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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
FAC respond to Lily
Live sector support some action on file-sharing
Jackson disses family members in unsurfaced eighties interview
In The Pop Courts
The Governor sues Interscope over Tupac remix
Obituaries
Freddy Bienstock dies
Awards & Contests
Fucked Up win Polaris prize
Reunions & Splits
Keisha quits Sugababes
Full Take That to reunite for the kids?
In The Studio
Amy on Dionne
Release News
Foo Fighters announce hits album line up
Horrors to release Albarn collaboration
Asobi Seksu announce acoustic album
Rose Elinor Dougall announces new single
Films N Shows News
Spektor writing Broadway musical
Gigs N Tours News
Neon Indian announce debut UK shows
The Music Business
Some optimism about Australian and German record industries
HMV to open temporary stores for Christmas rush
Digital Stores move into urban via a Chipmunk
Music festivals good for the economy
The Digital Business
Spotify users file-share less
Vodafone add Warner to DRM-free mobile music service
Sky have all four majors on board for digital music service
The Media Business
Digital Radio UK launches
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Jay-Z is a poet and he know it
Madonna too saucy for Jacko
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
TUESDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER


THE LEISURE SOCIETY
The Leisure Society quietly self-released their debut album, 'The Sleeper', in March this year. A month later they found themselves at the centre of a media frenzy when their song 'The Last Of The Melting Snow' was nominated for the Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically And Lyrically. This brought them to the attention of the Full Time Hobby label, who quickly snapped them up and will re-release the album with an extra disc of bonus tracks on 28 Sep. The band also release a new mini-album, 'The Product of The Ego Drain', via the label on 5 Oct and are currently on tour. We spoke to core members and songwriters Nick Hemming and Christian Hardy.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Nick: I used to write lyrics to songs when I was a young teenager but they were basically pastiches of Jam songs (I was a huge Paul Weller fan) and not very good ones at that. When I was 17 I bought myself a cheap guitar from Argos and recorded a Spinal Tap-esque speed metal album with my friend Paddy Considine. We could barely play and recorded it using one microphone so it was pretty basic. The band was called Grunt and we called the album 'Oink At The Moon'. Unbelievably we sold a few copies at our local record store!

Christian: My dad is an amateur musician who would lock himself in his music room every weekend playing covers. I'd listen at the door from a very young age and before long I was sneaking in and tinkering with his keyboards and guitars when he was away. Meanwhile, my mum was off getting remarried to the lead guitarist from Showaddywaddy, so I had these very musical weekends when we'd visit them and play his insanely opulent guitar collection. My brother reminded me recently that I wrote my first song when I was about three or four, it was called 'Living Without The Order' and I don't know what that means.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Nick: About three years ago I split with my partner, who I'd been with for eight years. I'd been doing menial day jobs for years whilst playing in bands at night and had started writing songs inspired by the yearning to break away from the nine-to-five monotony. I was desperate do something I really had a passion for. The end of the relationship prompted a move down to London to live and make music with Christian. I was sleeping on sofas and sharing beds with friends and this whole lifestyle, while not particularly good for the health, stirred my creativity and lots of songs poured out.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
Christian: Nick plays me songs and I weep and swoon and get very very excited. Occasionally I play him one of mine if I think it might work with TLS. We play them together again and again to find harmonies and melodies that get us both excited. Then we record demos and start bringing in the band. With 'The Sleeper' we'd get musicians in as and when we could, and figure out parts as we went, whereas now we have this solid band of wonderful musicians in place, so for album two we're sending out the demos to the core other five members then trying them out at rehearsals and soundchecks and on the tour bus and then at shows. Complacency is not something we're guilty of; we agonise over structure and arrangement to the point of mania. We veer from euphoria to doubt and self-loathing. Luckily, Nick and I seem to have a totally unified sense of how songs should end up. There's a moment when we listen to a mix and we both know it's done, for good or ill.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Nick: I was introduced to a lot of cool music by Stephen Lawrie, of my old band The Telescopes. We'd stay up till the early hours drinking tea and smoking whilst he put on records from his vast collection of vinyl - Nick Drake, Bowie, The Stones, Richard Hell, Television... I'd previously only heard the early Beach Boys surf albums but when he played me 'Surf's Up', 'Friend' and '20/20', my ears were changed forever.

Christian: Before I met Nick I was all about Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Beck, Radiohead, The Beatles and Billy Joel. Now I have his vast CD collection at my disposal, so Neil Young, Grizzly Bear, Beach Boys and stacks of others are a massive influence too. We both discovered Loney, Dear together via my old label, our drummer Bas and myself played some sessions for him when he was last over here and working up close with him was incredibly inspiring. He IS music.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Nick: Well, without wanting to sound too sentimental, it's all written totally from the heart and hopefully the hours of love and attention we poured into it will come across in the recordings.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Christian: Once we'd finished it we just hoped it would be heard and appreciated by some people. Our initial self-released run led to amazing radio support from broadcasters we both admired massively, the Ivor Novello nomination and a deal with Full Time Hobby, a label we both dug long before. With the re-release on their label my hope is that a lot more people will get the chance to hear the record and the bonus tracks. As for the future, I'm already obsessed with the new songs, we're ready to start the process again, with our band, who we love. It's exciting.

Nick: Same here, really. I'm constantly looking forward and can't wait to get cracking on the next album. Beside that though, we are hoping to tour the US next year. I've always wanted to visit the States and a road trip with band mates must surely be the best way to see it.

MORE>> theleisuresociety.co.uk and www.myspace.com/theleisuresociety

 
A GRAVE WITH NO NAME
I saw A Grave With No Name play earlier this year at a night called Sexbeat Radfest, run by UK indie Sex Is Disgusting, and was underwhelmed by their live show, as it didn't quite sit amongst the punk-garage bands that played either side of them. However, revisiting their MySpace, I've discovered there are gems to be found amongst their tracks, like 'Khonner', which sounds part Mogwai and part Galaxie 500, opening with spoken word samples, before introducing a 4/4 drum beat lying under shreds of echoing, shamanistic vocals. Currently touring the London circuit, those outside the capital can listen to three tracks at the link below.

www.myspace.com/agravewithnoname
 

 
JOB OPPORTUNITY FROM ALAN BEARMAN MUSIC
ABM is looking for a full time administrator to undertake a variety of duties to support the company's day to day running. ABM is primarily a music agency representing a number of significant artists in the folk and roots music world. We are based in Finsbury Park, London N4. Please see www.alanbearmanmusic.co.uk for more information on our activities.

There will be opportunities to get involved in projects such as festivals and conferences but in the main we are looking for reliable admin back up on the agency side of the business. If you would like any more details or to apply, please email a CV and cover letter to Alan on bearman@btinternet.com

Salary and benefits will be based on experience/ qualifications. Please apply by end of September.

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Advertise your jobs here: £100 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

 
DESK SPACE TO RENT IN SHOREDITCH
A bright Shoreditch third floor 4 desk unit, ideal for a start-up. You'll be sharing with 4 other small media enterprises (film, publishing, PR and design). The space comes with four desks, chairs and shelving units and is ready for you to move in today. Office has internet, wifi and is fully air-conditioned. In a very desirable location 5 minutes from Liverpool Street station and 10 minutes from Old Street station. Rent is £250 per desk, per month, including rates and service charge. Please contact  rachel@devenportpr.com

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FILM PRODUCTION STUDIO TO RENT IN SHOREDITCH
A fully equipped film production studio in the heart of Shoreditch. An ideal temporary studio to meet all your freelance and overspill needs, with access to 2 cameras (Z1E and HC1E) with 2 sound kits, an HD edit suite with FCP Studio 2, HD deck, HD monitor and sound station. Full specs available on request. Includes a working space for up to four people. The space with production and post-production equipment is £200 per day, minimum hire of three days; 7 days is charged at 5 days. Discounts available for hire of 4 weeks plus. Please contact jobeda@fairknowledge.co.uk or 07809601366.

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Advertise your stuff here: £120 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

FAC RESPOND TO LILY
The Featured Artists' Coalition has issued a statement in response to Lily Allen's previously reported rantings in which she implied that the organisation supported file-sharing, while complaining that the Coalition, in opposing new government moves that aim to combat online piracy, was failing to support its younger members.

It was all well and good for more established FAC types like Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, she wrote, because they've already made their money, so have less to lose when cheeky music fans nick their music off the internet rather than buying it from legit download stores or listening to it on licensed streaming services. For artists still relying on recording sales income or, more likely, relying on their recordings making money in order to convince their record label to continue investing in them, file-sharing is a bigger deal. The government, of course, is now considering forcing internet service providers to ultimately suspend the net access of persistent file-sharers.

But the FAC say that Lily, in her widely reported blog ramblings, completely misunderstood their stance on this issue. Which I'm pretty sure we here at CMU had already noted and clarified, but apparently some fools don't read CMU, hence the need for the FAC statement. In it, the Coalition stress that they are very much opposed to file-sharing, but consider government moves to "criminalise" music fans to be somewhat counterproductive.

The FAC's statement reads: "Statements made in opposition to this idea [the government's proposals] by members of the Featured Artists Coalition have been taken to imply that we condone illicit file-sharing. This is not the case and never has been.We wish to make it clear to all parties that we believe the creative work of artists should be paid for by those who enjoy it and that whenever our music is used, royalties should be paid".

It continues: "The focus of our objection is the proposed treatment of ordinary music fans who download a few tracks so as to check out our material before they buy. For those of us who don't get played on the radio or mentioned in the music media - artists established and emerging - peer-to-peer recommendation is an important form of promotion".

Knowing the power of the Allen, the FAC probably should have clarified their viewpoint sooner. Because nearly a week has passed since her original blog, Lily has had time to start a campaign. Buoyed by early support from Patrick Wolf and Muse's Matt Bellamy (well, Bellamy wasn't really supporting Lily's viewpoint, but he did email her) she has been contacting various musicians in the last few days. Their responses and various bits of media coverage are collected at her new blog:

idontwanttochangetheworld.blogspot.com

Extra points must be awarded to Lily for using Billy Bragg lyrics in the URL there, he being another key member of the FAC, of course, and a vocal critic of the government's current proposals. However, she does lose all of those extra points as one of her own posts on the new site has turned out to be, in part, plagiarised from an article on Techdirt.com.

The author of the original piece, Mike Masnick, told TorrentFreak: "I think it's wonderful that Lilly Allen found so much value in our Techdirt post that she decided to copy - or should I say 'pirate'? - the entire post. The fact that she is trying to claim that such copying is bad, while doing it herself suggests something of a double standard, unfortunately. Also, for someone so concerned about the impact of 'piracy' I'm quite surprised that she neither credited nor linked to our post. Apparently, what she says and how she acts are somewhat different. Still, Lilly, glad we could help you make a point... even if it wasn't the one you thought you were making".

Lily has since responded via her blog thus: "I THINK ITS QUITE OVIOUS THAT I WASNT TRYING TO PASS OF THOSE WORDS AS MY OWN, HERE IS A LINK TO THE WEBSIITE I ACQUIRED THE PIECE FROM". Capital letters etc all Lily's.

Whatever, in many ways it's great that artists are getting so involved in the latest stage of the big P2P debate, though such vocal discussion isn't going to help those trying to convince government there is widespread support in the music community for a three-strikes style system for combating file-sharing in the UK.

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LIVE SECTOR SUPPORT SOME ACTION ON FILE-SHARING
The live sector has so far been quite quiet on the whole P2P file-sharing debate, and whether the government should be considering a three-strikes style system to combat online piracy.

That's not really surprising - the protection of recording rights not being of direct import to tour promoters - though a number of key promoters have nevertheless come out in favour of the government's proposed 'graduated response' system that could lead to persistent file-sharers having their net access suspended. I suppose they are clever enough to realise they rely on record companies to help launch artists into the big time, and that once launched those artists become big ticket sellers for the live industry. Promoters might not always think record companies go about things in the right way, but they've no interest in the record industry collapsing completely.

Anyway, in a letter to Music Week a group of promoters - including top men at AEG Live, Live Nation, Metropolis Music, MCD, Marshall Arts, Festival Republic, SJM and Kilamanjaro - said they supported the government's current proposals, adding: "We all realise investment in and development of new artists is necessary to help create the live superstars for the decades to come. To secure this investment it is essential money be made from selling recorded music physically or digitally and we feel it is only right that the investors in this development and the artists themselves are fairly recompensed for their work".

SJM Concerts MD Simon Moran added: "This is not [just] a crusade for record companies, the live industry wouldn't be great if we gave tickets away for free", while Kilimanjaro CEO Stuart Galbraith said: "We want to make the government aware that the live industry considers file-sharing as important [an issue] as [the] recorded music [industry]".

All that said, the live guys didn't want to get too involved in deciding which of the measures being discussed to combat file-sharing should be employed, nor whether they actually backed the suspension of the net connections of persistent file-sharers. Galbraith told Music Week: "That is not an area of [our] expertise and [is] something for the MMF and BPI to lobby on ... what measures [are used] we are not saying, that needs to be thrashed out".

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JACKSON DISSES FAMILY MEMBERS IN UNSURFACED EIGHTIES INTERVIEW
I'm not sure we should really be dwelling on an interview Michael Jackson gave in 1988 just because he spends much of it dissing his brothers, but hey, the News Of The World did, so let's do it anyway. The interview, given to the ghostwriters of his autobiography 'Moonwalk', sees Jacko diss brothers and former bandmates Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie, though the late king of pop seemingly got cold feet and insisted the material not be used in the final book.

According to the NoW, Jackson recalls the latter years of the Jackson Five in the interview, and says: "The brothers didn't give me support. We'd be working on a TV show or video and they'd be sitting around moaning and groaning but I'd be watching and learning. It takes a talent, but some people are lazy and don't want to develop anything".

During the interview he calls Marlon "old-fashioned", Jackie "negative" and Jermaine a "womanizer", whilst youngest brother Randy, a late addition to The Jacksons, was "hard-headed" and "macho". He goes on to criticise his mother for giving a "tell all" interview about his childhood, calls his older sister La Toya "Mrs Nice and Nasty", and criticises his youngest sibling Janet's marriage to producer James DeBarge, observing: "It kills me to see her off and married. We did everything together and were just alike. It's a terrible loss".

As previously reported, 'Moonwalk' will be republished next month, though still without the juicy family slagging bits, I think. No fun.

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THE GOVERNOR SUES INTERSCOPE OVER TUPAC REMIX
US rapper Joseph 'The Governor' Flowers is suing Universal label Interscope over a track that appeared on one of Tupac Shakur's many posthumous albums. The track under dispute is 'Po Nigga Bluez', a mid-nineties track a jazzed up version of which appeared on Tupac's 2004 release 'Loyal To The Game'.

It seems the 'Bluez' was originally a Flowers track with Tupac providing some guest background rapping. It was recorded in 1990, before Tupac had made a named for himself, though appeared on Flower's 1995 album 'Floss Mode', by which time Shakur was rather well known.

The 2004 version was a remix by Scott Storch and featuring vocals by Ron Isley. But Flowers claims it was created without his permission, and includes enough of his original track to constitute infringement. He said he only discovered the reworked track last year, hence his litigation now.

The Governor is asking for an immediate injunction to stop the sale of the 2004 album while he sues for statutory and punitive damages in relation to copies already sold.

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FREDDY BIENSTOCK DIES
A legend of the American music publishing industry and founder of Carlin Music, Freddy Bienstock, has died, aged 86, after a long illness.

His music publishing career began at the US offices of Chappell & Co, where he started off in the stock room before working his way up to the job of chairman. In 1966 he acquired the catalogue of Belinda Music and set up his own publishing firm, building up that catalogue to over 100,000 songs. That company became Carlin Music, a major publishing outfit that continues to be run by the Bienstock family - his two children working as COO and VP Business there to this day.

During his long publishing career Bienstock worked with numerous leading artists, from Cliff Richard to Ray Davies to James Brown to U2, and also enjoyed a close working relationship with Elvis Presley. The Carlin catalogue now includes classical, country and pop music, and also the rights to several stage musicals, including 'Cabaret'.

Beinstock also served for two decades on the board of the US's National Music Publishers Association. Their chairman, Irwin Robinson, is quoted by Billboard thus: "More than an icon and leader in the music publishing industry, Freddy was a cherished friend and colleague", while the trade body's CEO added: "Freddy's passion for music and commitment to artists and songwriters made him a giant in our industry, and his legacy will not soon be forgotten".

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FUCKED UP WIN POLARIS PRIZE
This year's Polaris Music Prize, which is Canada's 'like the Mercury Music Prize' award for best album, went to those Fucked Up guys, which will be fun for the mainstream Canadian media reporting on it. Polaris judges were impressed with their second album 'The Chemistry Of Common Life'.

Front man Damian 'Pink Eyes' Abraham told the audience at the Polaris event: "We got here today and we got frisked on our way in, and every time we went back, we got frisked again. So I was like: 'Aww, this is going to suck, being frisked so much and not coming away with anything'. But then I got a free iPod, and I was like: 'Yeah!' But this is better than an iPod!"

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KEISHA QUITS SUGABABES
So, that Keisha Buchanan was lying when she said that Jade Ewen wasn't joining the Sugababes. She is. However, it's not Amelle Berrabah she's replacing, it's Keisha, the group's last remaining original member.

Buchanan reportedly told the News Of The World at the weekend: "We're all still in LA, me and the girls. There is no hate going on between us. There's the three of us in this band and no one is joining. It's not true [Jade Ewen is] joining. She's a friend of mine but no, I'm not a liar. It's completely false, that's the honest to God truth. One hundred percent".

But a statement posted on the official Sugababes website yesterday evening reads: "The current line-up of the Sugababes has disbanded. Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue as the Sugababes and will be joined by new members Jade Ewen. They release their album 'Sweet 7' on 23 Nov through Island Records. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record as a solo artist".

Keisha, meanwhile, took to Twitter to say: "Dear Friends, I'm sad to say that I am no longer apart of the Sugababes. I've had a great time and have achieved more then I ever thought I would, although it was not my choice to leave, it's time to enter a new chapter in my life. I have nothing but positive things to say about the girls and I wish them the best of luck. I would like to state that there were no arguments, bullying or anything of the sort that lead to this. I would also like to point out that I have always supported the girls and they have also supported me. Now I'm going to take some time to focus on me. I've been in this band for 11 years and I have achieved so much. This is not the end... but the beginning!!!!"

All this presumably means that Ewen will now have to promote an album that she doesn't actually appear on, unless it's decided that it's worthwhile for her to re-record Buchanan's contributions. When Berrabah replaced Mutya Buena in 2005 the group were also part way through an album campaign. However, it was much further down the line that time, the album, 'Taller In More Ways', and two singles having already been released. Nevertheless, the new Babe did re-record some songs and co-write a new one for a re-released version of that album.

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FULL TAKE THAT TO REUNITE FOR THE KIDS?
Robbie Williams has said that he will perform with Take That for the first time since 1847 at a Royal Albert Hall show being organised by Gary Barlow in aid of Children In Need next month.

Williams told The Daily Mirror: "Yes something is definitely going to happen. Me and Gary have been hanging out a lot lately, talking things over.It's been absolutely amazing. I've always wanted to be in a band ever since we split".

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AMY ON DIONNE
Amy Winehouse has been chatting more about her new record label Lioness Records, which she announced she was launching a while back. Those with good memories will remember her first signing is her thirteen year old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.

Bigging up Dionne, Amy told The Sun: "The first time I heard Dionne sing, I couldn't believe what I was hearing, such an amazing voice from such a young girl. She's so much better than I was at her age. I'm just so proud of her. She's a great songwriter and guitarist but I want her to experience life so she can write more. Singing songs that are so personal, it's deep. But she knows what she's doing. To be honest, when I say Dionne's like my sister, a lot of the time she's like my older sister".

I'm not sure when Lioness will release the first Bromfield record, presumably when Dionne's done enough living. To be honest I'm not really sure why Winehouse has been specifically talking about her new record label this week at all - though someone was reporting all this was newsworthy because Winhouse's business venture had now "officially launched", whatever that means.

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FOO FIGHTERS ANNOUNCE HITS ALBUM LINE UP
Want to know what's on the upcoming Foo Fighter's hits album? Well, courtesy of Rolling Stone I think, we can present you a full track listing.

All My Life
Best Of You
Everlong
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn To Fly
Times Like These
Monkeywrench
Big Me
Breakout
Long Road To Ruin
This is a Call
Skin And Bones
Wheels
Word Forward
Everlong (Acoustic)

For those wondering what the hell 'Wheels' and 'Word Forward' are, those are the compulsory "may be great hits, but they're not yet" new tracks.

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HORRORS TO RELEASE ALBARN COLLABORATION
The Horrors have announced that they will release a collaboration with Damon Albarn as a single later this year. As previously reported, the band recently played on a track for the new Gorillaz album and Albarn return the favour by producing one of their own songs. 'Whole New Way' will be released on vinyl and download on 2 Nov.

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ASOBI SEKSU ANNOUNCE ACOUSTIC ALBUM
Dream poppers Asobi Seksu will release a new album featuring acoustic versions of a number of their songs later this year. The band recorded new versions of tracks form across their career, including some b-sides and rarities, at the legendary Olympic Studios, formerly owned by EMI, earlier this year. The albums, 'Acoustic At Olympic', will be released on 16 Nov by One Little Indian.

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ROSE ELINOR DOUGALL ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE
CMU favourite Rose Elinor Dougall has announced details of her third solo single. 'Fallen Over' will be released via Scarlett Music on 23 Nov, backed with 'False Hopes' and released as a download and on limited edition 7".

You can hear 'Fallen Over' right now on Rose's MySpace profile, here: www.myspace.com/roseelinordougallmusic

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SPEKTOR WRITING BROADWAY MUSICAL
Regina Spektor has announced that she is writing music for a new Broadway production inspired by 'Sleeping Beauty'. Entitled 'Beauty', produced by Elephant Eye Theatricals and directed by Tina Landau, the show is planned to premier in 2011.

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NEON INDIAN ANNOUNCE DEBUT UK SHOWS
When he tipped them in the SNAP Of The Day column back in July, Owen CMU was lamenting the fact that Neon Indian only had one gig booked and it was all the way over in Canada. So, he's understandably excited to learn that they're playing their first ever UK shows next week.

Check out their offbeat pop sound at these gigs:

26 Sep: London, Cargo
28 Sep: Sheffield, The Harley
29 Sep: London, The Barfly

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SOME OPTIMISM ABOUT AUSTRALIAN AND GERMAN RECORD INDUSTRIES
Good news people, trade bodies representing both Australia and Germany's record industries reckon things are looking up after several years of doom, gloom and sliding record sales.

New stats from the Australian Recording Industry Association show that the record business there grew slightly in the first half of the year as growth in digital started to exceed the decline in physical CD sales. Although only small growth - about 0.4% - it is enough to bring smiles to the faces of top guys at some Australian music firms. ARIA chairman and Warner Music Australia chief Ed St John told reporters: "What we're seeing is the first tentative evidence of a return to growth", while adding that there was room for further optimism because of a strong release schedule in the final quarter. He said: "Retailers are telling us this could be the best music Christmas in years, with products for every possible demographic. Music, and the music industry, is proving very resilient in these challenging times".

In Germany things aren't quite so glowy just at the moment, but the CEO of the country's record label trade body, the Federal Association Of The Music Industry - that'll be Stefan Michalk - says there is room for optimism there also. Based on market research by GfK, Michalk says there is an appetite for emerging digital services - including iTunes albums, subscription-style Spotify and music access bundled into ISP packages - so much so the record industry could start to grow again as of 2013. Needless to say, physical sales will continue to decline and digital revenues will continue to grow - but more importantly the growth of the latter should start to exceed the decline of the former within five years.

Though, Michalk was keen to stress, that optimistic forecast for the German music market does depend on political and internet types in the country doing something to combat file-sharing. As previously reported, German record companies are pushing for Germany to follow the lead of France and to consider putting some kind of three-strikes system for combating online piracy onto the statute book, though the political will for such a move doesn't seem to be as strong among the German political class as it is in France. Plus there's an increasingly vocal Pirate Party in Germany, who are sure to speak out about any such moves.

Michalk told reporters: "Established streaming subscription services such as Napster are coming under price pressure from new providers, for example Spotify, Vivo and MySpace Music. Convergence of PC and cellphone-based download services: the different ways of purchasing music digitally will grow together for consumers in the future. This positive trend in the digital music market depends on the success of putting a stop to illegal competition. Today in Germany only one out of eight downloads is purchased legally".

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HMV TO OPEN TEMPORARY STORES FOR CHRISTMAS RUSH
I think its fair to say HMV have had a good 2009, aided in part, of course, by the disappearance of both Woolies and Zavvi from the high street at the start of the year. And the entertainment retail giant has spotted another opportunity presented by the demise of their rivals, which will result in the opening of fifteen temporary HMV stores in the run up to Christmas.

The end of Woolworths and Zavvi means that some British towns have no mainstream entertainment retailers. In fifteen such towns where the local market isn't sufficient to justify HMV launching stores full time, the retailer will open temporary outlets to cash in on the Christmas rush, the time of year when many non-traditional entertainment consumers suddenly need high street access to CDs, DVDs or video games. Not sure on the logistics of setting up the temporary stores, but it sounds like a great idea to me - though any independents in these fifteen towns buoyed by the demise of their local Zavvi might disagree.

Anyway, HMV chief Simon Fox told Billboard: "We've acquired 29 stores over the last few months, most of them former Zavvi locations, and it's obviously very sad what happened, but what we are doing at the moment is planning for Christmas, and it will be the first Christmas obviously in the UK without a Woolworths, without a Zavvi, so we are looking to take some temporary store locations for the Christmas period as well as the permanent sites we have just taken. We are working hard to make the most of the Christmas opportunity".

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DIGITAL STORES MOVE INTO URBAN VIA A CHIPMUNK
Digital Stores, the company behind www.recordstore.co.uk and the providers of etail services to numerous artists and labels, have announced their first major urban music partnership. They have created an online store for Sony-signed grime type Chipmunk, who will release his first album for the major, 'I Am Chipmunk', next month.

Digital Stores Commercial Director Simon Coates told CMU: "As far as the urban music sector goes, we've been interested spectators up till now. In my experience, it's traditionally been quite a challenge to sell urban music online, as file-sharing and the free exchange of music between peers has been the norm. In fact, in many ways, urban music has been ahead of its time. However, we now know that the time is right and e-commerce is now all about speaking directly to the fans. It's also brilliant to become part of the team whose stated aim is to make Chipmunk into an international superstar".

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MUSIC FESTIVALS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY
The Association Of Independent Festivals has done some research on the spending of UK festival-goers and reckons that just the indie festivals staged by AIF members pumped some £135 million into the UK economy, with each of their customers spending on average £408 on festival type shenanigans.

And, of course, that spend doesn't all go to the festival promoters, local towns and businesses benefit too. Isle Of Wight ferry companies benefit to the tune of £600,000 from Bestival alone, while it's reckoned the non-camping based Evolution contributed no less than £2.9 million to the Newcastle and Gateshead local communities.

AIF General Manager Claire O'Neill told CMU: "It is clear that independent festivals make a significant contribution not only culturally, but also to the local and UK economy".

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SPOTIFY USERS FILE-SHARE LESS
Spotify chief Daniel Ek said an interesting thing at that previously reported Glasshouse event in London regarding some research the popular digital music service has done on the file-sharing habits of its users. I think this was based on users in Spotify's home territory of Sweden.

Asked if services like Spotify can help combat file-sharing, Ek said: "Well, actually, yes. I think so. There have been a lot of surveys of user behaviour, post-Spotify. One point seems consistent throughout them: that 80% of Spotify users say they have stopped filesharing. And, for the majority, it hasn't affected their spending".

Of course many of those who oppose draconian legal measures against P2P file-sharers have long said that if the music industry would only offer compelling and comprehensive digital services then many file-sharers would stop stealing. Ek's research is possibly proof of that. In Sweden anyway.

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VODAFONE ADD WARNER TO DRM-FREE MOBILE MUSIC SERVICE
Vodafone have announced a deal with Warner Music which will see the addition of tracks from the major to their DRM-free over-the-air download service which, I think, makes them the first mobile provider offering digital rights management free mobile downloads from all four majors. Well, that's what they say anyway, and who am I to argue?

Vodafone's Pieter Knook told CMU: "Warner Music's addition to our mobile DRM-free catalogue is really great news for our customers. The response to the DRM-free offering in all the markets where it has launched has been incredibly enthusiastic. Our customers love music and they love the flexibility that DRM-free on mobile gives them".

Warner's SVP Digital Eric Daugan added: "We're pleased to be expanding our partnership with Vodafone, who share our vision of how to help foster the growth of mobile music and create
further opportunities for connecting fans with artists by offering premium album content anytime, anywhere".

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SKY HAVE ALL FOUR MAJORS ON BOARD FOR DIGITAL MUSIC SERVICE
Also securing all four majors for their planned digital music service are BSkyB. The satellite telly company announced its plans to launch its own download service - pitched mainly at its ISP customers - last year. They had a partnership with Universal Music from the start and have been busy signing up the other majors and the indies ever since.

It's not clear exactly how the Sky service will work, though a source has told Music Week that it will combine a free streaming service, a subscription offer and an a la carte download service. That presumably means it won't be offering all-you-can-eat digital rights management free MP3s for a set monthly sum, as their rivals Virgin Media are proposing. Though, as previously reported, Virgin are yet to get all the majors on board - and all but Universal seem reticent to sign up to their proposed service.

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DIGITAL RADIO UK LAUNCHES
Digital Radio UK, a new body charged with the task of getting the country ready for the big switch over from FM to digital radio, was launched yesterday. It takes over from the Digital Radio Development Bureau, but has a bigger task in some ways now that the concept of FM transmissions being turned off seems more like a real if future prospect. The body's first task is to find a chief, and that process has already begun. It's hoped a CEO will be in place by Christmas.

Commenting on the launch of the new body, BBC radio top man Tim Davie told reporters: "The launch of Digital Radio UK is a clear indication that the whole radio industry is committed to securing a digital future for radio. By working together, we can deliver solutions that significantly increase digital listening and help to make switchover a reality".

Meanwhile, speaking for the commercial sector, Global Radio CEO Stephen Miron said this: "The creation of Digital Radio UK is, from our perspective at Global, another big positive step forward in the drive to digital. Working with our colleagues at the BBC and across the sector in a coordinated way, will ensure that both listeners and advertisers will enjoy the benefits that will come from the switchover to digital radio. The smooth transition from analogue to digital remains an absolute priority for all of us working within radio".

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (Warner Bros)
2. Daughtry - Leave This Town (Sony/RCA)
3. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
4. Billy Talent - III (Warner/Atlantic)
5. Black Crowes - Before The Frost...Until The Freeze (Silver Arrow)*
6. Jet - Shaka Rock (EMI)
7. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony Music)
8. Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage (Warner/Roadrunner)
9. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
10. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
11. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
12. Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Edel)
13. The Used - Artwork (Warner Bros) - new entry
14. Guns N Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
15. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Warner/Roadrunner)
16. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Warner/Roadrunner)
17. The Mars Volta - Octahedron (Universal)
18. Led Zeppelin - Mothership (Warner/Atlantic)*
19. Daughtry - Daughtry (Sony/RCA)
20. Behemoth - Evanglion (Nuclear Blast)

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JAY-Z IS A POET AND HE KNOW IT
Jay-Z reckons rappers are "the poets of our generation", which might come as news to this generation's poets. The hip hop king told NME: "We're the poets of our generation! Those truths and those honesties need to be told and sometimes that will rub people the wrong way but that don't mean you don't tell them... I think when rap is done brilliantly it can inform you of a problem, things that are going on".

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MADONNA TOO SAUCY FOR JACKO
Madonna has revealed that Michael Jackson once approached her to work on a collaboration but that it didn't happen because the lyrics she came up with were too raunchy.

She told The Daily Record: "We became friends. I wrote a bunch of words and presented them to him but he didn't want to go there. I said, 'Well, why come to me?' That's like asking Quentin Tarantino to not put violence in his films. I felt he was too inhibited, too shy".

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