MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The FanFair campaign has published new research on what consumers think about secondary ticketing, with 82% of those surveyed saying that ticket resale sites should be more transparent, while just over half said that they found it difficult to distinguish between primary and secondary ticket sellers... [READ MORE]
DISSECTING THE DIGITAL DOLLAR - STEP BY STEP
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [READ MORE]
   
GLOBAL MUSIC DATA AND BLOCKCHAIN
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [READ MORE]
   
THE RIGHTS OF ARTISTS AND SONGWRITERS POST-ASSIGNMENT - PERFORMER AND MORAL RIGHTS
Copyright provides creators with control over that which they create, but what happens when the creators themselves don't own the copyright in their work? Artists and songwriters who are no longer in control of their copyrights do still have some rights, sometimes by contract, and via performer and moral rights. CMU Trends considers what the law says about the rights of artists and songwriters after their copyrights have been assigned. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES 82% of consumers reckon secondary ticketing needs to be more transparent
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LEGAL Two more stream-ripping sites shut down in the UK
Manowar force tribute band to redesign logo
Setlist podcast discusses the international implications of Eminem's New Zealand legal win
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DEALS Reservoir signs Cutfather
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Gaming fuels physical product boost in entertainment retail
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LIVE BUSINESS Songkick Discovery says "we're not going anywhere"
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ARTIST NEWS DFA1979's Jesse Keeler denies membership of right wing group
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Ed Sheeran announces rescheduled Asian tour dates
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AND FINALLY... Simon Cowell fell down some stairs
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TRU THOUGHTS - DIGITAL MARKETING & CONTENT MANAGER (BRIGHTON)
Tru Thoughts is looking to hire a Digital Marketing and Content Manager to work in-house at our office in Brighton. The candidate should be confident and organised, with a demonstrable passion for the label's music (and a love of being by the sea).

For more information and to apply click here.
   
TUNECORE - UK BRAND MANAGER (LONDON)
TuneCore is looking for a UK Brand Manager to be responsible for the development of its brand and customer base across the UK. The Brand Manager will have a deep understanding of, and an extensive network in, both the UK music market and the indie scene, and direct experience working in the independent music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ROUNDHOUSE - MUSIC PROGRAMME PRODUCER (LONDON)
This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic and dynamic individual to lead on the planning and management of the Roundhouse's exceptional Music Programme for young people.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
CR2 RECORDS - PRODUCT & MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Cr2 Records is looking for an experienced Product and Marketing Manager to manage all singles and albums / compilation releases. This will include all product and marketing assets, scheduling, promotion timelines and co-ordinating between all departments internally and teams externally to ensure the best possible product chart positions and sales for the label.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
CIRCUS RECORDS - LABEL ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Circus Records and its associated group of companies are looking for a key addition to their growing team. We are looking for a label assistant working within the company, to aid and support key functions within administration, communication and operations of the label.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
EVENTBRITE - SENIOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, MUSIC (LONDON)
Eventbrite is looking for someone to help build a world-class business development team focused on music in Europe that consistently exceeds business targets, partners cross-functionally with our global teams, and helps write the playbook for our European market.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
WORLDWIDE FM - STATION MANAGER (LONDON)
Worldwide FM is looking to hire a Station Manager to organise the day-to-day running of the online radio platform. The role is working closely with the directors on all aspects of the business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - MUSIC CONSULTANT (HERTFORDSHIRE)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels, luxury brands, restaurant and bars, is looking for a Music Consultant to join our small but expanding creative team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MUSIC CONCIERGE - PLAYLIST DESIGNER (HERTFORDSHIRE)
Music Concierge, the award-winning music consultancy for boutique hotels, luxury brands, restaurant and bars, is looking for a Playlist Designer to join our small but expanding creative team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT - SVP SYNCHRONISATION UK & EUROPE (LONDON)
The Senior Vice President of Synchronisation will be responsible for overseeing creative pitching, clearance and synch administration for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Netherlands and overseeing synch agents and sub-publishers in key territories including France, Italy and Eastern Europe.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THE ORCHARD - INTERACTIVE MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
The Orchard is looking for a savvy, seasoned digital music marketer to promote its distributed artists in Europe and beyond. The ideal candidate will come from a label or distribution background and have an exceptional understanding of the digital space.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SJM CONCERTS - JUNIOR PROMOTER (MANCHESTER)
SJM Concerts are at the forefront of the Live UK Music market. With nearly a 30 year history as a company we promote some of the biggest tours for artists from around the world. Those who are both long established and those setting the bar for the future.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BMG - DIGITAL MARKETING ASSISTANT, CATALOGUE RECORDINGS (LONDON)
We are looking for a passionate Digital Marketing Assistant to join our Catalogue Marketing team. This is a newly created role and the successful candidate will assist the Marketing Manager and wider team with developing and executing effective digital marketing strategies for the BMG Catalogue campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
WARP RECORDS - CREATIVE LICENSING MANAGER (LONDON)
Warp Records is looking to hire a Creative Licensing Manager, Advertising to join our Sync team in London to deliver licensing opportunities for our Artists focusing on Advertising, Trailers & Promos.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
GREEN MAN - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Green Man Festival wishes to appoint a Marketing Manager to join our friendly team, who will create and implement marketing campaigns for the festival as well as other Green Man events and experiences.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NINJA TUNE - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Ninja Tune seeks a Marketing Assistant to provide support for the Product Managers across all areas of artist campaigns. Someone who is passionate about music, with previous music industry experience, preferably within marketing.

For more information and to apply click here.
 
RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
How The Music Business Works
SEMINARS | every Monday until 13 Nov, London | INFO
Our 'How The Music Business Works' programme consists of eight two-hour seminars which together cover: the various ways the music industry generates revenue, building and engaging a fanbase, the business partnerships artists form with music companies, and how the artist/label relationship is changing.
 
Enforcing Music Rights - Safe Harbours And Piracy
MASTERCLASS | Monday 20 November 2017, London | INFO
In this half day masterclass, CMU MD and Business Editor Chris Cooke will look at how the music industry enforces its copyrights, at the long-running battle with online music piracy, and at the controversy around the copyright safe harbour.

82% of consumers reckon secondary ticketing needs to be more transparent
The FanFair campaign has published new research on what consumers think about secondary ticketing, with 82% of those surveyed saying that ticket resale sites should be more transparent, while just over half said that they found it difficult to distinguish between primary and secondary ticket sellers.

The survey of 1158 consumers - undertaken for FanFair by AudienceNet and Music Ally back in June this year - found that 74% of respondents reckoned that online ticket touting was becoming a concern for music fans, with just 7% outright disagreeing with that statement. 81% thought that ticket resale sites were "ripping off the fans".

As much previously reported, the campaign within the music community against the resale of tickets at hiked up prices online has gained considerable momentum in the last couple of the years, with that campaigning in the UK focused on the FanFair initiative.

And while frustrated fans forced to buy tickets to in-demand shows at considerable mark-ups on the secondary market are the obvious victims of rampant touting, said music community loses out too, according to the new Fan Fair research. A majority of those surveyed said that they were likely to spend less of merch and recorded music, food and drink, and other shows, if they have to pay a premium to access a ticket. Meaning at least some of the monies that go to the industrial-level touts are lost to the music industry.

Many artists, managers and promoters, as well as consumer rights groups, advocate increased regulation of the resale of tickets for profit. Some go as far as proposing an outright ban, such as that recently passed in New South Wales in Australia. Others propose measures like capping resale mark-ups, banning the use of special software by touts to access tickets from primary sites, and forcing touts to publish original ticket prices and ticket numbers, and to be more transparent about who they are.

The vast majority of those surveyed by FanFair agreed that touts selling on secondary sites should be forced to reveal their identity, so that consumers knew if they were buying from industrial level touts who buy and sell tickets on a commercial basis. The resale sites should also be much more clear that they are not approved primary sellers of the tickets they list.

In addition to lobbying lawmakers for new and better regulation, the anti-tout brigade also urge artists and promoters to do more to combat touting, such as providing approved sites where fans can resell tickets at face value, limiting ticket purchases on primary sites, and personalising tickets and checking ID at the venue. All of these were supported by the vast majority of those surveyed, including the ID checks - backed by 75% - even though that measure can inconvenience the consumer a little at the venue.

Commenting on the research, FanFair Campaign Manager Adam Webb said: "The debate around online ticket touting raises strong passions, so it's important that the wider music business, politicians and regulators can get a sense of what the general public think. The message from this research appears to be pretty clear: UK audiences are fed up".

He continued: "The model of secondary ticketing promoted by Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In and Seatwave is causing them very real concern - albeit, they are not against the concept of ticket resale. The majority would like the option to resell a ticket for the price they paid for it, and they're in favour of measures to curb mass-scale online ticket touting. On that front, FanFair urges legislators and regulators to accelerate their endeavours to tackle the most egregious practices of the secondary market".

Concluding, Webb said: "More positively, an increasing number of UK ticket companies are now offering face value resale services, and it's becoming common practice for artists to implement anti-touting strategies. This is hugely encouraging, although there remains a deep-rooted resistance from some parts of the live business that needs to be overcome. For while the status quo might bring short-term gains to certain companies, there is a real danger that their intransigence will cause considerable long-term damage - not only to the live music sector, but across the music business overall".

As previously reported, the political community in the UK has become much more open to regulating secondary ticketing of late, certainly compared to a decade ago.

That partly means better enforcing the existing ticket touting rules that were introduced in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act, but also considering new proposals, such as the recent bots ban that outlaws the use of the aforementioned software that allows touts to buy up large numbers of tickets from primary sites.

Though the UK government is still against an outright ban of reselling tickets for profit and even the introduction of caps on how much resold tickets can be marked up. The Department For Digital, Culture, Media And Sport reaffirmed that position just last week when reacting to a new anti-touting petition posted on the Parliament website, which quickly passed the 10,000 threshold required for an official response.

The new petition stated: "Tickets are being bought from sites and are getting sold to third party sellers for a high price meaning real fans are missing out. Reselling of football tickets is illegal under the Criminal Justice And Public Order Act 1994. Why can't laws apply for tickets to concerts and other sporting events?"

Responding, the government said it recognised that "the process of distributing and buying tickets can often be a cause for public frustration and concern" and that it "is determined to crackdown on unacceptable behaviour and improve fans' chances of buying tickets at a reasonable price".

However, it stands by the conclusion of the 2016 Waterson Review of secondary ticketing on the issue of price caps. Writes the government: "Professor Waterson specifically considered the issue of a cap on ticket resale prices, and we agree with his conclusion that it should not be taken forward as it would raise a number of practical considerations and be of limited effect, as it would be extremely difficult to enforce".

The culture ministry then references measures in the recent Digital Economy Act on touting, including the bots ban and the addition of 'ticket number' to the bits of information a tout must provide when reselling a ticket.

You can access the new FanFair research here.

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Two more stream-ripping sites shut down in the UK
Two more stream-ripping sites have closed their doors to UK users in the wake of YouTube-mp3 being sued out of business.

As previously reported, YouTube-mp3 - which let users grab permanent downloads of audio streaming on the Google video site - officially went offline last month after its operator was sued by the Recording Industry Association Of America. British record industry trade group BPI also put the leading stream-ripping platform on notice as its American counterpart went legal last year, resulting in YouTube-mp3 restricting its service within the UK.

While both RIAA and BPI welcomed the demise of YouTube-mp3, they noted that there are plenty of other sites offering a similar service. The US labels recently had a good old moan about all the remaining stream-ripping platforms in their submission to the American government's 'notorious markets' report. Though the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued back that the record industry was wrong to say that stream-ripping sites were by definition liable for copyright infringement.

Commenting as YouTube-mp3 shut down last month, BPI boss Geoff Taylor said: "Music stands on the cusp of an exciting future in the streaming age, but only if we take resolute action against illegal businesses that try to siphon away its value. The firm action we have taken, led by our General Counsel Kiaron Whitehead and our Content Protection team, has made an impact in the UK, and we are determined to take further action as necessary against other stream-ripping sites to protect the rights of musicians and labels".

It's not entirely clear why MP3Juices.cc and YtMp3.cc have decided to geo-block UK users, but it is likely related to the legal action taken against YouTube-mp3. British web-users going to either of those sites now see a message that reads: "This service is no longer available. Thanks for being a part of us. Goodbye!"

The BPI says that the geo-blocking of MP3Juices.cc and YtMp3.cc is not the result of legal action on its part, but nevertheless it welcomed the development. Taylor told Torrentfreak last week: "We are seeing that the closure of the largest stream ripping site, YouTube-mp3, following co-ordinated global legal action from record companies, is having an impact on the operations of other ripping sites".

That said, it seems unlikely the labels will be happy with simple geo-blocking in certain key markets, given how easy it is for savvy web-users to circumvent such blockades. Which means we can expect to see music industry trade groups, which have now put stream-ripping at the top of their piracy gripe lists, pushing for more shutdowns a la YouTube-MP3.

Taylor added last week: "Stream ripping remains a major issue for the industry. These sites are making large sums of money from music without paying a penny to those that invest in and create it. We will continue to take legal action against other illegal ripping sites where necessary".

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Manowar force tribute band to redesign logo
A "feminist tribute band" to American metal outfit Manowar - called Womanowar - have been forced to change their logo after the threat of legal action from the band they seek to honour.

Womanowar is fronted by Nina Osegueda of another American metal band called A Sound Of Thunder, with two other members of that group also involved in the side project.

However, Manowar bassist Joey DeMaio doesn't seem too keen on the tribute and, having previously tried to have a Womanowar video on YouTube blocked, has now forced them to redesign their logo.

According to MetalSucks, legal reps for DeMaio wrote to Womanowar to tell them that their logo - a play on the official Manowar logo - "is likely to cause confusion among the consuming public". To that end, the legal letter noted, "demand is hereby made that you immediately change your logo so as not to be confusingly similar to our client's logo".

Writing on Facebook last week, Womanowar announced that "Joey DeMaio's lawyer has spoken so we have to take down our logo". They then encouraged fans of the tribute band to propose new logos, which they did. And so the band are currently using this marvel.

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Setlist podcast discusses the international implications of Eminem's New Zealand legal win
The lead story up for discussion on this week's Setlist podcast is Eminem's recent legal win against New Zealand's ruling National Party over a sound-a-like track, and what effect it could have on similar cases in the UK.

Last week, Eminem and his publishing company Eight Mile Style won NZ$600,000 in damages from the National Party. A court ruled that it had infringed the rapper's copyright by using a library music track that sounded like his hit 'Lose Yourself' in an election campaign advert.

The ad dated back to New Zealand's 2014 General Election campaign and featured a track called 'Eminem-esque'. The National Party argued that it had entirely legitimately licensed the piece of music from a production music company. However, emails between people involved in the campaign showed that they were aware just how similar the two tracks were prior to the advert being broadcast.

"The allegation here isn't that The National Party set out to find a piece of music that sounded like Eminem's 'Lose Yourself'", says CMU's Chris Cooke on this week's Setlist show. "However, it is known that there are production music companies out there who will make available to advertisers, and movies, and TV shows, music that sounds quite similar to commercially released tracks".

And, he adds, "it is not unknown for advertising agencies to actually go to production music companies and say, 'could you make us something a little bit like this track'. Either because they can't afford to license the original commercially released track, or maybe even - and there are certainly instances where this has happened - they tried to license the original track and the label or the publisher - or the songwriter - said no".

However, if you're a copyright owner and you find yourself in this situation, the legalities around sound-a-like tracks are complex and ambiguous, which means many do not end up pursuing it through the courts.

"One of the problems is that this is something of a grey area in copyright law", says Cooke. "And where there is ambiguity, it makes it expensive to pursue litigation, because you're not assured that you will win. But you do know you'll accrue significant costs in trying to fight a case. This obviously means that if you are a smaller independent label - or maybe you're a DIY artist in control of your own music - that puts you at a massive disadvantage".

The National Party may as yet appeal the ruling in the Eminem case, but if it ultimately stands, that could set an interesting new precedent.

"Copyright law in New Zealand is quite similar to copyright law both in Australia and here in the UK", Cooke goes on. "They all originate in the same body of English copyright law. It might be that this will provide a convincing precedent that you could use to subsequently fight other cases of this kind".

Certainly Eminem's lawyers seemed to think the ruling in the 'Eminem-eque' case could prove significant in future disputes.

"So even if the advert, the movie, the whatever insists that they did the legitimate thing by either going to a production music library or commissioning something", Cooke continues, "because they were clearly aware of the similarities prior to the ad going out, then there is possibly a decent case there for copyright infringement".

The issue of sound-a-likes was discussed at the CMU Insights conference at The Great Escape back in 2015, and CMU's Andy Malt also runs through some of the key points raised then in this week's Setlist. Also dissected is the World Independent Network's latest indie label market share stats and why they matter, plus Kid Rock's exit from the political arena (which he never entered in the first place).

Listen to the episode in full here.

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Reservoir signs Cutfather
Music rights firm Reservoir, via its Reverb Music division, last week announced it had signed songwriter, producer and remixer Mich Hansen - aka Cutfather - to one of those worldwide publishing deals. How do I know this? Because Reservoir/Reverb Music MD Annette Barrett just told me.

"It's a great pleasure to be re-united with Cutfather", says she. "I originally signed Mich at Warner Chappell Music in the 90s, where he was one of their top writers. His continued success over the years is a testament to his talent and hard work. I am very excited to welcome him now to the Reservoir/Reverb Music family. We are all looking forward to working with him and continuing his unique success story".

All that hard work, by the way, includes collaborating with the likes of Queen Latifah, Kylie Minogue, Pussycat Dolls, Jordin Sparks, The Wanted, The Saturdays, Santana, Blue, Christina Aguilera, Olly Murs and Demi Lovato.

Says he of his new publishing deal: "It's great to be back working with Annette and joining the team at Reservoir. Their boutique feeling is essential and the personalised attention is awesome, considering you can easily get lost in the big world of publishing. I'm excited to continue my career with them".

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Gaming fuels physical product boost in entertainment retail
The physical product side of the home entertainment market is back in growth according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel. Based on summer quarter stats, physical entertainment sales were up 2.2% year-on-year, the first growth since 2014. Woo! Though, says Kantar, gaming is behind the uplift.

It reports: "Driven by a stellar performance from the games market - which grew sales by 26.0%, offsetting declines of 5.4% and 4.8% in music and video respectively - this is the strongest overall growth physical entertainment has seen in over three years".

The company's Olivia Moore adds: "It's been a great quarter for games - a real bright spot in the physical market's struggle against the rise of digital. Helped by the release of much-anticipated title 'Destiny', mint games - as opposed to second hand - have led the charge. The market will now be looking to build on its success in the run up to Christmas".

In terms of who is selling all this physical product, Amazon still has the biggest market share overall, though HMV leads on both music and video, and has made the biggest gains of late, up 2.3% to 18.1%, says Kantar.

Moore again: "Already the top seller of music, the past quarter has seen HMV leapfrog Amazon to become number one for sales of physical video too. The retailer increased its share of the video market with the help of a strong performance in new film releases - up six percentage points to stand at 22.5% - while Amazon's share remained flat at 20.2%".

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Songkick Discovery says "we're not going anywhere"
With the Songkickers gearing up for a full on fist fight with Live Nation and Ticketmaster in the American courts next month - having blamed the live giant for the demise of their own ticketing platform - the other Songkickers would like you to know that it's business as usual, and that they'll be kicking you in the direction of some fine live songs just like always.

As previously reported, the Songkick ticketing service recently confirmed that it was preparing to completely shutdown. The company told its customers it would this month "complete the shutdown of all ticketing operations we began earlier this year when Ticketmaster and Live Nation effectively blocked our US ticketing business".

But that's the Songkick ticketing platform, not the Songkick gig recommendations app which, of course, was sold to Warner Music in July. Many music fans still associate the Songkick brand more with the recommendations app than the proprietary ticketing service that span out of it. Indeed, the core of the ticketing side of the business began life as Crowdsurge, another start-up which merged with Songkick in 2015.

To that end, the bit of Songkick that is now part of Warner Music published a blog post last week clearing up any confusion. It started: "There've been some changes afoot at Songkick recently, and we want to bring everyone up to speed. First things first, we're not going anywhere!"

It goes on: "This summer we, the Songkick Discovery app and team, became part of the Warner Music Group family. Together we'll be doubling down on our mission to improve the live experience, bring fans and artists closer together and, of course, make sure you never ever miss your favourite artists live. It's a super exciting step for us, and for our awesome users, and we're psyched about what the future holds".

It concludes: "You can still count on us to be the first to tell you about new concerts, and to point you to the fairest, safest places to buy tickets. Though we won't be selling tickets ourselves, we'll always be your trusted home for live music online. In short, Songkick [is] still here for you for all of your concert needs. We're excited to keep moving fast, doing cool shit, and putting fans first. So stay tuned for exciting news coming soon".

Hurrah for all the cool shit that's coming soon! Though I doubt any of the gigs being tipped by the Songkick crew will be more entertaining than the upcoming rumble in court between the Songkick ticketing set-up and good old Live Nation. Expect more kicking than songs.

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Approved: Poppy Ackroyd
Set to release her new album, 'Resolve', early next year, neo-classical composer Poppy Ackroyd has released the first single from it, 'The Calm Before'.

The track "is almost entirely made up of clarinet sounds", she explains. "The percussion was created using layers of clicking clarinet and bass clarinet keys, starting with a looped and chopped rhythm taken from an improvisation that appears throughout".

The new album is the first on which Ackroyd employed other musicians to perform her compositions, before manipulating them in the studio. "With the other musicians, I asked them to explore the instrument and to create as many weird and wonderful sounds as they could", she says. "I then spent hours sifting through the recordings and choosing sounds and short percussive ideas that I could rearrange and build the track from".

As its title promises, 'The Calm Before' certainly builds a level of intrigue as we wait for the full album. Listen to the track in full here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

DFA1979's Jesse Keeler denies membership of right wing group
Death From Above 1979's Jesse Keeler has denied being a member of "pro-western men's fraternal organisation" The Proud Boys, after details of his links to its founder, Gavin McInnes, were discussed online.

Last week, an article was posted on Medium and Reddit noting Keeler's various appearances on McInnes' podcast, as well as a photograph of him with members of the Proud Boys. McInnes – a founder of Vice magazine – also reportedly claimed that Keeler was a member of the men's rights group in an article published last year.

In a long statement posted on Facebook, Keeler says that it is "completely false" that he is a member of the Proud Boys. However, he admits, his "connection to Gavin however is real, but begs to be clarified".

He explained that he first met McInnes over a decade ago, while he was still working for Vice and the magazine's in house label was releasing DFA1979's music. They became acquainted and stayed in touch over the years, although Keeler says that he did not realise the extent to which McInnes' politics had shifted to the right.

"Over time, I watched many people distance themselves from Gavin both professionally and personally", he writes. "I always perceived that as people just thinking he was 'a little much'. In short, I gave him the benefit of the doubt".

"When [McInnes] started a video podcast and invited me on as a guest, I obliged", Keeler writes. "When he invited me to his talk-show and a party on election night last year, regrettably, I attended. Never without a morbid curiosity. Anyone who knows me, or has met me for longer than five minutes, knows how curious I am. I never thought that my curiosity would lead to this moment, where now it feels like I'm walking through a lake of mud".

He severed ties with McInnes shortly after last year's US presidential election, he goes on: "Soon after the election, I began noticing that Gavin was promoting violence and a form of radical politics that I absolutely do not agree with. I have always been anti-war and anti-violence. That is my baseline position. As far as immigration and nationalism: I am the child of an Indian mother and a Canadian father. I was raised in Canada by my immigrant-Indian family who struggled to make it in a new country".

He concludes: "The reality is that I am not 'alt-right', nor a white supremacist. The facts are I am a mixed race father of two and a musician. I am so sorry for putting my family, friends and fans in this position. I never wanted to talk about politics, I just wanted to make music and leave that stuff alone. Unfortunately, my actions have brought me here, and I am deeply heartbroken about it. To a fault it seems that I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that you will give me the same in return".

The author of the original article on Medium updated their post after Keeler's statement was published, saying: "It's an earnest and humble statement and I believe him. Kudos on responding in a timely manner. When the leader of The Proud Boys claim you as one of their own, you probably should denounce that shit. I, as the author of this piece, do not think Jesse Keeler is a Proud Boy or alt-right. He just seems like a giant dummy that hung out with some sketchy people and definitely said some sketchy shit on Gavin's podcast".

Others were not so quick to accept the statement though, with Far frontman Jonah Matranga commenting on Keeler's post: "'Not talking about politics' is as political as it gets. Speaking of which, the stuff you leave out of this non-apology speaks real loud. Speak up, be accountable, stop mealy-mouthing about fatherhood and innocence/ignorance. Use your platform to help end white supremacy in all its forms. That's being a father (and a human). Do better".

McInnes, meanwhile, commented: "This is all remarkably gay".

Keeler is not the first musician to be accused of links to the Proud Boys. Earlier this year, Glasgow-based producer Funk D'Void was criticised after he began selling Proud Boys branded merch in his online store. In a statement to Resident Advisor, he also admitted that he was "mates with Gavin" but no more.

In a statement on Facebook, he later added: "I'm not racist / sexist / homophobic / transphobic / intolerant / bigoted / far right. If you have a problem with The Proud Boys take it up with them, I'm out".

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Ed Sheeran announces rescheduled Asian tour dates
Ed Sheeran has announced rescheduled dates for a number of the postponed shows on his Asian tour, while several others have been cancelled entirely.

As previously reported, Sheeran was due to begin his Asian tour in Taipei earlier this month, but was forced to pull out after injuring both of his arms when he was knocked off his bike by a car in London. Four shows, including three in Japan, have now been rescheduled for next April, while five will now not take place at all.

As well as the initial run of cancelled shows, a performance in Indonesia has also now been called off. However, it looks like fewer dates will be cancelled overall than had been originally anticipated. Sheeran will now recommence touring at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 11 Nov.

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Simon Cowell fell down some stairs
Simon Cowell fell down some stairs last week. Ha - imagine that! Simon Cowell. Falling down some stairs. Now let's reimagine it soundtracked by the 'Benny Hill' theme tune. And now with the 'Looney Tunes' music. Maybe the theme from 'Rhubarb'. And finally with 'Teletubbies Say Eh-oh!' on top. Urgh no. Now it's all become rather sinister, hasn't it?

But worry not, it's OK to giggle at Cowell's stair-falling, despite it resulting in him being rushed to hospital in a neck brace, because Dermot O'Leary has decreed it so. When stair-falling injuries forced Cowell to miss this weekend's 'X-Factor', the ITV show's host asked the programme's other judges: "Who put the banana skin at the top of the stairs?"

That was a joke see. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Fellow judge Sharon Osborne insisted she had an alibi - "[I was] in the library with the candle stick". Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

They'll be feeling less smug if Cowell now dies from undiagnosed head injuries. Though he insists to The Sun that "I'm feeling okay". Ha ha!

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