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TODAY'S NEWS
Pinnacle's gaming distribution firm in administration

Burnham says legislation still planned if voluntary label/ISP agreement can't be reached

ISP man pessimistic about MOU talks
Amazon MP3 launches in the UK with £3 album offer
The Reverend sets up anti-696 petition
Babyshambles' Whitnall charged with drug possession
Akon trial postponed
Teddy Afro convicted of murder
Spector never held Ramones hostage
Axl to blame for GNR chart position
Single review: Calexico - Victor Jara's Hands & Writer's Minor Holiday (City Slang)
Fiddy makes cents of the credit crunch
Take That heading for number one
Warner Music launch online advent calendar
Minogue/Coldplay collaboration to be released for (RED)
Billie Joe on power pop and suchlike
The Faces have rehearsed, says Wood
The Specials announce reunion tour
Tricky to headline NME Award shows
Dalek to return in 2009
Little Joy UK tour dates
More acts announced for Big Chill 2009
More acts join Big Day Out tour
Bestival fancy dress theme announced
Album review: Deadmau5 - Deadmau5 At Play (Play Records)
Terra Firma execs leave EMI
Some more digital growth stats
Vidzone confirm YouTube deal
Baidu faces new opposition
Radio 2 advertise for new controller
Fielder-Civil for Big Brother?
Beyonce thinks tattooed fans are weird
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 3RD DECEMBER

DAN BLACK
Before their split in 2007, Dan Black had been singing with indie band The Servants for a decade. Now Paris based, he's heading out alone, and sounding better than ever.

Dan's cover of the Notorious B.I.G's 'Hypnotize' got music writers and aficionados running around with their hands waving in the air and generally making themselves sick with excitement. Even Perez Hilton likes it and on the back of it the Head Of Music at Radio 1 is tipping Dan as THE Big Thing of 2009.


 

Currently at work on his eagerly awaited debut album, Dan's single 'Yours', out this week, will whet your appetite and perhaps leave you salivating a little as you await further treats. In the mean time, we threw some questions in his general direction.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
A school friend of mine fancied a girl in my village. We needed a reason to call on her house. We knew she had a guitar so we went round to "borrow it". It only had two strings and was about to fall apart. Anyway, we had to take it to complete the charade and so it ended up in my bedroom. I then just started messing with it, trying to write songs with a couple of cheap cassette radios, banging out simple one string riffs, recording them and then taping myself singing on top. I think the first song was called 'Marmalade'.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
'Yours' was me having a stab at doing something a bit like N.E.R.D. I tend to find that if I try to rip someone off, I always get something woefully wrong and end up with something that is well off the original mark. Though sometimes those tracks can be interesting and charming in themselves. The lyrics are about passive aggression, but I wanted it to be loose enough to be applicable to a nightmare girlfriend I was once with, but also to people I once made music with.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Sometimes I just close my eyes and let the all the ancient forces of the universe pour down from the ether, into my puny frame, into my brain, down my nerves, into my fingers, into the mouse, down the cord, into the computer, into the software, through the plugins, out the computer, through the audio interface, out the speakers and out into the air. But mostly I just sit around, freaked out, trying to remember how the hell I wrote that last decent one.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Schooly D, A-ha, X-Clan, Vangelis, Royal Trux etc...

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Er... um... so... like... er what do you think and stuff?

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
I hope, some might say a little unrealistically, that every single person that hears it, loves it with a deep, uncontrollable passion, that all their sadness and loneliness evaporates, that the blind, once again, can see, that the lame can walk, that sweets rain down from the sky and that all taps having running hot and cold ice cream.

MORE>> http://www.myspace.com/danblacksound

 

HEADLESS HEROES
Headless Heroes reinvigorate the art of the cover version with their current album, 'The Silence Of Love', a collection of songs originally recorded by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Daniel Johnston and the Jesus and Mary Chain, amongst others. Standout examples include Johnston's 'True Love', which is turned into a wispy electric number, retaining its other worldly-ness through the brilliant, wraithlike vocals of Californian folk musician Alela Diane, whilst the moodiness of the JAMC's 'Just Like Honey' is transformed into a moderately upbeat alt-country staple. Absolutely essential listening for fans of the aforementioned bands or just curious music lovers, head to their MySpace for a taster of the tracks.

http://www.myspace.com/denofheroes

 

 



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.

 

 

Here we go everybody, it's time for the CMU Track Of The Year vote to really get going. Thanks for all the votes that have been submitted already. We'll be featuring some of your votes so far here in the Daily each day until w/c 15 December, when we'll announce the overall top ten and let you vote a second time, for your favourite from that list. Here's today's votes...

Glasvegas - Geraldine
2008 has been a great year for new music and albums. My track of the year is 'Geraldine' by Glasvegas. It's rare that a track can evoke such a picture in your head of where a band are from and what they are about. It's almost like listening to that track, and the album, you know where Glasvegas went to school, their fears and their emotions. I haven't felt like that since I heard 'A Thousand Trees' by The Stereophonics in 1997.
Dan Waite, Director - Talent And Music, MTV

Scars On Broadway - They Say
An awesome bombast of proper rock. If played at the appropriate volume level of 11, it could liquefy a jamboree of Scouting For Girls fans at 100m.
Dan Morfitt, Presenter, Kerrang! Radio

If you haven't already, get your vote in. Just email us your favourite track released this year and a couple of sentences saying why you love it to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

 


PINNACLE'S GAMING DISTRIBUTION FIRM IN ADMINISTRATION
A very busy news day today. We've just heard that the video game distribution company owned by entertainment distribution group Pinnacle - Pinnacle Software - has gone into administration. It's not clear, however, if that will affect the parent company Pinnacle Entertainment, another important CD and DVD distributor (though Music Week seem to think it might). I'm not sure the music industry could cope with two such important distributors in administration at the same time - Woolies owned eUK is, of course, already in administration.

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BURNHAM SAYS LEGISLATION STILL PLANNED IF VOLUNTARY LABEL/ISP AGREEMENT CAN'T BE REACHED
Culture Minister Andy Burnham said last night he thought the French government's plans to introduce new laws to force internet service providers to cut off persistent file sharers were "wrong" for a first response to the conflict between content owners and net providers. Though he added that the UK should watch how those laws work anyway, and that if no voluntary agreement could be reached between music and net firms in this country, then "we're clear about this, we will legislate".

Burnham was speaking at the final of four MusicTank Think Tank debates on the state the growing digital music market, and on how the technology and creative industries can and should work together to overcome online piracy issues and to generate new revenues from content.

The first and last of those debates looked in particular at the relationship between the record companies and the internet service providers, the war of words between whom, of course, has been quite vocal in the last 18 months. As much previously reported, the music industry think the ISPs should take a proactive role in combating online piracy, by sending warning letters to suspected file sharers and, maybe, cutting off those people who continue to access illegal content despite warnings. The ISPs, as a general rule, aren't so keen on taking on that role.

Nevertheless, when the government first said earlier this year that it would force the ISPs to act through new laws if no voluntary agreement could be reached between the music and net industries, the service providers did start to make some concessions, with a Memorandum Of Understanding signed in July in which the record companies and six ISPs agreed to work together on education and enforcement projects and new music services.

"We recognise that this is an important issue", Burnham continued, "which is why we applied some pressure on the ISPs to participate in this process. And I think we'd all agree that there has been a real change of tone this year as a result of that pressure. Things have moved on considerably. But we, in government, know we need to keep that pressure on. I hope the two industries can find a business solution to this, because I believe that is the best way to approach this issue. But as I say, my message is this: we will legislate if no solutions can be found".

Aside from continuing to provide some pressure on the peripheries of the ongoing talks between the music companies and ISPs regarding that MoU, Burnham added that he saw his role on this issue to be internationally focused. "The international aspect of this is underdeveloped", he told the Think Tank audience, "but we need to be thinking about global solutions to the online piracy issue. We need to look at how these issues are being addressed elsewhere in the EU - including France's legislative approach - and how they are being addressed elsewhere".

"A particular priority should be the US", he continued, "where there has been a lot less consideration of this issue than here. The internet provides a particularly good opportunity for the English language catalogue, and that means a great opportunity for the UK and US creative industries in particular. We, in government, need to ensure that a failure to tackle piracy doesn't stop us from capitalising on those opportunities. Come the New Year I do intend to speak to the new American administration about this".

Concluding, Burnham said: "Some advocate that the internet should be an uncontrolled phenomenon beyond governments. But clearly there needs to some rules - and these might be self-regulatory rules - to protect copyright in the digital age, so our creative industries, an increasingly important industry in the UK, can capitalise on the opportunities the digital world offers".

Away from the digital debate, a sneaky audience member threw in a quick question about that other big issue in the music industry on which the government has been less helpful to date - the proposals to extend the recording copyright from 50 to 95 years. Although the UK government is in theory still attached to the findings of its Gowers Report on copyright, which said there was no justification for an extension, referencing the proposals put forward by the European Union's Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, which proposes the extension, Burnham said "this is not a closed debate as far as government is concerned, the debate continues internally and we will respond to the EU proposals in due course". Make of that what you will.

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ISP MAN PESSIMISTIC ABOUT MOU TALKS
The music industry may need to cash in on Burnham's promise to "apply more pressure" on the ISPs to take on that anti-piracy role. Or at least they will if the representative of the net industry on the MusicTank panel last night is to be believed. Though he's still not convinced that, when push came to shove, the government would dare introduce rules that could lead to tens of thousands of voters losing their internet connections.

Richard Mollet, Public Affairs Director at record label trade body the BPI, said there had been "more movement on this issue than we could have dreamt possible" in the last year, and Simon Persoff , Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs at mobile/net firm Orange, admitted the ISPs had been forced to shift their position because of government pressure. But the debate that ensued - and especially Persoff's comments - suggested that while the record companies and ISPs have signed that Memorandum Of Understanding, the consensus is mainly on the fact that "something should be done" about online piracy, and not on how it should be done and who should pay for it.

As previously mentioned, the MoU talks about education, enforcement and the creation of new licensed digital music services, probably provided by the ISPs directly. It's the latter where there seems to be disagreement, which is a problem because the ISPs want agreement on the new business models before committing to step up their education and enforcement activities. The ISPs insistence that agreements must be reached in all three areas is partly because of a "what's in it for us" philosophy, ie that to agree to unpopular and possibly costly measures to stop illegal file sharing there needs to be a commercial advantage to be gained in the form of new music-based revenue streams. Though they also argue that education and enforcement will only work if compelling new legit services are also available, and that that is also a reason why the three strands of the MoU debate are inseparable.

"Our discussions with the music industry have been both good and worrying" Persoff said. "My worry is that the music industry seems to still see the enforcement part of the MoU as being the primary objective of all this. My gut feeling is that, despite what they say, the BPI really wants the 'three strike then we cut you off' system, and that's their focus. Our focus is new models. We do want to find a way forward as much as the record companies - illegal P2P users are expensive for us too, because they use excessive amounts of bandwidth in a way that we can't commercialise. And we recognise that music is an important part of the content services we offer our customers, and that there is much potential there. But the record industry's current business models don't offer that potential. For this to work the record companies need to start really reevaluating the way they do business".

Despite all the highfalutin talk of new business models, insiders say that at the heart of the dispute between the ISPs and the record companies are good old fashioned arguments over price and data ownership - ie the wholesale price the labels will offer their music to the ISPs for, and who 'owns' the customer.

In some ways that's a good thing because in theory an agreement could be reached without someone having to develop this mythical dream business model that will make millions from digital music, though whether either side will be willing to move on price and customer access remains to be seen. Burnham may as yet have to turn his attention away from the global dimension and apply more pressure at home. Exactly where the pressure would be applied, especially as the next General Election appears on the horizon, remains to be seen.

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AMAZON MP3 LAUNCHES IN THE UK WITH £3 ALBUM OFFER
Some happy news from the digital files now, and Amazon MP3 has launched in the UK this morning with some pretty impressive offers.

The strictly DRM-free Amazon download service launched in the US at the start of the year, of course, and in doing so forced the major record companies to finally drop their DRM demands and sell their music as MP3s. Other DRM-free services have arrived in the UK as a result - 7Digital and Play UK in particular - which is possibly why the UK version of the Amazon service is launching with some price-cutting offers. Though the launch has been pretty low key, so Amazon are presumably pretty confident they can succeed over here without too much hype.

So low key is the launch that there were only a couple of tiny mentions on the site's homepage this morning. But once inside, users will find many top albums available for just £3, including titles such as Take That's 'The Circus' and Kings Of Leon's 'Only By The Night', and with top songs selling for just 59p. With files delivered in 256kps, DRM- and watermark-free MP3 format, it's a very attractive proposition indeed.

That said, currently there is a distinct lack of indie label material, meaning that some larger artists are missing from the store, the Arctic Monkeys for one. But the new store is already looking like it could be a major upset for iTunes. Having just bought Santogold's album in order to test the system out, I can tell you that it's very quick and easy to use. The download software even adds the files straight into your iTunes library for you. Nice. Which is possibly why there are reports iTunes are stepping up their discounted album prices.

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THE REVEREND SETS UP ANTI-696 PETITION
Anyway, enough digital music, let's get back to the live sector, and that other recent debate that has had some parliamentary time courtesy of Feargal Sharkey - the paper work that local authorities in London require promoters to fill in before being granted a licence for their events.

As previously reported, Sharkey raised the Metropolitan Police's Form 696 at a recent parliamentary committee review of the impact of the 2003 licensing act on live music. Sharkey said that some local authorities were misusing the powers they were given by the Act, and that that was having a negative impact on the grass roots live music community.

He gave Form 696 as an example of that misuse of power. Reporting that all London authorities had adopted the Met's form as part of their licensing process, he said the paperwork asked more questions than were required by the law, and that some of those questions were worrying in that could lead to licensing decisions being made based on racial discrimination. His particular concern was the section which asks promoters to name the genre that there event falls under, which then provides a list of some suggested genres, including some closely linked to the black community.

Anyway, this we already know. What's new is that Jon McClure, he of Reverend And The Makers, has set up a petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website calling on the Prime Minister to "scrap the unnecessary and draconian usage of the 696 Form from London music events".

1,026 people have signed the petition as I write this. You can add your name at this URL:
petitions.number10.gov.uk/Scrapthe696/

If you want to see the form for yourself before doing so, you can download it here:
www.met.police.uk/events/forms/form_696.doc

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BABYSHAMBLES' WHITNALL CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION
Mick Whitnall of Babyshambles has been charged with drugs possession. It relates to an incident back on 12 Oct in which the guitarist, who joined the band two years ago as a replacement for Patrick Walden, was arrested at the Cafe Rouge restaurant in Blackheath on suspicion of possessing crack cocaine. Whilst he was questioned at a police station in south east London, officers searched his home and discovered what they believed to be rocks of the class A drug. A spokesman for Scotland Yard has confirmed that the 40-year old musician has been bailed to appear at Greenwich Magistrates' Court on 10 Dec.

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AKON TRIAL POSTPONED
Akon's trial on charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment has been postponed.

The hearing relates to that previously reported Jun 2007 incident in which the US rap star, real name Aliaune Thiam, is accused of tossing a teenage fan into the crowd at a gig in Fishkill, New York. As you may remember, it's alleged that the boy heckled Akon, who had him dragged up on stage by his security people, hoisted him up on his shoulders and threw him into the crowd. It's said that the teenager landed on another gig-goer, who suffered a concussion as a result.

The trial was scheduled to begin on 1 Dec, but the hearing has been postponed until 17 Dec, when it will be decided whether a trial will in fact take place, or if a settlement will be made. Akon has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

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TEDDY AFRO CONVICTED OF MURDER
Ethiopian musician Teddy Afro has been convicted of manslaughter in relation to an incident in the country's capital Addis Ababa back in 2006 in which a homeless man was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The singer, real name Tewodros Kassahun, stood accused of running the man over and driving away without reporting the incident, as well as being charged with driving without a licence, and is expected to receive a prison sentence of between five and fifteen years. When the court's verdict was delivered, Kassahun objected, but was silenced by his lawyers.

Fans of Afro, Ethiopia's biggest pop star, believe that the charges are fabricated and politically motivated; his music was used as an anthem for anti-government protesters during the country's 2005 elections. Details about the actual evidence presented in the trial are sparse, though we do know there is confusion over which date the man actually died on, so how they claim to know that it was Afro that did it is anyone's guess. There were two possible dates cited for the homeless man's death; on one, Afro was out of the country, the second, he claimed to be out with friends. The court was not convinced by those claims though, and delivered a guilty verdict, despite this confusion.

Leaving the court he told journalists: "I never killed anyone, I didn't get justice from this court".

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SPECTOR NEVER HELD RAMONES HOSTAGE
Oh yes, the Phil Spector trial, what happened to that? Everyone - ourselves included - kind of stopped reporting on it, didn't we? I think it was when everyone realised that the second trial was going to be an action replay of trial number one - with the same witnesses telling the same stories, albeit with ruthless questioning from Spector's new defence lawyer Doron Weinberg. I keep meaning to do you a quick update on the proceedings - I might try and do it for next Monday. That'll be something to look forward to.

Anyway, on the peripheries of all that, another Spector related story. And Ramones drummer Marky Ramone has denied rumours that Phil Spector once held the band at gunpoint while producing their 1980 album, 'End Of The Century'. Talking to the NME, Ramone said: "There were no guns pointed at anybody. They were there but he had a license to carry. He never held us hostage. We could have left at any time. We had the keys".

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AXL TO BLAME FOR GNR CHART POSITION
Axl Rose is apparently to blame for Guns N Roses' disappointing chart position in the album charts this week. And before you say anything, if you spend 15 years and $15 million recording an album, No 2 is disappointing. And don't forget, it's actual sales stats that matter. The band were beaten to the top spot by The Killers, who managed to shift 200,000 copies of their new album, 80,000 more than 'Chinese Democracy'. US sales figures were disappointing too.

According to The Sun, this is all thanks to Axl, who has refused to take part in any promotion for the album. Actually, technically he hasn't, because no one has been able to get in touch with him to ask him to do so. A source said: "The label is really glad to have him back. But it is frustrating because the album would have had a much better chance of going to No. 1 if he had only been prepared to show his face. People have been trying to contact him for two months and he's been completely AWOL. You would have thought after spending 15 years on an album you might do a few weeks promotion".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Calexico - Victor Jara's Hands & Writer's Minor Holiday (City Slang)
One of my favourite qualities in a song is the ability to effortlessly conjure a scene in the listener's head. With a slow maracas and guitar build up setting the eerie spaced out backdrop, by the time Victor Jara's Hands picks up into a mid-paced middle section you find yourself yearning for the dark isolation of the desert road from California to Mexico (Calexico anyone?). The Hispanic influences indeed stretch further than the simple 'Ole ole ole ole' chorus (that, before you level your cliché accusations, sounds far from cheap) with bright horn sections driving the song nicely. 'Writer's Holiday' plays down this new direction somewhat more, but embracing such elements into their songwriting process could see this band finally managing to step out of friend Iron & Wine's shadow. ME
Release Date: 8 Dec
Press Contact: Radar Maker [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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FIDDY MAKES CENTS OF THE CREDIT CRUNCH
50 Cent has been commenting more about his decision to postpone the release of new album 'Before I Self Destruct', and how the credit crunch was a factor. Basically, the platinum mine-owning rapper says he needs more time to promote the album in order to squeeze the maximum amount of money out of it in these difficult financial times.

Fiddy told The Daily Star: "Pushing it back was to position myself a little better. I want to make sure buyers hear some things before I actually get my CD physically on sale. I've lost a couple of million dollars already. I sit with my investors and business managers and accountants looking at the numbers and I'm like: 'Yo, the values of stocks in different areas that I invested in are decreasing'. So I take loss like everybody else".

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TAKE THAT HEADING FOR NUMBER ONE
So, 'The Circus' rather than 'Circus' should be number one this weekend according to midweek stats relating to this most confusing of chart battles. Yes, Take That's new album 'The Circus' is outselling Britney Spears' new album 'Circus' more than five to one. The former has reportedly shifted 133,000 units, while the latter has only sold 24,000.

If you're finding the similar album names confusing, well, Take That's Mark Owen is finding it irritating. He told reporters the band chose their name after being inspired by a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, but says they considered changing it after learning what Britney's album would be called.

Owen told the TV Times: "When I heard about Britney, it ruined it for me, to a point. We actually considered re-naming the album but that wouldn't have worked. The title simply fits the record and, besides, the artwork was already finished".

He added that he didn't have any real ill feeling towards Spears though - which isn't surprising really, I'm not sure Mark Owen could have ill feeling towards anyone. He concluded: "Things weren't going so well for her, so I hope she has success with this record - but if only she'd given it another name".

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WARNER MUSIC LAUNCH ONLINE ADVENT CALENDAR
I thought about getting an advent calendar this year, but decided my need to eat a small piece of cheap chocolate in the morning isn't great enough any more. But free music every morning, that's a whole different matter.

Warner Music UK has launched an online advent calendar, which will give anyone who wants it access to free downloads, videos and competitions in the run up to Christmas. It all kicked off on 1 Dec (as you could probably have guessed) with a free download of 'The Escapist and the video for 'Heaven For The Weather' by The Streets.

For more, get along to www.25bandsofchristmas.com

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MINOGUE/COLDPLAY COLLABORATION TO BE RELEASED FOR (RED)
A collaboration between Kylie Minogue and Coldplay is to be released in support of Bono's (RED) charity initiative. 'Lhuna' was recorded for the band's 'Viva La Vida' album, but didn't make the final cut, and frontman Chris Martin has previously said that it's "too sexy" to be released, but not any more, apparently. It'll be part of the previously reported new digital music subscription service (RED) WIRE, which will also feature previously unreleased work from the likes of U2, Jay-Z and Bob Dylan.

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BILLIE JOE ON POWER POP AND SUCHLIKE
Billie Joe Armstrong has been talking about how to make "power-pop", prompting speculation that Green Day's new album could have a whole new sound.

He told Altpress.com: "I really like fucking with arrangements. I always try to look at the possibilities of how you write power-pop music. How do you take something - and it could be anything from The Creation and The Who to The Beatles to Cheap Trick to The Jam - and try to expand on the idea of what is supposed to be three-chord mayhem? How do you do it in a way where the arrangements are just unpredictable? So I'm pushing myself to be progressive in songwriting and being a songwriter".

He also discussed working with producer Butch Vig on his band's forthcoming new LP. "He doesn't take for granted what we have here [in the studio], but he uses everything to the best of his knowledge and the best of his ability. I mean, he gets psyched on a fucking microphone! That's inspiring. That's amazing. He's not a cheerleader type of producer; he's just a very hard-working, straightforward guy. He's very Midwestern, too. For example, he'll turn around when you're working on something and just go, 'That's badass.' And you're like, 'What do you mean, 'badass?' Is that more bad, or is it, like, ass?'"

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THE FACES HAVE REHEARSED, SAYS WOOD
Ronnie Wood has confirmed that The Faces have been rehearsing together and are planning to tour next year. Rod Stewart, as previously reported, had already said that the rehearsals were set to go ahead. Session bassist Conrad Korsch has been drafted in to replace Ronnie Lane, who died in 1997. Wood told Rolling Stone: "We had a few fantastic rehearsals last week and we're ready to go. It's like no time has passed by".

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THE SPECIALS ANNOUNCE REUNION TOUR
More reunion news. The Specials have announced they'll tour in the spring, after hinting at a reunion back in May. Tickets went on sale this morning, and the dates are as follows:

22 Apr: Newcastle, Academy
23Apr: Sheffield, Academy
25 and 26 Apr: Birmingham, Academy
28Apr: Glasgow, Academy
3 May: Manchester, Apollo
6 and 7 May: London, Brixton Academy

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TRICKY TO HEADLINE NME AWARD SHOWS
Tricky is to headline three of NME's Award Shows in February, ahead of the actual ceremony which takes place at Brixton Academy on 25 Feb.

Tickets are available now, dates as follows:
18 Feb: Manchester Academy
19 Feb: Glasgow Arches
20 Feb: London Shepherds Bush Empire

There's lots of other NME Award Shows too of course. We should probably report on them. You probably know about them all already though.

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DALEK TO RETURN IN 2009
Underground hip hop duo Dälek have announced details of their third album, 'Gutter Tactics', which will be released via Ipecac. The album is apparently "a liberating crawl through sewers sonic and metaphorical, the outfit's trademark bipolar personality - mellow vs aggressive, ethereal vs earthy - reconciled into a single sonic entity". So now you know.

Check the duo out live at the following shows:

3 Dec: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
4 Dec: London, The Fly
7 Dec: All Tomorrow's Parties

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LITTLE JOY UK TOUR DATES
Little Joy, which is, of course, the side-interest of The Strokes' Fab Moretti, have announced a UK tour, dates as follows:

15 Jan: Brighton Audio
16 Jan: Sheffield Leadmill
17 Jan: Glasgow Stereo
19 Jan: Leeds Cockpit
20 Jan: Manchester Academy 3
21 Jan: London Dingwalls

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MORE ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR BIG CHILL 2009
Following the announcement that Orbital will headline next year's Big Chill festival (even though I clearly remember going to one of their last shows ever in 2004), a whole load more exciting acts have been confirmed to play the festival.

Joining the line-up are Basement Jaxx, Friendly Fires, Norman Jay, Calexico, Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudil, Horse Meat Disco, jazz legend Pharoah Sanders and the organizers of London club night Wonky Pop.

Big Chill Co-Founder Katrina Larkin said: ''As soon as we'd finished this year's festival, we took a deep breath and vowed to make 2009 even better. We've already secured a fantastic mix of both legends and a new breed of talent - and are really laying down a marker for what to expect - bring on the summer!''

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MORE ACTS JOIN BIG DAY OUT TOUR
Talking of festivals with 'big' in their name, the final pieces of the line-up for next year's Big Day Out, which will wing its way around Australia from 16 Jan to 1 Feb, have been announced, making an already brilliantly eclectic line-up even more so. Joining the acts already announced are Fantomas, Son Of Dave, Barrence Whitfield, The Butterfly Effect, T-Rek, Quan, I Heart Hiroshima and 70s pop stars The Reels.

The remaining lineup is: Serj Tankian, Dropkick Murphys, Black Kids, Hot Chip, Lupe Fiasco, Holy Ghost!, Z*Trip, Died Pretty, The Vines, Infusion, Children Collide, Pee Wee Ferris, Sparkadia, The Getaway Plan, Little Red, Mammal, Mercy Arms, Ajax, Andee Frost, The Drones, Neil Young, Arctic Monkeys, The Living End, The Prodigy, Sneaky Sound System, My Morning Jacket, Pendulum, Bullet For My Valentine, TV On The Radio, Simian Mobile Disco, The Ting Tings, Tiki Taane, Cut Copy, Cog, Youth Group, The Grates, Birds Of Tokyo, TZU and Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

Someone book me a flight to Australia, please.

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BESTIVAL FANCY DRESS THEME ANNOUNCED
If you're going to Bestival next year and you don't turn up with a pretty impressive costume, then you really have no excuse. The dressing up theme for the 2009 event, which will take place between 11-13 Sep on the Isle Of Wight, has already been announced, and it will be 'Space'.

Said organizer Rob Da Bank: "Due to popular demand from our forum and the fact that next year is the 40th anniversary since man landed on the moon, it's a space theme - 'Out of Space'... '2009: A Space Oddity'... 'Alien'... You get the gist! So get the needle and thread out, dig out the dressing-up box and prepare for lift-off!"

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ALBUM REVIEW: Deadmau5 - Deadmau5 At Play (Play Records)
By all accounts, Deadmau5 was a highlight of last years Wireless festival, playing before Fatboy Slim and to a crowd that was no doubt in the right frame of mind for his housey-electro bangers. This album is a compilation of sorts, bringing together a number of club hits and collaborations with Melleefresh, who also happens to be the owner of Play Records, one of Canada's leading labels for this sort of thing. The tracks with Melleefresh show her to be a saucy one and leap out because of her funky vocals - most of the other tracks are either instrumental, contain a repetitive sample or, in the case of 'This Is The Hook', feature a computerized voice explaining the inner workings of a house track. This is billed as "unmixed for DJs", and it must be said that as an album you probably need to find the right clubby frame of mind, as it were, to really appreciate it. But with Deadmau5 appearing in DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs poll this year, I suspect this is just the beginning and we can look forward to him ripping up clubs and festivals over the next few years. IM
Release Date: 15 Dec
Press Contact: Zest PR

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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TERRA FIRMA EXECS LEAVE EMI
Three executives from private equity company and EMI owners Terra Firma who took on exec roles at the major label have left both companies - ie they've reportedly finished working for EMI and aren't returning to Terra Firma to take on other roles there.

According to the Telegraph, the departing executives are Chris Roling, Francois van der Spuy and Ashley Unwin, the latter of whom became EMI's COO after being parachuted into the music company following Terra Firma's acquisition of it last year.

The Telegraph reckons that other Terra Firma types who got roles at the major will also depart in the next month as Elio Leoni-Sceti, the man eventually put in place as CEO of EMI Music by Terra Firma chief Guy Hands, recruits his own team of execs.

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SOME MORE DIGITAL GROWTH STATS
Back to digital music, and a bit more research about the growth of the US digital music market for you.

Jupiter Research has predicted that digital music will contribute 41% of the record companies' revenue by 2013, up from the 18% it accounts for today (though, as previously reported, Warner division Atlantic recently said digital already accounted for over 50% of its revenues).

The bad news though is that the growth in digital won't fully compensate for the slump in CD sales, meaning the industry will see its over-all revenues drop by up to half a billion dollars a year in the next five years. So, that's nice.

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VIDZONE CONFIRM YOUTUBE DEAL
Online music video aggregator VidZone has announced a licensing deal with YouTube which will see pop promos distributed by the company, which come from independent record labels, officially available via the video sharing service. The labels VidZone represent will receive a royalty from videos played via YouTube.

VidZone CEO Adrian Workman told CMU: "This broad cooperation with YouTube is highly significant as it offers all independent record labels the opportunity to monetise their music videos via the largest and most popular online video community. Artists such as Madness, Freemasons, Tiesto, The Whip, Fatboy Boy Slim, Guru Josh Project and Armand Van Helden will soon be making their entire music video catalogues available via YouTube".

Patrick Walker, Video Partnerships Director at YouTube owners Google, added: "We look forward to the wealth of exciting, fresh music videos that VidZone will bring to the YouTube community. And the application of our Video ID technology means they'll be able to automatically discover and monetize their content when uploaded by fans".

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BAIDU FACES NEW OPPOSITION
Chinese search engine Baidu, which has pissed off the record companies by providing an MP3 search facility which offers easy access to all kinds of illegal music files (including some allegedly only available via the Baidu search engine), is facing new opposition from the wider business community because of its practice of mixing up paid-for and organic listings, and because doing so gives predominance to some allegedly shady companies.

The major record companies' second copyright infringement lawsuit against Baidu is ongoing, but the new legal action involves about 50 Chinese companies, according to the Financial Times. The group alleges that mixing up paid-for and proper results to searches is simply "bad business", that rumours Baidu block some non-paying companies from appearing is "unfair", and that giving priority listings to non-legit companies, such as unlicensed medical firms, is just wrong.

The new action uses new competition laws in China, and it could be an interesting case in testing the new regulatory framework that is being developed for the Chinese economy.

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RADIO 2 ADVERTISE FOR NEW CONTROLLER
The BBC have advertised for a replacement for Lesley Douglas, the Radio 2 Controller who quit over the whole Sacshgate affair.

The Beeb's ad says that the new Controller should be a "recognised industry/media figure with substantial programme-making experience and a formidable editorial and creative reputation". I reckon I could do it. I mean, I've no experience running a radio station, but we've been publishing the Edinburgh Festival newspaper for 13 years and featured hundreds of comedians, none of whom have left lewd messages on Andrew Sach's answer phone while under our watch.

While a number of candidates are expected to be considered, an internal appointment is still most expected - with Radio 1 and BBC youth boss Andy Parfitt still the favourite to succeed Douglas. Though John Barrowman did get his genitals out on Parfitt's watch, as it were, so I'm not sure he's the "safe pair of hands" BBC bosses are looking for.

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FIELDER-CIVIL FOR BIG BROTHER?
Mr Amy Winehouse, Blake Fielder-Civil, reportedly wants to go on 'Celebrity Big Brother'. Presumably he sees being in prison as being pretty good practice.

His reasoning is apparently that being on TV 24 hours a day will help him to prove to his wife that he has changed for the better during his real (not TV) incarceration. A source told The Daily Express: "Blake has told me he's been asked about doing Celebrity Big Brother. Amy is a fan of reality TV and Blake knows she will be watching it. He thinks it is the perfect chance for him to show Amy he is off drugs and loves her to bits".

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BEYONCE THINKS TATTOOED FANS ARE WEIRD
I feel really stupid for getting Beyonce's face tattooed on my chest now. Apparently she thinks that sort of thing is weird. Damn.

The singer told The Sun: "I don't know if that's a gift but I have met quite a lot of people with my Beyonce logo tattooed on their forearms and their necks and their lower backs. It is the biggest compliment which is why it is a huge gift but it is a little crazy".

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