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TODAY'S NEWS

Sharkey says councils and police misusing 2003 licensing rules

GNR leaker pleads guilty
Kaiser Chief struck down by appendicitis
Mastodon guitarist hospitalised
Spears' son had allergic reaction
Brown's family move to remove estate trustees
Eleanor Rigby document to sell for charity
NZ TV reporter quits over Pink interview
So, what's the biggest catalogue download?
EP review: Tim And Sam's Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam - Put Your Slippers On EP (Full Of Joy Records)
Eminem album now likely for early 2009 release
TCR celebrate fifteen years with special releases
Neil Tennant joins in with Killers Christmas effort
Antony And The Johnsons album news
Dan Le Sac V SP rework single
Stereophonics reunited with Cable, reveals Jones
GNR launch YouTube competition
NOISE stages networking event for young creatives
Kings Of Leon announce dates
NME Awards Tour 2009 announced
Album review: Various Artists - Be True To Your School: A Fortuna POP! Compilation (Fortuna POP!)
Warner share price hits all time low
The Orchard sees revenues boom
We7 officially launches
Live Nation's artist website company to sell major label MP3s
Back Yard launch publishing firm
NME on FM in Manchester
Walsh stands by X Factor decision
Blue boy is in the jungle
Ringo shouts at hugging fan
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 12TH NOVEMBER

CMU SOCIAL DEBRIEF
There's nothing quite like a CMU Social to raise the spirits, that's what I always say. And I'm pretty sure anyone who was at last night's will agree with me.

Having had our fair share of bands crowd on to the CMU Social stage in recent months, we decided to strip things back a bit and put two solo artists up there this month. But don't worry, we haven't gone all MOR singer-songwriter on you. We're still out their trying to find the best and most original new music we can and, indeed, we found it.


 

First up was Matt Finucane, former frontman of cult indie band Empty Vessels who, of our two acts, might have initially seemed to fit the traditional singer-songwriter mould. But that is exactly what he is challenging with his solo material, pushing that idea of one-man and his guitar to its limits. With a noticeable Lou Reed influence, his songs move between gentle laments to attacks on his guitar that teeter on a knife-edge, with song structures more akin of rock, or even jazz, and lyrics that cover everything from fairytales to literary icons. Matt pulls all this of with a suave cool and a voice that echos Jeff Buckley and Nick Cave. His debut EP, 'Episodes', is out now on Light Crude Records.

www.myspace.com/mattfinucane

Tim Ten Yen juxtaposed Matt's darker tones with sunny pop. Armed only with an iPod, a tiny keyboard (which was discarded after two songs) and a mechanical cat, he put on an engaging show that inspired dancing of many and different kinds. People were jiving, nodding, jumping, falling over and, above all, grinning. Stood on stage in a very smart suit and performing his own dance routines along with his songs, it seemed everyone in attendance was fixed with a large and unmovable smile. People don't make pop music like this anymore. In fact, I'm not sure they ever did. Tim Ten Yen's debut album, 'Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You' is out now on Pointy Records.

www.myspace.com/timtenyen

But what of the Pop Quiz, I hear you ask? Well, I've just finished tallying it all up and found that this week's winners are a new team, featuring Ben and Arthur, who previously made up the extremely successful Olswang/Glastonbury team (not, they are keen to point out, that they have been sacked from those enterprises). So, well done to them. Here's the full leader board from last night:

1. Arthur, Ben, Cass & Dave (18/20)
2. CMU:DJs (16/20)
3. Unicorn (15/20)
4. Georgina Camp, GetInvolved (13/20)
5. Dorothy Nardini (13/20)

NEXT MONTH: So, the next CMU Social will take place on 9 Dec and will also be the CMU Christmas party. Hooray! Is it Christmas already? Yes. Yes, it is. And we'll be celebrating in fine style. Joining us for this very special evening to perform live will be former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall, as she embarks on her solo career, and new band City Reverb, who you will be hearing a lot more of also, when they release their debut album next year.

ROSE ELINOR DOUGALL: CMU's favourite Pipette (and now ex-Pipette) will be joining us to show off some of her rather fine new solo material, including her fantastic debut single, 'Another Version Of Pop Song', which is due for release on 8 Dec, and says everything you need to know in its title. Do not miss this.

www.myspace.com/roseelinordougallmusic

CITY REVERB: Featuring former Radio 1 DJ Chris Coco amongst their number, City Reverb release their debut album, 'Lost City Folk', on 2 Feb. Their eclectic clash of influences creates a mellow, yet uplifting sound that will provide the perfect opening to our winter festivities.

www.myspace.com/cityreverb

Tuesday 9 Dec 2008, 229, Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN. 7pm-11pm. Tickets £5, Free for CMU Daily readers who register to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

 

IT'S CMU'S UNSIGNED MONTH
We here at CMU have teamed up with our good friends at MUZU TV to discover and champion some of the best unsigned and self-releasing artists in the UK and Ireland. Each day this month we will be tipping another unsigned band which has truly impressed the CMU team. For more info and to check out all the bands we've tipped so far, go to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/unsigned

SNAP OF THE DAY: DRY RISER
Hailing from Kent, three-piece Dry Riser's recently self-release EP, 'Two Many Chiefs' features four tracks that show off their great skills as songwriters. The acoustic guitar-driven songs have elements of Johnny Cash, Jeff Buckley and maybe some of Soundgarden's quieter moments. The video currently playing on their MUZU profile, however, shows the band in a very different mode, rocking it right up at last year's Guilfest, on a song called 'Old Mistakes'. Here they make full use of a driving bassline on which to rest moody guitar riffs and Paul Weller-esque vocals. A band that can soothe you or whip you into a frenzy with equal skill isn't always an easy thing to come by. Check these guys out now.

Check www.muzu.tv/dryriser or in the Unsigned Month playlist on the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube

 

 



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.

 

 

SHARKEY SAYS COUNCILS AND POLICE MISUSING 2003 LICENSING RULES
UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey has hit out at the Metropolitan Police and London borough councils, saying they have overstepped the mark in their administration of the much previously reported 2003 Licensing Act, which, amongst other things, altered the way music events, and especially small gigs, were licensed.

Sharkey, who previously headed up the Live Music Forum that was set up to monitor the impact of the 2003 Act on the live music community, was speaking about the state of gig licensing since the new legislation in front of Parliament's Culture, Media And Sport Select Committee. He told the MPs present that because licensing is handled by local councils who take advice from local police, the impact of the new laws varies around the country, but in some areas new licensing powers were being used to hinder legitimate live music events.

Focusing on London, he said that a dozen councils in the capital had adopted a system proposed by the Met for the risk assessment of live music. This meant promoters were required to fill in the Metropolitan Police Form 696, which requires specific details about the type of music that will be performed plus the names, aliases, phone numbers and addresses of all performers up to 14 days before the event. This, Sharkey argues, is unnecessary, puts an added burden on under-resourced independent promoters, and suggests authorities might be making discriminatory judgments about the fans of certain genres or artists.

According to Billboard, Sharkey said: "They [the Met and London's councils] need to go back and amend those licensing policy statements and review this system. Quite frankly they should probably stand up and publicly apologise to every young musician and performer in this town. Should that not happen, UK Music potentially does have the ability to take them to the High Court for judicial review".

On the music genre section of the 696 form, Sharkey says he is concerned how certain urban genres are singled out as examples of music style - including "bashment, R&B and garage". "It might be a happy coincidence", he told Billboard, "but those are three musical styles that by and large would probably appeal to a large audience of young black or Asian people living in London".

The excessive and sometimes bizarre application of licensing rules is not restricted to London, of course, and Sharkey also mentioned the previously reported licensing decision made in Wiltshire earlier this year where promoters of Moonfest were told they wouldn't get the go-ahead if their event was to be headlined by Babyshambles because the head of the local police force had expressed concerns that Doherty et al's tendency to "speed up and then slow down the music" could create a "whirlpool effect" and spark disorder.

Sharkey concluded: "The point I was putting across is that it is true that live music in the UK has blossomed in the last five or six years, but that we are still very concerned and now firmly believe that the smaller, informal gigs in those little bars and clubs, wine bars and restaurants, are being impacted upon by this legislation. The government now needs to intervene and amend that legislation".

UK Music is proposing exempting gigs for less than 200 people from the legislation.

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GNR LEAKER PLEADS GUILTY
The US blogger accused of leaking the new Guns N' Roses album 'Chinese Democracy' onto the internet back in August has changed his plea in the criminal case against him - seemingly as part of a plea deal.

As previously reported, Kevin Cogill had pleaded not guilty to the criminal copyright infringement charges made against him after he placed tracks from the long player onto his blog, despite having reportedly previously admitted to the Feds that he did make the tracks available, albeit for a short time, via his website.

But according to Reuters, Assistant US Attorney Craig Missakian yesterday announced Cogill had changed his plea. It is thought that is part of a plea deal which will see the blogger avoid the possible jail time linked to the crime, though Missakian didn't comment on the specifics of any arrangement. Cogill is due back in court on 8 Dec, two weeks after the long awaited release of 'Chinese Democracy'.

As previously reported, although not approving of the leak, GNR have always said they are more interested in knowing who gave Coghill the pre-release tracks rather than seeing the blogger himself tried for infringement.

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KAISER CHIEF STRUCK DOWN BY APPENDICITIS
Kaiser Chief Nick Baines pulled out of a gig in Brazil last week after being struck down by appendicitis, which isn't very nice at all. The keyboardist, also known as Peanut, had surgery to remove his appendix on Thursday, and stayed behind in South America to recover whilst his bandmates continued on to LA, where they were scheduled to play a concert, and appear on 'The Tonight Show'.

The band explain via their website: "We've made it to LA, but unfortunately we're a man down. We didn't want to make a drama out of it so we kept this quiet until now. Peanut had to have an operation to remove his appendix on Thursday, so he's been in a hospital in Brazil for a few days. The operation was a success, he's okay, and managed to play with us at Planeta Terra in Brazil on Saturday night, but he's unable to fly to the USA until Wednesday. Our concert in LA and TV appearance on 'The Jay Leno Show' will go ahead. We didn't want to let LA down and it's going to be a challenge, but between Roger Lyons (Peanut's tech) and James Hennin (Simon's tech) we'll deputise and make sure the show goes on! It will be our first ever gig missing one of the band".

Baines is planning to rejoin the band for the remaining dates on their tour, starting with tomorrow's set at Chicago Park West on Thursday.

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MASTODON GUITARIST HOSPITALISED
Bill Kelliher, guitarist with US rockers Mastodon, has had to pull out of the band's European tour after being hospitalised in London. His bandmates have decided to fulfill their commitments to the Slayer-headlined European Unholy Alliance Chapter 3 tour as a three-piece, but hope Kelliher will be well enough to re-join them for their own headline tour which kicks off in Utrecht in Holland on 30 Nov and finishes at the December edition of All Tomorrow's Parties in Somerset on 7 Dec. The specifics of Kelliher's illness are not known, though doctors are currently monitoring his condition which is reportedly improving.

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SPEARS' SON HAD ALLERGIC REACTION
Britney Spears left the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center with her two year old son Jayden James on Monday night. As previously reported, the toddler was rushed to the emergency room on Sunday after he appeared to be having a seizure, and was kept in overnight; it transpires that it was some kind of allergic reaction that caused the problem. A spokesperson for the singer said via her website: "Jayden James Federline was admitted to the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center on Sunday, 9 Nov. Doctors concluded he had a reaction to something he ingested".

One of those 'sources', meanwhile, told People.com that the child had "a terrible allergic reaction. He had hives, was itchy and irritable", but is now fine.

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BROWN'S FAMILY MOVE TO REMOVE ESTATE TRUSTEES
Are we really still writing about the distribution of James Brown's estate? Yes, yes we are.

As much previously reported, the tying up of the late soul legend's finances and affairs have proved difficult because of various people claiming to be Brown's illegitimate children, the issue of his sort-of widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, not being mentioned in his will, and the fact their marriage wasn't entirely legitimate, and the fact various of Brown's family members have found fault with the trustees of the singer's estate.

As also previously reported, the original three trustees all stood down after one of them, David Cannon, was accused of misappropriating funds. Buddy Dallas and Alfred Bradley also resigned after being accused of incompetence for not stopping Cannon from acting inappropriately, though they subsequently argued they had been incorrectly advised by the judge overseeing the estate case regarding the need to resign, and that they should be reinstated as trustees.

By that time the court had appointed its own trustees - Adele Pope and Robert Buchanan - who had been originally hired as special administrators to work on the case. Now the lawyer representing some of Brown's adult children, Louis Levensen, is calling on them to be fired, arguing that they have taken far too long to find a settlement, and that that's because they lack the expertise to manage a complex estate like this.

There are reports that a settlement has been proposed that would see 25% go to the aforementioned Rae Hynie and the couple's son, 25% to Brown's other adult children, and 50% to a trust to pay for the education of his grandchildren and needy students in Georgia and South Carolina. It's not clear if all interested parties back that settlement, though they do reportedly back Levensen's proposal to sack Pope and Buchanan.

Brown, in case you've forgotten, died on Christmas Day 2006.

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ELEANOR RIGBY DOCUMENT TO SELL FOR CHARITY
A document signed by Eleanor Rigby, the woman whose name possibly inspired The Beatles' track of the same name, is to go on sale in a charity auction. It's a payslip dated 30 Nov 1911 and details the wages Ms Rigby received in her role as a scullery maid at Liverpool's City Hospital. It's the same Ms Rigby whose grave is in a graveyard at St Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney occasionally hung out as teenagers. It's thought that it was McCartney seeing her gravestone in his youth that inspired him to name the character of that song, and the song itself, 'Eleanor Rigby', though it's not entirely clear if that's really so.

Anyway, Ms Rigby's grave stone has become iconic to Beatles fans, so presumably so will her signature. The auction is in aid of the Sunbeams Musical Trust, who have been in possession of the item since 1990, when it was sent to them by Paul McCartney in response to a request for funds. Quite have McCartney got it we don't know.

The charity's Anne Mawson explains: "I wrote a letter to Paul McCartney in 1989 asking for £500,000 to help provide music therapy to help children with disabilities. I just wanted him to know how much joy his music had brought". Nine months later, she received a reply from the musician. She continues: "I opened it and inside was this beautiful, ancient document. It was spine-shivering really. Partly because he had responded in much a personal way".

The paper is expected to realise £500k (which seems like a lot in these days of crunchery) when it goes on sale at London's Idea Generation Gallery on 27 Nov. Other items to be sold the same day include a guitar owned by Cliff Richard and a guitar owned by Sex Pistol Glen Matlock.

The Sunbeam Music Trust provides music therapy for children with special needs and disabilities as well as adults with Alzheimer's and people with dementia. Monies raised at the auction will go to towards the building of a new centre near the lovely town of Penrith in Cumbria.

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NZ TV REPORTER QUITS OVER PINK INTERVIEW
A TV reporter in New Zealand has resigned from her job following a controversial interview with Pink. According to reports, bosses of state-owned broadcasting corporation TVNZ are currently investigating the incident, in which journalist Hannah Hodson allegedly antagonised the singer, seemingly because she was angry with the singer because at some point she had sacked an assistant, who just happened to be Hodson's sister.

The interview was intended to appear on current affairs show 'Close Up', but sources say it was so bad that it can never be aired. Pink walked out of the interview, and subsequently labelled Hodson "insane", saying that she had tried to remain polite throughout, but that it became impossible, adding that "it was really hard to stay".

It's not the first time Hodson's upset an interviewee, so she clearly has a confrontational style. Last year she read Nicole Kidman a highly critical review of her film 'The Golden Compass', to which the actress responded: "That's a charming thing. You're a sweet woman".

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SO, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST CATALOGUE DOWNLOAD?
Here's a pop quiz question for you. Which band's song is the first catalogue track to sell more than 2 million units on iTunes? Any guesses? I suspect you wouldn't guess American rockers Journey. But their track 'Don't Stop Believin' is the biggest selling catalogue track on the market leader download store, helped, presumably, in no small part by its appearance on the finale of 'The Sopranos' last year. It's the power of the sync again. The song was originally released in 1981 and has been available via iTunes since 2003.

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EP REVIEW: Tim And Sam's Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam - Put Your Slippers On EP (Full Of Joy Records)
Tim And Sam's Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam (try saying that five times over after a pint or two) are, in their own words, a band who create lovely sounds with as many instruments as they can get their sweet little mitts on. Guitars, glockenspiels, flutes, harmoniums - you name it, they've played it - and it's their instrumental and (almost) no-vocal approach that makes their sound so charmingly rare. Their latest release, four-track EP 'Put Your Slippers On', is everything you would expect from such a title: cosy, warm and endearingly quirky. The Margot & The Nuclear So And So's-esque 'Stepping Stones' is a beautiful acoustic highlight, although truthfully every song is a joy. Composed by a patchwork orchestra of eclectic instruments and tied together in the band's indie-inclined roots, 'Put Your Slippers On' is pretty, magical and rich; an emblem of DIY chamber-pop delight. TW
Release Date: 24 Nov
Press Contact: Full Of Joy IH

Buy from iTunes

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EMINEM ALBUM NOW LIKELY FOR EARLY 2009 RELEASE
After all those reports of a late December release for the new Eminem album, it now looks likely Slim Shady's return won't happen until 2009. One source says Eminem is being "completely obsessive-compulsive" about new long player 'Relapse' and as a result the final product won't be available in time for a Christmas week release.

Jay-Z's new album 'Blueprint 3', the other major hip hop release originally pencilled in for a December release, is also expected to be pushed back into 2009.

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TCR CELEBRATE FIFTEEN YEARS WITH SPECIAL RELEASES
One of CMU's favourite breaks labels, TCR is celebrating its upcoming fifteenth anniversary by releasing brand new remixes of some of their biggest tracks to date, and re-releasing the original versions of other favourites.

Among the birthday remixes will be reworks of Koma & Bones' 'Morpheus', Rennie Pilgrem & Uberzone's 'Black Widow' and JDS's 'Purple Monkey'. The label's main man Rennie Pilgrem is also putting together some special TCR birthday mixes which will be available for free.

The anniversary remixes and re-releases, and Pilgrem's first free mix, are all accessible via www.trackitdown.net/tcr/

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NEIL TENNANT JOINS IN WITH KILLERS CHRISTMAS EFFORT
As previously reported, The Killers and Elton John have been collaborating on a Christmas single. Now, however, Neil Tennant's got involved too, according to the aforementioned Elton John.

The singer said of The Killers' third festive themed single: "The track is called 'Joseph' and I wrote it with Brandon [Flowers], and they've been recording it all throughout different places in the world. I think Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys has been writing a verse, so it's quite a collaboration".

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ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS ALBUM NEWS
A tracklisting has been revealed for new Antony And The Johnsons album, 'The Crying Light', out on 20 Jan. The no-doubt highly anticipated new LP is the follow up to the Mercury prize winning 'I Am A Bird Now', which was released back in 2005.

Here it is. The tracklisting, that is:

Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground
Epilepsy Is Dancing
One Dove
Kiss My Name
he Crying Light
Another World
Daylight and the Sun
Aeon
Dust and Water
Everglade

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DAN LE SAC V SP REWORK SINGLE
Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip have got together with Plug One of De La Soul on a re-working of last year's single 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'. It will be released alongside remixes from Friction, Foama and Drop The Lime and will be out on 19 Jan.

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STEREOPHONICS REUNITED WITH CABLE, REVEALS JONES
Stereophonics' Kelly Jones has told Xfm that the band recently reunited with their former drummer Stuart Cable at a wedding, despite their famously acrimonious split back in 2003.

Jones explained that there are no longer any hard feelings, saying: "Parting ways with Stuart was a really horrible time for everybody involved. Thankfully, all that water's under the bridge now, we speak to each other again. We even played at a wedding again the other day pissed up together on stage. He knew the songs better than us! We were brought up in the same street just seven doors apart, so we always said it was just a band. We were friends a lot longer than we were ever in a band together".

The band's greatest hits compo 'Decade In The Sun' is out on 17 Nov, of course.

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GNR LAUNCH YOUTUBE COMPETITION
Guns N' Roses have launched a YouTube competition offering an exclusive playback party as the prize. To enter, fans need to upload a video of their "craziest, most inappropriate air guitar" to www.youtube.com/chinesedemocracyuk, so some skill is obviously required.

The winning package includes limousine pick up from the successful entrant's house to the party at a local venue, entry to a VIP area for the winner and a hundred of their friends, the UK premiere public playback of 'Chinese Democracy', a presentation disc recognising the winner as the first person in the UK to own 'Chinese Democracy', and other stuff like free drinks (best bit, that, obviously).

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NOISE STAGES NETWORKING EVENT FOR YOUNG CREATIVES
The previously reported NOISE Festival is staging a unique networking event for young creatives in Manchester next week - on 18 and 19 Nov. The event will see over 30 creative companies from all art forms, including big and smaller independent players, meet, advise and network with young creatives

The event, called Creative Futures and held at Manchester Town Hall, is part of the NOISE festival's Dream Jobs scheme, which was launched by that Alistair Darling chap earlier this year, and which brokers work placements for talented young creatives with leading companies in their chosen field.

For more information go to www.noisefestival.com and click on the Creative Futures logo.

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KINGS OF LEON ANNOUNCE DATES
Kings of Leon have announced two UK arena dates for 2009, the first on 15 Jun at the O2, the second on 22 Jun at the MEN Arena in Manchester. Tickets go on sale for the event this Friday at 9am.

Of course, the band release their new single, 'Use Somebody' on 8 Dec, and are in the UK for a twelve date arena tour around the same time. Sadly for KOL fans, it's now sold out, but just for your information, here are the dates:

1 Dec: Brighton Centre, Brighton
2 Dec: Trent FM Arena, Nottingham
4 Dec: Metro Arena, Newcastle
5 Dec: Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
7 Dec: SECC, Glasgow
8 Dec: Echo Arena, Liverpool
10 Dec: NIA, Birmingham
11 Dec: The O2 Arena, London
14 Dec: BIC, Bournemouth
16 Dec: Evenings News Arena, Manchester
17 Dec: International Arena, Cardiff
22 Dec: Wembley Arena, London

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NME AWARDS TOUR 2009 ANNOUNCED
The NME Awards tour line-up and dates for 2009 have been announced. This year's headliners are Glasvegas, who will be supported by Friendly Fires, White Lies, and Florence And The Machine.

Conor McNicholas, editor of NME says this: "This is a cracking line-up of deeply talented artists who produce music of real quality. All four acts boast the strongest and most distinctive new songwriters in Britain at the moment and the sheer quality of artists on the tour has meant it is being hailed as the strongest for years. Music fans are in for an absolute treat!"

Tickets for the tour went on sale this morning, and the dates are as follows:

29 Jan: Liverpool University
30 Jan: Glasgow Academy
1 Feb: Newcastle Academy
3 Feb: Sheffield Academy
4 Feb: Birmingham Academy
6 Feb: Manchester Academy
8 Feb: Leeds Academy
10 Feb: Lincolnshire Engine Shed
11 Feb: Nottingham Rock City
12 Feb: Norwich UEA
14 Feb: Cardiff University
15 Feb: Bristol Academy
16 Feb: Brighton Dome
17 Feb: Oxford Academy
19 Feb: Portsmouth Pyramid
20 Feb: Cambridge Corn Exchange
21 Feb: Brixton Academy

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Be True To Your School: A Fortuna POP! Compilation (Fortuna POP!)
Fortuna POP! is a small north London record label that has a staunchly indie ethic that has delivered character-filled gems from C86-influenced bands and the like since 1996. Not many of these bands are what would be called seminal artists, however they constitute a vital
component of British music - entertaining the kind of shuffling under-confident indie kid that listens to Tallulah Gosh and looks straight out of 'Ghost World' (rather than today's day glow brash youth). This is a great compilation that is varied and of almost unwavering quality. I can even suffer the aspects that sound like Belle And Sebastian (who I personally despise). Every song is obviously made by people who make music for the love of music rather than any other consideration. It oozes authenticity reminiscent of 'Nuggets', the great proto-punk-psych compilation series. There are many highlights and it is pretty arbitrary for me to pick out single bands, but anyway, I will. Bearsuit feature with 'Itsuko Got Married' and sound like the Pixies if they were made for a kids TV show complete with recorders and brass. Milky Wimpshake are geeky-powerpop with a very similar - if slightly watered down - aesthetic to The Wedding Present. The Tender Trap sound like the band from Kevin Smith film 'Chasing Amy' mixed with The Breeders. Finlay are classic alt-rock influenced British indiepop complete with a shitty but brilliant keyboard in the background. This is a musical alternative to valium. If you can't enjoy this, despite its flaws, you are a bad person. PG
Press Contact: Fortuna POP! IH [all]
Release Date: 24 Nov

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WARNER SHARE PRICE HITS ALL TIME LOW
Shares in the Warner Music Group, the only major record company to trade directly on a stock exchange, slipped to an all-time low yesterday - to $2.98. Whether that's a sign of the weak economy or the fact the record industry is still struggling I'm not sure - let's be pessimistic and assume both.

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THE ORCHARD SEES REVENUES BOOM
Presenting investment types with some good news for a change, independent digital aggregator The Orchard has reported revenues were up 118% year on year for their third quarter, to $14.6million. Although overall they still made a loss, those losses were down from $3 million last year to just $59,000 this year. Revenue from paid-for downloads was up 133%, while the company's first dabblings in the record label business - brought about by its acquisition of struggling indie TVT Recordings earlier this year - accounted for 8% of those boosted revenues.

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WE7 OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES
More from the world of digital, and slightly confusing ad-funded digital music service We7 officially launches today after a year of beta testing. Although We7 is perhaps most interesting for its dabblings in ad-funded free MP3 downloads, its launch marketing will focus more on its on-demand streaming service, presumably because that has all the majors and many indies on board, whereas it's still early days for the free downloads.

Confirming the official launch, We7 boss Steve Purdham told reporters: "It was just 18 months ago that we had the dream of delivering great music that's free and legal for consumers and where artists and rights owners get paid. Today that dream's a reality. We7 has great music and that builds great audiences which will be highly valuable to brands and advertisers. We're hugely proud of our great service and very excited to be delivering it to the benefit of music fans, artists and brands alike".

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LIVE NATION'S ARTIST WEBSITE COMPANY TO SELL MAJOR LABEL MP3S
More digital, and according to Digital Music News three of the four majors - EMI, Sony and Universal - have licensed their DRM-free MP3 catalogues to Live Nation's US-based Musictoday outfit which operates websites and merchandise stores from numerous artists, including The Rolling Stones, Eminem, Dave Matthews Band and Christina Aguilera. It means artists signed to those majors whose official online shops are managed by Musictoday will be able to sell DRM-free MP3s directly to fans. Musictoday's Chas Patrizia told DMN: "We're going to allow artists to control the presentation of their content; it's a totally different experience. They don't have to go to iTunes, they can go directly to the artist. Most of our bigger artists have opted in".

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BACK YARD LAUNCH PUBLISHING FIRM
London based indie label Back Yard Recordings, perhaps best known as the home of Gossip and maybe Chromeo, have announced they are launching a publishing division, to be called Back Yard Music. While the A&R of the publishing enterprise will be run out of the same offices as the label, all administration relating to the publishing catalogue will be handled by Blue Mountain Music Publishing.

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NME ON FM IN MANCHESTER
NME Radio has gone on air on FM in Manchester. It's the latest 28 day FM outing for the digital radio station, and follows a similar FM broadcast in London, which I must admit I completely managed to miss. Perhaps I'll move back to Manchester for a month to take in that FM service. The station will be broadcasting on 87.7FM in Manchester until 7 Dec. NME Radio MD Sammy Jacob said this: "It's great to have a dedicated platform in Manchester for the month of November and to provide the city with a true alternative to the mainstream".

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WALSH STANDS BY X FACTOR DECISION
14,000 people may have now signed that online petition objecting to the voting off, by the judging panel, of second-favourite-to-win Laura White on 'X Factor' last weekend, but Louis Walsh says he doesn't regret picking Ruth Lorenzo over White.

He told The Sun: "Laura was in the bottom two. Her performance was bad and her styling was even worse. She didn't get the public support. [Anyway], no one in the bottom two ever [goes on to] win the 'X Factor', that's just a fact. Laura was never going to win".

Of course if no one in the bottom two ever goes on to win anyway, it kind of defeats the point of everyone getting all excited over who the judges vote off, because clearly it doesn't matter. With that in mind they should have an arm wrestle to decide who stays instead, that'd be better telly.

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BLUE BOY IS IN THE JUNGLE
Former Blue boy Simon Webbe represents the world of pop in the latest series of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', presumably because winning the show did so much to relaunch Matt Willis' pop career, he's hoping the ITV reality show can sprinkle some of its magic on him too. Also on the latest series of the jungle show are ex-tennis star Martina Navratilova, 'Star Trek' actor George Takei, TV presenters Esther Rantzen and Dani Behr, former Eastender Joe Swash, former police chief and London mayoral hopeful Brian Paddick, and models Nicola McLean and Carly Zucker. Oh, and for comedy value, former TV host and anti-Europe politician Robert Kilroy-Silk. Super.

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RINGO SHOUTS AT HUGGING FAN
Ringo Starr has done even more to further fan relations by telling one fan to "fuck off" at the previously reported World Music Awards in Monaco this week. As previously reported, Starr, who recently told his fans to stop sending him letters, was at the Monaco event to pick up a Diamond Award on behalf of the Beatles. An eye witness told the tabloids: "A middle-aged woman ran over and threw her arms around him, almost knocking him over. Ringo was a bit shocked, he just wanted to get away. After he shouted at her she looked absolutely stunned, but he just walked away". I wasn't there, but am pretty sure what Ringo really said was "fuck off, peace and love, peace and love".

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