company's Vice President Corey Price insists to Billboard that "we're looking for acts that aren't necessarily porn-focused. We're an ad-based network looking for content that appeals to our demographic. Mature lyrics for an adult audience; no boybands or teen pop, for instance".

The winner of the competition will win $5000 and assistance making a video for their song, which is then guaranteed at least 500,000 views on the website. However, they won't necessarily be granted a place on the new record label, which is currently little more than a logo on a web page and a dream.

"A&R is a work in progress", Pornhub PR guy Matt Blake tells Billboard. "Right now it's all about forming relationships and understanding how this all works. We're focused on distributing through the platform and digital sales".

So, there you go. We've tried everything else, so now it's porn's turn to 'The Saviour Of The Music Industry'.

Viagogo appoints new music partnership chief
Viagogo, the "world's largest ticket marketplace" says this here press release, so Toutsville Central then, has a brand new exec to oversee music partnerships worldwide, and that new exec is Carole MacDonald, formerly off of EMI.

Says MacDonald: "Viagogo is pioneering new ways to do things in music that can benefit everybody. There are valuable opportunities for rights owners, management and talent and I will be discussing these in my meetings with the industry over the coming months".

Meanwhile the ticketing platform's Head Of Business Development Cris Miller added: "We value our partnerships with the music industry and Carole will be developing both our existing partnerships and new opportunities. We're delighted to have her on board and look forward to forging even closer working relationships with the industry".

The live sector and artist community has a love/hate relationship with the secondary ticketing market, of course. Some reckoning the resale of tickets should be banned, highly regulated or made impossible through e-ticketing, while others have embraced platforms like Viagogo, EDM powerhouse SFX being one of the most recent live music players to announce a formal alliance with the secondary ticketing company.

Shazam losses up as it moves into other domains
Shazam posted losses of £5.8 million for the second half of 2013, compared to losses of just under £2 million for the previous twelve months.

Analysing the figures, Music Ally notes that from July 2012 to June 2013 the music identification tech provider reported revenues of £31 million, with the £2 million losses. But for the second half of 2013, while six month revenues were in line with the previous year at £16.9 million, losses were significantly up pro rata.

It's no secret that Shazam, an early player in music apps, has been pursing ambitious growth in the last couple of years, most notably into the TV and advertising domain, and therefore it's not entirely surprising losses are rising while revenues stay constant.

That revenues were pretty much level in the second half of 2013 compared to the first, despite the service seemingly continuing to grow its user base, may be a sign that one of the firm's key revenue streams to date, the small commission it makes when tracks identified by its app are then bought from iTunes, is levelling out, in line with the wider download market.

Of course, given that download income looks likely to slide in the coming years - and given that the mechanic for earning by sending users to listen to tracks on a streaming service of their choice is less clear - Shazam's move into other domains which could open up other revenues is probably a sound one. Even if it's costly in the short term.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Doc Daneeka at Oslo
Beat head Doc Daneeka leads the bill in this new-ish venue in Hackney Central.

Welshman Daneeka has had considerable output on labels such as 50 Weapons, Ramp, Fabric, PTN and Well Rounded and has even started his own label venture, Ten Thousand Yen.

Joining Doc tonight will be Thris Tian, one of the originators of the rather revered Boiler Room sessions.

Should be a good one.

Saturday 27 Sep, Oslo, 1a Amhurst Road, Hackney, London, E8 1LL, 10pm - 3am, £5, more info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Will.i.am reveals his car, didn't know ex-BFF Cheryl was even married
Futuristic pop super-genius, tastemaking brand architect and tireless entrepreneur Will.i.am showed the new Lexus he'd 'designed' to the world for the first time on Wednesday night. Taking place in Paris, the big reveal revealed... well, an expensive silver car essentially.

Engineered by i.am and a team of real mechanics to appeal to "younger, urban and more design-oriented customers", the snappily-titled NX 200t F SPORT has cool features like "the ability to capture panoramic photographs and video footage whilst driving", which surely won't distract anyone from the task of actually driving. There are additional cool features I won't detail right now because, hey, this isn't a car advert.

So anyway, does anyone care what Will.i.am had to say on joining Lexus in its inexplicably-named 'Striking Angles' promo initiative? Anyone at all?

Well he said this: "When I found out Lexus wanted me to be involved in the 'Striking Angles' campaign, my first thought was, can I design a car with you? I'm honoured to be launching my bespoke Lexus NX F SPORT in Paris - this car is super fresh and incorporates my personal style. My point of view is the best kind of design will encourage other people to interpret that design".

In other news, Will was so caught up with designing his big silver camera-car that he didn't realise his one-time best friend and collaborator Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini had married again. Still, as he said this week via the Daily Mail, he nevertheless thinks it's "dope" that she and that French man are happily wed.

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Documentary about proto-punk band Death receives London premiere
The very first Doc N Roll music documentary film festival opened last night with the London premiere of 'A Band Called Death' - the tale of an all-black proto-punk band formed by three brothers in Detroit in 1973.

The film begins with the band's formation, when they were inspired to stop playing funk and switch to rock after seeing The Who perform live. Then follows years of rejection, for playing fast and loud rock n roll in Motown's city, for being black, and (perhaps most of all) for being called Death - though when Arista boss Clive Davis offered the band a lucrative record deal on the condition that they choose another moniker, it was they who did the rejecting.

They forged ahead for several years, but the band eventually ground to a halt. Two of the brothers, Dannis and Bobby Hackney, formed a reasonably successful reggae band and Death was largely forgotten about - to the point that their children had no idea the band had ever existed - until 30 years later they discovered that their one single release had become a sought after record, selling for as much as $800 a time.

Appearing at a post-screening Q&A, via Skype from Vermont, Bobby told the audience: "At that time Dannis and I were kind of like deer in the headlights. You've gotta realise, in 2007 we had been playing reggae music for almost 20 years and we had got to the point where we were thinking, 'What are we gonna do now?' And then in 2008 we find out that this whole 'Death discovery' has taken place not only in America but in other parts of the world".

Sadly, his other brother (and band leader) David did not live to see Death finally achieve success - Drag City releasing their debut album, 'For All The World To See', 35 years after it was recorded.

Commenting on the making of the film, and the emotions making it brought up for the two surviving band members, Bobby said: "We didn't know where it was going. We thought [what became the film] was going to be a video - maybe a music video, maybe something for public access. Then, as we got deeper into the movie, we really started to have those feelings that we were stepping outside of ourselves. Some of the things that we had to recall were some painful things, and some of them were very, very joyous things too".

He added that until that time, the brothers had believed that "Death is gonna be one of the greatest rock n roll stories that only we know about".

Listen to an interview with Doc N Roll Festival Director Colm Forde about the festival and 'A Band Called Death' (courtesy of CMU's sister magazine This Week London) here, and watch a trailer for the film here.

Wiley confirms LP (again)
That silly billy Wiley has revealed the first single from his "final solo" (he claimed yesterday) LP 'Snakes And Ladders', the album which he decided to bin and then totally re-record earlier this year. It still doesn't have a release date yet though, so... sorry.

But there is a video for the track, which is titled 'On A Level'. The clip is directed by Wiley's grime peer Skepta, and features scenes like this, lots of crew love, and loads of shots of what may or may not be Wiley's actual porch.

Watch it now

Amazon, MIDEM, Kylie and more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Urban Outfitters is the "number one seller" of vinyl in the world according to... well, Urban Outfitters mainly. I suppose with over 400 stores worldwide, the company has way more shops than any other vinyl seller I can think of. It's hard to work out how many units it sells, but "number one seller" could just mean highest number of vinyl aisles.

• Amazon's VP of Digital Music And Video in the US, Bill Carr, is to leave the company by the year's end. A rep for Carr, who joined the Amazon fam fifteen years ago, has told the WSJ that he has "other plans" but "nothing to share now".

• Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is going to give the first keynote speech at next year's France-based music biz tradeshow MIDEM. And guess what, she's going to talk all-things crowdfunding. Duh.

• Eligible singleton Neil Young has announced an LP titled 'Storeytone', which is supposed to come out in November. It has him singing against a big old 92-piece orchestra; talking of which, this is a just-shared orchestral take of Young's world-saving song 'Who's Gonna Stand Up', which won't go on 'Storeytone'.

• Angel Haze has added several rapped verses to a new JRMX remix of The Saturdays' latest single '808' because, why not? Stream it here.

• The brilliant Jon Hopkins has detailed a new EP that 'reinterprets' tracks from his 2013 LP 'Immunity'. 'Asleep Versions' will arrive on 10 Nov, and here is a trailer teasing its contents.

• Punks-on-the-up Sleaford Mods have a new Chris Tarrant-inspired EP on the way, titled 'Tiswas'. It consists of four new studio tracks called 'Bunch Of Cunts', 'The Mail Don't Fail', 'The Demon' and '6 Horseman (The Brixtons)' plus title song 'Tiswas', which was originally on the band's 'Divide And Exit' LP. Cop it via Invada Records on 24 Nov.

CMU Beef Of The Week #224: Brody Dalle v Jennifer Lopez & Iggy Azalea
It's a good thing that we're still talking about the problem of sexism and misogyny in music. Definitely. Though it's a bit depressing that the starting point for these conversations generally remains the same. Music videos, eh? What are they like?

The latest music video to spark off a big old hoo-hah is a remix of 'Booty' by Jennifer Lopez, which replaces rap farmer Pitbull with the multi-accented Iggy Azalea. The central premise of the song is that there is a woman in a club who has somehow procured a "big booty", and that that this is something that an unnamed man would like to obtain. In the original, that man turns out to be Pitbull, who states that he would like to put the booty in his car.

With Pitbull out of the picture, the video for the new version of the track was released last week, featuring the scantily-clad Lopez and Azelea ensuring that the world knows that they are both the owners of buttocks. The video is pretty forensic in its research of this fact.

And, hey, guess what? Some people thought that wasn't OK. Punk musician Brode Dalle was one such person. Upon seeing the video, she tweeted: "I think J.Lo and Iggy Azalea have lost their heads up each other's big butts. I'm trying to understand what the point of their horrendous video is but I can't find one. The song is a piece of crap that was written by waaay too many people, including a well know woman beater [Chris Brown]".

That is, of course, her opinion. And it's not one shared by everyone. Some people think it's just a fun song. Others think that it's empowering for women. And one fan tweeted Dalle to tell her that she had "inspired lots of girl hate and slut and body shaming" with her tweets on the subject.

Switching to Facebook to respond, Dalle began: "Slut shaming? Body shaming? Girl hating? Please don't assign incorrect motives to my tweets. It is you who is implying they are 'sluts', not me. The definition for slut is 'a woman who has many casual partners'. Since when did being scantily-clad come to mean having many casual partners?"

She continued: "I don't like the word slut, I don't use the word slut, that word is not in my vernacular. If a woman has many casual partners, it is none of my business. I have absolutely no problem with what women do with their bodies in their private lives. Women should feel [as] free as men do to sleep with whomever they want to as long as it's consensual and with out being labeled a slut. That would be equality (a girl can dream). The trendy term 'slut shaming' is inadvertently calling scantily-dressed women 'sluts'. We should all stop using it".

She added that her real problem was "the conflicting message [the video is] sending to our impressionable young girls and boys", saying: "How are the lyrics 'give him what he asks for' empowering to women? How? How is spreading your bottom apart and singing 'give him what he asks for' empowering at all?"

It's probably worth noting that the lyric specifically informs women that they should "give him what he asks for" because it is his birthday. Or maybe it's not worth noting. Let's move on.

Continuing on the subject of empowerment, Dalle writes: "J.Lo and Iggy may feel empowered by their bodies and that's fine, their bodies ARE powerful, beautiful and life giving. But they are so much more than just their bodies. They may feel that using their bodies is the only currency they have in order to stay popular and on the top. It has become a contest of who gets the most hits on YouTube and Vevo and who can take it the furthest, not about the quality of their songs and the messages they are sending. And why? To make lots of money and to line the pockets of the big machines, regardless of who that affects".

Yay capitalism! Dalle added that it was "ludicrous" to suggest that she shouldn't voice an opinion on something she strongly believes in. And of course that works both ways. So I'm sure everyone will be pleased to learn that the person whose tweets prompted Dalle's post has now received so much abuse on Twitter for her own opinions that she's shut down her account. Well done, everyone. You've totally cracked how debate works.

But, hey, let's not focus all our depression on music. This is a world where #Gamergate not only started but continues to exist weeks later; where some newspapers focused on what Emma Watson was wearing - and, as it turned out, hoax picture-leak threats against the actress - rather than the content of the inspirational equality speech she gave; and where Fox News anchors think it's OK to refer to female fighter pilots as "boobs on the ground" - even though that doesn't make any sense at all.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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