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TODAY'S NEWS

Woolworths goes into administration

Asda to buy entertainment product direct as EUK falters
Axl's lawyer angry about Dr Pepper promotion
Boy George accuser accused of voluntarily chaining himself
Accused found guilty in TI case
Industry veteran Partridge dies
U2 ditch Rubin
Dizzee: Music industry is shady and No 1 is boring
Midge Ure gets another honorary degree
Single review: James Yorkston - Tortoise Regrets Hare (Domino)
Former Pipette chats about new single
The Prodigy give away free track
Gossip post new song on MySpace
Noah And The Whale discuss next album
Muse say they're working on new album
Reatard covers Beck single
Radiohead, Rilo Kiley etc, on new charity compilation
Wintersleep single, album and London shows
Album review: The Lucksmiths - First Frost (Fortuna POP!)
Atlantic digital sales outperform CDs in US
Gene Simmons relaunches record label
Aussie web café fined for enabling illegal downloading
BPI stage regional meeting for indie labels
BBC Radio boss on Ross's return
Ofcom receive 48 applications for community licences
Mr C sells entire record collection
Mariah's diet tips: lay off the champagne
Mark Owen has new daughter
Wentz defends stupid baby name
Geldof will make it to Margate for Christmas (lights)
RSC skull was that of pianist
X Factor fans protest against contestant's hand gestures
McCartney loves Ringo just the way he is
An apology
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CMU Directory
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THURSDAY 27TH NOVEMBER

KELLI ALI
Brummy girl Kelli Dayton, aka Kelli Ali, is perhaps best known for her days as a vocalist for trip-hoppers Sneaker Pimps in the 1990s. Her musical past goes way back before then though, with her first band Psycho Dramas, followed by The Lumieres, providing her with plenty of practise at honing her talents.


 

After her departure from Sneaker Pimps, she continued to write and perform as a solo artist and is now set to release her fourth album, 'Rocking Horse', on 24 Nov. Written as she travelled across America and inspired by her journey and mesmerising surroundings, the album is a delicate bubble of dream pop.

Here are Kelli's answers to our Same Six Questions - to read her answers in full, go here.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was always singing as a little girl and making up little songs. I loved writing stories about singing animals and fairy tale creatures, so I would often write songs for them to sing. At my junior school I was lucky; art and music was highly regarded and I remember spending a lot of time playing the recorder and xylophone. I loved those days when we would play a particularly moving or pretty piece of music and the whole class would be playing, even the wayward kids would enjoy playing a triangle or tambourine and everything seemed very beautiful when we were all playing like that. It made me very happy even at seven years old and seemed to take me to a very magical place.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
We spent the last few years travelling around California and Mexico and wandering around with no fixed abode. We spent a lot of time in the most stunning places, forests, mountains, deserts, beaches and it was such a gift to have that time to write. I was inspired by many of the beautiful adventures we had. I was writing all the songs for the 'Rocking Horse' album on a little Martin acoustic guitar that I took everywhere. I spent many nights by a campfire under the stars, playing that guitar and writing many of the songs which eventually became the album.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
When the main song idea (ie verse and chorus structure) is written I will make a demo of the song on my laptop studio which consists of very few elements, such as Pro Tools and a few plug in instruments which I use for string and woodwind ideas. I'll record a basic guitar track on my acoustic and then play around with textures and strings or organ ideas, then record the vocals. From there, I keep working on the song, changing parts, adding parts, trying out different vocal melodies etc. When I feel I've done all I can do with the song, I will look for collaborators and producers and other musicians to bring the song to its full potential.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Sufjan Stevens is a big influence on the new songs I'm writing, I adore his work. Marissa Nadler, Vashti Bunyan, Joan Baez, Ennio Morricone, Iron And Wine, Lavender Diamond, Espers, Goldfrapp, Beck, Bjork, Greg Weeks, Vincent Gallo. There are so many people who influence and inspire me I could go forever!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Nothing. I'd let them listen to the music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We are now looking at playing as many live shows as we can, I am so happy to be working with some great musicians on this 'Rocking Horse' live set and the album translates perfectly to a live stage, so we're all pretty excited right now about hopefully touring the UK and the US next year. We recently finished recording an acoustic album with the musicians who play with me on the live set. It went really well and we're very much looking forward to doing more recordings together.

MORE>> You can read Kelli's full answers at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/ssq/kelliali.html, and find out more about her at www.kelliali.com and www.myspace.com/kelliali

 

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: INCREDIBOY AND THE FORGET ME NOTS
Incrediboy And The Forget Me Nots are six strong and six months old. The band was born from my bedroom demos, written under the influence of Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes and above all Elliott Smith. After a few gigs I noticed the incredible difference between the potential of the demos and the live experience, and set out to change that by recruiting the Forget Me Nots. Pianos, guitars, strings, glockenspiels, boy/girl vocals, mandolins and lapsteels all provide a back drop for stories Marjorie Weinman Sharmat would be proud of. Maybe. The primary aim is to make folk smile and inspire. I find it hard to describe the sound, it has as much in common with the folk of The Mountain Goats as contemporary giants Arcade Fire and the epic post rock elements of Explosions In The Sky. The video on our MUZU channel is a half live and half newly recorded rendition of our oldest song called 'The Bridge', and was shot on a bitterly cold Saturday on the banks of the Clyde. The song is mainly about a bridge in North Wiltshire where I didn't grow up, but at a deeper level it's about the past, home and friends. We're going to regroup over Christmas and will be back in 2009 with a bang and more importantly, a brand new live set!

Today's Unsigned Month Snap Of The Day was recommended by Christopher Panks from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Check www.muzu.tv/incrediboy 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.

 

 

WOOLWORTHS GOES INTO ADMINISTRATION
Woolworths, once a mighty force in the world of music retail, and a century old high street brand, could be about to disappear as the company's board call in the administrators.

The top men at Woolies are expected to call in Deloitte this morning after attempts to restructure mounting debts, maybe by selling off the company's retail chain, collapsed amid disagreement between directors, shareholders and major creditors, in particular the banks. The government even stepped in at the start of the week in the hope they could broker a deal to safeguard the future of the company, and the jobs of the 30,000 people they employ, but no agreement could be reached and, with the government itself unable or unwilling (probably both) to prop the firm up, the Department For Business wasn't able to help.

What all this means for the Woolworths retail chain and its CD/DVD distribution firm eUK isn't clear. With the whole retail sector suffering as the recession looms (furniture store MFI is also going into administration today) investment types are pessimistic about Deloitte's chances of finding a buyer for all or even some of the firm's retail assets. All 815 Woolworths stores are expected to open today, but some reckon up to a third could close as soon as next week.

The eUK business, probably of a bigger concern to the music industry, has performed much better than its high street sister company of late. It has suffered from cash flow issues recently after certain suppliers froze their credit, concerned, rightly it seems, about the financial stability of the wider Woolworths group. eUK would almost certainly be a stronger company on its own, and is more likely to be snapped up in any sale of assets. Of course the CD/DVD distribution sector isn't the most stable industry either, and we've seen a number of small players close down in the last two years, and even bigger players start to suffer, though as supplier to the majority of high street and supermarket music sellers, eUK is stronger than most in the world of distribution.

Neither the Woolies parent company nor its joint venture with the BBC, DVD firm 2 Entertain, will be part of the administration. As previously reported, the Beeb's commercial arm BBC Worldwide is already in talks with the retailer to buy out its 40% stake in the company.

Woolies has been struggling for years as supermarkets increasingly trod on their territory by selling cheap toys, clothes, stationery and CDs; and as HMV, Virgin and other entertainment retailers expanded their high street presence; and as upwardly mobile parents started to look for more upmarket toys and clothes for their kids. Management at the retailer consistently failed to reinvent their brand, leaving it seeming a little out of its time, while ventures such as adding Argos-style catalogue shopping into their stores was seen as too little too late.

It's not a foregone conclusion that the Woolies brand will disappear from our high streets, of course, though Seven Investment Management's Justin Urqhart-Stewart told City AM: "It's no surprise Woolies has gone under. The wonder of Woolies was that it was still there. It's s sad tale of yesterday's brand which failed to modernise".

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ASDA TO BUY ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT DIRECT AS EUK FALTERS
Despite what I said about eUK probably being OK in the long run, Asda has just announced it has started to deal directly with the makers of entertainment products - so CDs, DVDs and video games - rather than buying via eUK as part of a contingency plan to ensure its entertainment aisles don't fall empty during the all important Christmas period. However, the supermarket says it isn't yet planning on cutting out eUK long term, telling gaming industry mag MCV it would be "monitoring the situation with EUK closely" and "staying in close contact with the administrators" before making any long term decisions. Some have suggested Asda parent company Wal-Mart are possible buyers of eUK, though they haven't commented on those rumours so far.

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AXL'S LAWYER ANGRY ABOUT DR PEPPER PROMOTION
Axl Rose's lawyer has hit out at Dr Pepper, accusing the drinks firm of failing to deliver on its pledge to give everyone in America a free can of the drink on the release of 'Chinese Democracy', and demanding they extend the time for people to apply for their free can, and publicly apologise for the way the promotion has been run.

As previously reported, Dr Pepper issued a press release earlier this year promising the whole of America a free can of their drink if the long, long, long awaited new Guns N Roses album was released this year. When it became apparent that 'Chinese Democracy' would actually be finally released in 2008, Dr Pepper announced that any American wanting to claim a free can would have to register on their website on the day of the album's release.

This led to some criticism - firstly that Dr Pepper were using the publicity stunt to gather a massive database of email addresses, and secondly that the firm's website couldn't possibly cope with potentially millions of people logging on in one 24 hour period. The band issued a statement distancing themselves from the promotion, though nevertheless encouraged fans to take the drinks company up on their offer.

As previously reported, Dr Pepper's website did, as expected, go down due to the high volume of people logging on for their free drink. The drinks company extended the deadline for applying for a free can to the end of Monday, expanded its server capacity, and opened up a toll free phone line for those who couldn't make the website to work. But Guns N Roses lawyer Alan Gutman yesterday said that wasn't enough, adding that he was aware of many many GnR fans who had not been able to apply for their free can of drink because of the firm's faltering registration system. He called the promotion an "unmitigated disaster which defrauded customers".

In a letter to the company who make the drink, Gutman also claims the whole campaign "brazenly violated my clients' rights". As well as demanding Dr Pepper continue to accept free can applications, he says he will be seeking "appropriate payment" for the "unauthorised use and abuse of Guns N Roses publicity and intellectual property rights". He also wants the drink maker to take full page adverts in The New York Times, LA Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal to apologise for the crashing servers. He concludes that the whole venture was a "raw and damaging commercial exploitation of our clients' rights" adding that the association is "even more damaging in light of your shoddy execution of your disingenuous giveaway offer".

Dr Pepper are yet to comment on Gutman's letter. What started off as a light hearted publicity stunt may prove to be costly, and not just in terms of providing vouchers and free cans to half of America.

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BOY GEORGE ACCUSER ACCUSED OF VOLUNTARILY CHAINING HIMSELF
The Boy George chained escort case continues at Snaresbrook Crown Court, and yesterday Audun Carlsen, who claims the singer falsely imprisoned and assaulted him, was told that he voluntarily handcuffed himself while at George's Shoreditch flat.

Carlsen has previously denied that the incident at George's house, during which the escort was handcuffed to a wall and beaten with a chain, was part of a sex game. But George's defence lawyer yesterday showed photos taken by the singer which showed Carlsen with chains around his writes and a choker on his neck. George's counsel, Adrian Waterman, observed that the photos seem to have been willingly posed for.

He asked Carlsen: "During this photoshoot you yourself took handcuffs and asked to put them on". The escort countered that while he may have voluntarily put chains loosely around his wrists for the photo shoot, he would never have willingly allowed himself to be restrained.

The case continues.

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ACCUSED FOUND GUILTY IN TI CASE
Hosea Thomas, the man accused of killing US rapper TI's friend and entourage member Philant Johnson, has been found guilty of murder. As previously reported, TI, real name Clifford Harris, testified at the trial last week, telling how the incident that resulted in Johnson's death escalated from a fight at a post-show party at a club in Cincinnati to a shootout on Interstate 75, in which the rapper's two tour buses were sprayed with bullets.

The court heard that Thomas, 34, had followed and opened fire on the buses, after taking part in the aforementioned club altercation and getting hit on the head with a bottle. Johnson died from a gunshot to the head. On wednesday, Thomas was convicted of felonious assault and illegally having a gun after a felony conviction, as well as being found guilty of murder. He faces the possibility of life imprisonment when he is sentenced on 23 Dec.

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INDUSTRY VETERAN PARTRIDGE DIES
Rob Partridge, the founder of PR and management company Coalition Group, has died at the age of 60 from cancer.

Partridge began his career as a journalist for Music Week, moving to Melody Maker in the mid seventies. He made the switch to PR in 1977 when he became head of press at Island Records. Acts he worked closely with during that period included the likes of Bob Marley, U2, Grace Jones, Marianne Faithfull, Run-DMC, Tom Waits and Lee 'Scratch' Perry. He left Island in 1990 to launch a PR agency, Partridge and Storey, with his business partner Neil Storey, a company which would be renamed Coalition when Storey left in 1996. Coalition Management was launched in 1999, and currently handles clients such as The Streets, Bloc Party and The Zutons.

Colleagues and clients have been queuing up to pay tribute to Partridge, who was a highly regarded figure in the industry. According to Billboard, Marianne Faithfull, who has worked with Partridge since 1979, has released a statement saying that he was "one of the greatest men I have known and a great man to work with. I don't know what I will do without him, we have been friends for so long".

Another client, Johnny Marr, said in a statement: "Rob was a lovely guy, gentle and polite, but not above good devilish humor. He loved soulful music and working with soulful artists, because he was soulful himself".

U2 star Bono says: "Rob Partridge was the first person in the British music industry to sing our praises. He not only had an eye for upcoming talent, he was a nurturer... a person who would educate you about the kind of obstacles you were going to meet and how to get over them... a rare human being".

HMV's Gennaro Castaldo says: "Everyone who knew Rob will tell you he was one of the most genuine and decent guys around. Incredibly knowledgeable and generous, and always prepared to help somebody that needed his advice or his unique brand of wisdom. Perhaps his greatest quality was the ability to bring like-minded people together, and, of course, he helped shaped the careers of some of our greatest artists - though you wouldn't know it, as he was also one of the most humble and modest people you're ever likely to have met".

Coalition issued the following statement: "From Tina [Partridge's wife] and all of us at the Coalition Family and to all in our extended family of ex-staffers, clients, colleagues, artists, journalists and friends, we send our heartfelt thanks for all your love and support during Rob's fight and the knowledge that his spirit will live on through all of us that he's taught and nurtured in the way that only Rob ever could".

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U2 DITCH RUBIN
He may have provided a golden touch to records by everyone from Johnny Cash to Jay-Z, but U2 have decided that the songs they recorded with Rick Rubin back in 2006 aren't good enough to appear on their new album. I guess that means U2 just weren't good enough.

The Edge revealed: "We actually laid all that stuff to one side. Really out of deference to Rick and that set of songs we just said, okay, that's that, and we drew a line. So none of the Rick material went into this project. Everything has been written subsequently. He gave us great advice as much as anything. His whole thing is, 'Don't go near the studio until you know exactly what you want to do', which, of course, is the opposite of how we usually work".

All tracks on the album, due for release in February, have been recorded with the band's traditional studio pairing of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.

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DIZZEE: MUSIC INDUSTRY IS SHADY AND NO 1 IS BORING
Dizzee Rascal has revealed that he's very suspicious of the music industry, and has become more so since his Mercury win shot him to fame in 2003.

He told BBC 1Xtra: "Everything kind of happened like: 'Bam!' for me. One minute I was living on a council estate somewhere, then I won the Mercurys, then all of a sudden press and people were in my face. It's a very shady industry, no matter how glitzy it looks. I still to this day don't really trust anyone".

On the subject of his single, 'Dance Wiv Me', which was number one for four weeks in July, Dizzee said: "It got boring. I'm never going to lie. It got boring, 'Are we still number one?' Ahhh".

Although he wasn't completely down on the experience. He added: "It was amazing, it was a blessing. There was no feeling like it. We had a lot of parties. It just raised the morale, it was really positive. I didn't actually think it was going to go to number one".

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MIDGE URE GETS ANOTHER HONORARY DEGREE
Midge Ure, singer, and, let us not ever forget, Live Aid co-founder, has received a fourth honorary degree from a Scottish university, and this time it's Glasgow Caledonian doing the honouring. Ure became an honorary doctor at the institution yesterday, in recognition of his musical and humanitarian achievements. He has previously received honorary degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh, Paisley and Abertay.

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SINGLE REVIEW: James Yorkston - Tortoise Regrets Hare (Domino)
Having emerged from the creative hub of the Fence Collective, James Yorkston has an impressive back catalogue of fragile folk with a reassuring twinge of Scottish self-deprecation. 'Tortoise Regrets Hare' is the first single taken from his fifth album, backed up by an expansive British tour. This time round he's built himself a rock-solid foundation of material. Like it was spindle woven by some heavenly entity, the delicate instrumentation on 'Tortoise Regrets Hare' whispers of the rolling landscape on an evening in Fife. Then there's Yorkston himself, the king of the understatement. Achieving the emotional content for which most artists would have to strain their vocal cords as tight as a Scot the day before pay-day in just a few minor inflections, his voice is captivating and enveloping. By the time it's over, you're wrapped in a rose-tinted haze, and that romantic inside you that you thought had died with the weather is roused and ready. GB
Release Date: 8 Dec
Press Contact: Domino IH [NP], Hermana PR [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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FORMER PIPETTE CHATS ABOUT NEW SINGLE
Former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall has been talking to CMU about her new single, 'Another Version Of Pop Song', which is set to be released on 8 Dec, the day before she headlines the Christmas CMU Social at 229.

Talking about the inspiration for her new single, Rose told CMU: "After being in The Pipettes, which was very much based around the idea of writing 'pop' songs, I was thinking about how those processes and ideas related to my own personal song writing now, being outside of that structure, and this is something that came out of that time. I suppose it is about the first couple of weeks that you meet someone you are interested in being around, not believing in forever but enjoying the experience all the same".

Her ambitions for the new single are simple it seems. She joked: "I would hope for it to induce complete unadulterated ecstacy combined with a sudden, overwhelming morbid depression. And don't you dare tell me it reminds you of Kate Nash, cos I'll stab your eyes out!"

She quickly added: "I really just want as many people as possible to hear it, and just make people aware that I am making music again, that draws a line under what I have done in the past. In the end, I really just hope that some people like it".

Rose headlines the CMU Social at 229 on 9 Dec. For more details check www.cmusocial.co.uk. And don't forget, admission to the Social is free for you CMU Daily readers, you just have to make sure your name is on the guest list - email social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

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THE PRODIGY GIVE AWAY FREE TRACK
The Prodigy have made the title track of their forthcoming album, 'Invaders Must Die', available to download for free from their website. The track will be available until next Wednesday evening.

Go to www.theprodigy.com to get the track.

'Invaders Must Die' the album will be released on 2 Mar via the band's own label, Take Me To The Hospital.

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GOSSIP POST NEW SONG ON MYSPACE
The Gossip have posted a new song, entitled '1000 Things', on their MySpace page. This is the first material to appear from the group's fourth album, the follow-up to 2006's 'Standing In The Way Of Control'.

Unveiling the new track, guitarist Bruce Paine said: "To celebrate the gorgeousness and subtle doom of the Fall here in the pacific northwest we've decided to post our new song '1000 Things'. Hope you like it! There will be more demos/practice tapes on the way to tide you over until our new record comes out. We are hard at work right now and I have seriously been playing bass for 5 days straight... Arthritis is gently knocking on my door".

Listen to '1000 Things' here.

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NOAH AND THE WHALE DISCUSS NEXT ALBUM
Their debut album may only have been released in August, but already Noah And The Whale are looking towards the next one. And it sounds like it'll be quite an ambitious effort.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, drummer Doug Fink said: "The way it'll work is it's going to be one long music video. The album will be effectively the one song and the video will accompany that ... there's a loose storyline. It's going to be more impressionistic than clear. There will be narrative. It's about seasons and it's about time. Best to wait and see how it turns out - it's not crystallised yet. Concept album is a word we try and shy away from but [frontman and main songwriter Charlie Fink] has thought about it as one piece and that's how we're trying to approach it".

He also revealed that the band's punk side project, The A Sides are planning to release a mini-album in aid of Age Concern. He said: "It's seven tracks. We had some spare studio time and we recorded an album over two nights with a one-take rule. All the money we make from that, and there's going to be a gig as well, will go to Age Concern. That's happening over Christmas so we'll see a lot of each other".

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MUSE SAY THEY'RE WORKING ON NEW ALBUM
Muse have told fans via their website forum that they have started work on their fifth album. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme wrote, when asked when their next album would be out: "It would be nice to have the album out in the second half of next year [2009] but we have not set ourselves any targets. It is more important for us to make the best album we have made to date, and if that means it comes out in 2010 then we don't mind".

Elaborating about the content of the album, he said: "There is a new song in three parts, more of a symphony than a song, which I have been working on sporadically for many years. As a large percentage of the composition is orchestral, I have never wanted to collaborate with a string arranger as they may make it 'theirs'. So I have been arranging the orchestral elements myself, which is taking a long time. It should hopefully make the next album as the final three tracks".

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REATARD COVERS BECK SINGLE
US garage rock type Jay Reatard has recorded a cover of Beck's new single 'Gamma Ray', to feature as a B-side on the release of the original track. Reatard is also set to release a singles collection, 'Singles 06-07', which features another cover, of a Go-Betweens track.

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RADIOHEAD, RILO KILEY ETC, ON NEW CHARITY COMPILATION
A new compilation featuring the likes of Radiohead, Rilo Kiley, Bat For Lashes, Ladytron, CSS and Garbage is to be released in aid of charity. The collection comprises two discs, the second being a disc devoted to the work of artists singed to LA indie Dangerbird Records. If you're wondering why that might be, it's because money raised by the release will be going to the PABLOVE Foundation, a charity founded by Dangerbird Records boss Jeff Castelaz. The foundation assists the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, where Castelaz's son is, sadly, being treated for cancer.

Here's the list du tracks:

DISC 1
Garbage - Witness to Your Love (previously unreleased)
Radiohead - House of Cards
Of Montreal - Jimmy (MIA Cover)
Bat for Lashes - What's a Girl (Plaid remix)
Oasis - Falling Down (Chemical Brothers remix)
Rilo Kiley - Draggin' Around (previously unreleased)
Bloc Party - Flux (JKL remix)
The Faint - The Geeks Were Right (DIOYY remix)
CSS - Rat Is Dead (Rage)
Decemberists - Billy Liar (live)
Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell (Little Ones remix)
Ladytron - Ghosts (Modwheelmood mix)
The Little Ones - I Don't Want to Dance (previously unreleased)
Other Lives - Paper Cities (previously unreleased)
Two Sheds - You
Jack Johnson - All At Once (live at Bumbershoot 2008)

DISC 2 - Dangerbird Records
Silversun Pickups - Table Scraps
Eulogies - Is There Anyone Here?
Darker My Love - Blue Day
The Dears - Crisis 1 & 2
Sea Wolf - The Promise
The Curse of Company - All the Mines
One a.m. radio - Old Men
Ed Laurie - Albert
Eric Avery - All Remote and No Control
Dappled Cities - Vision Bell
La Rocca - Cross the River

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WINTERSLEEP SINGLE, ALBUM AND LONDON SHOWS
Canadian indie rockers Wintersleep have announced that they will release their new album 'Welcome To The Night Sky' in the UK on 2 Feb, via One Four Seven Records. But that's ages away, there's plenty going on before then. The band release a new single, 'Archaeologists' on 8 Dec and will be in London for three shows in December, too.

You can download 'Archaeologists' for absolutely nothing on One Four Seven Records' blog, here.

Tour dates:
4 Dec: London, 229
5 Dec: London, Koko
16 Dec: London, Borderline

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Lucksmiths - First Frost (Fortuna POP!)
Although 2005's 'Warmer Corners' was the first album to attract widespread recognition, especially amongst the blogging community, Melbourne band The Lucksmiths have actually been recording since 1993 and new record 'First Frost' is their ninth studio album. Those familiar with 'Warmer Corners' will have a reasonable picture already of what to expect since the band more or less cover the same terrain and stick to the same template that made that album a successful and memorable record. For those new to The Lucksmiths, their sound can be described as jangly indie-pop with smart and literate lyrics, and their influences include The Smiths, Belle And Sebastian and Orange Juice, and there are also hints of fellow Australians The Go-Betweens and The Triffids. Their best work certainly sits well in comparison with the aforementioned bands; see 'The Music From Next Door' from 'Warmer Corners' for the best example of their sound. Whilst 'First Frost' might lack anything comparable to sweep you off your feet, there is still plenty to recommend; this is still a commendable and consistent record. Highlights include 'A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed)', which adds a dash of brass to accompany the band's signature sound, and 'The Pines', which is more restrained and introspective that anything else here. There's nothing over-elaborate or showy; just the work of a band which knows its limitations and always plays to its strengths. Whilst the album might not reach the heights of it's predecessor, 'Warmer Corners', it's still a fine effort. KW
Release Date: 8 Dec
Press contact: Fortuna POP! IH [All]

Buy from iTunes
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ATLANTIC DIGITAL SALES OUTPERFORM CDS IN US
According to the New York Times, Warner Music's Atlantic division in the US is now selling more digital product than CDs. Although overall digital sales account for about 27% of Warner Music's revenues, within Atlantic US 51% of revenues reportedly come from downloads and ringtones and the like.

Assuming that is true, that means Atlantic is shifting a lot more digital product (or a lot less physical product, depending how you look at it) than many of its competitors, or other divisions within the Warner group, where it is more common for a quarter to a third of revenue to now come from digital.

The NY Times quote a Forrester Research expert, David Card, who says he's surprised by those Atlantic stats. He told the paper - "That's a lot - that's very high. No one is near that".

From Atlantic they quote the division's chairman Julie Greenwald, who says: "I think we've figured it out. It used to be that you could connect five dots and sell a million records. Now there are 20 dots you can connect to sell a million records".

While digital sales equalling or surpassing physical sales at any label is certainly a landmark, that achievement is very different to the one many record label chiefs desire, whereby digital sales are bringing in the kind of revenue that compensates for the slump in CD sale revenues that has occurred in the last decade. That day, of course, is unlikely to come without some clever diversification on the part of the record companies, within the recorded product space or, for those who still advocate the 360 degree model, by getting involved in other aspects of the music business outside the record industry.

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GENE SIMMONS RELAUNCHES RECORD LABEL
The record industry may still be struggling, but that's not stopping Kiss man Gene Simmons from relaunching his record label, Simmons Records, albeit with elements of that 360 approach in it. The label is a joint venture with Universal Music Canada and Canadian businesswoman and politician Belinda Stronach, and the aim is to sign three Canadian acts per year, working with them on recordings and merchandise projects.

Announcing the label's launch, Simmons told reporters in Toronto the label would work with artists to develop their sound and songwriting, only releasing an album (via Universal) when he thought the band were really ready. He said: "This is going to be about career songs that define who and what a band is".

A previous incarnation of Simmons Records operated as part of the now defunct Sanctuary Records group, and released both Simmons' own solo work and some other Canadian material.

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AUSSIE WEB CAFÉ FINED FOR ENABLING ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING
In a case slightly similar to the BPI v Easy Everything case here in the UK back in 2003, an Australian court has fined an internet café in Sydney for encouraging customers to download illegal music files via their computers, and charging them an hourly fee to do so.

In the Easy Everything case, the BPI successfully sued the UK internet café operator because it offered a CDR burning service where customers could download content via one of the café's PCs and then pay for it to be burned to CD. Although the service wasn't specifically set up for the downloading of music, it was shown many people did so, and mostly from illegal sources (this was in 2001, so there weren't many legal sources anyway).

The Interville Technology café in Sydney seems to have been infringing copyright much more blatantly, with staff downloading thousands of illegal tracks to the store's servers so that customers didn't even have to go online to access music. An investigation by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and Music Industry Piracy Investigations led to a raid on the café last December, and this week the café's owners were fined AUS$ 82,000 plus costs, and forced to relinquish their services and computers.

MIPI's Sabiene Heindl told reporters: "This is a fantastic result for a significant case in the fight against music piracy. For the first time, an internet café has been targeted and justly reprimanded for its blatant facilitation of widespread copyright infringement for commercial gain".

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BPI STAGE REGIONAL MEETING FOR INDIE LABELS
The BPI has announced it is holding a meeting for its indie label members who are based in the North West. It's the first of what could become regular regional meetings for independent labels, and will be headed up by the trade body's Director Of Independent Member Services, Julian Wall. The North West bash takes place on 4 Dec at the School Of Sound Recording in Manchester. For more info email julian.wall@bpi.co.uk.

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BBC RADIO BOSS ON ROSS'S RETURN
The boss of BBC Audio & Music, who has all the Beeb's radio and music operations under him, has said there may be changes to the way Jonathan Ross's radio show is managed when the presenter returns to Radio 2 in January after his three month suspension that followed the whole Sachsgate hoo haa. Well, he sort of did. Well, he didn't say there wouldn't be changes.

Although the controversial routine that led to Ross's suspension, and Russell Brand, Lesley Douglas and David Barber's resignations, was not on Ross's Saturday morning show, there has been speculation BBC bosses will be monitoring his own live radio show more closely when it returns, to avoid any further embarrassment.

Asked about Ross's show at a Voice Of The Listener & Viewer conference, Davie wouldn't confirm or deny rumours the show will become pre-recorded, so that output can be better monitored, saying: "It's a little early to confirm anything at this point. We've said that on January 24 the Jonathan Ross Show will come back. That's the lead assumption".

Davie was also asked about whether the BBC would alter is policy whereby shows presented by top presenters are technically speaking made by independent production companies owned, or part-owned, by the presenter themselves. It's thought such arrangements give big ego presenters more freedom to misbehave, and also allows them to surround themselves with friendly production staff who may be less likely to challenge their actions.

The Brand radio show on which the Sachsgate phone calls took place was produced by the comedian's company Vanity Projects - the indie had taken over production duties after Brand fell out with some BBC production staff. Ross' show is produced by his production company Hot Sauce.

Davie didn't comment on that issue, saying that BBC management were investigating and would report back to the BBC Trust on it next month.

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OFCOM RECEIVE 48 APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY LICENCES
Commercial radio groups may be returning their FM licences to media regulator OfCom (well, some have), but community radio groups are eager to get a frequency. 48 applications have been submitted as part of an OfCom initiative to licence new community radio stations in the East and South East (excluding London). Hosptial radio stations, student and community groups are among those who have applied for a community licence. A full list of all 48 applicants will be published in due course.

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MR C SELLS ENTIRE RECORD COLLECTION
Mr C, he of The Shamen and The End fame, is selling his entire record collection on Ebay. The collection consists of over 15,000 vinyl records covering various styles of underground dance music from 1986 to 2007. It can be yours for a snip, with a starting price of just £75,000 - plus, postage and packaging is free.

Check it out here.

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MARIAH'S DIET TIPS: LAY OFF THE CHAMPAGNE
US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres attempted to trick Mariah Carey into announcing that she is pregnant by giving her alcohol, which seems pretty underhand to me.

DeGeneres suggested that the pair toast Carey's marriage to Nick Cannon, which happened way back in May, revealing a bottle of champagne and some champagne flutes. Carey attempted to refuse the drink but did eventually take a glass, saying: "It's just fattening. This is peer pressure!"

When the singer only pretended to drink, DeGeneres shouted: "You're pregnant!"

Carey replied: "No, no, no. We will let you know when we're going to have a family. It's too early for me. I only drink after 3pm".

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MARK OWEN HAS NEW DAUGHTER
Take That's Mark Owen and his partner Emma Ferguson are celebrating the arrival of their second child, a girl called Willow Rose. The couple already have a son, Elwood. A spokesman for the band said: "Mark, Emma and Elwood are thrilled. Mum and daughter are very healthy and happy".

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WENTZ DEFENDS STUPID BABY NAME
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has defended his and his wife Ashlee Simpson-Wentz's decision to give their recently born son the name Bronx Mowgli.

Wentz told Ryan Seacrest: "The Jungle Book was something that me and Ashlee bonded over. It's a cool name. We came up with the idea Bronx. We've been throwing [ideas] back and forth a while. It's kind of cool to just leave the narrative what it is. People are stoked or pissed or whatever. And you're like, you know what: I don't think anyone really has the real story".

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GELDOF WILL MAKE IT TO MARGATE FOR CHRISTMAS (LIGHTS)
Bob Geldof has said that he'll rearrange plans to go to an international poverty meeting in order to make his previously cancelled appearance in Margate to switch on the town's Christmas lights, an appointment booked after it was reported that he'd labelled the Kent resort "ugly".

Anyway, he'll be travelling straight on to Qatar following the engagement, with the switching on event being brought forward to accommodate this. Councillor Brian Sullivan, the town mayor, said: "He didn't want to disappoint the people of Margate. He comes to Margate in the afternoon and we're given to understand he goes straight from here to Heathrow where he goes to attend a conference."

Not sure I'd want Geldof to switch on my lights. His face doesn't exactly shout "Christmas".

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RSC SKULL WAS THAT OF PIANIST
It's transpired that the skull used by TV's David Tennant during his recent stint as Hamlet at the RSC was in fact a real skull, and was that of pianist Andre Tchaikowsky.

The musician died in 1982 at the age of 46 after suffering from cancer, and in his will, bequeathed his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company in hopes that it would be used as a prop in Hamlet's famous Yorick scene. From 1982 until 1984, the skull was left to air on the roof of an RSC building, and then in 1989 it was used in rehearsals, but had thus far never been used for a performance. Tchaikowsky finally got his wish back in August this year, when his skull appeared on stage with Tennant for 22 performances.

According to reports, the reason it's taken so long for it to be used was that no actor felt comfortable using it. Director Greg Doran told The Telegraph: "It was sort of a little shock tactic. Though, of course, to some extent that wears off and it's just André, in his box". He added that he didn't want people to know about it in advance, saying: "I thought it would topple the play and it would be all about David acting with a real skull".

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X FACTOR FANS PROTEST AGAINST CONTESTANT'S HAND GESTURES
X Factor fans have apparently been joining Facebook groups to whine about the fact that one of the show's contestants, Diana Vickers, does too much stuff with her hands, like curling her fingers and stroking her face. One writes: "I am going to make it my mission to travel down to London and cut off her fucking left hand if she does not stop touching her face with it".

More than 8000 users have joined such groups, apparently. Do these people honestly have nothing better to do with their lives?

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MCCARTNEY LOVES RINGO JUST THE WAY HE IS
More from that Paul McCartney press conference that happened the other day, now. He said a lot, didn't he? This time he's been defending Ringo Starr's recent video messages to fans telling them not to send him any more fan mail.

He said: "We love Ringo... In the world that we live in you're not supposed to say that, so he's always getting in trouble for speaking his mind... I think it's a good quality. It's called honesty, actually".

No confirmation of whether or not Ringo has ever told Paul to fuck off, with or without a warning of peace and love, was available before going to press.

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AN APOLOGY
Obviously we pride ourselves on our accuracy here at CMU, but it has come to our attention that we made a fundamental error in yesterday's CMU Daily. We suggested that the 25p saving that consumers will make after the pending cut in VAT when buying an average 12 pound CD at HMV could be spent on a Fudge bar and a Chomp. This was based on an assumption that Fudge bars retailed at 15p while Chomp bars sold for 10p. It has been brought to our attention that Chomp bars now cost 15p each. We were unaware of this price increase, hence our mistake. We apologise. I will, of course resign. But only if I get to walk straight into a highly paid job making telly programmes for Universal Music.

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