THURSDAY 11 DECEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Pirate Bay remains unaccessible today, following the raid on a server hosting company in Stockholm earlier this week that took the site offline. The question many are now asking is, how did this happen? As previously reported, in 2012 the site's current owners claimed to have made changes to the way the site was hosted that would make it more resistant to such raids... [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. Next up is St Vincent... When it was announced a year ago that Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, had signed a new record deal with Universal it was a weird feeling. She seemed not only inherently tied to independent music and the creativity it allows, having... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES The Pirate Bay remains offline, despite previous claims of resilience against raids
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LEGAL Ray Teret sentenced to 25 years
One word sample lawsuit against Jay-Z thrown out of court
Aussie ISPs told to come up with anti-piracy plan by April
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DEALS [PIAS] announces deal with Ipecac
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MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Arts Council England confirms further year's support for Momentum Music Fund
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BRANDS & MERCH Converse Rubber Tracks pitching at UK studios
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MEDIA Sky might release non-Coldplay track from its festive trailer
Sara Cox appointed Chris Evans' official Radio 2 'stand-in'
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Rob Da Bank confirms inner-city festival Common People
BRITs Week to return in 2015
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ONE LINERS Nick Jonas, Christopher Lee, Lydia Ainsworth and other fantastical tales
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AND FINALLY... Dolly Parton joins the Cleethorpes Rotary Club
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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. £300 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
 
 
TRADIIO - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Tradiio is looking for an enthusiastic, experienced and organised marketing assistant and social media manager to help launch our exciting new music discovery platform in the UK. You will be responsible for the day to day management of all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr and Youtube. You will also be responsible for the smooth and timely delivery of all marketing materials to media and Tradiio partners. You will be supported by the team at Tradiio Portugal and assist and report to the UK manager.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
RESIDENT ADVISOR TICKETS - ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for an exceptional, sales focussed account manager to join our ticketing team. In order to be considered for the role you will need to have an in-depth understanding of electronic music relevant to RA's core audience, both in the UK and internationally, and ideally will already have relationships with some of the key players in our industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
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 MANAGER, CATALOGUE (LONDON)
Reporting to the International Client Relations Director, The Orchard has an immediate opening for a Client Relations Manager based out of our European headquarters in London. The position will act as a relationship, content and campaign manager for a selection of core labels across Europe with a particular focus on high volume and deep catalogue clients.

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.
 
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

The Pirate Bay remains offline, despite previous claims of resilience against raids
The Pirate Bay remains unaccessible today, following the raid on a server hosting company in Stockholm earlier this week that took the site offline. The question many are now asking is, how did this happen?

As previously reported, in 2012 the site's current owners claimed to have made changes to the way the site was hosted that would make it more resistant to such raids. At the time they explained that the service was now "hosted in the cloud", meaning its data and code is shared on servers across the world (sometimes without the knowledge of the owners of said servers), making it impossible for the authorities in any one jurisdiction to seize the controversial file-sharing site's machines and take it offline.

But that is exactly what has happened - one single raid has knocked the whole site off the internet. And although many are pointing to a site hosted in Costa Rica as evidence that it is coming back online, this site appears to only be a homepage, lacking any file-sharing functionality. TorrentFreak also reports that this mirror site previously existed prior to this week's takedown.

TorrentFreak has also spoken to a number of people about how the site may have been taken offline, the current theory being that the site's loadbalancer (a device which distributes traffic across servers) was switched off during the raid and it is that which has caused the ongoing shutdown. This would mean, in theory, that establishing a new loadbalaner could have the service back online relatively quickly.

Speaking to the BBC yesterday, Paul Pinter from Stockholm County Police said that the investigation which led to the discovery of the location of the Pirate bay servers lasted "for years" and added that several people are now being questioned. Although Pinter would not say if any arrests had been made, it is rumoured that one person has so far been detained.

Ray Teret sentenced to 25 years
Former radio presenter and Jimmy Savile associate Ray Teret has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, after being found guilty of seven charges of rape and eleven of sexual assault last week.

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 as young as twelve.

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.

Chris Denning, another former radio DJ convicted of sexual assault, was also due to be sentenced this week, though that hearing has been postponed because of the prosecutor's ill-health.

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One word sample lawsuit against Jay-Z thrown out of court
Jay-Z won a lawsuit earlier this week against New York-based TufAmerica, which sued the rapper just over a year ago alleging that he had sampled a track they now controlled without permission.

As it turned out, the alleged unlicensed sample was one syllable, the word "oh" taken from Eddie Bo's track 'Hook & Sling', which appeared - "dozens of times" said TufAmerica - in Jay-Z's Rihanna and Kanye-featuring track 'Run This Town' in 2009.

Lawyers for Jay-Z argued that there couldn't possibly be copyright protection for the word "oh", which the judge was prone to agree with. Though, while that would almost certainly be true if the word featured in isolation, there might be an argument for infringement if the word was used in a more or less identical way to the other track. And, of course, even if the word is not protected as a lyric, the second of sound recording sampled might have protection nevertheless.

But the judge overseeing the dispute decided that there wasn't a case to answer here because the sample as alleged by TufAmerica was so much in the background of the Jay-Z track it was more or less impossible for the casual listener to hear. Said the judge, according to the New York Times, the word "oh" appeared "only in the background and in such a way as to be audible and aurally intelligible only to the most attentive and capable listener".

The law on very short samples - whether focused on the publishing or recording copyrights - is at best ambiguous. Many would probably agree that in this case the judge got it right, though a legal rep for TufAmerica - which has pursued a number of sample-based infringement cases - unsurprisingly does not concur.

He told the New York Times: "Part of the problem is that courts don't necessarily realise that a lot of hip hop is built on sampling. The way the law is set up now, it is to the detriment of the artist whose music has been sampled".

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Aussie ISPs told to come up with anti-piracy plan by April
Internet service providers in Australia have been given until next April to come up with a voluntary code for better combating online copyright infringement, otherwise the country's government will force new anti-piracy measures onto the net sector.

As previously reported, Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis announced earlier this year that he was looking into new rules to help copyright owners stop the unlicensed consumption of their content online.

Most likely would be some kind of legislated web-blocking system forcing ISPs to block access to infringing websites, and/or a graduated response programme sending out warning letters to suspected file-sharers. So the usual suspects.

In most countries net firms have been very resistant to the suggestion they do more to combat piracy, though in the UK the ISPs have been less vocal in their opposition of late. Some in the Aussie net sector remain hostile to such suggestions though.

According to Billboard, the government has given ISPs 120 days to come up with their own anti-piracy programme. In a letter setting out this deadline, Brandis and Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote: "[We] recognise that addressing online copyright infringement is a complex task with shared responsibility between rights holders, ISPs and consumers. We also appreciate that this is a dynamic issue, affected by changing technology and consumer behaviour".

They went on: "As such, the government has sought the least burdensome and most flexible way of responding to concerns about online copyright infringement, while protecting the legitimate interests of the rights holders in the protection of their intellectual property".

It remains to be seen how the Australian ISPs respond, and whether a voluntary scheme can be hatched, or if new government regulation will, indeed, be required.

[PIAS] announces deal with Ipecac
The [PIAS] artist and label services company will provide marketing, sales and distribution services to US independent Ipecac in all markets outside North America from 1 Jan next year, it's been confirmed. The deal will include the new album from Ipecac co-founder Mike Patton's Faith No More, their first studio release in eighteen years.

Confirming the new alliance, Ipecac's other co-founder Greg Werckman told reporters: "Mike and I and the bands are very honoured to be joining the [PIAS] team. We have had great respect for the [PIAS] system for years. With the addition of Faith No More and their imprint label Reclamation Recordings, we felt it was the right time to step up and increase the Ipecac visibility worldwide. We have been fortunate to develop such a strong and loyal fanbase over the last fifteen years and will continue to offer unique and eclectic releases".

[PIAS] Artist & Label Services MD Adrian Pope added: "We are very proud to start a relationship with Ipecac at what will be one of the most exciting years in their history. It's quite special what Greg and Mike have achieved with the label in their own way and the release of a new Faith No More album will be one of the highlights of next year for both existing and new fans around the world".

Listen to the first single from the forthcoming album, 'Motherfucker', here.

Arts Council England confirms further year's support for Momentum Music Fund
Officially launched at The Great Escape in 2013, the Momentum Music Fund is being extended for another year beyond its original two year pilot, so that's groovy.

As previously reported, the Fund was the first Arts Council England initiative that directly funded artists outside of the jazz, classical and folk genres, and it offers grants to enable artists and their business partners to pursue career-enhancing projects that may include live or recording-based work, seeking to complement investment made in new talent by existing music industry players such as labels and publishers.

Confirming that a third year of funding was now assured, outgoing Arts Council boss Alan Davey told reporters: "I'm proud of what Momentum has achieved and excited about what it can do. As we stated when this fund was first announced, the Arts Council are aware of the great work that the music industry does in nurturing talent by investing heavily in new and emerging artists, but the path for talent to find its way is riddled with uncertainty at key points in an artist's career".

He went on: "By focussing on the artist and their needs, the Momentum pilot has shown how we can do more to support talent, and give that helping hand at the right moment. This is where the fund can, and has, played an important role: backing talent where the industry can't, bridging gaps in investment, mobilising better management and planning, and helping to build a pipeline from local music development programmes to national exposure. This additional investment will result in further evidence to help us do more for music talent, and will show how we can continue to make a real difference to artists - that, after all, is what we should be about".

The Fund will continue to be run by the PRS For Music Foundation, whose Executive Director Vanessa Reed said this: "We are delighted to continue our partnership with Arts Council England in delivering the highly successful Momentum Music fund which remains the most competitive programme we have ever run at PRS For Music Foundation".

She went on: "Over the last two years Momentum has attracted a huge range of applications from artists who need help to boost their career. Those selected for support include many of England's most talented artists who are now receiving nominations for awards such as the Mercury Prize, BRIT Awards, BBC Sound Of Poll and many more. We look forward to offering this unique funding opportunity to more artists and to investing more in the breadth of talent which contributes to the ongoing success and global reputation of the UK's music industry".

Converse Rubber Tracks pitching at UK studios
Promotionally-hyperactive footwear maker Converse is bringing over its Rubber Tracks music initiative to London for the first time in 2015.

The mobile Rubber Tracks programme provides local artists with free studio time and will also give its name to a series of free shows, each headlined by a high-profile act, and with a local act in support. First stop is at Snap Studios in Haringey on 10 Jan 2015, after which it'll move on to studio spaces in Ealing, Southwark and Tower Hamlets over the rest of the year.

Artists interested in applying can do so here, after which a final list of winning entrants will be selected by expert panelists like NME's Matt Wilkinson, NTS Radio originator Femi Adeyemi and Harry Balazs of The Young Guns Network.

Jed Lewis, Converse's Global Music Marketing Director, says the London foray is "one of our most exciting music initiatives to date", adding: "This is the first time we're doing this - taking the Converse Rubber Tracks experience to multiple regions in a larger music city over an extended period of time. The city boasts an incredible music heritage and roster of emerging artists, and we hope to support the local music scene through this long-term platform".

Sky might release non-Coldplay track from its festive trailer
Sky is apparently considering releasing a track it commissioned from Skinny Lister's Daniel Heptinstall for a Christmas trailer for its movie channel, after Coldplay fans mistook it for a new single from Chris Martin et al.

There was a flurry excitement online when Sky first aired the trailer featuring Heptinstall's track because Coldplay fans thought the satellite broadcaster had its hands on an exclusive first play of a new song by the band.

Coldplay themselves had to take to Twitter to confirm that "contrary to some reports, the song featured in a TV channel's Christmas trailer is not 'Miracles' (or any other Coldplay song)!"

On his song being mistaken for a new bit of Coldplay, Heptinstall told the Evening Standard: "It wasn't like I was trying to write a Coldplay tune but when I listened to it I can see why people might think that. It's a big bombastic sound but it's all me".

It's the Standard reporting that Sky might now release the track. Though, however Coldplay-esque it maybe, that Coldplay fans would actually buy the track now they know it's not by the band seems optimistic.

Perhaps Sky could arrange for an 'X-Factor' contestant to cover it though. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars track 'Uptown Funk' is currently number one in the midweeks after 'X' hopeful Fleur East covered it on the talent show last weekend.

Indeed East's performance of it, and the response to it online, prompted Ronson's label to rush release his version on Monday night five weeks earlier than originally planned (though given he and 'X' are allied to Sony, some are suggesting the rush release thing might have been half publicity stunt).

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Sara Cox appointed Chris Evans' official Radio 2 'stand-in'
Sara Cox has signed a contract with BBC Radio 2 bosses to act as 'official stand-in' for Chris Evans, in the event that he can't present his week-daily breakfast show, which 99.99% of the time he can. I bet she's thrilled. I suppose there are holidays. Does Chris Evans take holidays? Probably.

Cox, who confirmed news of the deal via The Mirror, has filled for Evans several times in the past, and already has her own Radio 2 slot on Saturday nights, fronting 'Sound Of The 80s'. Her being given this new 'promotion' (if it can be called that) might be an early sign of a sea-change at Radio 2, which has faced criticism for an imbalance in its ratio of male-female hosts.

Speaking at the Radio Festival in Salford earlier this year, Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said the station "feels the heat" from listeners over a lack of female presenters in between Vanessa Feltz's early breakfast show and Jo Wiley's evening one, adding vaguely that there is "bound to be a female broadcaster on daytime". Only he didn't say when or who it might be, so it was a bit of a pointless comment really.

  CMU Artists Of The Year 2014: St Vincent
Every weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we’ll be revealing another of our ten favourite artists of the year. Next up is St Vincent...

When it was announced a year ago that Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, had signed a new record deal with Universal it was a weird feeling. She seemed not only inherently tied to independent music and the creativity it allows, having worked exclusively with the Beggars Group up to that point, but one of the indie community's real stars. And yet there she went, switching allegiances to 'the enemy'.

I guess the real fear was that, having worked up to 2011's brilliant third album, 'Strange Mercy', followed by her collaboration with David Byrne, 'Love This Giant', the following year, she might get lost amongst the noise of the world's biggest record label.

But it slowly became apparent, and I don't think I'm just rewriting this in hindsight, that she had a plan all along. What had seemed like a creative peak with 'Strange Mercy' and 'Love This Giant' turned out to be the start of the climb, and if she was going to fully realise what she wanted to do, she was going to need someone to drop down a stronger rope than the one even one of the biggest indies could offer.

And so, the cutting of ties and the access to new found resources led to the emergence of a new St Vincent in 2014. Some kind of superhero version of what came before. She took all the elements of what she had been and reworked herself into a star more akin to someone like Bowie himself.

Not that she left any of what made her great before behind. Her songs remain incredible feats of musicianship made accessible, topped with intimidatingly intelligent lyrics made relatable. But it does seem symbolic that this is the album she chose to name 'St Vincent'. It feels like a starting point.

"I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral", she said ahead of the album's release. Did she manage that? Who knows? You can play it at my funeral, if you want. Though if I'm killed running naked from a rattlesnake, maybe skip the first track.

Life and death definitely run prominently through the record. The aforementioned 'Rattlesnake' confronts mortality, and fear of it. The title of 'Birth In Reverse' seems a direct reference to passing on, while the beautiful 'I Prefer Your Love' is written to Clark's mother following a period of serious ill health.

The centrepiece of the album, however, is a song about life. Modern life. It may not be a very positive view of modern life, but 'Digital Witness' is definitely about it. In the song, the protagonist wonders "what's the point of even sleeping" if it's not posted on social media. It seems to paint at least some of us as narcissists who crave eyes on us at all times.

The song may be a single idea, simplified and exaggerated, but it was enough of an examination of cultural change in the modern, online world to prompt a great deal of discussion, Clark herself even writing an article for the Guardian on what she likes about Twitter.

Explaining the inspiration for the song to Pitchfork, she added: "We have this feeling that we're being watched, and our psychic response is to make ourselves transparent. The real currency in the future will be privacy".

It's a song that feels very 'now' - particularly in light of this year's increased discussions around the NSA and the amount of information we're handing over to big corporations online - and captures feelings of distrust for the internet that are certainly very real for a lot of people. It'll date, sure. But there's a certain bravery in someone clearly setting out to write something totally of the moment like that.

So, it's lyrically satisfying, but perhaps one of the most pleasing things about 'St Vincent' is that it sees Clark confidently step forward as arguably the greatest guitarist of her generation. Her skill was no secret before, of course - just watch this performance of 'Surgeon' from 'Strange Mercy' - but she's really stepped it up this time.

This is even more apparent in her live show, where she emerges every bit the rockstar. Albeit her own version of a rockstar, slightly out of step from that which might be expected. Touring this album, she took on a stiffer persona, songs dialled up to bring her riffs to the fore but all performed with a nonchalant effortlessness. Still, her recent show at the Roundhouse in London was engaging and thrilling throughout.

Live performance, it seemed, she was treating as theatre, not hiding the clearly rehearsed elements of the show, from her between-song chat to synchronised movements with her band - most notably her and guitarist Toko Yasuda shuffling back and forth like wooden figures moving in and out of a Swiss chalet clock, while knocking out the twin guitar solo of 'Birth In Reverse'.

All of these things make her stand out as one of this year's greatest artists, but there's something else about her too. Something that makes her mysterious, even when she's not trying to be. Something that prompts people to analyse her at great length. She just seems to have become the kind of artist we're always being told doesn't exist anymore. And it seems like that is entirely how she planned it.

Now, here's the video for 'Digital Witness'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Rob Da Bank confirms inner-city festival Common People
Rob Da Bank is, via his festival brand Bestival, pitching a brand new 'metropolitan' event, Common People, in Southampton next year. Pulp are so far unconfirmed, as is the first phase of the line-up, actually. But Pulp will play though, surely?

In contrast to the original Isle Of Wight-based Bestival and its family-friendly Dorset spin-off Camp Bestival, the new 'all ages' fest won't have a campsite, and will take place on Southampton Common on 23-24 May.

Da Bank, who earlier this year confirmed plans to replicate the Bestival franchise and 'vibe' at sister events in North America and Europe, says this of the company's inner-city expansion: "We have been inundated with offers to start new festivals every year but it wasn't until we found the beautiful site of the common that we felt it was right to start a new chapter in Bestival's history".

He went on: "This isn't a camping show, it's not a tents, wellies and car packed to the rafters experience... it's a metropolitan two day show easy to access and open to all ages, compact but packed with experiences and priced very, very reasonably. We can't wait to unveil our headliners and star cast for our first Common People show in May. Watch this space".

Find details, and a link to sign up for presale tickets, on the Common People site. And then carry on watching this space for the first artist confirmations.

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BRITs Week to return in 2015
A whole week of BRITs goodness? A whole week! Did I read that right, a whole week?! Wow, a whole week. Yes, that's right. A whole week. Not just one night. No, not just one night at all. A whole week. We're talking a whole week here. More than one day. More than two days. Even more than three days. We're talking a week. A WEEK!!!

You know 'a week'? Yeah? Well, imagine that week, in your heads, and just think how desolate and depressing and tedious that week looks. Did I mention this week is a week in February? A weak week, then. But now, and here we go people, imagine that week, in all its desolation, becoming a BRITs Week. A whole week of the BRITs!

I'm sorry. I realise now that I should have warned you all to sit down before reading this story. I bet you're all now on the floor having passed out with excitement. But don't worry, nothing changed while you were out cold on the lino, I am still here to announce to you all BRITs Week 2015.

So AEG, the BPI, the majors, some indies, the BRIT School, the Mayor Of London and no doubt your mate Giles will all stage some gigs and events and masterclasses in the capital in the run up to the big BRIT Awards show on 25 Feb. It's called BRITs Week 2015. So, erm, yeah, that's a thing.

Apparently it - ie a BRITs Week - happened in the run up to the awards earlier this year too. You all remember that right? Well, imagine all that, but with the numbers 2015 attached to it. Oh, I know, you've all passed out with excitement again. Oh well.

Nick Jonas, Christopher Lee, Lydia Ainsworth and other fantastical tales

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• LA-based electronic artist Shlohmo, real name Henry Laufer, has signed with Matador imprint True Panther Sounds and has gone and released a single via the label, 'Emerge From Smoke' already. Hasten to listen to it via this link.

• Jonny Greenwood off of Radiohead has given Pitchfork a very rare stream of 'Spooks', a song from his score to Paul Thomas Anderson's new film 'Inherent Vice'. It was written by all of Radiohead, and features singing by JG and Supergrass's Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey, and talking by 'Inherent Vice' narrator Joanna Newsom, who, as we learned this week, is "working on something new" solo songs-wise at the moment too.

• The recently-expired Death Grips have released the first track from 'Jenny Death', the second disc of their post-split dual LP, 'The Powers That B'. It (the track) is called 'Inanimate Sensation', and this is it.

• Adventurers-in-pop Of Montreal have detailed a new LP, 'Aureate Gloom', which they aim to release on 2 Mar 2015. "A golden despondency" is OM leader Kevin Barnes' interpretation of it, as is inspired by his mood at the time of its making. With that in mind, dig into lead single 'Bassem Sabry' now.

• Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is going to release his new solo LP, also named 'Nick Jonas', in the UK on 9 Mar 2015 so... feel free to dance for joy at this point. Maybe do it in time to the noise emanating for the video for Nick's new single 'Chains'. Just an idea.

• Pop squad They Might Be Giants are bringing back their 'Dial-A-Song' service, which you might not've known was closed down in 2008 because of technical problems. They'll release a new track every week in 2015 (so that's 52 tracks) via journalist Mike Pesca's Monday night Slate podcast 'The Gist', making it available on iTunes, YouTube and the Dial-A-Song website. Alternatively, fans can call 844-387-6962 to hear the songs, and to bring on a massive trans-Atlantic phone bill.

• Christopher Lee has, as is his tradition of three years now, released a Christmas single of the 'heavy metal' genre. Hear a bit of 'Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing' bedded into this mix of Lee's other festive covers, which, by the way, is quite amazing.

• Kim Gordon is doing a point-to-point book 'tour', to promote her new autobiography 'Girl In A Band' obviously, consisting of only two 'in conversation and signing'-style stops at London's Cecil Sharp House (17 Mar) and the Martin Harris Centre in Manchester (18 Mar). The book itself, meanwhile, will hit shops on 24 Feb.

• DJ Logan Sama is teaming with live-streaming franchise Boiler Room to host a series of live grime showcases at London's ICA, which will be shown online also at boilerroom.tv. The first session features fun n games with Skepta, Stormzy and The Square, and takes place on Sunday (14 Dec) from 9pm onwards. More info here.

Approved artist Lydia Ainsworth has shared a cover of Chris Isaac's 'Wicked Game' at the same time as announcing a trio of UK shows for 2015, the first of those at London's Sebright Arms on 17 Feb. Get the listings, and hear the track, at this link.

• Beardy soul 'visionary' Matthew E White of Richmond, Virginia is to release an (apparently) big, bold and blooming noisy new LP titled 'Fresh Blood', which follows his last one 'Big Inner', on 9 Mar via the label Domino. He's doing a special show at LSO St Luke's in London on 10 Mar to celebrate, so there. Now why not soak in a bit of 'Fresh Blood' track 'Tranquility' as it plays on top of this trailer?

Dolly Parton joins the Cleethorpes Rotary Club
Dolly Parton has accepted an invitation to join the Cleethorpes wing of the Rotary Club, so isn't that nice?

This country star's improbable twinning with the organisation follows the Rotary-backed launch of a Dolly Parton Imagination Library, one of many international facilities promoting literacy for pre-school kids, at the local Little Stars Day Nursery.

Cleethorpes' one-time Rotary Club president Rolf Sperr has said: "We wrote to her and we never actually expected this. All of a sudden we got an email saying Dolly accepted to be an honorary member of our club. We couldn't believe it, to be really honest".

Asked if Ms Parton might one day visit their local branch of her Imagination Library initiative, club member Steven Brickett told The Grimsby Telegraph: "It's possible. She could do, I don't know".

I know. And it's a no. Still, hey, at least the kids have the next best thing, a life-sized Dolly made of cardboard.

 
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