CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 31st March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Wembley stadium gigs off
- Lots of people make music, more wish they did
- Biggie's family get payout
- George Michael cautioned over drug arrest
- Snoop Dogg banned from Vegas
- Dame Kiri to perform at Classical Brits
- HMV get go ahead to buy Ottakars
- Woolies profits down
- Album review: Sol Seppy - The Bells Of 1 2
- EMI appoint 9PR guy to PR role
- Australian industry launches digital music chart
- Mushroom Group join Ivy League
- HHC reaches issue 200
- Abdul signs for three more seasons of Idol
- East 17 reunite for one-off
- Ashcroft Trafford support announced
- Pearl Jam play UK
- Ray Davies tour
- Valentine announces solo tour
- Album review: Gum Drop - Hi-Falutin
- Coxon seems kind of bitter about Blur
- Bloc Party preview album tracks at Albert Hall
- RHCP album news
- Muse confirm release date
- Replacements reunite for best of
- Prince gets first number one US album for 17 years with '3121'
- Johnny Marr confirms ridiculous Smiths offers
- Johnny Cash's car up for sale
- Marsh joins Corrie
- Gallagher says Stones too old

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TOP BIT>>
With CMU off to Soma Recordings' Soma Skool in Glasgow anytime now (which is, of course, all about offering opportunities to aspiring music types), and with exam time looming over there in college-world, I think it might be time to compile CMU's annual music and media internships guide. Basically, if you are a music or media company willing to offer internships to students or recent graduates this summer, whether they be for one week or several months, let us know and we'll put your details in our internships guide, which we'll publish at the end of next month on both the CMU and College Media Network websites. Simple. To be included email your company name, a sentence about what you do, a sentence about what interns will do, details of location and a contact name to internsguide@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

If you're on the other side of this equation, and looking for a media or music industry internship opportunity, then keep an eye on the CMU websites in late April for more details. Meantime, for other great opportunities to hone your media skills, including the chance to review at the Brighton and Edinburgh Festivals, get on over to http://www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk. Sorted.

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PRESS ROOM>>

THE INSOMNIACS BALL... Kill All Hippies and Stylish Riots present London's first ever all-night indoor festival, kicking off the Easter Weekend on Thursday April 13th, with three live stages and dozens of live bands and DJs underneath the arches at London Bridge in the seOne club. Line up so far includes no less than British Sea Power, White Rose Movement, Mando Diao, Battle, New Rhodes, The Pipettes, Art Brut, Dogs, The Rifles, Komakino, Good Shoes, Cooper Temple Clause (DJ set) and The Rakes (DJ set). How good is this? Doors will open at 8pm, when the live music begins, and the entertainment will continue until 6am the following morning - Good Friday. Full details at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk - for details of a special student discount check http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk.

Press info: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/insomniacsball

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: Orange Lights
You know that thing we music media types like to call 'buzz' - well, it seems to have attached itself to these guys - most notably from one Sat Bisla of A&R Worldwide, who dubbed them "the best unsigned act in the world", which is pretty high praise. Others have said similar things closer to their home town, Newcastle, and those closest to that city will be able to see Jason Hart et al perform their first proper live show at the Newcastle Carling Academy tomorrow night (1 Apr). Those of you not in 'night-out distance' of Tyneside will have to make do with the sneaky preview provided by the guys' MySpace.

www.myspace.com/theorangelights

More on our MySpace Of The Day at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Lost at Plastic People.
Quite simple this one - and I hear Chris is going to fill out the tips section with the excessive inclusion of two separate nights - so I'm going to make it brief. Top techno night Lost has kicked off a new regular Friday night at the legendary Plastic People venue, and making the most of the venue's kick-ass sound system tonight will be legendary Detroit techster Dan Curtin who will, no doubt, be delivering yet another stack of fine funk tech. Should be good.

Fri 31 Mar, 10pm - 3.30am Plastic People, Curtain Road, London, £8, info from ePM or http://www.plasticpeople.co.uk

CHRIS' CLUB TIP 1: Pay Day at Neighbourhood
OK, I'm going to have to tip two things this week, though ironically I'm going to be on a train somewhere between Glasgow and London when these are kicking off, so won't make either of them (in fact, chances are my homing instincts will be kicking in when doors open, given as there's a high chance I'll be just passing through Crewe). As you all surely know, Pay Day is the new West London night from Eddy TM and Dub Pistols main man Barry Ashworth, boasting live sets from Warren Suicide and Kill Electric, a Dub Pistols Soundsystem and DJ sets from the mighty Pendulum and, no doubt, co-hosts Eddy TM and Barry Ashworth. It's a great new addition to the London clubbing calendar, and it'll be well worth getting in on the action at launch.

Friday 31 Mar, 8pm - 2am, Neighbourhood, Acklam Road, London, £10 (£6 in advance), more at http://www.neighbourhood.net, press info from Get Involved.

CHRIS' CLUB TIP 2: Jump! at Cargo
Meanwhile, on the other side of town (London town, that is), our good friends at Leyline are hosting another edition of Jump!, the eclectic night that combines a bit of funk and dub with afro funk. Live on stage will be ska band 7 Seconds Of Love, and beatbox extraordinaire Mr Mouth, who we'll be talking about some more in a week or so because I interviewed him a couple of weeks back, and he's a very interesting fella - well worth checking out live. On the decks will be new Jump! residents Soul Jazz Sound System, featuring Dean Atkins and Scott Bethnell, plus guest DJ Slim Jim. It's another good night, and well worth checking out.

Friday 31 Mar, 8pm - 3am, Cargo, Rivington Street, London, more at http://www.leylinepromotions.com, press info from Leyline.

CARO'S LIVE TIP: Brotherly at Jazz Café
Brotherly are playing Jazz Café on Saturday night, I'm planning to be there, so I thought I'd let you guys all know about it too. This is Zero 7's bass player, multi instrumentalist / writer / producer Rob Mullarkey's own project with long term soulmate Anna Stubbs (Rima, Hospital Records). It's a rare appearance apparently – the only other recent outing being a live session from Maida Vale for Gilles Peterson's Worldwide in January. The night also features DJ Seiji (Bugz In The Attic) and the Uprock Crew, so it all sounds a bit nice. 

Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden, Doors open 11pm, tickets 12.50 from Ticketweb or Jazz cafe Box office.

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WEMBLEY STADIUM GIGS OFF
And to think, we once mocked our own cynicism regarding the chances of the new look Wembley Stadium being finished in time for those inaugural Bon Jovi gigs due to take place there in June. Ha, the cynic within CMU is right again. Following the decision of the FA to move its May Cup Final away from Wembley because of fears over when the stadium will be complete, the Football Association will today announce that the new venue will not now open until 2007. In fact, as yet no actual launch date has been proposed at all. This means that Bon Jovi, Take That, Stones and Robbie gigs booked to take place there are off – the first two moved to the Milton Keynes Bowl.

That said, the company doing the rebuild, Multiplex, claim that the stadium will, in fact, be ready to go in September, but the FA don't seem convinced. Relationships between the two organisations seem pretty damn strained, and insiders say a legal dispute is looming. All of which means the cynic is starting to wonder if the place will be ready for the 2012 Olympics, never mind next year's FA Cup and summer concert season.

Confirming the venue move, a statement from Bon Jovi was issued yesterday reading thus: "Having closed the original Wembley Stadium, it would have been a fitting honour to open the new one. However, the most important element was always the live concerts themselves. So while the location may have changed, the celebration will remain the same. Thank you to our fans - for your loyalty and your patience. We'll see you for two great nights of rock 'n' roll at Milton Keynes."

Speaking about shifting venues for the Take That tour, Gary Barlow told reporters: "We're more than happy to hold the shows at Milton Keynes Bowl, it's going to look great. We saw the stage set this week, it's unbelievable. I think it's going to better any of our other tours."

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LOTS OF PEOPLE MAKE MUSIC, MORE WISH THEY DID
In a recent survey undertaken by the UK's Music Industries Association, 50 percent of those men who considered themselves to be 'musicians', said they played guitar, making it the most popular musical instrument among the country's UK music makers - the stats monkeys behind the survey reckon that means as many as 4 million Brits play guitar, though I suspect 3.9 million play it pretty badly.

The research, somehow based around interviews with 1000 households, found that 21% of over 5s in the UK play a musical instrument, that the majority (57%) of music makers are under 35 and from a middle class background, and that 44% of households own at least one musical instrument (though the survey didn't digress how many of those instruments were a recorder). Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a bit of a split between the sexes - only 17% of girls chose the guitar, while more than twice as many female musicians (47%) play the piano than men (21%).

But after all that giddying good news about the nation's collective music skills, the survey also reckoned some 18 million people once played a musical instrument but then stopped, often before they were 16. Of those people some 48% said they would like to start playing again, while 70% of those who had never learned to play music said they wished they had.

Commenting on the survey, MIA boss Paul McManus told CMU: “It's clear that there's an appetite for playing music in the UK. But a lot of people still want to play and don't and that's why we're developing ways to make it easier for them to go back to playing an instrument or to learn to play. Too many players are giving up early in life and regretting it afterwards. We need to find new ways to help and encourage all age groups to experience the joys and benefits of playing a musical instrument."

Press info on all of this from blmia@bisslancaster.com

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BIGGIE'S FAMILY GET PAYOUT
Los Angeles authorities have agreed that they will pay Notorious BIG's family $1.1million over those previously reported errors they made during the late rap star's wrongful death trial, and lawyers say an appeal to overturn the judge's order regarding that compensation payment is now unlikely. It's said that the money will most likely cover legal expenses incurred by the family.

As previously reported, the LA police were discovered to have withheld relevant documents from the civil case brought by the Wallace family, and a mistrial was declared. The investigation into Biggie's murder has now been reopened, with a new team of detectives in place. The family will now continue with a retrial of the wrongful death case, maintaining their allegations that a member of the LAPD was involved in the shooting. A date for the new trial is expected to be announced next month.

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GEORGE MICHAEL CAUTIONED OVER DRUG ARREST
George Michael has attended a central London police station to receive a caution from police following his arrest on suspicion of possessing cannabis back in February. As previously reported, the charges followed an incident when the singer was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car in the early hours of the morning in London's West End by police.

At the time of the incident, Michael admitted it had been his own “stupid fault," adding: "I was in possession of class C drugs which is an offence and I have no complaints about the police who were professional throughout."

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SNOOP DOGG BANNED FROM VEGAS
A Snoop Dogg appearance at a concert in Las Vegas has been cancelled due to pressure from the local police department.

The rapper was set to headline a private party held by Molson Coors Brewing at the Rio Hotel in the city, but the performance was cancelled after the hotel's parent company, Harrah's Entertainment, apparently asked Molson Coors to remove Snoop from their line-up, having come under pressure from local law enforcement as well as Nevada's Gaming Control Board.

Las Vegas Sheriff Bill Young recently wrote to Nevada's gambling regulators, asking them to discourage casinos from booking rap artists into their venues. The concerns were expressed in the light of the death of four local hip-hop artists last June, and the recent death of a police officer at the hands of an aspiring rapper.

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DAME KIRI TO PERFORM AT CLASSICAL BRITS
Classical Brit Awards news anyone? The BPI has confirmed that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will be singing songs and things at this year's Classical Brit Awards, which take place at London's Royal Albert Hall on 4 May.

Dame Kiri joins a line up that also includes leading Mexican lyric tenor Rolando Villazon, composer, conductor and choral visionary John Rutter, trumpeter Alison Balsom and the one and only Placido Domingo. Note Coldplay aren't playing - making the whole night sound really quite attractive.

Public tickets for the bash are on sale now via the Albert Hall box office - though if you're not quite that keen, you can always watch it on ITV on Sunday 7 May. Nominations for the awards will be announced on 10 Apr.

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HMV GET GO AHEAD TO BUY OTTAKARS
Not really music news, but it involves a music company. The Competition Commission has given the go ahead for HMV to take over independent bookseller Ottakars. HMV intend to merge the book chain with its existing book selling business Waterstones.

Some in the independent book sector have criticised the proposed merger because, they say, it will give the high street book chain too great a competitive advantage, though HMV argue that the real competition to both Waterstones and the independents comes from the supermarkets and online retailers, and a combined Waterstones/Ottakars will be better able to take them on.

The chair of the CC group that investigated whether the merger proposals would violate any monopoly rules, Diana Guy, commented yesterday: "Throughout the country there is growing competition from supermarkets and internet retailers in terms of both price and range, so the merged company would have little ability to raise prices either on best-sellers or other titles".

HMV itself, of course, was the subject of takeover proposals recently after the company admitted it was struggling to compete with new supermarket and online retailers, especially in the music space. However the HMV board successfully managed to reject the takeover offers, which came from investment firm Permira.

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WOOLIES PROFITS DOWN
Talking of retailers who sell music whose financials weren't as good as they wanted and who might be taken over - now there's a link - Woolworths yesterday confirmed that their full-year profits are going to be down 15% on last year (though their music operations fared better than most). Not only that, but Woolies top man Trevor Bish-Jones says that there is unlikely to be any major growth at the company for the next couple of years. That news led to more speculation that Icelandic retail investor Baugur might try and take them over. So there you go.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sol Seppy - The Bells of 1 2 (Gronland)
Normally use of the phrase 'singer-songwriter' makes me want to run away rather quickly indeed, but Sol Seppy (aka classically-trained pianist and cellist Sophie Michalitsianos) has produced an album of haunting beauty and wonderment. Recent debut single 'Move' was one of those unexpected tracks that didn't so much as tap you on the shoulder but grab you by the lapels and (in a nice way) scream in your face. Like The Cranes running, absolutely petrified, from Massive Attack in a ghostly forest, its beguiling blend of trip hop beats, shoegazy guitars, innocent enchantment and fearsome unease made it an intoxicating appetizer for 'The Bells of 1 2'. The rest of the album essentially journeys through much lighter pastures, though. Proceedings commence with the Hollywood-esque fairy tale piano melody of '1 2'. Plaintive ethereal keyboard patterns add to the intrigue, whilst some bewitching slide guitar imbues the song with an iridescent dose of alt country (think Hope Sandoval without the narcotic somnolence). Elegant piano ballads make up the bulk of the album; 'Human' and 'Gold' glitter like Satie or Nyman, whilst the closing 'Enter One' (a devastatingly effective exercise in heartbreaking fragility), will move anyone with a pulse to tears. The likes of 'Come Running' up the tempo slightly, lovely synths bubbling up against Seppy's soft child-like voice (her accent is strangely redolent of Björk's Euro-cockney, but stripped of the madness), but this is for the most part a gorgeously sparse affair. Captivating from start to end, this is just a real treat. MS
Release date: 10 Apr
Press contact: Gronland IH [all]

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EMI APPOINT 9PR GUY TO PR ROLE
EMI Records yesterday announced the appointment of James Hopkins to the role of Senior Press Officer. James, who has worked for 9PR for some nine years, will join the major at the start of May.

Confirming the appointment, EMI Records Media Director Rebecca Coates said the following words: “EMI Records has had an incredible month with No 1 albums from Corinne Bailey Rae and David Gilmour and I'm thrilled that we've managed to tempt James to join the EMI Records press team where he'll be working on other developing acts such as Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, Radio 4 and Radar."

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AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY LAUNCHES DIGITAL MUSIC CHART
With the UK singles chart possibly about to see Gnarls Barkley's track 'Crazy' get to number one based on download sales alone, the first ever track to do so, the Australian music business has announced it is planning on launching a digital music chart.

Australia is quite a bit behind the US and much of Europe when it comes to legit download platforms - iTunes only launched there last year, and for a while many Australian consumer rights groups opposed tough action against the users of P2P file sharing networks on the basis that the music industry there had failed to make their music available in digital form via legitimate platforms.

Both the UK and US have had download sales charts for some time now of course, and some traditional sales charts, including the UK singles chart, count both digital and physical sales data - hence how Gnarls Barkley may make chart history this weekend.

The new Australian digital track chart will include sales stats from fifteen sources, including iTunes, BigPond Music, destra, Soundbuzz and the download operations run by certain conventional retailers, though not Sanity, HMV or Virgin, which are all owned by one company in Australia.

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MUSHROOM GROUP JOIN IVY LEAGUE
Staying in Australia for a short moment, the Mushroom Group has announced it has formed an alliance with Aussie independent Ivy League Records, with the aim of combining the two companies' A&R teams, and turning Ivy League into one of the big guys in the country's independent sector.

As you'll remember, the Mushroom Group no longer counts Mushroom Records among its assets, and hasn't done for a while. Through various acquisitions the Mushroom Records brand is now owned by Warner Music Australia, who last month announced they would be relaunching the label as a new Warner imprint.

The Mushroom Group, still run by original Mushroom Records founder Michael Gudinski, has been working closely with Ivy League for a while, and the more formal partnership is an extension of that working relationship.

Confirming the new partnership, Ivy League bosses Pete Lusty, Andy Cassell and Andy Kelly released a joint statement which reads thus: “We started Ivy League in 1997 to give our favourite bands the opportunity to release music because we felt that people had to hear their talent and creative excellence, and that philosophy is what continues to drive the label. Working with Michael is in turn inspiring, hilarious, great fun, and never, ever dull, and we look forward to a really exciting future with him and his great team".

Gudinski added: "The team at Ivy League possess the same passion and dedication for Australian music that has defined the Mushroom Group for the past three decades. I love working with Pete, Andy & Andy and our combined talents will ensure Ivy League becomes one of the world's hottest independent labels."

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HHC REACHES ISSUE 200
200 issues and not one public feud with Eminem or Dr Dre, or at least not that we're aware of. Yep, the wonderful Hip Hop Connection celebrates its 200th issue next month with a 204 page special edition taking in some of the stars of the genre that have graced its pages over the years, including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Eminem and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Not forgetting homegrown hip hop names, there's also the first instalment of what HHC is calling "an authoritative UK old school rap roundtable", which this time features Rodney P, Cookie (Cookie Crew), Overlord X, Aroe (First Down) and Dave Pearce (the latter because the Radio 1 DJ provided the voice that announces the start of Public Enemy's classic album 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back').

The 200th issue, cover dated May, is out on 6 Apr. Press info from andy@infamousink.com

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ABDUL SIGNS FOR THREE MORE SEASONS OF IDOL
Do you know, it was only when 'Straight Up' was one of the 'guess the tracks' on a recent edition of Buzzcocks that I remembered just how good some of Paul Abdul's songs were. And she was a damn good dancer too if I remember rightly. Not as good as MC Skat Cat, obviously, but good nonetheless.

Anyway, Abdul will be continuing with her new career of looking slightly appalled at Simon Cowell's put downs for at least another three years after signing up to three more seasons of American Idol - a TV show that seems to maintain its popularity despite being on US screens for, well, I don't know, it must be several decades by now.

The new deal with Amerian Idol makers Fox, which mirrors one recently signed by Cowell, shows that the talent show judge has survived the scandal that was unleashed midway through the last series of a show when a former contestant alleged he had had an affair with her. Some insiders said Abdul faced the axe when that story hit the tabloids, but the new deal is a sign from the telly bosses that they believed her denials and that the worst of the gossiping is behind her. Confirming the new deal, Fox President Of Entertainment Peter Liguori described Abdul as an "integral member of the Idol family".

Abdul herself told reporters: "It is truly an honor to be a part of the American Idol phenomenon. As an artist myself, it is a pleasure to have a connection with each of the contestants and be able to fully support their dreams and aspirations. They truly inspire and amaze me each week. Of course, I also look forward to putting Simon in his place for years to come."

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EAST 17 REUNITE FOR ONE-OFF
Take That have really started something, I reckon. Now East 17 are set to reform for a one off date at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 30 May, with a possible full tour to follow. It's been nearly ten years since the band performed live together and the group's Tony Mortimer says: "It has been a long time for me but I am sure it will all come flooding back. I have already started playing the songs to get the rust and cobwebs out in time for the gig. It's going to be a great show. A 'one-off' that I hope people will remember." Tickets go on sale today.

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ASHCROFT TRAFFORD SUPPORT ANNOUNCED
Richard Ashcroft, whose latest single 'Music Is Power' is out on 17 Apr, has announced that Razorlight and The Feeling are to support him at that previously reported gig at the Old Trafford cricket ground on 17 Jun. More guests are expected to be announced shortly.

Elsewhere in Ashcroft news, the singer is to take part in a charity football match against Germany alongside former soccer stars Paul Gascoigne, Chris Waddle, Graeme Le Saux and Matt LeTissier, plus England rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, boxer Nigel Benn and lovely actor Sean Bean. The lovely Boris Becker (yeah, lovely... watch They Think It's All Over if you don't believe me) is leading the German team for the match, which will take place at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on 3 May. Proceeds from the event will go to the Red Cross and the Bobby Moore Fund.

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PEARL JAM PLAY UK
Pearl Jam will play their first UK gig in six years in London next month. The band will appear at the Astoria on 20 Apr, ahead of the release of a new, eponymous album on 1 May. On that new long player, the band say: "We've got all the instruments going full force, yet coexisting. It's like we took our aggressions and shaped something positive from them in a very direct manner. Though we'd qualify most of the record as hard-driving, the two quiet ones ['Parachutes', 'Come Back'] could be our best attempts yet at pulling the disguises off of loss of life, and even love."

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RAY DAVIES TOUR
Kinks man Ray Davies has announced a UK tour for this autumn, dates as follows:

17 Oct: Brighton Dome
18 Oct: Bristol Colston Hall
19 Oct: Cardiff St Davids Hall
23 Oct: London Royal Albert Hall
24 Oct: London Royal Albert Hall
27 Oct: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
28 Oct: Edinburgh Usher Hall
29 Oct: Perth Town Hall
31 Oct: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
1 Nov: Nottingham Royal Centre
2 Nov: Sheffield City Hall
4 Nov: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

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VALENTINE ANNOUNCES SOLO TOUR
Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine has announced a solo tour, dates as follows:

30 Apr: York, Fibbers
1 May: Newcastle, Carling Academy
4 May: Glasgow, Barfly
7 May: Cardiff, Barfly
8 May: Liverpool, Barfly
10 May: Birmingham, Barfly
11 May: London, Islington Carling Academy

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gum Drop - Hi-Falutin (alteredvibes)
This is the debut solo work from Rob Mac, aka Gum Drop, previously half of live outfit Speeka and responsible for the Scratch club nights. Helped out by the likes of Massive Attack's Lucy Wilkins, this album is dedicated to bringing its listeners to the dance floor with infectious funky beats, and does result in some toe tapping background music for a party, though it would be a repetitive drag if listened to alone in the bedroom - 'Block Drop' especially, will only appeal to those who like long, extended electronica/funk beats. But overall it is good - the instrumentals are reminiscent of classic British soul, proving it aint just the yanks that cut cool vibes. If you're a soul/electronica connoisseur then this is the ideal escape from the cheesy chart r'n'b dominating the mainstream club scene, though sadly it's this domination that may stop something of this ilk being a commercial success, especially because of the lack of easy-listen vocals. However where there are guest singers, there are potential underdog hit singles, 'Step by Step', for example, is strong, upbeat funk while the acoustic 'Make it Easy' shows the album's chilled out, sensitive side; so at least some of the album has 'surprise hit potential' marked on it. It might just be worth it. RM.
Release Date: 27 Mar
Press Contact: The Outpost [all]

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COXON SEEMS KIND OF BITTER ABOUT BLUR
Graham Coxon has spoken out about his departure from Blur. The guitarist, of course, left the band during the recording of the group's 2003 album 'Think Tank', and, commenting on that period of time, Coxon says: "I was an alcoholic mess and not able to fulfil my obligations. The rest of the band could have stood back and seen I was having a terrible time. They could have tried to help. It raises the question of how responsible we felt for each other."

He adds that he wasn't happy with the musical direction Blur was taking: "We started turning into some kind of pompous, bloated, anthemic bullshit thing. I simply did as I was told. I spent too long putting my dignity on the back-burner for the sake of advancing the band's position."

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BLOC PARTY PREVIEW ALBUM TRACKS AT ALBERT HALL
Bloc Party previewed songs from their upcoming second album when they played their previously reported gig in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this week. In addition to playing older tracks such as 'She's Hearing Voices' and 'Banquet', the band played five new songs destined to appear on their new long player. Singer Kele Okereke told the crowd: "This is actually the second time we've played at the Royal Albert Hall. Last time I was here I played with the school district choir when I was 12 years old," adding at the end of the concert: "It was definitely better second time around at the Royal Albert Hall. We'll see you next time we play here."

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RHCP ALBUM NEWS
Red Hot Chili Peppers have, joy of joys, revealed a tracklisting for that previously reported new album 'Stadium Arcadium'. The long player, out on 8 May, preceded by a single, 'Dani California', on 3 Apr, is a double album comprising one disc called 'Jupiter' and a second named 'Mars'. It will additionally be available as a limited edition set featuring an extra DVD which includes an hour long band interview, the promo for the single, and a 'making of the single promo' thingy.

Here's that tracklisting:

Jupiter: Dani California, Snow (Hey Oh), Charlie, Stadium Arcadium, Hump de Bump, She's Only 18, Slow Cheetah, Torture Me, Strip My Mind, Especially in Michigan, Warlocks, C'mon Girl, Wet Sand, Hey.

Mars: Desecration Smile, Tell Me Baby, Hard to Concentrate, 21st Century, She Looks to Me, Readymade, If, Make You Feel Better, Animal Bar, So Much I, Storm in a Teacup, We Believe, Turn It Again, Death of a Martian.

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MUSE CONFIRM RELEASE DATE
Muse have confirmed that their new album is set to be released on 3 Jul. As far as I'm aware, it's yet to get a title. Drummer Dominic Howard has said that the album might be a bit shocking, but in a good way. He told VH1: “The diversity of the album and some of the directions we've discovered and gone for might shock [fans] in some way. Hopefully, it will be a nice shock — ultimately all of them sound like Muse. We reached a point where we were looking at all these songs and how different they sounded, and we were wondering how this was ever going to sound like a band, like one album. But somehow it really does."

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REPLACEMENTS REUNITE FOR BEST OF
US indie band The Replacements have got back together to record those now obligatory new tracks for their upcoming hits compilation 'The Best Of The Replacements', out on 13 Jun. The new songs, 'Message To The Boys' and 'Pool & Dive', were written by frontman Paul Westerberg and mark the band's first new recordings in sixteen years.

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PRINCE GETS FIRST NUMBER ONE US ALBUM FOR 17 YEARS WITH 3121
Er, Prince has got his first number one US album in 17 years with '3121.'

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JOHNNY MARR CONFIRMS RIDICULOUS SMITHS OFFERS
Johnny Marr has confirmed Morrissey's previously reported revelation that the former members of The Smiths were offered a great deal of money to reform for last year's Coachella, but has intimated that the band have been offered even sillier amounts of money to reform elsewhere.

Morrissey, of course, claimed that the group was offered $5m to play at the Californian festival. Marr has now written on his official website: "I don't really want to get into figures, but yes, I was made an offer for the Smiths to reform at Coachella. I was also offered twice as much for us to play in New York, Hyde Park and God knows where else."

It's never going to happen, obviously. In that previously reported interview with Uncut magazine, Morrissey said, rather bitterly: "It has been 18 years since it ended; I don't know them, they don't know me, they know nothing about me, I know nothing about them. Anything I know about them is unpleasant, so why on earth do we want to be on stage together making music? I would rather eat my own testicles than reform The Smiths, and that's saying something for a vegetarian."

What could possibly be so unpleasant about that lovely Johnny Marr? Hmm?

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JOHNNY CASH'S CAR UP FOR SALE
Another celebrity memorabilia auction, but this time it's something useful. A black 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood formerly owned by Johnny Cash is to go on sale today in Miami, complete with the documentation proving the star's ownership of the car. The vehicle has a black leather interior, chrome wire wheels and 50,000 miles on the clock. It's also been given an exterior paint job in the last couple of years.

Seller Barret-Jackson commented: "What else would Johnny Cash ride in besides a big, black Cadillac? For any Johnny Cash fan, and I know plenty that will be present at our Palm Beach event, this is an opportunity to own a legendary car that has been in the ownership of one of the coolest performers our planet has ever seen."

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MARSH JOINS CORRIE
Former Hear'Say chick Kym Marsh is to appear on Coronation Street. She will star in four episodes starting Monday, before producers decide if she will become a regular character.

Kym says: "This is like a dream come true for me. I've been watching Coronation Street since I was three years old because my parents always watch it and I am one of its biggest fans. I was brought up on the antics of Bet Lynch and her brassy behaviour. I've always wanted to be on Coronation Street and now that's come true. At my Corrie audition I was asked to sing 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline and I got the call a few days later to say I had got the part. I was on cloud nine."

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GALLAGHER SAYS STONES TOO OLD
Noel Gallagher has told Maxim that he thinks the Rolling Stones should no longer expect to be taken seriously because their best work is behind them. He said: "The Stones said that every time they put out an album they think it's their best and they can't understand why people don't take the new records as seriously as the old ones. Well, you're old age pensioners. By all means make records and go on tour, because if people want to see you, fine, but don't expect to be taken seriously. Your best work is behind you."

Do I even need to say it?

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