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TODAY'S NEWS

More on Woolies

Record Of The Day Awards
Five arrested over alleged ticketing scam
George reported laptop tampering, but didn't mention escort
Memorial to be held for Pusherman's Frank
Lil Wayne defends self over gig postponements
Kanye West's cousin investigated over Donda's death
PETA ask Jackson to save giraffes
Bragg to launch next phase of prison project
Single review: Neon Neon - Dream Cars (Lex Records)
It's the CMU/MUZU Most Watched Indie Chart
Jeffrey Lewis' history of Rough Trade
JD Set Unsigned competition opens
Red Stripe unsigned band competition opens
Wogan and Jones do Bing and Bowie
Land Rover soundtrack tipped for Xmas success
Jamie Cullum gives away Xmas gifts
Nsync could come back, threatens Bass
The Jesus Lizard reform
Headliners announced for Rockness
Britney to play O2
Cliff And The Shadows reunite
Futureheads tour
Album review: Murcof - The Versailles Sessions (The Leaf Label)
Slicethepie launch new website
Industry welcomes Danish Pirate Bay ruling
US CD sales in record decline
Minister joins MusicTank panel
More cuts expected at ITV
Telegraph to lose 50 jobs
BBC reviewing on-air swearing
4Digital partners await C4's decision on what to do with digital joint venture
6music plan new collaborations programme
Rapper convicted by lyrics
Lily Allen on celebrity etc
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FRIDAY 28TH NOVEMBER

UNSIGNED MONTH ROUND-UP
So, here ends the very first CMU/MUZU Unsigned Month. As you can't have failed to notice, we here at CMU 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 throughout November, with a view to unearthing the future buzz bands of 2009.


 

So, here, in alphabetical order, is a round-up of all the bands who have graced the coveted SNAP Of The Day column this month:

Akira. Fresh and exciting indie rock - www.muzu.tv/akira

Conil. Smokey, whisky-fuelled folky gutter blues - www.muzu.tv/conil

Crane Brothers. Brass tinged indie reggae mix www.muzu.tv/cranebrothers

Disconnect 4. 80s synths at breakneck speed - www.muzu.tv/disconnect4

Dry Riser. Driving basslines and moody guitars - www.muzu.tv/dryriser

Escape Act. Brit-rock with shoe gazing vocals - www.muzu.tv/escapeact

Gorbachov. Brash and pumping dance rock - www.muzu.tv/gorbachov

Incrediboy And The Forget Me Nots. Folk with a little post-rock - www.muzu.tv/incrediboy

Kurran. A modern take on Americana - www.muzu.tv/kurranssecondrun

Maneki. Memorable choruses and chugging guitars - www.muzu.tv/maneki

Panama Kings. Funked up, angular indie rock - www.muzu.tv/panamakings

Rogues. Glossy, propulsive and dancey post-punk - www.muzu.tv/rogues

Subsource. Live breaks and punk energy - www.muzu.tv/Subsource

Tess And Will. Guy, girl, guitar, and Mac - www.muzu.tv/tessandwill

This Devils Yours. Ghostly electronic piano led balladry - www.muzu.tv/thisdevilsyours

3 Foot Ninja. A fired up pop-punk assault - www.muzu.tv/3footninja

All these bands are playing in the Unsigned Month playlist on the CMU-Tube (www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube) and there is full information on all the bands at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/unsigned.

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Audio Sushi at The Dogstar
The Dogstar was a bit of a hang out for me in the mid 90s, where the crazy party vibe of Coldharbour Lane really let rip. After changing hands, the bar now rests with the Antic crowd who have it as one of their ten bars. The Audio Sushi night has been going on a good few years, kicking out party vibes in different sonic directions with DJ Disastronaut at the helm. Tonight, he'll have the Brixtonian Jerry Dammers (of Specials fame) adding some extra ska-based mentalism into his sonic hotch potch... should be a goodun if you are a lover of breaks and busted beats, soul, funk and anything in between!

Sat 29 Nov. The Dogstar. 389 Coldharbour Lane. Brixton, SW9. 9pm-4am. Free before 10pm / £5 after, www.antic-ltd.com/dogstar/info, www.myspace.com/disastronaut

   

VIGSY'S FILMSCORE EXTRAVAGANZA TIP: Lost presents: 'X-102 Rediscovers The Rings Of Saturn' - A Night with Jeff Mills at the ICA
The Lost parties have pioneered the sound of techno and electronic music in London over the past decade and a half. Detroit legend Jeff Mills is a regular stalwart, and now gets a bit artsy again, as he previously provided a new score for Fritz Lang's silent 1927 film 'Metropolis In 2000'. For this night, Jeff will show his documentary film 'X-102 Rediscovers The Rings Of Saturn', followed by a Q&A session. A visual delight and soundfest, one of the most beautiful and mysterious planets, the film features breathtaking images from the NASA Cassini/Huygen exploratory mission with a new soundtrack to create a futuristic view of the planet and its rings. After 9pm, Mills and Lost resident Steve Bicknell will provide a musical soundscape featuring electronic music from back in the day alongside future classics. Different, but should be awesome, especially in the plush setting of the Institute.

Thu 4 Dec. ICA. The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 8pm - 1am. £10 adv. www.lost.co.uk/lost/events2.php, www.ica.org.uk/18656.twl, Press info from Jonas at EPM

 

 



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.

 

 

NO. 3: BRIAN WILSON
So, here again is our alarmingly regular occasional column, in which we ask you to recount tales of the times pop stars have told you to fuck off. Ah, such fond memories. This week, we deviate slightly, because the story is not about the reader themselves being told to fuck off. And actually, the words "fuck" and "off" are not mentioned at all. We thought it was a great story, though.

"Brian Wilson doing a record/book signing in 2001. Long queue, sign up saying 'Please have your record ready for signing and two items only please'. Friend duly queues for two hours with large anticipation as he has brought with him a highly sought after rare Beach Boys release that was pulled due to issues with artwork and only 150 or so copies were ever sold before being taken off shelves. My friend has this record, the record that then replaced it and the recently re-released 'Greatest Hits' album to be signed. Friend is convinced that Brian will realise that he is the Beach Boys' biggest EVER fan as soon as he sees this record in his hands... Friend reaches the front of the queue slaps down this rarity in front of Brian, embarks upon his spiel of how he doesn't think anyone else owns one of these and the background to how he bought it. Brian stops him and says, 'Sorry, two items only please'".

Has a pop star told you to fuck off? Tell us your story by emailing peaceandlove@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

 

MORE ON WOOLIES
Woolworths officially went into administration yesterday, with consultants Deloitte moving in to try and find a way of keeping the high street retailer, and its CD/DVD distribution firm eUK, in business.

A statement from the Woolworths Group, which itself isn't in administration, was issued yesterday thus: "Following, and as a consequence of the termination of [recent takeover] discussions, the boards of Woolworths plc and Entertainment UK Ltd have concluded that there is no longer any prospect of those businesses being able to operate as a going concern. Accordingly, the boards of both companies last night resolved to file petitions for administration in the High Court".

Deloitte have hired restructuring firm Hilco to manage Woolies on a day-to-day basis while the firm is in administration, which is ironic because Hilco had tried to buy the retail firm in a deal which would have seen the restructuring specialists pay a pound and take on the retailer's not insubstantial debts. It was the collapse of that takeover deal, reportedly because of objections to it from both Woolworths shareholders and creditors, that immediately preceded the company going into administration.

Hilco are thought to no longer be interested in buying the two Woolworth businesses that are in administration, the high street stores and eUK, though reports suggest possible buyers for both businesses have now approached Deloitte. Insiders seem to think eUK will be bought, perhaps by a major retail or logistics firm, and will continue to operate more or less as normal. Despite reports buyers were also lining up for the high street Woolies business, some more pessimistic experts don't see anyone really wanting to acquire the whole 815 store Woolworths chain.

For the music industry there are two concerns. First, ensuring the possible collapse of eUK doesn't have a major financial impact on the record companies it buys CDs from. Some labels had already cut back or cut off the credit it offered the distributor - but it's not clear how much eUK continues to owe the labels. Second, to ensure the supermarkets and high street retailers who get their CDs off eUK continue to be supplied with stock throughout the all important Christmas market.

Retailers also won't want to run out of stock during the Christmas rush and, as reported yesterday, Asda has already confirmed it is talking directly to the major record companies about getting stocks direct while eUK's future is unclear. Other music retailers, including those like HMV who are not supplied by eUK, are also reportedly watching what is happening at Woolies closely because of concerns Hilco will slash the prices on all the stock in the retailer's stores in a bid to bring in quick revenues. That could lead to a price war on CDs which could damage the specialist entertainment retailers who already struggle to compete with the price cutting tactics of the supermarkets on chart releases. With Woolies generally stocking a bigger range of CDs than Tesco etc, if it slashes its prices across the board HMV and Zavvi et al could find themselves struggling to compete on an even wider range of albeit mainstream releases.

Record label trade body the BPI yesterday confirmed the industry was watching the whole Woolies situation very closely. BPI boss Geoff Taylor told reporters: "EUK played a valuable and profitable role in the music supply chain and it is very unfortunate that Woolworths' wider difficulties have dragged it into administration. We've been advising our members on how they can insulate themselves against the risks of a failure of this type, and over the next few days we will consult further with members as to how they can best respond to this development and ensure continued access to all sectors of retail".

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RECORD OF THE DAY AWARDS
So, music media and PR types galore amassed at The Conway Hall in London yesterday for the annual Record Of The Day Awards for music journalism and publicity.

As previously reported, this year the ROTD Awards included two new categories staged in association with us here at CMU, celebrating the best in student music journalism. There was one for best student music writer and one for best student music photographer. And after much assessing by Team CMU, as well as editors at the NME, Observer Music Monthly and Clash, the overall winners were Rob Mulholland from Smiths magazine at Goldsmiths College in London, who took the best music writer prize, and Tom Clarke from Nerve at Bournemouth University, who won best photographer. Well done both of them

CMU also teamed up with ROTD to launch two new 'student choice' awards. These went to established music media types, but were voted for by members of CMU's network of student correspondents at universities all around the UK. And for those who want to know what our student opinion formers are really digging, the student choice award for best music journalist went to the mighty Peter Robinson, he of Pop Justice etc, while the best music website prize went to a new player in the market, that lovely The Quietus operation. Well done both of them.

Anyway, enough plugging our own categories, let's give a prestigious CMU Daily listing to the other winners at Record Of The Day's big bash, which were as follows...

Best Editor: Caspar Llewellyn Smith - Observer Music Monthly
Live Reviewer Of The Year: Kitty Empire - The Observer
Record Reviewer Of The Year: Alexis Petridis - The Guardian
Breaking Music Writer: Paul Lester
Music Business And Technology Writer Of The Year: Ben Cardew - Music Week
Music Features Writer Of The Year: Simon Cosyns and Jacqui Swift - The Sun, Something for the Weekend

Magazine Of The Year: Word
Best Music Coverage In A Newspaper: The Guardian
Best Podcast: Guardian Music Weekly
Best Digital Publication: NME.com
Best Blog: 20 Jazz Funk Greats

Best in-house PR person: Andy Prevezer at Warner Bros Records
Best in-house PR department: Polydor Records
Best independent PR individual: Nathan Beazer at Dog Day Press
Best independent PR Company: Dog Day Press
Best online PR: Scruffy Bird

Best PR campaign for a breakthrough UK act: Tony Linkin at Coalition PR for Glasvegas

Best PR campaign for an established UK act: Lewis Jamieson at Hall or Nothing PR for Elbow

Best PR Campaign for a breakthrough non-UK act: Ash Collins at Toast PR for MGMT

Best PR campaign for an established non-UK Act: James Hopkins at Columbia Records for Kings of Leon

Outstanding contribution to music photography: Pennie Smith
Outstanding contribution to music journalism: Jon Savage
Outstanding contribution to PR: Barbara Charone - MBC PR

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FIVE ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED TICKETING SCAM
Five people have been arrested over a dodgy ticketing outfit called Xclusive Tickets who allegedly sold tickets so exclusive they didn't actually exist. It's thought over 4000 people paid for non-existent tickets to music festivals and events at the Beijing Olympics while the Xclusive business was in operation.

The Metropolitan Police reportedly raided homes of the accused and a business address on Tuesday night, and arrested four men and one woman in relation to the alleged crimes. All five have been released on bail. The Serious Fraud Office, which is investigating the scam, has asked anyone who paid Xclusive for tickets they then didn't receive to let them know via the form at http://www.sfo.gov.uk/investigations.

Commenting on the case, Serious Fraud Office Director Richard Alderman said: "People thinking of buying tickets on-line should be vigilant and always check the supplier's credentials. In this particular case we know that many thousand consumers lost money and suffered disappointment that they could not attend events that many of them had spent years dreaming about and I urge those people who bought tickets through Xclusive to come forward with information".

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GEORGE REPORTED LAPTOP TAMPERING, BUT DIDN'T MENTION ESCORT
The ongoing Boy George chained up escort case continued yesterday, with more talk about the former Culture Club man's laptop.

As previously reported, George is accused of handcuffing and beating a male escort without his consent at the singer's Shoreditch home in April last year. Escort Audun Carlsen says that George turned nasty after accusing him of hacking his computer during the two men's first encounter. Despite seemingly making allegations against the escort even during that first meeting (I think), George continued to communicate with Carlsen via Gaydar. He later apologised for any accusations he had made against Carlsen and invited the escort back to his home. It was during that second visit the alleged assault took place - with George seemingly making new accusations against Carlsen regarding his laptop.

In amongst all this, Boy George, real name George O'Dowd of course, had reported his concerns regarding his laptop having been hacked to the police, and the officer who received the singer's complaint was in court yesterday. Key to his testimony was that while O'Dowd had reported his belief that his computer had been tampered with, that at the time he said he believed the hacker was a former employee who had previously watched him type in his password, and no mention was made that Carlsen may have been involved.

Boy George's lawyer, who seemingly wants to prove his client genuinely believed Carlsen many have hacked his laptop, suggested the officer, who admitted he hadn't written up George's complaint at the time and had only done so recently as part of the current case, had muddled things up - and that the former employee was one of several people the singer had suggested may have been responsible for messing with his PC.

But Det Con Matthew Foy told the court that, while he hadn't written up George's complaint at the time, he remembers his conversation with the singer well because it was unusual to be taking a complaint from a celebrity and because, well, you know "Mr O'Dowd is Boy George".

Foy added that police checked George's laptop at the time but couldn't find any evidence of tampering.

The case continues.

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MEMORIAL TO BE HELD FOR PUSHERMAN'S FRANK
A memorial service will be held for the singer of 90s alt rockers Pusherman's Andy Frank on 5 Dec in his home town of Portsmouth. Frank, who died at his home in Los Angeles on 23 Oct at the age of 42, will be laid to rest at John Pounds Memorial Church.

The London band formed in 1994, and completed just one album, 'Floored', released through Ignition Records in 1996. Pusherman split the following year, primarily because of the band's heroin use. Frank subsequently moved to LA to form the band Jact with former Flogging Molly guitarist Ted Hutt.

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LIL WAYNE DEFENDS SELF OVER GIG POSTPONEMENTS
Lil Wayne has defended himself against reports criticising delays in rescheduling a cancelled tour date. The gig in question was originally set to take place on 26 Oct in Rochester, New York, but was pulled at the last minute because the rap star was unhappy with the standard of audio equipment. A new date of 6 Dec was planned, but now that won't go ahead either, because it clashes with rehearsal time and an appearance on Saturday Night Live.

Publicist Myiah Hughes has responded to criticism of her client, telling AllHipHop.com that it was all the promoter's fault. See: "Lil Wayne has not cancelled the Rochester, New York Blue Cross Arena performance. Failure to provide adequate equipment per a signed agreement, caused the October 26 concert date to be postponed. Wayne offered the promoter, Ed Strickland, another date without penalty. Due to mandatory tour rehearsal for his upcoming I Am Music tour, the date had to be postponed again. He never wanted to let down his fans and has already made arrangements to reschedule the performance. The Rochester date will take place after his tour".

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KANYE WEST'S COUSIN INVESTIGATED OVER DONDA'S DEATH
According to reports from the US, Kanye West's cousin, Stephan Scoggins, is being investigated in connection with the death of West's mother Donda, who as previously reported, died back in Nov 2007.

Scoggins, a registered nurse, was apparently caring for Ms West following plastic surgery and left her unattended to go to a baby shower, and it was whilst he was away that her condition deteriorated. Initially, it was ruled that Donda's death was "the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure" , but in January this conclusion was overruled, an LA coroner deciding that "multiple post-operative factors" were involved.

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PETA ASK JACKSON TO SAVE GIRAFFES
PETA have written to Michael Jackson to ask him to save four giraffes which were formerly part of his Neverland Ranch Menagerie, and who, the animal rights organisation claims, have now been housed in confined spaces in Arizona for more than a year.

A spokesman for PETA says: "When Jackson faced recent financial troubles, the giraffes were sold to a couple in Page, Arizona, who were reportedly planning to set up a zoo. More than a year later, the giraffes are still confined to pens that allegedly each measure approximately 15ft by 15ft, and the animals reportedly have not been receiving adequate veterinary or husbandry care. If Michael could see the giraffes' plight for himself, I'm sure he'd agree that it's bad - really, really bad. The giraffes may be out of Michael's life, but he has a responsibility to see that they don't suffer".

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BRAGG TO LAUNCH NEXT PHASE OF PRISON PROJECT
Billy Bragg is set to launch a new stage of his prison project, the Jail Guitar Doors scheme he set up to develop music related rehabilitation schemes after being approached by a drug and alcohol counsellor who was trying to set up a guitar workshop at Guy's Marsh klink in Dorset.

According to reports, ex-prisoners who have taken part in the scheme have had a re-conviction rate of between 10%-15%, which seems good, if you consider that the national average is 61%. Of course, if you think about it, it's probably highly likely that those who would get interested in such a scheme would also be those less likely to re-offend. But it's still a good thing, don't get me wrong.

Anyway, Bragg would like to extend the project to other prisons, and has the backing of other music types as well as campaigners and prison officials. There's going to be a documentary about it all, too.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Neon Neon - Dream Cars (Lex Records)
Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals frontman) and Boom Bip (legendary producer) continue their John DeLorean tribute from their album 'Stainless Style' with 'Dream Cars'. The album has quite possibly the most original theme for a concept album - the life and times of John DeLorean, creator of the DeLorean sports car (yes the one from 'Back To The Future'!) and 'Dream Cars' attempts to capture the feelings and emotions of a young DeLorean designer. It's a synthed-up, highly danceable pop song, produced perfectly by Boom Bip and the electric guitar melody is matched by a bass line that would give any house DJ a run for his money. Strokes drummer, Fab Moretti provides the funked-up drums on the track - one of many incredible collaborators on the album. The album is a serious contender for album of the year and although the single isn't the best that there is to offer by any means, it's still a perfect example of how anything Gruff Rhys touches turns to gold. GM
Release Date: 8 Dec
Press Contact: Motion PR [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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

1. [NEW] Basshunter - I Miss You (Ministry/Hard2beat)
2. [2] Axwel And Bob Sinclar - What A Wonderful World (Defected)
3. [3] Platnum - Love Shy (Ministry/Hard2beat)
4. [6] Blackout Crew - Put A Donk On It (All Around The World)
5. [5] September - Cry For You (Ministry/Hard2beat)
6. [4] The Cake Sale - Some Surprise (Oxjam Records)
7. [8] Rodrigo Y Gabriela - A Mexico To Dublin (Rubyworks)
8. [NEW] Bombay Bicycle Club - Cribs Style Tour Movie (Young and Lost Club)
9. [NEW] Guru Josh Project - Infinity 2008 (Maelstrom Records)
10. [10] Heathers - Remember When (MUZU Session) (High Away Records)
11. [1] Basshunter - Angel in the Night (Live) (Ministry/Hard2beat)
12. [12] The Futureheads - Radio Heart (Live) (Nul Records)
13. [9] Emmanuel Jal – Warchild (Sonic 360)
14. [13] Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (Ministry/Flamingo)
15. [11] Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo (Defected)
16. [NEW] Geo Da Silva - Do It Like A Truck (Ministry/Hard2beat)
17. [14] N-Dubz – Ouch (All Around The World)
18. [15] Roses Kings Castles – Entroubled (360 Degrees)
19. [NEW] The BPA - Toe Jam (Southern Fired Records)
20. [NEW] Mr No Hands - Button Down (Groove Diggerz Remix)

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

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JEFFREY LEWIS' HISTORY OF ROUGH TRADE
Rough Trade Records has just turned 30. Just in case you missed out on any of the legendary label's history, let Jeffrey Lewis bring you speedily up to speed in this short video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaMD0JQYkoQ

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JD SET UNSIGNED COMPETITION OPENS
So, our Unsigned Month may have come to an end, but there are always more opportunities for new bands to promote themselves. Look, there's another one right here.

Jack Daniels has announced this year's JD Set Unsigned competition, which is offering one band the chance to record a four track EP and have it cover-mounted on an issue of Artrocker. Not only that, but all bands who enter the competition will be invited to a series of masterclasses by music industry experts such as Donard Duffy who has worked with well known artists such as The Pretenders, Supergrass and Slash. The three best bands from around the country will have a series of one-on-one training sessions from sound engineers, lawyers, record label representatives and live agents. Furthermore, one lucky band from each will be picked as a warm-up slot at one of the prestigious JD Set gigs televised by Channel 4.

Bands who want to enter have until 8 Jan to do so. Go to www.thejdset.co.uk/unsigned for more info.

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RED STRIPE UNSIGNED BAND COMPETITION OPENS
Oh, and here's another one. Red Stripe have announced details of their 2009 unsigned band competition, the winner of which will get to play next year's Great Escape convention in Brighton. More info at www.redstripe.net

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WOGAN AND JONES DO BING AND BOWIE
Terry Wogan and Aled Jones are set to release a cover of Bing Crosby and David Bowie's famous Christmas duet, 'Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth'. The single was originally recorded for the Children In Need album, 'Bandaged: With A Little Help From My Friends', which apparently features the vocal talents of various BBC Radio 2 personalities.

Of the single, Wogan says: "Aled Jones sings like the canary that he is, but listeners may also detect my croaking in the background and wonder if it's a rumbling of the stomach".

'Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth' will be released on 8 Dec.

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LAND ROVER SOUNDTRACK TIPPED FOR XMAS SUCCESS
'Going Home' by Jon Allen, which featured on a Land Rover TV advert earlier this year, was recently made equal third favourite for this year's Christmas No 1 by William Hill, behind the X Factor winner (whoever that may be) and Take That who are first and second favourites.

Now, you might see those names and think "no chance", like I just did, but apparently some people think we're wrong. Allen managed to sell 20,000 downloads of the song through his own website earlier this year, on the back of that Land Rover ad alone.

Now, with support from Jo Whiley on Radio 1 and Geoff Lloyd on Absolute Radio, some people think he's in with a real chance of topping the chart this festival season. They're wrong, of course, but it's nice to pretend.

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JAMIE CULLUM GIVES AWAY XMAS GIFTS
Jamie Cullum is launching an 'Advent Cullumdar' on his official website on Monday, which will give fans the chance to win £20,000 worth of Christmas gifts.

The prizes, which will be given away each day in December, include a Nintendo Wii, tickets to see AC/DC, a Nokia 5310 'Comes With Music' phone, hospitality passes for the Silverstone Grand Prix Test in June, a jacket signe by Jamie Oliver and a personalised Magnum of Moet & Chandon.

If any of those take your fancy, get yourself over to www.jamiecullum.com

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NSYNC COULD COME BACK, THREATENS BASS
Nsync's Lance Bass has said that he thinks there's a "definite possibility" that his band could make a comeback, complete with their most famous alumnus, Justin Timberlake, in 2009. Bass, who, since the band's 2002 split has been better known for coming out, having plastic surgery and attempting to become a cosmonaut, says of the group: "We are like brothers - it's perfect". I hope this doesn't become one of those recurring Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin type stories.

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THE JESUS LIZARD REFORM
A band who really, definitely are reforming for 2009 are The Jesus Lizard, who have announced that they'll play their first show in twelve years. The original line up will reunite for a one off series of live dates which begin with an appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties' The Fans Strike Back at Minehead in May. To celebrate the live dates, remastered versions of four of their albums, 'Head', 'Goat', 'Liar' and 'Down' are to be released the same month.

The line up for The Fans Strike Back is, as previously reported, to be chosen partly by ATP and partly using votes from fans. Other acts also chosen by ATP include Devo and Spiritualized, and voting on other acts has begun for ticket-holders.

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HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED FOR ROCKNESS
Some of the headliners have been announced for next year's Rockness festival. Well, a majority have. The Prodigy and Biffy Clyro will headline the final night of the event, whilst Basement Jaxx and Dizzee Rascal will be topping the bill for the middle night. Headline acts for the opening night have yet to be revealed.

The event takes place from 12-14 Jun, at the side of Loch Ness, obviously. Tickets on sale as of a few hours ago.

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BRITNEY TO PLAY O2
Britney Spears is to play two dates at the O2 Arena on 3 and 4 June. Fans who register via the her website can order tickets 24 hours ahead of everyone else. They go on sale officially on 5 Dec.

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CLIFF AND THE SHADOWS REUNITE
Another band reunion on the cards for 2009. Cliff Richard and The Shadows are to get together for an arena tour in celebration of their fiftieth anniversary. The group, who last performed together twenty years ago, say that this will be their final tour. Tickets for the shows will go in sale on Sunday, and the dates are as follows:

25/26 Sep: London O2 arena
30 Sep: Nottingham Trent FM Arena
3/4 Oct: Birmingham NIA
6 Oct: Cardiff CIA
7 Oct: Liverpool Echo Arena
9 Oct: Glasgow SECC
12 Oct: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
14 Oct: Sheffield Arena
17 Oct: Manchester Evening News Arena

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FUTUREHEADS TOUR
The Futureheads begin their UK tour this weekend in London. The group release a digital only single 'I Wouldn't Be Like This If You Were Here' on 8 Dec.

Here be the dates:

29 Nov: London Astoria
30 Nov: Whitehaven Civic Hall
2 /3 Dec: Glasgow ABC 2
5 Dec: Birmingham Academy
6 Dec: Oxford Academy
7 Dec: Norwich Waterfront
8 Dec: Cardiff Sub 29
9 Dec: Cheltenham Dakota Club
12 Dec: Sheffield Academy
13 Dec: Leeds Academy
19 Dec: Gateshead Sage
20 Dec: York Duchess

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ALBUM REVIEW: Murcof - The Versailles Sessions (The Leaf Label)
Murcof is best known for his dark, ambient electronica, built from samples of classical instruments and micro-edited to obsessive proportions. However, this collection of pieces composed for the annual festival of sound, light and water at Chateau de Versailles in France, Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, in the summer of 2007, takes him down a very different route. Although the recording process saw him once again manipulating classical recordings, for these sessions performed entirely on 17th century baroque instruments, these were samples the producer created in unison with the musicians themselves. This process means Murcof was able to be more experimental than his self-imposed restrictive and claustrophobic sound often allows. It's also the first thing he's written that live musicians could, and indeed have performed live. 'A Lesson For The Future, Farewell To The Old Ways' brings in vocals to the producer's work for, I think, the first time and is very reminiscent of work by Zbigniew Preisner. There is a darkness that pervades all all six compositions, particularly 'Louis XIV's Demons', which you could happily use to ward off trick or treaters at Halloween, and there are hints of avant-garde experimentalists such as Steve Reich and Nurse With Wound, as well as nods to the more recent work of Scott Walker, throughout. And like those artists, Murcof has here created music that often needs to be met headlong and endured, more than enjoyed. However, doing so can be a very enjoyable experience and forces you to involve yourself with what you're listening to. Background music this ain't. It'll be interesting to see how, if at all, 'The Versailles Sessions' experience influences Murcof's next album proper, which is due for release next year. AHM
Release Date: 1 Dec
Press Contact: The Leaf Label IH [All]

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SLICETHEPIE LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE
Slicethepie, that company that enables bands to raise money directly from fans and investors, has launched a brand new version of its website, simplifying its current system and adding a range of new features.

Amongst those new features are a new financing platform for established artists, a simplified investment process, and the ability for bands to switch the tracks they have online, in order to work out which please fans (and potential investors) the most.

Slicethepie CEO David Courtier-Dutton told CMU: "The new site introduces a range of innovative new features and content, largely driven by feedback from site users over the past year. This is the start of the second chapter for Slicethepie and, with some major partner announcements imminent, 2009 is likely to be an exciting year both for us and the industry as a whole".

Check it out at www.slicethepie.com

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INDUSTRY WELCOMES DANISH PIRATE BAY RULING
A gaggle of trade body spokesmen, and that is the correct collective noun, in case you wondered, lined up to welcome a ruling in the Danish courts this week which upheld a previous ruling that Denmark-based internet service provider Sonofon is obliged to block access to The Pirate Bay website, because the site is responsible for mass copyright infringement.

The Pirate Bay, of course, is the most blatant of the BitTorrent trackers who provide access to all kinds of illegal sources of digital content. The Swedish based enterprise has continued to operate despite a number of court rulings against them. The people behind the website are facing prosecution in Sweden and could be in court as soon as February.

But the Danish case centered on ISP Sonofon who have been told they have to block access to The Pirate Bay, but who aren't so keen on doing so. They appealed an earlier ruling that ordered the blocking, but Denmark's appeal court upheld the original order on Wednesday.

CEO of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry John Kennedy told reporters: "This is a very important decision which sets a precedent for other countries and highlights the key role that ISPs should play in helping protect copyright online. The ruling is also a clear confirmation of the illegality of the Pirate Bay, coming just a few weeks before the criminal prosecution of the site's operators in Sweden. For everyone trying to make a living out of music, this is hopefully the start of the endgame for a business which is ripping off creators all over the world, and whose motivation is very clearly nothing to do with music but a great deal to do with making money".

The boss of UK trade body the BPI, Geoff Taylor, added: "The potential of innovative new music services is undermined by illegal services such as the Pirate Bay, which exploit music for their own profit without any respect for the rights of creators and performers. We are working closely with government and UK ISPs to encourage British music fans to use the many licensed music services that pay artists, and we are encouraged by the collective will that exists to tackle this difficult issue. Reducing access to unlawful and free music is paramount. ISPs have a key role to play in achieving that and today's Danish judgment shows that it is right that they should do so".

And the boss of indie label trade bodies AIM and the World Independent Network, Alison Wenham, said: "It is very good news to see the courts clarifying that ISPs have a key role to play in helping curb sites like Pirate Bay which simply trade on the theft of the work of creative people".

Of course anyone really wanting to access The Pirate Bay in Denmark will be able to because the tracker will keep moving its location to circumvent any blocks put in place by Sonofon. But it's the precedent that pleases the music industry more than the actual result of this ruling, and more casual content stealers in Denmark probably won't be able to locate the tracking service.

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US CD SALES IN RECORD DECLINE
CD sales continue to slump, especially in the US where analysts say the final quarter of 2008 could see the highest sales decline in the history of the physical format. US CD sales were falling a mid-teens percentage earlier in the year, but look to fall up to 27% in this quarter. The previous highest decline was 21% back in early 2007.

Of course optimists would point out that all US record companies are now reporting a rise in digital music sales, and only this week Atlantic Records in the States announced digital sales now accounted for more than half their revenues. Pessimists, however, will note reports that even when digital is taken into account over-all album sales are down 15.6% this quarter.

Though the 'glass half full' brigade would point out that the single track market is bigger in the digital domain, so the overall picture may not be quite as gloomy as that 15.6% album decline stat suggests.

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MINISTER JOINS MUSICTANK PANEL
The grand finale of Music Tank's series of Think Tank debates on the digital music market takes place at the MCPS-PRS HQ in London next week, and culture minister Andy Burnham will be on the panel. We plan to heckle him loudly on account of him standing us up when we were doing the CMU-Tube interviews at In The City.

Also on the panel this time round are Will Page, Chief Economist at MCPS-PRS Alliance, Richard Mollett, Public Affairs Director at the BPI, Simon Persoff, Director of Legal & Regulatory stuff for Orange UK and Dan Klein, Media Accounts Director at business and technology consultancy Detica, who will provide the key note speech.

The topic for debate is this: "Two decades after the MP3 was invented, can music rights holders and ISPs find enough common ground to deliver the kind of service that consumers want and that still rewards creators?"

It all takes place on Tuesday, 2 Dec at 6.30pm. Details at www.musictank.co.uk.

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MORE CUTS EXPECTED AT ITV
How about some doom and gloom from the media sector? Makes a change for major labels downsizing. And there's plenty of it.

It's thought ITV are planning another £25 million of cost savings as the commercial broadcaster comes to terms with the continued slump in advertising revenues, which bosses now think will be even worse than they originally feared because of the recession and all that. They've hired Boston Consulting Group to find even more cost cuts, and the move is almost certainly going to result in another round of job cuts at the broadcaster - in addition to the 1000 job cuts announced in September.

ITV's COO, John Cresswell, whose internal memos normally mean bad news, has told ITV workers that while the network is enjoying great success with the current series of
'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!' and 'The X Factor', a lot still needs to be done to reduce costs. He wrote: "There is still a lot more to do, these are extraordinary times for ITV, the economic outlook has worsened significantly since the summer and businesses right across the UK including most of our customers are facing considerable uncertainty".

Some reckon that any further cuts at ITV will have to include cutbacks in the broadcaster's programming budgets, which have so far not been affected by downsizing because Exec Chairman Michael Grade says the company's future success depends on having the best programmes.

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TELEGRAPH TO LOSE 50 JOBS
More job cuts also at the Telegraph, where fifty editorial jobs will go before Christmas. It's thought the cuts will mainly affect those in production and who work on the newspaper's weekend magazines. According to the Guardian, an internal memo from Telegraph Media Group CEO Murdoch MacLennan said the current economic climate was "the most serious recession in our lifetimes", and added: "It is perhaps being felt more acutely in the media where we are having to weather not just the general economic storm but the double hit of falling advertising revenues ad vastly increased newsprint prices, at the same time as we deal with major structural change in the industry".

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BBC REVIEWING ON-AIR SWEARING
From job cuts to word cuts. And the BBC is expected to cut the number of swear words that appear on its TV and radio shows. The amount of swearing on the Beeb was much debated, of course, following the whole Sachsgate affair, with the out-of-favour Jonathan Ross known for swearing quite a bit more than the average chat show host.

The boss of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, who is apparently responsible for clearing the use of "cunt" across the Beeb's TV channels ("fuck", meanwhile, is cleared by individual channel chiefs), told the Media Festival in Manchester that a review of bad language on the BBC had been launched following Sachsgate. She also told the Guardian Jonathan Ross had agreed to cut back on the bad language when his chatshow returns in the New Year.

The review follows a BBC Trust ruling on another bit of Ross - when he told Gwyneth Paltrow he wanted to "fuck" her when she guested on his TV show. The Trust last week described those comments as "gratuitous and unnecessarily offensive".

Bennett added that she didn't think any moves to cut back on swearing would harm "risk-taking" at the Beeb.

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4DIGITAL PARTNERS AWAIT C4'S DECISION ON WHAT TO DO WITH DIGITAL JOINT VENTURE
The other media firms with an interest in the second national digital audio broadcasting network, which is now unlikely to ever launch, are said to be frustrated that Channel 4, the network's majority shareholder, have still not announced what they plan to do with the joint venture now that they've decided to dump their ambitions to become a serious radio broadcaster via the digital operation.

Channel 4, of course, announced it was dumping its Channel 4 Radio project in early October. But seven weeks on Bauer Radio, BSkyB, the Carphone Warehouse Group, UBC Media and UTV Radio are waiting to hear how Channel 4 plan to leave, wind up or reinvent their joint venture.

A source told the Guardian: "The frustration of the other shareholders is that Channel 4 can announce an intention and then spend so long not telling people how they propose to fulfil it. Either they have an intention or they don't, and if they have one the other shareholders would like to see them act on it. At the moment it doesn't look to the other shareholders as though Channel 4 is seriously in or out of digital radio".

Channel 4 responded to the reports by telling journalists: "We're working collaboratively with all our 4DG partners about the best way forward for the multiplex".

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6MUSIC PLAN NEW COLLABORATIONS PROGRAMME
BBC digital station 6Music is launching a new programme called Hub Combos which will see two artists from the station's playlists come together to collaborate on some exclusive tracks. The first such recording will involve Paul Weller and Adele, and will be recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale studios on 4 Dec and air the next day.

Jeff Smith, Head of Music for BBC 6 Music, told reporters: "6 Music is special because we are able to play an amazing range of music, across decades and genres. With Hub Combos we aim to create unique live experiences that give audiences an insight into the musical influence of all the artists that we play".

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RAPPER CONVICTED BY LYRICS
A rapper from Atlanta, Georgia has inadvertently convicted himself of aggravated assault via his lyrics. Rico Wright was found guilty of shooting an associate, Chad Blue, in the groin and buttocks in September 2006. Blue had previously testified that he did not know who shot him. But it emerged that Wright had later recorded a track on which he rapped: "Ask Chad Blue, he knows I can shoot".

Judge Donnie Gillis sentenced Wright to 20 years in prison and 20 years probation.

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LILY ALLEN ON CELEBRITY ETC
Lily Allen has said that the current obsession with celebrity is unhealthy. And she's not wrong, I've been saying this for years. It's ludicrous how much of their lives people give up in order to read magazines about boring people's silly, image/wealth/suntan obsessed lives. Especially these so-called celebrities who are only famous because they appear in those magazines, or because they're someone famous's cousin/bodyguard/mother.

Anyway, Lily says: "There are definitely things that come out of it that are really good. But there are bad things that are really bad, not just for me. I don't think celebrity culture is very healthy for young people at all."

She does, however, acknowledge that it's great being one, because she makes easy money and gets invited to multi-million pound parties in Dubai. Which is nice for her.

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