FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER 2015
TODAY'S TOP STORY: EDM powerhouse SFX has extended the deadline for people wanting to bid for some or all of the flagging company. This follows further declines in its share price and rumours that the firm's "strategic review" was close to becoming a fire sale. As previously reported, when the dance music firm admitted back in August that founder Robert FX Sillerman had... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The Mode Club was formerly known as the Subterranea and a certain K-Klass played there over two decades ago, so it's rather apt that they are returning to the very same stage this weekend. Maybe you've forgotten (or you're too young to know) how K-Klass brought club culture to the charts in the early 1990s with several house belters, though... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Every week, I head out in search of a beef to write about here in the Friday edition of the CMU Daily. Some weeks it's more of a chore than others. There can be obvious contenders, but sometimes I have to plough through piles of tabloid nonsense to find a pop dispute worthy of the esteemed Beef Of The Week title. But this week was a dream come true, because the beef... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU’s Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including France's new government-led initiative on transparency in digital music deals, controversy over the funding of T In The Park, rumours on YouTube's music streaming plans, Amazon Prime Music's Universal Music deal, and Justin Bieber's thoughts on life, the universe and everything... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES SFX extends deadline for acquisition offers
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Russian government announces 'follow the money' initiative, will name and shame brands advertising on piracy sites
Randy Blythe fails to secure damages over Czech jail stint
JUMP | ONLINE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Patreon user-database hacked
Napster and Rhapsody offer children's music streaming service
Robot uprising news: puny humans cannot save the music industry
JUMP | ONLINE
ARTIST NEWS London club Dstrkt responds to allegations of racism
Early Beatles live recordings found in desk drawer
JUMP | ONLINE
ONE LINERS Help Musicians UK, George Ezra, MØ, MOBOs
JUMP | ONLINE
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #272: Steve Albini v Powell
JUMP | ONLINE
 
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.
 
 
7DIGITAL - LABEL & PROMOTIONS MANAGER (FRENCH 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 relationships with French labels and well as the French store management. This includes co-ordinating promotions and store updates for our own website and apps as well as providing curation services for partners.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MPA GROUP OF COMPANIES - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (LONDON)
Working alongside the Chief Executive and General Manager, you will be the gateway for communications about the MPA Group of Companies comprising MPA, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL, and their work to their members, industry stakeholders, the press and the general public.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KUDOS RECORDS - SALES MANAGER (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a diligent, analytical, scrupulously organised individual to drive our physical and digital sales efforts.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KUDOS RECORDS - SALES AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Kudos Records is an independent music distribution company (est 1992). We provide physical and digital distribution services to a hand-picked selection of quality, independent record labels. We are seeking a Sales and Marketing Assistant. This is an entry level position, ideal for a new graduate.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BOOMTOWN FAIR - PR AND MARKETING ASSISTANT (BRISTOL)
BoomTown Fair are looking for an experienced PR and Marketing Assistant. This role is key to supporting all promotional and marketing activity of the company. The right person will extend the reach of the marketing campaigns, further the engagement of the festival via all media and be a team player with enthusiastic approach to creative thinking.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
AEG EUROPE - MANAGER, BUILDING SIX (THE O2, LONDON)
This position will be responsible for managing a range of events that take place within Building Six. Originally designed as a state of the art nightclub, this 3000+ space has hosted corporate events from leading global blue chip companies such as Telefonica and Mediacom as well as the nation’s cutting edge DJs such as Skrillex.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO - SENIOR PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Domino is hiring a Senior Publicist to join their busy in house promo team in London. The ideal applicant will have at least three years' print and online experience, have excellent writing, communication and organisational skills and an impressive list of contacts.

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
 

SFX extends deadline for acquisition offers
EDM powerhouse SFX has extended the deadline for people wanting to bid for some or all of the flagging company. This follows further declines in its share price and rumours that the firm's "strategic review" was close to becoming a fire sale.

As previously reported, when the dance music firm admitted back in August that founder Robert FX Sillerman had failed to secure financial backing for his plan to buy back all the shares in the company he doesn't currently control - so to take the business back into private ownership - the SFX board said it would now be considering other possible bids for some or all of the business until today, 2 Oct.

Earlier in the year, when Sillerman first announced his buy-back plan, SFX set up a committee of independent directors to consider both his proposal and any other competing offers for the business. It concluded that Sillerman's proposal was fair, and then reported that no other serious offers for the company had been made. But by this point the SFX share price had dropped so significantly, Sillerman's original offer to other investors of $5.25 per share became totally unrealistic.

It was assumed that Sillerman would come up with a new proposal to take back control of SFX by today's deadline. As for other offers, it was thought that there would be more interest in parts of the business rather than the entity as a whole. The independent directors had confirmed they'd consider such proposals, though initially indicated they only wanted to sell off periphery rather than core assets. That may now no longer be a restriction.

Since the 2 Oct deadline was announced, there have been other challenges for SFX, with at least two US legal firms investigating whether there is a case for the company's shareholders to sue over the handling of Sillerman's buy-back proposal, while speculation has continued over the state of its finances. Though last month bosses announced they had secured $90 million in new financing.

Announcing yesterday that it was extending the deadline for offers to buy the company or its assets, SFX said that the extension was "an attempt to give all parties sufficient time to complete their due diligence review following events occurring in September 2015, including the closing of the company's financing transactions on 17 Sep 2015 and the conclusion of the fall festival season. The committee will finalise the bidding process as expediently as possible".

Meanwhile the company added that Sillerman himself had committed to back the decision of the independent directors regarding the future of his business, noting that: "Pursuant to a voting agreement between Sillerman and his affiliates and the company, Sillerman has agreed to vote all shares beneficially owned by him in favour of a transaction involving the sale of the company that is recommended by the special committee".

It went on: "Such voting agreement terminates on 31 Dec 2015, provided that if the company enters into a definitive agreement prior to such date, subject to terms and conditions as set forth in the voting agreement, Sillerman will vote in favour of the recommended transaction following the execution of such definitive agreement".

Russian government announces 'follow the money' initiative, will name and shame brands advertising on piracy sites
A number of governments around the world have promoted the 'follow the money' approach to combating online piracy in recent years, arguing that one of the most effective ways to target copyright infringing operations is to go after their revenue, by getting credit card companies and PayPal to refuse to work with such sites, and then discouraging companies from placing ads on them.

The latest government to join this party is Russia's, which has been busy boosting its "look at us, protecting your intellectual property" credentials in recent years. The country's Ministry Of Communications is going to start naming and shaming big brands whose ads are appearing on piracy sites in the country.

It is planning on publishing a list of over 100 such companies, though has already called out car firms Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Volvo for being slack on their ad placements. Microsoft makes the list too, which is ironic given how much effort it has put into protecting its own intellectual property over the years.

According to Moscow newspaper Izvestia, Russia's Deputy Communications Minister Alexei Volin said that advertisers should "come to their senses" and consider the impact an association with piracy sites has on their brand. "We will publish a list of all those who advertise on pirate sites", he added.

Of course, generally speaking it's not that these big brands are going out of their way to advertise on piracy websites, rather they are outsourcing online activity to ad networks, which sometimes outsource to other networks. Somewhere along the lines their ads appear next to copyright infringing material. However rights owners argue brands should do more to ensure that doesn't happen.

In the UK, the City Of London Police's IP Crime Unit, which has also championed the follow the money approach, says that not only does big brand advertising provide income to piracy sites, but it legitimises their operations, in that less web-savvy consumers may assume they are accessing music and movies from a legit source because they see ads from legit brands they instantly recognise.

As with the City Of London Police, Russian authorities will start putting pressure on ad agencies on this issue, while alerting brands and media buyers to which sites are deemed to be copyright infringers.

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Randy Blythe fails to secure damages over Czech jail stint
Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe has failed in his bid to secure damages for the 37 days he spent in jail in the Czech Republic.

As previously reported, Blythe was arrested while in the country to perform a gig in 2012. He was accused of pushing a fan called Daniel Nosek off the stage at an earlier gig in Prague in 2010. Nosek sustained head injuries during a fall at the show, which he died from two weeks later.

The frontman was charged with causing Nosek's death and spent 37 days in jail before securing bail. He later returned to the country to face the charges in court, where he was acquitted, on both first instance and appeal.

Blythe subsequently sued the country's Justice Ministry for $640,800 in damages relating to the time he spent in jail. But, according to the Associated Press, earlier this week a court in Prague dismissed the case. It is not yet clear whether the rocker will try to appeal the ruling.

Patreon user-database hacked
Crowdfunding-come-creator-subscriptions site Patreon has confirmed that its user information database has been hacked.

Patreon is a website that allows users to 'subscribe' to specific creators signed up to the site. A person states how much they wish to pay each time a creator creates something (within certain limits), and that money is then passed over to the creator when their creation is created. Open to all kinds of creators, it has been embraced by some musicians, and was co-founded by Jack Conte, one half of the musical duo Pomplamoose.

In an email yesterday, the firm said that "there was unauthorised access to a Patreon database containing user information". Hackers had access to names, email addresses and, in some cases, shipping addresses of those using the site, though full credit card numbers are not saved on the firm's servers so were not accessed. The company added it had "taken immediate measures to prevent future breaches".

The email added that tax information and passwords "remain safely encrypted", though users are nevertheless advised to change their password on the platform.

Meanwhile Conte told Billboard: "We are in close touch with law enforcement to minimise risk to our users and we have engaged a third party security firm to inform our response. The operations team at Patreon is working hand in hand with Twitter's trust and safety team. They have actively suspended accounts that link to the breached data".

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Napster and Rhapsody offer children's music streaming service
I don't know, you wait years for a music streaming service focussed entirely on children's music, then two come along at once. Napster and Rhapsody BOTH announced such a set-up yesterday. Ah, I'm joking with you of course, Napster and Rhapsody are the same company, it just uses different names in different countries. I have more jokes where that came from and am available for children's parties.

Anyway, this streaming service. Depending on where you live in the world, it's either called Rhapsody Kids or Napster Kids. It's available to premium subscribers of either service and filled entirely with music aimed at children under the age of ten. I can't believe no one's thought of this before.

"As the original streaming music service, we now have customers that have moved into a new chapter of their life and are hungry for a way to share music with their kids", said Thorsten Schliesche, EVP and General Manager for Napster. "With Napster Kids, we're excited for parents to share their love of music with their young kids in a fun, safe and controlled environment".

Meanwhile Rhapsody CFO Ethan Rudin added: "As the original streaming music service, we have a deep base of customers that have moved into a new chapter of their life and are hungry for a way to share music with their kids. With Rhapsody Kids, we're excited for parents to share their love of music with their young kids in a fun, safe and controlled environment".

Is there an echo in here?

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Robot uprising news: puny humans cannot save the music industry

Hey guys, sorry to have to tell you this, but we're going to have to wind up this CMU thing quite soon. Because there's no point publishing news about and for the music industry if no such thing exists anymore.

And with the rise of intelligent computers, that's what's going to happen pretty soon. There'll be no musicians, so no music business, so no music business news, so no CMU. According to research from the University Of Huddersfield anyway.

Well, the research was actually strangely quiet on the future of CMU. But the other claims have been made by the university's Steven Jan and Valerio Velardo, who are co-editors of a new publication called the Journal Of Creative Music Systems, which is due to launch next year.

They say that the future of all things musical is one where computers automatically create a piece of music to suit the listener's exact mood at that point in time. This, they reckon, will do away with popstars like Rihanna and Kanye West "and the huge economic infrastructure that supports and markets such people".

"You wouldn't have to spend a lot of money downloading your favourite tracks", says Jan. "You just tell the computer that you want a piece of music to suit your mood, or something like a piece that you heard last week, and that you want it to be about three minutes long".

"The field of computational creativity is vibrant at the moment", he continues. "There is work being done to develop programs that can paint and that can write poetry and stories and generate humour. But computational creativity in music hasn't been particularly well explored so far. Things that were thought impossible ten years ago are now becoming a reality".

Inferior human-played music will still have a place though, he adds. "Human beings will always gain pleasure playing music and listening to it performed by humans". But advances in computer-created - or anthropocentric - music will do away with the need for big stars. Because, of course, those people all become celebrities entirely on the strength of the quality of their music.

A press release also notes that "there is also the possibility that [the computers] could develop a musical language that humans are incapable of understanding or enjoying, but which could be appreciated by other machines".

Which I think means that robots are going to be the hipsters of the future too.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Kidology presents K-Klass & CJ Mackintosh at Mode
The Mode Club was formerly known as the Subterranea and a certain K-Klass played there over two decades ago, so it's rather apt that they are returning to the very same stage this weekend. Maybe you've forgotten (or you're too young to know) how K-Klass brought club culture to the charts in the early 1990s with several house belters, though for a refresher check out this video from a much more recent tour.

Not only will K-Klass be doing a full live PA at The Mode Club this weekend, but CJ Mackintosh will also be on the wheels of steel. Sometimes underrated, Mackintosh has always let the music do the talking. He held a residency at Ministry in the late 90s and has been a remixer to some huge names over the years. All in all, this should be a great night in a great venue that, I'm told, has had a recent refurb and sound system update, so it should be even better now!

Saturday 3 Oct, Mode, 12 Acklam Road, London, W10 5QZ, 10pm-5am, £15+. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

London club Dstrkt responds to allegations of racism
London club Dstrkt has denied accusations that it operates a racist door policy, following a protest earlier this week. The action was arranged after a group of women claimed to have been barred from entering the venue on Saturday due to the colour of their skin, and also for not being thin enough.

Protest organiser Lin Mei posted screengrabs of text messages reportedly from a promoter at the club, telling her that two of her friends would not be granted entry because they were "too dark" and were not attractive enough.

In a statement yesterday, the club said: "Dstrkt restaurant and club has launched a thorough investigation into this alleged event and found that at no stage did any of the Dstrkt staff say to the women they were not to be allowed in on any the basis of their skin colour or size. Comments made by external promoters to the women or in general have nothing to do with Dstrkt and aren't deemed acceptable".

However, various people within the music community, including Tinchy Stryder, Stormzy, Radio 1's Dev and 1Xtra's Sarah-Jane Crawford, have come forward in support of the protest. They have said that this sort of door policy is actually commonplace in clubs and are glad it is finally being highlighted.

"I've been told I can't come into certain clubs before even though my face was on the flyer", said Dev on Twitter.

Crawford added: "Glad some of these nightclubs are getting exposed for their undercover racism which has been going on for a years in the West End".

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Early Beatles live recordings found in desk drawer
A recording of The Beatles performing live in Liverpool's Cavern Club in 1962 has been discovered, after spending 50 years sat in a desk drawer. It is now set to be auctioned off for charity next month.

According to the BBC, the recording was made for Granada TV show 'Know The North'. The band were filmed for the programme while playing at the famous Merseyside venue, but the sound quality wasn't good enough for broadcast, so producers went back to record just audio. And that's the audio that has now been found. In the end it was never used because of legal issues with other acts on the show, and the recording was just filed away by producer Johnny Hamp.

In other Beatles auction news, their 1962 management contract with Brian Epstein was sold for £365,000 earlier this week. Not quite the £500,000 some expected it to go for, though more than the £240,000 it raised at its last sale in 2008.

The tape of the Cavern Club performance will be auctioned in Liverpool on 4 Nov.

Help Musicians UK, George Ezra, MØ, MOBOs

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Help Musicians UK has announced Richard Robinson as its new Chief Executive. "Impressive", says chairman Graham Sheffield. "Leading", adds Robinson.

• Where's George Ezra, that's what we want to know. And it's a question you can answer by playing this game he's had made.

• MØ will play XOYO in London on 28 Oct. So get yourself along to that. You'll have plenty of time to learn the words for new single, 'Kamikaze', which is out on 15 Oct.

• The nominations for this year's MOBO Awards are out and voting is now open. Get on that here.

CMU Beef Of The Week #272: Steve Albini v Powell
Every week, I head out in search of a beef to write about here in the Friday edition of the CMU Daily. Some weeks it's more of a chore than others. There can be obvious contenders, but sometimes I have to plough through piles of tabloid nonsense to find a pop dispute worthy of the esteemed Beef Of The Week title. But this week was a dream come true, because the beef brought itself to me.

Let me explain. Earlier this week, the billboard that stands right outside CMU's office was updated with a new advert. Not an uncommon occurrence, I'm sure you'll understand. But this was different. As I stepped outside into the glorious sunshine, I was faced with the equally glorious sight of Steve Albini being... well, Steve Albini.

The poster, in fact, turned out to be an advert for the latest single by Powell, 'Insomniac', which is due out shortly on XL. This information does not feature though. The simple black on white text of the ad is just a blown up email that was sent by Albini after Powell requested permission to use a sample from a Big Black live recording.

According to The Quietus, Powell had got in touch with Albini to explain that 'Insomniac' features a sample of him introducing a song. He told the guitarist that the music of Big Black meant a lot to him and he would like Albini's blessing to use the vocal clip.

"Sounds like you've got a cool thing set up for yourself", began Albini, seemingly in a positive mood in his email response. But, he went on, "I am absolutely the wrong audience for this kind of music. I've always detested mechanized dance music, its stupid simplicity, the clubs where it was played, the people who went to those clubs, the drugs they took, the shit they liked to talk about, the clothes they wore, the battles they fought amongst each other. Basically all of it, 100% hated every scrap".

"The electronic music I liked was radical and different, shit like the White Noise, Xenakis, Suicide, Kraftwerk, and the earliest stuff from Cabaret Voltaire, SPK and DAF", he continued. "When that scene and those people got co-opted by dance/club music I felt like we'd lost a war. I detest club culture as deeply as I detest anything on earth".

I bet you think he's just building up here to a big reveal where he says, despite all of this, he actually quite likes the Powell track, right? Well, not exactly. He stresses: "I am against what you're into, and an enemy of where you come from, but I have no problem with what you're doing".

So, that's sort of a positive I guess. And anyway, it's not like Albini's actually heard the track he's supposed to be commenting on: "I haven't bothered listening to the links, mainly because I'm in a hotel with crappy internet at the moment, but also because it probably wouldn't be to my taste and that wouldn't help either of us. In other words, you're welcome to do whatever you like with whatever of mine you've gotten your hands on. Don't care. Enjoy yourself".

Of course, despite the negativity, this email was a double win for Powell. He had permission to use the sample plus he had the ranty email itself. Thinking fast, he wrote back to Albini asking if he also meant he could also use the rant to promote the record.

"Still don't care", apparently came Albini's unequivocal reply.

And so that is the tale of how an email from Steve Albini came to be standing six foot high outside my office. If musicians want to make this a regular thing, it would honestly help me out quite a lot.

 
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.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

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