TUESDAY 14 JUNE 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: For over a year now, UK collecting society PRS has been reviewing what it charges the promoters of live events where songs repped by the rights organisation are performed. Presumably fearing that the society now plans to increase those charges, the Association Of Independent Festivals this morning put out a statement saying that any such price hike would... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: You'll no doubt remember that Efterklang came to an end in 2014. Well, sort of an end. "It is time to reflect and time to move forward", the band said ahead of a 'final' show in Denmark in February of that year. "We want to fundamentally change what it means to be Efterklang and how we operate, create and perform". The break was probably necessary... [READ MORE]
 
CMU TRENDS: "Transparency" has become quite the buzzword, with everyone agreeing that there should be more of it. But who needs to be more transparent about what and to whom? Chris Cooke reviews how digital royalties work their way through the system, and where the mysteries, confusions and blockages occur. To access CMU Trends become a premium subscriber for just £5 a month. [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including the $20 million song-theft lawsuit filed against Ed Sheeran, the RIAA's attempt to suspend The Pirate Bay's .org domain, The Worldwide Independent Network’s new indie music market research and Axl Rose's photo woes. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Independent festivals group warns any PRS fees price hike could bankrupt events
JUMP | ONLINE
LEGAL Final legal wranglings shouldn't stop 'Stairway To Heaven' song theft case getting underway
JUMP | ONLINE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Berklee College launches music data standards initiative
JUMP | ONLINE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Apple Music tops fifteen million subscribers, unveils expected revamp
JUMP | ONLINE
THE GREAT ESCAPE CMU@TGE: The data pioneers - Robert Kaye, MusicBrainz
JUMP | ONLINE
RELEASES Svē releases new video
JUMP | ONLINE
GIGS & FESTIVALS Black Sabbath announced UK and Ireland farewell shows
JUMP | ONLINE
AWARDS Metal Hammer Golden Gods presented
JUMP | ONLINE
ONE LINERS Help Musicians UK, Leann Rimes, Warner Music, more
JUMP | ONLINE
AND FINALLY... Darkness frontman reunited with long lost cat
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.
 
 
RESIDENT ADVISOR - AD OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE (BERLIN)
RA seeks an ambitious and detail-oriented ad-operations executive with a passion for music. Taking ownership of RA’s ad operations you will be responsible for trafficking online creative, campaign management, tracking, optimising and reporting for all client digital advertising on Resident Advisor.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - E-COMMERCE CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The E-commerce Co-ordinator will support the E-commerce Manager with all administration and operational processes required for Propermusic.com (PMC) to run effectively and efficiently. The successful candidate will be overseeing and managing the processing, picking, packing and despatching of all orders for PMC and other fulfilment services we offer to our clients.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PURPLE PR - ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Purple, who look after publicity for a roster of high profile international and domestic clients including Adele, Beyonce, Grimes, Pusha T, Major Lazer, Lewis Hamilton and Zayn are seeking an Entertainment Publicist.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
BILLS PR - FREELANCE PUBLICIST (LONDON)
Bills PR has a position available for a Freelance Publicist to work across a range of clients and projects. The candidate should have at least two years music PR experience, covering both print and online.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HART MEDIA - RADIO PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Hart Media is one of the UK’s leading Radio PR agencies. Our clients have included Joss Stone, Ward Thomas, Passenger, The Prodigy, Public Service Broadcasting, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Motorhead, Deaf Havana, Madness, Alison Moyet to name a few.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FABRIC RECORDS / HOUNDSTOOTH - FABRICFIRST SECRETARY (LONDON)
The position involves managing the day-to-day running of the Fabric membership club, comprising electronic music lovers from around the World. The role is a mix of customer care through email, social media and telephone channels, database management, stock dispatching and control, and assisting on both fabric and Houndstooth record labels.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FABRIC RECORDS / HOUNDSTOOTH - ASSISTANT ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
Fabric Records / Houndstooth are looking for an Assistant Accountant to work alongside their MD, ensuring the smooth running of day to day finance operations. This is a great opportunity to develop your existing skills in a social, fast paced team within the much sought-after music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE BREWHOUSE - EVENTS & LIVE MUSIC MANAGER (LONDON)
The Brewhouse at London Fields Brewery is one of East London’s most exciting event spaces. As the Events and Live Music Manager, you will be responsible for the booking, programming and promotion of our live music and club nights.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Proper Music Distribution is now the largest truly independent, full service distributor of music on all formats in the UK. Reporting directly to the Head of Sales, the National Account Manager’s role is to develop strong direct relationships with key domestic retail partners. Customers include HMV, Fopp, Amazon and supermarkets.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - ROYALTIES ACCOUNTANT (LONDON)
Proper Music Distribution is now the largest truly independent, full service distributor of music on all formats in the UK. The Royalty Accountant role exists to make sure that the companies’ contractual royalty obligations are interpreted accurately and on time.

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.
 
20 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
27 Jun 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
4 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Jul 2016 CMU Masterclass: Navigating The Digital Market
CLICK FOR INFO
11 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
25 Jul 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Independent festivals group warns any PRS fees price hike could bankrupt events
For over a year now, UK collecting society PRS has been reviewing what it charges the promoters of live events where songs repped by the rights organisation are performed.

Presumably fearing that the society now plans to increase those charges, the Association Of Independent Festivals this morning put out a statement saying that any such price hike would have a 'catastrophic effect' on the grassroots festival community, while calling for such events to be treated differently than other live music shows.

As previously reported, under its 'Tariff LP' licence, PRS takes 3% of ticket monies from concert and festival promoters. Those monies are then distributed back to songwriters and publishers whose songs are performed at said shows. For new artists, where fees from gigging are often nominal, that PRS income can be key, especially once they are on the festival circuit.

PRS has reviewed the Tariff LP rates twice in recent years, the first time deciding to keep things as they were. Though, when announcing the new review last year, the society said: "The live music sector has changed dramatically since 1988, when the current tariff was set by the UK Copyright Tribunal. As a membership organisation, we have an obligation to ensure that our licensing is simple, efficient, fit for purpose - and recognises the valuable contribution our songwriters and publishers make to the live music industry".

Part of the motivation for the review is the fact that the live sector boomed in the 2000s as the recorded music market went into steep decline. Some songwriters and publishers, who rely on licensing income from both the live and record industries, reckon they should be getting more from the former now it is out performing the latter.

Though many in the live sector point out that, given PRS is on a percentage of ticket sales, its members have already benefited from the boom. Plus, for all the booming, the live sector remains a challenging place to operate, with tight profit margins, especially at the grass roots, and in the festivals sector where production overheads are high and mega-fees are charged by many headline acts.

Indeed, the festival sector has so many more overheads than a conventional theatre or arena tour - reckons AIF - that PRS should treat festivals and tours separately, with different rates.

Said the indie festival trade group this morning: "[We] are warning against the catastrophic effect that a rise to the live tariff would have on grassroots events. The AIF are calling instead for a separate festival tariff that will take into account the unique nature, tight margins and high-risk nature of staging music festivals. Such a model already exists in Ireland with the 'multi-venue' Tariff MS".

AIF also argues that its members' events offer vital platforms for new artists looking to expand their fanbases, and that many festivals have performances beyond music, something the current system doesn't acknowledge or allow for.

Summarising, Paul Reed, General Manager of the AIF, told reporters today: "It is remarkable and absurd that festivals and concerts sit under a single tariff. With the global recorded industry in transition, independent festival promoters are taking risks on breaking artists and staging high-risk events on incredibly tight margins".

"PRS For Music's plans to increase this already inflexible and damaging tariff could mean the bankruptcy of many events that provide a valuable platform for both emerging and established artists. There is a clear, unarguable need for a separate festival tariff. This already exists for festivals in Ireland, a clear precedent and a workable model that PRS should consider and which would result in a solution that is fair, transparent and sustainable".

Taking the offensive, Reed them criticised the society's big review, and the consultation process it involved, saying: "It is also prescient that PRS For Music has over 118,000 members and approached just under 32,000 of them as part of this consultation. They received just 48 responses from their members (0.15%), which is derisory. Songwriters therefore are not driving this process. Any increase would be a naked land grab by PRS, driven solely by their executives and some major music publishers".

Final legal wranglings shouldn't stop 'Stairway To Heaven' song theft case getting underway
So, the big Led Zeppelin song-theft case gets underway today, though for a moment it looked like some last minute legal wrangling behind the scenes could cause a delay.

As previously reported, the Zeppelin are accused of ripping off a song written by the late Randy California, aka Randy Craig Wolfe, with their famous work 'Stairway To Heaven'. Led Zep toured with Wolfe's band Spirit in the late 1960s which - the lawsuit filed against them claims - is when they were exposed to his song 'Taurus'. The litigation, filed by a lawyer called Francis Malofiy on behalf of the Wolfe Trust, claims that the band then lifted elements of 'Taurus' when writing their hit.

Led Zeppers Robert Plant and Jimmy Page deny the allegations, and are set to say so in court. Similar to the key defence argument in last year's 'Blurred Lines' plagiarism case, the two men argue that any similarities between the two songs are simply common musical structures that can be found in countless works. Not that that worked for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

As is always the case in song theft disputes, Led Zeppelin will present one of those musicologists who will use all of his skills to back up their claims that no plagiarism took place. Though over the weekend the Wolfe Trust's lawyer tried to have that expert banned from the proceedings over allegations there was a conflict of interest.

In his new court filing, Malofiy said that it transpired that musicologist Lawrence Ferrara had previously been hired by Wolfe's publisher - which is not backing the litigation - to evaluate the similarities between the two songs. This fact had not been declared by the defence, which has been colluding with the publisher, the filing added, before alleging that the defence counsel wanted Ferrara on their side because he is known to always provide the opinions that any paymaster wants.

Legal reps for Led Zep said those allegations were baseless, before adding, according to Billboard, that the motion was a "desperate attempt to interfere with their defence". He added that: "Defendants' counsel did exactly what was appropriate when they learned that Dr Ferrara had been consulted by Universal and Rondor: They obtained Universal and Rondor's consent to defendants' retention of Dr Ferrara".

For his part, the judge overseeing the case, R Gary Klausner, sided with Led Zep, basically saying that the new allegations had been submitted too late. He also refused to reconsider a previous summary judgement to the effect that the plaintiff's can only claim 50% of any damages awarded, because of a condition in Wolfe's publishing contract. Malofiy argued that the publisher had violated its fiduciary duties by conspiring with the defence, and therefore that clause should no longer stand. Klausner did not concur.

And, with all that settled, we can now settle down and enjoy 2016's big plagiarism trial. We're not expecting the comedy value delivered by Thicke and Pharrell in the 'Blurred Lines' case, though it should be a decent second instalment in this Song-Theft Trilogy, due to finale with part three year next, staring none other than Mr Ed Sheeran.

Berklee College launches music data standards initiative
Boston-based Berklee College's Institute Of Creative Entrepreneurship has announced the launch of an Open Music Initiative, which aims to tackle the music industry's big fat copyright data problem, raised in Berklee's own 'Fair Music' report a year ago, and discussed at every single music conference ever since (and some before, we should add, GRD and all that).

The OMI isn't aiming to build that big fat database - the much desired pot of music rights data listing who controls every song and recording in every territory, what creators and performers were involved, and what songs appear in what tracks - but rather to come up with some of those data standards that allow different databases to talk to each other and share information. Some standards do already exist, of course, but the feeling is that an industry-wide discussion is needed to truly address this data challenge.

Panos Panay of Berklee's Institute Of Creative Entrepreneurship (which we'll resist the temptation to abbreviate to ICE, as that might be confusing in a report on music data initiatives) told Billboard: "We want to help create an open-source framework for music rights and music rights licensing".

He expanded thus: "This is less about a centralised, closed database that's accessible to a handful of organisations; this is ultimately about creating an open-source structure to enable the registration and identification of not only music rights holders but also anybody and everybody who was involved in the music creation process".

The OMI will focus on fixing data for new works rather than catalogue, though principles could presumably be applied retrospectively. The project, which Panay - keen, presumably, to present the venture as independent - says is funded by "gifts from donors to Berklee", is supported by a plethora digital services like Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud, plus the UK's Music Managers Forum and Featured Artist Coalition. Oh, and the three pesky major music groups. It will be interesting to see how Panay and his team go about balancing the priorities of those different stakeholders moving forward.

Apple Music tops fifteen million subscribers, unveils expected revamp
"It's been an incredible year". Not my words, but the words of Apple music man Eddy Cue. And he's right, it has, hasn't it? I thought March was particularly good. Mainly 15 Mar. Around about lunchtime. "We've learned a lot along the way", added Cue. Now, I have to disagree there. I've learned nothing. Oh, except how to make sure Apple Music didn't start charging me once my free trial was up. I learned that.

But, it seems, more than fifteen million people don't know how to do that, meaning the Apple streaming service has now passed yet another user-number landmark. The latest stats brag came as Apple unveiled the expected revamp of its music platform at the firm's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday. Cue billed the revamp as an "all-new Apple Music, redesigned from the ground up". Which is always a good place to start.

That rebuild from the ground up is primarily about improving user-interface in a bid to make things a little more intuitive, while bringing those elements most used by Apple Music's fifteen million subscribers to the fore, a development which pushes one of the more derided features - the Connect tab - down the pecking order somewhat. There's an attempt to make it easier for users to see what they've downloaded from good old fashioned iTunes, and if you scroll past the artwork in the now playing tab you'll get some lovely lyrics.

Arriving amid such hype a year ago, the inevitable weaknesses that will be found in any new streaming app were always going to be experienced by a much bigger audience than if the Apple Music service had entered the market as a start-up. And to that end, Apple execs do seem to bringing a bit more humility to the fore than normal, basically admitting that the exciting new developments mainly overcome past weakness in their product.

Though, of course, all that hype has its upside in terms of enabling those user figures, Apple Music now being vastly ahead of numerous competitors who have been in the streaming music market for years, and now properly in the race with market-leading Spotify.

Though, for the music industry, while it's tempting to pick favourites, especially as certain services court big name acts for exclusives, and with some label execs still frustrated by Spotify's continued love affair with the freemium-sells-premium business model, what everyone in the music community needs is more subscribers overall.

Which brings us back to that tricky question that continues to linger just under the surface: how many paying users are needed for some of these services to go into profit, and for the record industry to go back into long-term growth? Oh, and are there that many potential paying users out there? Some reckon not. But hey, "it's been an incredible year".

In related news, Spotify last week gave a very lukewarm reception to the pre-WWDC announcement that Apple was going to cut its commission on in-app purchases for subscription services, which is to say when people subscribe to streaming services via an iOS app.

Apple charges a 30% commission on transactions that occur within iOS apps, which - in the streaming music space - services pass directly onto the customer, because 30% is their (desired) profit margin. It means that if you subscribe to Spotify via the iOS app it is more expensive than if you subscribe via Spotify's website. It also means, if purchasing via the app, Spotify is more expensive than Apple Music.

As previously reported, once a subscriber has been signed up for over a year, Apple will now drop its cut to 15%. Which is good news for Spotify, though not so good news, according to the streaming firm's corporate communications chappy.

Jonathan Prince told The Verge last week: "It's a nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem with the Apple tax and its payment system. Unless Apple changes its rules, price flexibility is prohibited, which is why we can never provide special offers or discounts, and means we won't have the ability to share any savings with our customers".

He went on: "Apple still insists on inserting itself between developers and their customers, which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn - or who even qualifies as a long-term subscriber".

Bloody Apple. And wait till Prince hears that the anticipated launch of Beats 2 wasn't included in the WWDC presentation. Then he's going to be really pissed off.

CMU@TGE: The data pioneers - Robert Kaye, MusicBrainz
CMU@TGE: The data pioneers - Robert Kaye, MusicBrainz
Look out for insights, advice and viewpoints dished out at this year's CMU Insights @ The Great Escape conference here in the CMU Daily throughout June. This week, some of the takeaways from the data focused strand.

MusicBrainz is an open source database of music metadata, launched in 2000. Since then, its users have helped to build a vast database filled with information on artists and their releases, including ISRC and ISWC codes and other musicians that the performers are related to. Organisations including the BBC and Google use the database as a provider of music data. Speaking at CMU@TGE, Founder Robert Kaye explained that the database is a repository for what he refers to as "public metadata".

"Public metadata are the types of things you can find on the back of a CD", he said. "So that's public information that's out there somewhere. ISRCs are sometimes on the CDs, and we can collect them through there. Lots of our contributors will paw through this or that website - people know where all of the music societies websites are - and just one after another enter all this data in".

What the platform does not have, however, is the music rights data that is not made publicly available, such as ownership splits between collaborating songwriters. But, said Kaye, "it wouldn't make sense for us to do this, because any time that you have an open system – and we're aggressively open – well, an open system that dictates how money flows is a recipe for disaster, because then every day you'll have ten Beyonces showing up saying, ‘Hey! I'm Beyonce'. That's a real problem".

"I would like to see a system that's built on MusicBrainz to create that kind of rights database", he added. "I'd really love to see that, but it would very clearly need to be a separate project that is not an open project".

Now, many among you probably just thought, "Aha! The bloomin blockchain! That'll do that" Well, not so fast, buzzword fiends.

"I really buy into the motivation of the blockchain", said Kaye. "It's a really good idea to make this information publicly available, publicly verifiable, publicly searchable. We desperately need such a system. By simply saying, ‘Hey, I'm the creator of this piece of music', and stating that before you even release it, is just about the only way to avoid conflicts that you might have later, that, years on, are going to be solved by a judge, who doesn't really care about these things".

There's a ‘but' coming though, and that's the problem of the complexity in any such system. As a "marginally competent computer scientist" Kaye noted that the basis of any project of this type is that "you have to prove the rigor of the algorithm you want to use".

"When you're looking at a distributed public ledger [like the blockchain], it's comprised of three things because there's three words in it: distributed, public, ledger. Okay, ledger is easy. Public? Yeah, we know how to do public. No problem. Distributed? Exceptionally hard".

He continued: "Computer scientists have been tinkering on this really hard for the last ten years not making a lot of progress, because out of the P2P era, which is where MusicBrainz was born from, there was so much talk about distributing things, but can anybody name me one distributed system that you know of that's not Bitcoin, nor is it BitTorrent? Anybody know of a distributed system? There are zero hands going up, because these things just simply don't exist, because they're effectively incredibly difficult to write".

While the success of Bitcoin is often cited as proof that a music-related blockchain system could work, Kaye also questioned whether Bitcoin is actually as successful as many think it is. It isn't fast enough to match the quantity of transactions that go through a mainstream financial system he said, and therefore "Bitcoin, as it stands in the blockchain, simply doesn't scale. It doesn't work. So it's not a proven system".

However, he conceded, scaling is less important for music's potential blockchains than it is for Bitcoin. "Scaling's obviously important, but it doesn't have to be on the same scale as a financial system. It can be significantly less, because we're only doing so many licensing deals, as opposed to paying for French fries a million times a day".

But there's still a but. "The problem with these types of systems is, if you're building a cryptography algorithm, it's not the sort of thing where you can say, ‘Oh, well if we find problems we'll fix them later'. I mean, how many of you guys know that What's App is now end-to-end encrypted? That's fabulous, that's really good, but if it's based on faulty cryptography and that cryptography is broken, all of your messages that you thought were secure - all of your sexting messages and so forth – no, they're all going to be uploaded to a server and you're all busted. That's really bad".

Referencing PledgeMusic's Benji Rogers, who has become one of the leading proponents of the blockchain for music, and who keynoted in the same strand at CMU@TGE, Kaye said: "I love Benji, he's a great guy, but he's not a cryptographer. He's not even a computer scientist. So the things that he talks about, and the things he strings together into a coherent set of ideas, sound really nice, but are technically not as sound as they need to be. We have to do something. It's a really good idea, and I really operate on that principal, but if you're talking about cryptography you can't actually move forward unless you have rigorous proof that your system is actually going to work. And that's not here yet".

So, a healthy dose of cynicism in the music industry's big data and blockchain debate, which we'll hear more of later this week.

  Approved: Efterklang - Cities Of Glass
You'll no doubt remember that Efterklang came to an end in 2014. Well, sort of an end. "It is time to reflect and time to move forward", the band said ahead of a 'final' show in Denmark in February of that year. "We want to fundamentally change what it means to be Efterklang and how we operate, create and perform".

The break was probably necessary; they had kind of dug themselves into a rut by becoming 'that band that does stuff with orchestras'. It wasn't a bad place to be, but it had also become a bit predictable. So they went off and formed a new band, Liima, with Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönnkö, releasing an album earlier this year. And last year they premiered an opera in collaboration with composer Karsten Fundal.

That opera - 'Leaves - The Colour Of Falling' - will be released on record on 4 Nov, with further live performances set for 2017. It still sees the band merging the worlds of contemporary and classical music (and working with an orchestra), but it's clear that they have refreshed their approach.

They'll perform 'Leaves' live in London at the Barbican on 9 Mar next year, and you can hear 'Cities Of Glass' from the recording here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2016 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Svē releases new video
Svē released her debut album, 'My Religion', nearly a year ago, and yesterday she released the video for 'Paint A Picture'.

The video release comes ahead of Svē's first live show, playing Neon Gold's Popshop night in New York on Wednesday - tickets are available here, if you happen to be New York based or bound.

"In honour of my first show, I wanted to release a visual for my favourite song off my album", she said. "This is me every day, dancing around, being a nut case, being shy and awkward, constantly practicing in my head. And I feel like everyone can relate to feeling like their own internal superstar is being held back. I'm excited to share this".

Watch the video for 'Paint A Picture' here.

Black Sabbath announced UK and Ireland farewell shows
Black Sabbath last week finally announced UK and Ireland dates for their farewell tour, which will see them play eight shows next year, finishing up in Birmingham. The shows are very much billed as being Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, with no sign of their ongoing dispute with drummer Bill Ward being resolved.

Explaining why the band were calling it a day, Iommi said last year: "My body won't take it much more. All the travelling involved in Sabbath tours increasingly takes its toll. That's why we're going out on one last tour, to say our farewells. And then it very definitely is the end, we won't be doing it again".

Tickets go on sale this Friday. Here are the dates:

20 Jan: Dublin, Three Arena
22 Jan: Manchester Arena
24 Jan: Glasgow, SSE Hydro
26 Jan: Leeds, First Direct Arena
29 Jan: London, O2 Arena
31 Jan: London, O2 Arena
2 Feb: Birmingham, Genting Arena
4 Feb: Birmingham, Genting Arena

Metal Hammer Golden Gods presented
It's like they say at journalism school, if you cover Kerrang!'s pre-Download Weekend awards bash, you better bloody cover the Metal Hammer Golden Gods that follow the annual rock festival, otherwise it will look like you have favourites, and when the revolution comes you might just need the dudes from Metal Hammer on your side.

So, then, here are the winners of this year's Metal Hammer Golden God Awards. Bring on the revolution, I say.

Best New Band: Creeper
Best Underground: Enslaved
Best UK Band: Asking Alexandria
Best International Band: Ghost
Breakthrough: Beartooth
Best Live Band: Lamb Of God
Dimebag Darrell Shredder Award: Lzzy Hale

Best Independent Label: Prosthetic Records
Best Album: Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls

Riff Lord: Phil Campbell
Inspiration: Anthrax
Icon: Nikki Sixx
Global Metal Band: Chthonic
Golden God: Joey Jordison
Best Video: Parkway Drive

Help Musicians UK, Leann Rimes, Warner Music, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• You have until 20 Jun to fill out the Help Musicians UK survey launched at The Great Escape last month which is exploring mental health in the music community. Click here to fill it out.

• Leann Rimes has signed one of those worldwide deals with your good mates over at Sony's RCA UK. Her sixteenth studio album will be out later this year. "Singers", says RCA President Colin Barlow.

• Warner Music has promoted Aton Ben-Horin to the role of Global Vice President A&R. "I feel challenged, excited and energized by the work we're doing", says Ben-Horin. "Acute", adds his boss, Creative Director Mike Caren.

• [PIAS] is expanding its global operations with a new global team that will include label services, production and supply chain, insight and digital services, and business operation units. The firm's MD of Artist & Label Services, Adrian Pope, will lead the new team.

• The boss of Warner/Chappell, Jon Platt, has joined the board of US performing rights organisation ASCAP. Because why not? Everyone's "THRILLED", that much I do know.

• Rhapsody/Napster has confirmed it is undergoing some restructuring - aka downsizing - "As part of our plan to better position for long-term profitability". Yeah, good luck with that. Says CEO Mike Davis: "We will handle the process with the deepest respect and gratitude for all affected individuals".

• So I guess that's us all linked in to Microsoft now then. Microsoft has bought itself Linked-In for a neat $26.2 billion. The IT giant hopes that the "professional social network can rev up [its] software offerings despite recent struggles by both companies", says the Wall Street Journal. Yeah, good luck with that.

• Banks & Steelz, aka Interpol's Paul Banks and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Anything But Words', on 26 Aug. Here's a song from it, 'Giant'.

• Rae Sremmurd have released the video for new single 'Look Alive'.

• Johnny Foreigner have announced that they will release new album 'Mono No Aware' on 8 Jul. "I can say, we're happy with it", says frontman Alexei Berrow. "So happy. Beyond thunderdome".

• JME features on this new Double S track 'Style & Flows'.

• Noel Gallagher and those High Flying Birds will be playing the Brixton Academy 6 Sep. It'll be the first time Noel has ever played a headline show at the venue. So all that hard work has paid off.

• Amon Amarth will be touring the UK this winter, including a show at The Roundhouse in London on 4 Nov.

• And here's Kim Wilde performing with Lawnmower Deth.

Darkness frontman reunited with long lost cat
The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has been reunited with his pet cat Cully, who went missing three years ago. The cat was found wandering the streets of Lowestoft, where Hawkins once lived, and was identified by her microchip implant.

"I always knew in my heart that she was still alive", Hawkins told the BBC, like a modern day Erwin Schrödinger. "She's always loved the great outdoors. I periodically checked in with the relevant databases and kept my details up to date because I knew this day would come".

"When the owner's details came up, I thought the name sounded familiar as my boyfriend is a fan", added Delphine Wood of the local branch of Cats Protection. "I was just relieved there was a phone number and it was up to date. I contacted Justin and he was so thrilled to hear Cully was alive, fit and well. It was clear how much Cully meant to him".

Hawkins has now whisked Cully off to Switzerland where he now lives, so that's the last time that cat will ever pay any UK tax.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins 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, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

CMU, UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk | complaints@unlimitedmedia.co.uk