MONDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2014
TODAY'S TOP STORY: ATP remains in dispute with Dash Tickets over responsibility for issuing refunds to Jabberwocky ticketholders. However, in its latest statement, the independent promoter says that payments processor Paypal is already reimbursing customers itself. As previously reported, ATP cancelled its London-based Jabberwocky festival with just three days notice last month. An initial statement advised... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Being a mysterious producer with only one track and no online history is 'a thing' now. But sometimes music benefits from a little mystery, and that is absolutely the case with 'Seraphese' by Morly. As ever with these scrubbed SoundCloud profiles, I regret not getting there sooner, back when I assume there was more available to listen to. But 'Seraphese' works well in isolation. A distant drum... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES ATP's dispute with Dash continues, Paypal issuing refunds instead
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LEGAL MPAA research bigs up UK web-blocking
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL HMV boss remains bullish, says company will outperform Amazon in CD/DVD market soon
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LIVE BUSINESS Bristol venue denies encouraging Fat White Family boycott
Electric Zoo cut short by the weather
Ticketing search engine scores $35 million in investment
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EDUCATION & EVENTS New CMU Insights programme incoming
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ARTIST NEWS Kate Bush comeback pushes eight of her albums into the Top 40
Faber to publish Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis' notebooks
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ONE LINERS Other notable announcements and developments today
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AND FINALLY... David Lynch's Kanye West collaboration abandoned due to lack of ideas
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ATP's dispute with Dash continues, Paypal issuing refunds instead
ATP remains in dispute with Dash Tickets over responsibility for issuing refunds to Jabberwocky ticketholders. However, in its latest statement, the independent promoter says that payments processor Paypal is already reimbursing customers itself.

As previously reported, ATP cancelled its London-based Jabberwocky festival with just three days notice last month. An initial statement advised ticketholders to seek refunds from the company through which they made their purchase. For most, this was the event's lead ticketing partner, Dash Tickets.

However, Dash then said that it was considering legal action against ATP, claiming that it had been a technology provider, rather than a traditional ticketing agent, and had already passed all income from ticket sales over to ATP. The company added that its terms and conditions put responsibility for refunds in the event of a cancellation on to the promoter.

But ATP subsequently denied that all funds from ticket sales had been handed over prior to the cancellation, and also accused Dash of changing its terms and conditions after tickets had gone on sale.

In an update to customers last week, ATP said that while other ticket sellers were issuing refunds directly, the ongoing dispute with Dash meant that this was still not the case for most people. However, it says, because Paypal was the sole payment processor on all sales through Dash's platform, all customers can seek refunds through that company instead.

The statement says: "PayPal UK are reimbursing all customers irrespective of when the purchase was made, whether they have a PayPal account or checked out as a guest, whether they are a UK or international customer, and whether their purchase was on debit card, credit card, direct debit from a bank account linked to PayPal, or from an existing PayPal balance. PayPal will then take all these cases forward as a whole to Dash Tickets".

Whether or not the ultimate responsibility for covering refunds will end with Dash Tickets remains to be seen. When ticket buyers are forced to seek refunds through a credit card company or payment processor, it is normal for that company to then try to reclaim that money from the company it had direct contact with - in this case Dash.

The status of Dash's potential legal proceedings against ATP is currently unclear, as the company has issued no statement since 13 Aug and has not responded to requests for further information.

MPAA research bigs up UK web-blocking
Research from the Motion Picture Association Of America reportedly claims that web-blocking in the UK is proving a decent tactic for reducing levels of online piracy.

As much previously reported, so called web-blocking is an increasingly favoured approach of both the music and movie industries in the long-running battle against piracy online. Internet service providers are pressured, usually by court injunction, to block access to websites that primarily exist to encourage or enable copyright infringement. In countries where the injunctions have been easy to secure, the content industries have sought to block numerous piracy services.

The effectiveness of the blockades is often called into question, because proxy sites soon spring up that are easily found via a Google search, and which enable users to access blocked services. Though rights owners insist that the blocks do have an impact, even though they concede things would be much more effective if the big search engines also removed offending sites and resulting proxies from their search results.

But even with the easy-to-find proxies the MPAA claims, according to Torrentfreak, that UK web-blocking is delivering impressive results. A leaked report apparently alludes to internal MPAA research, adding that this "research of the effectiveness of site blocking orders in the UK found that visits to infringing sites blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included".

As Torrentfreak says, without knowing more about the methodology of the research it's hard to assess how reliable that claim is. The Pirate Bay has claimed its traffic went up after the site's official domain was blocked in the UK. And while some other services have gone offline after being blocked, which could skew the results overall, web-blocking critics are likely to be suspicious of the MPAA's very impressive sounding stats.

The research is referenced in a report being prepared for the Australian government which, as previously reported, is currently considering new anti-piracy measures, including web-blocking. Though Torrentfreak wonders if the fact the MPAA is conducting research of this kind suggests that it is planning on pushing for web-blocking in the US once again.

Web-blocks were big features of the SOPA and PIPA proposals that went before US Congress back in 2011/2, though both fell apart in face of strong opposition from the tech sector. Though that was before web-blocking had become common practice in some European countries, not least the UK.

HMV boss remains bullish, says company will outperform Amazon in CD/DVD market soon
The boss of HMV reckons that the high street retailer could soon regain its title as the biggest seller of CDs and DVDs in the UK, as the once flagging entertainment retail firm catches up on Amazon.

Although HMV's financials are not so easy to assess since current owner Hilco took the company into private ownership after HMV plc went into administration last year, the equity firm's top man Paul McGowan has been bullish from the start, and even more so in recent months, previously chatting to the Telegraph about the entertainment retailer, and now the Mail On Sunday.

McGowan says that by streamlining the formerly top-heavy HMV company, and only holding on to the profitable HMV stores - a policy which has resulted in a steady stream of store closures, but also openings, since Hilco took over - the all-new HMV has been profitable from day one.

The subsequent growth in market share, McGowan reckons, is partly down to the increase in live events being staged in the retailer's stores. Though the company is also seemingly benefiting from a slight upturn in the sale of physical music products overall. CD sales in the last few months are up, according to the Mail On Sunday, after a decade plus of decline.

That overall upturn might be simply down to the impulse-purchases made by those visiting HMV's stores for the aforementioned live events. Though it may also be partly due to the success of initiatives like Record Store Day, which is ironically spearheaded by the indie record stores which once saw HMV as the enemy.

Either way, HMV has told the Mail that its CD and vinyl sales together were up 21% in the last two months, with DVD sales also up 6%. HMV's sales growth is seemingly four-times faster than the market at large, hence McGowan's optimism that his high street business could soon outperform mail-order king Amazon in the CD and DVD domain.

He told the paper: "It's only a matter of time before we overtake Amazon. HMV is re-engaging with music shoppers and getting them back into shops. This is about being an authority in music, not selling music as a commodity".

Bristol venue denies encouraging Fat White Family boycott
Bristol venue The Fleece has denied that it has attempted to convince other venues not to book Fat White Family, following an incident there last week.

In a post on Facebook, which has since been deleted, the band claimed that one of their girlfriends had been thrown out of their dressing room at The Fleece by "horrible bully boy bouncers that basically attacked her", before the whole band were asked to leave by the venue's owners and then began "calling up other venues warning them about us and trying to stop them from booking us". They also said that "the people that run The Fleece in Bristol need [to be] lined up against a wall and shot".

Following the deletion of that update, another appeared in the early hours of Friday morning, in which the band claimed that their manager had removed the first and conceded that "it may have been a little over the top".

They continued: "We don't actually want to see anyone from The Fleece lined up against the wall and shot, but it has to be said that the bouncers and managers at that venue were some of the strangest power tripping creeps we have ever come across. After chucking us out of the venue because one of our girlfriends didn't have an access all areas pass they went on to contact all the venues we are playing at on our up and coming tour and try to encourage some kind of boycott of The Fat White Family".

Speaking to the NME, a spokesperson for the venue denied that it is encouraging other venues to boycott the band, saying: "There has been no attempt to convince venues not to book the Fat White Family or cancel upcoming shows. There is a network of venues in the UK who discuss how shows go and notify others if they have a show which is out of the ordinary so that the future dates can be prepared with additional bar staff, security or any other requirements".

They continued: "Unfortunately the band has got the wrong impression on this and we are sorry they feel this way, however, we were acting in a way to make sure the rest of their tour was a success, and not in any way hinder them".

The band are currently scheduled to play three headline shows in Glasgow, Manchester and London this month, as well as appearing at Bestival this weekend.

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Electric Zoo cut short by the weather
The Electric Zoo festival in New York was cut short again this weekend, though this time because of extreme weather conditions.

As previously reported, the third day of the EDM event was cancelled last year after two festival-goers died and four others were taken ill, all in drug-related incidents. So much so, ahead of this year's event the now SFX-owned festival launched an anti-drugs campaign.

But this year it was the weather that caused all the problems. With severe thunder storms incoming, organisers said in a statement yesterday: "In collaboration with New York City officials, Electric Zoo has made the decision to shut down the festival for the remainder of the day. We apologise to our fans, but ultimately our main concern is for the safety and security of all attendees, artists and staff".

We look forward to next year's pre-Festival anti-thunder campaign.

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Ticketing search engine scores $35 million in investment
A US-based 'ticketing search engine' called SeatGeek has announced it has just raised $35 million in investment, in a funding round led by Accel Partners which has been backed by a number of investors, including some from the tech and sporting sectors. The new monies will be used to fund expansion and marketing.

The company's founder Jack Groetzinger said in a statement: "SeatGeek is a technology company, not a ticket company. We spent our first four years focused exclusively on building a great product. A year ago we began to try our hand at marketing, and were blown away by the results. So for us, this is a natural opportunity for us to get more aggressive in marketing. Still, we weren't looking to raise money, but when we met Accel, we knew it was a great fit".

Accel Partner John Locke, who is joining the company's board, voiced his enthusiasm for the ticketing platform, saying: "SeatGeek is quickly becoming the go-to app for buying live event tickets on mobile. We're thrilled to join the team as they continue to build the most innovative experiences in the market for fans".

New CMU Insights programme incoming
A new programme of evening seminars from CMU Insights kicks off in a fortnight, with eight two-hour sessions providing an overview of the music industry, a guide to music rights and licensing, insights on fan engagement, and analysis of new artist deals and business models.

The seminars are led by CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, who says: "However many years it's been since you departed academia, it's hard to avoid the back-to-school feel that comes with September, so what better month to invest some time in expanding your knowledge of this business, and getting up to speed on all the latest trends and developments?"

He goes on: "In an industry that has been through so much change in the last decade, and which is still in flux, it's beneficial for music business practitioners to know about all the strands of the industry, not just the one they currently work in. That wider knowledge will help the practitioner themselves, the company they work for, and the artists they support. Our CMU Insights seminars are a simple way to get this wider knowledge. Be better at music rights, fan engagement, artist business models and the whole business of music".

The seminars kick off on 15 Sep. Tickets are just £45 per seminar, or you can attend all eight for just £299, including booking fees. More at www.cmuinsights.com

  Approved: Morly - Seraphese
Being a mysterious producer with only one track and no online history is 'a thing' now. But sometimes music benefits from a little mystery, and that is absolutely the case with 'Seraphese' by Morly.

As ever with these scrubbed SoundCloud profiles, I regret not getting there sooner, back when I assume there was more available to listen to. But 'Seraphese' works well in isolation. A distant drum booms softly under deep bass, slowly stroked piano and smatterings of lyricless vocals.

Listen here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Kate Bush comeback pushes eight of her albums into the Top 40
So, popstars, here's a simple strategy for you all to adopt in the future. Be an acclaimed, constantly innovating recording artist. But don't perform live for 35 years. Then book a relatively intimate venue for your comeback and put on an awe-inspiring show that garners blanket press coverage. And in return you can expect a week of chart dominance. Now you sit back and think about it, it's been obvious all along hasn't it?

Yes, after all the Bush-blandishment in the papers and on the social networks last week, eight of Kate's albums reappeared in the UK Top 40 this weekend, two inside the top ten.

In reverse order of popularity, the charting LPs are: 'Lionheart', 'Never For Ever', 'The Dreaming', 'The Sensual Word', 'The Kick Inside', '50 Words For Snow', 'Hounds Of Love' and 'The Whole Story'. The only artists to have had more records in the UK album charts at any one time are Elvis Presley in 1977 and The Beatles in 2009.

Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot told reporters: "Kate Bush's new live shows have created a huge stir, but for them to help push her catalogue to make such a significant sales impact is further evidence of the love that the British public have for her music, from generation to generation".

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Faber to publish Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis' notebooks
Faber & Faber has announced that it will publish a new collection of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis's lyrics and previously unpublished notebooks, called 'So This Is Permanence', on 2 Oct. The book was edited by writer Jon Savage with Curtis's wife Deborah.

"There are about three notebooks of lyrics and also about another 120 or 130 loose pages, as I remember", Savage told CMU. "So there's quite a lot of handwritten material".

On the insight the book gives, he added: "Ian wrote compulsively. He wrote a lot. And it also shows the development of his writing from the early Warsaw days through to Joy Division. He was a writer, you know, he really worked hard on his lyrics. There are a few prose pieces too, which are very much in a science fiction vein, so you get an idea of what his influences were, which is dystopian fiction and science fiction. There's not really any great revelation - that's not really what this book's about. On the other hand you will get some insight into how he wrote and what he wrote".

In addition to the standard edition of the book, there will be a 200 limited edition copies available. These will come signed by Savage, Deborah Curtis and the three surviving members of Joy Division, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris. The limited edition version will also include a signed and numbered reproduction of Ian Curtis' handwritten 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' lyrics.

Read more from our conversation with Jon Savage here.

OTHER NOTABLE ANNOUNCEMENTS & DEVELOPMENTS

• Sarah Henderson has been promoted to the role of General Manager at Murray Chalmers PR, according to Music Week, and will work with founder Chalmers to expand the firm's brands and events division.

Big Mouth Publicity's Steve Phillips and Jakub Blackman have announced that they are going their separate ways. Blackman will continue to operate under the Big Mouth name, merging with Giovanna Ferrin's Sure Shot PR. Phillips has launched new company Carry On Press.

• Warp has announced a series of listening parties for the new Aphex Twin album, taking place around the world from 5-10 Sep. More info here.

• Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has partnered with IBM to create over 400 hours of music generated from data taken from tennis matches in the US Open. Listen here.

• dEUS will release a new compilation spanning their 20 year career on 10 Nov, called 'Selected Songs 1994-2014'. The band will also play a one-off London show at The Scala on 12 Dec. Tickets here.

• Melvins have released a track from their previously reported new album, 'Hold It In', called 'Brass Cupcake'. Listen here.

David Lynch's Kanye West collaboration abandoned due to lack of ideas
David Lynch has revealed that he was lined up to direct a video for 'Blood On The Leaves', from Kanye West's 2013 album 'Yeezus'. But the project never got off the ground.

At a Brooklyn Academy Of Music event earlier this year, Lynch told attendees of his love for the song, saying: "I love 'Blood On The Leaves. I just think it's one of the most modern pieces and so minimal, so powerful but at the same time so beautiful. It's a great, great song".

Speaking to The Daily Beast last week, he said that he had been hired to create a video for the track, but that the project had stalled when he couldn't come up with any ideas, saying that he feels he "let [Kanye] down a little bit".

"Kanye came up to the house one day", he explained of the abandoned collaboration. "Kanye's a good guy, and a great musician. I loved the song, and that's what brought us together, but I couldn't come up with ideas that thrilled either one of us".

What could have caused David Lynch to fail to have any ideas for this video? I don't know. But apparently it's contagious, because now I can't think of a closing line for this story about it.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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