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TODAY'S NEWS
Major ad agency buy into independent music firm
Ludacris signs sponsorship deal with AT&T
50 Cent discusses custody case
Nate Dogg charged for 'stalking' wife
The Game accused of hitting cousin at family funeral
Allen and Simons back together
Portishead begin work on fourth album
Jack White writes love poem to Detroit
Ronson and Barat to team up
Ronson and Harris swipe at NME
Lost Hendrix album discovered
Bloc Party preview new single
Demolition sign I Hate Kate
4AD sign Department Of Eagles
Album review: Heather Greene - Five Dollar Dress
'Worst festival ever' vows to return
Busta plays free Albert Hall gig
Taste The Chaos UK dates
New acts added to Reading and Leeds

Touts auction free Bon Jovi tickets, Waits auctions his own tix

Gatecrasher take on Birmingham venue
EMI US plan vinyl reissues
Warner share price down
TuneTribe co-founder goes to Frukt
BBC bosses defend their bulging pay packets
Album review: The Deer Tracks - Aurora
Alex Blur disappointed not to play Glasto
Gallagher on Radiohead
Starr shares birthday cake on the street
Lennon hates fruitcakes
Morrissey makes music for real people
David Gest not Matt Willis's best man, ok?
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 9TH JULY

VOLCANO!
volcano! released their debut album, 'Beautiful Seizure' in 2006, instantly bypassing the usual hierachy and taking up their place amongst the likes of Deerhoof and Animal Collective as leaders in avant garde indie. The first rock band to sign to The Leaf Label, the band mark themselves out from the rest by pushing their boundaries of the three man rock band as far as possible. The results can sound chaotic and unhinged, but the rewards are plentiful, as their debut single 'Apple Or A Gun' proved. The band's second album, 'Paperwork' is now complete and is set for release in August, preceded by the single 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun'. We spoke to guitarist and vocalist Aaron With.



 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We've all been playing something or other since we were kids. There are great cute kids pictures of us playing little kids' instruments. My mom has some awesomely embarrassing tapes of me doing all this improvisational singing when I was four. Sam [Scranton, drums]'s parents often talk about how he was always beating on stuff even when he was very little. I guess that's how we started. As a band, we started by playing around a few simple melodic ideas and building things from there. It took a while before we had any idea what our sound would be like. I remember coming up with the first vocals I did that were pretty weird, a big break from the more traditional melodic stuff I'd always done before, weird surprising vocal gestures, sort of sounding more like that embarrassing cassette my mom has, and thinking this is probably stupid, but Mark [Cartwright, synths, laptop, bass, melodica] and Sam affirming it was cool. I think starting out was a lot of that - trying out weird ideas and reshaping them until they worked somehow.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Musically, I think our writing on this new album has reflected an urge to be more economical and concise than before, and more importantly to illicit a more intuitive body reaction than a cerebral reaction. We're trying to write stuff that would be the most fun to play and the most fun to listen to. Still trying to maintain a balance of melody with noisy elements, but trying to make compositions that flow better, that have a more overall cohesive feel to them. Less sectional, less abstract, distinct sections than before.

Conceptually, half the songs on 'Paperwork' are related to workplace issues, coming into a situation with idealism and wanting to make a difference, getting disappointed/disillusioned both by specific people and moreso by long standing structural forces that perpetuate injustice both in the workplace and in general, learning to deal with that and find my own space and personality within that environment, and accepting a slow, patient approach to making things better (baby steps). The single, 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun', however, has nothing to do with that. It's about how self-righteous and self-promoting Bono's misguided Red Campaign philanthropic effort is, and how patronizing and condescending the lyrics to the old Band Aid song 'Do They Know its Christmas?' were. That makes it sound bitter or something but it's a pretty fun track.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Our process is highly collective and democratic. We work by consensus, although its more of an informal, understood process. Our songs usually start from a simple melodic idea or chordal progression ('Performance Evaluation Shuffle'), or a simple guitar riff ('Africa Just Wants To Have Fun'), and sometimes just a beat ('Palimpsests', 'Fairy Tale'). On a few songs they started from lyrical ideas ('Astronomers Ballad', 'Kitchen Dance'). We take simple beginning ideas and just start building out from there, adding sections, expanding chordal motion, adding new melodies, adding pitched & unpitched layers. On this album we usually added the electronics and most tambral elements towards the end. We usually have a discussion where we say what kinds of things we can hear. Sam and I will say some really abstract ideas, then Mark tries to turn them into something and it usually sounds fairly different then we'd imagined but better. Lyrics are usually last, dependent on everything going on around them.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
In terms of rock music - Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors are the two bands that keep on consistently inspiring us. I still love Liars. Xiu Xiu's first two albums were a big influence on our first album, as were the Microphones at that time. Today, I guess Sam's been listening to a lot of radio hip hop, and I think its rubbing off on him - a lot of our beats, though still weird in their own way, are a lot catchier. Instead of going in and out of time and using changing time signatures to create rhythmic complexity like on the first album, it's catchier, poppy beats that land in surprising places. What else? We like lots of improvisational music - Derek Bailey, Sunny Sharrock, and lots of other jazz. Electronic musicians like Fennesz. Asa Chang & June Ray is pretty great. We like old soul like Otis Redding and tango like Carlos Gardel. Actually, on this album there's a lot of nods to genres we appreciate. There's a Mexican banda-inspired song in Spanish, a soul-inspired tune, a country-inspired tune, etc. We like doing that sort of thing as long as it stays consistent with our sound.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I don't think I'd say anything to someone who was listening to it for the first time, because then they couldn't hear it if I was talking to them.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Hopefully, some people will dance to this one. As long as we reach one person it was all worth it. Also, I hope we make a lot of money (so I can donate it). Oh yeah, and there's this one part of this one song that has some lyrics that are critical of the Iraq War, so it'd be great if this album could help stop the Iraq War.

More: www.myspace.com/volcanoisaband

 
 

DERBY
It's amusing when our friends across the Atlantic choose band names that are desperately unfashionable in the UK (and vice versa, obviously). Today's SNAP, Derby, are one of those bands, clearly being unaware of the Midlands industrial town that's perhaps most famous for its Rolls-Royce factory and being the birth place of former Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon. Ignoring this gripe, their moniker doesn't seem to have halted their progress too much, as they've recently released their second album, 'Posters Fade', a fresh batch of mid-tempo indie in the vein of The Shins and Joshua Radin, but not quite as measured and complete as either, and with considerably less memorable vocals than both. Don't be put off by such comments, however, as if you're fans of the aforementioned acts then 'All Or Nothing' could be a welcome addition to your life. Decide for yourself at the link below.

www.myspace.com/derbyrock


 
 

JOBS AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
We are recruiting for the following four jobs to work on our ThreeWeeks team at the Edinburgh Festival - the largest and most exciting festival on the planet - during August 2008, from Monday 28 July to Tuesday 27 August. All Edinburgh based. They are not the biggest paying jobs in the world, but you get to be part of the team behind one of the most exciting media projects around, a not-for-profit venture that exists to discover, champion and support cultural innovation at the largest arts festival in the world.

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
To drive our van, and make sure our papers get to our 75 plus distribution points around Edinburgh, and keep our distribution racks nice and tidy. Approx 40 hours a week for four weeks, £1000 fee.

WEB MANAGER
To manage the ThreeWeeks websites and podcasts, including entering lots of content into a CMS, and coordinating our student podcast team. Some Photoshop, CMS and/or sound editing experience an advantage though not essential. Fee approx £500.

REVIEWS COORDINATOR
To manage our team of six student sub-editors and 100 student reviewers, liaise with press offices and PRs, run the massive ThreeWeeks review database and support the Editors. Good organisational and people skills a must, database skills an advantage. Fee approx £750.

LOGISTICS MANAGER
To support the publishers and editors, run the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh office and support the Distribution Manager with the task of getting the newspapers out there. Fee approx £500

To apply for any of these jobs, or for more information about them, email a CV or questions to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

Applications to join the student review team at the Edinburgh Festival 2008 are now closed. However, we are still recruiting for student members of our Production and Admin & Liaison teams. These are voluntary roles, but offer unrivalled experience for anyone considering a career in the media. Full details at www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk

   
Advertise your jobs in CMU Daily for just £100 a week (five editions) - more info at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/advertising, or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book.
 

MAJOR AD AGENCY BUY INTO INDEPENDENT MUSIC FIRM
Advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide has bought a majority share in The:Hours, the previously reported new music business set up by former Recall Records bosses Alexandre Sap and Leslie Dubest, and media entrepreneur Fabien Moreau. The ad firm has taken a 50% stake in the company, which will operate a record label distributed by Universal and a 'music content production platform' aimed at brands wanting to use music as a marketing tool, which is presumably where Euro RSCG's interest comes from.

Confirming the deal between The:Hours and the ad agency, Dubest told reporters: "Joining the Euro RSCG family and working with their visionary executives as well as their talented creative teams is opening an array of great opportunities for us".

Speaking for Euro RSCG, their Global CEO David Jones added "It's an amazing time to be in our business and there are huge opportunities to be seized by those agencies that create new future-facing business models for their clients - we believe that music is one of those, hence this exciting initiative to acquire our own music agency and record label".

As previously reported, The:Hours will operate out of offices in New York, Paris and LA.

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LUDACRIS SIGNS SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH AT&T
The big artist deal of the day is between US rapper Ludacris and American phone firm AT&T. According to reports, the hip hopper has signed on the dotted line for a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with the tel co - the first hip hop act to work with the phone network on this scale. The deal will see Ludacris appear in a number of upcoming TV and web ad campaigns for the company and its products. He has apparently already filmed one ad, about which he has told reporters: "I had a lot a fun shooting this commercial...If you like the AT&T commercials you've seen then you'll love this one".

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50 CENT DISCUSSES CUSTODY CASE
50 Cent has spoken out about his ongoing custody battle with former girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins. Due to that temporary restraining order taken out against him by Tompkins last month, Fiddy currently has restricted access to the couple's eleven year old son, as well as not being allowed on the same property as Tompkins.

Fiddy told MTV: "I'd like to be able to just see my baby. [Me] and his mom aren't friends anymore. There's different channels I have to go through. He has lawyers appointed to him through the court. So I have to talk to his lawyer to get things situated for me to actually get him. I think he doesn't want his mom to feel like he's a traitor. The time I spent away is the time he developed this thing he's afraid to break with her. There's nothing you can do about that. This is the toughest, because he's my motivation".

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NATE DOGG CHARGED FOR 'STALKING' WIFE
More relationship woes in hip-hop-ville, and hip hop type Nate Dogg has been charged with allegedly stalking and threatening his estranged wife. The charges, made Monday, relate to an incident last month when traffic police in California arrested the singer after his wife claimed he was following and threatening her as she tried to drive away from him. He has now been charged with making criminal threats, stalking and driving while his licence was suspended for a drunken driving violation. The hip hopper's lawyer Mark Geragos confirmed the charges but said he "looked forward" to defending his client in court. Saying little about the charges specifically, Geragos told reporters: "Unfortunately, he's had a tough year and we look forward to getting him through it".

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THE GAME ACCUSED OF HITTING COUSIN AT FAMILY FUNERAL
And yet more troubled personal lives of hip hop stars. The Game reportedly came to blows with a cousin at a family funeral last weekend. According to TMZ.com, The Game, real name Jayceon Taylor, is accused of hitting cousin Robert Kirkwood at the funeral of his sister - another of Taylor's cousins presumably - on Saturday.

According to the gossip site, Kirkwood claims Taylor had originally offered to pay half of the $14,000 bill for his sister's burial, but had then stopped returning his phone calls, avoiding the issue of the payment and even changing his phone number.

Kirkwood got angry when Taylor showed up at the funeral and started talking to the congregation about family values and kinship. The cousin took the rapper to issue about his alleged hypocrisy, and having gone back on the burial payment commitment, and in the altercation that followed Taylor, Kirkwood claims, punched him. A police report has been filed by Kirkwood, but their investigations into the incident are ongoing. The Game's people are yet to comment.

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ALLEN AND SIMONS BACK TOGETHER
Lily Allen and Chemical Brother Ed Simons are reportedly back together. Well, I say reportedly, their relationship statuses on Facebook now apparently list them as being 'in a relationship' with each other. This would seem to confirm the rumours that their relationship is back on, which were sparked after they were seen together at Glastonbury. In fact, the festival's organiser Emily Eavis apparently wrote on Allen's wall: "We knew it! What a hullabaloo". Now, I'm not saying that I'm dubious about all this, but there are a lot of fake Lily Allen profiles on Facebook and the only Emily Eavis on the whole site isn't 'friends' with any of them. I'm not saying it's not true but, well, you know..

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PORTISHEAD BEGIN WORK ON FOURTH ALBUM
I seem to remember Portishead's Adrian Utley saying that fans might be in for quite a wait for the band's next album. Well, consider that statement retracted, because he's just revealed to BBC 6music that work on their fourth album is due to begin soon. He said: "We are thinking about a new album, that's partly why we're not touring enormously. In 1998 we toured for a year and a bit and it just crashed us. None of us wanted to see each other for a while after that. We got together the other night discussing stuff and getting a bit of a plan together. I mean we have got stuff, but we'll start again - that's what we want to do. We're all gonna be doing stuff. We've finished our touring for this album for this year because of things that we want to do. To be at home with our children, very young children. I mean really, just babies - it is an important time and I don't want to miss that".

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JACK WHITE WRITES LOVE POEM TO DETROIT
Despite comments he made about "negativity" in Detroit back in 2006, Jack White still loves his home town. And to prove it, he's written a poem for the city, which was published in last Sunday's edition of The Detroit Free Press. Aww.

The poem closes with the verse: "Detroit, you hold what one's been seeking / Holding off the coward-armies weakling / Always rising from the ashes / not returning to the earth / I so love your heart that burns / That in your people's body yearns / To perpetuate / and permeate / the lonely dream that does encapsulate / Your spirit, that God insulates / With courageous dream's concern".

White told the paper: "Those expressions of mine [in 2006] have never been a representation of my feelings about Detroit the city, a town that I have strong feelings about ... nor were they expressions about its citizens".

Read the poem in full here: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807060599

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RONSON AND BARAT TO TEAM UP
Mark Ronson and Carl Barat are set to collaborate. But don't tell anyone, it's a big secret. He told The Daily Star: "I'm a fan of Ronson, who isn't? We have something coming up, but it's very hush-hush. I don't want to jinx anything so my lips are sealed but it could be brilliant".

Barat also revealed that he's working with Reverend & The Makers frontman John McClure. He said: "He's a busy man, too. I think he's got Attention Deficit Disorder like me".

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RONSON AND HARRIS SWIPE AT NME
More Mark Ronson, and the producer has taken a swipe at the NME. Ronson's outburst came after an NME writer emailed him to say that a review of the producer's Glastonbury set had been attributed to him, even though he hadn't seen him play. Or, in fact, been at the festival at the time. Ronson wrote: "My NME award for 2008's Best International Solo Artist will be on Ebay as soon as the morons send it to me. I doubt the bidding will go that high and it makes an excellent doorstop".

Also down on the NME is Calvin Harris, who has been trying to take the magazine down from the inside by applying for a job as a news reporter there. His application reads: "Hiya, Can I have the NME reporter job, please? I think I'd be really great, my cousin once shared a bong with Petey DoCher's from Babyshambles's's. I love you". We'd hire him.

Elsewhere in Calvin news, Mr Harris is also a bit miffed that he's not getting proper recognition for his work on Dizzee Rascal's number one single, 'Dance Wiv Me'. He told The Daily Star: "I'm slightly frustrated with those who just think I sing the hook. I did the beat, of course. But never mind, I'm made up that Dizzee is at number one".

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LOST HENDRIX ALBUM DISCOVERED
A lost album by Jimi Hendrix is being prepared for release by Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills And Nash. Well, perhaps lost isn't quite the right word. More forgotten. The album was recorded with Nash's bandmate Stephen Stills, who promptly forgot all about it. Nash told the Las Vegas Sun: "[Stephen] has an enormous history of recording. In the 70s, he was a recording fool. He just found a bloody album he made with Hendrix. 'Oh yeah, I forgot that'. We've got to listen to that... I want to listen to every track he ever recorded in case he recorded with Al Jolson".

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BLOC PARTY PREVIEW NEW SINGLE
Bloc Party announced and previewed a brand new single via the medium of Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show on Monday. It was this preview, essentially, that that previously reported countdown on the band's website had been counting down to, with an ad for the Zane Lowe show appearing on the site. 'Mercury' is due out on 11 Aug.

Frontman Kele Okereke told Lowe: "It's a song we finished a little while ago that we're really proud of so we thought we'd let everyone hear it. I'm still somewhat in awe". On the band's third album, which he thinks may be out around the end of the year, he added: "I think we're making the record I always wanted us to make. We're kind of just in the middle of it, we're still writing songs and mixing stuff".

You can see the track and accompanying video on the Radio 1 site now.

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DEMOLITION SIGN I HATE KATE
Demolition Records have signed I Hate Kate, the Californian band fronted by former Zebrahead guitarist and vocalist Justin Mauriello, to their new DR2 imprint. The group will release their debut album 'Embrace The Curse' in the autumn and are expected to announce a number of tour dates to coincide with that release.

Demolition MD Eric Cooke says this: "We cannot believe we were lucky enough to sign this act for Europe when so many labels were chasing them. Every song on the album is a winner and for us this act definitely showcases everything we are trying to do with our new DR2 imprint which is all about great new artistry".

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4AD SIGN DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES
More signings of bands now, as Begagrs 4AD label have announced that they've signed up Department Of Eagles and plan to release their new album 'In Ear Park' in October. The band is the second project of Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen and friend Fred Nicolaus.

Here's a link to the title track: http://static.4ad.com/audio/departmentofeagles/inearpark.mp3

And here's the tracklisting, much good may it do ye:

In Ear Park
No One Does It
Phantom Other
Teenagers
Around the Bay
Herring Bone
Classical Records
Waves of Rye
Interlude
Floating on the Lehigh
Balmy Night

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ALBUM REVIEW: Heather Greene - Five Dollar Dress (Wildflower)
Heather Greene's musical style is like a beach: soothing, rhythmic, and susceptible to the ebb and flow of a drum cymbal, the strings of the guitar, and the trickling tones of her piano. She opens her debut album with a cover of The Cars' 1978 classic 'Just What I Needed', using the nuances of her jazz-like, singer-songwriter style to draw out meanings that audiences familiar with the original might not have otherwise considered. Her composure is consistent throughout, calm and sultry, which on one hand is commendable, but on the other hand can become a bit tiresome if you're not a soft jazz or folk-pop enthusiast. One exception comes near the end of the album in song 'Looking Glass', which in part abandons the reserved performance attributable to previous tracks as Greene allows the Hammond B3 organ accompanying her to hint at the emotional discord underlying her inspiration for the song itself. Unfortunately, as in the other tracks, her vocals do not match the suddenly emotional and dynamic instrumentals. Nonetheless, by the next and final song, 'Five Dollar Dress', audiences can't help but agree that Greene's album is the type that grows on you, slowly baiting with assured, if meandering, melodies and a husky yet delicate voice perfect for her gentle craft. EO
Release Date: 4 Aug
Press Contact: Hermana PR [all]

Buy from Amazon

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'WORST FESTIVAL EVER' VOWS TO RETURN
Despite a number of acts pulling out because they weren't paid, unhappy punters and some slightly miffed venue owners, the organisers of the Zoo8 festival have said that the event was a "qualified success" and vowed to return next year.

The festival's co-director Danny Blanche said in a statement: "Our biggest problem was one of miscalculation over cash-flow. This required us to make the pragmatic decision to cancel a few acts. Thankfully, with some vital assistance from Port Lympne Wildlife Park, we managed to keep the show on the road, with the vast majority of the popular acts appearing".

Responding to complaints made by many of those who attended the event, he said: "We have had feedback that people were unhappy with the length of time they were waiting to get into the event, and the toilets on the campsite. People turned up much earlier than predicted on Friday causing delays, and the campsites became busier than expected which caused some infrastructure problems. These are all areas that we dealt with as best we could as they arose. Obviously, none of this was ideal or planned - and not the quality of experience that we had aimed to deliver - and for that we unreservedly apologise to all those affected by the situation. We want to stress that this was our first festival and that we have dealt with all problems directly and will continue to do so in preparation for next year".

Co-director Matt Dice added: "Three other festivals went under this very weekend - we're operating in seriously tough market conditions but we'll rectify everything from this year and definitely be back for Zoo9".

Having had a quick scan of the blogosphere, I don't think those who have been ranting about Zoo8 have been especially placated by the official statements. Personally I'm not forming any opinion until we hear from the giraffes - it's always their viewpoint that seals it for me. But what do you think? Given the bad press Zoo8 has got this week, and given how much boutique festivals are struggling this year, is it really worth these guys having a second go? Will any artists agree to play next year? Or should we be giving these guys credit for not pulling the plug at the last minute despite the increasingly difficult festival marketplace, and help them get their event established long term? Hmm, lots of questions. You know where this is leading right? Tell us what you think on the CMU blog...

http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/blogs/cmu_blog

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BUSTA PLAYS FREE ALBERT HALL GIG
Busta Rhymes will play a free show this September for 5000 volunteers who sign up to the Orange RockCorps project. Tickets will be earned by volunteers who take part in one of 50 charity projects around the UK. The show will take place on 26 Sep. Three more acts will be announced nearer the event.

More info: www.orangerockcorps.co.uk

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TASTE THE CHAOS UK DATES
Details of the UK leg of this year's Taste The Chaos tour have been revealed. Headlining this year's metal extravaganza are Atreyu, and they will be joined by As I Lay Dying, Story Of The Year and MUCC.

Here are the dates:

15 Oct: London, Astoria
16 Oct: Lincoln, Engine Shed
17 Oct: Norwich, UEA
19 Oct: Cardiff, University
20 Oct: Nottingham, Rock City
21 Oct: Birmingham, Academy
22 Oct: Leeds, Metropolitan University
24 Oct: Hull, University
25 Oct: Edinburgh, Picturehouse
26 Oct: Dundee, Fat Sams
27 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
29 Oct: Preston, 53 Degrees
30 Oct: Manchester, Academy
31 Oct: Oxford, Academy

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NEW ACTS ADDED TO READING AND LEEDS
New acts including Glasvegas, Wiley and Elliot Minor have been added to the Reading and Leeds festival line ups for this year. Acts already confirmed for the event include Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, The Killers, The Fratellis, Bloc Party, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and buzz band Late Of The Pier.

As previously reported, the event takes place in Reading and Leeds from 22-24 August.

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TOUTS AUCTION FREE BON JOVI TICKETS, WAITS AUCTIONS HIS OWN TIX
Ticket touting is in the news in the US this week because tickets for the previously reported free Bon Jovi concert that is due to take place in New York's Central Park this weekend are being sold online for as much as $1500 a pair, despite rules banning the resale of the tickets. The concert has been funded by sponsorship and all tickets have been distributed for free. The New York Post says there are 267 eBay auctions selling tickets for the 60,000 capacity concert.

Elsewhere in online ticket auctions, that Tom Waits fella is hoping to stop the online auctioning of tickets for his up coming European shows by staging a ticket auction himself. Best seat in the house tickets for all of Waits' upcoming European dates, including his two UK gigs in Edinburgh (on 27 and 28 Jul), will be up for the bidding via Ticketmaster's website, with all proceeds going to charity. Go to this URL for more details: www.ticketmaster.ie/tomwaits.

Commenting on the auction, Waits told reporters: "Some folks prefer to pay more. You get a great seat, and a good feeling for helping some needy folks. It's scalping for charity" (scalping, of course, is American for touting). Waits people have introduced various other methods to combat touting at the European shows, including requiring ticket holders to show photo ID on the night.

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GATECRASHER TAKE ON BIRMINGHAM VENUE
Gatecrasher have announced that they have taken ownership of Birmingham nightclub The Works and are now spending five million pounds on renovating it and turning it into a new Gatecrasher club. They also revealed to Mixmag that they are currently scouring the UK for more "culturally significant buildings" to convert into nightclubs. Cities currently earmarked include Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Liverpool and Dublin as part of expansion plans for 2008 and 2009.

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EMI US PLAN VINYL REISSUES
While Universal UK hope to get a little physical sales boost by releasing deluxe CD editions of recent long players for the Christmas market this year, EMI US are putting their money on, and in, vinyl re-releases in order to score a few more physical product sales.

The American division of the major is planning a new reissue series called 'From The Capitol Vaults' which will see vinyl re-releases of various EMI recordings - including ones from Coldplay, A Perfect Circle, Steve Miller Band and Radiohead, the latter of which are going to be thrilled that EMI are again plundering their back catalogue without their involvement.

As previously reported, many now feel that vinyl - written off as a doomed format back in the early days of CD - will actually out live all other physical formats, mainly because of the attraction to it felt by many nostalgic music fans, and also the arguably crisper sound quality you get from a vinyl release. Vinyl sales do remain relatively modest, but are growing while most other formats are in terminal decline. No word on whether any EMI vinyl reissue programme might be planned over here.

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WARNER SHARE PRICE DOWN
City news anyone? Warner Music's share price dropped earlier this week, mainly on the back of a Wall Street report saying record sales were declining faster than ever this year.

According to Billboard, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Chris White maintained his 'hold' rating on stock in the US major, which trades on the New York stock exchange, but downgraded the value of the firm, observing that US record sales data showed over all music sales - even when digital sales are taken into account - declined 11% in the first half of 2008, compared to a 9.5% decline in 2007. He admitted that the 34% growth in digital sales at the major was "impressive", but said it didn't equate into the level of growth implied by the music firm themselves.

Warner, the only major to directly trade on the stock market, also suffered from the bad PR this week of Nickelback signing to Live Nation. Nickelback are a hugely successful band and were the main reason Warner took owership of Roadrunner back in 2006 at the cost of $73.5 million. Given Nickelback will not now renew with Roadrunner once their current contract is up (in two albums time), some wonder if Warner's expensive Roadrunner purchase was really worth it - as credible a rock label as it may be.

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TUNETRIBE CO-FOUNDER GOES TO FRUKT
London based music strategy agency Frukt has appointed Ronnie Traynor, previously COO of independent download platform TuneTribe, to the new role of Business Development Manager. She will work in particular in developing the agency's 'brand-led music activation services'. Confirming her new role, Traynor told reporters: "Frukt is at the cutting edge of the collaboration between brands and music and I'm delighted to be joining such an inspiring team".

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BBC BOSSES DEFEND THEIR BULGING PAY PACKETS
The apparently cash strapped BBC has been defending pay rises of up to £107,000 for executive directors by wheeling out that standard argument that the Beeb has to compete with commercial players in order to secure the best talent. Director General Mark Thompson told reporters: "When you actually get out into the external world, some potential candidates almost roll on the floor laughing when you talk about potential levels of pay".

It's an argument I'm not sure I buy given how many people would love the opportunity to lead an organisation like the BBC, and how many of them would probably take a pay cut to do so, especially as the Beeb can deliver better job satisfaction, job security and career development than many of their commercial competitors.

Nevertheless, Thompson does earn less than half of ITV top man Michael Grade's £1,780,000 pay packet, and less than the bosses at Channel 4 and other publicly owned businesses like Network Rail and Royal Mail, so perhaps his £816,000 isn't too scandalous. It's still a lot of money though.

Defending the executive pay rises, Thompson added that some execs had taken on much more responsibility following various restructurings, though I'm never sure that really means much given how rarely execs in positions of responsibility get fired when things they are 'responsible' for go wrong. Certainly broadcasting workers union Bectu aren't impressed with the explanation, saying, simply, it "doesn't wash with us". Their General Secretary Gerry Morrissey added: "Because of the thousands of job losses that have happened most of our members have taken on additional responsibilities - therefore we do not believe the hikes in executive salaries are justified".

Still, if all these exec pay rises start to empty the bank account presumably there's some dodgy phone in promotion the Beeb could run to cover the shortfall. Presumably that's how ITV can afford to pay Grade so much.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Deer Tracks - Aurora (Despotz Records)
The Deer Tracks are a Swedish male/female duo with musical pedigree from previous projects and an ear for melancholy melodies. The press release promises impossibly beautiful electro landscapes and whilst there's an undeniably frosty allure about much of 'Aurora', it's both more organic and less wondrous than you might think. In fact, it mostly recalls the sort of thing Mum were doing on their first two albums - elfin vocals and glacial electronics mixed with real instruments to create something that could only have been made somewhere cold and snowy and in the shadow of the northern lights. For its first few minutes opener 'Yes This Is My Broken Shield' undulates on a bed of glistening instrumentation before a flurry of icy guitars spew forth making the whole thing sound like the rockier moments on Mew's second album. After that things remain generally more sedate. 'The Puzzled Piece' features lovely music box chimes amid the glitchtronica, rendering it immediately comforting to anyone with a fondness for Björk's 'Vespertine' (an album with a track called 'Aurora', which may not be a total coincidence). Like a more electronic Sigur Ros, or a more accessible Efterklang, this is about as far from a "summer album" as you can get, but it still makes a compelling listen at times and will do even more when the cold winter nights draw in. Top marks for the packaging too, which opens out in the manner of dramatic shards of rock protruding through the ice. MS
Release Date: 27 Aug
Press Contact: Despotz IH [All]

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ALEX BLUR DISAPPOINTED NOT TO PLAY GLASTO
Blur bassist Alex James has said that he is disappointed that his band were not able to reform in time to play at this year's Glastonbury Festival. Sorry, did I miss something? Are Blur planning to get back together? All of them? I thought that was just talk?

Well, here's what he's quoted as saying: "I was looking forward to showing off, but I suppose it was the important thing to be asked [by organisers to play]. I'm sure it will happen one day".

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GALLAGHER ON RADIOHEAD
Noel Gallagher has said some reasonably nice things about Radiohead, but says there's no way Oasis would follow their lead and give away their next album 'Dig Out Your Soul', out 6 Oct.

Gallagher says: "I didn't spend a year in the most expensive studio in England, with the most expensive producer in America, and the most expensive graphic designer in London to then give it away. Fuck that. To be honest, to me it looked like marketing - a great way of getting a load of marketing for free really. But good for them. That's what they do, they're rebels and outsiders".

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STARR SHARES BIRTHDAY CAKE ON THE STREET
Ringo Starr handed out cupcakes to passers-by at the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago yesterday because no one turned up to his 68th birthday party. No, sorry, that's not true. It was as a gesture of peace and love. The former Beatles drummer announced via his MySpace blog that all he wanted for his birthday was "just more peace and love" and invited fans to "make the peace sign and think, say, shout, sing 'peace and love'" at exactly twelve noon on his birthday. Unfortunately, Starr was a little late making it onto the street, so missed the whole thing. But he did bring cupcakes, which he and his wife Barbara handed out to around 200 people. So, he can probably be excused.

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LENNON HATES FRUITCAKES
I'm not sure if Julian Lennon was in Chicago to share some of Ringo Starr's birthday cake. Probably not, as he's really got something against cakes. Well, fruitcakes, anyway. And when he says "fruitcakes" he actually means fans of his dad who stalk him on the internet, rather than actual cakes with fruit in. He said: "I've just had enough of all the bull I have come across and had to deal with. There's a few out there who just take the fruitcake. Nasty, nasty, miserable, self-absorbed people. I wish the fruitcakes out there would just grow up and get a life". Julian Lennon could not be reached to confirm his opinion on actual cakes with fruit in.

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MORRISSEY MAKES MUSIC FOR REAL PEOPLE
Morrissey has been speaking to Xfm's Steve Harris about his new album, 'Years Of Refusal'. He said: "Journalists won't like it but real people will". Erm, that's the whole story really. We just thought we had a duty to warn you journalists that you're not gonna like it, because we wouldn't want you wasting your time checking it out. Real people, though, enjoy away.

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DAVID GEST NOT MATT WILLIS'S BEST MAN, OK?
Do you ever write a story and think to yourself "hmm, is this right?" but then run it anyway? Well, that's what happened with our Matt Willis wedding story yesterday when we repeated reports that the former Busted boy's fellow 'I'm A C'leb' contender David Gest was Best Man at his wedding to TV presenter Emma Griffiths. But the CMU Daily reader who was at Willis' big bash tells us that while Gest was a, erm, guest, he was not best man. That job was split between two old friends, including his former tour manager Adam Lambert.

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