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AMAZON UPGRADES DIGITAL LOCKER SERVICE
As previously reported, Amazon launched a basic music-based digital locker service in the US last year, enabling users to upload their digital music files to the web firm's servers, so they can be accessed via any net-connected device.
Like Google, which opened a similar service Stateside last year, Amazon launched its digital locker without involving the major record companies, arguing that users could upload private copies of their existing digital music files under the private copy exemptions that exist in most copyright systems (though not the UK).
Some labels argued that because the digital locker allowed 'over-the-net' playback of uploaded music licences were actually needed from the rights owners, though Amazon and Google did not concur. However, Amazon continued to talk to the big music companies because it wanted to add extra functionality to its locker service which would need rights owner approval.
The main bit of extra functionality is scan-and-match, which was available with Apple's label-approved locker from the start. This function scans what music files are on a user's computer and, where tracks already exist in Amazon's catalogue, automatically places them into the user's locker without them having to upload the files individually. The locker version of the track may also be of a higher quality than the original. Such a service requires a mechanical copy licence from the labels.
All four majors and 150 indies are on board for this week's US launch of the upgraded Amazon locker service, which is compatible with any web browser, Android device, iPhone, iPad and the Kindle Fire tablet, and which will automatically place tracks at a 256kbps audio quality into a user's locker. The service will cost $25 a year.
A European launch of the enhanced Amazon locker service is expected later this year.
KILLING JOKE FEAR FOR FRONTMAN'S SAFETY
As previously reported, the statement was published (and then deleted) after the tour was downgraded to smaller venues. In his statement, Coleman said: "It gives me great pleasure to announce the cancellation of the upcoming gigs with The Cult and The Mission. Frankly, playing at a gig with The Cult never appealed to me in the first place. The only reason we allowed ourselves to be talked into it was to blow both bands off the stage and to steal their respective audiences".
But yesterday the band issued a new statement, in which they said: "A statement was posted on Facebook, reputedly by our singer, maligning both The Cult and The Mission and pulling us out of the shows. He is now AWOL and has not contacted any of his bandmates. We are deeply embarrassed by this and offer our sincere apologies to all involved. We are all concerned about our missing singer's welfare".
They added: "Killing Joke made a collective decision to play with The Cult and The Mission in September. It was agreed by all of the band that we would do these shows. Indeed, we thought that they were something to look forward to, even though they were downsized. We would still like to honour our commitment to this tour, the other bands, and all the [Killing Joke fans] and people who have already bought tickets and made travel arrangements. If this proves not possible, Killing Joke will make alternative arrangements to compensate for the trouble caused".
They closed by saying that they "are doing everything we can to make this tour happen and locate our missing singer".
FORMER MC ULTRA MANAGER DENIES INVOLVEMENT WITH TULISA SEX TAPE
As previously reported, the video surfaced online in March via a website selling the six minute recording for $5.99 a download. However, it was quickly taken offline after lawyers for the 'X-Factor' judge gained a court order against the London company operating the website that was distributing the footage. Last month Contostavlos settled with Edwards after he offered his "sincere apologies" for making the video available online.
Herbert, who lost his job as an advisor on 'X-Factor' due to the scandal, told The Sun earlier this week: "I'm so sorry. My reputation and business has been ruined by these unsavoury people. I never tried to make a penny. I am so sorry to her for any part I may have played in this horrible saga. I was disgusted by the whole thing and from day one advised Justin not to do anything with the tape. I even got a lawyer to tell him he would be sued. I tried to protect him because he was my client but I never made or asked for a penny. To be honest, I wish I'd never set eyes on the idiot".
But a spokesman for Contostavlos told The Daily Mail: "If Chris Herbert were genuinely sorry, he would be saying nothing. One 'sorry' does not make up for all the upset caused to Tulisa. This trauma to Tulisa was compounded by the defendants, before admitting their lies, allowing claims this was a Tulisa publicity stunt which was 100% never the case".
Providing further comment on the whole thing, Herbert subsequently told BBC Newsbeat: "Back at the end of 2011, Justin was, kind of, not getting any traction with him as an artist, so he came to me [saying he had] this sex tape of Tulisa and that he planned on releasing it or otherwise monetising it. I said to him: 'Look, that is absolute career suicide, you shouldn't be doing it, don't get involved in it'".
He continued: "[Then] Justin came back to me in about February and said: 'I'm ignoring your advice, despite what you said I'm going to go ahead with this anyway. And furthermore I've found some cowboys that are going to join an enterprise with me to put it out there'".
Countering Herbert's latest claims, Tulisa's lawyers say that they have "substantial" evidence - including signed documents - that he was actively involved in the whole process. But when this was put to him by Newsbeat, Herbert said: "[That's] nothing to do with me at all. There's nothing that I've signed, I've not joined any enterprise to do it. There's evidence that is incorrect, which can be challenged with [other] evidence, such as an allegation that I turned up at a meeting to conspire with [the people behind the distribution of the video] when I was actually out of the country".
He admitted, however, that "five or six emails" to the other defendants do exist. On these, he said: "I was making demands, on behalf of Justin, for legal indemnity, because I knew Justin was gonna get sued".
The other men accused of distributing the video have not as yet been named.
ELBOW RELEASE OFFICIAL BBC OLYMPICS THEME TUNE
As previously reported, the band were tasked last Novermber with recording a six minute track that will feature heavily on the BBC throughout the Games, akin to Gorillaz's 2008 effort for the Beijing Olympics.
Watch a short film about the creation of the track here.
DAVID BYRNE AND ST VINCENT PREMIERE NEW TRACK
Prior to the long player's release via 4AD on 11 Sep, you can listen to this, plus the previously premiered 'Who', via www.lovethisgiant.com. Alternatively, you can download a free copy of 'Weekend' now by pre-ordering 'Love This Giant'.
WHY? CONFIRM LP
After scanning its tracklisting, you can also view a short trailer documenting the making of the LP.
JACK WHITE LABEL RELEASING WILLY MOON SINGLE
FRIENDLY FIRES TO HEADLINE LONDON CHARITY CONCERT
Proceeds from all tickets (as are on sale now via this link) will go to benefit ABLE2UK, the overall aim being to promote disability awareness.
HOWLER, CAST OF CHEERS, GROSS MAGIC FOR NME GENERATION NEXT TOUR
New NME Editor Mike Williams enthuses thus of the triple bill: "2012 has been an amazing year for new music already, with so many amazing new artists of all genres emerging and threatening to shake up the establishment with their energy, ideas and undeniable talent. This bill represents the cream of the crop, and in headliners Howler we have a band that are genuinely one the most exciting acts to emerge in recent rock n roll history. I can't wait for it all to kick off!"
9 Oct: Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
PURITY RING TO TOUR
20 Nov: London, Scala
VIOLENS ADD LIVE DATES
14 Aug: London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Stream a three-track 'True' sampler featuring 'Totally True', 'Der Microarc' and 'Unfolding Black Wings' now via SoundCloud.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Mumford & Sons. www.itunesfestival.com
CORONA CAPITAL, Mexico City, Mexico, 13-14 Oct: The Black Keys, New Order, Franz Ferdinand, Suede, The Hives, My Morning Jacket, Florence and The Machine, Basement Jaxx, Snow Patrol, Miike Snow, DJ Shadow (DJ Set), Cat Power, Sleigh Bells, The Drums, Major Lazer, M Ward, The Maccabees, Modeselektor, A-Trak, The Vaccines, James Murphy, The Walkmen, Die Antwoord, Leon Larregui, Death in Vegas, Tegan And Sara, The Big Pink, Neon Indian, Black Lips, Alabama Shakes, Iron and Wine, The Raveonettes, The Wallflowers, Hello Seahorse!, Here We Go Magic, Mutemath, The Airborne Toxic Event, Whomadewho, Araabmuzik, Dum Dum Girls, The Joy Formidable, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Shabazz Palaces, Los Rakas, AWOLNATION, Tribes and Baio. www.coronacapital.com.mx
RIFKIND DEPARTS UNIVERSAL
Rifkind, perhaps best known for founding Loud Records in the early 1990s, formed an alliance with Universal in 2002 where he ran the SRC label, enjoying success with various artists, and most notably Akon. He signed a new three year arrangement with the major at the start of last year.
Rifkind confirmed his departure by Twitter on Monday, saying: "All great things come to a end. Yes, it's true, I'm leaving SRC Universal as of 1 Sep. [I] want to thank all the artists for a great run". He later added: "I appreciate all the support [and] I will stay in music. Just give me a few weeks to spend time with my family, thanks".
XXLmag.com has reported that Rifkind will take the SRC label with him, though there has been no official word on that one way or the other.
SPOTIFY UP TO FOUR MILLION PAYING SUBSCRIBERS, ADDS RADIO TO ANDROID APP
Speaking on a 'Future For The Music Industry' panel at the Global Business Summit On Creative Content in London yesterday, Spotify's Chief Content Officer and Managing Director of Spotify North America Ken Parks announced that active users now stand at fifteen million, while paying subscribers have reached four million worldwide.
The announcement coincided with the addition of Spotify's Pandora-style interactive radio service to its Android app, a feature added to the iPhone app back in June.
The update is more significant in the US, because in Europe the mobile interactive radio service, like all mobile services, will only be available to premium subscribers. However, in the US interactive radio is available on mobile to freemium users too.
Those using the ad-funded Spotify package will be able to listen to interactive radio on their mobile, and if they star tracks they like that information will also appear on the starred playlist channel on the platform's desktop client. In America Spotify is competing head on with Pandora in this space, and is therefore making much of the fact mobile interactive radio is available for free and is integrated with its desktop option.
XFM CHIEF STANDS DOWN
Confirming the appointment, Richard Park, Director Of Broadcasting at station owners Global told reporters: "Chris is a highly experienced and dedicated programmer with a real passion for radio and especially Xfm. His leadership and commitment will be a tremendous asset to everyone at the station. I would like to thank Andy for all his hard work and enthusiasm during his time with Global Radio and we wish him every success with his new ventures".
Chris Baughen himself added: "Xfm has always been special to me both as a listener and a programmer and I can't wait to get stuck in! It's my aim to take the station to even greater heights, building on the past twenty years of fantastic music and groundbreaking presenters".
And a departing Andy Ashton added: "I've had an absolutely fantastic time at Xfm and Global Radio over the last 20 months. It's an amazing company and I will miss the people greatly. I am extremely proud to be handing over a network with a revitalised energy, a strong identity and a roster of talent to die for. The culture of creativity and innovation we have built will benefit the network for years to come".
JOURNALIST RESIGNS AFTER ADMITTING TO INVENTING BOB DYLAN QUOTES
In a statement, reports The Guardian, Lehrer said he had decided to come clean after another writer, Michael Moynihan, challenged him on the origins of the quotes. He said: "The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes. But I told Mr Moynihan that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan's representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said".
Discussing Lehrer's resignation, New Yorker editor, David Remnick said: "This is a terrifically sad situation but, in the end, what is most important is the integrity of what we publish and what we stand for".
ICEAGE MERCH STALL SELLING T-SHIRTS, KNIVES AND DNA
But wait again, this isn't as irresponsible as it sounds, oh no, because the band - who have been selling the blades at various American dates - don't just hand them out to just anyone. Purely an under the counter item, they've added this written caveat to a sign on their merch stand: "No, you cannot 'see' it. No stabbing". So you see, it's only decorative, like the knife in that Katy Perry photo. And that didn't offend anyone at all, did it?
Not only this, but the 'New Brigade' hitmakers are also selling locks of their own hair at a fixed $20 rate. This may seem extortionate, but bare in mind that buyers can specify which Iceager they'd like as their DNA-donor. And think of the cloning potential, you could have your own cloned Iceage for $80.
Anyway, you can browse the band's bizarre new wares here. And please, no stabbing.
SNOOP LION VOWS TO "BURY" DOGG ALIAS
In what's more than likely just a Joaquin Phoenix-style ploy to publicise his new all-reggae and rap-free LP, 'Reincarnation', Snoop has said at a recent press conference that he felt impelled by a "spirit" to record in Jamaica.
Says he: "The spirit called me... And, you know, anytime the spirit calls you, you gotta know that it's serious".
The ex-rapper also adds that, rather than sounding like "Snoop Dogg on a reggae track", his design for 'Reincarnation' is that it allows him to "bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion".
He continues: "Rap is not a challenge to me. I had enough of that. It's not appealing to me no more. I don't have no challenges... I'm 'Uncle Snoop' in rap. When you get to be an uncle, you need to find a new profession so you can start over and be fresh again".
And finally: "I've always wanted to perform for kids, my grandmother and people around the world that love me, can't accept the music that I make. This reggae music is the music of love, happiness and struggle".
And now let's all - grandparents and under eighteens alike - watch the trailer for 'Reincarnated', the Vice-made documentary charting the birth of Snoop Lion, as we bid RIP to Snoop D-O-double-G for the last time.