MONDAY
10 SEP 2012

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COMING UP THIS WEEK
It's Mercury nominations week, so look out for coverage of all that in the next five days, including the customary Editor's Letter on the shortlist. Whether we'll get any big announcement on Universal's EMI deal isn't yet clear, but we'll have all the latest developments, plus check the CMU Timeline for the story so far. And look out for another interview, playlist, beef and plenty of great tracks fully approved by Team CMU.
 
APPROVED: DIIV
Brooklyn band DIIV - who like outsized blouses, novelty cereals and cumulous indie music - have at their artistic heart the songwriting of one Zachary Cole Smith, also guitarist in Beach Fossils. The band's debut LP 'Oshin' has something of an impenetrable, unknowable quality to it, with a tendency to skirt the vague shape of, say, a 'definitive chorus', rather than actually present one more>>
TOP STORIES
- AEG maintains that Jacksons had role in embarrassing email leak
IN THE POP COURTS
- Songwriter accuses Muse of theft over Exogenesis trilogy
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- Classic BRITs nominations published
ARTIST DEALS
- Indians signs to 4AD
- Universal Publishing signs former Journey frontman
RELEASE NEWS
- Thom Yorke introduces Atoms For Peace project
- Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj prep new singles
- Yo La Tengo to release EP this month, LP in 2013
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Cat Power to play Roundhouse
- Shearwater to tour
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up additions
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
- Jon Platt joining Warner Chappell
- Rob Clark departs Virgin Records
- Hoxton Hall partners with Outpost Media to help young musicians
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Spotify-in-browser and Apple-streaming-service rumours resurface
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Radio 2 to air Glee-style Britpop drama
AND FINALLY...
- 50 Shades author "writes sex" to Black Eyed Peas
SOUND CHANNEL/HIDEOUT FESTIVAL - DIGITAL MARKETING AND PR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Sound Channel is one of the leading companies working in the electronic music industry, working on a number of large-scale music club events, concerts, and festivals in the UK and Europe, such as Hideout Festival in Croatia, Metropolis, Wax:On brands in the UK and the newly launched Canal Mills venue.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NAME PR - PRESS ASSISTANT
Name PR is looking for a bright press assistant who is a self-starter with great writing ability and interpersonal skills, has a good grasp of the music industry, and has at least a basic working knowledge of PR and journalism, for a part-time role that has the potential to become full-time.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
PROUD2 - CLUB PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Senior level Club Promotions Manager to join London’s largest nightclub. Must have both promoter and agent contacts across a range of music genres... and a finger firmly on the pulse. Building and retaining strong relationships is key in order to preserve the reputation of the venue and elements of programming and booking for various club nights.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ONLINE PR / TV ASSISTANT POSITION
Boutique music TV promotions company needs a friendly, outgoing, self-motivated staff member to step into online PR role, also assisting the TV department. The right candidate will need experience of online promotion and ideally be able to bring some contacts, as well assisting in some admin for the TV department, and covering of TV / online sessions with our artists.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO RECORDS - DIGITAL SALES MANAGER
Domino is seeking a confident high calibre individual to oversee digital sales initiatives for its London office. The position will manage key partnerships with UK and European digital music services (e.g. iTunes, Spotify).

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MANNERS MCDADE - CREATIVE SYNC AND ARTIST MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT
Manners McDade is a boutique agency specialising in publishing, artist management and promoting music for use in visual media. We are looking for confident individual with a working knowledge of music publishing and/or synchronisation.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
LISTEN UP - PRESS ASSISTANT INTERNSHIP
Listen Up is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic press intern to assist our press department across their print and online campaigns. If you are a budding publicist looking to get your first foot in the door then this could be the opportunity for you.

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

A round up of music and music business events happening in the next seven days...

Chris Moyles' last day at Radio 1. Chris Moyles will present the Radio 1 breakfast show for the final time this Friday, bringing to an end his eight-year run in the prime-time slot. Moyles renewed his R1 contract for another three years in July 2011, but is leaving the breakfast slot as bosses at the BBC station contend with criticism that the service does not sufficiently appeal to its target youth demographic. 28 year old Nick Grimshaw will replace 38 year old Moyles on 24 Sep.

Mercury Prize shortlist. You may well be scratching your head right now, thinking to yourself, 'but surely the Mercury Prize itself is handed out in September'. It's OK, you're right, it was. But not any more. It was announced earlier this year that the main ceremony was being moved to November. And what is it making way for? Um, well, I guess for the new nominations 'party' in September. You wouldn't want the two things to clash. Anyway, the list of the twelve inarguably best British albums of the last year - aka the Mercury shortlist - will be announced on Wednesday evening.

International Radio Festival. Now in its third year, the International Radio Festival kicks off again in Zurich this Wednesday, running right the way through to Sunday. Presenters representing radio stations from across the globe will broadcast from the festival, both on a festival frequency and to listeners back home. From the UK, stations attending and broadcasting include BBC Radio 1, Flex FM, Ministry Of Sound Radio and Q Radio.

The Beatles hit the West End. A new West End show will open in London this Friday featuring songs by The Beatles, to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of their first ever single 'Love Me Do'. The first time a West End show has been given permission to use Beatles-composed songs, 'Let It Be' will tell the story of the Fab Four's rise to fame with video clips and live performances of tracks like 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Day Tripper', 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.

New releases. It's yet another packed week for new releases, with a couple of particular note coming out of the Beggars Group, The xx's second album 'Angels' on XL and David Byrne and St Vincent's new collaboration 'Love This Giant' on 4AD. As well as that, Bob Dylan is releasing his 35th studio LP, and you can also grab new albums from The Raveonettes, A$AP Rocky, Gallows, Toy, Sic Alps, Carina Round, The Dying Seconds, Jack Beats, Thee Oh Sees and Tina Dico. Also, Marshall Teller Records has a compilation out to celebrate the company's birthday, Man Like Me and Grass House have singles out, and you can get independent record shop documentary 'Last Shop Standing' on DVD.

Gigs and tours. If you're in Manchester tomorrow night (and have a ticket), you can catch Lady Gaga at the Manchester Arena. Or if you fancy something more 'intimate' this week, you could try to get in to see one of Robbie Williams' club shows, The Killers' free show for Radio 1 at The Forum in London, or The xx at a number of dates around the country. Meanwhile, King Tuff and MS MR have London shows lined up this week, and also touring are Beirut, El P, Torche and Motion City Soundtrack.

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AEG MAINTAINS THAT JACKSONS HAD ROLE IN EMBARRASSING EMAIL LEAK
AEG Live is definitely blaming the Jackson family for the leaking of confidential emails between execs at the live firm regards the late Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' show, even though an associate of Katherine Jackson has admitted responsibility, according to CNN.

As previously reported, the emails were leaked to the LA Times which published them last month. They showed the various concerns held by AEG execs and others working on 'This Is It' regards the late king of pop's physical and mental health while preparing for the planned London residency that never was, and included some harsh criticism of the singer. One email from after Jackson's death also showed AEG Live President Randy Phillips calculating how his company could still profit from its alliance with the singer, despite his premature demise.

It was initially thought that the emails, seemingly selected to show AEG in a bad light, had come from evidence amassed for the legal battle between the live firm and Lloyds Of London, insurers of part of the 'This Is It' venture. Lloyds has taken legal action to avoid paying out on the 'This Is It' policy, claiming that AEG misrepresented the state of Jackson's health while preparing for his London live jaunt. The emails certainly show that AEG's public line during the 'This Is It' rehearsals - that Jackson was fit and healthy, and definitely ready for a 50 night run in London - wasn't true.

However, then US gossip man Roger Friedman claimed that AEG was accusing the Jackson family of leaking the emails, suggesting the messages actually came from evidence to be presented as part of a separate legal action between Katherine Jackson and the promoter. And according to CNN, AEG lawyer Marvin Putman said last week that he has "unequivocal evidence" that is the case, and as the Jacksons themselves received the emails under a strict court order, he is now asking the judge overseeing the Katherine Jackson v AEG case to fine the plaintiffs, and to ban the leaked emails from being presented in court.

Putman also reckons that the Jacksons were complicit in the email leaking, even though one Howard Mann has come forward to say it was he that provided the LA Times with the confidential messages. Though Mann is an existing business associate of Katherine Jackson, who has caused controversy before by pursuing Michael Jackson related projects, often in collaboration with the Jackson matriarch, but without the endorsement of the MJ Estate.

Mann says he gathered the emails he handed to the LA Times from various sources, but not Mrs Jackson or her lawyers. Though Putman remains convinced the Jacksons still played a role somewhere along the line. CNN quotes him as saying: "[It is] convenient that Howard Mann - a long time business partner of the Jackson family - has come forward in this fashion. Whether these documents were leaked through an intermediary or directly by Mrs Jackson and her counsel, this remains an egregious violation of the court's order requiring immediate sanctions and an investigation".

Putman added that the leaking of the emails was a desperate act by the Jacksons and/or their associates, them having realised that their case against the live music giant is baseless. The Jacksons, of course, reckon that AEG should be held liable for the actions of Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of manslaughter for causing the singer's death through negligence, because the company paid his bills. AEG argues that Murray was appointed by and reported to Jackson directly, and therefore it is not liable for the medic's actions.

Responding to Putman's allegations, Kevin Boyle, a legal rep for the Jacksons, denied his clients had any role in the email leak, and criticised AEG for being so quick to publicly accuse them. He told reporters: "[Mann] definitely never received any documents from Katherine, Prince, Paris, or Blanket Jackson, nor from their lawyers in the wrongful death suit against AEG".

He added: "AEG made these accusations against the Jackson family and their lawyers apparently without doing even the most rudimentary investigation. We are further disturbed that the motion for sanctions filed by AEG was given to the press before it was served on Katherine Jackson or her counsel. AEG has known about the alleged leak since a week before the [LA Times] article was published [and yet] AEG never contacted the Jackson's counsel to inquire about the article or the documents".

As for the Jackson family's case in the ongoing lawsuit with AEG, he said: "We can assure you that we are in possession of documents that make for an extremely compelling story in the wrongful-death case, and that completely support the plaintiffs' claims".

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SONGWRITER ACCUSES MUSE OF THEFT OVER EXOGENESIS TRILOGY
Warner Music has been sued over the three-track conclusion of Muse's 2009 album 'The Resistance'. Songwriter Charles Bollfrass says in new legal papers that the Warner-signed band ripped off his idea to create 'Exogenesis', a trilogy of tracks based around an apocalyptic sci-fi tale in which mankind hopes a team of astronauts can find humanity a new home.

Bollfrass alleges that he developed an idea for a "cinematic science-fiction rock opera" called 'Exogenesis' which follows the same plot line in 2005, and that he approached three bands about them writing the score, one of which was Muse. The next year, Bollfrass claims, he was told Muse were not interested in the project, and then three years after that 'Exogenesis' appeared on the band's fifth album credited to frontman Matt Bellamy.

The plot line Bollfrass says he proposed to Muse is pretty much identical to the summary of the three tracks Bellamy provided in liner notes for the iTunes LP version of his album, in which he revealed: "['Exogenesis: Symphony'] is a story of humanity coming to an end and everyone pinning their hopes on a group of astronauts who go out to explore space and spread humanity to another planet. Part One is a jaded acceptance that civilisation will end. Part Two is a desperate hope that sending the astronauts to find and populate other planets will be successful alongside the recognition that this is the last hope. Finally, Part Three is when the astronauts realise that it is just one big cycle, and recognise that unless humanity can change it will happen all over again".

It's not clear what evidence Bollfrass has of his alleged correspondence with Muse in 2005/6, but he is suing for $3.5 million. Warner is yet to respond, as are Muse themselves, who are not named as defendants in the lawsuit.

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CLASSIC BRITS NOMINATIONS PUBLISHED
Tis the season for award nominations, and as such the BRITs classical prize-giving thing - aka the Classic BRITs - has named those artists, musicians and composers in consideration for its prestigious pop-free honours this year.

The ceremony, which takes place on 2 Oct, will feature performances by André Rieu, Nicola Benedetti and Andrea Bocelli, the latter of whom will also receive a special statuette for International Artist Of The Year. As previously announced, John Williams' enduring film-score oeuvre to date will also be recognised via the evening's Lifetime Achievement Award. Oh, and there's a brand new category for 2012, that of Single Of The Year. So that's all very nice.

Or so think Classic BRITs co-chairs Decca President Dickon Stainer and Avie Records Director Barry McCane, who harmonise as one: "This year's Classic BRIT Awards continues to recognise and reward not only commercial success but excellence by performers and composers from both home and abroad. Whether from the concert platform, the musical stage or the big screen, audiences continue to be thrilled by the sheer power of emotion that only music can bring. The Classic BRIT Awards 2012 is proud to bring that joy and excitement to its awards".

Appraise the complete nominations list for said awards now:

Female Artist: Alison Balsom, Joyce DiDonato, Nicola Benedetti

Male Artist: Andrea Bocelli, Lang Lang, Vasily Petrenko

Breakthrough Artist: Benjamin Grosvenor, Milos Karadaglić, Noah Stewart

Composer: Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Paul Mealor

Single Of The Year: Royal Choral Society et al - Jerusalem; Della Jones / Royal Choral Society et al - Rule Britannia; Ennio Morricone - Gabriel's Oboe; Hans Zimmer - Time; Adiemus - Adiemus; Klaus Badelt - He's A Pirate; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Parry - Adagio for Strings; Luciano Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma; Ludovico Einaudi - I Giorni; Military Wives/Gareth Malone - Wherever You Are

Critics' Award: Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle - Bruckner Symphony No 9; Benjamin Grosvenor - Chopin/Liszt/Ravel; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Belohlavek - Martinu The Six Symphonies

Classic FM Album Of The Year: André Rieu - And The Waltz Goes On; Andrea Bocelli - Concerto: One Night In Central Park; Band Of HM Royal Marines - Summon The Heroes; Band Of The Coldstream Guards - Pride Of The Nation; Craig Ogden - Summertime; Hayley Westenra - Paradiso; Laura Wright - The Last Rose; Milos Karadaglić - The Guitar; Noah Stewart - Noah; Russell Watson -
Anthems

International Artist of the Year: Andrea Bocelli

Lifetime Achievement: John Williams

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INDIANS SIGNS TO 4AD
Danish artist Søren Løkke Juul, who writes and plays as Indians, has marked his signing to 4AD by recording one of the label's always-excellent live sessions.

Filmed across various settings (a different one for each track) on Osea, an island in Essex's poetic Blackwater estuary, it's available to watch here.

Tracklisting:

I Am Haunted
Magic Kids
New

Now touring with Perfume Genius, Indians shares a bill with Glass Animals at London's Sebright Arms on 27 Sep. Juul's first LP, meanwhile, is set for tentative release in "early 2013".

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UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING SIGNS FORMER JOURNEY FRONTMAN
Former Journey frontman Steve Perry signed an exclusive administration deal with Universal Music Publishing last week covering all territories outside the US and Canada. The deal covers the songs Perry penned for Journey, which includes seminal hit 'Don't Stop Believin', as well as his solo oeuvre.

Confirming the deal, Universal Publishing CEO Zach Horowitz told CMU: "One of the greatest voices in the history of rock also wrote or co-wrote some of rock's greatest songs. We couldn't be prouder that he has chosen to bring those songs to UMPG. We look forward to working with him on both his iconic catalogue and his new songs".

Meanwhile, Perry himself added: "I so look forward to being a part of the Universal Music Publishing Group. I know they really get what songs are about and they still believe in the magic of music".

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THOM YORKE INTRODUCES ATOMS FOR PEACE PROJECT
Thom Yorke has issued a very matter-of-fact statement about Atoms For Peace, his new collaboration with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea, and percussionists Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco.

Introducing the side project and the quintet's first single 'Default' , Yorke says: "You may have heard that I have a new project called Atoms for Peace. The name comes from some shows [promoting Yorke's solo album] 'The Eraser' that happened a couple of years ago with Mauro, Joey, Nigel and Flea".

He continues: "We got a big buzz from them and discovered loads of energy from transforming the music from electronic to live, and so afterwards, we carried on for a few days in the studio and decided to make it a loose, on-going thing. Immersed in the area between the two... electronic and live".

You can preview 'Default' via AFP's fancy new official website. Available now in digital format, it'll apparently have a vinyl release in October. A debut LP from Yorke et al, he alleges, will "eventually follow that next year".

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KE$HA, NICKI MINAJ PREP NEW SINGLES
Brassy pop broads Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj each have their own solo singles out soon, and you're doomed to hear about both whether you like it or not.

Ke$ha's new track, 'Die Young', is fated for release "this month", she claims. Interviewed by MTV from the red carpet at last week's VMAs, the 'Tik Tok' singer also mentioned her tbc new LP, saying: "The first two records talked more about partying, which is a great, magical part of life, but some songs on the new record are more personal and vulnerable, and you can hear more of the music I listen to when I'm lying in my bed. I'm not claiming that it's a rock record, but as long as it's fucking good, you can call it whatever you want".

That we will. But wait a minute, because Ke$ha isn't finished: "About 90% of the time, I don't give a fuck, but I give so many fucks about this album. Some people weren't sure if I could sing. On this record, I said: 'Let's leave the tricks to a minimum and let me wail'".

Speaking of wailing, Nicki Minaj is to premiere an R&B smash within the next seven days. It'll also appear on 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up', the over-punctuated deluxe edition of her 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' long player, when that's released in November. She bills it thus to E! Entertainment: "I'm putting lots of new songs on [the deluxe edition] and I'm actually going to drop my new single next week so Barbz, you are going to spaz, you are going to love it, you are going to go crazy".

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YO LA TENGO TO RELEASE EP THIS MONTH, LP IN 2013
Yo La Tengo have confirmed they'll release a new single entitled 'Stupid Things' later this month. Actually, they seem to be calling it an 'EP', but it's a track, a remix of that track, and an instrumental of that same track, so we are officially banning them from using the 'EP' label. Though I'm sure it'll be a great little package nonetheless, with its limited vinyl and presumably unlimited digital release on 24 Sep.

Having been in conversation with Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew, The Philadelphia Enquirer reports the band have also finished mixing a new LP (which really will be an 'LP'), their first since 2009's 'Popular Songs'. With Tortoise/The Sea And Cake musician John McEntire overseeing production at a Chicago studio, the still-untitled record's release date has been set for early January.

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CAT POWER TO PLAY ROUNDHOUSE
Alt heroine and ex-brunette Cat Power will mark the release of her new LP 'Sun', which is out now, with a European tour, as features a single non-continental date at London's Roundhouse on 12 Dec.

Since Cat hasn't yet premiered the video for new 'Sun' single 'Cherokee', this good-looking teaser will have to suffice.

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SHEARWATER TO TOUR
Not content to take just the one tour in honour of their seventh studio LP, 'Animal Joy', Texan indie lot Shearwater have pre-set additional dates as part of a larger November foray.

And those dates are:

24 Nov: London, The Garage
25 Nov: Bristol, The Fleece, Bristol
26 Nov: Manchester, St Philips Church
27 Nov: Glasgow, Art School, Glasgow
29 Nov: Liverpool, Eric's Liverpool
30 Nov: Brighton, Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

In lieu of anything else to add, this is the video for the band's new single 'Immaculate'.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS

CIRCO LOCO, The Hop Farm, Kent, 15 Sep: Jamie Jones, Ellen Allien, Dyed Soundorom, Dan Ghenacia, Shonky, Apollonia, Lee Curtiss, Miguel Campbell, Damian Lazarus, Derrick Carter, Tania Vulcano, Davide Squillace, Clive Henry, Andrew Grant, Sossa, Martinez Brothers. www.thehopfarm.co.uk/events/200/circo-loco/

EAST ENDER, Village Underground/Holywell Car Park, Shoreditch, London, 21-23 Sep: MF DOOM, Greg Wilson,Mad Professor, Mmoths, Ty, Blak Twang, Cooly G, Drums Of Death, Norman Jay, Duff Disco, B Bravo, Prince Fatty, Doc Daneeka, Benin City, Sinkin Hawke, ARP101, Onoe Caponoe, The Thirst, Darling Farha, Mo Kolours, CJ Beatz, Norwood Soul Patrol, Syron, Mimz, Owiny Sigoma Band, XO Man, Tuesday Born, Camouflage Children, Citizen, Kashii, Joel Culpepper, Lealea Jones, Voyeur, Lakosa, Lockah, Emily Rawson, Reggae Roast, Boglewaltz, Bakery Boys, Pedro 123, AZ&TOR, Mr Verde, Chima Anya, Kings Of The City, Lauren Verge, Big Ted, Mikey Spider. www.eastenderldn.co.uk

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JON PLATT JOINING WARNER CHAPPELL
Former EMI Publishing US exec 'Big' Jon Platt is heading for Warner Chappell, according to Billboard, which says it's not yet clear what job title Platt will have at the Warner publishing business, but that Head Of Creative is likely.

Long-term EMIer Platt departed the publishing firm in late June, ahead of its acquisition by a Sony/ATV-led consortium. At the time there was somewhat ironic speculation that Platt might actually be heading for Sony/ATV itself, he having worked with its top man Marty Bandier before.

Though, given that would basically bring him back to EMI once the acquisition was completed, such a move seemed unlikely, and a Warner Chappell job was also mooted from the start. And that move was seemingly confirmed last week, before the Billboard report, when EMI Publishing-signed Rihanna tweeted: "Congratulations to one if the best people in this industry, Jon Platt, on his new position as the head of Warner Chappell".

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ROB CLARK DEPARTS VIRGIN RECORDS
And talking of major label executive manoeuvres being announced via artist Twitter feeds, Professor Green seemingly confirmed last week that Rob Clark had departed EMI's Virgin Records division, where he has been Senior Promotions Manager since 2007, having originally worked in the major's college promotions unit since 2000.

Music Week noted that Green tweeted on Thursday: "[I] can't believe the hero that is Rob Clark is leaving Virgin as well!? Another in a long list that I've loved working with who's jumping ship".

All of which means that, as we would have expected, Clark was not in Green's mind when he ranted about the EMI team working on his recent releases last month, during which he asked: "Why would your own record label hinder you? Answers on a postcard. I just can't help but question why some people have jobs. All I do is work, so I get extremely pissed off when people don't do theirs. Dignified silence is pointless".

Of course this will be another tense week for EMI Music staffers, especially in London, with Universal expected to sell much of the major's UK operations to get European Commission approval for its bid to buy the EMI record company, potentially resulting in months more insecurity for the people working there.

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HOXTON HALL PARTNERS WITH OUTPOST MEDIA TO HELP YOUNG MUSICIANS
Hoxton Hall and Outpost Media have announced a new partnership to help develop new musical talent in the Hoxton and Shoreditch areas. The nineteenth century music hall already offers educational support in music, theatre and dance, but will expand its music-focussed services via the partnership.

Split into three parts, the partnership will see Outpost organise mentoring for young musicians, provide PR for Hoxton Hall's youth music night MVMNT, and also launch the Outpost Media Award. The award will see five young artists selected for an eight week programme of workshops, with one then chosen to receive studio time to record an EP (to be released on the new Hoxton Hall Music label), as well as a year of PR representation.

Outpost MD David Silverman told CMU: "This collaboration will help give local young people an extra kick start on the road to forging their future careers in the arts. Hoxton Hall is the perfect partner as we aim to build awareness for youth projects in the community that we both share".

Hoxton Hall's Nicholai La Barrie added: "We are very happy to be working with Outpost to support talented young musicians from the local area to progress in their career. We believe the high profile nature of this partnership will really inspire the young people and encourage them to follow their ambitions".

More information on Hoxton Hall at www.hoxtonhall.co.uk

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SPOTIFY-IN-BROWSER AND APPLE-STREAMING-SERVICE RUMOURS RESURFACE
Rumours of Spotify bringing its platform to your web browser are almost as frequent as rumours that Apple is about to launch a Spotify-competing streaming service. And hey, both sets of rumours are doing the rounds again.

According to TechCrunch, the reason there have been so few innovations on the Spotify player of late is that the Swedish streaming music firm is planning an all-new experience that will play through a user's web-browser, with lots of extra music discovery bits and bobs thrown in for good measure. Although TechCrunch isn't saying the web-based Spotify would replace the digital music company's bespoke player, it makes it sound like it's definitely the priority at the moment.

Spotify hasn't commented on the reports, although in the past execs there have been staunch defenders of their bespoke player approach, which gives the company more control over user-experience, in particular sound quality and reliability of streams, which are arguably more important than swish look and feel, and extra discovery components. There's also the issue that when music plays through a browser window it's very easy to accidently shut the stream down. Though most of Spotify's competitors are either totally browser based, or offer the choice of browser or player.

The latest reports that Apple is planning, at long last, to add a streaming service to run alongside its market-leading iTunes download store originate with the Wall Street Journal. If there's any truth in the rumours, Apple's streaming platform would be more on the lines of Pandora, ie with less functionality that Spotify et al.

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RADIO 2 TO AIR GLEE-STYLE BRITPOP DRAMA
Oh gosh, oh gosh. 'Eastenders' actor Shane Richie will voice a new radio musical drama titled 'Shout To The Top', to be aired on BBC Radio 2.

The series, which is billed by the Beeb as "'Glee' for an older audience", has been scripted by one-time The Farm drummer Roy Boulter and Louise Wener of 1990s alt-pop quintet Sleeper. Its storyline centres on an aspiring girl band in the pre-Britpop era, and will feature original tracks plus Eurythmics and Prefab Sprout covers to "illustrate the dialogue".

Radio 2's Head Of Music, Jeff Smith, shares his vision for the programme: "This has been a long cherished idea by me, to do something on the radio which is a little more challenging. My conceit was that bands such as Lush and Elastica never really achieved the promise people thought they would - but then, later on, bands like Coldplay became world famous acts, built, arguably, on Britpop. The band in the drama become as big as Coldplay, and [the radio show] is the story behind their success".

The show's pilot episode - which, if fully commissioned, will be the first of six - will air on 25 Sep.

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50 SHADES AUTHOR "WRITES SEX" TO BLACK EYED PEAS
'50 Shades Of Grey author EL James has shared a startling quote about her chosen playlist when scripting sex scenes. Apparently, the Black Eyed Peas 'Sexy', as features on Will.i.am and co's 2003 LP 'Elephunk', is prime listening for porn-spiration. Yuck.

Business Insider has the sexy/gory details: "I write to music all the time. I have music playing in my headphones and I have a huge playlist for writing. I have various songs for various things and some of them made it into the books".

She adds: "I have songs that I write sex to. One of them is the Black Eyed Peas' 'Sexy'. That's a very sexy song. And that's all I'm prepared to tell you. Because if I told you the other ones you wouldn't believe it".

No, I probably wouldn't. If, like me, you'd like to write your own S&M-themed bestseller, here's the EL James-approved incentive to do so.

Again, yuck.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

UnLimited Media also provides creative, training and consulting services for the music, media and communication industries. More at www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
 
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