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TODAY'S NEWS

Madonna demands £5 million in wedding photos dispute

iTunes DRM-free rumours
Blur confirm London show
Fans injured as crowd crushes in to see JLS gig
Satriani talks about his Coldplay lawsuit
Dennis Yost dies
Streisand, Daltrey, Townshend, Jonwa honoured in US
Leona tops MTV's most played video list
Dido asked to clarify IRA association
Giant Drag's Hardy suffering from fibromyalgia
Single review: Video Nasties - Albatross (Dead Again)
PETA tell Kid Rock to grow up
Presley jet to be auctioned
Eminem track leaked
Spears to play more O2 dates
Morrissey announces 2009 tour
McFly play Forestry Commission gigs
Ibiza music conference to return in May
Album review: The Uglysuit - The Uglysuit (Touch & Go Records)
Terra Firma covers EMI's CitiGroup debts
Sony and Warner block full songs on iLike
Dramatico confirm alternative distribution
CDR levy increased in Canada
Mail On Sunday launch record label
Sony Electronics to cut 8000 jobs
Major US newspaper publisher files for bankruptcy protection
TalkSport fined over Whale's Boris support
Music radio complaints round up
The Scorpions' Wiki entry barred by ISPs
Allen defends Winehouse
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Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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TUESDAY 9TH DECEMBER

CMU SOCIAL - EPISODE EIGHT
Are you excited? We are. It's very exciting, you see. Tonight is the CMU Social Christmas Special, which will see two of our favourite new acts grace the stage at 229, Rose Elinor Dougall and City Reverb. Plus, there'll be all the usual extras, like the CMU Pop Quiz, the cheap beer and nice food for those who come down early and extra musical joy, spread by the CMU:DJs.

If you aren't on the free guestlist yet, what are you waiting for? Send an email over to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk forthwith.



 

CMU ON ROSE ELINOR DOUGALL:
CMU's favourite Pipette (and now ex-Pipette) will be joining us to show off some of her rather fine new solo material, including her fantastic debut single, 'Another Version Of Pop Song', which is due for release on 8 Dec, and says everything you need to know in its title. Stepping away from the retro, neo-girl group sound of The Pipettes, Rose's new material sees her creating a clean slate for herself with the only link to the past being her rich, familiar voice. Do not miss this.

MySpace: www.myspace.com/roseelinordougallmusic
Read Rose's CMU Same Six Questions interview here.

CMU ON CITY REVERB:
Featuring former Radio 1 DJ Chris Coco amongst their number, City Reverb release their debut album, 'Lost City Folk', on 2 Feb, which delivers a mix of electronic and live band elements to create a unique and beautifully atmospheric sound that Chris describes as "robot soul". Their eclectic clash of influences creates a mellow, yet uplifting sound that will provide the perfect opening to our winter festivities.

MySpace: www.myspace.com/cityreverb
Read City Reverb's CMU Same Six Questions interview here.

So, just remember where you need to be from 7pm this evening: 229 on Great Portland Street (nearest tubes: Great Portland Street, Regents Park, Warren Street). If you want to enter the pop quiz as a company, just let us know. Email your names for the guestlist to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

FUCK BUTTONS - STREET HORRRSING
Sometimes I sit and wonder if my grandparents would ever have thought that there would one day be a musical genre simply known as 'noise'. Then I remember that they did think there was a genre simply known as 'noise', and it comprised most recorded music post-1950. So, maybe they wouldn't have been quite as surprised as you might think. In fact, I'd imagine that listening to artists like Kylie Minoise or Destructo Swarmbots (often an exercise in endurance, rather than enjoyment) is how they would have heard pretty much record I ever bought. Which brings me neatly on to Fuck Buttons, a duo who make music that is akin to standing in a wind tunnel while someone shouts at you, but is somehow more accessible than their contemporaries. 'Street Horrrsing', their debut album, is a cohesive work that whips you up and takes you on a journey over distant mountains where tribal drumming, angry chimps and digital feedback run wild but are kept in line by twinkling melodies that refuse to be scared off by such things. It's quite an experience.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/fuckbuttons

 

 



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 update. Thanks for all the votes that have been submitted already - if you haven't voted, well, do so now. Just email us your favourite track released this year and a couple of sentences saying why you love it to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. 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 are today's votes...

Wild Beasts - The Devil's Crayon
This could have been a tough year in which to pick just one track; the ridiculously catchy 'Hummingbird' by Born Ruffians, the whimsical 'Young Love' from Mystery Jets (& Laura Marling) and Johnny Foreigner's brilliant 'Eyes Wide Terrified' are just a few of the many tracks which have had me hooked. But then there's 'The Devil's Crayon' and it suddenly gets very easy indeed - it's about as good as three and a half minutes of music could possibly be and it still makes me tingle slightly every time I hear it.
David Lloyd, Channel Manager, Sub.tv

Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart
Quoth an American friend looking through my iTunes library earlier in the year: "ooh, Death Cab radio edits!" Yes, 'Narrow Stairs' is full of long intros, but every time I imagine playing and talking over the first four-minutes-plus of this one I can't bring myself to do it because I'd be so busy immersed in the tune! It's a truly epic build-up to what I consider to be the tune of the year.
JC, Presenter, Fresh Air

If you haven't already, get your vote in. Just email us your favourite track released this year to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

 

MADONNA DEMANDS £5 MILLION IN WEDDING PHOTOS DISPUTE
Madonna is demanding £5 million from the Mail On Sunday after they published photos of her wedding to Guy Ritchie which had been deviously copied at her Beverly Hills home.

The Mail published photos of the Madonna/Ritchie wedding in early October as the couple began divorce proceedings. No photos of the 2000 wedding at Skibo Castle in Scotland had ever been previously released for public consumption - only photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino took photos at the event, and the only copies of his pictures were given to the couple.

Madonna seemingly kept her wedding album at her Beverley Hills home. It's alleged that an interior designer working at the singer's property found the album and took photos of the photos. It was those that were sold to the Mail, who paid five grand for them.

Madonna sued for breach of privacy and copyright, her lawyer telling the court that the pictures of a "wholly private" event were copied and supplied "surreptitiously", and that the tabloid had "ambushed" his client by publishing the photos without first approaching her about them, because they knew if they did she'd seek an injunction to stop their publication.

The tabloid, for its part, seemingly hasn't denied the breach of privacy and copyright allegations, with Madonna's lawyer telling the court that the paper had made "no attempt to defend what it did". All of which means the paper presumably accepts it will have to pay the singer some damages in relation to its publication of the photos.

The big disagreement, however, will be how much. The High Court will consider appropriate damages in the New Year, but Madge's lawyers yesterday let it be known she is seeking £5 million. Such a sum would be unprecedented, and the Mail IS unlikely to offer anywhere near that sum in any out of court settlement, confident that the court, while possibly awarding Madonna substantial damages, would be more likely to order a sum in the tens or maybe hundreds of thousands, but certainly not millions.

The biggest payout between a celebrity and a newspaper was the estimated £1 million Elton John received from the Sun in 1987, but that was relating to a libel lawsuit. Pay outs and settlements in privacy cases tend to be lower - the recent privacy-based legal dispute between the News Of The World and Max Mosley resulted in record damages being paid to the Formula One chief, but that was just £60,000, dwarfed by Madonna's claim.

Responding to Madonna's damages claim, a spokesman for the Mail On Sunday told reporters: "These photographs were taken eight years ago, and at the time we published them copyright was not owned by Madonna. Their true commercial value today is indicated by the very modest sum we and other publications paid for them. The figure suggested by Madonna's lawyers is simply fantasy".

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ITUNES DRM-FREE RUMOURS
There has been a rumour doing the rounds on the net that iTunes will start to offer DRM-free music from all four major record companies as of today.

While Amazon MP3 has been selling DRM-free MP3s from all four majors in the US since the start of the year, and 7Digital, Play.com and Amazon all now sell DRM-free MP3s from all four majors over here, the market leader download store from Apple still only sells DRM-free tracks from EMI and independent record companies. The other three majors have so far not done a DRM-free deal with Apple, possibly in a bid to give Amazon et al the chance to gain some ground on what many in the industry consider to be the overly dominant iTunes.

Anyway, presumably DRM-free music will reach iTunes one day, and some gossipers have been saying that day is today. However, there has been no official word from the labels or Apple on this, and Greg Sandoval on CNet wrote this morning: "Rumors coming out of Europe that claim Apple will begin offering unprotected music files from the three largest recording companies on Tuesday are bogus, according to my music-industry sources".

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BLUR CONFIRM LONDON SHOW
This just in. Blur will reunite - ie all four members including Graham Coxon - to play a gig in Hyde Park on 3 Jul. The news ends months, years, possibly decades of speculation that the full original Blur line up are about to work together again. Tickets for the gig go on sale on Friday for forty-five quid. No word on whether any tour or new album will follow.

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FANS INJURED AS CROWD CRUSHES IN TO SEE JLS GIG
Five teenage girls were injured during a free gig featuring 'X Factor' hopefuls JLS at Fairfield Halls in Croydon yesterday.

2000 people reportedly amassed at the 1500 capacity venue to catch a glimpse of the talent show boyband. As the crowd grew people started to push, resulting in the injuries. Five fans were taken from the crowd because of their injuries, with four being taken to a local hospital. All the injuries were described as "minor".

An ambulance man called to the event told reporters: "We treated five patients. They were all teenage girls. Four of them were taken to Mayday Hospital in south London. There was one with a hand injury, one with difficulty in breathing and two who were also just taken unwell. The fifth was treated at the scene".

Police confirmed they were called to the venue at 4pm following "reports of crushing at a free music event". It's not clear if the incidents of pushing and crushing were isolated, or whether they occurred across the venue. It's also not clear how over capacity the venue was and, if it was, why that was allowed to happen. Venue management are yet to comment.

JLS will compete with Eoghan Quigg and Alexandra Burke in the overall 'X Factor' final this weekend.

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SATRIANI TALKS ABOUT HIS COLDPLAY LAWSUIT
Joe Satriani has told reporters that suing Coldplay over his plagiarism allegations was the last thing he wanted to do, but that he was left with no choice after the band refused to talk to him about the issue.

As reported yesterday, Satriani claims that the melody in the title track from the recent Coldplay album, 'Viva La Vida', is taken from his instrumental song 'If I Could Fly'. He has begun legal proceedings at the LA Federal Court, alleging the band used "substantial original portions" of his song.

Speaking to MusicRadar he said that he wasn't taking legal action out of "malice", but that: "I'm just doing what I need to do as an artist, to protect what's mine, to protect those feelings I put down in song. I did everything to prevent the case going to court, but Coldplay didn't want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don't know. But we're talking about a piece of art that I created, and that's something I feel is important. I think everybody should feel that way".

He also talked about the first time he heard the Coldplay song, saying: "I felt like a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much. Almost immediately, from the minute their song came out, my e-mail box flooded with people going, 'Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off man'. I mean, I couldn't tell you how many e-mails I received. Everybody noticed the similarities between the songs. It's pretty obvious".

Coldplay are yet to respond to the lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, damages and "any and all profits" linked to the track.

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DENNIS YOST DIES
Dennis Yost, lead singer and drummer with sixties outfit Classics IV, has died at the age of 65 in Hamilton, near Cincinnati, Ohio. Yost suffered a brain injury back in 2005, and had been cared for in nursing homes since then, and ultimately succumbed to respiratory failure.

Yost was born in Detroit, but raised in Jacksonville, Florida, where Classics IV formed from the remains of a local cover band, The Classics. The group moved to Atlanta in 1967 and were discovered by Bill Lowery, who produced their first hit for Imperial Records, 'Spooky', in 1968. The group later changed its line up, with several members moving on to the Atlanta Rhythm Section by 1974, and its name, which became Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost. Yost continued to perform with the group until 2005. Plans for 40th anniversary celebrations in 2006 had to be abandoned after a fall down a flight of stairs caused the brain damage that was to end Yost's career.

Former bandmate James R Cobb said of his late colleague: "Dennis was a friend as well as a fellow musician. I always thought he had a very distinctive voice, and I think we had some of the hits we had because of him and his ability as a singer".

Jon Bowman, of former rock and comedy group Sha Na Na, held a benefit concert last year to assist Yost with his increasing medical costs. He is quoted as saying: "He was a tremendous talent who did an enormous amount of the work for that group. Paradoxically, I came to know Dennis better in the later years, in which he was involved in a massive struggle to retain his own musical identity, which was one of the saddest and most difficult cases of someone losing the name of their own group, when he had pretty much been the group".

Yost is survived by his wife and five children.

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STREISAND, DALTREY, TOWNSHEND, JONWA HONOURED IN US
Barbra Streisand, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend were amongst stars honoured with awards for their contributions to US culture at a ceremony in Washington this week. The annual Kennedy Centre event, attended by President George W Bush and his wife, featured tribute performances from the likes of Ne-Yo, who performed Streisand's 1965 hit 'Lover Come Back To Me', and rocker Rob Thomas, who gave a rendition of The Who's 'Baba O'Riley'. "The full impact of it is still sinking in, it feels a bit iconic", said Pete Townshend.

The awards are now in their 31st year, and recognise the lifetime achievements of practitioners of all the performing arts, including dance, theatre, film and television. The show will be broadcast in the US on 30 Dec.

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LEONA TOPS MTV'S MOST PLAYED VIDEO LIST
MTV has announced its list of 'gold' and 'platinum' video awards for the first half of 2008, which are basically the videos which receive over 4000 and 8000 respective plays across all of MTV channels.

And 37 videos are listed, with Leona Lewis topping the bill by going double platinum, with her track 'Bleeding Love' being played 16,085 times across the entire MTV network in the first half of the year. No wonder we were all so sick of it. Rihanna is a close second with 15,953 plays for 'Don't Stop The Music'.

Both Leona and Rihanna appear on the list twice, as do Britney and One Republic - Timbaland is on there three times. You can see videos off the list at this URL.

MTV Talent And Music Director Dan Waite was particularly happy with the number of newer artists that appear on the most played video list. He told CMU: "This, once again, demonstrates MTV's commitment to new artists and new music. I am delighted that next to the Madonna's and the Britney's of this world we find Leona Lewis, Duffy, Flo Rida, Adele, Sara Baraeillis, Yael Naim and Colbie Caillat all being honoured in this most meaningful of ways - by huge amounts of airtime".

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DIDO ASKED TO CLARIFY IRA ASSOCIATION
Yeah, there's a headline you never thought you'd see. Dido has been asked to clarify her position on Irish terrorist organisations, after she included lyrics from an Irish folk song, 'The Men Behind The Wire', in a song on her new album. The folk song is associated with republican organisations such as the IRA and breakaway groups such as The Real IRA.

Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Londonderry, Gregory Campbell, said: "Given her Irish roots, it is inconceivable that she doesn't know the background of the wording. She must know it was written about people who were murderers, arsonists and terrorists. She should clarify her position so that her fans and the wider public knows where she stands on these things".

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GIANT DRAG'S HARDY SUFFERING FROM FIBROMYALGIA
Giant Drag frontwoman Annie Hardy has revealed that she is suffering from chronic muscle disorder fibromyalgia, a condition which causes pain throughout the body and debilitating fatigue. Hardy told Stereogum that she had initially thought that her injuries were simply down to lugging equipment around while touring, but went to the doctor after her aches didn't go away once she was back at home.

She said: "Basically I'm in dull to gnarly pain all the time, and I'm supposed to be doing physical therapy three times a week but can't afford it. But it's not terminal cancer so I try not to bitch about it too much".

Instead, Hardy has been recording a new solo EP, funded by donations from fans. She says: "People get to actually be a part of the making of this album, which wouldn't happen without them".

She added that she hopes to tour again, once a solo album is recorded: "I just need one of those French-fry-converted vans, and then I'm off to look for Ameeeerica and hopefully Canada. The overseas stuff will be hard to do on my own, but I have to make it happen, even if I swim there. I'm sure everything will work out the way it's supposed to, it always does".

Throw some cash her way, here.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Video Nasties - Albatross (Dead Again)
This year has seen punk enter the next stage in its evolution, to some extent. Earlier this year Fucked Up came onto the scene and trampled any sceptics who thought you couldn't open a hardcore punk album with a flautist. And now emerge Video Nasties, an adrenaline pumped frenetic punk band with the patience of Jeremy Paxman questioning poor ignorant students on 'University Challenge'. With their new single 'Albatross', they manage to vacuum-pack screaming riffs, screaming vocals and a screaming organ melody into two minutes. Yes, I said organ. And what's even more surprising is that it actually works. Much like that much-loved varnish, Ronseal, Video Nasties compress the grittiest depths of Sonic Youth and the screeches of Test Icicles into a can of excitement that consistently does exactly what it says on the tin. GB
Release Date: 15 Dec
Press Contact: Wasted Youth PR [All]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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PETA TELL KID ROCK TO GROW UP
Animal rights group PETA have called on Kid Rock to grow up and stop wearing fur, after the musician claimed in a recent interview to have "every kind of animal" in his wardrobe.

Rock, who, as previously reported, was divorced from PETA supporter Pamela Anderson two years ago, said that he would be happy to "go to war" with the group. He added, in reference to the past actions of animal rights activists who threw red paint on fur-wearers, "To throw paint on someone is just wrong. They do it to little Hollywood actresses who can't defend themselves". Yeah, poor little things.

Anyway, PETA told Gigwise: "Hell hath no fury like a man scorned. Though his relationship with PETA pal Pam Anderson ended years ago, Kid Rock is clearly still wearing his heart on his fur sleeve. Maybe one day this kid will grow up and grow out of his cruel wardrobe".

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PRESLEY JET TO BE AUCTIONED
A 1962 Lockheed jet once owned by Elvis Presley is to be auctioned at the 35th Annual Las Vegas Collector Car Auction on 18 and 19 Dec. One of three jets owned by the singer, it's the only one still in private hands, the other two being on display at Graceland. The plane has been restored and features its original interior and exterior painting. It's expected to fetch up to $2million.

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EMINEM TRACK LEAKED
A new track featuring Eminem, apparently produced by Dr Dre, has been leaked onto the internet. According to reports, 'Number One' was included in a mix tape by DJs Big Mike and Neptune called '4th Quarter Pressure, Part 2'. It's rumoured that the track is to be included on Dre's next album 'Detox', not Eminem's comeback 'Relapse'. It was on YouTube, but it's no longer available "due to a copyright claim by a third party".

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SPEARS TO PLAY MORE O2 DATES
Britney Spears has added six more dates to her previously reported two night run at the O2 Arena in June. So, that's eight altogether, those of you who can't add up. Tickets for all the dates are on sale now.

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MORRISSEY ANNOUNCES 2009 TOUR
Morrissey has announced a series of 2009 tour dates in support of new album 'Years Of Refusal', out on 16 Feb. He had already confirmed a gig at London's Royal Albert Hall, and two Manchester gigs, but has now added further gigs across the country, as follows:

4 May: Stirling Albert Hall
5 May: Dundee Caird Hall
7 May: Glasgow Barrowland
10 May: Liverpool Empire
11 May: London, Royal Albert Hall
13 May: Birmingham Symphony Hall
15 May: Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier
16 May: Cambridge Corn Exchange
19 May: Hull Arena
20 May: Hartlepool Borough Hall
22 and 23 May: Manchester, Apollo
25 May: Salisbury City Hall
26 May: London Mile End Troxy Ballroom
28 May: London Brixton O2 Academy

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MCFLY PLAY FORESTRY COMMISSION GIGS
Oh why, oh why have I still not managed to make it to one of these Forestry gigs (even though the lovely PR people invite me every year)? I do so love the sound of them. And I'd love to see McFly playing one. Only, they're not playing my nearest forest, which I believe is Thetford. If I did go, do you think it would be feasible to take a nearly-two-year old girl with me anyway? Anyway, as you might have guessed by now, McFly have announced three Forestry gigs for next summer. Tickets go on sale on Friday morning for the following performances:

19 Jun: Westonbirt Arboretum, Nr Tetbury
20 Jun: Sherwood Pines Forest Park, Nr Edwinstowe
26 Jun: Dalby Forest, Nr Pickering

See www.forestry.gov.uk/music for info.

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IBIZA MUSIC CONFERENCE TO RETURN IN MAY
Organisers of the International Music Summit, the Ibiza-based music conference that launched earlier this year, have announced the event will return next summer, from 27-29 May.

One of those organisers is Pete Tong, who told CMU: "What happened in Ibiza [this year] will impact our future and the way the music industry moves forward. The response was overwhelming; people walked away with ideas for the future, with new relationships forged from different aspects of electronica and the film and brand industry. In 2009, we aim to build on this with some exciting new initiatives to be announced in Ibiza".

Co-founder and curator Ben Turner adds: "Keeping the intimacy and quality of delegates to the dealmakers is of huge importance to us and those returning for a second year. We aim for the electronic industry to use these three days as a platform to debate but also unveil their plans and visions for the genre's future. We have some special announcements to make on guest attendees, watch this space".

The conference, coming at the start of the Ibiza season, will conclude with an outdoor finale featuring a whole host of top DJs, including, of course, Mr Tong.

Special rates are available for IMS to returning and early bird delegates- you'll find more details on their website at www.internationalmusicsummit.com.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Uglysuit - The Uglysuit (Touch & Go Records)
"I slipped further unconsciously into a world of windy dreams... / And where did I begin to drift off to that I think that I can fly / My mind - I took it to Chicago". Ah, Chicago. The destination of choice for contemporary indie gentleman wishing to wax poetic - Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, Ryan Adams, and now Oklahoma City-based sextet The Uglysuit. Like a 'Heatmiser'-era Elliot Smith or perhaps a mellow-sounding Rooney with grown-up lyrics, The Uglysuit's debut eponymous album is a mix of sad-to-happy melodies and hopeful, retrospective lyrics. The nine-track LP clocks in at just over forty minutes long, but what a sweet and meditative forty minutes that is. Tying together guitars, pianos, keyboards and small, subtle orchestral components, the band create comforting sounds that are made for reflective rainy days. 'The Anthem Of The Arctic Birds' is the album's highlight and perfectly sums up the record as a whole; it starts off beautifully with layered, lush vocals, before evolving into a punchy keyboard melody, tapering off again, eventually finishing on an opulent and well-textured tier of notes. A great, spellbinding and well-rounded debut from a band who are certainly destined for bigger things. TW
Release Date: 2 Feb
Press Contact: Hermana [All]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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TERRA FIRMA COVERS EMI'S CITIGROUP DEBTS
According to the Wall Street Journal, EMI's parent company, Terra Firma, has loaned £10 million to its music company so that it doesn't default on payments on its rather large $2.7 billion loan from Citigroup. Then again, Terra Firma took out the loan in order to buy the music company, so that only seems fair. The Journal adds that EMI many need another pay out from its parent in March because it is due to have a relatively quiet fourth quarter in terms of major releases, the sort of big selling albums that generate sufficient revenues to contribute to debt payments. It's hoped, presumably, that big releases from Lily Allen, Pet Shop Boys, Keith Urban, Depeche Mode and the Beastie Boys later in 2009 will mean the major will rely less and less on Terra Firma to make its Citigroup payments.

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SONY AND WARNER BLOCK FULL SONGS ON ILIKE
Sony and Warner have blocked full-song streaming from the iLike website.

The sort-of-like-Last-fm service made full-song streaming available via a partnership with Real's digital music service Rhapsody. I think it basically allows users to use Rhapsody's existing ad-funded streaming services via the iLike platform. That service allows users to stream 25 full songs a month - after that only 30 second clips are available, with users offered the option to upgrade to full subscription Rhapsody.

But the two majors seemingly object to iLike repackaging the Rhapsody service, arguing that Real's licence does not allow the full-song streams to be made available via third party websites. As a result the label's songs are not currently available via iLike. The website seems to be compensating by linking to other places on the net where full tracks can be viewed - in particular YouTube.

Confirming the two majors' content was not currently available as full streams via their Rhapsody tie up, a spokesman for iLike said yesterday: "From day one, iLike has offered only music that is fully licensed from copyright holders, via a combination of direct licenses as well as third-party relationships such as Muze and Rhapsody. From time to time these arrangements are renewed and re-negotiated, and sometimes it's hard to avoid temporary outages in the middle of discussions".

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DRAMATICO CONFIRM ALTERNATIVE DISTRIBUTION
London based indie Dramatico, home of Katie Melua and Carla Bruni, yesterday confirmed it had entered into a new UK distribution deal with Warner's indie distribution division, the Alternative Distribution Alliance. The pop indie had previously used Pinnacle which, of course, went into administration last week.

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CDR LEVY INCREASED IN CANADA
The Canadian Copyright Board has announced it will raise the tax on CDRs to 29 cents, up from 21 cents. The tax on audio cassettes, which it's apparently still possible to buy, will remain at 24 cents.

Canada, of course, charges a levy on blank cassettes and CDRs in recognition that many people use these devices to make private copies of albums. Canadian copyright law allows such private copies to be made, but in return for the levy, which is passed on to songwriters and musicians via the Canadian Private Copying Collective.

The Board explained the reasons for the increase in this not at all confusing statement: "First, increased mechanical licence royalties, coupled with the elimination of container deductions and free goods allowances in the calculation of the performers' and makers' remuneration, greatly add to our estimation of the total remuneration per prerecorded CD. Second, the use of compression technology raises from 15 to 18.4 the average number of tracks copied on a blank CD used to copy music".

So, there you have it. Of course people increasingly transfer private copies of albums to digital music players rather than cassettes or CDRs. Attempts to apply a similar levy to such devices - the so called iPod tax - have not been without controversy.

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MAIL ON SUNDAY LAUNCH RECORD LABEL
The Mail On Sunday yesterday launched its own record label with the release of a new single, 'Oh Holy Night' performed by the ACM Gospel Choir, which the paper hopes will compete for the coveted Christmas number one spot (though it's been released a bit early to do so). The single is being sold in the conventional way, albeit only as a digital download, but the album it comes from will be given away with the paper on 14 Dec.

The MoS has dabbled more than most print media in the music space, of course, continuing with the covermount promotion long after other newspapers had tired of the idea, mainly by working with classic artists to put together exclusive greatest hits collections, normally to promote a new album or tour, and, more recently, by releasing brand new albums from big name artists like Prince and McFly.

The paper says its new venture, Mail On Sunday Sounds, will look to work with newer talent as well as the big names that have featured on past covermounts - the ACM Gospel Choir, from the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, being one such example of newer talent.

Music Week quote MoS editor Peter Wright thus: "When we did the Prince album we got a lot of flak from the music industry and one of the things that was said was that anyone can put out an album by an established artist like Prince, but what are we doing to promote new talent? I think that if we can move more into original content in the long run that will be more exciting. It is closer to what we do in newspaper - we don't publish other people's stories. We are original content providers. If we can begin to move into that area with music, that is very exciting".

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SONY ELECTRONICS TO CUT 8000 JOBS
Sony's electronics division is to cut 8000 jobs worldwide in a move that will lead to the closure of some of its factories. The majority of Sony Corp's 185,000 employees, about 160,000, work in its electronics company, which, of course, makes the walkmen range of music players plus TVs, digital cameras and laptop computers.

The conglom, which also owns Sony Music, of course, told reporters: "These initiatives are in response to the sudden and rapid changes in the global economic environment".

Despite the somewhat drastic action, one investment expert says the job cuts aren't in themselves enough to ensure Sony's future stability. Katsuhiko Mori at Daiwa SB Investments told Reuters: "The number sounds big, but this staff reduction won't be enough. Sony doesn't have any core businesses that generate stable profits. After the workforce reduction, the next thing we want to see is what is going to be the business that will drive the company".

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MAJOR US NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
More economic doom and gloom, and while most British media companies are downsizing as we speak, the biggest media story in this regard may come from America where newspaper giant the Tribune Company, who own the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, among other big titles, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a bid to restructure some £8.7 billion in debts.

The company says it plans to continue to operate as normal while it looks for a way to successfully deal with its debt situation. A statement from the company reads: "The company will continue to operate its media businesses during the restructuring, including publishing its newspapers and running its television stations and interactive properties without interruption, and has sufficient cash to do so".

The media firm was bought by property magnate Sam Zell last December. It's thought his plans to turn round the company's fortunes have been hampered by the credit crunch and general economic woes.

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TALKSPORT FINED OVER WHALE'S BORIS SUPPORT
Media Watchdog OfCom has fined TalkSport a neat twenty grand for that previously reported incident in which presenter James Whale encouraged listeners to vote for Boris Johnson in the run up to the London mayoral election. The comments breached the media regulator's strict impartiality rules.

OfCom said in a statement: "The presenter directly encouraged listeners to vote for Boris Johnson in the upcoming London mayoral elections and criticised Ken Livingstone. Breaches of this nature have the potential to cause considerable harm to the democratic process by conferring an unfair electoral advantage on a particular candidate".

Whale was fired over the incident back in May. He initially took legal action against his dismissal, but later dropped that action, saying he didn't have the funds to pursue it.

OfCom's response to the Whale incident is possibly more severe because of a previous ruling against TalkSport after another former presenter George Galloway announced on air his intention to run against a government minister in the next General Election. OfCom added: "It was the second time within eight months that the station breached the code's due impartiality requirements ... TalkSport could and should have taken more action to ensure more robust compliance both before and on the date of [Whale's] broadcast".

Whale, who has already got another job for London talk station LBC, told The Guardian he was surprised he wasn't consulted in OfCom's investigation of the incident, while adding that he stood by his original claim he wasn't in the wrong. He said: "I am amazed that the one person who has never been spoken to in all of this is me. I have moved on from the situation. I am also surprised that more people have not been found wanting. I can assure you that it was never my intention to influence anyone more than people would normally be influenced by reading or listening to the media. Talk radio always works with a delay. And if the producers of the station are not happy with what you do there is the facility to remove it".

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MUSIC RADIO COMPLAINTS ROUND UP
Talking of breaches of OfCom rules in radio land, here are some recent incidents investigated by OfCom...

Heart FM: Gave "undue prominence" to 'Mamma Mia! The Movie' in various broadcasts back in July. This included positioning itself as "the official radio station" of the film, albeit without any apparent support from the film's makers.

BBC 6music: On Nemone's show on 12 Sep, American comedian Doug Stanhope told the DJ that two of Sarah Palin's children were "retards" - "One's got Down's Syndrome and the other volunteered for Iraq". He added: "The woman has a baby with Down's Syndrome; how can America get behind her when even God obviously hates her".

96.3 Rock Radio: Presenter Donald Macleod introduced Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun' by saying: "Barack Obama's favourite song. Your Mum's got a big black hole, son".

Xfm Scotland: During an edition of 'The Live Hour', a performance by Oasis contained the word "cunt" and several instances of "fuck".

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THE SCORPIONS' WIKI ENTRY BARRED BY ISPS
German band The Scorpions' 1976 album 'Virgin Killer' has sparked a row about internet censorship. The Wikipedia entry for the album displays an image from the LP's controversial artwork featuring an image of a naked prepubescent girl striking a somewhat suggestive pose, and certain UK internet providers have apparently blocked access to the page after being warned about its content by the Internet Watch Foundation. Contributors to the online encyclopaedia have objected, however, not least because the cover has appeared in a number of books without incurring any ban, but also because the steps taken by the ISPs reportedly mean some UK users lose access to (and editing rights on) other parts of the site.

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ALLEN DEFENDS WINEHOUSE
Lily Allen has said that Amy Winehouse isn't just a druggie, like everyone thinks she is. Actually, I've never thought she was just a druggie, I've always thought of her as a very talented and clever (if 'troubled') individual and I suspect that many other people would agree with me.

However, I expect there are people out there who will benefit from Allen's wisdom on the subject anyway, so here's what she says. "I know Amy Winehouse very well and she is very different to what people portray her as being. Yes, she does get out of her mind on drugs sometimes, but she is also a very clever, intelligent, witty, funny person who can hold it together. You just don't see that side. She gets a really hard time".

So, all you Winehouse critics, be told.

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