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TODAY'S NEWS

Ticketmaster buy control of Front Line Management

Jury two in place: Spector trial update
50 Cent reaches settlement over son visitation rights
Perry responds to knife fury
Katona responds to drunk accusations
Luis Silva dies
Harold Sanford Kant dies
White pulls out of EMAs
Cyrus hacker arrested
Jackson's new location provokes outcry from parents
Marr gets his leather elbow patches out
Single review: Drop The Lime - Hear Me (Trouble & Bass)
REM debut gets re-release
Scottish rap pretenders are subject of film
Stars & Sons done a video
Eavis to get outstanding contribution prize at Festival Awards
Greener Festival present 2008 awards
Jane's Addiction reunited
Reunited Far announce UK shows
Das Pop announce 2009 headline tour
Album review: Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)
UMG does pre-load deal with Dell
Universal chief to help plan creative Davos
CD Baby founder reveals sale price
Outgoing GMG says next six months critical for DAB
Word boss tells magazine owners to go audio
Homeless man finds McCartney's head
Keane chap on bland accusations
Amy Winehouse compared hubby to Mandela
Robbie haunted by Little & Large
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FRIDAY 24TH OCTOBER

THE LOOSE SALUTE
The Loose Salute's story is almost as heart warmingly sunny and whimsical as their music. While drummer/guitarist/vocalist Ian McCutcheon, formerly of bands Slowdive and Mojave 3, was recording in London he heard Lisa Billson singing along to Bob Dylan's 'Sad Eyed Lady From The Lowlands' in the kitchen. After this chance encounter, he knew she was the girl he wanted to sing his songs. In turn she brought friend Charlotte King into the mix, followed by Pete Greenwood, who McCutcheon discovered at a gig and invited him to join the fun. With the addition of McCutcheon's friend Alan Forrester, The Loose Salute was complete.

Their debut album, 'Tuned To Love' was released in June 2008 on EMI's Heavenly Records to great critical acclaim. Described as a mix of dream pop, surf rock and folk, the band's home of Cornwall plays a big role in their music - citing influences of sunny days and mellow waves as important factors. Their dreamy music is both soothing and heartbreaking at times, with Billson's voice so delicately lamenting about lost love in new single 'Why We'd Fight', which was released this week.

We had a quick chat with Ian McCutcheon.


 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
My friends and I had a garage to hang out in at the bottom of a garden, somewhere to smoke, drink and do teenage things! I borrowed a drum kit from another kid, the others got guitars and amps, we weren't good enough to play cover versions of songs so we just made up our own tunes, we were loud and terrible and hated by the neighbours!

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
General and incessant relationship dysfunction.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I generally play around with some guitar chords and then work out a melody that fits, something personal, a phrase or a conversation will trigger a topic, record the idea on my phone, four track or computer and then live with it for a while before playing it to someone.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I like a band called The Beachwood Sparks, their first album is a classic. Dennis Wilson, Sister Corita, Neil Young, The Tyde.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Find a beach, take a beer and something to smoke plus a friend to dance with and enjoy

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
I hope this album finds as many people as possible. And future plans are to write and record the follow up before next summer.

MORE>> www.theloosesalute.com and www.myspace.com/therealloosesalute. Or check out the band performing their new single at ITC on the CMU Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: DJ Mag's Top 100 DJ Awards at Ministry of Sound
DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs Awards Party is at the Ministry next week and it's good for charity too, with RNID set to gain a few bob on the door. It's a hotly contested prize, and with 25 confirmed new entries, some new blood arrives in the chart this year. Featuring a headline set from 2008's No.1 DJ in the world, this is a chance to see the people's choice smashing down a celebratory set on the night of their coronation. Past winners have included Coxie, Sasha, Digweed, Oakie, Paul Van Dyk (twice), Tiesto (thrice), and, last year, Armin Van Buuren... who's it gonna be? The Ministry's great main room will also play host to the gallic house gladiator Laurent Garnier who will be playing a special guest set, as well as Fedde Le Grand and Beardyman. Canadian wonderkid and producer of the year Deadmau5 will be there too, and this electro don will be assisted by last year's highest charting house DJ, David Guetta. Add this to Laidback Luke's high-energy house and a bit of a rock out from Toolroom's main man Mark Knight and you have a recipe for dancefloor damage.

Wednesday 29 Oct, Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt Street, London SE1, 9pm - 3.30am, œ5.00 Charity Donation on the door. More info from www.djmag.com, press info David at Get Involved.

 
 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

TICKETMASTER BUY CONTROL OF FRONT LINE MANAGEMENT
Well, if Live Nation can have a ticketing business, why can't Ticketmaster have an artist management company? Answer me that.

With live music conglom and former client Live Nation about to tread on its natural territory big time by launching its own rival ticketing enterprise, ticketing major Ticketmaster yesterday announced it had acquired a controlling interest in Front Line Management, one of the world's biggest artist management companies.

Ticketmaster will buy Warner Music's 30% stake in Front Line for a reported $123 million, as well as entering into some sort of slightly complicated share exchange with the management firm's founder Irving Azoff.

As a result of the deal Ticketmaster will change its name to Ticketmaster Entertainment. Azoff will become CEO of the newly expanded company, while current Ticketmaster chief Sean Moriarty will be President of the whole operation, and CEO of its ticketing division.

With Live Nation busily diversifying into other areas of live and music entertainment, the Front Line deal sees Ticketmaster cement its ambitions to also become a multi-pronged music and entertainment company.

Front Line manage some of the US's biggest touring artists, including Eagles, Neil Diamond, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses. Some of those have, in the past, worked with Live Nation on their live activity. Front Line has always had a policy of allowing individual managers to determine which promoters and ticket agencies their artists work with, so it's unlikely the firm's new partnership with Ticketmaster will automatically tie their artists to Ticketmaster's ticketing division, or bar them from working with competitors Live Nation, though the alliance is presumably a strategic move to counter Live Nation's growing dominance in the wider live music industry.

Confirming the deal, Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller told reporters: "While the Ticketmaster name has been synonymous with live entertainment for some time, today we took a significant step in solidifying our position in the music business. And, we will greatly benefit in having Irving Azoff lead Ticketmaster. In joining with the excellent Ticketmaster management of Sean Moriarty, Terry Barnes, and Eric Korman, we'll have a superb group of executives capable of growing the company every which way".

Azoff added: "Front Line and its artists have never had a better partner than Ticketmaster and Barry Diller. Now we have the opportunity to redefine the business at a time of great change and opportunity. Consumers, artists, teams and venues will all benefit from this exciting new Ticketmaster Entertainment platform going forward. I can't wait to create the future of the business with my new senior colleagues at Ticketmaster, Sean Moriarty, Terry Barnes, and Eric Korman".

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JURY TWO IN PLACE: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, let the trial begin. Again. The jury has been selected for the second murder trial of legendary music producer Phil Spector. As previously reported, jury selection began on Monday, and yesterday a final line up acceptable to both sides in the trial was agreed including seven men and five women. A shortlist of six alternate jurors were also being selected in case one of the main jury members had to drop out.

The trial is now expected to kick off next Wednesday, and could run into the New Year. As much previously reported, Spector is accused of shooting dead former actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in 2003 - he claims she shot herself.

In the original trial last year both prosecution and defence concentrated on a mixture of character assassination and crime scene forensics, the former describing Spector has a split-personality loon prone to violent outbursts against women, the latter claiming Clarkson was depressed and on the verge of suicide prior to her death. Both also wheeled out forensic experts who claimed blood spatters and fingerprints proved Spector both could or couldn't have been holding the gun that killed Clarkson.

After a long running side show to the main trial around allegations that Spector's original defence team had taken some crucial evidence away from the crime scene, the jury at the original trial couldn't reach a unanimous conclusion as to Spector's innocence or guilt, leading to a mistrial to be called, and the whole thing to be retried from next week.

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50 CENT REACHES SETTLEMENT OVER SON VISITATION RIGHTS
50 Cent has reached a settlement with his ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins regarding visitation rights to the couple's 11 year old son. Fiddy will get to spend one weekend per month with his son, as well as a month of his summer holiday and half of his winter and spring breaks. It's not clear if Tompkins is still accusing her ex of having some kind of involvement in the fire that destroyed the Long Island home owned by the hip hopper where she and her son were living. Fiddy's people have always said such allegations are ridiculous. An arson investigation regarding the fire is ongoing.

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PERRY RESPONDS TO KNIFE FURY
Katy Perry has refuted claims that by posing with a flick knife in a photo shoot she is perpetuating knife crime in the UK. As reported in yesterday's CMU Daily, the picture in question was taken by acclaimed fashion photographer Terry Richardson for potential use in the promotion of Perry's album, 'One Of The Boys', but later rejected. However, it has subsequently shown up online, causing some to denounce the singer for setting a bad example at a time when knife crime is a hot topic in the press.

Her US publicist told MTV: "Katy Perry is against all violence. The photo in question was taken in 2005 and is in no way related to the current events in the UK".

Case closed.

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KATONA RESPONDS TO DRUNK ACCUSATIONS
Kerry Katona's husband Mark Croft has denied that his wife was drunk when she appeared on 'This Morning' on Wednesday slurring her speech and generally looking a bit worse for wear.

He said: "Kerry and I are incredibly upset about the negative news stories that have surrounded her appearance on 'This Morning' yesterday. In particular, the accusations that she was drunk or had been drinking alcohol that morning. For the record, Kerry had not been drinking anything other than tea before the show. Kerry has always been honest about her bipolar depression for which she receives ongoing medical attention and takes prescription drugs daily. The treatment that she is on has side effects which include difficulty speaking and drowsiness. Kerry did attempt to explain this to Fern and Phil and is extremely offended that they continued to question her further, despite seeing her obvious distress at their ongoing line of questioning".

However, friends have been telling The Mirror that Katona was, in fact, still drunk from the night before, where she had reportedly been downing Sambuca shots backstage on ITV's 'Celebrity Juice'. One "friend" told the paper: "She's boozing more and more saying how she's going to get bladdered all the time. A lot of people are concerned and we're just hoping this is a wake-up call".

'This Morning' host Philip Schofield, meanwhile, has denied he and co-host Fern Britton set the former Atomic Kitten up by getting her onscreen in the shambolic state she was in and then grilling her about her drinking. He told Radio 1: "The last thing I want to do is to witness a car crash in front of my eyes. At no time were alcohol or drug issues going to be mentioned, because we've done that in the past. She ambushed herself by slurring her words. It's a shame that she feels that way because unfortunately she set herself up, or she was set up by the person who brought her in".

He added that Katona arrived so late for the interview they didn't have chance to speak to her before going on air, adding that had they done so they'd have suggested postponing the interview.

Elsewhere in Kerry news, frozen food firm Iceland has said they remain committed to working with the former pop come reality show star on their TV ad campaigns. A spokesman for the retailer told reporters: "Kerry is dependent on medication for her bi-polar disorder and if this medication isn't taken at the right time it will result in her appearing disorientated and slurring her words. On more than one occasion we have had first-hand experience of this, and after a short period Kerry has been fit to resume her work. We were unaware of her appearance on 'This Morning' and it is our opinion that Kerry should not have appeared on the programme".

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LUIS SILVA DIES
Latin music industry stalwart Luis Silva has died in Texas at the age of 65, after suffering a heart attack.

The producer and marketer was an active promoter of all kinds of Latin music, as well as being an accomplished songwriter who was inducted into ASCAP's 2007 Premios A La Musica Latina Hall Of Fame, having had 177 songs registered with the society.

He was Marketing Director at indie label Freddie Records for many years before leaving to start his own independent promotions firm One Man Show. Silva recently spoke at the Billboard Regional Mexican Music Summit as part of a panel discussing internet and digital marketing.

Entertainment attorney Anthony Lopez said of Silva: "I am deeply saddened by the lost of a true and loyal friend. Luis has left footprints that will last forever through his songs".

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HAROLD SANFORD KANT DIES
Lawyer Harold Sanford Kant, renowned for his work with Grateful Dead, has died at the age of 77 after suffering from pancreatic cancer. The principal lawyer and general council for the rock group, his influence on the band's affairs was so strong that Jerry Garcia et al named him simply 'Czar' on his Grateful Dead business cards, yet, this was only a small part of his international business and legal practice. He's survived by his second wife, three sons, and six grandchildren.

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WHITE PULLS OUT OF EMAS
Jack White has pulled out of a performance of his and Alicia Keyes' pretty rubbish Bond theme, 'Another Way To Die', at the MTV European Music Awards next month after injuring his neck on The Raconteurs' US tour. The performance had been lined up as a surprise climax to the ceremony, but it's now been revealed it's not going to happen.

A source told The Sun: "Jack's still in a lot of pain. He hoped it would have cleared by now but the injury is refusing to heal. MTV are disappointed, as are Bond film chiefs. No one knows when he'll be fit enough to travel again".

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CYRUS HACKER ARRESTED
A hacker who raided Miley Cyrus' MySpace and Gmail accounts, stealing private information and photographs, and who once claimed that he could never be tracked down by the FBI has been, er, tracked down by the FBI.

In an interview with Wired, Kevin Holly revealed that the FBI raided his home on Monday after being tipped off, he suspects, by a fire marshall or fellow hacker. He was interviewed for an hour, but was not charged. However, the Feds did leave with a phone and three computers. He said: "I was just kind of scared and shocked at [the] time. I was just kind of shaking. I was thrown way off guard. I've never had anything like this happen before to a point that I just didn't know what to do. I was afraid to kick them out of my house".

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JACKSON'S NEW LOCATION PROVOKES OUTCRY FROM PARENTS
Michael Jackson has moved house and, with a seemingly willful disregard to common sense, has acquired a home opposite a school in Las Vegas. He's every right to live wherever he wants, of course, though even after being acquitted of child molestation charges, that mud is bound to stick.

Anyway, parents of children attending Wasden Elementary for four to thirteen year olds have complained about the star's decision to move there. It's thought that it's casino and hotel owner Steve Wynn - who apparently wants to persuade Jackson to do a comeback residency at his resort - who's housed him there.

One mother is quoted as saying: "Of all the residences he could stay at why choose one across from an elementary school? But I understand he was never convicted of anything and can live wherever he wants".

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MARR GETS HIS LEATHER ELBOW PATCHES OUT
Taking time off from his mission to join every band ever, Johnny Marr will turn university lecturer next month. He will give a talk entitled 'Always On The Outside: Mavericks, Innovators And Building Your Own Ark' at Salford University on 4 Nov.

John Sweeney, from the School of Media, Music, and Performance, said: "[Johnny Marr is] the most influential guitarist of the last 25 years. His lecture is a tremendous opportunity for our students and the wider public to benefit from his considerable experience and expertise. It promises to be a really special event".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Drop The Lime - Hear Me (Trouble & Bass)
Having toured with the quite brilliant Robyn after remixing one of her singles, Luca Venezia (aka Drop The Lime) is beginning to create that sort of buzz in Britain that's usually confined to the dance scene of his New York home. 'Hear Me' should go some way to continuing Venezia's success in the UK that has already seen him take up a residency at London superclub Fabric. It fizzes with electro rhythms as the looping drums create that dancefloor impetus honed in his Trouble & Bass nights in New York. Sam Sparro-esque vocals give it that more human design, and the gospel soul in the background adds another element of Venezia's eclectic tastes. One for Saturday night. TM
Release Date: 3 Nov
Press Contact: Darling Department [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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REM DEBUT GETS RE-RELEASE
REM's debut album 'Murmur' is to get a re-release next month to coincide with the record's 25th anniversary. The deluxe package, out 25 Nov, will include a live LP recorded shortly after the debut's release.

Here is the tracklisting:

Disc One

Radio Free Europe
Pilgrimage
Laughing
Talk About The Passion
Moral Kiosk
Perfect Circle
Catapult
Sitting Still
9-9
Shaking Through
We Walk
West Of The Fields

Disc Two - Live at Larry's Hideaway

Laughing
Pilgrimage
There She Goes Again
7 Chinese Brothers
Talk About The Passion
Sitting Still
Harborcoat
Catapult
Gardening At Night
9-9
Just A Touch
West Of The Fields
Radio Free Europe
We Walk
1,000,000
Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars)

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SCOTTISH RAP PRETENDERS ARE SUBJECT OF FILM
Two Scottish rappers who pretended to be American in order to be taken seriously are to have their story made the subject of a film. The screenplay, penned by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, is based on the experiences of Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd (presumably not the one who was a hobbit...), aka Silbil n Brains. The pair apparently feigned US accents after being scorned by record executives, and subsequently secured a œ150k recording contract.

The film will be based on Gavin Bain's book about the series of events, California Schemin. Billy Boyd told the BBC how it all came about, explaining that the duo had tried to arrange meetings with labels, but had the phone hung up on them: "Once, just for a laugh I thought, what I'll do is I'll put on an American accent" he said. "It automatically changed, the attitudes changed. It evolved from that moment, we thought that what we'd do is we would re-record all our music in American and we'd say we're on tour from America".

Signed to Sony, the duo attended the Brit Awards, went to parties and generally lived the high life until about 2005, when they split, frustrated by delays in releasing their music. Boyd, who now runs a clothes and art shop, continued: "The idea wasn't we'll pretend and we'll try to get really rich and famous from it and we'll just rip everyone off. What we planned on doing is becoming this superstar act and then maybe at the height of our career we'd turn round and release it - that by the way, we're actually Scottish. Almost getting one over on the industry, getting our own back, because we felt it was unfair that we weren't treated with the same respect for being Scottish artists as we would've being American artists".

He added: "I love the story, what we've got away with is just crazy, it's really cheeky. It's something you can always look back on and go 'when I was that age I did this' and no-one else is going to have that story - that I signed a major record deal pretending to be someone else and got all this star stuff from it. What makes it quite funny is the fact that we didn't actually release anything, so it's not like we've become these superstars, we didn't even get to that level. We were living the life of these successful artists, but we hadn't actually had any success, which is part of the blag I guess".

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STARS & SONS DONE A VIDEO
Stars & Sons' debut single, 'In The Ocean', is out on 17 Nov via Alcopop! Records. The song is so good that Scarlett Johanson has appeared in the video. Well, I think they've used some special effects to insert her, but it's very clever stuff. You'd think she was really there.

Watch it here

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EAVIS TO GET OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION PRIZE AT FESTIVAL AWARDS
That Michael Eavis fella will be given an Outstanding Contribution award at this year's UK Festival Awards which, as I'm pretty sure we've previously reported, take place next Thursday, 30 Oct, at that Indigo2 place in the big bad Dome. The Glastonbury chief will be given the lifetime achievement type prize for, well, being the chief of the Glastonbury Festival. And for ignoring all those whiny Jay-Z naysayers when ticket sales weren't going so well earlier in the year. Organisers of the awards, Virtual Festivals, have also confirmed that Pete & The Pirates will play at the awards show.

This year's awards show will be preceded by a special event aimed at industry types called the UK Festival Conference. Staged by Virtual Festivals in association with IQ magazine, Yourope and A Greener Festival, the event at the Gibson Showroom will see industry types like Rob da Bank from Bestival, Geoff Ellis from T In The Park and Andy Copping from Live Nation talk about the mad world of festivals.

Tickets for the awards, which include entry into the conference, are œ55 and can be bought at ukfa.ticketline.co.uk.

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GREENER FESTIVAL PRESENT 2008 AWARDS
Talking of A Greener Festival, which we were, that organisation, set up to encourage music events to be more eco-friendly, has announced which fests met their strict environmental standards this year.

As we've possibly previously reported, the Greener Festival Award is assessed via a seven part questionnaire which covers event management, travel and transport plans, CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, fair trade, waste management and recycling, water management and noise pollution. In total 23 UK festivals and 8 international festivals have been awarded the award, with six having their eco-policies dubbed "outstanding". Which is nice.

A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O'Neill told CMU: "This year applications for our awards more than doubled and this is fantastic news. More and more festivals are making the effort to go green and adopt environmentally friendly practices. Some festivals are still improving and going through a steep learning curve, others are old hands now who keep improving their green credentials year on year. The UK and international festival scene is now making a concerted effort to be leaders in changing behaviour to protect the environment".

The full list of 2008 winners is as follows ('outstanding' winners marked with a *):

UK festivals: Bestival, Big Chill, Big Session Festival, Camden Green Fair*, The Cambridge Folk Festival, Download, End of the Road, The Glade Festival, The Glastonbury Festival, Hard Rock Calling, Hydro Connect, Latitude, Leeds Festival, Leicester City Blues Festival, Lounge on the Farm, 02 Wireless Festival, Reading Festival, Shambala*, Summer Sundae Weekender, T In The Park, Waveform*, Workhouse Festival, 2000 Trees.

International festivals: The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (USA)*, Rothbury Festival (USA)*, Bluesfest - Eastcoast Blues & Roots Festival (Australia), The Falls Festival (Australia), West Coast Blues n Roots Festival (Australia), Southbound (Australia), Electric Picnic (Ireland), Boom Festival (Portugal)*.

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JANE'S ADDICTION REUNITED
The original lineup of Jane's Addiction performed together yesterday for the second time this year, in a bar in LA, prompting hopes that the group are planning a more full scale reunion following their seventeen year hiatus. The first occasion, of course, was at the inaugural US NME Awards in LA six months ago. Bassist Eric Avery has written on his blog: "We never know what the future has in store for us; especially with this band. But, at least right now Jane's Addiction has a future that one would have to call somewhat promising. We are a great band".

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REUNITED FAR ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS
Influential Sacramento rock band Far, who recently reformed completely without me noticing, have announced some live dates in the UK next month, following frontman Jonah Matranga's solo shows this month. Regardless of what I may have said about bands reforming in the past, I would like to go to the London show, please. Thank you.

See the band's fairly sparse new website here

Tour dates:

24 Nov: Newport, TJ'S Disco
25 Nov: Birmingham, Carling Academy
26 Nov: Glasgow, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
27 Nov: Manchester, Academy
28 Nov: London, ULU

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DAS POP ANNOUNCE 2009 HEADLINE TOUR
Those Soulwax-championed boys Das Pop will be back in the UK again next year for an 11 date headline tour, culminating at a show at the ICA in London. The band also release a new single, 'Try Again' on 24 Nov, which will be limited to just 250 seven inch vinyl copies.

Tour dates:

12 Feb: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
13 Feb: Brighton, Concorde 2
14 Feb: Sheffield, Leadmill
15 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit
17 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
18 Feb: Newcastle, Academy 2
19 Feb: Manchester, Night & Day
20 Feb: Liverpool, Academy 2
21 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
24 Feb: Bristol, Thekla
25 Feb: Oxford, Zodiac
26 Feb: London, ICA

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ALBUM REVIEW: Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)
Falling somewhere between Prince and The Flaming Lips, neo-psychedelic darlings Of Montreal are a familiar set to those who pay close attention to the goings-on of underground-meets-overground American indie. Driven by the force that is frontman Kevin Barnes as his Ziggy Stardust-esque alter-ego Georgie Fruit, their ninth studio album is a cool mix of old school funk and surf rock. Like a hipper, quirkier Jake Shears, Barnes' lyrics do not leave a lot to the imagination: "We can do it softcore if you want, but you should know that I go both ways". In fact, the entire album, like many of the band's previous efforts, is a showcase of songs about sexuality and sexual identity, fantasy and confusion, all wrapped up in bleak honesty sung with a misleading but fun sort of cheerfulness. Highlight is 'Women's Studies Victims', a satiric look at the relationship between a man and a feminist with a lazy keyboard-tripping melody close to The Dandy Warhols' earlier work. While 'Skeletal Lamping' has a definite coherency that was missing from 'Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?', the fact remains that the sound tends to blend itself together, and the fresh, unpredictable quirkiness that was so fluent in their last release slips from this album's structure. Nevertheless, while 'Skeletal Lamping' is an initially somewhat difficult pill to swallow, it goes down nicely after a few listens and slowly unravels itself into a sparkling showcase of funk and oddity. TW
Release Date: 3 Nov
Press Contact: Create Spark [all]

Buy from iTunes
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UMG DOES PRE-LOAD DEAL WITH DELL
The Universal Music Group has announced a deal with Dell in the US which will see the the PC maker offer computers with MP3s pre-installed. For an additional $25, computer buyers will be able to get 50 MP3s with their new computer, which works out at about half the price charged by regular download platforms. Customers will be able to choose from compilation style collections of music under themes like No 1 songs, Rock Titans, Blues Masters and so on. UMG says it will refresh the packages of music available from time to time. It's not clear if the offer will be expanded to Dell PCs in the UK.

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UNIVERSAL CHIEF TO HELP PLAN CREATIVE DAVOS
More from Universal, and the boss of Universal Music International, Lucian Grainge, has been appointed to a new government panel which will plan a big conference on the global operations of UK creative businesses, and on the global dimension of the entertainment industry, in October 2009. The event is called the Creativity & Business International Network, or C&binet for short. Grainge, and other leaders from UK entertainment and creative businesses, will meet in Liverpool next month to discuss the agenda for the 2009 shindig.

Talking about C&binet, the government's chief culture monkey Andy Burnham told reporters that he wanted the event to become an annual event for the world's creative businesses, on par with the world's big economics junket Davos, which takes place in Switzerland each January. Burnham: "Britain has always been the natural home of the creative industries and we aim to cement that by establishing this prestigious international conference, which in time we hope will be the Davos for creative businesses. While the last decade has seen the UK's creative industries grow at twice the rate of the wider economy, there are real pressures both from international competitors and wider economic conditions".

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CD BABY FOUNDER REVEALS SALE PRICE
According to Digital Music News, the founder of independent online distributor CD Baby pocketed $22 million when he sold the company to CD and DVD manufacturer Disc Makers earlier this year.

Derek Sivers confirmed he had sold CD Baby back in August. At the time he said: "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".

Siver reportedly confirmed the price tag for his company in an interview with Venture Voice. He tells them: "I knew that was about the right price. We actually didn't bicker or negotiate over the price one bit, I just set a price and they said okay". Sivers is now reportedly investing some of his earnings from the sale in a new venture called Muckwork, an artist services company whose website promises to help unsigned musicians "make a living with your music, by doing your uncreative dirty work for you, so you can focus on playing, writing, and improving".

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OUTGOING GMG SAYS NEXT SIX MONTHS CRITICAL FOR DAB
The boss of the Guardian's radio company, GMG Radio's John Myers, has announced he will stand down next April, while also observing that the next six months will be crucial in deciding the future of digital audio broadcasting.

Myers will continue to consult the Real Radio / Rock Radio / Smooth Radio owner after his departure next year, and one of the areas he will advise on is DAB. As much previously reported, there has been speculation as to the future of the digital broadcasting medium because, while ownership of DAB radios is on the up, commercial radio firms are struggling to sell advertising on digital-only services. While the BBC remain committed, the grand plan being led by Channel 4 to launch a second national digital radio multiplex finally collapsed last week when C4 confirmed they were pulling out.

In an interview with the Guardian, Myers says he always knew Channel 4 Radio would never get off the ground, but adds that doesn't necessarily mean DAB is doomed. He told the paper: "Everyone knew it wasn't going to happen except Channel 4. I always said there was more chance of me losing 10 stone than Channel 4 launching, and I still think there is more chance of me losing 10 stone. They got into it for the right reasons, and I applaud them for that, but they probably hung on for grim death too long after the game was up".

"But it doesn't mean to say that DAB is dead" he says more optimistically, before adding: "The next six months are going to be incredibly important in terms of deciding the digital future and the platform for the future of radio. We are at a critical stage. There has to be a rethink about how DAB is going to work. It is a hugely complicated process but I am confident we can find one".

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WORD BOSS TELLS MAGAZINE OWNERS TO GO AUDIO
Development Hell's David Hepworth has said magazine owners should stop dabbling with terrible video services, and enhance their online editions by exploring audio. Observing that many magazine's online video extras just look like "cheap telly", he said publishers wanting to do multimedia should look into doing more audio, which can be done well on a low budget.

According to the Press Gazette, Hepworth, a former EMAP chief and now boss of The Word and Mixmag, told a British Society Of Magazine Editors debate in London this week: "Magazines still produce a lot of video that looks like cheap telly. Audio is the most flexible, direct way of communicating complicated, subtle things to people. There's immense talent within magazines that can be turned towards that. There's a huge opportunity for magazine companies".

That said, the Creative Director of contract publishers Redwood, Paul Kurjeza, said video was still the way to go, observing: "We are moving to a totally screen-based medium and we need to change our skills. The quicker audiences engage with screen-based interactive media the better. We need to move to screen-based media that's interactive. As designers and editors, that's a profound shift".

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HOMELESS MAN FINDS MCCARTNEY'S HEAD
A homeless chap called Anthony Silva has found Paul McCartney's head in a bin at Reading train station. Well, not really his head, but a waxwork of it, which was left on a train last week by Joby Carter, who had been transporting the object to auction.

The nice thing is that Silva has been able to claim a œ2k reward for finding it. "It's just what I need and I hope my luck has changed for the better", he told the Daily Star. Carter, on the other hand, has been left to hope that the head will make a reasonable amount of cash to make up what he spent on the reward. "I'll be gutted if it only goes for peanuts now", he admitted, but added: "With the interest we've had I'm confident it may go for more than £10,000".

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KEANE CHAP ON BLAND ACCUSATIONS
Keane chap Tom Chaplin has spoken out against critics who called the band's music bland. "I don't like the tag of being seen as bland because you can't really listen to our music and think that, so it is frustrating," he said. "I love the fact that [first single off latest album 'Perfect Symmetry'] 'Spiralling' was the first track we had done that really divided opinion. It was such a bold thing musically that you couldn't sit on the fence".

He continued: "Freshness is great - too many bands sit around and stagnate and I don't think that could ever really satisfy us as we are always evolving. Bands like Radiohead and Goldfrapp are constantly changing their sound and it's great to be in that select group of people".

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AMY WINEHOUSE COMPARED HUBBY TO MANDELA
To be honest, I don't think she was implying that Blake Fielder Civil has achieved as much in his life as Nelson Mandela, but she did compare him to the former South African president at his 90th birthday celebrations this year, according to Gordon Brown. Whether he can be trusted or not, I'm not so sure, he is, after all, a politician.

Anyway, according to The Sun, Brown said: "As he [Mandela] looked at the concert I had this responsibility of explaining to him, as she came on stage, who Amy Winehouse was. And so I was, um, it took a bit of time to tell the full story. Then Amy Winehouse was saying to her friends, 'You know, Nelson Mandela and my husband have a great deal in common - both of them have spent a great deal of time in prison'. And then when people were singing at the end that great song, 'Free Nelson Mandela', she was actually singing, 'free Blakey my fella'".

Of course, Mandela's 27 years in prison was all to do with fighting apartheid and associated heroics. Fielder-Civil's 27 months is for GBH and perverting the course of justice.

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ROBBIE HAUNTED BY LITTLE & LARGE
Robbie Williams has recently ended a plague of recurring dreams involving 80s comedy duo Little & Large by calling Syd Little and asking him to leave him alone. Or something like that.

Little told Lancashire radio station Central Radio: "I couldn't believe it when Robbie rang me up and I just thought it was Bobby Davro winding me up doing an impression. But then he explained that he'd been talking to Jonathan Wilkes [who had done some charity work with Little] and I realised the call was genuine. Robbie then went on to say that he had recurring dreams, almost nightmares, which involved Little and Large but, now that he'd spoken to me, the dream had been broken".

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