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TODAY'S NEWS

Nokia to launch Comes With Music in the UK first

Morrissey to end ie:music relationship
Virgin Radio becomes Absolute
Pressure grows for government action on ticket touts
iTunes bad for business, claims say
Doherty collapses after suspected overdose
Pink says fan's rape influenced new album
Winehouse brain damage fears
Elvis' fingerprints up for auction
Album review: Metallica - Death Magnetic (Mercury)
Led Zep digital music deal
Coldplay announce EP and album
Pre-fame Leona album set for release
Young Knives work on new book
Eddy Grant cancels US gigs after visa delays
Snow Patrol release iPhone content
My Vitriol announce album and tour
Times New Viking free download
Album review: The Organ - Thieves (Mint/604)
Liberator enters into distribution deal with Universal
EMI signs up to We7
Former EMI exec buys into management firm
MTV to launch HD service
Wilde is Magic
Madonna's tour crew threaten to quit
Jackson dating Anderson
Rollins reveals Manson penpal
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TUESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER

METRONOMY
With a new single, 'Heartbreaker', out this week, and a new album, 'Nights Out', in the shops next week, things are about to get very busy for Metronomy again. Not that things haven't been busy for Joseph Mount since the release of his debut album, 'Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)", in 2006 - sometimes it seems like you're not a real musician these days unless he's remixed one of your tracks, with Gorillaz, Franz Ferdinand, Roots Manuva, Architecture In Helsinki, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Goldfrapp, Lykke Li, Midnight Juggernauts and many many more receiving the Metronomy rework treatment in recent times. We caught up with Joseph to ask those same six questions.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I learned the drums at ten and got a computer at sixteen. At that age I was listening to a lot of electronica and dance music. I wanted to make my own.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
All kinds of things really. But, the main thread is supposed to be nightlife. I moved to London when I started writing it, so it's about getting used to new things and maybe not liking them so much. I don't know really.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's a hard one to explain and can be very different. One way of describing it would be a bit like sketch book or something. Most of my tracks start as small little loops of ideas. Then I keep adding to them and taking bits away. After about a month there is normally a song... whether it's good or not is pot luck.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Talking Heads, Brian Eno, The Neptunes, The Ramones, The Beatles, Nirvana, Kraftwerk, The Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Jonzun Crew...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
It's probably best to say nothing, I might just confuse them otherwise, in my normal rambling style.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
That it's well received and that I have the chance to make more. I have modest ambitions at the moment. After album four I'll start shooting my mouth off about my orchestral projects and how I want to write an album in space.

MORE>> www.metronomy.co.uk and www.myspace.com/metronomy

 

GOLD TEETH
Claiming your primary influence as Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe's "revolution" makes for an odd prospect on its own, but when you're then styled a bit like one of those Modular acts and sound like a contemporary, electronic take on afro-beat, then you can't help thinking something's gone wayward in the production process. Not that this is a slant against London's Gold Teeth, however, as the tropical pop of 'Everybody' shows much promise with its steel drum-sounding synth beat and reggae-lite guitars. It doesn't feel quite complete yet, but with a raft of other numbers that could easily be tagged as having potential, expect the usual A&R scrum and lines of Addison Lee cars outside their forthcoming gigs in the capital. Beat the rush with a visit to their MySpace site today, though.

www.myspace.com/goldteeth

 


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MUZU TV PICK OF THE WEEK: GLASVEGAS
To mark the re-release this week of their rather fine single 'Daddy’s Gone', Glasgow's finest, Glasvegas, are making an exclusive live recording of the track available via MUZU TV. Filmed at the band's homecoming gig at Glasgow's ABC2 back in June, it's a chance to see why Alan McGee called these guys "the best Scottish band for 20 years". You can check out the live exclusive on the CMU Live playlist on the CMU-Tube right now, or by going to Glasvegas’ own MUZU TV channel at www.muzu.tv/glasvegas.


CURRENTLY PLAYING ON THE CMU-TUBE, with MUZU
Selected for your viewing pleasure on the CMU-Tube with MUZU TV this week, check out new videos from Atomic Hooligan, Frightened Rabbit, Kraak & Smaak, IAMX, G Love & Special Sauce and The Robocop Kraus, plus old favourites from Ben Folds, Scouting For Girls, Coldcut, Leftfield and Fiona Apple plus live performances from MGMT, The Futureheads and Glasvegas. Set the CMU-Tube in motion by heading to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

BECOME A CMU/MUZU COLLEGE CORRESPONDENT
MUZU TV has joined up with CMU and the College Media Network to set up a team of College Correspondents at universities across the UK and Ireland. We are looking for students interested in gaining skills and experience in music and media to work with the CMU team to help manage their local MUZU TV college channel. Correspondents will get to network with local music and media people, and influence the music played and artists featured on their local channel. They will also get loads of free training, and make lots of great contacts for a future career in the media or music industries. For more details and an application form go to www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk/muzu.
 


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NOKIA TO LAUNCH COMES WITH MUSIC IN THE UK FIRST
Nokia has announced that it will launch its much-touted Comes With Music service here in the UK next month, meaning we will be the first in the world to be able to access the all-you-can-eat digital music offering. Lucky us.

As much previously reported, Nokia Comes With Music phones will, well, come with music. That is to say, they will come with a one year subscription to a Nokia-run download platform (accessible via phone or PC) which will give users free access to over 2 million songs coming from the Universal, Sony and Warner catalogues.

Although the phone's owner will only have a year's access, any tracks they download in that time will be DRM-free and therefore will still work even after the subscription has lapsed. This distinguishes Comes With Music from other subscription services like Napster where tracks only continue to work for as long as a user pays their monthly subscription fees.

The business model behind Comes With Music - ie how much Nokia pays the record companies, and whether that is covered by the cost of the phone - is unclear. Presumably the whole thing is based on the principle that most users won't immediately download all two million songs, but rather they will only have the time and brain space to download a relatively small amount of tracks each month. It's probably a sound principle, though it's a bit of a gamble nevertheless.

There has been much speculation that Nokia plan to make a loss with Comes With Music, but are doing so in a bid to become a market leader in the mobile music sector, which many people are still convinced is where the serious money will be in the future. Nokia have denied that they are taking a hit with Comes With Music and it is possible the likes of Universal have offered the phone firm very generous terms given the major is generally willing to support any company who has a chance of breaking Apple's hold over the digital music market.

Nokia does not, however, deny its ambitions to become a leading provider of mobile music services, which is possibly why no UK mobile network will be officially selling the Comes With Music phones - they would prefer music fans use their own music services rather than those provided by a handset manufacturer. The failure of Nokia to do a deal with any one tel co means they are taking an even greater risk with Comes With Music, but it does mean they are network agnostic, widening the potential consumer base for the service. As I understand it you can put a sim card from any mobile network into a Comes With Music phone and they'll work.

Carphone Warehouse is, however, on board as a partner and they will be pushing the new phone-music-service-combo big time in the run up to Christmas.

Commenting on the service, Nokia UK MD Simon Ainslie told reporters: "This is a unique proposition. Nobody has launched an unlimited music service that allows you to keep your music with no catches. What we are trying to do is bring back some value to the music industry from people who are not paying for music. There are a lot of parents who would like to legitimise their children's purchasing of music".

The service is expected to launch in the UK next month, to be rolled out in the rest of Europe next year.

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MORRISSEY TO END IE:MUSIC RELATIONSHIP
Billboard reckon that Morrissey has dumped ie:music as his management representatives just three months after hiring the services of the US offshoot of the London based management company, which is best known for managing Robbie Williams. An official statement is expected later today. It's unclear whether this means Mozza is rehiring the services of former manager Merck Mercuriadis, whose role in the singer's career has been a little confusing since ie were first hired in May. Originally it was assumed the ie arrangement meant Mercuriadis' services were no longer required, but subsequently the working relationship between the singer and the former Sanctuary US chief has become less clear.

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VIRGIN RADIO BECOMES ABSOLUTE
With Virgin Radio now being run by the UK-based Absolute Radio division of the new owners Times Of India Group, what name have they decided to use for the national rock station's new identity? Erm, Absolute Radio.

Yes, moving forward Virgin Radio will be known as Absolute Radio. We know this because listeners signed up to the station's VIP mailing list yesterday received a text message which read "Virgin Radio soon to be Absolute Radio".

As previously reported, when SMG sold the Virgin Radio licence to the Times Of India they were unable to pass on the licence to use the Virgin name because that is ultimately controlled by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, who compete with the Times Of India in the Indian markets. Hence the need for a new name.

The new name will coincide with a number of programming changes, which include the departure of JK & Joel and Robin Burke, and the arrival of Jo Russell, one half of the award-winning Jo & Twiggy breakfast show on Trent FM, and Tim Shaw who is, according to his official website, the "liberator of UK radio".

The Absolute brand will also be extended to Virgin's digital spin offs - which will become Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Xtreme - while the station's new strapline will be "discover real music", presumably to distinguish themselves from all those other radio stations who only play fictional music.

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PRESSURE GROWS FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION ON TICKET TOUTS
Music Week says there is a growing consensus in the live sector that the government needs to step in and regulate the so called secondary ticketing market - ie agencies that buy up tickets for events and then sell them on at a profit (normally online), and auction websites that enable individual touts to resell tickets for profit.

As I remember it, the government previously called on the live sector to introduce its own regulations to govern the resale of tickets, threatening to introduce statutory regulation if it failed to do so. A number of key players in the live industry immediately responded by welcoming the idea of laws covering ticketing touting in the entertainment sector to mirror those that already exist regulating the resale of football tickets. Government in turn responded by saying it didn't really want to regulate after all, and re-urged the live music industry - including primary and secondary ticket sellers - to agree a voluntary code of conduct.

Such self-regulation has been since much discussed, with the artist management community proposing a Resale Rights Society that would give legitimacy to the web firms that provide ticket resale services (mainly the auction sites used by independent touts) in return for a commitment to protect consumer interests and to pay a share of their profits back to the artist and promoter communities. But so far the web firms have not been so keen to participate.

While tour promoters get pissed off when they see touts making large profits by reselling tickets with massive mark ups, it is when online ticket resellers fail to actually deliver the goods - either deliberately or through incompetence - that the whole issue of the secondary ticketing market becomes more news worthy. Which is why the whole thing is back in the news again - after a reported 5000 people bought tickets for the Reading and Leeds festivals from dodgy websites who failed to actually supply any tickets, nor, in some cases, a refund.

Speaking to Music Week about the secondary ticketing problem, Reading/Leeds chief Melvin Benn said that the actions of dodgy ticket touts - who can seem very legitimate through online trading - is damaging the reputations of legit promoters. He said: "People turn up with a printout looking for their tickets and it's us who get the blame for not having them. We have to explain to each and every person what has happened and it becomes very difficult".

Whether government will actually act on this remains to be seen. Of course growing concern regarding secondary ticketing comes as some major music and ticketing companies forge partnerships with the resellers, or in Ticketmaster's case actually acquire them. Some reckon such partnerships and acquisitions are good for consumers, because the big music firms can force regulations on the ticket resellers as part their deals. However, others say it gives the secondary ticketing market unwarranted legitimacy, and further confuses consumers who find it hard to tell official ticket sellers and dodgy resellers apart.

Whether government or the industry can find a sensible solution for this one remains, of course, to be seen.

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ITUNES BAD FOR BUSINESS, CLAIMS SAY
As we reported yesterday, Kid Rock has been talking up his dislike of all thing iTunes, and in particular how not selling his most recent album or single through the US branch of the Apple download store (it is available on iTunes UK) has not harmed him any.

With the news that Estelle is also withholding her new album from the Apple store, the Wall Street Journal has been investigating the possibly perverse trend that artists can benefit from not selling their music via the market leader digital music store. They start by noting that the two biggest selling back catalogues last year in the US were those of The Beatles and AC/DC, neither of whom allow their music to be sold on iTunes. By comparison, while those two bands respectively sold 3.9 million and 3.6 million full albums in the US between August 2006 and August 2008, one of their closest rivals, The Rolling Stones, managed just 1.8 million full albums. And while the Stones did enjoy 6 million single track downloads, the margins are never as good with single sales.

There are, of course, two main arguments against the iTunes model.

The first, and the one that artists like Kid Rock and AC/DC normally refer to, is that Apple force artists to sell their albums as individual tracks, rather than one single product. Some artists see their albums as a complete piece of work, and don't want them to be pulled apart in this way. They'll have artistic reasons for this of course, though a cynic would say the album approach is good for artists and labels because it forces consumers to buy the weaker album tracks to get the gems.

Whether Kid Rock has artistic or commercial objections we don't know - possibly both - but his manager, Ken Levitan, dwelled on the latter when he spoke to the Journal. He remarked: "In so many ways it [iTunes] has turned our business back into a singles business. [It's] part of the death knell of the music business. Check some of these artists that have hit singles, versus their album sales. Then compare it to what Kid Rock is doing". To prove his point Levitan might cite Katy Perry who has racked up 2.2 million sales of her single, 'I Kissed A Girl', in the US, while just 282,000 copies of her album, 'One Of The Boys', have been sold.

The second complaint is over iTunes' fixed price unit for single track downloads, and the cut of that price that Apple themselves take, which is around 30%. The computer firm argue the fixed price is popular with consumers, and add that the 30% cut barely covers the cost of running the Music Store let alone offering a profit.

So, does all this mean a mass artist and label exodus from iTunes is upcoming? Probably not. Only the biggest artists can really afford to ignore iTunes. David Goldberg, former head of Yahoo's digital music initiatives, told the Journal many artists risked losing custom to illegal file-sharing services if they boycott the market leader legit download store: "On certain albums, you can justify it [not selling via iTunes], but you're also going to push people to the illegal stuff".

Goldberg et al may point to the impact of Kid Rock label mate Estelle withdrawing from iTunes to back up their argument. Her label boasted that her album 'Shine', despite being five months old, enjoyed a 35% sales boost after being taken off iTunes. However, this week has seen her single, 'American Boy', drop from 11 to 37 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the album has fallen more than 100 places in the album chart to 159.

Asked about their strategy re Kid Rock, Estelle and iTunes, Warner Music US said their digital plans were "uniquely tailored to each artist and their fanbase in an effort to optimise revenues and promote long-term artist development". So, now we know.

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DOHERTY COLLAPSES AFTER SUSPECTED OVERDOSE
Pete Doherty collapsed before a gig in Austria last week after, it is claimed, embarking on a drugs binge.

Doherty was in Austria to perform a solo show at the NonStop cimena in Graz before the premiere of his new autobiographical film. He was revived by his promoter, Bettina Aichbauer, who then called an ambulance. However, the singer reportedly refused to go to hospital because it would mean cancelling the show. And we all know how much Pete Doherty hates cancelling shows. No, seriously, read on, naysayers...

When Doherty was forced to cancel a Babyshambles performance at the FM4 Frequency festival in Austria last month after missing a crucial flight he apparently cried. He said: "I informed British Airways of my late arrival. I told them I was a kind of minor celebrity and I might get a bit of hassle at the airport. Turns out they are complete arseholes. Even when I fell over and badly creased my hat, I had no assistance. I was crying but I didn't want them to see. A cynic might say I missed the plane, an honest man might say I went to the airport a little late".

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PINK SAYS FAN'S RAPE INFLUENCED NEW ALBUM
Pink has revealed that she was inspired to continue making music after receiving a harrowing letter from a fan. The 13 year old girl urged the singer to "never stop", saying that her music had helped her after her grandfather began sexually abusing her following the death of her mother.

Pink told The Sun: "I remember being in Paris and talking about my childhood, my parents divorcing and I started crying during an interview. I thought I was over music and I couldn't take any more. But then, not long after, I got a letter from this girl saying her grandfather was raping her. I get chills even talking about it. I have 50 of the most insanely awful letters that remind me that this job isn't about me".

She also added that feedback like this means she no longer cares what critics say about her music: "It's crazy. Some people may say the new songs are heartache bullshit but somebody out there is going to get through their pain a little easier, and that makes me feel better".

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WINEHOUSE BRAIN DAMAGE FEARS
There are new fears for the safety of Amy Winehouse after it was alleged that she recently suffered two major overdoses and may now have brain damage. The Sun reports that the singer's first overdose was in August last year after taking cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, ketamine and crystal meth. The second came in July, after smoking an "inhuman" amount of marijuana over a 36 hour period. This second overdose, the paper reports, is the real reason Amy was rushed to hospital in July, rather than the "adverse reaction" to drug treatment claimed at the time.

A 'friend' said: "The future is bleak, bleak, bleak. Mitch does everything he can to protect his daughter - but his 'explanation' for Amy's hospital dash in July was just simply untrue. She had smoked an inhuman amount of hash which resulted in acute cannabis poisoning. You have to take a shitload of pot to suffer that severe a reaction. It's thought she had been smoking it for 36 hours. Amy's fits were as bad as the convulsions she had during her overdose in August last year. No one has mentioned her meth use before - but that stuff is truly nasty. She is in need of years of psychiatry and medical treatment if she has a hope".

As reported yesterday, Winehouse is currently facing legal action from a festival in France after she pulled out her headline performance at short notice on Friday. She is due to headline Bestival this Saturday. Place your bets now.

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ELVIS' FINGERPRINTS UP FOR AUCTION
Elvis Presley's fingerprints will go up for sale at auction in London this Thursday. The prints appear on an application made by Presley to hold a concealed gun and are thought to be the only set in existence. The auction is the latest sale of music memorabilia at the Idea Generation Gallery in Shoreditch and will also include the first guitar Jimi Hendrix ever set light to, the last surviving drum-kit of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, Jim Morrison's final notebook of poetry, and the song-sheet for Band Aid's 'We Are The World' signed by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and others.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Vertigo)
Metallica's last album, 'St Anger' was more an album by a band in transition than an album by the greatest metal band in the world and caused many to lose faith in them. So, as the foreboding beeps of the life support machine kick start 'Death Magnetic', Metallica's ninth studio album, I feared that faith would die altogether. But as soon as the opening riff of 'That Was Just Your Life' blasts out of the speakers and the bass from Lars Ulrich's drums pounds the floor, it was clear there was still hope. The rhythm guitar on the track does have a remote 'St. Anger' quality but James Hetfield's vocals are straight off 'Ride The Lightning'. It also marks the return of guitar solos, which were controversially dropped from 'St Anger', but Kirk Hammett brings them back with a vengeance on 'Death Magnetic'. First single, 'The Day That Never Comes', has an intro which sounds like it was taken straight from 'The Unforgiven'. Hetfield's voice switches between soft and intense perfectly and the drums complement the lead guitar riff, the band playing as tight as they did on 'Fade To Black'. But for me, the real test of this album was 'The Unforgiven III'. The first installment, 'The Unforgiven', came on 1991's 'The Black Album' and saw the band produce a multi-layered, epic song that is seen as one of their strongest ballads. 'The Unforgiven III' takes a much softer approach that starts with a lonely piano chord and works its way from a violin through to an emotional solo. It's a stunning and fitting end to the trilogy. As a fan it's very hard to stay objective. I have to admit there are some forgettable songs ('The Judas Kiss', 'My Apocalypse'). However, what the band have managed to do is deliver exactly what fans will want. On 'St. Anger', they felt they had to deliver something completely new and changed their sound almost completely, when in fact what fans wanted was a new Metallica album - not a new band. And 'Death Magnetic' is unmistakably a Metallica album. GM
Release Date: 12 Sep
Press Contact: Mercenary PR [NP, RP], LaDigit [O]

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LED ZEP DIGITAL MUSIC DEAL
Led Zeppelin have signed an exclusive deal with music publisher Music Sales to distribute sheet music for their entire back catalogue across Europe digitally and in print. The company will distribute the song sheets through music shops, as well as its own retail and online outlets.

A spokesperson for the band said: "We recognised that Music Sales had both the experience and the scale of operations to do full justice to publishing this classic material right across Europe".

Music Sales COO, Chris Butler said: "Music Sales is delighted to have the opportunity - for the first time - to be print music publishers for what is one of the world's truly iconic bands".

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COLDPLAY ANNOUNCE EP AND ALBUM
Coldplay have announced that they will release a new EP before the end of this year, and a new album late in 2009. Chris Martin told BBC 6music: "We're going to put an EP out at Christmas called 'Prospects March' and we're going to release an album next December. I've said it very quietly as we're not allowed to announce the album. But we're gonna have another record ready by November 2009 to end the decade. And then we're gonna be 'Whooosh!' 'Where've they gone?' Just like Keyser Soze ['The Usual Suspects' villain]".

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PRE-FAME LEONA ALBUM SET FOR RELEASE
Leona Lewis' former label, UEG Music, are set to release an album she recorded for the label shortly before finding fame on 'The X Factor'. UEG released two singles by Lewis in 2005 and the album had originally been slated for release in 2006. However, when she won 'The X Factor', and was signed by Simon Cowell's Syco label, all contact between Lewis and her former label ended. They've been trying to release the album anyway ever since, but have had to cross a number of legal hurdles first. It seems the legal issues have been resolved.

A source told The People: "Leona made it before she was famous and didn't expect it to come back to haunt her like this. The album was finished in 2006 and due for release that year. Then Leona won 'X Factor' and all communications between her and UEG stopped. There were attempts to release the album throughout 2007. But they were blocked immediately after signing the record contract with her current label. But now they have won the right to release it."

Confirming the release was now pending, a statement on UEG's website says: "Leona Lewis has achieved some great success since winning the final of the 'X Factor' competition in 2006. Although she is now working with another record label, UEG had the pleasure of working with her over a number of years prior to her winning the contest, creating an album of material and releasing the debut singles 'Private Party', featuring Robert Allen, and 'Dip Down' in 2005. The singles were a great precursor to the release campaign for the album 'Best Kept Secret' which is [now] set for release in 2008".

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YOUNG KNIVES WORK ON NEW BOOK
The Young Knives have revealed that they are working on a new book which will look into the lives of bands on tour, and which will document their own experiences, and also include contributions from artists, roadies and others.

Speaking to BBC 6music, frontman Henry Dartnell said: "We're doing an almost 'word of mouth history' of touring bands. There'll be a bit of us in there, but we'll just tie it together with our own experiences when they're interesting enough. We're hopefully going to meet up with people who have good stories, not just people in bands, but roadies and stuff too".

He continued: "People kinda slip into it... they run away for two years of their life and they're on the road with a band and it strikes me as being pretty weird. We were brought up to expect to have normal working lives. To suddenly hit the road with all these people that have been doing it for years was quite a shock to the system and pretty interesting".

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EDDY GRANT CANCELS US GIGS AFTER VISA DELAYS
Eddy Grant has been forced to cancel his upcoming gigs in the US after his backing band were unable to obtain visas to enter the country in time. However, he says that the gigs will be rescheduled for next year.

Grant told WENN: "The band are waiting for their visas. It has just taken longer than everybody imagined. They are all sitting in Johannesburg waiting for the visas. We are hoping they will turn up next week or so. We kept putting the shows back and postponing and postponing and in the end it didn't make sense. So we have cancelled the shows and will put them back in for next year".

Despite this setback, Grant says that he is enjoying being back on the road, and is thrilled that live music seems to be where it's at these days. He rambles thus: "It's fantastic. When I was in the studio I wanted to make records that would outlast me and would be around in 50 years. Then the world turned and people weren't prepared to pay for music any more. I predicted many years ago that that's the situation we would wind up in. It's like Green Shield Stamps. But some people were too busy talking about producing music. The ordinary man, he decided he wanted to hear some guitar in his head, and have some fire in his belly, and to laugh and have a good time. The collective value of being a performer came to the fore. It's what people want".

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SNOW PATROL RELEASE IPHONE CONTENT
Snow Patrol are set to provide extra interactive content for their new album 'A Hundred Million Suns' to users of the iPhone and iPod Touch. The specially designed Snow Patrol application will be the first to use the iPhone's multimedia capabilities in conjunction with an album and will give fans access to artwork, behind the scenes videos and lyrics via their handset.

The band's product manager, Liz Goodwin told Music Week: "It will be an interactive element; a digital booklet that will take you into the videos and content. For fans it will be a real must-have, and the fact that they are the first band to do this gives us an additional angle for exposure".

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MY VITRIOL ANNOUNCE ALBUM AND TOUR
My Vitriol aren't exactly what you'd call prolific. They released their only album to date, 'Finelines', in 2001. In 2002 they announced that they were going on hiatus, but returned in 2005 and 2006 to play two one-off shows to sold out crowds of 1000 and 1500 respectively. In March 2007, they tested new material with a single on Org Records, under the name A Secret Society. Then they returned later that year with the phenomenally good 'A Pyrrhic Victory EP'. Then, well, very little.

But the good news is they're back on the road, and after headlining the Offset Festival last weekend have confirmed three UK dates for later in the year. Well, they've confirmed dates and cities, not venues. But that's a start. And not only that, drummer Ravi Kesavaram has told Thrash Hits that the band are "planning on releasing a double-album later this year". Hurrah.

Tour dates:

19 Nov: Glasgow, TBC
20 Nov: Manchester, TBC
22 Nov: London, TBC

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TIMES NEW VIKING FREE DOWNLOAD
Times New Viking are giving away the first track from their new 'Stay Awake EP' for free. You can download 'Call & Respond' here.

The EP, by the way, will be released on 22 Oct, and a limited number will come with a special silk-screened poster from the band's Whitney Museum show in New York earlier this year. To get one of these you need to pre-order from the Matador Records website (here).

The band will also be playing the triple headline Shred Yr Face tour in October, with No Age and Los Campesinos.

Tour dates:

14 Oct: Brighton, Komedia
15 Oct: Liverpool, Carling Academy 2
16 Oct: Leeds, Irish Centre
17 Oct: Dublin, Whelans
18 Oct: Glasgow, School Of Arts
20 Oct: London, Electric Ballroom
21 Oct: Bristol, Fleece
22 Oct: Manchester, Academy 3

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Organ - Thieves (Mint/604)
If you're a fan of The Organ you might find this release a little confusing. Yes, they did split up in 2006. Yes, this is 2008 and they are putting out an EP. But no, they're not back together: this final farewell release is a collection of tracks that the five ladies had been working on, as the follow up to their debut 'Grab That Gun', at the point they called it a day. Just like that first and sole album, 'Thieves' is a collection of beautifully executed tracks with the gentle ringing of guitars a curious melancholy to them, all effortlessly fused together with Katie Sketch's delicious, yet hauntingly pained vocals. More than anything, I think this EP has just reminded me how much I love 'Grab That Gun'. The twisted, tormented sound that bubbles from 'Brother' is echoed in the delicate and brooding 'Even In The Night'. There seems something so mysterious about The Organ, and I suppose that will always hang over their music, now with nothing to follow it up: a shame, as this EP really goes to further prove that their 80's-tinged underground indie was a sound nearly honed to perfection. By the final track, the lusciously ethereal 'Don't Be Angry', 'Thieves' puts a gentle, but solemn, full stop at the end of The Organ's story. DH
Release Date: 13 Oct
Press Contact: Hermana PR [all]

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LIBERATOR ENTERS INTO DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
Universal Music Australia has signed a three year distribution deal with Liberation Music, part of Michael Gudinski's Mushroom Group. The deal brings to an end Mushroom's distribution relationship with Warner Music Australia, and means Universal now has access to the biggest domestic repertoire in the Australian market.

The new deal follows a similar alliance between Universal and Liberator in New Zealand, and may, Gudinski says, result in further partnerships between the major and other music-related companies in the Mushroom Group (which does not, remember, included Mushroom Records, which was swallowed up by Warner in both the UK and Australia many years ago).

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EMI SIGNS UP TO WE7
EMI has signed up to that slightly strange ad-funded download service We7. It means that the site's co-founder Peter Gabriel will now be able to put his own music - which is owned by EMI in the UK - onto the site, which offers a mix of free streams and downloads. EMI Digital Business man Douglas Merrill said this: "We7 represents the new and innovative digital experiments underway in the market today, giving fans another way to experience their favourite music and providing artists with an avenue to reach new audiences. We are pleased to be a part of emerging digital initiatives, including We7".

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FORMER EMI EXEC BUYS INTO MANAGEMENT FIRM
Talking of EMI, the major's former top man Eric Nicoli has taken a stake in music marketing and management company Nick Stewart & Associates and is expected to play an advisory role with the firm, possibly advising failing music companies on how to trick private equity firms into taking over all their liabilities. Nick Stewart confirmed Nicoli's new involvement in his company yesterday, telling reporters: "I am absolutely delighted that he has agreed to bring a great deal of management savvy and integrity to my business".

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MTV TO LAUNCH HD SERVICE
MTV have announced they will launch an HD service in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden later this month. The high definition service will expand into other European countries, including the UK, later this year, and into Latin America next year. Key MTV programmes, such as the European Music Awards in November, will be recorded in HD and broadcast on the new channel.

MTV International President Robert Bakish told Billboard: "From a consumer perspective, I felt it was important to provide a HD service. Everyone we talk to is excited by the product and it increases the artists' interest in being a part of it".

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WILDE IS MAGIC
Kim Wilde will join Magic London to present a new weekend show which will air on Sunday lunchtimes and aim to "evoke fond memories". Magic programme boss Adrian Stewart says this: "Magic's Secret Songs will be an important part of our new weekend programming mix on Magic 105.4 and Kim's heritage in the classic 80s music scene means she is the perfect host for this show".

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MADONNA'S TOUR CREW THREATEN TO QUIT
Madonna's 250-strong tour crew are reportedly on the verge of walking off her 'Stick & Sweet' tour because they feel they are being treated like "second class citizens'. The row was sparked after they were all packed onto an EasyJet flight to Nice in order get to the second night of the tour and then discovered that they would be staying in a £50 a night hotel. Meanwhile, Madonna and her family travelled by private jet and stayed in the luxury Chateau Saint Jeannet castle at a cost of £11,000.

A source told The Mirror: "Everyone is absolutely furious with her and some of them want to walk out of the tour. They feel they are being treated like second-class citizens, despite all their hard work over the last few months. Trouble has been brewing for a few months in the Madonna camp, especially since all the claims that her marriage was in crisis. Now to make matters worse, they are being forced to stay in horrible places and fly on cheap low-cost flights, while she has the lap of luxury".

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JACKSON DATING ANDERSON
Michael Jackson is reportedly dating Pamela Anderson. The pair have apparently been on one date, set up by their management, meeting in a private room at the Shutter Hotel in Malibu.

A source told The Mirror: "They were very chatty. Pamela was being her usual flirty self and Michael seemed to be responding. They are such a strange couple but they seemed to really hit it off. [They] looked very comfortable with each other. They chatted about Michael turning 50, his new album, their kids. And he seemed genuinely interested in Pamela".

The paper reports that Jackson has invited Anderson on a second date at Country Mart, which appears to be a supermarket, but maybe I'm missing something.

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ROLLINS REVEALS MANSON PENPAL
We all had a weird pen pal when we were younger, but Henry Rollins can now be crowned the winner in that particular competition. He has revealed that he exchanged letters with Charles Manson, after he wrote the then Black Flag frontman a letter from prison.

Rollins said: "He wrote me a letter out of the blue once and he said, 'I saw you on MTV and I thought you were pretty cool'. So we corresponded a few times in 1984; I'd just tell him about what we were doing with our new record and he'd send back semi-lucid responses. He made references to the Beach Boys stealing his ideas, which sounded like sour grapes, and told me to tell everybody else to take care of wildlife. That must have been the old hippy in him talking. At the time, I was very young and having him write me letters made me feel very intense and heavy. I'd always know I'd have a letter in my PO Box from him because the woman behind the counter at the post office would give you this awful look. His letters would always have swastikas on them so they were easy to spot".

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