MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: While some have predicted the imminent demise of Grooveshark in the wake of the digital firm's legal defeat in one of its disputes with the major labels, the company has announced the launch of a new radio-style app that will seemingly be licensed via the SoundExchange system in the US, thus circumventing the need for direct deals with the record companies. Grooveshark... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. First up in this year's list is Angel Olsen... Making even the slightest ripple in a pool so thickly fogged with singer-songwriter-y type folk artists isn't easy, nor is breaking beyond that closeted folksy corner to make contact with the pop/dance/hip-hop... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Grooveshark launches 'radio' app licensed via SoundExchange
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LEGAL French court instigates Pirate Bay block, as Google removes Bay-apps from its Play store
Former Savile associate and radio DJ found guilty of multiple sexual assaults
New Zealand prosecutor outlines case against Phil Rudd
Monster loses attempt to overturn Beastie Boys copyright infringement ruling
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DEALS The Libertines sign to Virgin EMI, confirm 2015 LP
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Trends: Direct-to-fan developments with Bandcamp
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ARTIST NEWS Coldplay are splitting up! Or not! Probably not! Oh well!
Bradford Cox hit by car, hospitalised
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AWARDS 2015 Grammy noms revealed
BBC Music Award nominations out
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AND FINALLY... Bono was - so The Edge says - dressed "as a Hasidic Jew" when he crashed his bike
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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.
 
 
OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE
Office space to rent with Full Time Hobby and SALT Films. Music and film companies looking for another likeminded company to share a new office space at Tileyard Studios. £400 per desk including most bills (phone separate). For full information click here.
 
For information on placing classified ads in the CMU Daily contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
 
LISTEN UP - EVENTS PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
We are hiring an experienced Events Press Officer to join the events team at Listen Up. The candidate will need 3-4 years’ experience running print and online events campaigns and will be working across Listen Up’s extensive festival and events roster.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - CLIENT RELATIONS COORDINATOR (LONDON)
Reporting to the International Client Relations Director, The Orchard has an immediate opening for a Client Relations Coordinator based out of our European headquarters in London. The position will act as a relationship, content & campaign coordinator for a selection of core labels across Europe with a particular focus on frontline, artist driven content.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HOUSE OF 27 - SOCIAL MEDIA & DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
House Of 27 is looking for an experienced Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager to join their team. You will be responsible for the day to day social media activity for artists and music brands; creative content creation, copywriting, influencer outreach, content flow management, community engagement and fan growth. You will be working alongside external partners to amplify artists' social media presence and relevance.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WFS COMMS - JUNIOR MUSIC PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Worldwide Friendly Society Communications is looking for a junior publicist. Ideally with one or two years experience, you will have delivered complete album campaigns across print and digital music media with attention to detail, determination and panache.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - MARKETING COORDINATOR PAID INTERNSHIP (LONDON)
The Orchard has an opening for a marketing coordinator on a twelve month paid internship basis. This is a pivotal support role for our UK and European retail and interactive marketing teams. The position sits within the marketing department that is comprised of two branches - retail marketing and interactive marketing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
GRECO-ROMAN - LABEL MANAGER (LONDON)
Greco-Roman is an independent record label based in London specialising in left of field electronic popular music, releasing singles from Lxury, Roosevelt, Joe Goddard, Disclosure, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and many more over the last six years. We make colourful music because we dance in the dark: we are also a speakeasy party with irregular events around the UK, Paris and our second home of Berlin.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
LIVE NATION - JUNIOR DIGITAL DESIGNER (LONDON)
All our marketing is done in-house and we're looking for a talented junior digital designer to join our marketing department. You must be both creative as well as technically and commercially savvy. The ideal candidate would have a strong interest in digital delivery within the entertainment business or a similarly fast paced environment.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
7DIGITAL - LABEL & PROMOTIONS MANAGER - GERMAN-SPEAKING (LONDON)
7digital is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Label & Promotions Manager to join our team based in East London. The Label & Promotions Manager will be solely responsible for all label relationship and promotions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as our G/S/A websites and apps and all social media. They will work closely with other Label & Promotions Managers as well as internal content teams to ensure content availability and to run promotions.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARP PUBLISHING - COPYRIGHT AND ROYALTIES COORDINATOR (LONDON)
Warp Publishing's London office is looking for a full-time copyright and royalties coordinator to provide administrative support to an expanding team. The candidate will be highly organised and meticulous, with good numeracy skills. Along with being passionate about Warp artists, the ideal candidate will have a good understanding of copyright and a great eye for detail. Some experience with royalties is necessary and Counterpoint knowledge would be a big plus.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
[PIAS] UK - RADIO PLUGGER (LONDON)
[PIAS] UK is seeking an experienced radio plugger to join its growing in-house promotions team. The successful candidate will be based at the company's Bermondsey head office and will work as part of a team offering radio promotion services for its in-house and distributed label partners.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MN2S - DIGITAL MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Leading independent booking agency MN2S is looking for a Digital Marketing Assistant. Our booking agency represents both emerging and world-renowned DJs, producers and live performers across a spectrum of underground and mainstream sounds. In addition, we represent personalities from the world of sports, media and entertainment, arranging bookings for appearances and speaking engagements.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NAME PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Name PR is looking to hire a Senior Account Manager with significant experience in music and tech media relations. One of the world’s leading music industry PR agencies, Name PR clients include Merlin, Kobalt, the International Music Summit and Cooking Vinyl.

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

Grooveshark launches 'radio' app licensed via SoundExchange
While some have predicted the imminent demise of Grooveshark in the wake of the digital firm's legal defeat in one of its disputes with the major labels, the company has announced the launch of a new radio-style app that will seemingly be licensed via the SoundExchange system in the US, thus circumventing the need for direct deals with the record companies.

Grooveshark, of course, has been at the receiving end of plenty of wrath from the music industry by allowing users to upload music to its streaming platform, meaning that it routinely hosts plenty of tracks from labels with which it has no licensing arrangement.

By allowing rights owners to request their content be removed from its library, Grooveshark says it is operating within American copyright law, and it probably is. Though lots of labels reckon that the company is exploiting a loophole in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and would therefore agree with Spotify boss Daniel Ek's description of Grooveshark as a "piracy service".

The record companies have sued Grooveshark on two technicalities that prevent the firm from claiming protection by the DMCA, and they won one of those lawsuits back in September. Meanwhile, the labels have forced official Grooveshark apps off the Apple and Google app stores based on the argument that the service infringes copyright, putting it in violation of the IT giants' respective app platforms' own terms and conditions.

For much of its history it has seemed like Grooveshark, while aware that it is pissing off most record companies, hoped that, by commanding such a large audience, it could eventually persuade the majors to do a deal making the service indisputably legit, preferably without paying the huge advances that newer entrants to the streaming market have paid to secure their content. One financial backer of Grooveshark once admitted "we bet the company on the fact that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission".

But, while that approach has worked for some tech start-ups in the past, it's seemed for a while now that the majors - Universal in particular - would much rather see Grooveshark forced out of business, even if that means giving up the opportunity to access the company's not insignificant userbase. Which presumably means that the "ask for forgiveness later" strategy of getting major label licenses isn't going so well, even though Grooveshark insists talks are ongoing with the big record companies.

But in the US interactive radio type services like Pandora can be licensed via the collective licensing system, which the labels are obliged to work with by copyright law, meaning that services can go live fully licensed without actually doing any deals direct with the labels (the publishing side of the equation can usually be handled via the collecting societies too, for the time being at least).

Grooveshark's core service offers too much on-demand functionality to qualify for a SoundExchange licence, but the new service - called Broadcasts - can be licensed that way. It basically puts Grooveshark into competition with Pandora rather than Spotify, though the firm hopes that it can stand out with extra widgets within its app, including allowing users to both chat through the application, and to compile and share their own playlists. It will be a subscription service costing 99 cents a month.

Whether Broadcasts will be able to compete with existing players in the personalised radio market - many of which offer a similar service on an ad-funded free basis - remains to be seen. But it should enable Grooveshark to have an official presence in the Apple and Google app stores, with the firm itself describing Broadcast - according to Dow Jones - as our "first compliant app". Meanwhile Grooveshark boss Sam Tarantino says "we're trying to show that we're doing everything we possibly can to be a legitimate player here".

Grooveshark's more controversial Spotify-rivalling service will continue too, though if the firm's legal woes were to force that side of the business offline, it would be interesting to see if the company could live on - and stay connected to its claimed 30 million users - via the limited functionality but fully legit (in the US) Broadcast app.

French court instigates Pirate Bay block, as Google removes Bay-apps from its Play store
Web-blocking is gaining momentum in France, and this time it's old favourite The Pirate Bay that is subject to some blocking. A court in Paris has ordered internet service providers in the country to stop their users from accessing the Bay following legal action by the French record industry via its grouping SCPP.

As much previously reported, web-blocking is becoming a favoured anti-piracy tactic in various countries across the world, and especially in Europe (and especially in the UK). Though, of course, it's a tactic with limited success, because the blockades are usually quite easy to circumvent, not least via a Google search. The music and movie industries would like Google to do more to ensure so called proxies and web pages assisting in the circumvention of web-blocks are removed from its search engine results.

Google remains hesitant of getting involved in policing piracy sites in this way, though the web-giant does seem to be busy removing Android apps from its Play store which tap into The Pirate Bay's directory of unlicensed content files in anyway. According to reports, apps like The Pirate Bay Proxy, The Pirate Bay Premium, The Pirate Bay Mirror and PirateApp have all been pulled for violating the terms and conditions of Google's app platform.

It's interesting that Google has, in the main, been more willing to cull piracy-enabling apps from its Play store than it is to de-list piracy-enabling sites from its search engine, though it might argue the former is much easier to police than the latter.

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Former Savile associate and radio DJ found guilty of multiple sexual assaults
Former radio DJ and Jimmy Savile associate Ray Teret, who worked for Radio Caroline back in the day as well as a number of commercial stations in the North West, was found guilty of seven charges of rape and eleven of sexual assault last week. He will return to Manchester Crown Court on the city's Minshull Street later this week to be sentenced.

As previously reported, Teret met Savile in the early 1960s at a singing competition organised by the latter, and they subsequently shared a Manchester flat together. Teret was accused of exploiting the minor celebrity status his radio work rewarded him, and his association with Savile, to assault young girls.

He was found not guilty of one of the charges against him, aiding and abetting Savile to rape a fifteen year old girl in the early 1960s, but he was found guilty of raping the complainant himself, along with the other seventeen charges.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, told reporters after last week's guilty verdict: "During the 60s and 70s Ray Teret was a popular Manchester DJ. He used this status to target young and vulnerable girls who were impressionable and in some cases simply star struck. He singled his victims out for attention, using charm and flattery, before subjecting them to traumatic and callous assaults. Some he groomed over a period of time, whilst others he assaulted soon after he first approached them. Some of the victims were only thirteen years of age".

He went on: "The victims in this case have lived with the reality of what Ray Teret did for many years. It has had a significant impact upon all of their lives - personally, professionally and socially. In some cases it has had devastating consequences. Most of them felt they couldn't tell anyone about it until recently. Many of them had thought it was their fault - it was never their fault. They have all shown enormous bravery in coming forward to the police and in attending court to speak out about what happened".

He concluded: "Their collective courage has ensured that Ray Teret has been brought to justice today. He must now face up to the reality and consequences of his offences. I hope today's verdict will in some way help these victims to move on with their lives and I also hope it provides other victims of sexual abuse with the courage and confidence to come forward".

Another former radio DJ guilty of a string of indecent assaults, in his case against boys aged nine to sixteen, will also be sentenced later this week. Former BBC DJ Chris Denning pleaded guilty to 29 charges of sexual assault back in August, and another ten last month.

Denning's charges stem from the Operation Yewtree investigation launched in the wake of the posthumous allegations of sexual assault made against Savile. However the Teret case - although very much linked to Savile - was actually a separate police investigation.

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New Zealand prosecutor outlines case against Phil Rudd
The prosecutor in the case against Phil Rudd has outlined the charges levelled at the (possibly former) AC/DC drummer. Principally it's been revealed that the people he is accused of threatening to kill are a former employee and his daughter.

In a statement released on Friday the prosecutor alleged that, on the morning of 26 Sep, Rudd made two incriminating phonecalls - one in which Rudd told a third party "what he wanted done" to his former employee, the second to that man himself in which it is claimed that Rudd "threatened to kill him and his daughter".

As previously reported, an initial charge of attempting to hire a hitman was dropped due to lack of evidence, but the charge of threatening to kill stands. Rudd is also accused of drug possession, police having apparently found 130 grams of marijuana and 0.7 grams of methamphetamine when they searched the musician's home in early November.

Rudd denies making either phonecall outlined by the prosecutor, or making threats to kill. Though he apparently has admitted the possession of marijuana.

As also previously reported, Rudd was called back to court last week after getting into a fight with a witness in the case - following a "chance meeting", his lawyer argued. He was not charged with any further crime, but the judge made an additional condition of Rudd's bail that he not take any illegal drugs, in order to limit his "erratic behaviour".

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Monster loses attempt to overturn Beastie Boys copyright infringement ruling
Monster Energy Drink has failed to have the ruling that it infringed the Beastie Boys' intellectual property rights overturned. A judge last week upheld a jury ruling in June that the company should pay $1.7 million in damages to the group.

As previously reported, Monster used a mix of Beastie Boys tracks in a promotional video for a snowboarding event it staged in 2012, which was posted online shortly after the death of the group's Adam Yauch. Monster admitted to copyright infringement but argued that $125,000 would be a more reasonable figure for damages.

The brand maintained that it believed that the DJ who made the mix, Z-Trip, had gained approval for the use of Beastie Boys' music in the video. Though it emerged in the trial that this 'approval' came in a one word email from Z-Trip saying "DOPE!" when asked what he thought of the final edit.

And in a ruling on Monster's attempt to have the jury's decision on the case voided last Thursday, Judge Paul Engelmayer criticised the man who commissioned the video, Nelson Phillips.

The judge wrote: "Notwithstanding his background [not being in music] and his lack of training in music licensing, there was ample evidence from which a jury could conclude that Phillips well appreciated the concept of copyright and the consequent need to obtain permission to use an artist's music in the promotional videos he created for Monster".

Part of the reason for the high damages figure Monster was ordered to pay was the video's implied endorsement of the drink by the rap group. The judge maintained this in his ruling, adding that the video gave the viewer "ample basis" to assume that the Beastie Boys were endorsing the product by seemingly providing their music to the video.

Monster apparently plans to appeal this decision. Meanwhile, as previously reported, Universal - as the Beastie Boys' label - is also seeking damages against the drinks brand for copyright infringement.

The Libertines sign to Virgin EMI, confirm 2015 LP
Arcadia ahoy, the world's indie-est band, The Libertines, now have 'major label backing' at last, having signed a deal with Virgin EMI Records last Friday. The label confirms that the band are writing songs for a third Libertines LP, which will be released in 2015.

The big contract-signing thing took place in Thailand, where Pete Doherty is staying at the Hope Rehabilitation Centre and, he recently said, is on the road to recovery from addiction to drugs. Doherty has, in collaboration with Hope, started a charitable organisation, the Pete Doherty Hope Initiative, to help raise money for the facility.

Speaking to press about his band's latest label deal last week, Doherty said he "[didn't] know what to say". Then he said: "I'm so happy. It was a beautiful day".

Bandmate-in-arms Carl Barat added: "After everything we have been through, The Albion sails on course again. I couldn't be more excited".

A similarly optimistic John Hassall was then heard to say: "For me this signals a new era and a new beginning for The Libertines".

And giving credit to Virgin EMI president Mike Smith, Gary Powell says: "Having Mike working with the band was, and is, an important factor in the band's 'new' evolution. He not only understands the band but he understands us all as individuals with an emotional dynamic to add to the overall picture which was a major factor in the band's decision to sign with Virgin Records".

Finally, livening things up a bit linguistically, Smith himself said: "The Libertines started an inferno that blazed through music at the start of the 21st Century and their reunion this year has been nothing less than spectacular. Carl, Pete, Gary and John are in the form of their lives and making some fantastic new music together. I am thrilled that Virgin EMI can be a part of their future".

Trends: Direct-to-fan developments with Bandcamp
The latest CMU Digest Report comes out later this week for subscribers to our premium service. It includes reports on the digital debates that took place at the M For Montreal conference in Canada last month, snippets of which will appear in the CMU Daily this week. Today CMU Business Editor chats to Bandcamp's Editor In Chief Andrew Jervis.

To receive the CMU Digest Report and the weekly CMU Digest Bulletin, sign up to our premium service for just £60 a year. Individual subscriptions are available in the CMU Shop here, or email publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for details on company-wide subscriptions.

Despite the booming streaming music market - and the very vocal debate about the pros and cons of freemium and premium subscription services that has rumbled on for much of the year - for me the most exciting development in music enabled by the internet remains direct-to-fan, and the ability for artists and their business partners to better service core fanbase, who are often willing to spend more money on their favourite acts if only the industry provides the products and services on which they can spend.

And just like the streaming market, the D2F domain has also seen quite a bit of development in the last year, though you still sense that some labels, far from seeing direct-to-fan as another area for industry growth (possibly the biggest area), instead see the rise of D2F platforms as a threat. "I understand where that comes from", says Bandcamp Editor At Large Andrew Jervis, "and perhaps we still have to do a better job educating people what Bandcamp is about".

"It's true that when we started we were primarily a tool for artists to sell to their fans directly", he goes on, "so I can see why labels might see that as a threat. But there are lots of labels using the site, and we're actually just launching a range of features specifically for labels, to make the platform more intuitive to use. Some of the big labels to recently join include Sub Pop, Epitaph and Anti - in fact there's a whole slew of them".

Labels can join the direct-to-fan party on two levels, first by assisting their artists in developing their D2F businesses, and also by building their own direct fan channels as a label brand.

Although direct-to-fan platforms are generally cheap for artists to use, using them well arguably requires time and expertise. Look and feel is important for example - "How you present yourself, whether an artist or label, makes a huge difference", says Jervis. "If you have a crappy looking artwork or Bandcamp page, that's a hurdle". And labels can help with that process.

But also, too, says Jervis: "If you're one of those cult labels, a Sub Pop for instance, you have fans who want everything on your label, so why not engage directly with those fans?"

Direct-to-fan is, of course, about core fanbase, and will never replace more mainstream distribution channels for reaching more casual fans. But core fanbase was often under-tapped and therefore under-serviced by the traditional music industry. And two trends on Bandcamp show that core fans will spend more if given the opportunity.

"On Bandcamp albums outsell tracks five to one", Jervis observes. "The industry-wide standard, I believe, is something like seventeen to one tracks to albums. Direct-to-fan is working because people feel an engagement with the artist, and so they want the full product the artist is putting out, not just the hit they heard elsewhere".

Perhaps more interesting is the 'name your price' function most direct-to-fan services offer. "You can have a 'name your price' album where the minimum might be zero - and some artists excel at this - fans can choose to take the music for free, but actually the artists still generate revenue. Of course, if you've invested a lot of money making your record, the thought of allowing people have it for free is scary. But you can set a minimum price, something that seems fair, but give the fan the option to pay a little more if they can afford to".

And, says Jervis, "over 50% of the time, where an artist has given fans the 'pay some more' option, fans have done. Which is super encouraging".

Although direct-to-fan platforms usually enable artists to sell a variety of products, selling music downloads has often been key. Does Jervis think that this element of direct-to-fan might be hit as the digital music market at large seems to shift from download to streaming?

"We actually offer another model, which we need to speak about more, which allows a streaming experience. If, as a fan, you have a Bandcamp account, yes you can download a high quality file from an artist's page, but when you buy the album you can also stream those tracks via your Bandcamp collection on your phone. The tracks automatically appear in your collection, but you've paid the artist directly for the music".

The shift to direct-to-fan streaming is interesting - and is at the heart of Bandcamp's efforts to build its own community, from which 20% of purchases stem, Jervis says - though the more exciting development for me is the recent launch of subscriptions on the direct-to-fan platform. "People aren't subscribing to Bandcamp", Jervis stresses. "They are subscribing to artists".

Basically Bandcamp is helping with the long-awaiting commercialisation of the good old fashioned fan club. "If I'm an uber-fan, I want everything", Jervis says. "And I don't want to have to wait for social media to tell me about your new releases, or for you to pay a PR to tell me about them. So I'm happy to pay 20 bucks a year - or $250 if you're putting out enough content - to automatically receive everything. It just arrives on my device, a bit like the U2 thing, except you want this music! We are opening this element of Bandcamp to artists first, though will extend it to labels too".

In the midst of the most recent Spotify debate, Taylor Swift's label said that it was uncomfortable taking money from core fans who buy the singer's albums, while others could access them on demand for free via freemium streaming services. It's a credible concern. Though the solution - rather than pulling content from Spotify et al - is probably providing great direct-to-fan experiences, so provide core fans with more rather than giving casual consumers less.

  CMU Artists of The Year 2014: Angel Olsen
Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we'll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. First up in this year's list is Angel Olsen...

Making even the slightest ripple in a pool so thickly fogged with singer-songwriter-y type folk artists isn't easy, nor is breaking beyond that closeted folksy corner to make contact with the pop/dance/hip-hop-loving world at large. Especially since, in this post-Mumfords era in which we live, it's hard to prise the 'image' of the folk genre away from the idea of some raspy-voiced and deeply not-cool 'bard' pumping away at an accordion.

So thank God for Chicago singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, who is none of those things (the direct opposite, in fact), and who instead has ruled quietly but surely over this 'year in folk' with the same quality of natural, wild-minded autonomy that arches all the way over 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness', the almost imposingly good, stealth missile of an LP-on-high she released all the way back in February on Jagjaguwar.

In most accounts, Olsen's story leading to 'Burn Your Fire...' - singing and songwriting-wise anyway - starts in high school with her learning to play the piano and shaping her first original songs. Then she skipped college and moved into the big wide world, or Chicago, and began playing in small bars and galleries, then got noticed 'online' by the boss of local label Bathetic Records, then released her first EP 'Strange Cacti'.

From there, Olsen's name was passed like a Chinese whisper amongst a circle of Chicagoan musicians, landing after a time in the lap of Will Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, who invited her to come join his weird PJs-and-shades wearing band The Babblers. Which she did, also notably carving her vocal initials into the sighing timber-frames of Oldham's 2011 LP 'Wolfroy Goes To Town', trilling a lyric-less solo mid-way into one of its songs, 'Time To Be Clear', in the kind of voice that's only ever meant to be heard at the fore, never 'at the back'.

Olsen's voice has been endlessly mythologised in the press, practically to the point that some gobsmacked critics have kind of likened it to some kind of divine tool on loan from the Gods of folk. And in fact, to be fair, it is an extraordinary thing.

It can play sweet, pretty even, in places; though never is it frilly, or fey, or 'girly'. Sometimes it's a throaty, heart-strings-stripping wolf howl, sometimes a bleak and creeping cry, sometimes hard sometimes soft, sometimes so soft it's as barely there as the thinnest pane of glass. And sometimes it just, kind of, throws its folk cloak off and rocks out. Sometimes it spits, and, "neither innocent or wise", drips and crackles like a white-hot flame.

And there I go, getting carried away. Because it's that kind of voice I guess, the sort that 'transports', off and away into some space in which, for instance, loneliness (a big, big theme in Olsen's lyrics) is something to toast to with a wry 'Hi-Five', or as in 'Burn Your Fire...' tagline track 'White Fire', a place in which a woman wanders sadly in the middle of the night, drowning in thoughts of a time when she was in love and "fierce, and light, and young".

In short, as in this brilliant Spin/AO cover story, it simply "will be heard"; and of its own will it can both cajole and coax, and on the flip side, command softly that you sit up (or down) and listen to its siren's call.

If her debut LP, 2012's dreamy, meandering and slightly batshit crazy 'Half Way Home' is a portrait of Olsen 'in love' and enchanted, intrigued by that feeling and examining it over and over in the light, then 'Burn Your Fire...' is the sound of falling out of that love with a bump, and taking another look at the world. It's wiser, yes, and surer, and still more than 'half strange', but still as wild; and still paints Olsen as what I think is a real 'artist'. Someone who's able to pluck at an emotion she's had, or a story she's heard, or a moment she's imagined, and shape those strands into something beautiful, otherworldly and at the same time universal.

I think critic Lindsay Zoladz says it well in her Pitchfork review of 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness' when she writes of Olsen that "the people she writes about daydream vividly, mumble reassuring mantras to themselves ('Some days all you need is one good thought strong in your mind'), and get so caught up in the songs stuck in their heads that they accidentally walk past their own houses. And yet, even as she longs for deep connections and hi-fives from strangers, Olsen knows too well that dreamers are usually loners. Not that she really minds".

So this is a big CMU hi-five to Angel Olsen, who's as lonely as anyone and just as strange, and who has made one of the year's treasures in 'Burn Your Fire...', taken from which this is the beautiful 'Windows'.
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Coldplay are splitting up! Or not! Probably not! Oh well!
It's a funny thing hearing that Coldplay might be splitting up. I feel weirdly sad about it. I'm not sure why. I'm sure you're all having the same feeling right now - absolutely sure of it - so maybe we can all get together and try to explain it.

Anyway, Coldplay probably aren't splitting up, so let's not spend too long on it. Chris Martin's just done one of those 'this feels like our last album' statements that people get all worked up about.

He told Zane Lowe on Radio 1: "We haven't told anyone this. We're making an album called 'A Head Full of Dreams'. We're right in the middle of it and because it's you and Radio 1, this feels like, 'OK I'll tell you!' I feel a bit nervous telling you because I didn't get permission! But that's what we're doing. It's our seventh thing and the way we look at it is like the last Harry Potter book or something".

It's the end! The end I tell you! ...or is it?

"Not to say there might not be another thing one day but this is the completion of something", he continued. "It was great to go from 'Ghost Stories' to go right back into the studio and now we're making things that sound different. I have to think of it as the final thing we're doing otherwise we wouldn't put everything into it. Then we will go on tour".

Pfft. Chris Martin clearly hasn't practiced this at all. You're not supposed to give the "I have to think of it as the final thing we're doing even if it's not" speech until after everyone's reported on the "this is definitely the last thing we'll ever do" one. Buck up your ideas, Martin!

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Bradford Cox hit by car, hospitalised
US musician Bradford Cox, of the bands Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, was hospitalised last Thursday after he was hit by a car in his native city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Cox posted a photo of himself wearing a neck brace from the trauma unit of the Grady Memorial Hospital, later adding a picture of his father with the words: "Still waiting for X-ray results or any real diagnoses. Can't move much. Incredible pain. Thank the Lord God I am here and my dad is here with me".

And that's all that's known of Cox's health at the moment.

2015 Grammy noms revealed
The nominees for the 2015 Grammys, or Grammy Awards if you prefer, got revealed last Friday. The winners will be confirmed at the big awards-giving hullaballoo on 8 Feb 2015.

Inexplicably admired pride-of-Britain Sam 'quiff on an egg' Smith did well, as did Sia, as did Taylor (Swift). And so did Ed Sheeran and Pharrell, which was a relief since they were the ones that revealed the initial 'noms' on TV, and it might've been embarrassing if they hadn't received any.

Poor old Lady Gaga got nothing. And also, Beyonce took Dolly Parton's title as the most nominated (grown) woman in Grammy history by scoring a nod in the 'Best Urban Contemporary Album shortlist', which takes her nominations total to 47.

So anyway, all this nominee announcing was so exciting that I fell off my chair, so overpowered was I with emotion (though mainly with love for Sam Smith's grinning, oval-shaped head, and the little pyramid of hair on top of it). But you are still welcome to go and look through the nominees in all 83 categories on the Grammys website here.

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BBC Music Award nominations out
It's the BBC Music Awards this week. Largely public-voted, there are two panel-judged awards, the nominees for which are...

British Artist Of The Year: David Bowie, Ed Sheeran, Elbow, Jungle, Royal Blood and Sam Smith.

International Artist Of The Year: Dolly Parton, Gregory Porter, Lorde, Pharrell, Prince and Taylor Swift.

Nominees for the public voted Song Of The Year will be announced on the day as voting kicks off in the morning.

The ceremony will take place this Thursday. We'll be attending an alternative event, as the presenters of axed specialist shows on BBC radio stations stand around a skip positioned just behind Broadcasting House, throwing licence-fee payer money into the bin and then setting it alight. Good times.

Bono was - so The Edge says - dressed "as a Hasidic Jew" when he crashed his bike
So, Bono is still resting up after his recent cycling accident, which means U2 have had to cancel some more engagements, including KROQ's annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert.

The Edge announced this during an interview with the US radio station last week - and we'll get to that, I promise. But first I want to talk about something else. Because, also according to The Edge, the reason that we haven't seen any bystander-snapped photographic evidence of Bono's accident is because when he had his accident he was disguised in traditional Hasidic Jewish attire.

Is it OK to do that? Either disguise yourself in that particular outfit, or to claim that someone did as a joke? It seems like both of those things might be things that aren't OK. Still, Thedge told 'The Kevin & Bean Show' that "when Bono goes cycling he likes to dress up as a Hasidic Jew".

Anyway, talking more about the accident, he added: "It was a Sunday, a lot of people were in the park and he just wasn't paying enough attention. He was going fast down a bit of a hill and somebody came out onto the cycle way, he swerved to avoid them and just went straight over the bars".

Although they've cancelled their KROQ appearance, the band have still been doing some work in Bono's absence, performing in Times Square last week as U2 Minus 1, with Chris Martin and Bruce Springsteen taking their usual frontman's place. I'd image that was quite a treat for all involved.

You can listen to The Edge's full interview here.

 
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