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TODAY'S NEWS

More EMI nonsense

Rick rolls the EMAs, Britney and Obama triumph
Hall And Oates sue Warner/Chappell
Arrest warrant out for Mos Def
"Stop mucking about": Spector trial update
British women sues Bon Jovi over golf buggy attack
Ginger Baker offers to strip for judge
Hip hop won the US election, says Dizzee
Will.i.am's Barack vid delayed
Deadmau5 defends "all DJs are fucking cunts" comment
EP review: Lemar - If She Knew (SonyBMG/Epic Records)
It's the CMU/MUZU Most Watched Indie Chart
Jackson musical to hit West End, young Michael sought
Tunstall joins fellow Scots on homelessness campaign
Brian May dropped from GNR album
Blur reunion "very possible"
Grohl to appear on new Prodigy album
MC Ren to release new album
Single review: Asobi Seksu - Me & Mary (One Little Indian)
Razorlight on the roof
Animal Collective UK tour dates
I Like Trains Xmas EP & tour dates
Rex The Dog tour dates
Album review: Death Of A Neighbourhood - Death Of A Neighbourhood (ATIC)
Sony to drop the BMG at Christmas
Will MTV digital chief run MySpace Music?
Live Nation profits up
Seatwave says secondary transactions up
DF makes loss, but positive about position
Belgium court reaffirm Scarlet
Norway Ombudsman attacks Apple again
HMV launch MP3 store
Metropolis get new MD
UTV critical of Channel 4's DAB withdrawal
Kelis sex tape gossip
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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FRIDAY 7TH NOVEMBER

A.HUMAN
A.Human's mix of pulsing synths, groovy bass lines and razor sharp guitars provide the perfect backdrop for vocalist Dave Human's psycho-monologues, which tackle such universal topics as women with knives for hands and men with deer heads. The band released their debut album, 'The Third Hand Prophesy' in June this year via Wall Of Sound, and launched with a phenomenal live set at CMU Social. The band's latest single, 'Pacey Singer', was released in September.

The band will be performing live at this month's Twisted Licks at the Last Days Of Decadence in Shoreditch tonight, alongside The Long Blondes' Kate Jackson (DJ set), Dave Haslam (DJ set), Underground Railroad and My Tiger My Timing. More info here.

Frontman Dave Human told us about the band.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
It started mostly by accident and turned into a situation we all felt comfortable with. A lot like crying.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Treason, gambling debts, caravans, guns, lying, laughing, stubble, hearts full of darkness, deserts, beauty, anger, love, loss, smoking, cat flaps and truncheons.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We spin each other round until we're giddy, then we run through a darkened corridor trying to find the light switch. The person who finds the light switch first gets to choose the BPM.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Phats And Small, Basshunter, Talking Heads, Pulp, The Smiths, Deerhoof (for Kay) and loads of things.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Sorry! I know we have problems, we have no right inflicting it on the rest of the world... Oh! You're enjoying it! Continue onwards then, dear friend.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your album, and for the future?
Well we have a Christmas song coming out that people will be able to download for free. It's a proper Christmas song, too. We are giving a little something back to this ever wonderful and changing planet. Keep an eye on our MySpace and you will see it soon.

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

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: 100% Dynamite! at Cafe 1001
Soul Jazz Records have been running 100% Dynamite for around a decade, and big hitters who've played there include Horace Andy, Gilles Peterson, Ashley Beedle, David Holmes and Marc Mac. Having moved from the Electrowerkz to this place near the Brick Lane's Truman Brewery, this is an all day sesh. 3-5pm will be a bit of a warm up and the kids are invited. Then the Soul Jazz Sound System, with MC Oxman and possibly Warrior Queen, will crank it up from 5 till close. If you're looking for some dub, reggae, soul, soca and bad ass beats and even jungle vibes on the Sabbath - then look no further. And it's FREE ! And you can even buy second-hand reggae records from those nice SJ people. Food is also available, including vegan options - it is an arthouse Eastend Cafe after all.

Sunday 9 Nov, 3pm-11am, Cafe 1001, Dray Walk, off Brick Lane, London. E1 6SE, free, info at www.souljazzrecords.co.uk

 
 

 



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.

 

 

OFFICE SPACE IN SHOREDITCH, AVAILABLE FROM JANUARY
Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates. Includes heating, water and electrics. Available from January 2009 for minimum of six months. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

 

 

MORE EMI NONSENSE
The newish boss of EMI Music, Elio Leoni-Sceti, who took over as CEO of the major's recorded music business back in July, is expected to reveal his plans for restructuring the company later today.

Some of you might have thought there'd already been quite a bit of restructuring at the struggling major - there's certainly been plenty of job cuts - but there's still lots of revamping to come apparently. According to the Financial Times, Leoni-Sceti will tell his staff today that the major "is still in the very early stages of its renaissance" while adding "the road ahead will not be smooth or easy". Whether or not that means more job losses I'm not sure.

On the upside, Leoni-Sceti will precede his latest restructuring announcement by reporting that the major's recorded music business made £59 million in the first half of the current financial year, compared to the £14 million loss made in the first half of the previous year, so that's good. The turn around has been brought about by both cost reductions and more profitable releases, apparently. Given just how bad the previous financial year was for EMI (as revealed in that recent report by EMI Group parent company, Terra Firma's Maltby Capital), presumably this year had to be an improvement, but for those EMIers who have been through difficult times this last year, confirmation that at least it's resulted in a profit will presumably produce some smiles.

As for the restructure, well, according to the FT, recorded music will be split into three distinct global business units - new music, catalogue and music services. I think 'music services' includes all the marketing and promotions units which had already become a separate division following an earlier restructure which saw A&R and marketing activities split.

The catalogue division will be headed up by Ernesto Schmitt - we know this because EMI announced his appointment yesterday. Schmitt is another non-music business appointment, he was most recently Group Development Director for the company that owns Currys and PC World. Confirming that appointment, Leoni-Sceti told reporters: "Ernesto is a growth manager, with a passion for music, who likes to build businesses and use technology to improve the consumer experience. He has a background in both the music and retail sectors, and has built his own internet businesses from scratch. With his proven leadership skills, he will be a key player in our mission to help our artists strengthen their relationship with fans and build innovative new models and channels".

Despite this year proving to be profitable for EMI so far, and Leoni-Sceti's insistence that the restructuring instigated by him and Terra Firma chief Guy Hands, and the appointment of men like Schmitt, mean the major is now in its strongest position for years, some question whether the major's new guard haven't so far ignored the company's biggest weakness - a lack of good bankable artists. Although new A&R chief Nick Gatfield is now in place, has all the culling and turmoil at EMI since Terra Firma took over left the major with a roster deficiency leaving Gatfield and his team playing catch up?

EMI execs on both the business and creative side would no doubt disagree, but the FT quote the boss of media and net analysts Enders Analysis, Claire Enders, who thinks Hands et al have undervalued the importance of talent in the record business. Noting that some of EMI's biggest upcoming releases are Tom Jones and Sarah Brightman albums and a Coldplay special edition, she says: "The longest term problem is EMI's creative problem. If you do not provide attractive new music you cannot generate significant income out of digital downloads and ringtones. Tom Jones and Sarah Brightman are not going to set the world alight. There is nobody to dispute the company has done the bravest of cost-cutting in the music industry but new music investment is systematically a failure. They can solve every cost problem on earth and they will still have the biggest problem".

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RICK ROLLS THE EMAS, BRITNEY AND OBAMA TRIUMPH
As you may perhaps be aware, the MTV Europe Music Awards took place last night in Liverpool last night, hosted by Katy Perry.

The biggest winners on the night were Britney Spears, who took two awards, Act Of 2008 and the Album Of The Year award for 'Blackout', and the US band 30 Seconds To Mars, who got the Rock Out award and the Best Video Star awards.

As suggested in the headline, the lovely Rick Astley won the Best Act Ever award, but didn't turn up to collect it. I hope it's not because he's embarrassed or something. Come to think of it, Britney didn't turn up either, but sent a message via videotape. Astley's award was accepted on his behalf by gossip blog irritant Perez Hilton.

Paul McCartney, on the other hand, turned up to receive that previously reported special for-being-Paul-McCartney award. Responding to an obsequious introduction from Bono, who presented the gong, the former Beatle said "I don't know what to do after an introduction like that", then went on to thank "my mates Ringo, George and John" before adding "Many years ago, four little boys were born here in Liverpool and we went on to do quite well. So thanks, as I say, to all my family, to all of you for coming along, everyone in Liverpool, everyone in Britain, everyone in America - for voting in Mr Obama. I love you!"

And it was, in fact, Mr Obama who received some of the biggest cheers of the night. 30 Seconds To Mars' Jared Leto at one point asked the crowd to stand in honour of the president elect, saying "Liverpool, let's hear it for Barack Obama", and provoking rapturous applause. Perry responded "Maybe Europe will love us again now". Maybe. Live performances on the night came from host Perry, who also won the New Act Award, as well as from Beyonce, Kanye West and Estelle, The Killers, Pink, Take That, The Ting Tings, Duffy and Kid Rock.

Here is a list of winners:

Most Addictive Track: Pink - So What

Headliner (Best Live Performance): Tokio Hotel

Rock Out: 30 Seconds to Mars

Best Album: Britney Spears - Blackout

New Act: Katy Perry

Best Video Star: 30 Seconds To Mars

Best Act Ever: Rick Astley

Ultimate Urban: Kanye West

Artists' Choice: Lil' Wayne

Act of 2008: Britney Spears

Ultimate Legend: Sir Paul McCartney

Europe's Favourite Act: Emre Aydin (Turkey)

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HALL AND OATES SUE WARNER/CHAPPELL
Daryl Hall and John Oates, as in Hall And Oates, obviously, have filed a lawsuit against major publisher Warner/Chappell in the US over their failure to take legal action in relation to an unidentified but presumably unapproved 2006 cover version of their song 'Maneater'.

The pop duo say they only discovered the cover version existed in April 2007, and that their publisher acted "in bad faith" by not taking legal action in relation to it. They want damages from the Warner owned publisher and are also asking the court to terminate their contract with the pubbery.

Warner are yet to respond.

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ARREST WARRANT OUT FOR MOS DEF
There is reportedly an arrest warrant out for rather fine rapper Mos Def after an altercation with a photographer in Las Vegas earlier this year. The Associated Press reports that LA-based photographer Volker Corell claims the rapper, real name Dante Terrell Smith, lashed out at him at the Men's Apparel And Garment Industry Convention in Vegas earlier this year, at which Corell was a fully authorised photographer. He says he has four photos taken as Smith went for him, showing the rapper trying to grab the camera. Said camera was broken, Corell alleges, while he also injured his hand. Police are presumably keen to question Smith about the allegations.

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"STOP MUCKING ABOUT": SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
The latest witness called by the prosecution in the Phil Spector re-trial didn't prove overly useful to the case against the legendary producer by contradicting the testimony given by the preceding witness.

Spector, of course, is accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in 2003, he contends she shot herself. The prosecution have been busy lining up other women who claim to have been attacked or threatened by Spector in the past, and the first one to take to the stand this time was Dorothy Melvin, Joan Rivers' former manager.

As previously reported, Melvin retold how one night in 1993 while alone with the producer at his home in Pasadena, Spector had turned nasty, turned a gun on her, pistol-whipped her, refused to hand over her purse, and then chased her off his property. Although Melvin didn't press charges, she did ask local police for help in retrieving her purse.

One of the policemen involved was next on the witness stand - Sgt Chris Russ. He confirmed that he and a colleague had been called out to help Melvin. Describing the call out as "something of a domestic incident", he recalled how Spector, then Melvin's girlfriend, "had displayed a gun and kept her purse". But, importantly, he claims he saw no bruises on Melvin, and adds that he does not recall her claiming to have been pistol whipped at the time. Asked by Spector's defence attorney Doron Weinberg "you never observed any injuries, did you?", according to the AP Russ responded: "No, I didn't". Weinberg added: "You don't recall her saying anything about being hit with a gun?", to which Russ responded: "No, I don't".

Russ continued that Spector was wearing a shoulder holster when they went to his house, and that they saw a shotgun there. When the producer became "agitated and aggressive", they handcuffed him and called a supervisor. The purse was eventually retrieved which brought an end to the incident because Melvin didn't press charges. Melvin previously explained she didn't want the potential bad publicity for her and Rivers that pressing charges against Spector might result in.

Weinberg is keen to convince the jury that the prosecution is exaggerating stories of past altercations between Spector and others to incorrectly show him as a violent man (rather than just a bad tempered man), and that they are selecting only those involving women in a bid to portray him as being a misogynist. He'll therefore have been happy that Russ' testimony questioned certain details of Melvin's previous claims.

The prosecution's next witness was more useful - a return to the stand for another woman with a grim Spector story to tell. Another ex-girlfriend, Devra Robitaille again recalled how Spector had pointed a gun at her when she once tried to leave a party at the producer's home. She told the court: "I was standing in the foyer and when I turned he had a gun pointed at my temple ... it stopped me cold. I didn't know what to do".

Asked how she felt during the altercation, Robitaille continued: "Outraged and disrespected ... he was shouting at me different permutations of, 'I'll blow your head off, blow your brains out'". The British born woman said she diffused the situation by "becoming British" and telling him to "stop mucking about". Like Melvin, she continued to see and work for Spector after the incident. Flowers and apologies followed, she said, adding: "There was more good than bad. It was interesting and exciting and for the most part Mr Spector was a good guy. I put it aside".

The case continues - though not till next Wednesday. For some reason they all get a break.

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BRITISH WOMEN SUES BON JOVI OVER GOLF BUGGY ATTACK
Not only are they facing a song-stealing lawsuit that is seeking $400 billion in damages, now Bon Jovi have been sued by a British woman who alleges she was deliberately run over by one of the band's entourage while working at their Milton Keynes Bowl concert in 2006.

Sally Allen was security supervisor at the venue when the incident took place. In legal papers filed at Oxford County Court, she says she was stopping people going backstage after a fire broke out in the VIP area. But Kevin McDonnell, a member of the band's personal security team, wasn't impressed when he was refused access. He reportedly told Allen: "I don't care about your emergency situation. Get out of my way, you fucking whore. Do you know who I am? You can't fucking stop me". He sounds like a lovely bloke. I don't suppose it's all that surprising he then drove the golf buggy he was in at the time over Allen, or at least that's what she claims. She says she suffered a fractured knee, ligament damage and severe internal injuries.

Allen is suing both Bon Jovi and their security company for trespass to the person and negligence, and is seeking £250,000 in compensation and damages. The band deny involvement in or liability for the incident - it's thought McDonnell is no longer employed by them.

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GINGER BAKER OFFERS TO STRIP FOR JUDGE
Drummer extraordinaire and sometime member of Cream, Ginger Baker, has said that he is prepared to strip in court in order to convince a South African court that a woman accused of defrauding him is guilty.

Baker, who now lives in South Afria, claims that bank clerk Lindiwe Noko robbed him of £30,000 after he hired her to look after his finances. She claims that the couple were in a relationship an that he gave her the money as a gift.

Baker told The Guardian: "I've a scar that only a woman who had a thing with me would know. It's there and she doesn't know it's there. I'm quite prepared to strip. It may well come down to it".

The case will be heard in January.

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HIP HOP WON THE US ELECTION, SAYS DIZZEE
Dizzee Rascal told BBC Newsnight on Wednesday that hip hop was behind Barack Obama's triumph in the US presidential elections this week.

Speaking to Jeremy Paxman, Dizzee said: "I don't think he could have won it without hip hop. Hip hop is what encouraged the youth to get involved in voting and making the place better. And he's the first president to embrace it".

Asked about his opinions on British politics, he said: "I don't know if I care". Paxman then asked him if he'd consider trying to become Prime Minister. Dizzee responded: "See, that's a very good idea. I might have to do that one day. Dizzee Rascal for prime minister, yeah!"

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WILL.I.AM'S BARACK VID DELAYED
The release of a new video by Will.I.AM celebrating Barack Obama's election victory got delayed by a couple of days. 'It's A New Day' was supposed to get its first airing on 5 Nov, but will now debut on The Oprah Winfrey Show today. The Black Eyed Pea has of course been a consistently outspoken supporter of the president elect over the course of his campaign, previously releasing a video in which fellow music celebrities sang the words of Obama's famous 'Yes We Can' speech.

Will.I.Am says of the new track: "This was inspired by America. It's about Obama winning, and really paying tribute to those people who are responsible for that happening, and that's the American people".

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DEADMAU5 DEFENDS "ALL DJS ARE FUCKING CUNTS" COMMENT
Canadian producer Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, has defended comments he made in an interview with the Irish Daily Star newspaper last month, saying that they have been taken out of context.

Zimmerman said in the interview: "[DJs are] fucking cunts. I don't really see the technical merit in playing two songs at the same speed together. [They are] my number one customer, right, so I'm not gonna go diss every fucking DJ. But to say you become this massive... performer by playing other people's productions at the same speed as someone else's productions and fading between the two of them, I don't get it".

In a post on his blog this week, he responded to a torrent of criticism of this outburst in various corners of the internet. He wrote: "I could only have imagined people would read into it so much and miss the point completely... My [perception] of DJ's in general from this standpoint has always been being forced into some nightclub when I would have rather stayed home, and watch some dude mash the 'play / stop' button and occasionally move a pitch slider... Mind you, I'm not a total fucking idiot, and I recognise talent when I see it and there are many talented DJs out there for sure... Okay, to say 'all DJs are...' etc etc, to be taken literally, as this article did, was just painfully stupid and wrong on their behalf. So, I'm not the world's most eloquent person, any idiot can tell you that. But the meaning behind the statement was the concept that I recognise as being a 'disc jockey'".

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EP REVIEW: Lemar - If She Knew (SonyBMG/Epic Records)
It's been six years since the general public famously refused to vote Lemar the winner of 'Fame Academy'. However, in that space of time, he has managed to win those people over with his soul rhythms and sultry vocals to become a recording artist in his own right, and also fight off the 'reality TV' stigma. As a comeback single and the first release from his fourth album, 'The Reason', 'If She Knew' is a dependable and steady R&B track. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it's easy to sing along to, makes for a good heartfelt love song, and Lemar's voice will have the toughest of girls going weak at the knees. A good decent effort from Lemar, though not really one to that's going to replace the likes of 'If There's Justice' or 'It's Not That Easy' as a fans' favourite. SD
Release Date: 10 Nov
Press Contact: Hyperlaunch [O] Epic IH [RP, RR, NP, NR]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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IT'S THE CMU/MUZU MOST WATCHED INDIE CHART
Here it is, brand new to CMU, and set to feature here in the CMU Daily each and every Friday, a guide to the most watched and most highly rated videos from independent artists as watched on MUZU. Click the artist name to check out their MUZU channel for yourself, or watch all the videos for yourself in the Indie Chart playlist on the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube

1. Basshunter - Angel In The Night (Live) (Ministry/Hard2beat)
2. Axwel & Bob Sinclair - What A Wonderful World (Defected)
3. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo (Rubyworks)
4. Platnum - Love Shy (Ministry/Hard2beat)
5. Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit (Ministry/Flamingo)
6. Roots Manuva - Witness 1 Hope (Ninja Tune/ Big Dada)
7. Blackout Crew - Put A Donk On It (All Around The World)
8. The Cake Sale - Some Suprise (Oxjam Records)
9. N-Force - All My Life (All Around The World)
10. Cascada - Because The Night (All Around The World)
11. Evil Nine - They Live! (Marine Parade)
12. Roses Kings Castles - Entroubled (360 Degree)
13. N-Dubz - Ouch (All Around The World)
14. The Futureheads - The Beginning Of The Twist (Nul Records)
15. Utah Saints - Something Good (Ministry Of Sound)
16. Stereo MCs - Gringo (Graffiti)
17. Heathers - Remember When (MUZU Session) (Hide Away Records)
18. This Devils Yours - Cities2 (Big Blue Music)
19. Star Assassin - Hey Kid (Blue Pie)
20. Trentemoller – Moan (Poker Flat)

YOU'VE GOT TO BE IN IT TO WIN IT: Every video from artists signed to independent labels, or who is unsigned or self-releasing, are counted in the CMU/MUZU Most Watched Indie Chart. All you need to do to be in with a chance of charting is make sure your tunes are available on the MUZU network. Full details of how this works are available at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube, click the 'Get Playlisted' button.

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JACKSON MUSICAL TO HIT WEST END, YOUNG MICHAEL SOUGHT
Good news for folks that like West End musicals based on the oeuvre of pop acts, because a Michael Jackson show is set to open at London's Shaftesbury Theatre in January, having already toured Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. 'Thriller Live', presented by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music and Sony Music Entertainment UK in case you wondered, will feature the songs of Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, and I presume takes Michael Jackson's story as the basis for its narrative, because the producers are currently looking for a young boy who can sing like Michael Jackson to take on the starring role.

Here's what the press release says: "The producers are launching a major hunt to find an young undiscovered talent to sing the songs of the young Michael Jackson in the show, which will open on January 2 at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Are you a young black, African American or dual heritage boy aged 11 - 15 with an excellent unbroken pop/rock voice with a high range, who is exciting, confident and energetic? If you've got what it takes, open auditions are being held on Sunday November 23 at the Lyric Theatre in the West End. Just turn up to register from 10.30am with a passport-style photo and CV or details of any performing experience if you have it. You must be prepared to sing either 'Ben', 'I Want You Back' or 'I'll Be There'".

Open auditions aside, I think we can expect lots of other Jacko related nonsense to tie in with the new musical. Paul Curran, COO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK, said: "The show is a celebration of one of the greatest music catalogues in history. We are thrilled to be involved and there are obviously many promotional and marketing opportunities between the show and our catalogue".

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TUNSTALL JOINS FELLOW SCOTS ON HOMELESSNESS CAMPAIGN
Singer KT Tunstall is the latest Scottish music star to join a campaign by homeless charity Shelter to find the top song that reminds Scots of home. Her choice is 'Getting Some Fun Out of Life' by Billie Holiday, of which she said: "It's the sound of a warm kitchen with a pot on the stove, a bottle of red wine open, and a dance with a good man. I love putting it on my old record player".

Other music types to have nominated their tracks include Calvin Harris and Colin Newton of Idlewild fame. Harris chose 'Too Young To Die' by Jamiroquai, saying "It was the first record I ever bought and I have vivid memories of crouching down in front of my mum's tape player in Dumfries to listen to it".

Newton picked The Proclaimers' hit '500 Miles'. He says of the track: "Every time we hear '500 Miles', it brings us back. We have sung it in karaoke bars from Texas to Japan. It's an unofficial national anthem".

I'm not entirely sure how all this helps Shelter's latest campaign, which aims to end homelessness by 2012, but Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown says they'll use the list of songs to help put pressure on politicians. He's quoted as saying "We have an internationally acclaimed homelessness target to meet in 2012 and we cannot afford to fail. The eyes of many nations will be on this island that year, and not just because of the Olympics. Many nations have already shown an interest in our forward-thinking legislation and we must show it can work".

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BRIAN MAY DROPPED FROM GNR ALBUM
Brian May's contributions to a track on the new Guns N' Roses album has been dropped. The Queen guitarist recorded guitar parts for a track on 'Chinese Democracy' called 'Catcher In The Rye' almost ten years ago, but has now revealed that he will not appear on the track.

In an online Q&A, in which May's removal from the track came up, May said: "Well, it is a shame, perhaps... I did put quite a lot of work in, and was proud of it, but I could understand if Axl wants to have an album which reflects the work of the members of the band as it is right now".

As previously reported, 'Chinese Democracy' is set for release on 24 Nov. Though there is still time to Axl to cancel the whole thing and start again. Depends how much he likes Dr Pepper I suppose.

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BLUR REUNION "VERY POSSIBLE"
I wish Damon Albarn would make up his bloody mind. It was only in September that he was telling us that "Blur is over", but now he's said that a Blur reunion is "very possible".

In a new interview with BBC Newsbeat, Albarn revealed that he and Graham Coxon have been spending time together recently and have overcome their differences. He said: "It's very possible I'll go back to Blur, it really is very possible. The truth be known, Graham and I have been hanging out together a bit. We had lunch the other day. He's great, it's fantastic to get my old friend back. So it's good but I can't really say any more than that".

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GROHL TO APPEAR ON NEW PRODIGY ALBUM
David Grohl is continuing his quest to drum on at least one song by every band in the world ever by appearing on the new Prodigy album, 'Invaders Must Die', on a track called 'Run With Wolves'.

The Prodigy's Liam Howlett told The NME: "Dave emailed me, asking what I was up to and asked if he could send some stuff. He laid down a week's worth of drums, we got really inspired by it. We did some more work and over the internet it all came together".

'Invaders Must Die' is due for release in March next year via the band's own Take Me To The Hospital label.

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MC REN TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM
NWA founder member MC Ren has confirmed that he plans to release a fifth studio album via download shortly, after staying mostly silent for the last decade. It seems that he was really pissed off with the industry, but is now prepared to lay down some tracks for his loving fans.

Speaking of his new LP, which he's been working on for a few months now, he told AllHipHop.com: "I just wanted to get back in it for my fans that love me and love the shit that I do. What I do is for them so I'm putting this album together called 'RenIncarnated'. I'm going to put it out on the internet for them".

He adamantly refuses to get involved with a label, though, despite the fact that there would be any number willing to market his work. "No. Fuck them! Fuck those labels", he says. "The only way I'll deal with a label is if they break me hella off and I have the space to do what I do. But all of that politicking and ass kissing? Naw, I ain't fucking with them or that... I could write a book on all my experiences [with labels]".

He continued: "With the internet I don't need a label to do any of that stuff. With the internet it's so easy to put shit out. Fuck labels, that's why everybody is doing their stuff on the internet, it's big! Why fuck with these bullshit labels when you can do it yourself and cut all them out? Those labels just want to take and take and take. Fuck that!"

So, er, he doesn't like labels, then.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Asobi Seksu - Me & Mary (One Little Indian)
Historically, New York City is one of the greatest places to find the best underground music scenes. It boasts Andy Warhol's old haunt Studio 54 and has been the birthplace of a long list of brilliant and innovative bands, from The Velvet Underground to more recent outfits like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Misshapes. And that's before we mention the ongoing reproduction and conception of some of the best noise-rock bands of recent years. Asobi Seksu have been releasing for just four of those; their sound is reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins and similar to that of neighbouring NYC-based band Blonde Redhead. 'Me & Mary' is a smattering mix of noisy guitars and haunting vocals from frontwoman Yuki Chikudate, and is everything you would expect from a band who have near perfected the shoegaze sound of old. A little on the predictable side but pleasant to listen to nonetheless, this is a promising taster of the band's third studio album which will be released next year. TW
Release Date: 17 Nov
Press Contact: One Little Indian IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
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RAZORLIGHT ON THE ROOF
When we heard that George here at CMU was planning on seeing Razorlight play the recently re-opened Hawley Arms in Camden tonight we wondered where they'd actually be playing in the celebrity hang out. Well, the latest gossip is that they'll play the "secret" free show on the pub's roof. Which sounds like fun. Hope it doesn't burn down this time. They are expected to play a short set with some songs from new album 'Slipway Fires'. They are due to play at 7.15pm.

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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE UK TOUR DATES
Animal Collective have announced details of a brief UK tour in January to promote the release of their new album, 'Merriweather Post Pavilion', which is out on 12 Jan.

Tour dates:

12 Jan: London, Koko
13 Jan: Glasgow School of Arts
14 Jan: Manchester, Club Academy
15 Jan: Brighton, Concorde 2

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I LIKE TRAINS XMAS EP & TOUR DATES
I Like Trains have announced details of a special Christmas EP, 'The Christmas Tree Ship', which will be released on 24 Dec and will be accompanied by a short film especially made to go with the instrumental music. In the run up to the EP's release (and Christmas) the band will play a string of UK tour dates.

Tour dates:

5 Dec: Hastings, The Crypt
6 Dec: Norwich, Arts Centre
7 Dec: Bristol, Louisiana
9 Dec: Southampton, Joiners Arms
10 Dec: London, 93 Feet East
11 Dec: Leeds, The Brudenell
13 Dec: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
14 Dec: Dundee, Dexters
15 Dec: Glasgow, King Tuts
16 Dec: Newcastle, The End

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REX THE DOG TOUR DATES
Following the release of his excellent debut album album in September, Rex The Dog has announced some live dates, which you can be sure will go off with a bang (or a bark).

Tour dates:

7 Nov: London, Hot Chip aftershow party
8 Nov: Nottingham, Stealth
14 Nov: Dublin, Spy
27 Nov: Manchster, Romp
29 Nov: London, Matter
5 Dec: London, Mixmag Xmas Party @ The Egg

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ALBUM REVIEW: Death Of A Neighbourhood - Death Of A Neighbourhood (ATIC)
'Death Of A Neighbourhood' is an album that stands on the edge of a precipice looking down upon the havoc below, and upon doing so takes out its notepad. It sees the modern world as it is now drowning in a decadent, self-absorbed moral void, where negative tabloid culture rules and the self-centred, whining celebrity is our daily bread. When you put this into perspective you reach one conclusion: the death of the neighbourhood. Stephen Jones (of Babybird fame), doing his best to bridge the gap between a 'Dispatches' documentary and socially conscious music, follows the billowing confusion of this 'death' and the result is something really quite bizarre. Often haunting in a disturbingly cinematic way, this album is an extraordinarily crafted piece of musical theatre, from the twisted and dark 'Cokeholes', to the beautiful, mesmeric 'Bruised Brain', it never fails to make you think. What Jones does so well is create something that is often quite difficult to listen to but rewarding at the same time. Contempt towards the listener is a vital organ of the album; we are harangued by distorted voices, yelps and even burps; the noises are often the most intriguing part of the track as it whisks the listener away to Jones' darkened, hazy view of the world. Lyrically, it is splendidly perverse with such magnificent lines as "I've got a straw stuck up my ass saying 'Where's the coke?'''; it's hard not to find some source of visual enjoyment. In places it is thoroughly enjoyable and is both beautiful and disturbing in equal measure. 'Death Of A Neighbourhood' however does border the line between being atmospheric and almost too cinematic which at times can take some perseverance to reap the benefits. SJS
Release Date: 10 Nov
Press: Outpost [all]

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SONY TO DROP THE BMG AT CHRISTMAS
It's official everybody, SonyBMG is no more. Sony Corp chief Howard Stringer told his staff yesterday that, having bought German media firm Bertelsmann out of the joint venture record company, SonyBMG would become Sony Music Entertainment as of January. So, new business cards all round then. Former BMG boss Rolf Schmidt-Holtz will stay on as Sony Music boss though, so the legacy of the former BMG record company lives on even if its name doesn't.

Stringer's memo added: "As we approach the end of this calendar year I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the very effective and united effort you have all put into making SonyBMG Music Entertainment a full operating, business and creative partner within Sony Corporation". Don't mention it Howard. I'm not sure I did anything, but thanks for the thanks anyway.

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WILL MTV DIGITAL CHIEF RUN MYSPACE MUSIC
Everyone seems to think that MTV's Chief Of Digital Music, Courtney Holt, is about to become the CEO of the only slightly controversial MySpace Music. In fact, C-Net are reporting Holt has told friends he has accepted the job, though its thought he is yet to actually sign on the dotted line.

As previously reported, MySpace set up a separate company to operate its expanded music service, which launched in the US recently. Part of the reason for that was that it allowed them to give the major record companies an equity stake in the enterprise, which helped secure their involvement. Despite its launch, the social networking firm is yet to appoint a chief for the new company.

Assuming the MTV man gets the job, one of his first tasks will be to placate the indie label community, some of whom have hit out at MySpace's refusal to offer them the kind of equity deal offered to the majors. Whether he's up to that job remains to be seen - some in the indie community will note that before MTV Holt was a Universal Music exec, which may mean he naturally leans towards the majors, and the biggest of the majors in particular. None of which will reassure them much.

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LIVE NATION PROFITS UP
Live music conglom Live Nation has reported a third-quarter net income of $139.9 million, which is up from a profit of $46.1 million in the same quarter last year. So, well done them. The profit boost was aided by higher concert attendance, some profitable sponsorship deals and the sale of the company's motor sports division.

Delivering his figures to investors, Live Nation top man Michael Rapino said he was optimistic about the future of the live music sector despite the credit crunch: "The concert industry continued to grow during the third quarter in spite of the economic downturn. We are carefully monitoring attendance trends, given the recession but thus far we have not seen any major impact".

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SEATWAVE SAYS SECONDARY TRANSACTIONS UP
Backing up that optimistic view on the live music sector, secondary ticketing firm Seatwave, the largest fan-to-fan ticket exchange in Europe I'm told, has said the resale of tickets online continues to grow despite the recession. This will be received with mixed feelings by concert promoters. The fact people are still paying hiked up prices for tickets on ticket exchange websites shows there is still an appetite to pay to see bands play live. But given the general dislike of ticket reselling among promoters, they won't be so happy to hear that the secondary ticketing market is on the up.

Seatwave say that their ticket exchange service was used for 104% more transactions in quarter three than quarter one, and that music accounted for the more of that growth than other areas like theatre and sport. That, they say, is both a sign that they are themselves are becoming an increasingly trusted place for ticket exchange, but also that the appetite for gig tickets is as strong as ever.

Seatwave founder and CEO Joe Cohen told CMU: "These figures clearly demonstrate the explosive growth Seatwave has experienced across Europe. With the number of repeat buyers and sellers almost trebling, the secondary market is quite clearly filling a genuine customer demand. Our open marketplace is lowering prices, increasing transparency and providing greater choice and opportunity for true fans of music, theatre, comedy and sports".

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DF MAKES LOSS, BUT POSITIVE ABOUT POSITION
More live music financials, and Scottish live firm DF Concerts, the people behind T In The Park among other things, have reported a £1.09 million loss for the last financial year (which ended in March), which compares to a £42K profit the previous year. However, DF boss Geoff Ellis says those bottom line figures don't properly represent the firm's year, which has been pretty positive, and involved lots of long term expenditure.

Ellis: "We've made considerable and necessary investments this year to ensure the future success and development of the company. The outlay to establish Connect in year one was significant but there were other costs as well, including investment in our infrastructure and a new accounting system, which will strengthen our business going into 2009. The figures posted were expected and don't obviously represent how positive this year has actually been for us. Gig going figures in Scotland remain similar to last year and are as robust as ever. As we'd also projected, our sister company, Big Day Out is performing very well and our core shows, such as T in the Park, remain profitable and strong".

He concluded: "The nature of our business is cyclical and the next year is going to be a fantastic one - it's already particularly busy, with an increase in big-name artists touring the country, such as Take That. We've already planned a brilliant programme of massive stadium gigs and impressive shows for the coming months, which will excite music fans throughout Scotland. We feel very confident and positive about the year ahead".

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BELGIUM COURT REAFFIRM SCARLET
So, some confusion regarding the latest developments in the ongoing dispute between Belgian royalty collecting society Sabam and internet service provider Scarlet.

As previously reported, Sabam claimed that Scarlet, previously Tiscali Belgium, were not doing enough to stop copyright violation being committed on their servers, and successfully sued to that effect in the Brussels courts. The ISP argued, as ISPs usually do, that they couldn't be held responsible for the actions of their customers, but the court disagreed. They were told they'd be fined 2500 euros for every day they failed to introduce acceptable technical measures to combat file sharing.

Scarlet have been appealing the ruling and the fine and there were reports they'd been successful. However, Sabam have issued a statement saying that the concession the ISP has won relates to when the daily fine should start. The court admitted the original ruling was too demanding on how quickly P2P blockers could be introduced. But, Sabam says, the actual ruling still stands, and the daily fine will resume from this week.

They said in a statement: "Scarlet may have won some extra time, but the Sword of Damocles is still hanging over its head. If Scarlet fails to comply with the court order to prevent P2P infringements by its users in the lead up to the appeal hearing in October 2009, it could still have to pay penalties amounting to some one million euros. The recent judgment provides clear guidance for Scarlet, suggesting that it should consider all potential solutions in order to reach the sought-after goal and should work out an objective and reliable procedure to implement them, if necessary combining them".

The ISP's appeal of the actual ruling continues.

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NORWAY OMBUDSMAN ATTACKS APPLE AGAIN
More doom and gloom for the technology sector in relation to music. Consumer rights officials in Norway have again demanded Apple open up its digital music offer so that iTunes users are no longer locked to the iPod and vice versa.

As much previously reported, Apple has come in for much criticism, especially in mainland Europe, because no one other than iTunes can sell DRMed tracks that work on an iPod, and DRMed tracks bought from the market leader download store only play on the Apple device.

This is less of an issue since the major record companies allowed their music to be sold without digital rights management, because DRM-free MP3s, which many iTunes rivals are starting to sell, do work on the iPod. However, Apple itself does not sell DRM-free music from all majors (mainly because some won't let it), and when it does sell DRM-free music (from EMI artists for example) it still provides tracks in the AAC format which many non-Apple digital music players can't play.

It is to this end that the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon yesterday demanded once again that Apple formerly respond to his previous statements regarding the incompatibility of the firm's music products and services, threatening to take the matter further if they fail to do so.

Apple are yet to respond, though if they do they may well shift the blame on to those record companies who are holding off providing their music without digital rights management to the market leader download store, saying that that is the issue, rather than their own unwillingness to open up their proprietary music technologies to competitors.

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HMV LAUNCH MP3 STORE
Talking of Apple's MP3 selling competitors, HMV yesterday launched its MP3 store, which carries DRM-free content from EMI, Universal and indie labels. Like Play.com, who launched their MP3 offer earlier this year (and who now have all four majors on board), HMV are playing with price point in a bid to win a share of the market, offering tracks for 69p rather that the industry standard 79p.

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METROPOLIS GET NEW MD
London studios Metropolis have announced they have recruited Universal Music's Director Of Audiovisual Ian Brenchley as their new MD.

Confirming his new job, Brenchley said he was excited about joining the studios, and keen to promote their 'one stop shop' service. He told reporters: "I have always been frustrated that no one company could offer me all the services I need under one roof, now, finally, Metropolis is that company. In addition to the core studios, mastering and authoring services we provide we also have specialists that can provide the best quality in print, online tools and TV ads to name just a few of our additional services. In the current climate when financial savings are so prevalent we can provide a competitive, flexible solution for the market place coupled with an unparalleled world class facility".

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UTV CRITICAL OF CHANNEL 4'S DAB WITHDRAWEL
UTV Media has criticised Channel 4 for its previously reported dumping of its digital radio plans, in which the Belfast based telly and radio firm was a partner. They also spoke about their plans for the sale of Edinburgh talk station Talk 107.

Responding to Channel 4's withdrawal from digital audio broadcasting, and the impact it would have on the chances of their ever being a second national commercial DAB network, UTV said in a financial update: "This decision undermined the business model upon which the consortium's application was based and, consequently, it would seem unlikely that the multiplex will launch in the foreseeable future".

On Talk 107 which, as previously reported, UTV have announced they are selling, the radio firm said in the same financial report that if they can't find a buyer they'll close the station down and hand the licence back to OfCom.

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KELIS SEX TAPE GOSSIP
So, there are some rumours going around about a sex tape featuring Kelis. Which would be one thing. But the implication is that it the footage is recent - ie, since her marriage to fellow urban star Nas.

Actually, whether it's a sex tape or not is open to question. What happened was that a New York radio presenter Wendy Williams claimed to be in possession of a tape of a man filming Kelis as she slept following their sexual encounter. It's said that this man has been identified as rapper Infared, and it's also claimed that he speaks to the camera, taunting Nas by saying: "Handle your motherfucking business. I got your bitch here, she getting naked".

Infared has confirmed to Hip Hop Weekly that he once had an "encounter" with Kelis, but won't confirm whether or not he taped her, and also claims it could have happened before her marriage to Nas, but I think he's being a bit vague about it all. Trying to increase his exposure? Possibly.

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