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TODAY'S NEWS

Artists send video message to PM over copyright term

Myspace Music has a boss
Michael Lee dies
Winehouse in hospital again
Jailed Fugees producer freed early
Barker defends plane crash lawsuit
New trustee appointed in Brown estate case
Ladyhawke discusses Asperger Syndrome
All McCartney music is free now
EP review: Cat Power - Dark End Of The Street (Matador)
Blur to reform
Carey appoints new manager
Britney album streaming on Imeem
Slash and Fergie to guest on Ozzy album
Reformed Limp Bizkit still together
Swizz Beatz on Eminem album
Ting Tings not working on second album
Hookham boys announce first gig
AC/DC to not play T In The Park
Album review: Ranger3 - Old Simplicity (Bigo & Twigetti)
Ex-Radio 2 chief gets Universal job
Another iPhone ad criticised by ASA
Too Pure man joins management firm
Warner appoint Ganbarg to senior A&R role
B&H sign up One Little Indian and Fat Cat to sync deal
HMV to pass on VAT cut
Woolies share trading on hold
Liberty support sacked TalkSport presenter
Hollyoaks duo join radio city
Brand proposes Jonas Brothers collaboration
Nickelback ban track from British airwaves
Knives and tea for drugged-up Robbie
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
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CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 26TH NOVEMBER

WE HAVE BAND
Disco-rock trio We Have Band consist of husband and wife Thomas and Dede W and their friend Darren Bancroft. All three members used to work for EMI but, through a combination of those much-reported job cuts and the knowledge of the music world they garnered while working for the major, the trio has been able to start sampling life on the other side of the band/label equation.


 

Their debut single, 'Oh!', an energetic dance track, will be out on 24 Nov on 50 Bones and is limited to just 300 copies on pretty green vinyl. Excitingly for them, they've been tipped as ones to watch by many already, and it's looking like those 300 singles will disappear before you can say "I want to buy 'Oh!' by We Have Band, please" - all this and they have only been together for a year.

Drummer/vocalist Darren gives us an insight into the life of We Have Band through the incredible power of the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Well Thomas and Dede are husband and wife and we used to all work together. We were at a leaving do for somebody and T&D said to me that they had a band. It was just a concept band at the time really, because no music had been made, but when I heard the name I said, "I'm in". Truthfully, none of us had any idea it would get this far; we really had no plans for it at all. The first night we decided to meet up at T&D's house, Tom cooked dinner (chicken is a band favorite), we drank quite a bit of red wine (another favorite) and then went to the spare room and we wrote a song. The analogue drum machine came first and then Thomas played guitar and bass and then we sang and did a group breathing section and Dede whispered and we couldn't believe how much we liked it and enjoyed making it. That song is going to open the album, for sure. Since then everything has been like that. We really like each other, we love what we do and it feels totally natural for each of us to be doing it with the other two.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
This was us getting excited. Thomas had made a new beat and Dede surprised us when she came back unexpectedly from work! Darren and Dede did the "we always said we wanted" and "Oh!" parts in one take and then the rest just came very quickly. There was quite a lot of moving around the room and sitting down and standing up and being a bit impatient and talking over each other during the recording. We were writing a lot of new stuff at the time we did this, so it was sort of inspired by the process of making music, which we were all feeling quite physical about at the time.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
The bulk of everything is done together with us all in the same room. Thomas often creates the initial beats and then we just play around and experiment and record quite quickly one thing after another. We like to record ideas as soon as they come so we rarely sit on something for too long. It does mean that quite regularly we listen back and there are things that we instantly know don't work or can't stay but you also get the things that you could probably never sit and write. The finished product isn't at all random though, we edit and re-edit a lot in the final stages. The quick recording isn't about speed because when we go back to edit and re-record things it can take a long time. It's more about getting fresh ideas and subconscious ideas which you can then mould. A bit like writing a film script from a dream you had the night before...

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
ESG, Arthur Russell, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, Talking Heads, Chk Chk Chk, M.I.A, The Rapture, Radiohead, and Elbow, are all artists we love. People that make albums and put on shows that really suck you in.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Keep your ears open.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your single, and for the future?
We don't feel too much pressure for the single, we just want people to enjoy it and come to the website and come to shows, experience more, see what the whole WHB thing is about and then join us on the journey. Sometimes being involved in the music industry makes you feel like you have to have a HUGE first single or that you're only good when you're the band of the moment, but that's totally not true. Good things take time to develop and people who love music know that and they're the only people we care about. Our next big plan is to record and release a really great album on a really great label with some balls! We'd like to play all around the world, have a lot of fun and reach whoever wants to listen. Adoration can be nice but it's not our goal, respect is a much better thing to have. It gives you real freedom and it lasts a lot longer.

MORE>> www.wehaveband.com and www.myspace.com/wehaveband

 

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: KURRAN'S SECOND RUN
Until recently, Kurran was a member of comic electro rock out kings Trash Fashion, where he went by the name of KBomb. His new solo project is fairly sizeable leap from that former life, seeing him drop the world of synths, programming and general rocking for the alt-country life of a man and his acoustic guitar. Now living in London, after stints in Abu Dhabi and Zurich, his music is still firmly rooted in the States, where he was born. Echoes of old country stars such of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams exist in his songs, and there's some Fleetwood Mac in there, too. However, his biggest influence, as he happily admits, are Brand New, whose (albeit louder) influence courses through the songs and, in particular, Kurran's vocal style. The video on his MUZU page is a simple lo-fi performance, featuring him playing live to a single camera and the scariest appearance of a backing vocalist you're ever likely to see. Check out the streaming audio track, too, in order to hear what he can achieve when given a studio to play with.

Check www.muzu.tv/kurranssecondrun 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.

 

 

Don't forget to vote for your track of the year. Just email us your favourite track released this year and a couple of sentences saying why you love it to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

 

ARTISTS SEND VIDEO MESSAGE TO PM OVER COPYRIGHT TERM
More from the campaign to persuade Gordon Brown to increase the recorded music copyright term now - and this time the protests have been presented in video form.

As much much previously reported, record labels and recording artists have been lobbying the government regarding extending the recording copyright from 50 to 95 years for ages now; the former because the legendary recordings of the rock n roll era are about to come out of copyright; the latter because there is a whole generation of session musicians who will soon start to lose the royalty payments that stem from recordings they worked on in the sixties, which for some are a bulk of their earnings.

The government, though, is still officially tied to the findings of the 2006 Gowers Report on copyright law, which said there was no case for an extension. That said, those who advocate an extension do have some parliamentary support, plus some political types at a European level are pushing for the 95 year term to be introduced, a move which would bring Europe in line with the US on this matter.

Although the term extension campaign has support across the music industry, recording royalty body PPL has been leading much of the recent lobbying on the issue, in particular on behalf of its performer members, which include most of the session musicians facing a cut in royalty income as recordings come out of copyright.

Last week musicians present at PPL's Annual Performer Meeting all signed a petition calling on Gordon Brown to act on this issue. This week a video message has been sent to the prime minister featuring 28 musicians who have recorded with the likes of Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Robbie Williams over the years. The musicians argue that their work plays a vital part in creating a valuable export industry for Britain, and that as a result they deserve to enjoy royalty payments thoughout their lifetimes.

Jazz trombonist and session musician Derek Wadsworth, who has worked on tracks by artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Tom Jones, says: "British session musicians are the finest in the world, the absolute finest. The amount of revenue that's been brought into this country by these people is quite staggering. Now we require the government to help us out a little bit and show perhaps a bit of gratitude. Instead they choose to kick us in the face and ignore our campaign to extend the copyright for these people and their estate".

Songwriter and keyboardist Phil Pickett, best known for his work with Culture Club, adds: "Ninety per cent of musicians earn less than £15,000 a year. These royalties are very small but they add up over the years".

As also previously reported, recording artists feel they get a rough deal from copyright laws compared to writers, composers, dramatists and visual artists, who all enjoy a copyright on their work of life plus 70 years. Recording artists get a share (contractual or, in the case of performing royalties, statutory) of the royalties generated by the copyright enjoyed by whoever releases a recording, which is normally a record company. Because companies generally enjoy shorter copyright terms than individuals, recording artists enjoy a much shorter term than songwriters et al.

This has become less of an issue in the US, as far as individual musicians are concerned, because, while labels and recording artists still don't enjoy as long a copyright term as songwriters, the 95 year term means artists do receive royalties for their lifetime. Hence lobbying efforts over here being primarily focused on bringing European copyright terms in line with America, rather than giving recording artists a life plus 70 year copyright.

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MYSPACE MUSIC HAS A BOSS
As expected, Courtney Holt, formerly an exec at both Interscope and MTV, has been named President of MySpace Music, the joint venture company owned by MySpace and the major record companies which is behind the expanded MySpace Music platform that launched in the US earlier this year.

Despite the new look MySpace Music already being live in America, the MySpace Music company has so far been without a top man. Holt has been linked to the job for a while now, and it's been confirmed he'll join the social networking conglom's music business at the start of January.

The new look MySpace Music has, of course, been subject to some very vocal criticism from key players in the indie label community who are angry that neither they, nor their collective digital rights body Merlin, have been offered equity in the new venture to put them on a level playing field with the majors. Although some indies have signed up - mainly via aggregators The Orchard and IODA, or major label owned indie label distributors - most of the big indies are still holding out, arguing it is unfair that their competitors, ie the majors, will profit from their music being on the MySpace service.

Whether Holt, a former major label exec, is the man to win the indies over remains to be seen. The lack of a personality with music business experience at the top of MySpace's music venture can't have helped in past negotiations with Merlin and the indies.

Confirming Holt's appointment, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe told reporters: "Courtney understands how to successfully blend technology with music and the resulting new business opportunities born from such a combination. Courtney's unique vision and willingness to innovate makes him an incredible addition to our executive team - we're thrilled to have him on board".

Holt himself added: "MySpace Music cultivates relationships between artists and fans by enabling and reinforcing music discovery both online and offline and providing the tools to customise and personalise their music experience. The new company will explore different and evolutionary revenue streams that provide real opportunities for artists and the industry as a whole. I can't wait to help build out those opportunities even further".

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MICHAEL LEE DIES
Drummer Michael Lee, who worked with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in the nineties, has died at the age of 39. No cause of death has been confirmed.

Lee first worked with Plant on his 1993 solo outing 'Fate Of Nations', and, when Plant reunited with former Led Zeppelin bandmate Page in the mid nineties as Page and Plant, Lee played on their albums as well as joining them on a world tour. He was credited as co-writer on every song of the duo's 'Walking Into Clarksdale' album.

During the course of his career, he also played with band's such as The Cult and Echo & The Bunnymen.

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WINEHOUSE IN HOSPITAL AGAIN
Amy Winehouse was admitted to a private clinic in London at the weekend because of a reaction to medication she was taking, a spokesman has said. Chris Goodman explained that "some part of her medication is making her sick", and that the drugs in question formed "part of her ongoing treatment".

It's been reported that she missed her husband Blake Fielder-Civil's previously reported appeals court appearance on Monday because of her illness, but if reports that she's planning to divorce him are true, I can't think why she would bother going.

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JAILED FUGEES PRODUCER FREED EARLY
Rapper/producer John Forte, best known for his work with The Fugees, and who was jailed seven years ago after being caught with two briefcases filled with liquid cocaine at Newark International Airport in 2000, has had his sentence reduced, or 'commuted' to use the technical term, meaning he'll be out of jail in time for Christmas.

Forte was convicted for intent and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 14 years in jail. However, that has been cut in half by officials (technically George W Bush's office, because only the President can commute a federal sentence). It's not clear why, though such sentence reduction is normally linked to good behaviour inside. He will remain on supervised probation for a further five years.

Among the vocal supporters who have called for the early release of Forte, who released two solo albums as well as co-writing two songs for The Fugee's 1996 long player 'The Score', was Carly Simon, who went to school with the producer.

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BARKER DEFENDS PLANE CRASH LAWSUIT
Travis Barker has defended that lawsuit he has brought against the owners of the aeroplane which crashed injuring him and friend Adam Goldstein, and killing two friends and associates. The lawsuit claims neither the plane nor the pilots were fit for purpose. As much reported, former Blink 182 drummer Barker and Goldstein, aka DJ-AM, were the only survivors when the plane they were travelling in crashed on take off in South Carolina in September.

Barker told E! News: "I wouldn't have been in the state I was in if I wasn't in the crash. I wouldn't have third-degree burns all over my body or be prohibited to do certain things. I can't go swimming. I can't do some of the things that normal people can do. I didn't ask for that to happen. I don't know [if I'll win the lawsuit]. I just think positive. I mean, I think so - if something goes wrong that's not supposed to go wrong or you fall victim of it, I think you should be compensated".

He added that he didn't know if Goldstein would also sue. He said: "I can't speak for him. I think everyone just has different attorneys".

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NEW TRUSTEE APPOINTED IN BROWN ESTATE CASE
More from the ongoing James Brown estate case. A new trustee has been appointed in a bid to speed up the settlement of the late soul legend's affairs, which remain in the air despite the fact that we're approaching the second anniversary of his death.

As previously reported, a lawyer representing some of Brown's adult children recently called for the current trustees of their father's estate, Adele Pope and Robert Buchanan, to be removed, arguing they lacked the experience to deal with a case this complicated and that was slowing things down. Pope and Buchanan had been appointed trustees by the court after the original trustees were removed or resigned after one of them was accused of misappropriating funds.

Most concerned parties seem to welcome the new appointment of certified public accountant Russell Bauknight as a trustee, with some saying that his involvement should enable a settlement to be reached sooner rather than later.

As previously reported, there is a settlement deal on the table which would see all of the singer's adult children and his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and the couple's young son receive some monies, while other assets would be put into a trust to fund the education of both his grandchildren and disadvantaged children in Georgia and South Carolina. This is despite Hynie and Brown's marriage not being legal.

Latest reports suggest one of Brown's children and two grandchildren oppose that settlement, though it's thought the court could green-light the proposal without their consent. It's also thought Bauknight may look to do just that in order to bring the dispute to a close.

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LADYHAWKE DISCUSSES ASPERGER SYNDROME
Pip Brown, aka Ladyhawke, has been telling BBC Newsbeat about having Asperger syndrome and being in the public eye. AS, which affects approximately one in every 100 people in the UK, is a form of high-functioning autism which causes those with the condition to struggle in social situations. The Vines' Craig Nicholls also famously has Asperger Syndrome.

Brown said: "I guess in myself it's not in my nature to open myself up to people and I feel quite exposed. I'm a really private person - I don't really go out often. I sort of regret opening myself up to the public that much. On the other side of things I am glad that I've been able to talk to people in a similar situation. I hear from a lot of people on MySpace who have Asperger. A lot of people I can relate to write me messages and stories about themselves. I only have a very mild form of it and there are some people who have it so bad that they find it too hard to even write a message to me - I love that I've been able to talk to people and be able to relate like that".

She continued: "People shouldn't be scared of it or anything. Some people don't even realise that they have it. I went through my whole life not knowing until only a few years ago, when it was just doing my head in and I had to get help".

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ALL MCCARTNEY MUSIC IS FREE NOW
Good news, illegal music fans, Paul McCartney doesn't mind if you download his music illegally. I'm pretty sure this is a binding verbal contract with the entire world, so it's okay if you just go and download all his music for nothing. I'm downloading 'The Frog Chorus' right now.

Speaking at a press conference for his new Fireman album, McCartney said: "[The idea of downloading music for free is] weird for me. I'm not from that. I'm from going into a shop and buying a 45. We've come through vinyl, tapes and CDs - [but] it's all the same, except people don't pay for it [now]. I don't mind. It works out".

He added that he likes new innovations in the delivery of music, such as Radiohead's pay-what-you-want method of selling 'In Rainbows'. He said: "I like it, it's a new idea. I like its anarchic-ness. I thought about buying it for one pence and telling my friends I'd paid £10!"

PS: Legal disclaimer. Paul McCartney doesn't necessarily have the appropriate rights in all or any of his recorded music to grant the permission for you to download it for free. But it would be amusing if at least one of you could try using his comments as a defence in an infringement lawsuit.

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EP REVIEW: Cat Power - Dark End Of The Street (Matador)
Here are the leftovers from Chan Marshall's 'Jukebox' covers album, which was released earlier this year. It's hard to believe these songs are out-takes. Included are covers of Otis Reading, The Pogues, Fairport Convention and two Aretha Franklin songs. They are all stunning. However, the most outstanding track is her cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's anti-Vietnam song 'Fortunate Son'. This song mixes the poignant Americana classic with the maudlin crawl and Lou Reed delivery of the Velvet Underground's 'Oh! Sweet Nuthin'. Chan Marshall is much more tuneful than Reed, though. The music is soul-influenced with an alt-country feel supplied by her personal super-group Dirty Delta Blues. They consist of Dirty Three, Delta 72, John Spencer Blues Explosion and Lizard Music members who bed Marshall's sublime vocals in lush arrangements like a muted soul version of the Neil Young album 'Harvest'. There you have it, Cat Power in making good music shocker. PG
Release Date: 8 Dec
Press Contact: Matador ih [all]

Buy from iTunes
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BLUR TO REFORM
Blur (all of them) are going to reform for rehearsals in the new year, Damon Albarn has revealed. Although, he added, that this doesn't mean we'll get to hear any of the results. This will be the first time all four members of the band have played together since guitarist Graham Coxon quit in 2003 during the recording of their 'Think Tank' album.

Albarn told Janice Long on her BBC Radio 2 show: "Blur are certainly going to rehearse and see if we're into it".

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CAREY APPOINTS NEW MANAGER
Mariah Carey has appointed a new manager having parted company with last manager Benny Medina back in September. The new manager is Jim Sabey, who worked with the singer in his last job as Senior VP of International at SonyBMG.

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BRITNEY ALBUM STREAMING ON IMEEM
Britney Spears' new album, 'Womanizer' is now streaming in full on Imeem, ahead of its release on 1 Dec. To hear what Britney has come up with on her latest comeback album, head over to www.imeem.com/britneyspears

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SLASH AND FERGIE TO GUEST ON OZZY ALBUM
Velvet Revolver and former Guns N Roses Guitarist Slash and Black Eyed Peas vocalist Fergie are among the guests who will appear on the new Ozzy Osbourne solo album. Slash's wife, Perla, said: "It's going to be Slash and friends, with everyone from Ozzy to Fergie".

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REFORMED LIMP BIZKIT STILL TOGETHER
The recently reformed Limp Bizkit (minus guitarist Wes Borland) are still together and working on a full comeback in 2009. Frontman Fred Durst revealed that there have been no updates on the band since September, not because they've decided to cancel the reunion, but because he forgot the password to their MySpace profile.

Durst wrote: "I finally remembered my freaking password to this portal. What I want you to know is that shit is going down! The Limp dogs are bringing it hard. It is time to rally the family and prepare for the most significant year for us all - 2009. We have to become one. A voice louder than them all. We will fill the void together. I have never been more excited. It will be important that you stay tuned and help rally the troops for this explosion. And I promise to not be so cryptic as the day's progress".

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SWIZZ BEATZ ON EMINEM ALBUM
Swizz Beatz, who has produced five tracks for Eminem's upcoming new album, has been talking in glowing terms about the new record.

Beatz also revealed to MTV that the LP features a sequel to 'Stan', the ubiquitous 2000 hit telling the story of an obsessed fan, which sampled Dido's 'Thank You' of course. The producer says the sequel song is "totally genius". He also revealed that another a yet to be named track featuring guest spots from Dre and Fiddy is set to become a "classic", adding that "it's sounding big".

Asked what the new album is like in general, Swizz Beatz said: "Different sound, different mind frame. He's clear. But it's the Eminem that you missed, that you loved, that you need, especially right now in the industry, going into '09. He's coming back to take the cake".

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TING TINGS NOT WORKING ON SECOND ALBUM
You'd think The Tings Tings would be rushing to get a second album out before everyone gets annoyed with them and just wants them to go away (some would say that time has already come), but it turns out they haven't even started writing songs for it yet.

Singer Katie White told Female First: "We haven't got any songs for a second album. I mean, when we've been sound checking, one of us might come up with something catchy, but we've not been recording any of it".

She added that the pair had worked for several hours on most of the songs on their debut album. Well, that's what I'm reading into it, anyway. She said: "What I've realised is that if a song isn't coming together after two hours in the studio, it is probably shit".

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HOOKHAM BOYS ANNOUNCE FIRST GIG
New supergroup The Hookham Boys have announced that they'll perform a first gig at The Library in Islington tonight. To get in, you'll need to make a donation, with proceeds set to go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The members of the band are drummer Damon Reece of Echo and the Bunnymen and Spiritualized fame, his wife, Cocteau Twin Elisabeth Fraser, her bandmate Vincent Pellgrino, Alex Lee, who has performed with Placebo and Suede, amongst others, Sean Cook of Spiritualized, Joe Allen of Strangelove, and Jake Drake Brockman of the aforementioned Bunnymen.

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AC/DC TO NOT PLAY T IN THE PARK
This is an interesting way of covering next year's music festival. Rather than reporting on who is playing each music fest, let's start reporting on who's not playing. OK, let's start.

Organisers of T In The Park have confirmed AC/DC will NOT play next year's event. I think in response to tabloid reports the ageing Aussie rockers had been signed up to play the Scottish festival. T chief Geoff Ellis said in a statement: "I can confirm that AC/DC will not be playing at T In The Park 2009. We do not want AC/DC fans to buy a ticket for T In The Park under false pretences as this would not only disappoint them, but also the many people desperate to get their hands on a T In The Park ticket regardless of the headliner".

Tomorrow in CMU, exclusive breaking news: Led Zeppelin to NOT play Glastonbury 2009.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ranger3 - Old Simplicity (Bigo & Twigetti)
Ranger3 are Anglo-Irish duo, Jim Perkins and Ronan Burke and take their name from the unmanned, technology-laden US rocket which should have guided itself to the moon, but instead missed its target by 36,000km and spiralled off into space, losing contact with the Earth. This self-deprecating nod to their own technology-laden folk sound shows an unnecessary modesty. Their debut album, 'Old Simplicity' hits its target so firmly that it would be quite reasonable for them to shout it from the rooftops. But, I guess, it would be difficult for someone brimming with arrogance to come up with such intricate and beautiful music as this. Using a plethora of folk instruments, the duo create rich sounds, which are often cut up and rearranged, providing astonishing backing for Ronan's layered vocals. Stand out tracks, 'Pendulum' and 'Old Simplicity' are prime examples of how the duo construct songs. On the former, cut up and pitched up vocal sounds act in contrast to Efterklang-esque, choral melodies over music that slowly builds to a rumbling crescendo. The title track may once have been a traditional folk song, and in many ways it still is, although the guitar part has been pulled apart note by note and put back together in a different order. Such heavy editing is not always used, though. The duo know when something is better left alone and these tracks show a gentler side and unearth more subtleties in their songwriting. This album is an astonishing feat of musical ability and studio skill. Ranger3 manage to give folk an excitingly modern twist, without losing the warmth at its heart. AHM

Release date: 1 Dec
Press contact: Bigo & Twigetti IH - ranger3@bigoandtwigetti.co.uk [all]

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EX-RADIO2 CHIEF GETS UNIVERSAL JOB
The former boss of Radio 2 has only gone and got a job at Universal Music. Lesley Douglas, who resigned as chief of the BBC station last month following the whole Brand/Ross/Sachs palaver, will become Director Of Programming And Business Development for the major label, reporting in to Universal UK boss David Joseph. Her appointment comes just days after a BBC Trust report into Sachsgate portioned a big part of the blame on Radio 2 execs like Douglas.

Universal says Douglas' appointment is part of their bid to move into the TV sector, something that began back in 2006 with the launch of Globe Productions, the major's own TV division, who were behind a Paul Weller documentary for the BBC, three pop specials for ITV featuring Elton John, Girls Aloud and Take That, and the Bebo online drama 'The Secret World of Sam King'. Although most Globe projects so far have had a music theme, Douglas' remit will also include expanding the firm's involvement in comedy and drama projects, though developing TV projects involving artists signed to the major's record labels will also be a big part of the job.

Confirming Douglas' appointment, Joseph told reporters: "Our company and our artists have worked with Lesley for many years, over which time we have built huge respect and trust for her as a broadcaster and above all as someone who lives and breathes music. She has an exceptional rapport with artists and is simply one of the best media executives and leaders in the business".

Douglas added: "Over the past few years I have loved working closely with the music industry and the musicians within it. Being given the opportunity to work closely with the breadth of artists across Universal Music is a brilliant opportunity. It is an exciting, dynamic company and I am delighted to have been asked to join them".

Rumours that Douglas' appointment would lead to Eminem's new album being renamed "I Fucked Your Granddaughter' and a new Sugababes project featuring Keisha, Heidi and Amelle leaving lewd messages on the answer phones of ageing celebrities, have been dismissed as weak gags.

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ANOTHER IPHONE AD CRITICISED BY ASA
An iPhone advert has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority because it described the 3G internet connection used by the latest generation of the mobile/iPod combo "really fast" while showing images of web pages loading onto the phone in fractions of a second.

Although Apple said it used the expression "really fast" to distinguish the speed of the new phone from the first version of the device, which only had 2G internet access, the ASA says that, coupled with the misleadingly speedy web page loading shown on the phone in the ad, the phrase could imply owners of an iPhone would enjoy much faster mobile internet access than is actually possible.

It's not the first time Apple's iPhone ads have been criticised by the ASA. Earlier this year they criticised an advert for the first generation iPhone device, in which it was claimed that the phone could be used to access all web pages. Techies argued that that wasn't true because not all Flash or Java applications were supported by the device, a fact which would render some web pages unusable.

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TOO PURE MAN JOINS MANAGEMENT FIRM
Former Too Pure label chief Jason White has become a partner in Associated London Management, and will head up the company alongside its founder Martin Pike. The expanded management firm's roster includes Stereolab, Broadcast, Deerhunter and newcomers Fox Cubs and LoneLady.

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WARNER APPOINT GANBARG TO SENIOR A&R ROLE
Warner Music US has announced the appointment of Pete Ganbarg to the job of VP A&R for its Atlantic Records division. The A&R exec, who has previously worked for majors EMI and BMG, has most recently worked for his own consulting company Pure Tone Music.

Confirming the appointment, Atlantic CEO Craig Kallman told reporters: "Pete is the ideal person to lead our A&R mission at a time when the label is in the midst of a musical renaissance. First and foremost, what he brings to the table is a rare diversity of musical taste and deep A&R background, having worked with a string of successful artists who cut across the spectrum - from pop and rock to R&B and hip-hop to country and blues. He has a combination of great ears, executive experience, and most importantly, a pure passion for the music. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Pete into the Atlantic family".

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B&H SIGN UP ONE LITTLE INDIAN AND FAT CAT TO SYNC DEAL
Classical publishers Boosey & Hawkes who, as previously reported, have moved into other music genres in the sync rights domain, have announced deals with two UK indie labels which will see them represent those labels' catalogues to TV, film, game and advertising companies around the world.

The labels are One Little Indian Records and Fat Cat Records, whose rosters include artists like Bjork, Sigur Ros, Rocket From The Crypt, Sugarcubes, Animal Collective, Billy Mackenzie, Skunk Anansie, HiM, The Shamen, The Sneaker Pimps, Alabama 3, The All New Adventures of Us and Jesse Malin.

Confirming the deals, Natasha Baldwin, Head of Consultancy at Boosey & Hawkes, told CMU: "Building on our existing contemporary music roster has been a major priority for us this year and these agreements with two such esteemed labels have strengthened our offering in this area considerably. One Little Indian Records and Fat Cat Records both have fantastic catalogues and continue to release great new music and we are extremely proud to be representing them on a global basis".

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HMV TO PASS ON VAT CUT
HMV has promised to pass on the reduction in Valued Added Tax to consumers.

As you may have seen, Chancellor Alastair Darling has announced he will cut the VAT rate from 17.5% to 15% as of Monday in a bid to encourage consumers to continue spending despite the pending recession. Of course retailers who actually charge the VAT to customers could continue to charge the same unit price for things and pocket the VAT saving themselves.

But HMV have said they will pass the saving straight onto consumers meaning an £11.99 CD will now sell for £11.74. That said, it is likely price labels will continue to say £11.99 for a while, despite the price cut. Though that's a nice thing, it means a pleasant surprise when you get to the till. Just don't get giddy with joy and waste the 25p on a Fudge bar and a Chomp will you?

The music seller said in a statement yesterday: "We are pleased to confirm that the reduction in VAT to 15% will be passed on to customers at the point of purchase, and this will be communicated throughout the store and in our advertising. Although we are passing on the VAT reduction at the point of sale, the re-stickering of our entire stock would represent an enormous undertaking for our sales staff at this very busy time of year, so the prices shown on our product packaging will for the time being remain unchanged".

In related news, the slightly pessimistic PRS collecting society has said it doesn't expect the VAT cut to have any real impact on music business, which figures because you'd have to buy a lot of albums for all those 25p savings to add up to anything near enough to justify buying an additional album. All the saved money will probably end up being spent on Fudges and Chomps. Which means Cadburys win again. Damn them.

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WOOLIES SHARE TRADING ON HOLD
Elsewhere in sort-of-music retail news, trading in shares in Woolworths has been halted so the company can consider its options.

As previously reported, the Woolies board are said to be considering an offer by an outfit called Hilco to buy its retail chain. Well, I say buy, they'd take on the retail chain's not inconsiderable debts. New reports suggest the Woolworths board is also in talks with BBC Worldwide, with whom it co-owns the 2 Entertain DVD business, regarding the commercial wing of the Beeb buying them out.

With the retail firm's share price tumbling, trading in Woolies shares has been halted on the London Stock Exchange, pending a statement from the company regarding the possible sale of its high street stores and its 40% stake in 2 Entertain.

If both sales did go through it's not clear what that would mean for the company's other main asset, the one of most relevance to the music industry, CD and DVD distributor eUK. Though the most successful bit of the Woolworths empire, eUK has had cash flow issues recently with some suppliers refusing to give the distributor credit because of fears Woolworths at large could go under. With that in mind, eUK may be better off if it is cut free from its high street based sister company. That said, the CD and DVD distribution sector isn't as strong as it was either.

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LIBERTY SUPPORT SACKED TALKSPORT PRESENTER
Human rights group Liberty has spoken out in support of presenter and journalist Jon Gaunt who, as previously reported, was sacked by TalkSport for calling a councillor a "nazi" in a heated debate about smokers not being allowed to foster children.

Gaunt subsequently apologised saying he meant to say "health nazi", ie he was accusing the councillor of supporting excessive nanny state style legislation, rather than accusing him of being a xenophobic facist. As I understand it, the meaning of the outburst was pretty obvious in the context of the debate, and while he probably shouldn't have made the remark on air, most were surprised when the presenter was actually fired over the incident. Gaunt is reportedly considering his options re disputing his dismissal.

Meanwhile, Liberty director, Shami Chakrabarti, has written to TalkSport saying: "We understand that the grounds given for summary termination are Mr Gaunt's on-air references to the 'health Nazis' he felt responsible for banning smokers from fostering children in Redbridge. This strikes us as the most bizarre and disproportionate approach to someone who was no doubt contracted to excite political debate amongst a whole host of listeners who might not normally engage with news and current affairs programmes".

She continues: "For present purposes, we make no comment on the substance of the childcare policy in question. However we would remind you that any court must read Mr Gaunt's contract in the light of his right to free expression under article 10 of the Human Rights Act. Whilst this is far from an absolute right (particularly in the context of broadcasting), to be meaningful it must extend to contentious as well as consensual speech and we find it hard to envisage how your actions could possibly constitute a proportionate and lawful response to the present facts".

Liberty have also offered to assist Gaunt if he does decide to go legal over his dismissal. Though it would be slightly ironic if they did, given that the always mouthy Gaunt hasn't been especially supportive of the human rights group in the past. Last year in his Sun column he called Chakrabarti "the most dangerous woman in Britain".

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HOLLYOAKS DUO JOIN RADIO CITY
Now, I don't watch Hollyoaks on any kind of regular basis, it's important you know that. But if you are the sort of person who gets up on a Sunday morning, it's hard not to stumble across short segments of its nine-hour omnibus edition as you desperately try and find something good on the telly. And the one thing I have noticed is that if you ever do catch a bit it's invariably full of characters (and more terrible actors) you've never seen before. It can be just a couple of weeks since you last saw a bit, and yet everyone seems to have changed.

But there has been one continuing and therefore slightly comforting feature of da Oaks throughout its history - and that's the presence of Max and OB, the latter the only consistently good character in the programme, not that that's saying much. But, I've just been told they both left the show back in June, so not even they appear anymore. Which is possibly why those bits I've channel hopped over in recent months have look even less familiar than normal. Max, I think, was killed off. OB survived, and even escaped. Lucky him.

Anyway, this is a very long winded way of telling you that the actors who played Max and OB - Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries - have been given a show on Liverpool radio station Radio City (Hollyoaks, of course, despite being set in Chester, is mainly filmed in Liverpool). They will present the station's Sunday afternoon 'Entertainment City' show throughout December while regular presenter Rick Vaughn is away living the rock n roll lifestyle and, erm, doing panto in Soutport.

Confirming the Max and OB show, Radio City Programme Controller Euan McMorrow told reporters: "Matt and Darren will be a fantastic addition to our line up. They are a lively pair with a great chemistry that has been proven on screen and will work wonders on air. And with their celebrity contacts, the showbiz section of the show will be jam packed!"

I'm not sure the bloke who plays Tony in Hollyoaks counts as celebrity, and given his comments on the soap I don't expect former co-star James Corden will be on their friends list. Still, I find it comforting to know the Max and OB partnership lives on.

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BRAND PROPOSES JONAS BROTHERS COLLABORATION
Russell Brand has said he wants to record a duet with the Jonas Brothers to be released for Christmas 2009. Brand, of course, angered some for mocking the whiter than white brotherly pop trio at the MTV VMAs earlier this year, in particular joking about their stance on abstinence. The Jonas Brothers, however, said they weren't too bothered by Brand's jibes.

Asked about what Brand was doing in America, he told MTV: "I want to learn more about American cultural holidays. I'm going to have the best Thanksgiving ever. I also want to make sure ['Forgetting Sarah Marshall' spin off 'Get Him To The Greek'] is a triumph and that any further work I do with MTV is a success. And then perhaps a Christmas song with the Jonas Brothers. I haven't seen them [since the VMAs] but I love them little guys. I've got nothing against the Jonas Brothers as a concept. I love the idea".

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NICKELBACK BAN TRACK FROM BRITISH AIRWAVES
Nickelback have banned one of their album tracks from being aired on British radio, because they're worried it will offend. Are they going to allow it in America? Hope not, because it'd probably cause more of a hoo-hah there, I suspect. Although, I suppose if Nickelback have been keeping abreast of the Brand/Ross affair, one might understand their concerns.

Anyway, the track's called 'Something In Your Mouth' and the lyrics speak of a "hottie" with a "million dollar body", and the group's label Roadrunner have issued the ban.

Here's what a Kerrang listener has to say about the issue: "A little too racy for British radio? Sorry, but the lyrics in this song probably aren't even as 'racy' as songs by bands such as the Sugababes or Girls Aloud who sing about not only sex, but promote promiscuity to a much younger audience."

Amen to that. I think.

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KNIVES AND TEA FOR DRUGGED-UP ROBBIE
Robbie Williams has written on his blog about the first time he took LSD as a teenager, which resulted in him deciding to stab himself.

Williams wrote: "It was at Shelleys [nightclub] where I had my first acid experience. We were in Golden Hill, in someone's kitchen probably. I was given a tiny piece of paper to ingest. Es were too expensive for the Potteries. £15 - who could afford that? There was a band called the Prodigy performing that night and I thought they were really good. Afterwards we drove up to the garage and the police were on the forecourt. Shit, I thought. I want to go home, I'm scared. There is only one place I want to be - at home with my mum".

He continued, saying that he began to hallucinate when he finally did make it home: "American footballs were coming out of the TV. So I decided to go downstairs and stab myself. Mum came out of her room and said, 'What are you doing?'" [I replied,] 'I'm just going downstairs to stab myself - do you want a cup of tea?'"

PS: Legal disclaimer - we would not recommend handling boiling water when under the influence of LSD. Especially if you're stabbing yourself. Getting the blood off your mum's white china tea set would be a nightmare.

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