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TODAY'S NEWS

Bertelsmann sell SonyBMG stake to Sony

Musicians' charity closes retirement home
Jackson hits to be chosen by fans
Composer records Olympics medal ceremony music
Mitch Winehouse gets radio show
One in five wish they were musicians
Music fucks you up, study finds
Stooges appeal for stolen gear
Rap stars flee from gunfire
MC Harvey arrested over Javine knife attack
Oasis world tour rumoured
Wolfmother to split?
Kaiser Chiefs return to tackle boredom
Abraham not quitting music
Killers name new album 'Day And Age'
Maccabees to record second album
Melvins tour UK and Ireland
Microsoft do deal with Vidzone
CD Baby sold to Disc Makers
Girls Aloud not impressed by drunken naked man
Bono compares Edge to Van Gogh
Morrissey plans 50th birthday party
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WEDNESDAY 6TH AUGUST

EFTERKLANG
Efterklang have been a favourite on the CMU stereo ever since their debut album 'Tripper', but it was their second offering, last year's 'Parades', and the simply stunning live shows that came with it that really made us fall in love with them. Their rich, orchestral sound with nods to post-rock and an ear for good pop should be required listening for every man, woman and child. The band play Summer Sundae and Field Day this weekend, so we thought now was a good time to catch up with frontman Casper Clausen to ask those same six questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Efterklang basically started when Mads [Brauer], Rasmus [Stolberg] and I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000. We all grew up in small villages on an island called Als and after high school it felt natural for us to move to the capital to fulfil our dream of making music on a more 'serious' level. Mads and I lived together in a basement the first few months, where we started playing around with studio equipment and writing our first songs by using the computer as our main tool.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
'Caravan' actually started out being an outro to another song from 'Parades' called 'Illuminant'. One late night we soloed a couple of tracks in the song and started adding some drums after listening to Moondog. These drums didn't really fit in 'Illuminant', but it created an opening to a new song, which ended up being 'Caravan'. Lots of our songs start out that way.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Our song process is usually very time consuming. Most songs start out with a simple melody or rhythm that we like, which we record on our computer. Then we add different layers, pieces and ideas upon this and start figuring out where the song wants to go. It can take months and even years to figure that out.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Quite a lot of artists influence our work. We're constantly getting new ideas from listening to other music. Lately we've been listening a lot of music by Bon Iver, Daft Punk, Beach House, Deerhunter, The National and Neil Young, for instance

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Give it a little focus and I hope you'll enjoy it.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
We've been touring quite heavily during the last year to promote our latest album 'Parades', which has been a great experience. Now we have a couple of concerts and festivals left during the summer and early fall, plus a very exciting concert with the The Danish Radio Sinfonietta on 26 Sep, where we'll be playing 'Parades' from start to finish with a 60 piece orchestra. Also, we're just in the middle of finishing some music for a theatre production, which will premiere in August, and about to start a new one, which will premiere in November. We hope to begin the recording a new album in the early winter.

More: www.efterklang.net and www.myspace.com/efterklang

 

GRAND ISLAND
Signed to an indie in their homeland of Norway, Grand Island are managing to kick up a fuss in Scandinavia with their twinkling, often chirpy indie. Rising twee verses into powerful, roaring choruses, songs like 'Love In Decay' show stadium-filling ambition, while the more sedate 'Wish It Was Summer' rings with the country tones of Americana, recalling a punchier Wilco at times. The album, 'Boys and Brutes', has already been out for some time and really does deserve to be doing better, so why not start your contribution with a visit to their site, below.

www.myspace.com/thegrandisland

 

BERTELSMANN SELL SONYBMG STAKE TO SONY
Don't you hate it when a big music business story breaks five minutes after you've sent out your daily music news bulletin for the day? You've all experienced that, yes? I suppose it serves us right for getting the Daily out on time I guess - we'll never do that again.

Anyway, it's a big story but not an especially surprising one. As expected by everyone really, German media conglom Bertelsmann yesterday announced that they are selling their 50 percent stake in SonyBMG to Sony Corp. Their JV partners will buy them out of the major record company for $1.2 billion (about £614 million), four years - almost to the day - after the two companies created the joint venture. The music company will now change its name to Sony Music Entertainment Inc - ending the long "is it SonyBMG or Sony BMG?" debate and forcing yet another stationery redesign. The revamped major will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

Manufacturing and distribution will continue to be shared between Sony's manufacturing subsidiary, Sony DADC, and Bertelsmann's services company, Arvato Digital Services, with agreements with the latter extended for an additional terms of up to six years. Bertelsmann will also be taking over some of SonyBMG's European music catalogue.

Confirming all this, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, Hartmut Ostrowski said: "After a careful and thorough review, we made the strategic decision to sell our investment in this joint venture to Sony, a step that we believe will benefit the stakeholders of both our companies. This move is consistent with our new growth strategy and will enable us to focus on our defined growth areas. Sony has been an excellent partner, and they are the right company to take this business to the next step and ensure that it realizes its full value and potential. We look forward to witnessing Sony Music Entertainment's exciting future under Sony's ownership".

Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Corporation added: "Music has been a vital and vibrant part of Sony's culture for over twenty years. This acquisition will allow us to achieve a deeper and more robust integration between the wide-ranging global assets of the music company and Sony's products, operating companies and affiliates. It enables us to offer a total entertainment experience to consumers. Over the past four years, SonyBMG has undertaken a very successful restructuring, streamlined operations and developed innovative digital partnerships that ensure it will continue to be a leader in the creation and distribution of music worldwide. It is an organization rich in talent, ideas and enthusiasm, and is a strong fit with our overall business strategy".

There have been reports of Bertelsmann selling out of the SonyBMG partnership ever since the merger of Sony Music and BMG took place in 2004. The merger, of course, was not without controversy, partly because of the indie label community's attempts to have it reversed through the European courts, and then because of all that board room squabbling that went on between former Sony and BMG execs when former Sony Music boss Andy Lack sat at the head of the table. Despite the joint ownership, and that fact that - especially after Lack stood down as overall CEO - former BMG execs often took the top jobs, and that BMG's stakes in the Idol TV shows and Simon Cowell ventures brought more than their fair share of revenues to the table, it's always seemed that most SonyBMGers, in the UK at least, saw themselves primarily as Sony people, meaning the change in ownership shouldn't have any huge impact on the culture there - especially now they're no longer working in BMG's former offices in Fulham.

As for Bertelsmann, they plan to continue running a streamlined BMG unit, but will make it a music rights management business rather than something that releases recordings - ie a primarily music licensing operation. They will begin by proactively licensing music in the European catalogues that they hang on to as part of the Sony deal. As for what the German media firm will do with the booty, well it is likely they will look to expand their media assets via their RTL TV division, which already owns Channel 5 in the UK. Some reckon they may make a bid for BSkyB's 17.9 percent share in ITV.

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MUSICIANS' CHARITY CLOSES RETIREMENT HOME
The Musicians Benevolent Fund, which exists to offer help and support to musicians in ill health or old age, has announced that it will close its residential home next year. Ivor Newton House in Bromley has been providing housing and care for retired musicians for 30 years, but will now close in October 2009.

A meeting held to announce the closure ended in uproar, as residents, relatives and staff voiced their disapproval, with one resident so overcome with anger they had to be taken to hospital. Another resident, Len Davies, said: "I have lived in Ivor Newton House since 2004 and there is no way I want to move. I am very angry that the MBF, as a charity, is forcibly evicting people from their home at this stage of their lives".

Glenn Kelly of UNISON, who represent staff at the home said: "This charity, despite sitting on millions of pounds, has demonstrated a callousness to put money before people's lives and jobs that I have not seen in many years. We have every intention of continuing this fight to the end".

John Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians' Union told CMU: "The MU is very disappointed at this announcement - it is a real shame that there will no longer be a residential home dedicated to retired musicians. The MU will now concentrate on doing our utmost to support the current residents of Ivor Newton House as they move to alternative accommodation. However, most of the residents of are now in their nineties, and we would urge the MBF to consider allowing these people to live out the rest of their lives in Ivor Newton House. We also sympathise with Unison members working at the home who are losing their jobs".

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JACKSON HITS TO BE CHOSEN BY FANS
Michael Jackson will be releasing yet another greatest hits compilation on 25 Aug to commemorate the singer's 50th birthday. But before he can do that, someone needs to select which tracks to put on it, which is where you come in. Yes, you, no slacking people. The eighteen tracks on the compilation will be selected exclusively by UK fans, via The Sun and GMTV's websites.

Voters can select from a list of 50 Michael Jackson songs, including some rare tracks. I'm going to go and vote for his collaboration with Paul McCartney, 'The Girl Is Mine', because I can't believe it's been put on any list of songs that people might want to hear. Cast your own vote using the links below.

The Sun: www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1437778.ece
GMTV: www.gmtvsurveys.com/se.ashx?s=7C7FC32D0ACD6EDE

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COMPOSER RECORDS OLYMPICS MEDAL CEREMONY MUSIC
Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun, best known for his work on 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon', has recorded some special new music to accompany the medal awards ceremonies at this month's Beijing Olympics. The 30 tracks he has composed by mixing a historic recording of a bronze chime bell with the sound of jade musical stone will also be released as an album, which is expected to sell well worldwide after exposure in TV coverage of the games.

Tan told Reuters: "When I was composing the music for the award ceremony, I was thinking 'what makes a champion?'" He added: "The sound comes from the heart of the Chinese".

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MITCH WINEHOUSE GETS RADIO SHOW
As if he didn't talk enough already, Amy Winehouse's dad Mitch is to get his own radio phone-in show on BBC London. Winehouse will be one of a number of guest presenters standing in for Danny Baker while he is on holiday later this month.

The station's assistant editor, Justin Kings said: "Mitch has been a regular contributor to BBC London, calling into our phone-in shows. He always has something worthwhile to say and a good sense of humour. Although Mitch's life is extraordinary because of Amy, he's still a London dad and I think our listeners can relate to him in that way".

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ONE IN FIVE WISH THEY WERE MUSICIANS
A new poll, commissioned by O2, has found that one in five of us wish we could give up our day jobs and become a rock star. Only one in five? A quarter of those asked said that The Beatles would be their ideal band to join, given the choice of any throughout history. Builders were the most likely to say that they'd rather be strumming a guitar, while doctors came in a close second.

And if you're sitting there thinking that this is a bit of a pointless survey (I know I was), there are some useful insights on the promotion of music industry jobs to youngster. Around 75 percent of those polled said that they had not been encouraged by their parents or school to pursue music as a career and around 50 percent said that there was not enough information provided by schools about careers in the music industry. I can vouch for that, when I told my careers adviser that I wanted to be a rock star (and those were the words I used), she advised me to think about a job in a bank.

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MUSIC FUCKS YOU UP, STUDY FINDS
Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have written so many metal-based stories last week. According to mental health journal Australasian Psychiatry, teenagers who listen to music in that particular genre are more prone to depression, suicide, delinquency and drug abuse. And, along with rap fans, they're likely to have unprotected sex and drink drive, too.

The study of Australian students in year ten of school also found that teens who listen to pop music are more likely to struggle with their sexuality, fans of trance, techno, metal (there's that one again) and goth are more likely to self-harm and commit suicide, those who attend dance parties are more likely to take drugs. Some forms of rap, particularly French rap, were linked to theft, violence and drug use, but kids who listen to hip hop are usually quite well-behaved.

The study recommends that doctors should ask teenage patients about their musical preferences to determine if they are at risk of developing a mental illness or committing suicide.

Author of the study, Dr Felicity Baker told The Sydney Morning Herald: "There is no evidence to suggest that the type of music you listen to will cause you to commit suicide, but those who are vulnerable and at risk of committing suicide may be listening to certain types of music".

More sensibly perhaps, child psychiatrist and the head of medical programs at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, Michael Bowden added: "The key to understanding any teenager is to treat them with respect by listening to what they have to say, rather than typecasting them according to the type of music they listen to".

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STOOGES APPEAL FOR STOLEN GEAR
Iggy Pop and The Stooges are appealing for the return of equipment lost when their rented van was stolen. The band's tour manager, Eric Fischer said that the value of the equipment runs into tens of thousands of dollars, but some items, including a bass used by Mike Watts since the 80s, were priceless.

The truck had been parked outside the Embassy Suites hotel in Montreal, where the band were staying after their first Canadian show in more than 30 years on Sunday. However, they will still play their next show, which takes place in Toronto tonight, using rented and borrowed gear.

The Stooges are the latest in a long line of bands who have lost equipment in this way. Fischer said: "I don't know if it's a syndicate that's targeting bands on the road, or what, but nobody ever seems to see this gear again".

In spite of that, the band are not giving up hope and are asking anyone who sees any of the stolen equipment, or the van to contact them. Full details available here: www.hootpage.com/stoogesstolenstuff/stoogesstolenstuff.html

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RAP STARS FLEE FROM GUNFIRE
P Diddy, Nelly and Usher all fled from a party hosted by hip hop mogul Jermaine Dupri in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, it has been revealed. Shots were fired at Club Dreams by a man who had been asked to pay the entrance fee a second time, after leaving and returning to the club. One security guard received an arm injury but has since been released from hospital.

Dupri told Access Hollywood: "I'm sad this incident happened because it interrupted a beautiful and loving party. I'm happy none of my people or friends got hurt. And the party continued".

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MC HARVEY ARRESTED OVER JAVINE KNIFE ATTACK
Former So Solid Crew member MC Harvey has been arrested after allegedly holding a knife to girlfriend Javine's throat and threatening to kill her. The singer reportedly called police after a row with Harvey at their home in London.

A police spokesperson said: "On 30 Jul a 29-year-old man was cautioned for an allegation of common assault".

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OASIS WORLD TOUR RUMOURED
I know that with that announcement U2 made about fake tickets for their rumoured (and not actually happening) world tour, we should be more wary about things like this, but what the hell... It is rumoured that Oasis will embark on a lengthy world tour later this year, possibly with shows at Wembley Stadium.

A source told The Sun: "The tour is bigger than anything the band have done before. They will be on the road for more than a year - possibly pushing 18 months. The dates could easily run into three figures and will take them around the world. It is on the kind of scale you would expect from The Rolling Stones".

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WOLFMOTHER TO SPLIT?
It is rumoured that Wolfmother's Chris Ross and Myles Heskett have quit the band after falling out with frontman Andrew Stockdale. One source claimed that their performance at Australian festival Splendour In The Grass this weekend was their last. Although, it's also rumoured that two new members will be drafted into to join Stockdale and allow the band to continue.

Speaking to Undercover News, the band's manager John Watson said: "Unfortunately I can't make any comment other than to say that as soon as the band has clear future plans they will issue a statement and we hope to be able to do that in the next week or two".

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KAISER CHIEFS RETURN TO TACKLE BOREDOM
Kaiser Chiefs have announced that their third album, 'Off With Their Heads', will be released on 13 Oct. Not only that, but the band's Ricky Wilson has told the BBC that it will inject something "weird and fresh and radical" into the "very boring" indie scene.

Wilson continued: "Indie bands are big, so a lot of record companies are pushing indie bands and going 'we've got one and they dress in vests'. That indie by numbers is boring."

"It's very, very boring," added bandmate Nick Hodgson. "We're not going to point fingers or name names, but we've noticed that [other bands] didn't seem to be enjoying themselves on their new records, they seemed to be going through the motions".

Hodgson also spoke about working with Mark Ronson, who produced the new album: "Mark's main thing is songs. He's old-fashioned Phil Spector-style. Sometimes he'd make us all wear sunglasses in the studio! I know it sounds stupid, but we did 'Good Days Bad Days' and wearing sunglasses gave it a really different vibe". Sunglasses aren't that impressive. I heard about this one band who recorded their new album in their vests.

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ABRAHAM NOT QUITTING MUSIC
This year's UK Eurovision entrant Andy Abraham has denied reports that he is quitting the music business in favour of a career in property development. However, his manager Denise Abraham told Digital Spy: "We have an up-and-coming theatre tour booked in starting from 31 Oct. Andy has never been involved in the property development business and has an active career in the music business. He has released his current album, 'Even If', on his own record label B-Line Records and has further projects in the pipeline".

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KILLERS NAME NEW ALBUM 'DAY AND AGE'
That's it.

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MACCABEES TO RECORD SECOND ALBUM
The Maccabees will record their second album later this year, with a view to releasing it early in 2009.

Frontman Orlando Weeks told Gigwise: "We're going to start recording in September, and hopefully have the album out in January or February. We wrote a lot of 'Colour It In' four years ago, so we don't want the new record to sound like that. This one is less straight-forward, but still spirited. I'm just looking forward to getting the new record finished and then trying to persuade everyone that the newer songs are better than the old ones".

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MELVINS TOUR UK AND IRELAND
Melvins have announced some tour dates in the UK and Ireland to promote their recent album 'Nude With Boots'. Support for all dates will come from Big Business and Porn – both bands, rather than some kind of brand partnership, I think.

Tour dates:

10 Sep: Cardiff, The Point
30 Sep: Sheffield, Plug
1 Oct: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
2 Oct: Manchester, Academy 2
4 Oct: Ireland TBC
5 Oct: Ireland TBC
6 Oct: Brighton, Concorde 2

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MICROSOFT DO DEAL WITH VIDZONE
Microsoft have announced a deal with VidZone which will see the indie music aggregator become the exclusive provider of indie music for the IT firms MSN Video service. The deal reportedly gives the MSN music video service access to tracks from an additional 3500 labels. VidZone co-founder Michael Russo told reporters: "MSN doesn't just provide a compelling destination for its users to consume music video content, but the company is also helping the record industry monetise what was seen in the past as a promotional element to drive physical sales".

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CD BABY SOLD TO DISC MAKERS
CD Baby founder Derek Sivers has announced that he has sold the independent online distributor to US CD and DVD manufacturer Disc Makers. The company, which has paid out over $80 million to independent musicians and labels in the ten years it has been running, and is currently paying out over $2.5 million a month, will continue to run as normal, although it is hoped that it will continue to expand as an outlet for independent music.

Sivers said: "I designed all the internal systems to run without me, so that I could be free to go learn and invent new things. But now my new projects are exciting me so much that I decided to hand over CD Baby to someone that's going to make it better than ever. I chose Disc Makers as the new owner because their president Tony Van Veen has been one of my favourite people for years, and I always felt they'd do a better job of running CD Baby than I could".

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GIRLS ALOUD NOT IMPRESSED BY DRUNKEN NAKED MAN
Okay, so getting drunk and taking all your clothes off turns out not to be the best way to woo Girls Aloud. The group were reportedly cornered by a man in just such a state before a recent concert in Cheshire and it didn't set their hearts on fire.

A source told The Daily Mirror: "It was all pretty dramatic. The girls were due up on stage in three minutes time when he ran up to them. He'd clearly had too much to drink. Somehow he had got backstage, within yards of the group. Luckily their security team intercepted him before he was able to do anything untoward. But it took three burly guys to bring him down as he was getting really aggressive. Once they were safely onstage the decision was made to call the police".

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BONO COMPARES EDGE TO VAN GOGH
Bono has revealed that U2 are brilliant and that their guitarist, The Edge, is particularly good.

In a letter to Rolling Stone, written in response to the magazine's recent very positive review of the reissue of U2's debut album, 'Boy', Bono said: "Edge's genuine genius developing on the blank and bleached photographic paper, avoiding all the obvious blues scales that blind every other guitar player that ever heard Led Zeppelin. The Edge finds some new colours for the spectrum of rock. Colours he now owns. Owning a colour, wow. Imagine owning the colour yellow, like Van Gogh. Edge owns, well I'm not exactly sure what colours they are... indigo or violet or crimson? But you sense an emotional colour temperature that is unique to him. It's his palette we're painting from".

As if that wasn't enough, he continued: "Surely this is the most influential guitarist since the great composers Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Neil Young but remember he doesn't have the history of the blues to plumb, these are uncharted waters was to the English psychedelic revival we were also inspired by and plundering".

So, yeah, Bono thinks that The Edge is quite a good guitarist.

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MORRISSEY PLANS 50TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
Morrissey is making plans for celebrations for his upcoming 50th birthday. In an interview with Time Out Tel Aviv, he was asked if he had any plans for the day. "Maybe a party," he replied. Sounds nice. But then he was asked who he'd invite: "Nobody".

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