TODAY'S TOP STORY: Flagging EDM powerhouse SFX is exploring debt restructuring, a spokesman for the firm's CEO Robert FX Sillerman confirmed to Reuters yesterday. Speculation continues about the future of the festival operator and Beatport owner after Sillerman aborted his most recent effort to take the firm back into private ownership last month. The SFX board had invited... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Lawfawndah first appeared in this column back in May 2014 with her acclaimed debut EP - a collection of songs described back then as "strange, brave and discombobulating". Newly signed to Warp, Lafawndah is now back with new track 'Tan', taken from a new EP of the same name, out on 5 Feb. The EP sees her working with fellow producers Nick Weiss... [READ MORE]
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including Adele's record-breaking release week, Cox Communications' dispute with BMG and Round Hill Music, Paul Weller's second win in his dispute with the Daily Mail, and Noisey's interview with the guy behind Dancing Jesus. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES SFX appoints bankers to explore debt restructuring
LEGAL Hookie sues his former New Order bandmates
DEALS Ed Sheeran signs Foy Vance to his label
Believe announces deal with Chinese net firm Tencent
LABELS & PUBLISHERS CI opens office in Vietnam
ARTIST NEWS Morrissey letter shows Universal offered to license Paris tribute
Adele album still selling, apparently
GIGS & FESTIVALS Andrew Bird announces tour dates
Fat White Family announce tour dates
ONE LINERS Guardian Media 100, Stephen K Amos, Blur, more
AND FINALLY... Thom Yorke likens YouTube to Nazis
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.
The British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers & Authors is seeking a Member Events And Marketing Co-ordinator.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A crucial role at the RFB, this is a role for an ideally experienced person in the music industry, working with the Head Booker and full team on liaising with Booking Agents, Managers and the wider industry on constructing and actioning marketing plans and creative marketing ideas.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are hiring for a fantastic entry level position for someone looking to become fully employed in the live music industry. The role will be working directly with the Head Booker on the booking of new talent and bringing new acts into the fold, forging new relationships with industry - agents / managers / artists. Watching a wealth of new acts and looking to work closely with new music.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
AEG employ more than 3000 staff, our European division's headquarters are based in London where we run the world's most popular music and entertainment venue The O2, SSE Wembley Arena and Hammersmith Apollo. We are now looking for an expert recruiter.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The Production Manager role at B-Line Festival Bars is an exciting opportunity for a person with the right experience and career interests to work on a number of major outdoor music festivals and brand activations through primarily the provision of public bars.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
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.
Material are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated Label Manager to work across their expanding in-house record labels and catalogue. Material are an innovative music company working across artist management, recordings and music marketing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The successful candidate will be responsible for management of bar staff and assisting the bar manager in the day to day running of indigo at The O2.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Name PR is looking to hire an Account Manager. This is a fantastic opportunity for a talented professional working in music business communications to start managing campaigns for some of the UK and Europe’s most forward-thinking organisations.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Strongroom Studios are looking for a self-motivated and organised Receptionist and Bookings Assistant with a 'can do’ attitude to join their team. The successful candidate will assist the studio manager in organising studio bookings as well as manning the reception desk, taking telephone calls and aiding visitors to the studio.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for an experienced royalty manager to join our UK team based in London. The role is in our finance department and working with both the artist & label services division and our in house record label. The candidate will be assisting and reporting directly to Believe Digital’s UK Managing Director and General Manager.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Sunday Best Recordings, home to artists Valerie June, David Lynch, Kitty Daisy and Lewis plus a host of new signings are set for a busy 2016. A Product Manager position is available for an enthusiastic individual with a creative attitude.

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
A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
07 Dec 2015 CMU Insights Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
10 Dec 2015 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
25 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
1 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
8 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
22 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
29 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
6 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
5 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016

SFX appoints bankers to explore debt restructuring
Flagging EDM powerhouse SFX is exploring debt restructuring, a spokesman for the firm's CEO Robert FX Sillerman confirmed to Reuters yesterday.

Speculation continues about the future of the festival operator and Beatport owner after Sillerman aborted his most recent effort to take the firm back into private ownership last month. The SFX board had invited others to bid for some or all of the business, but there has been no word on whether any decent offers were forthcoming, or whether the independent directors considering the bids are planning on selling off any assets.

According to the sources who spoke to Reuters, investment bank Moelis & Co - which had previously been advising on the bid-taking process - is now reviewing the EDM company's debt-pile. The company reportedly has debts in the region of $300 million. Meanwhile, because its share price has tanked so much this year, and currently stands at just 28 cents, the current market capitalisation of the firm (the current value of all shares issued to investors) is below $30 million.

A spokesman for Sillerman told the newswire: "It is correct that the company hired Moelis to examine broadly its position. That principally includes sales of non-strategic assets as well as examining the capital structure of the company".

Some reckon that Moelis & Co's latest assignment is a last ditch attempt to stop SFX from slipping into bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that $30 million of the $90 million in financing SFX secured back in September actually came from another Sillerman-controlled entity and, as of recent filings last month, $15 million of that had yet to be handed over.

Hookie sues his former New Order bandmates
So this could be fun. Except for everyone directly involved, of course. Apart from the lawyers. Who'll be quids in, as always. So, yes, Peter Hook is suing his former New Order bandmates.

It's a legal battle that's been a long time coming really, given Hook's relationship with his ex-bandmates has long been estranged, and all the more so since they started performing as New Order again without him. Though in the High Court, judge David Cooke has rejected allegations Hook is simply suing his former colleagues out of spite, clearing the way for the bassist to take his litigation to a full hearing.

Hook's allegations centre on the business arrangements of New Order since the band reformed without him in 2011.

Ever since the collapse of New Order's original label Factory Records back in 1992, the band has had a company that holds all of the outfit's rights, and in which Hook has a 25% stake. But in 2011, the other three original members - Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert - set up a new company to run the band's current operations, with the existing band company granting exclusive rights to the New Order name and related sources of income to the new business for ten years.

It's this arrangement that Hook objects to, with his legal rep Mark Wyeth calling the licensing deal a "clandestine, premeditated and deliberate" move to freeze his client out of income that he is due. Hook claims that the arrangement had cost him £2.3 million as of last year.

Stating Hook's case in evocative terms, according to the BBC, Wyeth told the court: "It was as though George Harrison and Ringo Starr had got together at George's house one Friday night and had acted together to divest Paul McCartney of his shareholding in the Beatles, and didn't tell Yoko about it either".

Speaking for the current incarnation of New Order, lawyer David Casement rejected Hook's claims entirely. He insisted his clients had been "entirely reasonable" in the way they structured the band's business once the bassist was no longer part of the set-up, and that the royalties Hook receives from New Order's ongoing activities were totally fair.

Putting forward the argument that Hook was basically pursuing a vendetta with this action, Casement told the court that "because of his non-inclusion [in current New Order activities, Hook chose] to bring this claim in order to leverage some advantage from Mr Sumner and the rest of the band".

With the judge green-lighting Hook's litigation, it remains to be seen if this matter now properly gets to court. If it does, it could be a lively legal battle.

Ed Sheeran signs Foy Vance to his label
So, I thought Ed Sheeran's record label was called Gingerbread Records. Who knew how wrong you could be? It's Gingerbread Man Records! What an idiot.

Though Ed should tell whoever manages his label's Facebook page about that. Because they seem as confused as me. Unless that's an unofficial Facebook page. I don't know. Do you know? No, nobody knows. Truth is, nobody knows anything about anything, really. Except that when Ed Sheeran first unveiled his record label back in March it was definitely called Gingerbread Records.

Anyway, that's not even why I gathered you all here today. I called this meeting to let you know that Ed Sheeran has signed another artist to his Warner Music imprint, and that artist is Foy Vance. Sheeran and Vance are old friends and musical collaborators, so that's nice isn't it? Keep it in the family I say, nepotism rules. Vance will release his first album for his bezzy mate's label next spring.

Says Sheeran: "I am very happy to reveal Foy Vance as my second signing to Gingerbread Man Records. Foy's always been an artist I've admired since meeting him in 2006. We've become touring buddies over the past few years and he's actually out in Australia with me at the moment on the final leg of my 'x' tour. His vocals are going to blow you away and I can't wait for you all to hear the record".

Adds Vance: "I feel a deep sense of peace signing to an artist led label, not least of all because the artist in question is our Ed. Every time I've turned around in the last few years he has had my back".

So Foy, well done you. And welcome to Gingerbread. Man.


Believe announces deal with Chinese net firm Tencent
Digital distribution firm Believe yesterday announced a deal with Chinese internet company Tencent, which will see the latter distribute recordings repped by the former to its own QQ Music platform and other legit digital music set-ups in the country.

Both Warner Music and Sony Music announced similar alliances with Tencent late last year, and the new arrangement opens up QQ Music's audience and other opportunities in the Chinese market to artists and labels distributed by Believe. The distribution firm said the Tencent deal will allow it to "promote its popular independent artists in China via the QQ Music platform and advance Believe's position in the Chinese market".

Confirming the partnership, Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie told reporters: "Believe's mission is to offer the best opportunities for independent labels and artists; we are therefore very proud to start this collaboration with one of the biggest players in China. It's important for us to be proactive in building a real economic ecosystem for digital music in China, and to work hand-in-hand with Tencent to contribute to a fairer digital music landscape for independent music".

Meanwhile Tencent Corporate VP Cussion Pang added: "Tencent is dedicated to enforcing IP protection in the music industry in China. The partnership will further expand our music catalogue and we're excited to connect Tencent's huge user base to Believe's artists, bringing user experience and enjoyment to a new level".

CI opens office in Vietnam
Digital delivery expert Consolidated Independent, which provides a platform via which independent labels can pump their content into download and streaming services worldwide, has announced the launch of a new office in Vietnam which will become a hub for the firm's South East Asian and Australasian operations.

CI Vietnam will be led by General Manager Chi Le Minh who will report into overall GM Kieron Faller and Operations Manager Alex Mein Smith back in London. The company says: "Providing real-time support and advice to the company's customers from India to Australia, the new office will also enable CI to work even more closely with their numerous download and streaming music service partners based in the region".

Confirming the latest expansion, Faller told reporters: "Our new Vietnam office will enable us to deepen and extend our existing involvement in the growing Asian digital music market. Asian content owners will now be able to maximise their opportunities across the rest of the world, and we will be offering full support to the international download and streaming services moving into the region, helping them access CI clients' content from the region".

He added: "We have a great team in [the new office] who are also committed to providing support and expertise to local music services in their supply chain relationships with the international independent sector".

  Approved: Lafawndah - Tan
Lawfawndah first appeared in this column back in May 2014 with her acclaimed debut EP - a collection of songs described back then as "strange, brave and discombobulating".

Newly signed to Warp, Lafawndah is now back with new track 'Tan', taken from a new EP of the same name, out on 5 Feb. The EP sees her working with fellow producers Nick Weiss and Tamer Fahri, with additional guidance from ADR and L-Vis 1990. The result is something more polished than her earlier work, but it still maintains the individual vision and style of that first release.

'Tan' is underpinned by a drum track that both pushes it forward and pulls it back at the same time, roughing up the rest of the music. The vocals then roll over the top, bringing a calm and clarity to the track.

Watch the video for 'Tan' here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online

Morrissey letter shows Universal offered to license Paris tribute
A letter purporting to support claims made by Morrissey and his True To You website last month, relating to discussions about re-releasing the singer's 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' track, has done the opposite.

As previously reported, the website initially told readers that Universal Music UK CEO David Joseph "has refused the request made by Morrissey and the band to re-issue 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' as a loving tribute to the lives lost in the Paris atrocities" adding that the major label chief "is instead arranging his own tribute to Paris utilising his current crop of Universal artists".

Universal later responded with a statement, saying: "We have not received - let alone refused - any request from Morrissey himself related to 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris'. While we have not been contacted directly by Morrissey, after seeing the comments on his website last week, we asked his representative to confirm his intentions and which charity he had in mind to support via the song's proceeds. We are yet to receive a reply".

It was at this point that True To You announced that Morrissey had a letter that would prove otherwise.

The original contact with the label, dated 18 Nov, comes from Morrissey's guitarist Boz Boorer, in a letter co-signed by the other musicians on the record, excluding Morrissey himself. Rather than suggesting working on a re-release of the single in the wake of the attacks, he berates the label for not having already done so itself.

"Why are you doing nothing?" he asks. "There is no other song in modern music that aptly supports the people of Paris".

In response, lawyer John Reid of Russells explains that after speaking to Joseph, the label decided that "owing to Universal having a very close connection to the events, much as they see your point, they are not intending to release any records in response to the tragic events of last Friday. They feel it is too raw for them given the death of one of their staff members and instead they are going to show support and solidarity in other ways, including concerts in Paris later this year by some of their artists".

This does support the claim that Universal was planning its own tribute "utilising its current crop of artists", though Morrissey's implication always seemed to be that the label was planning a tribute single, which is not the case.

Far from refusing the release outright, Reid's letter continues: "I believe that Universal would licence the song back for eg a release for proceeds to relevant charities (which I assume would be the plan). In short there may be a possibility here but it would have to be a release via a third party. Personally I think there could be a very forceful statement to be made. It will of course require M's input. Have you discussed this with him - I assume so".

But rather than take this option, the initial claims that any re-issue had been blocked were instead published and Morrissey started badmouthing David Joseph on stage.


Adele album still selling, apparently
Do you miss the heady days gone by when there was always a new record-breaking sales stat from Adele to talk about? No, because how can you miss a time that we are very much still living in? That Adele, see, she's only gone and broken the record for the fastest million selling album ever in the UK.

Ten days it took her. Ten whole days. It took Oasis seventeen days with 'Be Here Now' in 1997, which sort of redeems Adele after that whole fiasco with first week sales last week. She's also already got the biggest selling album of 2015 in the UK too. Sorry Ed Sheeran. Try harder next time. Three nights at Wembley Stadium? You thought that would be enough? Idiot.

"As every day goes by, a new record tumbles, it seems", notes Official Charts Company CEO Martin Talbot. "Reaching one million sales in ten days is quite extraordinary - the question next is what can '25' do by the end of its second week and how quickly will the two million mark be upon us?"

Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, by the end of week one Adele had shifted a bit over 800,000 copies of '25' in the UK and 3.38 million in the US. In the US, a slightly higher proportion of sales were on CD than download, according to stats from Billboard. She also sold 22,000 copies on vinyl in the States. Yay vinyl revival!

Andrew Bird announces tour dates
Andrew Bird has announced some live dates in the UK and Ireland, which is nice of him. Among the short run will be a performance at Manchester Cathedral, which I imagine will be quite something.

The US leg of the tour prior to this will see $1 of every ticket fee go to charities working to end gun violence in the States. There's no charitable donation attached to the non-US shows as far as I know, but I don't think that should be a reason not to buy them when they go on general sale this Friday.

Here are those dates:

30 Apr: Dublin, Vicar Street
2 May: Edinburgh, Queen's Hall
3 May: Manchester Cathedral
4 May: London, The Roundhouse


Fat White Family announce tour dates
Fat White Family have announced UK and Ireland tour dates in February and March next year. They'll also be playing a few smaller dates this month, as well as playing a Christmas show at the Bussey Building in Peckham on 10 Dec.

As previously reported, the band have a new album, 'Songs For Our Mothers', out on 22 Jan.


20 Feb: Birmingham, Institute 2
21 Feb: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
22 Feb: Sheffield, Plug
23 Feb: Dublin, Whelans
25 Feb: Belfast, Limelight
26 Feb: Glasgow, Garage
27 Feb: Manchester, Academy 2
28 Feb: Oxford, Academy 2
29 Feb: Bristol, Bierkeller
8 Mar: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
9 Mar: London, The Coronet

Tickets go on general sale this Friday.

Guardian Media 100, Stephen K Amos, Blur, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• In among tech giant chiefs and conventional media moguls there are a handful of music types in the Guardian's latest Media 100 list, namely: Taylor Swift (8), Simon Cowell (23), Spotify's Daniel Ek (47), Adele (48) and Universal Music's David Joseph (52).

• Booking agency CAA has added a new agent at three of its US offices. Adam Brill joins the company in LA, Ben Buchanan in Toronto and Brian Hill in Nashville. "Proven successes", said CAA Head Of Music Rob Light.

• Middle East-based concert promoter Thomas Ovesen has been announced as CEO of new Dubai-based company 117 Live. "I will be working", said Ovesen in a statement.

• Stephen K Amos has been confirmed as the joke-teller-in-chief at this year's big MPA Christmas Lunch event that takes place in London on 18 Dec. He should just read out a collection of recent Justin Bieber quotes, they're pretty hard to beat. Tickets are still available for the music publishing organisation's big bash here.

• Morgan Creek's Tupac Shakur biopic is in the process of getting another new director. Benny Boom is reportedly in negotiations to replace Carl Franklin, who replaced John Singleton in April. If the long-in-development film isn't in production by the end of this year, the rights will revert back to the rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur.

• If you wanted to watch a clip of Blur performing 'This Is A low' in Hyde Park, taken from their upcoming documentary 'New World Towers', well you are in luck.

• Psy releases his first album since 'Gangnam Style' brought him to international attention today. It's called 'Chiljip Psy-Da' and this is the single 'Daddy'.

• Django Django have definitely just released the video for 'Shot Down'. It comes just as they head out on a UK tour.

• Odd Nosdam will release a new EP on 15 Jan, paying tribute to Broadcast's Trish Keenan, five years on from her death in January 2011. Here is the title track, 'T r i s h'.

Thom Yorke likens YouTube to Nazis
Godwin's Law states that any argument online will eventually lead to someone being compared to the Nazis. It doesn't have to be online though. Thom Yorke just said it out loud about YouTube.

Asked which revenue stream is the most profitable for modern musicians, Yorke told La Repubblica: "I don't know, you tell me. I do not have the solution to these problems. All I know is that [tech companies] make money with the work of many artists who do not derive any benefit".

He continued: "They continue to say that this is a time when music is free, film is free. It's not true. Service providers make money. Google. YouTube. A lot of money, like trawling the ocean, taking everything. 'Oh, sorry, this was yours? Now it's ours. No, no, we're joking, it was always yours'. Our work has been seized. It's like what the Nazis did during the Second World War. Indeed, they all did it during the war, the British also: steal the art from other countries. What's the difference?"

He added that, although he doesn't use YouTube himself, he's a fan of people using ad blockers to remove pre-roll adverts from videos on the site, because then no one earns any money from the content.

Of course, Yorke isn't entirely against online music. He notes in the interview that he uses Boomkat for music discovery, and experimented with releasing his last solo album, 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes', through BitTorrent - with those who downloaded the files having to pay a fee to unlock the full release. There were many bold claims about how much money he might have made from that project at the time. But was the experiment successful, asked the interviewer?

"No, not exactly", he said. "But, in fact, I wanted it to be an experiment. It was a reaction to everything that was going on. At the time, people were only talking about Spotify [as the future of music]. I wanted to show that in theory you can retain control of the entire chain of record production, from start to finish, yourself. In practice it is very different. We can't take on all responsibility for this [as artists]. But I'm glad I tried".

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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