MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: A US law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against EDM powerhouse SFX on behalf of anyone who bought shares in the company between 25 Feb and 17 Aug of this year, and is now encouraging investors who did just that to get in touch. Abbey Spanier LLP, which specialises in class actions - whereby anyone within the 'class' defined in the lawsuit can benefit... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Following on from his Planet Mu-released album 'The Crystal Cowboy' earlier this year, Drew Lustman returns to Ninja Tune and his FaltyDL moniker for new single 'Rich Prick Poor Dick', which is released this Friday. Taking more of a club-focussed approach than last FaltyDL album 'In The Wild', the new single is a fast-paced techno offering, which starts slowly with beats... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the relaunch of Xfm and the BBC's streaming ambitions, more on the safe harbours debate and Google's takedowns, Sony/ATV’s concerns about one particular consent decree reform in the US, and Sam Smith being a big fat liar. And recording a Bond theme... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES Law firm accuses SFX of making "materially false and misleading statements" during buy-back bid
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LEGAL Aretha Franklin files new litigation in bid to stop 'Amazing Grace' screenings
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DEALS Kill Your Friends producers collaborate on new music-focused film company
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LIVE BUSINESS Whitney Houston Estate signs up for hologram tour
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MARKETING & PR Former Sun Editor to head up The Outside Organisation
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EDUCATION & EVENTS Second Music Cities event announced - this time in Washington
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ARTIST NEWS Elton John again calls on Vladimir Putin to meet with him
Jungle heading back to the bedroom
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ONE LINERS Sky Ferreira, Kobalt, Radio Festival, more
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AND FINALLY... Liam Payne's Attitude interview draws criticism from fans
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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.
 
 
LISTEN UP - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
We are hiring an experienced Press Officer to join the press team at Listen Up. The candidate will need 2-4 years' experience experience in a similar role with a thorough knowledge of artist and label campaigns. We are looking for an enthusiastic and articulate individual with strong writing and organisational skills.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
THE O2 - EVENT SALES CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The O2 is on the lookout for a fantastic new Event Sales Co-ordinator selling a diverse range of event spaces under The O2 tent; The O2 arena, Building Six (corporate hire), American Express Invites Lounge, Green Room, The Piazza and The Quadrant.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS APPRENTICE (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co is seeking an International Promotions Apprentice to join the International Department based in the London office. This is an interesting and varied role that will offer a good introduction to the specific skills needed to work in promotions and international.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - INTERNATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Domino Recording Co is seeking an International Marketing Manager to join the International Department based in the London office. A very exciting opportunity for a dynamic marketing manager to join the Domino International team. The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ experience in music marketing, be familiar with Domino's output, aware of its history and will complement the company culture.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
IMPRESSIVE PR - SENIOR MUSIC PUBLICIST (LONDON)
We need an experienced Senior Music Publicist who knows the job, has excellent music media contacts and potential to bring in their own clients. The role is all about personality - organised, friendly, positive, "can do" attitude, great journalist contacts and being able to juggle artists promo schedules, multiple releases and generate high volumes of coverage.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
MERLIN - HEAD OF ROYALTIES (LONDON)
Merlin, the global rights licensing agency for the independent sector, is seeking an experienced professional to head its royalties division. Based in the company’s central London office, the successful candidate will demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of both practical and technical aspects of processing digital royalties, along with proven experience in a senior role within this sphere.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here
   
DOMINO - WAREHOUSE MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a bright, energetic warehouse manager with plenty of enthusiasm to supervise our warehouse operation. The role could suit someone with existing warehouse experience, but also someone with a music retail background.

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
 

Law firm accuses SFX of making "materially false and misleading statements" during buy-back bid
A US law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against EDM powerhouse SFX on behalf of anyone who bought shares in the company between 25 Feb and 17 Aug of this year, and is now encouraging investors who did just that to get in touch.

Abbey Spanier LLP, which specialises in class actions - whereby anyone within the 'class' defined in the lawsuit can benefit from success in court - alleges that SFX and its CEO Robert FX Sillerman made "materially false and misleading statements" in the first half of this year in relation to the latter's much publicised plan to buy-back all the shares he doesn't currently control in the business, so to take it back into private ownership.

As previously reported, Sillerman only floated SFX in 2013, so his buy-back plan was not universally well received by investors when it was first announced back in February. Though a panel of independent directors at SFX approved the proposal after Sillerman made a generous offer to the company's other shareholders.

Then the SFX share price tanked, making that offer unrealistic, and last month Sillerman admitted that he couldn't raise enough finance to go through with the proposed deal. He is now working on a plan b, while his company's independent directors invite others to make bids for some or all of the EDM festival operator and Beatport owner.

Lawyers at Abbey Spanier reckon that Sillerman breached rules under America's Exchange Act in his dealings earlier this year. The legal firm claimed on Friday: "Sillerman repeatedly affirmed his commitment to acquire SFX. However, [he] knew or recklessly disregarded and failed to disclose that he did not have any financing in place at the time he made his proposal, and knew or recklessly disregarded that he could not obtain the financing to consummate the transaction".

The lawyers go on: "Given the company's growing debt and decreasing margins it was not feasible that Sillerman was ever going to buy the company and, with the aid of the other defendants, Sillerman initiated and maintained a sham process designed to lure third party offers, in an attempt to shed his failing investment before the truth about the deterioration of the company could no longer be concealed".

As for the impact all this might have had on members of the law firm's class, it goes on: "The effect of the false and misleading statements by defendants during the class period was to fraudulently inflate and maintain the market price of SFX shares at levels that would not otherwise have prevailed based on the true financial performance and future prospects of the company".

So, bold claims. It's not clear how big the class Abbey Spanier seeks to represent is, nor how many complainants have actually come forward to date, and it remains to be seen if the court will accept the class action status of this lawsuit. But, amid ongoing speculation about the future of the EDM firm, as Sillerman tries to pull together an alternative buy-back plan, this new litigation could further add to SFX's woes.

Aretha Franklin files new litigation in bid to stop 'Amazing Grace' screenings
Aretha Franklin continues in her legal battle to stop a film documenting her recording the live album 'Amazing Grace' in 1972 from ever being screened. Having stopped a screening at a US film festival at the last minute earlier this month, she subsequently halted separate plans to show the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.

As previously reported, a technical error that occurred during the making of the 1972 documentary meant that the sound was never synchronised with the image, resulting in a silent movie that sat in a vault unseen until being completed only recently.

Franklin went legal against the film's producer Alan Elliott a few years back in a bid to stop the movie ever being shown, while the late-in-the-day legal filing to halt that screening at the recent Telluride Film Festival claimed that, as a result of an agreement made at the time her live performance was actually filmed, the singer's approval is now needed to show or commercialise the picture.

Franklin has now filed new legal proceedings against Elliott, in which her lawyers claim the producer showed the finished version of 'Amazing Grace' to film industry buyers in Toronto last week, even after the public screenings were axed. This, the new legal papers allege, "violates Ms Franklin's contractual and statutory rights, her rights to use and control her name and likeness, and represents an invasion of her privacy".

Elsewhere in the new legal filing, Franklin's people want court confirmation that 'Amazing Grace' cannot be shown anywhere without their client's approval, while seeking a permanent injunction to stop Elliott, or any associate of his, from further screening or distributing the film.

Kill Your Friends producers collaborate on new music-focused film company
Gregor Cameron, a co-producer of the new movie adaption of John Niven's 'Kill Your Friends', this weekend announced a formal partnership with singer-songwriter and one time Epic Records US President Amanda Ghost and Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik - both also backers of the Britpop-era flick - to pursue other music-focused film and TV projects.

Cameron and Ghost announced the launch of Unigram, a UK-based film, TV and multimedia production company, in partnership with Blavatnik's Access Industries, ahead of the premiere of 'Kill You Friends' at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend. The new company says that music, or the music business, will also be central to all other future projects.

The new company's founders say that Unigram "will draw on our inter-industry strengths, as we actively seek to partner with leading artists and music labels on the development and pre-production of an eclectic mix of film, television, and alternative media properties integrating new artists, music catalogue and film to produce truly unique, new projects".

Blavatnik's Warner Music also recently announced ambitions in the music film space via an alliance with London-based Catalyst Global Media, while Universal Music chief Lucian Grainge has indicated his company has more plans in the film and TV space on the back of its recent success with the Amy Winehouse biopic.

Commenting on the new venture, Ghost told reporters: "Combining the artistic and commercial power of music and film is not a new concept, but in today's multifaceted and ever-changing music industry, the opportunity to join forces with other platforms within the media is now an exciting prospect. Alongside exploring and revisiting existing catalogues, original music will be developed and produced utilising both marquee writers and producers in executive production roles, and a network of established songwriters to create musical content that will live inside and alongside the projects".

Projects already underway include plans for a TV spin-off from 'Kill Your Friends', set in the modern day, and a film about Shazam, or something like that, not really sure what that's about, but I'm sure there'll be an app that'll tell you if you point it in the right direction.

Meanwhile 'Kill Your Friends' is due for release over here on 6 Nov.

Whitney Houston Estate signs up for hologram tour
Whitney Houston will set out on a world tour next year, which is quite an achievement considering her premature death in 2012 and all that. Though the singer - or, rather, her image and oeuvre - could be the first to extensively tour using the hologram-like technology that has been employed in recent years to bring the likes of Tupac and Michael Jackson back on stage posthumously.

The Whitney Estate, headed up by her sister-in-law Pat Houston, has seemingly done a deal with Hologram USA, whose boss Alki David was last seen in these parts in a legal dispute with the company that 'hologrammed' Jackson back on stage at the Billboard Music Awards last year. David is also seemingly working with the estates of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly and Bing Crosby on similar hologram tour projects.

Confirming the Whitney-gram plans, Pat Houston told reporters: "It's a great opportunity for her fans to see a reinvention of one the most celebrated female artists in history and to continue a legacy of performances that will not be forgotten in years to come".

While David added: "The opportunity to help share Whitney Houston's spectacular gifts with the world again is exactly what I hoped for when I built the hologram business. We've got technology that's causing a seismic shift in the entertainment industry, and a wonderful partnership with Pat Houston and the estate - I'm confident we'll create the ultimate celebration of Whitney's amazing artistry".

The Whitney sort-of-hologram show will debut in a "major US venue", with plans to screen that concert on TV and online, before taking the whole thing on tour.

Former Sun Editor to head up The Outside Organisation
Former Sun Editor Dominic Mohan has joined entertainment PR firm The Outside Organisation as CEO. He will work alongside the agency's founder Alan Edwards - who becomes Chairman - with a remit to expand the range of clients the company works with.

Mohan was The Sun's high profile showbiz supremo for a number of years before rising to the role of Deputy Editor and then, in 2009, to Editor. He stepped aside in 2013, though continued to work for the tabloid's parent company News Corp.

Confirming that he was now jumping the fence to the PR domain, joining an agency well known in music circles, Mohan said last week: "I'm delighted to be working with an inspirational figure like Alan and his excellent team. Outside has a superb reputation and I aim to help build on its successes".

Meanwhile Edwards said of his new CEO: "I've known and worked with Dominic for about 20 years and always thought he'd make a great PR. He clearly knows a story when he sees one and that skill is vital in our industry. He's driven and connected and he will be an enormously important addition to the company".

Second Music Cities event announced - this time in Washington
A second edition of the Music Cities Convention - which debuted in Brighton earlier this year alongside The Great Escape - will take place next month at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Topics set to be covered at the first US edition of the event include the interrelation of music and tourism in post-Katrina New Orleans; the ability for housing policy to direct music's impact on a city; and how musicians can directly influence the expansion of music's role in their region.

Joyce Linehan, former VP of A&R for Sub Pop and current Chief Of Policy for the City Of Boston; Kate Becker, Head Of Film & Music for the City Of Seattle; and Glastonbury booker, and Great Escape and Music Cities co-founder, Martin Elbourne are amongst those set to speak.

Commenting on the Washington event, Music Cities co-founder Shain Shapiro told CMU: "Some of the most forward thinking 'music cities' initiatives are in the US, from those we know - like Austin and Seattle - to those we need to know more about - like Columbus and Lafayette. We're going to focus on this in Washington, while still ensuring we have a global perspective. Already eight countries are lined up to speak, including reps from Australia, Mexico and Norway".

He added: "We need to develop solutions to our venue closures, planning issues and prove that music is a net economic generator for cities. Hopefully this event will continue to contribute to that argument".

The Washington edition of Music Cities takes place on 25 Oct, click here for more info. Meanwhile premium CMU subscribers can check out our review of Music Canada and IFPI's recent report on the value of music cities here. Or click here to become a premium subscriber.

  Approved: FaltyDL - Rich Prick Poor Dick
Following on from his Planet Mu-released album 'The Crystal Cowboy' earlier this year, Drew Lustman returns to Ninja Tune and his FaltyDL moniker for new single 'Rich Prick Poor Dick', which is released this Friday.

Taking more of a club-focussed approach than last FaltyDL album 'In The Wild', the new single is a fast-paced techno offering, which starts slowly with beats made for fist pumping on the floor, before rolling along nicely, seemingly taking in a large swathe of influences from the European techno dancefloors of the 1990s.

Grab the twelve-inch, or just download for the flip side 'Bookaloo' too, which cuts the pace with a really infectious groove and intriguing tinkling melodies.

But for now, here's 'Rich Prick Poor Dick'.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Elton John again calls on Vladimir Putin to meet with him
Elton John has again said that he would like to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss gay rights in the country.

"I'd love to meet him and sit down with him and talk to him", he said, speaking to BBC News. "It's probably pie in the sky ... but at least if I meet him and say, 'Come on, let's have a cup of tea and talk about this...' He may laugh behind my back when he shuts the door and call me an absolute idiot, but at least I can have a conscience to say I tried".

John made the comments while in Ukraine, where he has been speaking to President Petro Poroshenko and various business leaders about LGBT rights, asking for improvements in that country too.

The singer previously put forward the idea of a meeting with Putin ahead of a show in St Petersburg last year. Putin's stance on gay rights has become increasingly controversial in recent years, following the introduction of laws banning the 'promotion of homosexual propaganda'. The promoter of a Lady Gaga show in 2013 was fined, after the musician was deemed to have broken these laws.

As for what he'd say to Putin, should he ever get the chance to speak to him, John said: "I'd say, 'Come on, gay people are not the problem. The world faces much bigger problems than gay people. Be accepting, and let's all pull together and try to solve the problems of the world. Don't isolate and be prejudiced against gay people'".

--------------------------------------------------

Jungle heading back to the bedroom
Tough times in pop, everyone. Jungle are going to make their second album in their bedroom. And, apparently, they'll have to share just one bedroom for the project.

Actually, bedroom production seems to be their preference, rather than a necessity. Speaking to BBC Newsbeat at the weekend, the duo said that they liked the idea of taking the experiences they've had since releasing their debut album and applying them to the same production set-up as that record.

"I think we are trying to go forward and acknowledge [the growth in popularity and success] and sort of ignore it at the same time", said Josh Lloyd-Watson. "I think if you let those things get to you, you start to build yourself up in to thinking you are someone and that is a sort of confusing thing. We like the idea of going home, going back to the bedroom and starting again with it, rather than flying off to LA or New York".

Tom McFarland added: "I think the last two years, especially playing live and coming out of our shells, gives you a lot of confidence. If we can take that back into the studio, have a little bit of belief early on in our ideas, get to them quicker and then [we can] get the second record done".

Sky Ferreira, Kobalt, Radio Festival, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sky Ferreira has shifted her booking agency loyalties from CAA to WME. The latter already repped Ferreira in her capacity as a model, via its IMG Models wing. In between acting gigs, the singer is currently working on a new album that is due out next year.

• Kobalt's music publishing division last week signed worldwide admin agreements with jazz and R&B types Robert Glasper and Charles T Harmon (aka Chuck Harmony), both prolific musicians, songwriters and producers. "Merged", said Kobalt President of Global Creative Sas Metcalfe of the deals. He was talking about both men's abilities to merge sounds and genres. They aren't being merged into one songwriter.

• High profile digital music exec Ethan Kaplan is joining Fender as their Chief Digital Products Officer after a relatively short stint with data types Gracenote. Kaplan is better known for his previous roles at Warner Music and then Live Nation's now defunct but for a time rather buzzy Labs division. "Excited", said Kaplan.

• Paul Gambaccini, Nick Ferrari and Janet Street Porter have been added to the line-up for the Radio Academy's next Radio Festival, which - as previously reported - has been stripped back this year, though is still sounding quite busy. Radio Festival runs from 27-29 Sep, though is in essence three events, one each day, info here.

• Pete Doherty is "safe" everybody. The Libertines confirmed this on Friday after much speculation that the singer had gone AWOL, resulting in that last minute cancellation of the band's Electric Ballroom gig in London on Thursday night, officially because of a "medical situation". The band tweeted on Friday: "We can assure everyone that Peter is safe. Clearly this is a private matter, but we also feel it necessary to let people know he is OK".

Liam Payne's Attitude interview draws criticism from fans
One Direction's Liam Payne has come under criticism from fans after a number of quotes from an upcoming interview with Attitude magazine were published last week. In particular, a suggestion that support for gay rights amongst the band's fanbase is largely due to the "cult" who believe that Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles are in a relationship.

He said: "When the [same-sex marriage] law changed in the US there were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows, but I think that was mainly because people think of the Louis and Harry thing, which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane. It's like when you know the ins and outs of what's going on with people, it's just annoying when it's so stupid. It becomes like a conspiracy or a cult".

As you might expect, quite a lot of fans took issue with the suggestion that their 'Larry-shipping' is cult-like, while others pointed out that Payne's comments seemed to completely undermine 1D fans who are homosexual or genuinely want to show their support for LGBT rights.

Defending himself on Twitter (sort of), Payne wrote: "It's funny I thought people appreciated honesty these days. Can see people saying I'm playing 'the victim', I don't feel even 1% a victim at all, I had a wonderful time doing the shoot. And am blessed with the best job in the world, massive thank you to Attitude for having me along and for everyone who enjoyed reading".

The full interview is actually out this Wednesday.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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