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WEDNESDAY 11 JULY 2012
CMU WEEKLY PODCAST
The CMU Weekly Podcast is published every Friday, reviewing the week in music and the music business. On the latest edition, Editor Andy Malt and Business Editor Chris Cooke discuss Frank Ocean's revelation regards his sexuality, the European Parliament's no vote against ACTA, Sony and friends getting hold of EMI Music Publishing, and Def Leppard reliving the past more>>
APPROVED: LOWELL
While working with producer Martin Tereffe, Canadian singer Lowell ended up appearing on his band Apparatjik's second long player. Returning the favour, Apparatjik then came back to the studio to play on her album. And when the band consists of A-ha's Magne F, Coldplay's Guy Berrymen and Mew's Jonas Bjerre, that's the sort of endorsement most new artists can only dream of more>>
TOP STORIES
- CrowdSurge comments on Bloc debacle
- Grainge has a new manifesto for music, just as long as he gets EMI
- Chris Moyles to depart Radio 1 breakfast in September
- Hit Factory Live cancelled
IN THE POP COURTS
- Dotcom says he'd voluntarily go to America in return for access to funds
- Universal's pre-1972 technicality fails in ongoing Grooveshark battle
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Run-DMC reunion confirmed
IN THE STUDIO
- Reznor writes Call Of Duty videogame soundtrack, How To Destroy Angels album complete
- Labrinth "supposed to be working with Rihanna"
RELEASE NEWS
- Matthew Knowles planning Destiny's Child re-issues
- Frank Ocean releases album early, posts free stream
- Minus The Bear announce new album, London show
- Carina Round announces new album
FILMS & SHOWS NEWS
- Spike Lee directing Michael Jackson documentary
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Pulp announce Christmas hometown show
- Twin Shadow announces UK shows
- Jenny O announces UK tour
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Sony/ATV restructures management team as EMI staff cull begins
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- BuzzMedia buys Spin
AND FINALLY...
- The Queen refused to hand Jagger his knighthood, new book claims
DESK SPACE AVAILABLE
Two desk spaces for rent in our vibrant and stylish Anorak London office at Spitalfields. Use of kitchen area with sink, microwave + use of big, furnished meeting room. Office looks good and is an inspiring, creative place to work. Would suit like minded folk working in creative industries or music industry. We promote free working in our offices (no fixed desks).

Price: £500 each per month, prices includes phone use and internet + FREE yoga lesson in the office every Weds evening

Contact: laura@anoraklondon.com

DEMON MUSIC GROUP, PRODUCT MANAGER
Demon Music Group (one of the UK's largest independent record companies owned by BBC Worldwide) is looking to recruit a Product Manager for its 100 Hits and Crimson Productions ranges. You will be based in our Foley Street office. Demon controls a vast catalogue of rights, and key artists include: Al Green, Suede, Ian Dury, T. Rex, Steve Miller Band and Average White Band.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Please note this role is being re-advertised, previous applicants need not apply

   
FUTURE, EVENTS MANAGER
Future is looking for an Events Manager to on work its London based music, technology and gaming events. These events range from Classic Rock Roll of Honour and Metal Hammer Golden Gods to the T3 Gadget Awards and the Golden Joysticks.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO RECORDS, ROYALTY ADMINISTRATOR
A fantastic opportunity has arisen to join the Royalty Department based in Wandsworth. Duties include the processing of both incoming and outgoing royalty statements, maintaining catalogue data, mechanical reporting and invoicing as well as other ad hoc tasks.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
FABRIC, DIGITAL MARKETING OFFICER
We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing and executing a cutting edge digital marketing strategy. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge and excellent relevant digital marketing experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here .

CROWDSURGE COMMENTS ON BLOC DEBACLE
CrowdSurge, the direct-to-fan ticketing company that powered ticket sales for last weekend's Bloc Festival, has issued a statement distancing itself from the problems that occurred at the event which, as previously reported, was shut down amidst over-crowding shortly after midnight on Friday night.

As also previously reported, while Bloc promoter Baselogic continue to investigate what went wrong, opinion is divided amongst those who attended the event as to why crowd management became such an issue that promoters and police feared for audience safety.

Some reckon that too many people were admitted to the festival, possibly because of a problem with the ticketing process, while others have suggested that, although in theory the London Pleasure Gardens could more than accommodate the event's 18,000 capacity, the way the complex was used, with nearly all the stages on one half of the site, could not.

Also, organisers possibly didn't plan to accommodate all punters in performance areas at the same time, basing their plans on previous Bloc events where, being held at holiday camps, a portion of the audience would be in their chalets at any one time.

Of course until Bloc officially reports on the circumstances that resulted in last Friday's shutdown it's impossible to know what happened. But in a statement issued yesterday, CrowdSurge insisted that neither its ticket booking system or barcode scanning equipment was to blame.

Many Bloc ticket-buyers have observed that they could print out multiple copies of their tickets, though that is always the case with e-tickets. That said, the Teknoids blog, among others, has also noted that by pulling the HTML code out of e-tickets and changing one number in the barcode URL, punters could manufacture additional tickets with different barcodes (those who bought multiple tickets having noticed that the barcode numbers went up sequentially, so they could easily guess alternative codes).

CrowdSurge notes that even if numerous people did arrive at the site with the same barcode, only one ticket-buyer would be able to get past the gates, because the company's scanners would only authenticate each barcode once. Though, if people who had illegitimately manufactured a barcode got there first, then the genuine ticket buyer with the same code might not get in, which could have caused confusion at the gates, which might have explained the queues and, if stewards ultimately decided to let people in even if their barcodes didn't scan, overcrowding.

CrowdSurge, whose only involvement at the actual event was the scanning of the barcodes, says that it was not aware of any widespread issues with ticket scanning and that isolated (and to be expected) problems with certain e-tickets were dealt with on a case by case basis. But, the company adds, decisions were made at the event's gates beyond its control which may have caused the overcrowding problems.

In its statement, CrowdSurge says: "The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6 Jul was 15,796 - a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, not CrowdSurge".

It continues: "CrowdSurge were advised to 'shut down' scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6 Jul 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganised. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scanners cease to operate".

Meanwhile CrowdSurge CEO Martyn Noble told CMU: "It is evident that there was a combination of factors causing the cancellation of the Bloc Festival on Friday evening. The decisions taken had personal safety as the prime concern and as a result, personal injury was averted. We are immensely disappointed for the fans, the artists and festival organisers that the event was cancelled and will work with Baselogic and third parties to establish 'what happened and why' throughout their investigation. We sympathise with the frustration caused in lack of detailed statement coming forward from a variety of parties which is creating angst among fans waiting for refunds and an understanding of what went wrong".

Perhaps more importantly for those ticket-buyers waiting for refunds, CrowdSurge has confirmed that Baselogic handled all payments directly, so no money went through the CrowdSurge system, meaning punters are relying on the promoters themselves to refund ticket monies. Whether the company will be able to do this remains to be seen. It's thought most artists received 50% of their fees upfront which, coupled with the costs incurred to set up the site, will have used up a sizable portion of ticket revenues, making it unlikely the company would be able to refund all ticket buyers in full. Many insiders in the live sector - including agents who remain fans of Bloc's promoters for their past achievements - expect the Baselogic company to move into administration at some point.

More information about all this is expected in due course.

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GRAINGE HAS A NEW MANIFESTO FOR MUSIC, JUST AS LONG AS HE GETS EMI
Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge has confirmed to the Financial Times that his company will offer to sell some assets in order to win European Commission approval for its bid to buy the EMI record company.

Officially speaking, the major has previously said it believed it could secure regulator approval for its big deal without offering any remedies, though imminent concessions have been rumoured for sometime now, and are expected to be formally discussed between the music firm and EC regulators later this month.

In an interview with the FT, Grainge confirmed that Universal would offer to offload assets in those territories where critics say the major would be far too dominant if it is allowed to acquire EMI Music, though in the main he was much more keen to discuss how Universal would provide a cash boost to the EMI's under-resourced A&R teams (whose budgets were excessively cut under the old Terra Firma regime, he said), while also spearheading a "manifesto for the new music industry" to help digital start-ups with grand plans.

As his company heads into a number of face to face meetings with regulators this month (though a full oral hearing has been declined), Grainge told the paper: "I'm extremely open-minded about working with the [European] Commission in the context of behavioural remedies as well as divestitures".

Adding that he saw "a new world, with new platforms, new entrepreneurs, where we can all come together and create value", Grainge also threw in a bit of nationalism for the UK paper, honing in on the fact that, while he may run a French-owned music company from the US, he's British, and Britain's EMI would be in safe hands as part of his group. "I'm British. I want to see EMI back to where it was when I wanted to get a job there", he concluded.

Whether such talk will win over EC regulators this month remains to be seen - most reckon officials will be most interested in what assets Universal would be willing to sell as part of the deal.

In related news, it was confirmed by Music Week this morning that the Universal/EMI deal has been given the go ahead by regulators in Japan.

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CHRIS MOYLES TO DEPART RADIO 1 BREAKFAST IN SEPTEMBER
Chris Moyles will leave the Radio 1 breakfast show at the end of September, it has been confirmed, and will be replaced by Nick Grimshaw.

As much previously reported, Radio 1 management has been criticised for some time regarding the Moyles breakfast show, with some arguing that the 38 year old was not reaching the BBC station's target youth demographic, and others that the nation's favourite should be constantly looking to innovate, rather than celebrating the fact the incumbent was the network's longest serving breakfast DJ. But then the Moyles show continued to perform well in the ratings, and while his presenting style has always divided opinion, millions remain loyal to his programme.

Commentators have speculated at various points in recent years that Moyles might be able to leave the BBC pop station, and at one point there was much denied rumour that he was in talks with Global Radio about moving to Capital. But when it was announced that the DJ had renewed his contract with Radio 1 until the start of 2014, what would be the tenth anniversary of his breakfast show, many assumed he would stay on the prime time slot until then, despite newish Controller Ben Cooper more overtly trying to overcome criticism, both externally and from the BBC Trust, that Radio 1 just wasn't youthful enough.

Confirming he would depart in September, Moyles said simply: "We're off. I wanted to let you know. A couple more months of us, then it's someone else's turn. Thank you for listening".

While Cooper said: "I'd like to thank Chris. Quite simply he's been the most successful breakfast show host in Radio 1 history. He's done it for more than eight and half years and he's been fantastic".

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HIT FACTORY LIVE CANCELLED
Stock, Aitken & Waterman celebration Hit Factory Live, which was due to take place in London's Hyde Park today, is the latest casualty of the 2012 UK festival season. Promoter Live Nation announced yesterday afternoon that the show would not go ahead, due to adverse weather conditions, or, rather, the state Hyde Park is in because of all the bloody rain that has fallen of late.

As previously reported, the big selling point of the show was last month's announcement that Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan would perform their duet 'Especially For You', rounding of a day of performances from SAW acts of old like Steps, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Dead Or Alive, Pepsi & Shirlie, Princess, Sinitta, Hazell Dean, Sonia, Sybil, 2 Unlimited, Lonnie Gordon and Brother Beyond.

However, over the last two weeks, ticket prices for the event were slashed to as low as £5, from the original £48.50, leading to much speculation that the event had failed to excite as many music fans as originally expected.

Staging the event on a Wednesday seemed like an odd decision from the start - especially as the target audience would be an older demographic - though London's festival calendar, especially in Hyde Park, is particularly crowded this year because of extra Olympic events. Whether the midweek scheduling, coupled with a poor weather forecast damaging last minute bookings, did result in disappointing ticket sales, and whether that impacted on the decision to cancel, isn't 100% clear.

That said, there is some credibility with the weather excuse - or, more precisely, that weeks of wet weather, coupled with thousands of people trudging around Hyde Park last weekend for the Wireless Festival, has left the site very worse for wear, which is not good given it's needed for this weekend's Hard Rock Calling, not to mention a load of events during the London 2012 Games. Organisers say that the site is not currently safe for an event like Hit Factory Live, plus time is needed to ensure the park is ready for all of Live Nation's other festival shenanigans.

Live Nation COO John Probyn told CMU: "The moment the Wireless Festival ended, we put in place a massive plan to prepare the site for tomorrow. Eight thousand cubic metres of wood chip is currently being put in place and over the past 24 hours crews have started to make the site safe for our customers. Despite best efforts time has beaten us, but I want to reassure that Hard Rock Calling concerts with Soundgarden, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon, plus Madonna on 17 Jul and the BT London Live Opening Ceremony Celebration concert and the events will go ahead".

Hyde Park manager Steve Edwards added: "Woodchip is being laid on the concert site as part of plans to ensure concert goers can be welcomed back as soon as possible. We are confident that the action being taken will enable Hard Rock Calling and the remainder of the summer concert series to go ahead as planned".

Tickets for Hit Factory Live purchased from Ticketmaster and See Tickets should be refunded automatically.

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DOTCOM SAYS HE'D VOLUNTARILY GO TO AMERICA IN RETURN FOR ACCESS TO FUNDS
MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz has said he would voluntarily go to the US to face the copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering charges that have been made against him, providing the American authorities assured him bail in the States and gave him access to frozen funds to cover legal costs and living expenses.

Dotcom's offer came after a planned extradition hearing in New Zealand was postponed from August to next March, amidst complications relating to warrants used by police to raid the MegaUpload chief's home in the country back in January, and arguments about how much evidence the Americans should share with the defence. As previously reported, the US has been trying to extradite Dotcom and three other former MegaUpload executives from New Zealand ever since they shut down the controversial file-transfer service at the start of the year.

Although the US in theory would like its extradition to go through as soon as possible, Dotcom's legal team have suggested that delays in the New Zealand court actually suit the prosecution in America, because the US has deprived Dotcom of most of his fortune, and yet the longer the case rumbles on the more legal fees he incurs. And there's only so many favours even someone as well connected as Dotcom can call in.

He told the New Zealand Herald this week: "I have accumulated millions of dollars in legal bills and I haven't been able to pay a single cent. They just want to hang me out to dry and wait until there is no support left".

Proposing to the US that he come to America voluntarily, but on his own terms, to escalate the criminal case against him, Dotcom tweeted yesterday: "Hey DOJ [US Department Of Justice], we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers and living expenses".

Quite how serious the offer is to the US isn't clear - it certainly implies Dotcom genuinely believes he can defeat the charges against him in the US courts, because if he didn't he'd face jail time. That said, it is unlikely the US will call the MegaUpload chief's bluff and accept the offer, especially given the terms may well change if any actual deal was negotiated. Dotcom basically admitted this when telling the New Zealand Herald: "They will never agree to this and that is because they can't win this case and they know that already".

For the time being at least, America's attempts to extradite Dotcom are ongoing.

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UNIVERSAL'S PRE-1972 TECHNICALITY FAILS IN ONGOING GROOVESHARK BATTLE
One chapter in the ongoing Record Industry v Grooveshark saga has reached its conclusion (any appeals pending) with a victory to the often controversial streaming music service, though arguably Universal Music had already given up on this particular legal assault, even if it still argued this case in court.

As much previously reported, while many indie labels do licence Grooveshark (for the time being at least), all four majors reckon that the US company's business model is set up to abuse loopholes in American copyright law so that it can offer a vast catalogue of music, much of it without licence from rights owners. And while Groovesharke, in its defence, often positions itself as the champion of artists over labels, many musicians and songwriters have also been very vocal in their criticism of the streaming music platform in recent years.

The key difference between Grooveshark and the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Deezer, is that it allows users to upload music to its library. That means that large quantities of content from labels that have not done a licensing deal with the firm routinely appear in the Grooveshark library. But the company does operate a takedown system, pledging to remove unlicensed content if and when it is made aware of it. This, Grooveshark argues, and pretty convincingly based on recent precedent, protects it from liability for copyright infringement in the US jurisdiction, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But the major record companies argue that, because Grooveshark operates a passive takedown system, however many times a label requests content be removed, users will always quickly re-upload missing tracks, which renders the takedown process pointless. Some have also alleged that that fact is further exasperated by Grooveshark running a deliberately shoddy takedown system to further ensure it has as big a catalogue as possible at any one time. But the streaming music firm argues that the DMCA doesn't require technology companies to develop rights-holder-friendly proactive takedown systems in order to avoid infringement claims, and court rulings in similar cases back up that claim.

To that end, the labels have been trying to find ways to circumvent the DMCA when challenging Grooveshark. One ruse attempted by Universal Music was to file a lawsuit in the New York courts that specifically related to recordings owned by the label that were released prior to 1972. This is because the DMCA is a piece of federal law, and US-wide copyright law only began in America in 1972. Copyright works from before then are protected by State laws, and, Universal's legal team argued - somewhat optimistically - that the DMCA did not apply on State law.

The same argument was also presented as part of EMI's much previously reported legal fight with the now defunct MP3tunes.com, and last November the judge hearing that case knocked the technicality back, saying it was ridiculous to say that DMCA rules only applied to post-1972 works, because that would put an unfair burden on tech companies utilising protection from the act, who couldn't be expected to know what recordings in common circulation actually dated from before federal copyright law was introduced. In light of that ruling, it was going to be pretty hard for Universal to argue the same point.

And sure enough, according to Techdirt, that particular Universal lawsuit against Grooveshark has been knocked back too, with the judge citing the MP3tunes ruling as precedent. It means that the digital music service can claim DMCA protection for all the music its streams, oblivious of when that music was released. The judge also knocked back some of Universal's attempts to have counterclaims made against it by Grooveshark dismissed, though the streaming service's allegations of anti-trust behaviour by the music company were rejected.

Of course, within weeks of the MP3tunes ruling, Universal had filed a new lawsuit against Grooveshark, alleging that the digital firm had its own staff upload unlicensed music. If that could be proven, the digital firm would not be able to hide behind DMCA protection, and would be liable for copyright infringement. That case, now also backed by Sony Music and Warner Music, is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the US record industry is quietly - and sometimes not so quietly - lobbying for Congressional clarification on those elements of the DMCA used by Grooveshark and others (mainly YouTube competitors) to circumvent infringement claims.

An increasing number of rights owners believe that, because the courts have set a low minimum standard for takedown processes, it has allowed companies to build businesses out of a flaw in the system, ie that because users are constantly uploading unlicensed content, rights owners cannot keep up with takedown requests, meaning websites can offer vast catalogues of music at anyone time without permission, but without any copyright liability. The labels would like the DMCA to be amended so that more sophisticated takedown systems, such as that operated by Google's YouTube, would become compulsory.

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RUN-DMC REUNION CONFIRMED
Austin, Texas' Fun Fun Fun Fest yesterday confirmed rumours that Run-DMC are to reunite this year for the first time since the murder of their producer and DJ Jam Master Jay in 2002.

MCs Run and DMC will perform to mark the tenth anniversary of Jam Master Jay's death, and organisers of Fun Fun Fun Fest have said that a portion of revenues from the event will be donated to the JMJ Foundation For Music, which was set up by the late producer's wife Terri Corley-Mizell in his memory.

It's not yet clear if the duo are planning any further performances, but here's a video announcing the first one for you to enjoy while you wait to find out.

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REZNOR WRITES CALL OF DUTY VIDEOGAME SOUNDTRACK, HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS ALBUM COMPLETE
Trent Reznor has composed the soundtrack for new videogame 'Call Of Duty: Black Ops II', he has told USA Today. Although his best known soundtrack work is for the more recent 'Social Network' and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' movies, his earliest soundtrack projects were for videogames, composing music for 'Quake' in 1996 and 'Doom 3' in 2004.

Reznor said of the game and his music: "I have always looked to that franchise as the cutting edge of what seemingly unlimited budgets and full-on not cutting any corners can do in the current day and age. There is a lot of reservation and angst and sense of loss and regret and anger bubbling under the surface [in 'Black Ops II']. So it didn't make sense to have a gung ho patriotic feeling kind of theme song. It has to feel weighty".

As for his post-Nine Inch Nails project with wife Mariqueen Maandiq and long-time studio partner Atticus Ross, How To Destroy Angels, Reznor said that their long awaited album is now complete: "We have a finished album. It's been finished for a little while. We're doing a little bit of tweaks on it. The record will be out soon. We are doing a different type of distribution this time so it's taking a little bit longer to coordinate stuff. There's a lot of music about to be unleashed, videos, etc".

He also added that new Nine Inch Nails material is currently "in its gestation period".

Watch the trailer for 'Call Of Duty: Black Ops II', featuring snatches of Reznor's soundtrack, here.

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LABRINTH "SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING WITH RIHANNA"
Labrinth has revealed that he has been asked to contribute to Rihanna's next album, though he seems slightly unsure of the details at the moment.

Speaking to Capital FM, the producer said: "I'm supposed to be working with her soon hopefully, so I've spoke to her managers. I think she's currently working on some stuff so everybody's in there at the moment and she's working in certain studios so it seems like it's very exciting. She's not in my studio [yet] but hopefully I'll have some hot ones on her album".

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MATHEW KNOWLES PLANNING DESTINY'S CHILD RE-ISSUES
Father of Beyonce, Mathew Knowles is planning to re-release two of Destiny's Child's albums, with the new packages featuring a number of unreleased tracks by the group, in November. He also says he hopes to convince the trio to get back together for a reunion tour.

Knowles Senior, of course, managed the group while they were still together, and then Beyonce's solo career. However, the father and daughter's professional relationship ended abruptly in March last year after he was accused of stealing from her, which casts some doubt on any further business relationship between the two.

Still, Mathew told The Huffington Post: "It takes a year of planning to do these tours, but first it starts with the artist wanting to do it. And I think the ladies are still working happily in their solo careers. And I hope in the next five years that there is a reunion tour. I think it would be incredible. The hardest thing would be choosing which songs they're going to do, because we would want to mix it up with solo hits and Destiny's Child hits. We would have to throw away some number ones from off the set list".

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FRANK OCEAN RELEASES ALBUM EARLY, POSTS FREE STREAM
Frank Ocean yesterday announced the early release (for good behaviour, possibly) of his debut album proper 'Channel Orange', and then saw it promptly leap to number one in the iTunes chart. So a good day, all told.

The album features contributions from Andre 3000, John Mayer and Ocean's Odd Future compatriot Earl Sweatshirt.

The physical release of the album is due out on 23 Jul, but if you're holding out for that there's no need to feel left out, you can listen to a free stream of the whole record right here.

Tracklist:

Start
Thinkin Bout You
Fertilizer
Sierra Leone
Sweet Life
Not Just Honey
Super Rich Kids (feat Earl Sweatshirt)
Pilot Jones
Crack Rock
Pyramids
Lost
White (feat John Mayer)
Monks
Bad Religion
Pink Matter (feat Andre 3000)
Forrest Gump
End

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MINUS THE BEAR ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, LONDON SHOW
Seattle indie-rock quintet Minus The Bear have announced that they will release their fifth studio album, 'Infinity Overhead', via Big Scary Monsters on 3 Sep. Asked for a comment on their return, frontman Jake Snider just said: "We didn't go anywhere, but we're back".

You can catch the band live in London when they headline Heaven on 17 Aug, and you can check out album track 'Lonely Gun' right now, here.

The album has ten songs on it, all of which have titles. Here is a list of what they are:

Steel And Blood
Lies And Eyes
Diamond Lightning
Toska
Listing
Heaven Is A Ghost Town
Empty Party Rooms
Zeros
Lonely Gun
Cold Company

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CARINA ROUND ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Carina Round has announced that she will release her fourth album, 'Tigermending', through her own Dehisce label on 10 Sep. Produced by Dan Burns, the LP also features contributions from Dave Stewart, Brian Eno and Billy Corgan.

Explaining the title, taken from a painting by Amy Cutler, Round said: "The first time I saw the painting I stared at it for a long time not understanding why. The absurd image absorbed me. There was an innocent simplicity to it. The gentle putting back together of something most ferocious and wild mysteriously damaged to the point of submission".

Watch the video for album track 'Pick Up The Phone', here.

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SPIKE LEE DIRECTING MICHAEL JACKSON DOCUMENTARY
Spike Lee has announced that he's currently in the final stages of putting together a new documentary marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson's 'Bad' album.

Produced in conjunction with the estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music, the film features footage from the recording, promotion and touring of the album, as well as new interviews with many of those involved at the time and artists who have been influenced by it, including Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Cee-Lo Green and Sheryl Crow, who was a backing singer on the 'Bad' tour.

Lee said of the project: "I'm more than just a huge fan of Michael Jackson, and having the chance to actually know him and work with him, I deeply care about his legacy. With this 'Bad' project I was able to uncover just what made this such a huge, important coming of age in his career and unearth compelling stories surrounding the making of the album, the long awaited follow-up to 'Thriller' - the best selling album of all time - the short films and the tour that may have never seen the light of day".

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the estate of Michael Jackson, added in unison (harmonising quite beautifully, actually): "Spike Lee's genius as a storyteller combined with his passion and first-hand appreciation of Michael's artistry makes him the logical filmmaker to tell the story of 'Bad'. We are thrilled to be working with him on this unique project".

Watch a very brief clip featuring director Joe Pytka and choreographer Vince Paterson discussing the video for 'The Way You Make Me Feel' here.

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PULP ANNOUNCE CHRISTMAS HOMETOWN SHOW
Pulp have announced that they will play a hometown show in Sheffield (for that is their home town) on 8 Dec. Due to take place at the Sheffield Arena, tickets for the performance will go on sale at 9am this Friday.

Coincidently, earlier this week I listened to 'Different Class' for the first time in ages and realised I'd completely forgotten how great it is. So, in recognition of that fact, let's all watch this homemade video for 'F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E' which for no obvious reason is made up of clips from classic 90s Canadian TV show 'Due South'.

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TWIN SHADOW ANNOUNCES UK SHOWS
With his excellent new album, 'Confess', out this week, Twin Shadow has announced two UK shows later this year.

The dates are:

31 Oct: Manchester, Sound Control
1 Nov: London, Electric Brixton

Watch the second video from the album, 'Patient', here.

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JENNY O ANNOUNCES UK TOUR
Lo-fi indie singer-songwriter Jenny O has announced that she will be touring the UK later this month, in between festival shows and in the wake of the release of her new EP, 'Home', which is due out on 23 Jul.

The dates are as follows:

24 Jul: Brighton, The Hope
26 Jul: London, Slaughtered Lamb
31 Jul: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
1 Aug: Manchester, The Castle
2 Aug: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
7 Aug: Newquay, Café Irie
8 Aug: Bristol, Thekla
9 Aug: St Agnes, The Taphouse

Watch the video for 'Well OK Honey', which is take form the EP, here.

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SONY/ATV RESTRUCTURES MANAGEMENT TEAM AS EMI STAFF CULL BEGINS
The cull is well underway at EMI Music Publishing following its acquisition by a Sony-led consortium at the end of last month. As expected, EMI top man Roger Faxon and a few other top execs stepped aside as soon as the deal was done (Faxon remains chief of the EMI record company for now), though it's thought few expected further downsizing to happen quite so quickly, even though job cuts were inevitable.

According to reports, tens of staffers at the EMI publishing firm, on both sides of the Atlantic, have already been laid off, and rumour has it the number of redundancies worldwide could top 75 by the end of the week. As previously reported, a leaked report earlier this year suggested up to half of EMI Publishing's 515 employees could be ultimately axed as Sony/ATV teams take over rights administration duties, although it could take two years to fully trim the company down to size.

Meanwhile, Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier has announced a revamp of the company's management team who will oversee both the Sony publishing company and EMI Music Publishing. According to Billboard, with one exception - Brian Monaco - all of the senior managers confirmed so far come from Sony/ATV, though announcements to date have been US heavy.

Although - with Sony only actually owning a slice of the EMI publishing firm - the Sony and EMI publishing companies will remain separate entities legally speaking, it is thought in operational teams the two businesses will become pretty fully integrated pretty quickly, more so than some expected. Billboard also cites reports as saying that moving forward any new songwriters signed by Sony or EMI A&R teams will actually be contracted to both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing.

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BUZZMEDIA BUYS SPIN
Web publisher BuzzMedia has confirmed it has bought iconic American music magazine Spin.

BuzzMedia top geezer Tyler Goldman told reporters: "As music consumption continues to grow, there is an enormous demand for deeper context and engagement with thousands of diverse artists. Spin's category-leading editorial and photographic content provides the added social context that the audience is seeking by identifying, exploring and documenting the trends and scenes that shape music culture. While content is now being consumed across numerous devices, the key for all platforms is the type of great storytelling that Spin provides".

Meanwhile the boss of Spin Media, Alan Nichols, said: "As our audience has migrated to digital platforms, so too has Spin, as evidenced by our growing audience of more than one million digital users and our award-winning iPad app. This deal greatly accelerates our digital transition, enabling us to not only tap into BuzzMedia's digital audience of 120 million unique monthly visitors, but also its ability to foster original, authentic and insightful voices in a digital world".

Although those quotes say a lot about digital, and nothing about Spin's print edition - possibly adding to speculation the printed magazine will be phased out in favour of web and tablet outputs - Goldman insists no decision have as yet been made regards the Spin magazine. The New York Times quotes him as saying: "We believe print is important for Spin. As we continue to invest in the platform, we're going to look at defining what that role is".

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THE QUEEN REFUSED TO HAND JAGGER HIS KNIGHTHOOD, NEW BOOK CLAIMS
A new biography of Mick Jagger, 'Mick: The Wild Life And Mad Genius Of Jagger', claims that The Queen refused to personally give the Rolling Stones frontman his knighthood in 2003, instead asking Prince Charles to do it on her behalf. The book claims that she did not feel he frontman was a suitable candidate for the Honours List, on the grounds of his "anti-establishment views" and his friendship with her sister, Princess Margaret, which she saw as a "corrupting influence".

You'd have thought that if he'd genuinely harboured anti-establishment views he wouldn't have formed a relationship with a member of the royal family or accepted an OBE, but there you go.

Actually, according to The Daily Mail, The Queen had an even longer list of complaints which led to her deciding that she "did not have the stomach" to present the award, including that he had once called her "Chief Witch", had claimed that "anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope", had acted unpatriotically by moving to France to avoid tax in the 1970s, didn't do as much charity work as Elton John, and had embodied the 'sex, drugs and rock n roll' ethos in the 1970s "more than any other figure".

An anonymous source, said to be a royal courtier, told the book's author, Christopher Anderson: "The Queen looked at Mick Jagger's name on that list, and there was absolutely no way in the world that she was going to take part in that. So she simply arranged to be elsewhere".

The 'elsewhere', it seems, was a hospital, where she arranged to have an operation on her knee. That's how much she didn't want to have to go near Mick Jagger. She reportedly told a doctor: "I would much rather be here than at Buckingham Palace knighting a certain party".

Despite handing over the knighthood on behalf of his mother, Prince Charles is also said to have been surprised that Jagger was given the award, telling one of his aides: "It's really quite difficult to believe. A knighthood. Just incredible".

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