NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. WHAT IS THIS? You are receiving this e-bulletin because you are subscribed to the CMU Daily. Unsubscribe information is given at the bottom of this e-bulletin.
 

 

TODAY'S NEWS

Woolies launch closing down sale

Majors sign up to interesting new college licencing model
Culture Secretary may comment on government's copyright extension position
Whitnall pleads guilty to drugs charges
DMX arrested
TI on making good use of his prison time
Martin talks more about the Satriani lawsuit
Blur to play intimate warm-up shows
Dammers not happy with Specials reunion
Bobby Brown denies Whitney abuse
Avril Lavigne departs Nettwerk Management
Single review: Travis - Song To Self (Red Telephone Box)
NME reveal top ten albums of 2008
London-based video maker on his Grammy nomination
New Violent Femmes/Midnight Oil group planned
Minogue goes Bollywood
Will.i.am working with U2
Peter, Bjorn & John announce new album
Knife frontwoman announces solo project
Five Star girl takes to West End stage
Album review: Oh, Atoms - You Can't See The Stars From Here (Sony/ATV/Little Victories)
Sony Music sued over children registrations
Amanda Ghost lined up for exec role at Epic US
EMI and Warner expand distribution partnership
Universal launch new artist management firm in India
Comes With Music DRM removed by new high speed recording software
TicketsNow boss stands down
Canadian distributor applies for bankruptcy protection
[PIAS] expands DVD distribution services
Union Square and Box Tree announce publishing partnership
Global Radio boss says promotional value of radio play undervalued
BBC considering helping out commercial DAB network
Cardinal criticises Madonna
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
 

THURSDAY 11TH DECEMBER

RANGER3
Anglo-Irish, London-based electro-folk duo Ranger3 have already been our band of the week in CMU Weekly, and quite rightly so. Intricately mixing folk instruments and electronics, Jim Perkins and Ronan Burke (ex-Cane 141), play folk songs, which they then chop up into little pieces and put back together in a far more pleasing order.


 

In case you wondered, the duo are named after the ill-fated US Ranger 3 space probe, sent to explore the moon in 1962, but which missed by 36,000km and was lost in space.

The duo released their debut album, 'Old Simplicity', via Bigo & Twigetti, earlier this month. Both Jim and Ronan have given us their answers to the immense Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Ronan Burke: A combination of being forced to take piano lessons by my piano teacher mother and being subjected to repeated plays of 'Wuthering Heights' by Kate Bush as a child.

Jim Perkins: When I started primary school they gave a few of the kids a hearing test. Some of us were given recorders and a few of us violins. I made a terrible noise on the violin for about two years and then stuffed it in a bush outside my school gates. I then had five years off music, starting again with a £20 acoustic guitar purchased from Argos.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Both: We really wanted to do an album that was accessible and melodic but both of us are interested in intricate, dynamic rhythms and arrangements.

RB: I think I wanted to remain true to the spirit of Irish folk in covering some dark issues such as death and bereavement but not letting it get in the way of a good tune.

JP: The album was written over three years, during which time most of the music that I wrote was a fairly unconscious reaction to what was happening to me then. It was also an opportunity to test out different types of arrangements, harmonies, ways of expressing emotions and rhythms.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
JP: The process consists of both of us writing sketches for songs independently and then coming together to develop the final arrangement. The amount of time taken varies greatly from track to track, inevitably some tracks come out more strongly influenced by one of us than the other but this balances itself out over the album. I spend most of my time on the music and arrangement and Ronan writes the lyrics and most of the lead vocal melodies. We both play the majority of the instruments, occasionally calling in a bit of external support and I record, produce and mix the tracks.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
RB: My influences have accumulated from listening to everything from Flying Nun Records pop to Kraftwerk, John Fahey, The Books and Schneider TM over the years. We draw on sounds from a variety of sources from early classical choral music to TV On The Radio.

JP: Yeah that and the theme tune to 'Cheggers Plays Pop'. I like a mixture of really well crafted harmony and technique from classical artists like Debussy, Ravel and Wagner and then on the other side I'm really into experimental textures and cut n paste, patchwork elements from artists like Ligeti to Portishead, The Books and Matmos.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Both: Listen to it on headphones, it sounds better... but don't listen too closely to this bit, or that bit and if I did that bit again I'd change...

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
RB: Like anyone who makes an album, we want it to be heard by as many people as possible.

JP: In terms of the future, I'd like to get access to a wider range of instruments and performers so that we could expand what we could do, leading to an Andy Warhol-style factory of people churning out Ranger3 brand music to a very strict set of criteria, whilst we take all the credit... well, perhaps not the last bit... well, perhaps so...

MORE>> www.bigoandtwigetti.co.uk and www.myspace.com/ranger3uk

 

SANTOGOLD - SANTOGOLD
When your opening gambit is a single as good as 'L.E.S. Artistes', you leave yourself with a long way to fall with anything and everything that comes after it. So it's impressive that Santi White, aka Santogold, hasn't even slipped as she's skipped along that ledge. Her eponymous debut album covers a huge number of genres - dub, electro, rock, new wave, ska, hip hop, it's all in there - but what makes it so successful is that, at its heart, it's pure pop. It's that which draws all twelve songs together and makes them into a whole, and which burns them into your brain for all time. In fact, it doesn't take long at all before at least a handful of the songs have set up shop inside your head and taken almost permanent occupancy of your internal jukebox. But that's okay, if I'm going to have any songs playing themselves to me on a loop all day, I want it to be these ones. No wonder she's become musical royalty in the last twelve months, with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas, Beastie Boys, Bavid Byrne and Jay-Z all falling over themselves to work with her.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/santogold

 

 



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 are some more Track Of The Year votes. If you haven't voted yet, do so now. Just email us your favourite track released this year to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. Votes need to be in by tomorrow, so think fast.

Elbow - One Day Like This
There have been a few contenders ('Paper Planes', 'Fascination', 'Time To Pretend', 'Human', 'Black And Gold' etc) but it could only ever be 'One Day Like This' by Elbow. 2008 was their year to break into mainstream hearts after eight years being meticulously adored by a limited but loving section of UK music fans, and this single drew on every magisterial pop nuance they had, held together by glowing strings and resounding in an emphatic coda that hasn't dominated a song so much since 'Hey Jude'. Superb in every detail, and the single this decade should be remembered for.
Thomas Meek, CMU Reviewer

The King Blues - Let's Hang The Landlord
There have been a few great tracks this year but I'm going to say 'Let's Hang The Landlord' by The King Blues is my favourite. It could be any track off the album 'Save The World Get The Girl' but I'm going for this one because it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Not because I have ever lived in a squat but because they are a genuinely exciting band that capture the spirit of 77 like very few since. If they aren't headlining Brixton Academy by the end of next year then music is well and truly over...
Martin Tibbetts, Director, 1979

 

 
 

 

WOOLIES LAUNCH CLOSING DOWN SALE
Woolies price-slashing sale, which kicked off last weekend, has officially become a closing down sale.

Administrators Deloitte hadn't previously positioned the offer as such, implying they were still hopeful a buyer would be found and the majority of Woolworths 815 stores would remain open. While Deloitte say they continue to look for a buyer for the retail chain, the fact the sale has become a 'closing down sale' suggests they are increasingly pessimistic about finding one. It's thought some Woolies stores could close before the end of the month.

Confirming the closing down sale, Deloitte's Neville Kahn told reporters: "While we are still seeking bids from interested parties, Christmas is clearly the busiest time of the year for retailers and it is prudent to do all we can to sell existing stock. By moving to a store closing sale and further discounting the stock, we are maximising the sales potential that this period offers".

There is no word on whether buyers are coming forward to acquire Woolies entertainment distribution company eUK, though it was always the more attractive of the two Woolworths companies that went into administration last month.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

MAJORS SIGN UP TO INTERESTING NEW COLLEGE LICENCING MODEL
According to Wired, three of the majors are on board for a new licensing programme which could be a forerunner of the much previously touted idea where customers pay a monthly music licence fee to their ISP, which is then passed onto the record companies, in return for permission to access and share music in anyway they wish, including P2P networks like Limewire.

The potentially ground breaking system is currently confined to US universities, and is part of a bid by American colleges to protect their file-sharing students from copyright infringement lawsuits, and themselves from being accused of authorising infringement as the internet providers to their students. The proposal is that a licence fee will be bundled into tuition fees, which will be passed on to a not-for-profit body called Choruss who will in turn pay the content owners, ie record labels and publishers.

Choruss has been created by internet consultant Jim Griffin, who has been specifically consulting on net affairs for Warner Music, though the new organisation will not be Warner biased in any way. All the majors bar the biggest - Universal Music - are said to be on board.

It's not clear how Choruss would track what music was being accessed over the university networks in order to pass the right share of the licence income to the record companies, especially the indies, nor how transferable the model would be to the public at large via a levy charged by ISPs. The proposals are, nevertheless, quite interesting.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

CULTURE SECRETARY MAY COMMENT ON GOVERNMENT'S COPYRIGHT EXTENSION POSITION
Culture Secretary Andy Burnham may be about to announce a government rethink of the proposed extension of the recorded music copyright. As much previously reported, the government is still officially locked to the Gowers Report on copyright law, which said there were no grounds for the record industry's proposals to increase the copyright term on recordings from 50 to 95 years. However, with proposals put forward at a European level for such an extension, Burnham said at a recent MusicTank event that the matter was still being discussed within government, implying they may as yet back the proposals. Music Week reports that Burnham could be about to make some more firm announcement on the matter at the Creators Conference being staged by UK Music today. We'll let you know if he does.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

WHITNALL PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUGS CHARGES
Babyshambles guitarist Mick Whitnall pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a Class A drug at Greenwich Magistrates' Court this week. The charges relate to the previously reported incident on 12 Oct at Blackheath's Cafe Rouge, in which Whitnall was discovered by police officers in a toilet cubicle with a block of crack in his hand.

During the course of his arrest, his home was searched, and more drugs were found, and whilst at the local police station, as officers took his picture, he apparently confessed: "it's only a bit of cocaine". He also tested positive for the drug.

Magistrate David Smith said that Whitnall would not get away with a fine on this occasion, because he is a persistent offender, and told the court: "His last conviction was five weeks prior to his arrest. We think it's time that this got properly looked into - we are not going to deal with this by way of a fine. Any drug [rehabilitation] course should be alongside a community order so we are looking for a community penalty".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

DMX ARRESTED
That pesky DMX fella has been arrested, following his previously reported failure to appear in court in Phoenix (again), which resulted in the issuing of a warrant for his arrest (again).

The rapper was arrested in Miami by federal authorities on Tuesday afternoon and is now being held at the Miami-Dade County Jail. He will now be transported to Phoenix where his bail is already set at $120,000.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

TI ON MAKING GOOD USE OF HIS PRISON TIME
US rapper TI has said that he's planning to make good use of his time in prison. As previously reported, the hip-hopper is to serve a one year prison sentence starting in March after he pleaded guilty to the 2007 charges of the illegal possession of three machine guns and two silencers.

He told MTV: "Presumably, while I'm there, I'll be able to strategise my comeback. All those days will be spent speaking to people who are interested in being in the TI Business. Preparing myself for the days those doors open, when I put my feet back on the ground of the free world. It's just months of planning. It's just a long time to roll the project out. I ain't gonna just be sitting still doing nothing. The wheels will be turning, just the car ain't going nowhere".

In the meantime, he's getting as much done as possible on his film projects before he has to go to jail. So it's handy that he doesn't have to go until March, isn't it? Why is that? Do ordinary people get to choose when they serve time? Anyway, here's what he says about all that: "The film I'm producing over at New Line, 'For Sale', we're trying to put that together, and hopefully we'll be able to do that before March. We're getting offers every day, checking on our availability, on whether or not we'll be able to take advantage of certain opportunities, film-wise".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

MARTIN TALKS MORE ABOUT THE SATRIANI LAWSUIT
Chris Martin has been talking to NME Radio about those previously reported allegations that he nicked a portion of Joe Satriani's track 'If I Could Fly' for his song 'Viva La Vida'.

As previously reported, Satriani began legal proceedings against the band last week , claiming that the title track from Coldplay's latest album took "substantial, original portions" of his 2004 instrumental track. Martin et al issued a statement earlier this week saying any similarities between the two songs were a coincidence.

Speaking to NME Radio, Martin says he distinctly remembers writing the song, saying: "Oh, I know exactly where the song came from. It came from the middle of the night, on a piano. I just get embarrassed about having to talk about these things. I do feel a bit upset about it [Satriani's lawsuit] because I wrote the song. But, you know, these things happen. Whatever will be will be".

Of course it's not unprecedented for copyright infringement cases to rely on so called subconscious infringement, whereby the infringer doesn't deliberately steal someone else's music, but subconsciously hears the other track one day and then uses it in their own piece another day, assuming it to be original work. Therefore Martin remembering when he wrote the track isn't necessarily a solid defence against Satriani's lawsuit.

Martin added that the band hadn't had "the best of days" since Satriani launched his lawsuit against them, though said he still thought the plaintiff in the case was an "amazing" musician.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

BLUR TO PLAY INTIMATE WARM-UP SHOWS
Blur will play a series of warm-up shows ahead of their full scale reunion show in Hyde Park next July, Damon Albarn told Absolute Radio yesterday.

Albarn, in a busy day of interviews, told the rock station: "We do need to play quite a lot to get ourselves back up to that, you can't just walk on stage at Hyde Park without putting the hours in. We have to do a lot of warm-up gigs. Personally I'd like to go and visit some places that were really important to us when we were growing up".

He also told Zane Lowe on Radio 1: "[The reunion] is a bit terrifying because we haven't even thought - any of us - on that scale for a long time".

Graham Coxon also told Lowe about why it has taken him and the other three members of the band to get back onto friendly terms. He said: "We didn't argue or fall out - we just went away. I seemed to just go off and they seemed to just go off and that was it. We did talk a couple of times during the last six, seven years but it seemed clear but we weren't very at peace with the situation".

Albarn added:"Graham and I suddenly clicked again after what seemed like a lifetime. We stopped communicating a long time ago".

Meanwhile, Alex James told The Mirror that the reunion could prove to be a disaster. He said: "God knows what it will sound like in the studio. Now Damon writes operas, Graham's listening to finger-plucking folk music, Dave's going to be a prime minister and I'm conducting orchestras so it's going to be weird. It could be shit. Now I listen to violin and French horns. I have an on-going love affair with orchestras, they go well in the countryside".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

DAMMERS NOT HAPPY WITH SPECIALS REUNION
Specials founder Jerry Dammers is not happy with the band's upcoming 30th anniversary reunion, in which he is not involved. He claims that, contrary to anything the other band members have said, they have actively sought to keep him out of reunion, and that Terry Hall and his manager have taken control of the entire project. He also says that he has received a letter from the band's lawyers warning him "not to speak to any" members of the band.

A statement issued on Dammers behalf says that: "he was not invited to take part in this proposed tour, or even told about it. Claims that 'the door is still open' to him, fail to mention that Jerry has been driven out every time he has attempted to get involved over the last year".

It continues: "A meeting was called to which Jerry was not invited. Jerry turned up anyway and played [new music he was working on with two other members of The Specials], and suggested starting serious rehearsals, but was subjected to a severe dressing down from people who had barely spoken to him in 25 years".

The statement concludes that he "sees this whole thing as a takeover, rather than a proper reunion, representing primarily Terry Hall and his manager's ideas of what The Specials should be and do ... Jerry does not believe it represents what the real Specials stood for, politically, or in terms of creativity, imagination or forwardness of ideas, and he does not think the proposed venues would really be appropriate to a band of the status of the real Specials".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

BOBBY BROWN DENIES WHITNEY ABUSE
Bobby Brown has denied that he was ever abusive to his ex-wife Whitney Houston, according to a newly published unofficial biography, Bobby Brown: The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing but..., out this week. The book was originally a collaboration between Brown and author Derrick Handspike, apparently, but Brown withdrew himself from the project.

The singer's quoted as saying: "I mean, I'm guilty of getting upset and flying off the handle a little. I was known to throw a bottle or two at a wall or something. Things that I'd regret, I would be responsible for cleaning up or having the wall repaired. What people fail to realise is that Whitney is no punk. She definitely knows how to handle and defend herself in situations that could have potentially been violent. Some of the stories in the media made me out to be like Ike Turner, when that wasn't my character".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

AVRIL LAVIGNE DEPARTS NETTWERK MANAGEMENT
Avril Lavigne has split from her management company Nettwerk, according to Billboard. Sources at the company reportedly confirmed that her departure was announced internally last week, but as yet the company, who also manage the likes of Barenaked Ladies and Stereophonics, have not commented on the matter exeternally. Lavigne first came to the attention of Nettwerk's CEO Terry McBride when she was an unknown, and he signed a deal with her prior to the release of her 2002 debut album 'Let Go'. There's no indication as to Lavigne's future plans.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Travis - Song To Self (Red Telephone Box)
'Song To Self' is the second release taken from Travis' 'Ode To J Smith' album and, unlike their previous, more edgy single 'Something Anything', it's a song that fits perfectly into the band's 'mellow and downbeat' mould, so expect no surprises. Fran Healey's unmistakable voice sings along somewhat desperately to a simplistic melody, with cries of "Do you see the light, tell me you see the light" that almost make you believe there really is a light to be seen. A song about loneliness and solitude, it probably shouldn't be listened to if you're in a fun and sociable mood (it will most likely bring you down if you do), but if you've recently departed from a relationship, or just like singing songs to yourself during quiet moments alone, then this is probably worth checking out (and singing along to). Certainly Travis fans will adore this song, and those who like any old nice ballad won't mind it either. SD
Release date: 5 Jan
Press: Freeman PR [All]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

NME REVEAL TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2008
So, we're nearly half way through the CMU Albums Of The Year in the CMU Daily, but what albums did the team at NME most rate this year? Well, here's their list, in chart-like reverse order of being liked.

10. Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
9. Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
8. Mystery Jets - 21
7. Santogold - Santogold
6. Metronomy - Nights Out
5. Foals - Antidotes
4. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
3. Glasvegas - Glasvegas
2. TV On The Radio - Dear Science
1. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

LONDON-BASED VIDEO MAKER ON HIS GRAMMY NOMINATION
Among the UK nominees to appear in the recent Grammy Award shortlists was a 25 year old video director by the name of Paul Caslin, who is nominated for his first international video commission, the promo to Rihanna's 'Good Girl Gone Bad Girl'. The video is up for the Best Long Form Music Video Award and puts him up against some of the most established directors in the game, including former Oscar winners Murray Lerner and Peter Bogdanovich.

Commenting on his nomination, Caslin, who works for London based production company JJ Stereo, told CMU: "The last year has been amazing, having directed a fellow Liverpudlian Sir Paul McCartney, plus my first TV series, Ibiza Rocks with Sony Ericsson. But this, an actual Grammy nomination - in a category amongst Oscar winners - takes the biscuit. I think I'll definitely need to be buying a new suit!"

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

NEW VIOLENT FEMMES/MIDNIGHT OIL GROUP PLANNED
Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie and former Midnight Oil bandmates Rob Hirst. Martin Rotsey and Jim Moginie are set to form a new group, according to reports.

Ritchie told Undercover: "I was always a fan of the Oils, especially live. Rob Hirst is one of the most powerful drummers anywhere. Just to be playing with those guys is a buzz. I really class them very highly amongst rock bands as being one of the most classic bands". The Violent Femmes man, who moved to Australia two years ago, added "I thought I should play with some local musicians so why not the best?"

There's no name for the outfit as yet, but Ritchie insists it won't just be Midnight Oil with added Ritchie: "It's not called Midnight Oil. We aren't sure what we are going to call it but it is all the musicians from Midnight Oil".

Elsewhere in Ritchie news, he is also curator for the Tasmanian music and arts festival Mona Foma, which takes place in January and will feature performances from the likes of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Fuck Buttons.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

MINOGUE GOES BOLLYWOOD
According to reports, Kylie Minogue is to visit Mumbai at the start of next year to sing in a new Bollywood production, 'Blue'. It's said that she's agreed to a fee of £675,000 to perform one song for the film's soundtrack, and will be the first Western A-list star to appear on this kind of movie. Apparently she wasn't the first choice, though, coming third behind Madonna and Rihanna.

The producers of the film refuse to confirm Kylie's involvement in the project, however. A publicist would say only this: "Yes, we are getting an international artist in January or February for the number, but we don't want to say who it is yet".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

WILL.I.AM WORKING WITH U2
Black Eyed Peas man Will.i.am is working on new tracks with U2, according to Kanye West.

On his blog, West wrote: "Will.i.am is producing on U2's next album. I'm sure it will be dope judging from the crazy beats he's done in the past three years".

Speaking about rumours that he was working with the group, Will.i.am recently said: "I would love to do something with them. If that ever happens it would be a dream come true! I went to Bono's house. He has these summer parties and I went and had great food. It was the best. Those guys are the nicest people in the world".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

PETER, BJORN & JOHN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Peter, Bjorn & John will release their fifth album next spring via Wichita Recordings. The band recorded the album over the last year in Stockholm, New York and Los Angeles and produced it with the help of Lars Mårtén. The first track from the album, 'Lay It Down', will be available later this month.

The trio will be in the UK and Ireland to play a few shows in March next year. Here are the dates:

5 Mar: London, Scala
6 Mar: Manchester, Academy 2
7 Mar: Dublin, The Button Factory

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

KNIFE FRONTWOMAN ANNOUNCES SOLO PROJECT
The Knife's frontwoman, Karin Dreijer Andersson has announced that she will release her debut solo album next year. 'Fever Ray' will be released on 23 Mar and will be preceded by a download-only single, 'If I Had A Heart'.

Posting on her blog, Andersson said: "I had so many songs to record that I just had to make an album. My aim was to finish the album and now that it's done I'm a bit restless. During the last few years I discovered that I like to sing too, so I hope that my newly-found live band will make it to the stages next year. We are rehearsing and building something beautiful and brilliant".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

FIVE STAR GIRL TAKES TO WEST END STAGE
Former Five Star (remember them?) vocalist Denise Pearson is to make her debut West End appearance in the previously reported musical based on the career of Michael Jackson, Thriller-Live. The show has already toured in Germany and Holland and opens at The Lyric in London in January. You'll remember that the producers were looking for a young British actor to play Jackson, and three thirteen year olds were selected after an open audition earlier this month.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

ALBUM REVIEW: Oh, Atoms - You Can't See the Stars From Here (Sony/ATV/Little Victories)
With eight instruments played between them - including the theremin, violin, mandolin, and likely a whole host of others ending with 'in' - whimsical folk fanciers Oh, Atoms are like Margot & The Nuclear So And So's or The Arcade Fire but without the mass number of band members. As a duo, though, Gwen Cheeseman and Marc Withecomb create more than enough sound to go around a few concert halls and then some. 'You Can't See The Stars From Here' is the band's debut LP and is inspired by tea dances, Victorian darkness, dead film stars and suspicious circumstances. A strange mixture of images, some might say, but upon listening to the record - and what a bloody pretty record it is - the duo's vision seeps through further as each track melts by, summery and lo-fi at its best, and reflective and moody at its darkest. 'Silver Spoon' is as eerie as a B-movie set in Kansas with its original use of theremin, banjos and violins, while 'Five Over Stripe' is a jumpy little piano tune that spins into euphoric strings after the initial verse. 'You Can't See The Stars From Here' is a beautiful record better off without the fine tuning - fanciful, youthful, playful, vintage-tinged rural pop. TW
Release Date: 2 Feb
Press Contact: Republic Media [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

SONY MUSIC SUED OVER CHILDREN REGISTRATIONS
Sony Music has been sued by the US government of all people over the way it manages registrations on its websites. The issue is that the company accepts registrations from children under 13 without their parent's permission, and that apparently violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, US regulations managed by the Federal Trade Commission. I'm not quite sure what content owners are meant to do to ensure those under 13 have their parent's permission before signing up, but whatever it is, seemingly the music firm isn't doing it. The civil lawsuit, issued by the US Attorney's Office in New York, also claims the major does not clearly or accurately disclose how it collects and uses information provided by young registrants. Sony is yet to respond.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

AMANDA GHOST LINED UP FOR EXEC ROLE AT EPIC US
Following the news that Charlie Walk is to stand down as President of Sony's Epic US label, resulting in some cuts in the division's A&R and promotions teams, news this morning that English singer songwriter Amanda Ghost is being lined up for an executive position at the imprint, possibly taking on the President job title. This contradicts rumours that Walk's departure might result in the Epic label in the US being merged in with Sony's Columbia division. Sony Labels US top man Rob Stringer is reportedly personally reworking the Epic label and is advocating Ghost's involvement. Ghost, perhaps best known for co-penning irritating James Blunt song 'You're Beautiful', is herself signed to Warner Music, who plan to release an album of her singing her own songs.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

EMI AND WARNER EXPAND DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP
EMI and Warner Music have expanded their distribution partnerships with an announcement that an existing deal which sees the former distribute the latter's physical product in India and the Middle East will be extended to also cover Turkey. EMI will also take over Warner's digital distribution in those regions (except with those download stores where worldwide deals are in place).

As previously reported, the distribution partnership between the two majors works both ways, with Warner now handling the distribution of EMI's product in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.

Confirming the expansion of the partnership, EMI Music's President, International, Adrian Cheesley, told reporters: "These markets have exciting growth potential, especially in digital. We are delighted to be extending our successful relationship with Warner Music to include digital rights to their fantastic artist roster and catalogue and to cover Turkey as well".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

UNIVERSAL LAUNCH NEW ARTIST MANAGEMENT FIRM IN INDIA
Talking of India, which we sort of were, the Universal Music Group has signed a deal with a leading Indian film and entertainment company called Eros International which will see the two companies launch a joint venture artist management firm in the region. It will look to develop and promote Indian pop talent locally and globally. Directors of the new company will include, Rajat Kakar, MD of Mumbai-based Universal Music India, and Eros execs Sunil Lulla and Jyoti Deshpande.

Commenting on the partnership, Max Hole, boss of Universal Music Asia Pacific, told reporters: "Eros is an incredibly exciting and ambitious company. Combining the creative ideas and marketing skills of Eros and Universal Music will certainly give a huge boost to Indian music and artist development".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

COMES WITH MUSIC DRM REMOVED BY NEW HIGH SPEED RECORDING SOFTWARE
Somewhat predictably, the DRM behind Nokia's unlimited music service Comes With Music has been hacked. Well, sort of. As previously reported, while Nokia's new digital music offer provides a year's access to a huge catalogue of music, and 'permanent' ownership of any songs downloaded during that year, the tracks come with a Microsoft digital rights management whatnot that locks the tracks to the Nokia device and/or PC that they are downloaded to, meaning that once the phone and computer the users uses become obsolete access to the tracks is lost.

Bloggers are encouraging Comes With Music users to buy a new bit of software called Tunebite in order to get DRM-free versions of the tracks they download via the Nokia system. The technology, available for £17.50, doesn't actually alter the DRMed file you get from Nokia, but rather plays and then records the tracks, outputting them as DRM-free MP3s. Similar software has been available as long as DRM has existed of course - most simply recording what is playing through a PC's soundcard - but Tunebite is easier to use because it records tracks at a higher speed (54 times normal play speed) meaning you can create DRM versions of tracks a lot quicker.

It's not clear if Tunebite has been deliberately set up with Comes With Music files in mind, or whether the link between it and the Nokia service is being made just because the phone-maker's service is the highest profile digital music offer employing DRM at the moment (even though both iTunes and Napster still use DRM on some of their tracks). Certainly Tunebite will play the DRMed Windows Media tracks Comes With Music provides.

It remains to be seen if such technology takes off as services like Comes With Music gain popularity, and if so if the people behind Tunebite can avoid legal action from either Nokia or the labels as they profit from technology designed to usurp copyright protecting technology.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

TICKETSNOW BOSS STANDS DOWN
Cheryl Rosner, the President and CEO of TicketsNow, the US-based Ticketmaster-owned secondary ticketing firm, has announced she will leave the company later this month. The company's CTO, Shawn Freeman, will take over. There's no official word of what projects Rosner has lined up, though a statement from the company says she was leaving to "focus on philanthropic activities".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

CANADIAN DISTRIBUTOR APPLIES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
Following that previously reported speculation regarding the future of Canadian music distribution company Fusion 3, which in turn followed reported cuts in the firm's label management and sales teams, news this week that the company has applied for bankruptcy protection.

Fusion 3, which distributes for several hundred indie labels across Canada, and for EMI in Quebec, has slashed its staff from 50 to 13, and has applied for bankruptcy protection while it tries to restructure itself amid rising debts and difficult market conditions.

The company's founder, Jim West, admitted to reporters: "There's no question that [Fusion 3] is in big trouble. It will be tough to reorganise". West says that he and his record label Justin Time Records are the distributor's biggest creditors, owed about half a million Canadian dollars. West continues: "I think we're in a transition mode in the industry in Canada. The majors saw it first, but the indies are feeling it now. We are getting hit by all the problems".

Fusion 3's application for bankruptcy protection closely follows, of course, one of the UK's big independent distributors, Pinnacle, going into administration last week.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

[PIAS] EXPANDS DVD DISTRIBUTION SERVICES
Some expansion in the distribution sector for you now, which makes a change. [PIAS] has announced it will expand its DVD distribution service in the new year, offering enhanced label management and marketing services. Additional sales expertise will also be offered to the DVD makers they distribute for through a new partnership with Lace Digital Media Sales.

Andy Townsend, [PIAS] UK Head of Audio Visual, told CMU: "[PIAS] UK's DVD output has increased significantly in the last two years and we want be able to provide our labels with a service that maximizes the potential for their releases. The combination of our label management and marketing expertise with LDMS's dedicated sales resource makes for a genuinely compelling service for independent rights holders".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

UNION SQUARE AND BOX TREE ANNOUNCE PUBLISHING PARTNERSHIP
Union Square's publishing company has announced a deal which will see it represent that catalogue of Box Tree Music, the publishing company owned by the Music Factory Entertainment Group. The publishing partnership follows similar collaborations between the two companies' respective recordings divisions.

Confirming the deal, Union Square Music Publishing's General Manager, Jonathan Kyte, told CMU: "We are delighted to have agreed a deal to represent the Box Tree Music catalogue and look forward to exploring some exciting opportunities with this catalogue".

Music Factory Entertainment Group's CEO, Peter Parkin, added "We very much look forward to working with USMP to creatively exploit our catalogue and further developing a relationship which we value very highly".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

GLOBAL RADIO BOSS SAYS PROMOTIONAL VALUE OF RADIO PLAY UNDERVALUED
The boss of commercial radio mega-firm Global Radio, Ashley Tabor, has called for a cut on the amount of money the commercial radio sector spends on music royalties each year, which is going to go down well with the record companies and publishing firms who see such royalties as an increasingly important revenue stream.

The commercial radio companies, via industry body RadioCentre, will begin negotiations over new royalty rates with collecting societies PRS and PPL in the New Year, but Tabor has got in early, wheeling out the oldest of arguments in this debate, which is that music companies underplay the importance of the promotional value radio stations offer when they play records. He told Media Week: "A new balance needs to be struck. We play the material the record companies make, but the huge promotional value the music gets from airplay is worth more than is currently valued".

Of course the labels and publishers will say that that argument is less convincing now than ever given that people are buying fewer and fewer records year on year, despite (and possibly because of) there being more and more radio stations playing music (so much so that in the US, where terrestrial radio stations have paid next to no royalties in the past because of the 'promotional value' argument, moves are afoot to try and force the radio world to start sharing its profits with the music industry). That said, radio types might point out how important that A-list ranking on certain radio stations still is in breaking new talent. The labels may in turn point out the playlists that really really matter are Radio 1 and Radio 2, and therefore have nothing to do with the commercial radio royalty debate.

Anyway, I think it's fair to say there's going to be some quite vocal discussion once both sides sit down to negotiate in the new year. In the meantime a spokesman for recording royalties body PPL told Music Week: "We look forward to our dialogue with the RadioCentre next year but PPL never discusses its negotiations with licensees in public. Our many thousands of record company members and our tens of thousands of performer members make a substantial personal and financial investment in their music. That music, in turn, is a central part of radio programming and the rates stations pay must reflect, in a fair way, its value to their business".

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

BBC CONSIDERING HELPING OUT COMMERCIAL DAB NETWORK
The BBC may put some of its digital radio stations onto Digital One, the commercial radio sector's national digital radio network. The Beeb would presumably pay to do this, and in doing so help prop up the struggling digital audio broadcasting network which has capacity for ten stations but currently only carries four. The development follows Channel 4's decision to drop its plans to launch a second national DAB multiplex, and some executives in other commercial radio firms expressing doubts over the long term future of that particular digital broadcasting medium. The BBC remains committed to DAB. If the BBC was to hire space on the Digital One network it would free up space on its own national DAB network, which could be used to launch new services or increase the sound quality of existing services.

back to top

--------------------------------------------------

CARDINAL CRITICISES MADONNA
A retired Chilean cardinal has had a go at Madonna because she's so lusty, and is a bad influence. And if you're wondering why he's done that all of a sudden, it's because the singer was set to perform the first of two shows in Santiago, Chile, yesterday. Anyway, Jorge Medina made the comments during a mass for late dictator Augusto Pinochet, saying: "This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts".

back to top

 

 
SUBSCRIPTIONS>> CMU Daily is a free daily e-bulletin for people working in the music industry and music media, delivered direct to your PC each morning.

If you want to stop receiving this e-bulletin click the 'unsubscribe' button below and follow the instructions. If any of your colleagues want to receive the CMU Daily tell them to email their name, company, job title and email to daily.subscribe@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

If you would like to recieve the CMU Daily as a text email, send a blank email from the email address you are registered at to text@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

MEDIA PEOPLE>> If you are looking for an independent quote on anything to do with the music business, or you need someone to come on your TV or radio show and talk music business, then we can help. There's nothing we don't know about. Email requests to chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9050.

CMU is published by and (c) UnLimited Media - www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk

Send news stories to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. If we don't respond directly, we do apologise, only we get sent hundreds of emails a day and don't have time to respond to every one of them. However we do check every email sent to the musicnews email address, and do pull out stories that we feel are relevant to our readers.

Send CDs for review to CMU, UnLimited Media, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.