TODAY'S TOP STORY: Pandora could launch its much anticipated new on-demand streaming service in the US as soon as next month, as it comes closer to securing deals with the major labels, reckons the Wall Street Journal. The shift into on-demand streaming is part of the digital firm's much previously reported programme of diversification, which also includes that move into... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: One half of folk duo Six Years and a member of electronic act Rubicks, Vanessa Anne Redd describes her debut solo album as a "simple grunge-folk affair". That both sums it up perfectly and undersells it at the same time. Roughly recorded alone in a house in the French countryside, the simple, very personal sounds were then brought back to a London studio... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Pandora could launch on-demand service next month
LABELS & PUBLISHERS MPA joins PIPCU's Operation Creative
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Vevo seeking half a billion dollars of new funding
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Disgraced music mogul Lou Pearlman dies
ARTIST NEWS Canada closes down for The Tragically Hip's final show
Architects guitarist Tom Searle dies
RELEASES Frank Ocean releases new album Blond
Metallica announce new album
ONE LINERS Mozella, St Vincent, Coldplay, more
AND FINALLY... Liam Gallagher is 'most punk rock dude ever', says Tom Delonge
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Half Moon Putney is one of London’s longest running and most respected live music venues, and it is looking for a Music Manager/Booker. The successful applicant will be responsible for managing and developing the Half Moon’s entertainments schedule and venue operations.

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[PIAS] is looking for a well-organised receptionist/administrator with 1-2 years experience. The position is based at the company’s London office and will suit someone looking for a first step into a great independent music company.

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An exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic administrative assistant to support the busy team at one of the UK’s leading booking agencies, X-Ray Touring.

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The O2 Academy Newcastle requires a General Manager to manage the venue both efficiently and effectively ensuring that the diary is commercially maximised and all statutory duties are discharged.

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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.
26 Sep 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained – For Start Ups & Brands
27 Sep 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: The Politics Of Licensing
Oct/Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminars Programme: How The Music Business Works
3 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
10 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
17 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: From Napster To Now – The Battle With Music Piracy
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
31 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
7 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
14 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends – Explained!
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan Orientated Business

Pandora could launch on-demand service next month
Pandora could launch its much anticipated new on-demand streaming service in the US as soon as next month, as it comes closer to securing deals with the major labels, reckons the Wall Street Journal. The shift into on-demand streaming is part of the digital firm's much previously reported programme of diversification, which also includes that move into ticketing.

Launching a service that would compete more directly with Spotify and Apple Music is risky, but would allow the company to expand into more countries. Currently Pandora is only in three markets, and mainly the US, where a specific compulsory licence for online radio made licensing its current personalised radio set-up much easier to achieve at the outset. That compulsory licence doesn't cover fully on-demand though.

This move to diversify - which isn't universally backed by the firm's investors - is in part driven by a slowdown in growth for the main Pandora service. Overall active users have stalled at around 80 million, while only around four million pay a monthly fee to remove adverts from their listening.

As previously reported, last November, Pandora bought the assets of on-demand service Rdio, and more recently it hired rights admin company Music Reports to navigate the tricky world of mechanical royalties in the US - something its never had to concern itself with before because of the way personalised radio is licensed on the music publishing side.

According to the WSJ, the deals for Pandora's on-demand service are close to being signed. A potential sticking point that remains is the roll out of the personalised radio element in other territories.

Although the labels are generally more comfortable with personalised radio being free than with fully on-demand freemium Spotify-style - especially if it can then be used to upsell paid-for on-demand streams - under the US compulsory licence Pandora can include whatever it likes on the free level, whatever Taylor Swift or Adele may be thinking on any one day, or whatever exclusivity deals Frank Ocean has just done. Word has it that the labels want a little more control over the personalised radio catalogue outside the US.

Once those sticking points have been addressed, Pandora is expected to launch a two-tier on-demand set up, first in the US, and then elsewhere, initially in other English-speaking countries.

It's worth noting that the Journal mentions only that Pandora is negotiating with the major labels ahead of its launch. Quite what that means for the indies isn't clear, though one of the company's first direct deals on personalised radio (ie circumventing the compulsory licence) was with indie-label repping Merlin, so hopefully they're on the agenda somewhere.

MPA joins PIPCU's Operation Creative
The Music Publishers Association has joined Operation Creative, an initiative set up by the City Of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (aka PIPCU).

As previously reported, amongst other things Operation Creative aims to replace advertising spots on piracy websites with warning messages, informing users that the sites are under investigation for copyright infringement. Various partners from the creative industries help to identify infringing content. Already on board from the music industry are the BPI, IFPI and PRS For Music.

Head of PIPCU, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Ratcliffe, says in a statement: "I am pleased to welcome the Music Publishers Association to the Operation Creative initiative. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is committed to reducing the impact of intellectual property crime on the UK's creative industries and in Creative we have a wonderful tool to disrupt the infringers' revenue streams and hit them where it hurts them the most".

The MPA's General Manager Claire McAuley adds: "The MPA's partnership in Operation Creative will strengthen and elevate our involvement in combating piracy, in particular with regards to sheet music, which is unique to the music publishing industry. We are excited to be joining the partners and look forward to working with them in our collective fight against online music piracy".

The programme also feeds PIPCU's Infringing Website List, which currently lists 1150 websites as copyright infringers.

Vevo seeking half a billion dollars of new funding
Vevo is attempting to raise between $300 million and $500 million of new investment, according to the Financial Times. The money will reportedly fund international expansion, potential acquisitions and the development of new mobile and television services.

The video platform, majority owned by Universal and Sony, is known to be developing a paid subscription service too, of course, which it aims to launch by the end of this year. One step on the road to that was signing up Warner Music, which held out against adding its content for six and a half years until a deal was announced earlier this month.

Vevo also recently launched a load of new social features, aimed at keeping people within its walls for longer, rather than just coming in, watching a music video and then bouncing off.

Disgraced music mogul Lou Pearlman dies
The man who launched the careers of the Backstreet Boys and NSync, Lou Pearlman, has died, aged 62. He was eight years into a 25 year prison sentence for fraud.

Pearlman became known for his work with various boybands through his Trans Continental Records label in the 1990s. In the late 90s, all but one of his acts sued him for misrepresentation and fraud. Then things really began to unravel in 2006, when a federal investigation uncovered that the business that had been funding his success in music, Trans Continental Airlines, had been run as a ponzi scheme, defrauding around 1400 investors - mainly pensioners - of more than $300 million.

He fled the US, but was caught in Indonesia in 2007 and returned back to the States to face trial, where he was convicted for conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy. Despite this, he made occasional statements from prison insisting that he would regain his success as a music mogul.

As news of his death on Friday broke over the weekend, the Backstreet Boys' Lance Bass tweeted: "He might not have been a stand up businessman, but I wouldn't be doing what I love today without his influence".

  Approved: Vanessa Anne Redd
One half of folk duo Six Years and a member of electronic act Rubicks, Vanessa Anne Redd describes her debut solo album as a "simple grunge-folk affair". That both sums it up perfectly and undersells it at the same time.

Roughly recorded alone in a house in the French countryside, the simple, very personal sounds were then brought back to a London studio, where Redd added strings.

On first single 'Invisible Strings', this added instrumentation really complements the soft lament that was already there. Meanwhile, the effect of the final studio embellishment is more pronounced on title track 'Behind The Wall', which is driven by a repeating guitar riff for its first half, before a shift in tone, drama and tension, ramped up with the help of a commanding string section.

The album, 'Behind The Wall', is due for release on 7 Oct. Redd plays an album launch show on 14 Sep at the Kings Head Members Club in London.

Watch the video for 'Behind The Wall' here.

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Canada closes down for The Tragically Hip's final show
Canadian band The Tragically Hip performed their final show on Saturday, bringing to an end a farewell tour which was announced after frontman Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year.

The show in Downie's hometown of Kingston was broadcast nationwide, with so many Canadians planning to watch people began proclaiming the country to be "closed" during the performance. The band played a three hour set with three encores before finally leaving the stage.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the show, telling local paper The Kingston-Whig Standard: "Tonight is the night where the whole country is either literally or metaphorically in Kingston. We're celebrating The Hip, we're unfortunately saying goodbye to Gord as [this is] his last big official show, but it's a moment to remember the soundtrack of our lives. For it to be rooted right here in Kingston is just wonderful".

Here's a quick crash course in the three decade career of "the most Canadian band in the world".


Architects guitarist Tom Searle dies
Architects guitarist Tom Searle has died three years after being diagnosed with skin cancer, his twin brother and bandmate Dan Searle announced yesterday. He was 28.

"Many of you will be aware that Tom has been absent from various shows over the past fifteen months and I can now let you know that this was due to various surgeries that he had to have to treat the cancer", wrote Dan in a Facebook post. "When we left for our European festival tour on 2 Jun, Tom was very unwell. He had been advised to stay in hospital to receive care but ultimately there was nothing that they could do for him and he signed himself out of the ward two days before we departed for Germany".

He continued: "Some of you might view this as reckless but this is the way Tom wanted to do things throughout his last year because he never wanted the cancer to get in the way of what he loved. He got on stage and performed his last two shows at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, which took him an incredible amount of strength but those are two shows that we will never forget".

The rest of the European tour and a planned US tour were cancelled just a few days later when Tom was taken to hospital in Luxembourg and placed into an medically induced coma. Doctors said it was unlikely that he would ever wake up, but he did and was able to return home.

"He spent the last two months of his life fighting with everything he had to overcome the disease once and for all, and things appeared to be moving in the right direction", wrote his brother. "But in the last two weeks it suddenly took a turn for the worse and finally he left us".

The future of the band is now uncertain, he added, saying that "to pretend that Tom wasn't at the heart of everything that the band created would be to show a complete lack of respect to the amazing talent that he was". However, he said that the band would definitely proceed with planned tour dates in Australia, Europe and the UK.

"We want to carry on, that is important to say, and we will strive to do so", he said. "But we will not release any music unless we truly believe that it is something that Tom would have been proud of. Whether or not we can achieve that is something that we will have to discover in time".

Architects' latest album, 'All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us', was released in May.

Frank Ocean releases new album Blond
It was a busy weekend for music-related pop-up shops. There was the Morrissey shop at Salford Lads' Club. And Kanye's worldwide chain of stores. And then, in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London there were stores handing out free copies of Frank Ocean's glossy 'Boys Don't Cry' magazine, which came with a CD copy of his new album 'Blond' stuffed inside.

Yes, it happened. It really happened. Frank Ocean released his new album. His second of the week, if you count 'visual album' 'Endless'. As well as being available as a magazine freebie, you can also listen to it on Apple Music. But only Apple Music mind. No Spotifys or Tidals here thank you very much. For now.

The 360 page magazine features photography and horoscopes by Ocean, interviews with his mum and Lil B, and poetry by Kanye West and Tyler, The Creator, among other stuff. As for the album, the physical and digital versions of the LP differ slightly, but both feature contributions from Beyonce, Andre 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Yung Lean, James Blake, and more.

Following the release, Ocean posted on Tumblr: "I had the time of my life making all of this. Thank you all. Especially those of you who never let me forget I had to finish. Which is basically every one of ya'll. Haha. Love you".

Here's the video for 'Nikes' from the album.


Metallica announce new album
Metallica have announced that they will release their eleventh studio album, 'Hardwired... To Self-Destruct', on 18 Nov. The follow-up to 2008's 'Death Magnetic', the LP is produced by Greg Fidelman and will be released through the band's own Blackened Records label.

"Has it really been eight years? Doesn't feel like it! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink", says Lars Ulrich. "We're obviously beyond psyched to share new tunes with all our friends out there. We've been rockin' along in the studio with Greg on and off for the last eighteen months firing up the creative engines again. Putting new music out there, getting in your faces once again and all that comes with it is what we love to do more than anything else, so strap yourselves in... INCOMING!"

The announcement of the album was accompanied by the video for first single 'Hardwired', which you can watch here.

Mozella, St Vincent, Coldplay, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Songwriter Mozella has written an article on the negative impact she believes the US Department Of Justice's decision not to amend ASCAP and BMI's consent decrees will have.

• St Vincent has recorded a "bendy" version of the US national anthem for the NFL.

• Coldplay have released the video for their latest single, the title track of their 'A Head Full Of Dreams' album.

• Katie Melua will release a new album, 'In Winter', on 14 Oct, recorded with the Gori Women's Choir. I have no music to offer you, but here's an interview she did with The Guardian.

• Pitbull will release new album 'Climate Change' on 7 Oct. "I feel like every time we put out an album we change the climate in the music business", he says of the title to Entertainment Weekly. Christ. Here's the first single 'Greenlight'.

• Korn's new single is 'Insane'.

• Craig David has announced that he'll release his first album for sixteen years on 30 Sep, titled 'Following My Intuition'. "I'm back in that sixteen year old kid mode, hungry, passionate and making music that I'm truly proud of", he says. "I want to deliver the music that people have been asking for, for so long, following my intuition and coming from a great place". Here's first single 'Ain't Giving Up'.

• Tove Lo has released the video for her new single, 'Cool Girl'.

• Sparks have announced that they will release a new "artisan crafted" album next year.

• 2NE1's CL has released the video for her new solo single 'Lifted'.

• The Devin Townshend Project have released another track from upcoming new album 'Transcendence'. Here's 'Secret Sciences'. The band will be touring the UK next March, including a show at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 17 Mar.

• Teleman have released the video for new single 'Tangerine'. The band are touring this autumn, including a show at The Forum in London on 1 Nov.

• Anna Of The North has released a new single, 'Us'. She will play The Lexington in London on 20 Sep.

• Jain will release her debut album 'Zanaka' on 21 Oct. She'll also play the Lexington in London on 27 Sep. Here again is the single, 'Come'.

• Get Inuit have aired their new single 'Teriaki', ahead of its official release on 2 Sep. The band are playing festivals and touring with Spring King until the end of October.

Liam Gallagher is 'most punk rock dude ever', says Tom Delonge
Who takes the title of 'most punk rock dude ever?' Well, if you believe everything former Blink 182 guitarist Tom Delonge says (and I've heard you do), then it's Liam Gallagher.

This opinion has been pretty long-standing, it seems. Ever since both Oasis and Blink 182 performed live on the same radio station years ago. Speaking on the latest episode of guitar string maker Ernie Ball's 'The Pursuit Of Tone' show, he said he'd not paid much attention to the band when they first walked into the building, deeming them not to be punk rock and therefore not worth talking to.

However, he recalls, that all changed when Liam Gallagher came backstage to their dressing room after their performance. "He goes 'you're the best I've seen in America'", Delonge says. "[And] I'm all 'you like us!' and he goes 'I didn't say that, but you're the best I've seen in America' and he slammed the door. I looked at everyone else and I went 'oh my God, that's the most punk rock dude I've ever met in my life'".

Ensuring that he maintains the title in Delonge's mind, Gallagher tweeted in response: "The most punk rock dude ever? Ha ha, you've seen fuck all yet, mate. As you were".

I'm not sure if that means Liam knows of someone more punk rock, or he himself is going to do some extra punk rock stuff in the future. The rumour is that he's about to launch his solo project, so maybe that'll be it.

Here's Tom Delonge talking.

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.
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