FRIDAY
8 FEB 2013

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CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #144: BEYONCE V BUZZFEED
Last Sunday, everyone (except perhaps PETA) seemed to agree that Beyonce's half time performance at the Super Bowl, complete with Destiny's Child reunion, was pretty good. Spectacular, you might say. Or you could go with fierce, as Buzzfeed did. The website compiled what it decided were 33 photographs which depicted the "fiercest" moments in Beyonce's show. That's not how Beyonce's rep at US PR firm Shure Media saw it though more>>
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: A NIGHT WITH... A GUY CALLED GERALD AT BASING HOUSE
Last year the A Night With... franchise put on a great series of DJ sets, with Sebo K, X-Press 2, MANDY, Soul Clap, Seth Troxler, Greg Wilson, Sasha and Jamie Jones all taking up the challenge to play for eight hours with no support. This Saturday, it's the turn of the great Gerald Simpson, aka A Guy Called Gerald. This gargantuan set should be an interesting and extended display of his 'True School Manifesto'. more>>

TOP STORIES
- Parlophone to become part of Warner after final big deal in EMI saga announced
IN THE POP COURTS
- Police in Ian Watkins child abuse case investigated
- Thai performer reportedly arrested for singing his own hits
IN THE POP HOSPITAL
- Marilyn Manson collapses on stage
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- MPG Awards presented, Epworth wins first BRIT of the year
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- UK artists secured biggest share of US market in 2012, plus French and Aussie record sale figures
- Billboard publishes its latest Power 100
IN THE STUDIO
- Mark Ronson in studio with no one special
- Tool being coy about new album, announce Australian tour
RELEASE NEWS
- James Blake premieres new single, sets live date at London ICA
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- La Roux playing 'intimate' dates
- Wild Belle list live shows
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
BRANDS & STUFF
- Timberlake partners with Bud Light
- Monster Cable sign up Beatz and Zulu
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- ReDigi responds to Amazon patent that indicates digital resale plans
- Björk cancels Biophilia Kickstarter project
AND FINALLY...
- Stars told to cover up for Grammys
ELITE MUSIC MANAGEMENT - BOOKING AGENT & ASSISTANT BOOKING AGENT
Since 1999, Brighton based Elite Music Management has represented breakthrough DJs, producers and label parties. We are looking for two dynamic, talented individuals to work as part of a small, hard-working team. You will be required to promote a roster of acts, and manage their worldwide tour diaries. You will liaise with artists, managers and promoters on a daily basis.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
VISIBLE NOISE - MANAGEMENT AND LABEL ALL ROUNDER
Multi tasking social and hard working all rounder needed to Join Label and Management company. Must have previous music industry experience and be able to deal with high pressure situations and tight deadlines. A passion for new marketing, technology and expanding avenues relevant to the music industry and all around it, as well as a broad knowledge of a variety of genres is a definite advantage.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
WARP - DIGITAL CONTENT & COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
Warp is looking for a new person to assist our digital team in promoting our artists from our London office. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated with a real passion for music, design, Warp’s artists and fluent in social communication. Basic HTML knowledge is useful. We hope to offer an involved, creative environment in which to learn about music promotion and the chance to make things happen. This appointment will be made on a one year contract basis.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SNAPPER MUSIC - DIGITAL & MARKETING PAID INTERNSHIP
Snapper Music seeks a dynamic and talented individual to join our digital and marketing team for a paid six month internship. Based in Camden, tasks will include preparation of meta-data, liaising with distributors (physical and digital), assisting with promo and reporting press results, product research and general admin duties.

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

The five biggest stories in the music business this week...

01: Universal sold Parlophone to Warner, bringing to an end the incredibly long drawn out downfall of EMI (pending any further down-sizing of former EMI units now within Universal and Warner). Warner, of course, bid against Universal for the entire EMI record company in 2011, and then lobbied against its rival's EMI takeover for much of 2012, which meant the mega-major could have rejected its smaller competitor's bid for those EMI units it was forced to sell by European regulators (aka the Parlophone Label Group) just to get its own back. Though by selling Parlophone to Warner, Universal satisfies European regulators' demands that the EMI division go to an existing music business, while placating a little those who opposed the Universal/EMI merger in the indie community, because a bigger Warner reduces a little the duopoly in the music rights space of Universal and Sony. CMU report | CMU Timeline

02: HMV's administrators announced the closure of 66 stores, which will result in about 930 people losing their jobs. The shops will close following a closing down sale. Many expected more stores to go - up to twice as many in fact - as Deloitte tries to rescue the flagging retailer, which went into administration last month. It's thought the 66 closed shops were all loss-making, and that other retailers have likely expressed an interest in taking over the leases on the retail units they occupy. Talks are ongoing with restructuring specialists Hilco about them buying the HMV brand and taking a streamlined version of the firm out of administration. It's not clear whether more store closures may occur before or after then. A number of HMV's London stores were included in the closure list, though not its flagship Oxford Street base. Though administrators were reportedly still accepting bids for that store this week. CMU report | CMU Timeline

03: Universal Music Publishing withdrew its digital rights from the US collecting societies, or at least confirmed it would do so later this year. It will mean that American streaming services will have to do a deal directly with Universal's publishing business to include songs owned by the company in their catalogues, rather than securing the rights to stream said songs under blanket licences from BMI and ASCAP. The move follows rival Sony/ATV/EMI's decision to licence Pandora directly, and is a sign the US publishing industry is moving away from collective licensing in the digital space (adopting a direct deal approach like that used, in the main, by the labels in all matters digital). CMU report | Billboard report

04: The BPI published an upbeat report about digital. Collating all sorts of digital stats, the record label trade body said that a fifth of British music buyers have now "fully transitioned" to digital music, while over a quarter had paid to access digital music in the last year, and nearly a third had accessed a legit online service. That meant that 183.3 million digital singles were sold in 2012, 30.5 million digital albums were downloaded and 3.7 billion tracks streamed. The report also point to the pending boom in tablet devices, in-car net connectivity, smart TVs and net-connected home hi-fi systems as all providing great opportunities for further digital growth in the music space. CMU report | BBC report

05: Stool Pigeon and Bull & Gate announced closure, and on the same day too. In a double blow to the grassroots music community in London, popular free-sheet Stool Pigeon announced that its most recent edition would be its last, with publisher Phil Hebblethwaite saying that "running out 60,000 copies of a free newspaper six times a year and distributing them to 100 cities/towns across the UK has become untenable"; and then promoters Club Fandango announced that the new owners of popular North London pub-venue the Bull & Gate - which they oversee - would be turning the building into a gastro pub, meaning it will cease to host gigs. Bad times. Stool Pigeon report | Bull & Gate report

In CMU this week, Eddy TM launched Tinnitus Awareness Week with an update on his tinnitus-awareness-raising album project, music manager and former Luminaire co-owner Andy Inglis shared some fascinating opinions and tips on the grass roots live sector, and Amateur Best only went and complied us a fab playlist. Plus, we stopped and paused for 39 minutes to review the music business month just gone with another CMU Podcast. Approved were Blanck Mass, Melody's Echo Chamber, Rebecca & Fiona and Mikal Cronin.

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PARLOPHONE TO BECOME PART OF WARNER AFTER FINAL BIG DEAL IN EMI SAGA ANNOUNCED
Universal Music yesterday announced it was selling the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music, bringing to an end the long-drawn out demise of EMI, the former British major music company.

The Parlophone Label Group was the name given to the European EMI assets that Universal was forced to sell off to secure regulator approval from the European Commission for its purchase of the EMI record company. Alongside the UK-based Parlophone division, the strand of EMI separated for sale also included the Chrysalis and Ensign sound recordings catalogue and EMI units in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden. While Universal has been busy absorbing the rest of EMI after getting approval for its acquisition last September, the Parlophone Label Group has been kept separate, led by David Kassler.

Various parties came forward interested in buying some or all of PLG, including other music companies and music entrepreneurs backed by private equity. BMG was a favourite bidder for a time, even though in the original bidding for EMI at large it had unsuccessfully competed for the firm's music publishing business. But with interests in both song and master recording copyrights, BMG let it be known it would consider bidding for the Parlophone Group, though it always seemed more likely to be interested in the PLG catalogues that the front-line label business. And in December it was announced BMG had secured ownership of the recordings catalogue of the original Mute label.

Warner was Universal's main competitor in the bidding for the EMI record company in its entirety. After losing out to its bigger rival in 2011, Warner execs said Universal had overpaid for EMI Music, and then spent much of 2012 trying to persuade regulators in the US and Europe to block the mega-major's audacious EMI takeover. There were, therefore, some tensions between the top guard at Universal and Warner, and some wondered whether that would have any impact when the latter let it be known it was bidding for PLG.

But for Universal, selling to Warner - despite it being a key rival and a recent enemy in political circles - was an attractive proposition. Warner was interested in most of PLG, saving Universal from having to divide the company up for sale, and offering better prospects for the nearly 900 former EMI staffers sitting within the Parlophone company. Selling to Warner would also satisfy European regulators who had insisted that an existing player in music should get the EMI assets (to avoid an equity type coming in and asset stripping).

It would also likely placate the artist manager and indie label communities. The managers because, if they represented PLG artists, the prospect of working with Warner execs is more attractive than having to form new business partnerships with City types new to the record business. The indies because, while the deal will see a major label grow in size yet again (something the indies generally don't like), it will mean that Warner - now very much the mini-major - will be able to better compete with the two big boys, Sony and Universal, thus reducing the impact of the duopoly in music rights which the independents particularly fear. And, indeed, the indies' official reps welcomed the news of the PLG deal yesterday.

The sale to Warners will have to be approved by European regulators, so will take a few months to complete, and it remains to be seen quite how the new owner integrates the PLG business into its existing European operations. So, the EMI sale story isn't completely at its climax just yet, but we do seem to be in the final chapter.

For quotes from Universal and Warner execs on the deal click here.

For responses from pan-European indie labels body IMPALA and indie-label-representing digital rights agency Merlin click here.

And for Beggars chief Martin Mills welcoming the deal click here.

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POLICE IN IAN WATKINS CHILD ABUSE CASE INVESTIGATED
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating whether South Wales Police acted quickly enough to arrest Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins over child sexual abuse claims. The BBC reports that the police force referred itself for investigation.

IPCC commissioner for Wales Tom Davies told the BBC: "We received a referral from South Wales Police on 25 Jan 2013 relating to Ian Watkins. Following a thorough assessment I have decided that we will carry out an independent investigation. Our investigation will determine whether or not South Wales Police failed to take appropriate and timely action in relation to information they were in receipt of in advance of Mr Watkins subsequent arrest. We are aware of four forces having provided South Wales Police with information but, as criminal proceedings are active, it would be inappropriate to publish further information at this time".

As previously reported, Watkins was arrested in December, accused of sexual offences against children, including conspiracy to rape a baby. He is also accused of possessing, making and distributing indecent images, and possessing "extreme" animal pornography. The charges relate to alleged crimes committed between May and December last year. He is currently being held in custody pending a court appearance next month.

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THAI PERFORMER REPORTEDLY ARRESTED FOR SINGING HIS OWN HITS
And if you thought music companies in Europe and North America go a bit OTT in enforcing their copyrights, according to media in Thailand, a popular singer there was arrested recently for singing at least two of the hit songs he is known for without the permission of the publisher of said tracks.

It seems that Montchai Raksachart recently fell out with his former publisher, GMM Music Publishing International, which owns the copyrights in his songs. When the two parties failed to agree terms for a new contract last month, the publisher told the singer that he was not allowed to perform in public any of the songs GMM had published, and that if he did they would take action.

Presumably aware Raksachart was likely to ignore that threat, GMM's reps were ready and waiting, and when he did perform the disputed songs on stage they reported him to the police for copyright infringement. And, according to the Pattaya Mail, officers responded by arresting Raksachart after his show and taking him in for questioning.

It's thought Raksachart is now renegotiating with GMM, and may re-sign with the label. In many countries, of course, including the UK, the public performance of copyright songs is licensed through the collective licensing system under a blanket licence, so publishers couldn't hold an individual singer songwriter to ransom over their live performances, however bitter a falling out had been.

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MARILYN MANSON COLLAPSES ON STAGE
Marilyn Manson collapsed on stage at a show at TCU Place in Saskatoon in Canada on Wednesday. The singer was playing his song 'Beautiful People' when he keeled over and, according to some audience members, started vomiting. Nevertheless, the band still played the rest of the song without him, while he was helped off stage by two members of his stage crew.

It's alright though, according to TMZ it's just a case of the flu, and TCU Place boss Bob Korol told the Edmonton Journal that after leaving the stage Manson went back to his hotel and got some rest. His tour promoter Live Nation as said that a show at the Stampede Corral in Calgary tonight will go ahead as planned.

Here's a video of him collapsing for you,

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MPG AWARDS PRESENTED, EPWORTH WINS FIRST BRIT OF THE YEAR
The rather marvellous Music Producers Guild Awards were presented last night, an annual event that also includes the presentation of the first BRIT of the year, which went for a second time to Paul Epworth, who gets the double prize of being both the MPG's Producer Of The Year and the BRIT UK Producer Of The Year. And well deserved it is too.

Commenting on this year's bash, MPG chief Steve Levine told CMU: "When it comes to talent and creativity, British music production has a long legacy that is internationally recognised and respected. Younger recording professionals are the lifeblood of our industry and we are delighted that so many of them have been award recipients this year. Recording professionals play a vitally important part in the success of the UK and international music industry and we are happy to honour their achievements, not just to give them to accolades they deserve but also to motivate the next generation of 100,000 music students in the UK who will be the producers and engineers of the future".

And the winners were...

UK Producer Of The Year: Paul Epworth
Recording Engineer Of The Year: Al O'Connell
Mix Engineer Of The Year: Alan Moulder
Mastering Engineer Of The Year: Matt Colton
Live Production Of The Year: Bon Iver at AIR Studios
Remixer Of The Year: UNKLE

UK Album Of The Year: Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
UK Single Song Release Of The Year: The Maccabees - Pelican

Breakthrough Producer Of The Year: Charlie Andrew
Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year: Charlie Hugall

International Producer Of The Year: Danger Mouse
International Recording Engineer Of The Year: Tchad Blake

Studio Of The Year: Snap! Studios
The A&R Award: Richard Russell
The Unsung Hero Award: Rebecca La Porta & Paul Walmsley
The MPG Innovation Award: Björk
The MPG Inspiration Award: Glyn Johns
Outstanding Contribution To UK Music: George Martin

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UK ARTISTS SECURED BIGGEST SHARE OF US MARKET IN 2012, PLUS FRENCH AND AUSSIE RECORD SALE FIGURES
Thanks in no small part to One Direction, Mumford & Sons and Adele 'I did better than you lot without even leaving the house' Adkins, British artists secured their biggest ever share of the all important US recorded music market in 2012, at 13.7%. I'd say something about their being a new 'British Invasion', but given how tetchy the NRA are at the moment, there's a real risk they'd gun me down.

A BPI release confirming the record breaking stat also notes that Muse, Ed Sheeran, The xx, Cher Lloyd, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and even "we're all about the music" reality TV stars The Wanted all also contributed to the impressive unit shifting by British artists in the US last year, and unlike in movie land, none of them had to pretend to be evil geniuses to woo the yanks (though, by coincidence, Adele is a genius and The Wanted are evil).

Commenting on all this American success for the Brits, BPI chief Geoff Taylor told CMU: "It's officially a new British Invasion. British labels are discovering unique talent and using social media to help build fanbases right around the world, in particular in the US, where fans have such an affinity for British music. Increasing our share of the US market for three years in a row is an encouraging sign for the future. It's an exciting time to be part of the British music industry - as a country we can be very proud of our artists and of the British music companies who invest in them".

Talking of international record sales stats, the French record industry recently revealed that its collective revenues in 2012 were down again by 4.4%, with a further drop in physical sales of 11.9% meaning that a 13% growth in digital didn't result in growth overall. Digital now accounts for 25% of the French recorded music market, and of that digital revenue, half comes from downloads, 28% from subscription-based services, and 14% from ad-funded platforms, which was pretty similar to the previous year, though subscription set-ups were up 5%.

The French record industry also called on the country's government to maintain its Hadopi programme for targeting illegal file-sharers - as previously reported, political types have cooled to the initially hard-line anti-piracy programme, which is currently being reviewed, just as strike three of the so called three-strikes system was about to properly kick in. The review is due to report next month.

In Australia, though, a little good news, as recorded music sales for the last year increased by 4%, with an uplift in digital revenues coupled with a slowing in physical product decline combining to create some positive news. 46% of Aussie recorded music sales are now digital-based. Dan Rosen, boss of Aussie trade body ARIA, said: "The continued innovation in new music services, means fans of all types, can now get their music when and how they want, whether by streaming, downloading or visiting their local record store. This access, combined with a host of great local and international releases, means it is a great time to be a music fan in Australia".

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BILLBOARD PUBLISHES ITS LATEST POWER 100
Billboard has published its Power 100 list for 2013, with the two big EMI deals completed last year having an impact at the top. Universal's successful acquisition of much of the EMI record company pushing its boss man Lucian Grainge up from third place last year to number one this, while Marty Bandier, now in charge of a combined Sony/ATV/EMI on the music publishing side, is at number three. Coran Capshaw, though, remains in second place, showing that - in Billboard's view at least - leading artist managers still wield a lot of power, and no more than the boss of Red Light.

Last year's Power 100 list topper Irving Azoff has disappeared from the chart, following his decision to quit Live Nation on the last day of 2012, and it still not being totally clear what his next moves will be, beyond continuing to manage the careers of his core clients. His co-chief at Live Nation, though, Michael Rapino, is at number four ahead of Sony Music boss Doug Morris at five. The digital music chiefs do appear in the list, but not in the upper echelons - VEVO boss Rio Caraeff is at 23 and Spotify top man Daniel Ek at 25.

You can see the full list on the Billboard site. Go, digest, enjoy, and maybe even ask yourself whether the American music industry has some serious diversity issues - what an awful lot of aging white men appear. Julie Greenwald is the highest listed woman at 19, though she shares the spot with her Atlantic Records co-chief Craig Kallman.

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MARK RONSON IN STUDIO WITH NO ONE SPECIAL
Serial collaborator Mark Ronson has said he's been spending time in the studio, doing nothing in particular, with no one memorable.

He "thinks" he'll be involved, as per 2011's 'Arabia Mountain', in making The Black Lips' new LP, but isn't sure because, he says, The Black Lips are alcoholics (well, sort of). But what had he to say when asked by The Hollywood Reporter about his new 'solo' (ie featuring a thousand guest artists) record?

Well, this: "I'm here by myself working on my next solo album. I just read in the past few years how I'm jumping from album to album for other people. I'm trying to get back to remembering how to fight to make music by myself".

He rambled on: "I'm really not working on anything. I've just been in this studio in London. To be honest, I can't really remember if I've worked with somebody. Do you have any idea, like, who people have said I'm working with?"

And on whether or not he's working with The Black Lips: "I think so. I love their music, I love them as a band. We had a good experience with their last record. I nearly died from raw liver poisoning [though]. They treat their livers like they treat the rest of their bodies: they're quite reckless. When I went out with them I got deathly ill and had to go to the hospital".

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TOOL BEING COY ABOUT NEW ALBUM, ANNOUNCE AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Right, so late last year we were told that work on the new Tool album was coming along nicely. Then last month we were told that it had been delayed slightly after a band member fell off a scooter. Now frontman Maynard James Keenan is claiming that no work on the band's follow-up to 2006 album '10,000 Days' has commenced.

Speaking to Chilean radio station Radio Futuro, Keenan said: "No new disc. Not this year. I have not written any songs. So no, there is nothing".

But if you're in Australia, you will be able to see the band play five live dates in April and May. And seeing Tool live is definitely a thing you should do, album or not. Though we might as well throw in some speculation that the band will surprise release that album sometime before or after those gigs. Maybe. Well, you never know.

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JAMES BLAKE PREMIERES NEW SINGLE, SETS LIVE DATE AT LONDON ICA
Last night, that James Blake premiered a new single titled 'Retrograde' on Radio 1. He'll officially release it on Monday. Oh, and he's given his new LP a name: 'Overgrown', so that's nice.

Apparently, 'Overgrown' incorporates the "brain melting electronic perfection" of Blake's early releases, whilst at the same time "moving way beyond any post-dubstep pigeonholes to include stunning reinterpretations of both hip-hop and house".

JB will make a promotional PA at London's ICA on 26 Feb. Tickets are on sale now via this link.

The official video for 'Retrograde' will go online at 5pm on Sunday, but to satisfy your urge to hear it before then, Blake taped it off the radio last night and put that up on YouTube. So, without further ado, let's all do as the press release for the single says and surf on an "emotional sine wave".

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LA ROUX PLAYING 'INTIMATE' DATES
La Roux's Elly Jackson, who now has hair of normal pop proportions, is 'Going In For The Kill' ('the kill' meaning a new LP campaign) by playing a miniature set of live dates in March.

"UK", she says, "we will be playing three warm up shows in Brighton, Bristol and Coventry".

And so she will. Click here to buy into one/all of those dates, which are as follows:

28 Mar: Brighton, Concorde 2
2 Apr: Bristol, The Fleece
5 Apr: Coventry, Kasbah

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WILD BELLE LIST LIVE SHOWS
Genetically-alike dub-pop pairing Wild Belle - aka Natalie and Elliot Bergman - are poised to release their first LP, 'Isles', on 11 Mar. Because of that, they've assented to play several shows, info on which is as listed:

31 Mar: Manchester, Deaf Institute
1 Apr: Glasgow, King Tut's
3 Apr: Brighton, Green Door Store
4 Apr: London, Cargo

This is the surprising new video for Wild Belle's single 'Keep You', by the by.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
Lots of FLUUs to mention, so I'll just start at random (well, alphabetically) with Britain's only festival to feature a ski lift, the Winchester-based Boomtown Fair. As per the first-published phase of its artist additions, it'll this year star the likes of The Parov Stelar Band, Ozomatli, Mad Caddies, Richie Spice, Lee 'Scratch' Perry. A nice array, I'm sure.

Moving to new roll-call revelations at other festivals; you can read on to find info on new consignments to Croatia's Electric Elephant and Echo fests, Serbian sortie Exit, Dorset folk hoopla Larmer Tree, The London International Ska Festival, Dutch sleep-over Motel Mozaique, extreme 'action sports and music' festival NASS, Norfolk pop party Sundown and the still-secretly-sited Sunrise Celebration.

BOOMTOWN FAIR, Matterley Bowl, Winchester, 8-11 Aug: The Parov Stelar Band, Ozomatli, Mad Caddies, Richie Spice, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Arrested Development, Toots And The Maytals, King Prawn, The Neville Staple Band (The Specials), The Selecter, The Wurzels, The Skints, Demented Are Go, Orkestra Del Sol, Hoffmaestro, Ska Cubano, Les Hurlements D' Leo, Suicide Bid, The Creepshow, Flap!, Babyhead, Molotov Jukebox, Random Hand, Collie Buddz And The New Kingston Band, Dub Inc., Million Stylez, Gentleman's Dub Club, Necessary Mayhem Showcase feat Tippa Irie & Mr Williamz, Mungo's Hi Fi, YT & Mr Williamz, Musical Youth, Iration Steppas meets Channel One in a Dubwise Fashion, Robbo Ranx (BBC Radio 1xtra), I-Fire, Dreadsquad feat Dr Ring Ding & Kasia Malenda & El Fata, Foreign Beggars, Redlight, Chinese Man, Digital Mystikz, Koan Sound, Calyx & Teebee, Zinc, South Central Live LTJ Bukem & MC Conrad, Opiuo, B Triats, Mak & Pasteman, Reso, Rack N Ruin, Woz (Black Butter Special), Sticky, Randomer, Slipmatt b2b Billy Bunter. www.boomtownfair.co.uk

ECHO FESTIVAL, Kanegra, Umag, Croatia, 6-9 Jun: Petre Inspirescu, Nick Hoppner, Delano Smith, Fred P aka Black Jazz Consortium, Space Dimension Controller, xxxy, Locked Groove, South London Ordnance, Youandewan, dBridge, Marcus Intalex, Lenzman, Synkro, Kasra, Braiden, October, Djrum, Xtrah, Stray, Versa, SP:MC, Anthea, BLM, Christopher Rau, Ian F, Aneuria, Evano, DoubtingThomas, Rico Casazza, CITIZEN, Outboxx, James Fox, Donga, Lakosa, Hodge. www.echofestival.com

ELECTRIC ELEPHANT, The Garden, Tisno, Croatia, 11-15 Jul: Frankie Knuckles, Doc Martin, Joe's Bakery, Craig Bratley, Rob Mello. www.electricelephant.co.uk

EXIT FESTIVAL, Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia, 10-14 Jul: DJ Fresh, Friction & Linguistics, SkisM, The Prototypes, Inspector Dubplate, Brookes Brothers, Dub Phizix, Strategy. eng.exitfest.org

LARMER TREE, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Dorset, 12-21 Jul: Bellowhead, The Beat, Sam Lee & Friends, Lau, Clinton Fearon, Blair Dunlop, Marc O'Reilly Treetop Flyers, Moscow Drug Club, Chris Woods, Flats & Sharps, Larkin Poe, Molotov Jukebox, Moscow Drug Club return, with Keston Cobblers Club, We Used To Make Things, Curtis Eller, The Severed Limb, Three Cane Whale, The Kilcawley Family, Thomas Ford, Still Moving DJs. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

LONDON INTERNATIONAL SKA FESTIVAL, various venues, London, 28-31 Mar: Ken Boothe, Rico Rodriguez MBE, DJ Derek, Freddie Notes, Bb Seaton, Owen Gray, Vin Gordon aka Don Drummond Jnr, Pama International, 100 Men feat Mik Whitnall, Intensified, Buster Shuffle, The Sidewalk Doctors , Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra, The Upsessions, Mr T Bone & The Young Lions, Bombskare, Razika, Cartoon Violence, The Splitters, Robb Blake, Maddy Carty, Gladdy Wax, Ras Digby, Jumbo, Metro & Eddie Regal, Chris Peckings, Tighten Up Crew, Champian, Rhoda Dakar, Mungos Hi Fi, Potato 5, David Katz, Cellos Coast To Coast, Count Skylarkin, Phil Bush, Little Dianne, Time Tunnel, Kris Tebbutt. www.londoninternationalskafestival.co.uk

MOTEL MOZAIQUE, various venues, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 5-6 Apr: Josephine, Lapalux. www.motelmozaique.nl/en

NASS FESTIVAL, Royal Bath & West Showground, Somerset, 11-14 Jul: Andy C, Calyx & Teebee, Wilkinson, Culture Shock, Mind Vortex, Gorgon City, Kidnap Kid, WOZ, DJ NoisseS. www.nassfestival.com

SUNDOWN, Norfolk Showground, Norfolk, 30 Aug - 1 Sep: Rita Ora. www.sundownfestival.co.uk

SUNRISE CELEBRATION, secret location, Bath & Frome, 30 May - 2 Jun: Gadjo, Gentle Mystics, The Dirty Gentlemen, Gideon Conn, Cosmo Sheldrake, B-Sides, DJ P, Father Funk, DJ Si Goodgroove, Hong Kong Ping Pong, Will Streetwise, Scour Records DJs, Luke Stereo, DJ Detta, Spinforth, Waggles, WBBL, J-Sound, Sammy Senior. sunrisecelebration.com

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TIMBERLAKE PARTNERS WITH BUD LIGHT
Darn you Timberlake, rendering our mockery skills redundant by releasing statements related to your new brand partnership with Bud Light Platinum so ridiculous, they need no additional mocking.

Take it away Justin, aka Creative Director of the Bud Light spin-off brand: "Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I'm doing".

But Justin, what does Paul Chibe, VP Marketing for brewer Anheuser-Busch, think? "Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest creative minds in the entertainment industry, and his insights will help us further define Bud Light Platinum's identity in the lifestyle space".

Maybe we'll redirect effort that previously went into mocking brand tie-ups into further defining CMU's identify in the lifestyle space.

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MONSTER CABLE SIGN UP BEATZ AND ZULU
Monster Cable Inc, the tech company behind those over-priced, cumbersome, ridiculous looking headphones Dr Dre somehow convinced the kids they had to wear, has signed up Swizz Beatz and Ludacris's business partner Chaka Zulu to help them sell, well, I suspect more overpriced, cumbersome and ridiculous looking sound kit.

Just how important Monster Cable were in the creation of the Beats By Dre headphones, and to what extent Beats owners Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine screwed over Monster's founder Noel Lee and his son in the venture, is very much of debate, and depends who you talk to, Beats or Monster. Though this fascinating article by Gizmodo throws some light on their partnership.

But either way, the joint venture between the two companies was called to a close a year ago, and officially ended at the start of 2013, which is presumably why Monster is now signing up new music business talent to its team. Swizz Beatz, last seen signing up to an impressive sounding role at MegaUpload (just before the US government shut it down), will provide creative and marketing support to Monster, while Zulu will seek artist partnerships.

Whether either new partners will appear in consumer-facing marketing campaigns for Monster isn't clear, though 'The Original Beatz Headphones' would be a fun bit of trademark litigation to follow.

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REDIGI RESPONDS TO AMAZON PATENT THAT INDICATES DIGITAL RESALE PLANS
ReDigi, the sometimes controversial MP3 resale service, which is currently being sued for copyright infringement by EMI, has responded to a patent recently awarded to Amazon in the US for its digital-content-resale technology.

The start-up reckons that the Amazon patent shows that a legitimate resale market is definitely part of the future of digital content, though also suggests - albeit in a very non-committal fashion - that the etail giant's digital resale approach could fall foul of copyright law in a way ReDigi's proprietary technology could not.

Many in the record industry reckon that any platform that allows people to sell-on digital content files violates copyright law, even if the resale platform can verify that a file for sale was legitimately acquired and that the seller deletes their copy after sale (which ReDigi says it can). The EMI lawsuit will test whether provisions in American law that allow the resale of physical copies of copyright material can apply in the digital domain.

Amazon's patent seems to suggest that the web giant is planning on moving into ReDigi's territory. Responding to the patent, ReDigi said yesterday: "ReDigi believes the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back".

But, keen to distinguish its service from what Amazon seems to have planned, the digital firm continued with the following statement...

"As ReDigi understands Amazon's patent, it is for a marketplace that employs a seller to buyer 'copy and delete' mechanism, in which a user sells a 'copy' of a digital good to another user while both the buyer and seller simultaneously own the copy (even if only for an instant in time), and then supposedly the seller's copy is subsequently 'deleted'. ReDigi takes no position on the legality of this technique under copyright law, but simply notes that it has been central to the music and publishing industries' skepticism and opposition to a 'used' digital marketplace, and that the ReDigi Marketplace does not use this technique".

"ReDigi's advanced technology employs a 'Verification Engine' and 'Atomic Transaction', resulting in a TRANSFER ONLY mechanism. This means that all digital goods are first verified to ensure that they are legally eligible for resale. Once verified, ReDigi's technology transfers the 'original' good from the user's computer to ReDigi's Cloud (Marketplace). With ReDigi's method, only the 'original' good is instantaneously/atomically transferred from seller to buyer without any copies. ReDigi then assists the seller with an anti-virus like software application that monitors the seller's computer and synced devices to ensure that any personal-use copies of the sold good are removed".

"To our knowledge Amazon has NEVER compensated artists, authors or copyright holders for the secondary sale of their goods, and they have sold billions of dollars worth of them. There is nothing in the Amazon patent that addresses this issue. In contrast, the ReDigi model frees up billions of dollars of locked up wealth. It enables the participation of all parties - from consumer to artist/author to copyright holder - in the profit chain".

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BJÖRK CANCELS BIOPHILIA KICKSTARTER PROJECT
Well, that didn't last long. Björk has cancelled the Kickstarter project to raise funds to bring her 'Biophilia' app to more platforms less than two weeks after launching it.

As previously reported, the app version of Björk's latest album, released in 2011, was only ever launched on Apple's iOS mobile operating system. Since then she has been promoting the apps as educational tools to teach children about music and science, and launched the Kickstarter project in order to extend that not-for-profit project by making the applications available on more devices, including Android, Windows 8 and Mac OS X versions.

The singer hoped to raise £375,000 by the funding deadline on 28 Feb, and on Monday launched more rewards for high value pledges. However, these seemingly did not take off as planned, because, as noted by Music Ally, yesterday morning the project was cancelled after raising just £15,370.

What's not clear at this stage is if this means that the project is on hold permanently or if Björk will now seek alternative funding options.

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STARS TOLD TO COVER UP FOR GRAMMYS
The Grammys are a hotbed of filth and perversion, we all know that. But not this year. Not if CBS has anything to do with it. The TV network which broadcasts the awards ceremony has reportedly issued a strict dress code to celebs attending the event.

In an email obtained by Deadline, CBS wrote: "Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible 'puffy' bare skin exposure".

And it's not just "puffy skin" and "female breast nipples" that are off limits, words (particularly dirty foreign ones) are also vetoed, with the network continuing: "Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on t-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera. Finally, The Network requests that any organised cause visibly spelled out on talent's wardrobe be avoided. This would include lapel pins or any other form of accessory".

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