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TODAY'S NEWS

EUK is no more

Culture minister advocates recording copyright extension, sort of
McCreevy encourages consensus on performer's fund
Flo is Brits Critics' Choice
Robbie "would love" to rejoin Take That
Specials respond to Dammers
Yorke pays tribute to Postgate
Vocalist charged with guitarist stabbing
Single review: Cybersutra - I See Fire (Kult Records)
John Cale to take part in Venice art festival
Radiohead's Videotape on videotape up for auction
The Smiths to support Blur in Hyde Park
Pearl Jam to reissue debut album
Portishead cinema screenings
Bat For Lashes announce 2009 tour dates
AC/DC add stadium dates to UK tour
T In The Park warn fans off dodgy ticket site
Album review: Asobi Seksu - Hush (One Little Indian)
HMV post half year loss
Zavvi call in consultants to deal with financial and supply problems
Cuts at Epic and Last.fm
Chrysalis ends takeover talks
Music law firm merges with media law firm
BBC submit proposals to help commercial public service broadcasters
Usher become a father again
Hanson's Hanson welcomes fourth child
Akon claims responsibility for current hip hop trends
Lloyd Webber admits to producing Mallett
ON THE NETWORK...
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CMU Directory
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FRIDAY 12TH DECEMBER

PEGGY SUE
Hailing from Brighton, super-cool lo-fi indie duo Peggy Sue, aka Katy Klaw and Rosa Rex, originally called themselves Peggy Sue And The Pirates. They have since left the latter half of their name out in the high seas, swapping it for a rolling array of replacements.


 

When offered a gig in 2006, Katy asked her friend Rosa to play with her for moral support. They played just three songs that they'd written that night and, feeling pretty chuffed with themselves, Peggy Sue was born. Two years on and having written a few more songs, they released 'The First Aid EP' (as Peggy Sue And Les Triplettes) this week through Broken Sound Records.

Here are Katy Klaw's answers to the Same Six. You can read these answers in full, here.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Rosa and I have been friends since school and always talked about starting a band together but neither of us could really do anything except sing and play the guitar badly. I was offered a gig in Brighton and asked Rosa if she wanted to play with me - somewhat out of fear. We played just the two of us, a few songs that we'd written separately with harmonies and a bit of percussion and decided that it kind of worked.

Q2 What inspired your latest EP?
Each song comes from a different place but I think there's a thematic link to do with not knowing whether things are beyond repair or not. That's where the title 'First Aid' comes from. On some days you think something is salvageable and on others you think it is not and we tried to make EP reflect that so that what sounds like a 'happy' song on first listen may feel quite sad the next time you listen to it or vice-versa.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
More often than not, Rosa or I will have written the core of a song on our own - especially if it's a particularly emotional song. Then we'll arrange it with the rest of the band, add harmonies and percussion and play around with the structure. It's strange adding the recording process to the mix as well because for a long time we were writing songs to play live and that was it. But now there's a whole extra stage.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
NY anti-folk - Jeff Lewis, Regina Spektor and Moldy Peaches. The R&B of our youth - Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige. There's a slightly more hidden punk and rock influence - Le Tigre, Sleater-Kinney, Throwing Muses, Sonic Youth. Also a lot of blues and jazz. Plus, Cat Power, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Microphones and Bright Eyes are all important influences.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't try to compare it to something else because you'll just miss all the other stuff that's in there.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest EP and for the future?
We'd really love to sell them out. We've made 500 copies on vinyl, so hopefully that's a realistic ambition. As for the future, we've just started making plans to make our debut album at the beginning of next year, which is really exciting.

MORE>> Read these answers in full here, or find out more about Peggy Sue at www.peggysueandthepirates.com and www.myspace.com/peggysueandthepirates

 

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Jalapeno Christmas Party at Big Chill House
The Big Chill House this weekend sees Jalapeno Records celebrate the season to be jolly with a bumper allstar event, with new signings Smoove & Turrell bringing the one and two's to life with their blend of breakbeat funk and northern soul vocals before turntable mayhem meister Dr Rubberfunk weighs in with his 45's. Soopasoul kick the drum with more raw funk and beats alongside head honcho and Sound System resident Trevor Mac who will be dishing up exclusives aplenty along with the best tunes of the year. Definitely one of the hottest funk/breaks nights around this Christmas, we'll be down there to boot, at this multi-roomed Georgian building in the heart of Kings Cross which attracts a cool crowd and has a lovely roof terrace at the back and a basement that looks like a sauna.

Saturday 13 Dec, 9pm - 3am, The Big Chill House, 257-259 Pentonville Rd, King's Cross, London N1 9NL, free before 11, then £5 after, info Shep at Big Chill or the lovely Jo at Phuturetrax.

 

 



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.

 

 

NO. 5: AVRIL LAVIGNE
Yes, it's Friday, which means it's time for our very-much-regular-now new column, Ringo Says Fuck Off, in which you tell us about the times you were told to fuck off by pop stars. This week we have a little lady who also told her management to fuck off this week.

A reader writes: "I was told to fuck off by Avril Lavigne. Or rather, Avril Lavigne had her bodyguard tell me to fuck off. What a star".

"A few years ago I went backstage after an Avril Lavigne show at Wembley, with my boyfriend who worked for her label. We joined the after party for label staff and the bands, and had a nice chat with the very friendly Simple Plan, who were supporting. Avril arrived after a while, and as my boyfriend had been involved in the recent album release, we thought we'd pop over and congratulate her on a show well done. As we moved over towards Avril and waited for her to finish speaking to someone, she turned to a big burly bloke nearby and pointed at us. He promptly came over to inform us 'you're standing too close to Avril - move back NOW. She won't be speaking to you this evening'. Bitch".

"Simple Plan had decided she was a bitch too, so we had a good laugh whilst they secretly helped fans over the fence and in through the back door until she was so surrounded by screaming nutters that she had to leave. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get that traumatic experience off my chest!"

Has a pop star told you to fuck off? Get it off your chest by emailing peaceandlove@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

 

THE BUG - LONDON ZOO
Since getting a pre-release copy of this album earlier this year, 'London Zoo' has rarely gone more than a couple of weeks without getting a spin. The dancehall fused dubstep makes for a perfect mix, with some big name MCs from both genres joining in the fun. Five years on from his previous album as The Bug, Kevin Martin has really cracked it this time, maintaining the heaviness and darkness without placing the listener under attack. Yeah, lyrically the album paints a pretty bleak picture of London in 2008, but I still find myself smiling as I listen to it. Tracks like 'Murder We', featuring Ricky Ranking, 'Fuckaz' with Spaceape, and 'Jah War' with Flowdan are just sublime. Many dubstep artists leave themselves open to accusations of overly simplistic production. Not Martin, though. He's been doing this longer than most and his skills are honed to absolute perfection.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/thebuguk

 

 

Today is the final day of voting in this year's CMU Track Of The Year poll. No need to send in any reasons now, just get your votes in fast, if you haven't already. Fire them over to 2008@unlimitedmedia.co.uk by 4pm. We'll publish a final top ten on Monday, after which you will be able to vote for your overall favourite. Here are some more ideas for you...

Frank Turner - Long Live The Queen
This is my single of the year - as not only is it a fantastic tune, but it tackles a very difficult subject, ie the death of a close friend due to breast cancer. Combining heartfelt and emotionally pervasive lyrics along with upbeat guitars, fiddles, and Frank's signature style of delightfully illustrative storytelling, we are given candid insight into the emotional black hole left behind after the loss of someone you love, counterbalanced with a celebration of life and of the positive legacy that this person has left behind. With all proceeds of this song going to Breast Cancer charities, if you don't own this already I sincerely suggest you invest.
Rachel Kellehar, Reviews Editor, Rock Sound

Ladyhawke - My Delirium
Perfect Pop. Not a beat out of place. The 80s were shit but this almost makes you believe it was a Golden Age. Choon! Close second - Son The Father by Fucked Up
Martin Brimicombe, I Blame The Parents Records

 

 
 

 

EUK IS NO MORE
This just in, eUK is to be wound up after administrators Deloitte failed to find a buyer, which is quite an interesting development because I thought the distributor would survive despite the inevitable collapse of the Woolworths retail chain. There was apparently one interested buyer but they've pulled out. I've no idea what that means for the supermarkets and record stores who relied on eUK to supply them with CDs and DVDs, though most had already started talking to other suppliers and direct to labels and DVD publishers. I don't know what it means either for the major labels who are owed millions by eUK - rumour has it Sony stand to lose £4 million, Universal £13 million and EMI £14 million. Ouch.

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CULTURE MINISTER ADVOCATES RECORDING COPYRIGHT EXTENSION, SORT OF
So, all eyes, well, at least 31 eyes (yeah, work that out), were on UK Music's Creators Conference at the ICA in London yesterday, not least because Culture Secretary Andy Burnham was speaking and was expected to announce a shift in government policy on the proposed extension of the recording copyright. And that he did, sort of.

As much, much, much previously reported, the record industry has been pushing for an extension in the copyright term awarded to recorded music, which currently stands at fifty years. They argue that that is unfair compared to the life plus seventy years term awarded to visual artists, writers and songwriters, and have been pushing for an extension from fifty to 95 years, which would bring the UK in line with the US, where the recorded music copyright term has been that long since 1998. There is a sense of urgency about all this because some of the most profitable records of the rock n roll era not to mention early Beatles and Stones recordings are all due to come out of copyright in the next decade.

The whole debate has a performer dimension too, because royalties generated by a recorded copyright are normally shared with the musicians involved in the recording, even though the copyright itself is normally owned by the record company. Cynics argue that most artists don't see that share until they have 'recouped' on the label's initial investment, and that for many artists that's never, though there is a performer element to this even for musicians yet to recoup.

This is because said musicians have a statutory right to any royalties generated by the public performance of their recordings (ie the royalties paid by radio and TV stations and venues etc) and so start earning from this as soon as a recording starts being played, even if they are millions of pounds away from recouping on their record deal (and therefore not earning off record sales). These royalties are paid direct to the artist via collecting society PPL. Because it's arguably easier to sympathise with aging session musicians about to lose their royalty cheques than it is with global conglomerates, a lot of the recent campaigning around term extension has centred on individuals rather than companies.

Anyway, I digress. The point is that while the record industry pushes for copyright extension, since 2006 the government has been officially tied to the Gowers Review of copyright law, which said there was no case for the extension of the recorded copyright term. However, since becoming Culture Secretary at the start of the year, Andy Burnham has come across as an ally of the music industry, and revealed at a MusicTank event earlier this month that the issue of copyright extension - which is being reviewed at a European level as we speak - was still being discussed within government, ie extension might still get government approval.

And yesterday at the UK Music event Burnham went further, advocating an extension to about 70 years on the basis this would cover the lifetime of the average recording artist who is most active in their twenties and thirties. It should be noted that despite saying he wanted to be "absolutely clear" on this issue, he wasn't really all that clear about anything. He did, however, say this...

"There is a moral case for performers benefiting from their work throughout their entire lifetime. That is why I have been working with John Denham, my opposite number in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, to consider the arguments for an extension of copyright term for performers from the current 50 years. An extension to match more closely a performer's expected lifetime, perhaps something like 70 years, for example, given that most people make their best work in their 20s and 30s. And we must ensure that any extension delivers maximum benefit to performers and musicians. That's the test of any model as we go forward. It's only right that someone who created or contributed to something of real value gets to benefit for the full course of their life".

Despite nothing being set in stone, the boss of record label trade body the BPI nevertheless welcomed Burnham's comments. According to Music Week, Geoff Taylor said this: "Copyright is the lifeblood of our creative economy and we are delighted that the government is recognising this by supporting an extension of copyright term for British musicians and labels. Copyright stimulates investment in musical talent and encourages innovation. Thousands of recording artists, hundreds of music companies and all British music fans will benefit from fairer copyright term".

Speaking for musicians, the Assistant General Secretary of the Musician's Union, Horace Trubridge, said this: "We are delighted that the Government has today demonstrated its clear support for the performer community. The MU has always argued that term of protection should not run out during a performer's lifetime, and we would support any proposal that supported this principle and was of direct benefit to performers".

The host of the Creators Conference meanwhile, UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey, said this: "At this critical time of change, the creative industries have never been more vital to this nation's future prosperity. Today's announcement regarding term extension is a clear sign that Government, like everyone in our industry, is committed to ensuring that UK music retains its status as the very best in the world".

Groovy. Much of the rest of Burnham's speech covered well trodden ground, with much of what he had to say about combating online piracy and the internet service providers' role in doing so the same as what the minister said at the aforementioned MusicTank event earlier in the month. However, should you wish to read it, the full speech has been posted on the Music Week website at this URL:

www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1036434&c=1

One interesting side remark in the speech is Burnham's reference to so called moral rights - where artists who no longer control the copyright in their work can, nevertheless, stop it being used or treated in certain arguably immoral ways. Burnham says: "There's another moral argument that says you should have a right not to have something you've created being associated with a cause or a brand you're not comfortable with".

Of course one area where a number of artists have arguably had their "moral rights" infringed in recent years is when political parties use their music at rallies and conferences without asking for permission, and in doing so imply some kind of endorsement of the party by the artist. Said political parties can do so because the use of music at conferences is covered by blanket licences. But there's an argument political events should not be covered by such blanket licences to protect the moral rights of the artists. What I'm saying here is that if Burnham wants to help protect artists' moral rights, he could start by getting his political mates to be more responsible in this regard. You never know, it could happen. Things can only get better, and all that.

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MCCREEVY ENCOURAGES CONSENSUS ON PERFORMER'S FUND
More comment on the copyright extension now, also from the UK Music conference, this time from European Commission Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, the politician who initiated the aforementioned European review of the extension issue. He was also speaking at the Creators Conference.

McCreevy's proposals, which advocate the 95 year copyright term, also propose a rule whereby after fifty years 20% of gross revenue generated by a recording (so, that's all revenues I think) would go to a special fund for performers - ie the labels would have to pass on a fifth of revenues generated from fifty year old plus recordings to musicians oblivious of whether those recordings had recouped on the label's initial investment.

McCreevy's performers fund is specifically designed to benefit session musicians, who generally rely on recording royalties more than so called featured artists (the artists who the recording is actually credited to) because they don't normally benefit from all the other income streams the featured artists often get a cut of (songwriting royalties, merchandise sales, money for opening supermarkets, that kind of thing). And of course session musicians may not be contractually due any cut of royalties generated by the record company, rather relying exclusively on the aforementioned statutory royalty that comes from public performance (which is automatic and not contract dependent).

Which is all very admirable, though artist managers reckon featured artists, many of whom don't make much from other revenue streams either, should also get a cut of any performers fund created as part of a copyright extension. As a result trade bodies representing various different interest groups - so in the UK the BPI, Musician's Union, Music Managers Forum and recently created Featured Artists Coalition - have been discussing how such a fund would work and, crucially, who would benefit from it. Which makes the whole copyright extension debate even more complicated.

Anyway, McCreevy yesterday urged the industry to reach a consensus on the performers fund proposal asap, because doing so, he reckons, will strengthen the overall industry's case for extension. He told the conference: "There has been a debate between the record labels and the session musicians on how to distribute the money set aside in the fund. How should the amount of the claim be calculated? What revenues should be taken into account and how high should it be for the performer's part? [Interested parties] had better come to a rapid agreement on this. And they have to do so publicly, because the enemies of term extension will exploit any discord among future beneficiaries. And here is my warning: the proposal's chances for rapid adoption in first reading will not be enhanced if the two major beneficiaries, performers and record producers, are caught counting their chickens before they have hatched".

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FLO IS BRITS CRITICS CHOICE
Hey, someone we voted for has won a Brit Award, what a very strange thing indeed. Yes, the winner of the Brits Critics Choice Award was announced this morning, and it's gone to the rather wonderful Florence And The Machine.

This particular Brit is different to all the others, and is voted for by a panel of quality music journalists which, and you can form your own opinion on whether this fulfils the "quality" requirement, includes us here at CMU. Said journalists are asked to vote for their three favourite new artists of the moment, artists yet to release their debut single.

And this year's winner is Florence & The Machine, with Little Boots and White Lies named as runners up. Florence (Welch) will now play at the Brits Nominations Party at the Roundhouse in Camden on 20 Jan, and collect her award at the main Brits bash at Earls Court on 18 Feb.

Commenting on her win, Welch told CMU "Blimey a BRIT Award wowtheworldsgoneweird. Thank you so much to the critics. I'm making my album at the moment it's sort of sounding like a choir, a harp, some metal chains and a piano all put through a car crusher, then hit with wooden planks really hard. I will see you at the awards I'll be the one trying to get off with Katy Perry and passed out next to Leona Lewis".

Brits committee chair and SonyBMG top man Ged Doherty adds: "The aim of introducing this award last year was to help boost the career of a new British artist by giving them a platform to reach a wider audience. [Last year's winner] Adele clearly fulfilled all our hopes and ambitions for this award. I hope Florence And The Machine goes on to enjoy similar success".

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ROBBIE "WOULD LOVE" TO REJOIN TAKE THAT
Robbie Williams wants back into Take That. Official. But he's not gonna. Not right now, anyway.

Williams wrote on his blog: "I'm really proud [of what the reunited Take That have achieved]. I love the new album too - haven't stopped listening to it. I'd love to be in the band again but I've got some unfinished business of my own".

Meanwhile, Simon Cowell has said that he doesn't think Take That should let Robbie rejoin the band. He said at an X Factor press conference yesterday: "That's a tricky one. I think I would keep it as it is. He could do a guest slot now and again. A duet?"

Of course, a duet between five people is quite a difficult thing to pull off.

Cowell, by the way, also hinted that Robbie might make a surprise appearance on the 'X Factor' final this weekend. Well, sort of. Well not at all really. But here's what he said: "I would love Robbie to be there on Saturday night. And it's never too late. He's still one of the biggest stars in the world. He's great. You might be surprised on Saturday, I wouldnt go along with everything you read!"

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SPECIALS RESPOND TO DAMMERS
The recently-reformed Specials have responded to claims by the band's founder, Jerry Dammers, who is not part of the reunited group, that the reunion is more of a "takeover" by Terry Hall and his manager.

In a brief statement (much shorter than Dammers' lengthy rant, the highlights of which we published yesterday), the band said: "We don't agree with what Jerry has said, but we don't want to talk about it, not least because it is in the hands of our lawyers. We are all very excited about the overwhelming support shown to us, and the rush to buy tickets would appear to prove that the fans are looking forward to joining us in these dancehalls across the country next year as much as we are looking forward to playing them".

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YORKE PAYS TRIBUTE TO POSTGATE
Radiohead's Thom Yorke has paid tribute to Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate, who died on Tuesday. This is good news for me, because I've been trying to work something about how sad I am about Postgate's death into the Daily all week. If you don't already have it, I thoroughly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Vernon Elliot Ensemble's fantastic soundtrack to 'Ivor The Engine' on Trunk Records, which also features sound effects from the show made by Postgate himself.

Anyway, Yorke wrote on Radiohead's official website: "Waking up to hear Oliver had died made me very sad. His children's TV shows changed my life, and my children's, so we wish him well to wherever he is off to next. Oliver had a great website as well, and was very politically minded".

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VOCALIST CHARGED WITH GUITARIST STABBING
The frontwoman of Italian metal band Soul Cry, Cristina Balzano, has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing her guitarist. Balzano reportedly attacked the 16 year old guitarist during a rehearsal after he made a mistake during a solo. She also accused him of "sounding evil", which is normally a bonus in a metal band.

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SINGLE REVIEW: CyberSutra - I See Fire (Kult Records)
Since signing to the label of the hypercool DJ Dan, things have been looking rather positive for duo CyberSutra. And with sugary voices like these, clearly they're aiming for the mainstream. In fact, in some respects this song is such a bald attempt to get Judge Jules to lift his ears off the desk and reward their begging with airplay it's insulting. Which is exactly what he's done. Old Jules is quite a fan, claiming the track "100% works". That's not exaggeration, it's just a lie. Unfortunately, the song is just too well-rounded and polished, and though it could slip into a DJ set quite comfortably, it's not stand out enough to start or finish a night. In your addled mind as you writhe on the dancefloor, I can't see this one making you want to try out that move you've been practising in your bedroom all yesterday. GB
Release Date: 26 Jan
Press Contact: Phuturetrax [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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JOHN CALE TO TAKE PART IN VENICE ART FESTIVAL
John Cale will exhibit an audio-visual artwork at the 2009 Venice Biennale, a biennale art festival. Cale's work will be there to represent his home country of Wales, and I think it will involve other Welsh artists, filmmakers and poets. The welsh language and communication will be themes explored by the piece, apparently.

Commenting on the art festival, Cale says: "As surprised and honoured as I was to be asked to contribute to the Welsh presentation at the Venice Biennale of Art 2009 it also was a challenge that I eagerly accepted. It offers an occasion to address certain pernicious issues in my background that had lain dormant for so long. There are certain experiences uniquely suited to the exorcism of mixed media and I am grateful for this opportunity to address them".

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RADIOHEAD'S VIDEOTAPE ON VIDEOTAPE UP FOR AUCTION
Do you fancy owning some rare Radiohead material? How does the one and only copy of a remix of their song 'Videotape' grab you? And what if that remix was four hours long and on a VHS tape signed by the whole band? Well, that's what one bidder on a charity auction for Missing People, the UK's leading charity for missing and unidentified people, is going to be taking home.

Remixer James Rutledge, aka Pedro, created the mix and is the man behind the sale. He chose to raise money for Missing Persons after they provided help and support when his former Dakota Oak bandmate Dave Tyack went missing in 2002, until his body was found in June 2004.

In a statement, Rutledge said: "The charity gave [Tyack's] family continued support during that incredibly difficult time, as they do for thousands of others each year. The service that the charity provides is vital to those left wondering what has happened to their loved ones. It is hard to imagine what it is like to have no idea where someone you love is, whether they are alive or dead even. At times like this the charity can be a lifeline".

Paul Tuohy of Missing People added: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of signed Radiohead memorabilia and let's face it, it's the ultimate Christmas present for a Radiohead fan".

You can bid on the 'Videotape' videotape on eBay until 10pm on 21 Dec, here: cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270316342444

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THE SMITHS TO SUPPORT BLUR IN HYDE PARK
Yeah, Blur are back together, so The Smiths must be next, right? No? Oh, come on, a long speculated The Smiths reformation is the only indie reunion left isn't it?

Of course we all know it's the one reunion that will never ever happen however many millions are offered. Or do we? The Sun reports that Morrissey and Johnny Marr are back on speaking terms. A source told the paper: "The very fact they are talking again is the most hopeful thing in years. The industry has been buoyant with talk of them getting back together. A lot of people think of them as the best thing since The Beatles. They'd fill stadiums many times over".

Well, 'Chinese Democracy' was released, so I'm now of the opinion anything is possible.

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PEARL JAM TO REISSUE DEBUT ALBUM
Pearl Jam have announced that they will release four new special edition versions of their debut album, 'Ten', next year. The reissue begins celebrations in the run up to the band's 20th anniversary in 2011.

Each of the four packages will include a remastered version of the original album, an accompanying remixed version done by the band's long-time producer Brendan O'Brien and, in some cases, some other stuff

Of his reworking of the album, O'Brien says: "The band loved the original mix of 'Ten', but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it. The original 'Ten' sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original - giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound".

The album will be released on 23 Mar, but pre-orders are being taken now at the band's official website, www.pearljam.com.

Here's the contents of each package:

Legacy Edition (2 CD set): Remastered original mix, Brendan O'Brien's remixed version and six bonus tracks.

Deluxe Edition (2 CD plus 1 DVD set): Remastered original mix, Brendan O'Brien's remixed version, six bonus tracks and a DVD of the band's previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance.

Vinyl Collection (2 LP set): Remastered original mix, Brendan O'Brien's remixed version on vinyl.

Super Deluxe Edition (2 CD, 1 DVD, 4 LPs and 1 cassette set): Remastered original mix, Brendan O'Brien's remixed version, six bonus tracks, a DVD of the band's previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance, both versions of the album on vinyl, 2 LP's featuring the 'Drop In The Park' live performance from 1992, a replica of the band's original demo tape, plus an Eddie Vedder-style composition notebook filled with replica personal notes, images and mementos from the collections of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament, a vellum envelope with replicated era-specific ephemera from Pearl Jam's early work and a two-sided print commemorating the 'Drop In The Park' concert. Phew.

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PORTISHEAD CINEMA SCREENINGS
To coincide with the release of their new single, 'Magic Doors', Portishead will be screening a short film to accompany the track in 13 independent cinemas around the country for a four week period. It all kicks off today. Below are the participating cinemas, contact them direct for screening times:

London, Curzon Soho
Edinburgh, Cameo
Birmingham, Electric
Southampton, Harbour Lights
Sheffield, Showroom
Cambridge, Picturehouse
Manchester, Cornerhouse
Bristol, Watershed
Derby, Quad
Nottingham, Broadway
Hull, Screen
Leicester, Phoenix
Darlington, Barn

Watch the video on YouTube, here.

'Magic Doors' will be released on Monday via Island Records. The single will be available on 12" etched vinyl and as a digital bundle, both of which will include 'Silence', 'Threads' and 'Mysterons', all recorded live at the trio's Coachella performance in May of this year.

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BAT FOR LASHES ANNOUNCE 2009 TOUR DATES
Bat For Lashes have announced tour dates for next April, which may seem like a long way away now but, judging by the speed this year's flown by at, it'll probably be upon us in about two weeks. So check these out now. No word yet on whether or not these dates will accompany the second album, which was rumoured to be coming out this year, but let's hope so.

Tour dates:

7 Apr: Manchester, Ritz
8 Apr: Glasgow, Queen Margaret Union
9 Apr: Newcastle, Northumbria University
11 Apr: Leeds, Metropolitan University
12 Apr: Birmingham, Town Hall
13 Apr: Oxford, Regal
15 Apr: Bristol, Anson Rooms
16 Apr: Brighton, Corn Exchange
17 Apr: London, Shepherds Bush Empire

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AC/DC ADD STADIUM DATES TO UK TOUR
Following the sell-out success of the four-date UK tour set for next April, AC/DC have announced two extra stadium dates over here as part of their European tour - at Wembley Stadium in London and Hampden Park in Glasgow, both in June. Which means the band will be playing this country next year on the following dates...

14 Apr: London, O2 Arena (SOLD OUT)
16 Apr: London, O2 Arena (SOLD OUT)
21 Apr: Manchester, MEN Arena (SOLD OUT)
23 Apr: Birmingham, NEC (SOLD OUT)
26 Jun: London, Wembley Stadium
30 Jun: Glasgow, Hampden Park

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T IN THE PARK WARN FANS OFF DODGY TICKET SITE
The organisers of T In The Park, Big Day Out and DF Concerts are warning fans not to buy tickets for next year's festival from a Hungary-based website, www.tinthepark2009.com. The companies said that the site is "100% unofficial" and announced that they are taking legal action against it.

Meanwhile, they are hoping to expand the festival's capacity to 85,000, which will take place between 10-12 Jul next year, and open their gates to revellers a day earlier that in previous years. The proposals are being considered by Perth And Kinross Council today.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Asobi Seksu - Hush (One Little Indian)
Asobi Seksu are back with their third LP, with a promise of stripped-down, bare bones, "we're not all shoegaze and we'll prove it" type material. The band's sound suitably complements their objectives - subtle, crisp as new glass and completely and utterly otherworldly. 'Hush', written and produced after the fall-apart of the band's 'Citrus' line-up, is a collection of radiant torchsongs delicately constructed piece by piece, taking us from the spiralling eerie dream pop of 'Layers' and 'Gliss' to the edgier, harder scuzz of 'Me & Mary'. Despite the great scope of sounds on offer, 'Hush' is impressively consistent and coherent throughout. The Cocteau Twins are written all over the album's best track 'Familiar Light' - Asobi Seksu may be able to run from shoegaze, but they can't hide from it. The genre is at the very core of their material, but the band has managed to subtly create a cleaner, considerably more modern texture of sound on top. Arriving at the right time, too, 'Hush' is the perfect soundtrack for the last frosty days of winter and the arrival of spring, sparkling and snow-like, múm-esque in its approach to natural yet abstract melodies. Another fine effort from Yuki and James, 'Hush' is ambient pop for dreamers. TW
Release Date: 18 Feb
Press Contact: One Little Indian IH [All]

Buy from iTunes
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HMV POST HALF YEAR LOSS
HMV have posted a pre-tax loss of £27.5 million in the six months up to the end of October, which is pretty much the same as in the same period last year, though it disappointed City types anyway resulting in a 10p fall in the retailer's share price.

The retailer, which has been struggling to make things work in a world where an ever increasing number of people buy CDs and DVDs at the supermarket or off the internet, said disappointing figures for the first half of this financial year were a lot to do with the credit crunch and all that jazz having a negative impact on high street spending.

A company statement said "the markets in which we operate have weakened in line with general consumer confidence", while CEO Simon Fox put a positive spin on things by pointing out the retailer's peak sales period - Christmas - comes in the second half of the financial year. Which may or may not help - given that Woolworths will soon be all but giving away all their stock, the run up to Christmas is going to be more tough than ever for HMV and their like.

That said, HMV reckon ultimately the collapse of Woolworths will go in their favour, reducing competition in the high street CD/DVD market. The retailer's statement added: "Over the past two weeks there have been unprecedented changes to the competitive landscape of the entertainment sector, which we believe will strengthen HMV UK for the medium term". The retailer adds that it has favourable bank funding in place until 2011, so is well equipped to capitalise on new opportunities in the music retail space.

On an international level HMV saw sales increases in its Hong Kong, Singapore and Canadian stores, the latter performing quite well, though the Asian stores made a loss overall meaning HMV International posted at £800K loss for the half year.

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ZAVVI CALL IN CONSULTANTS TO DEAL WITH FINANCIAL AND SUPPLY PROBLEMS
Assuming HMV can hang in there, they may find themselves in a much more dominant position because not only is Woolies seemingly about to disappear, but those previously reported rumours about the instability of that other high street music seller Zavvi aren't going away.

As previously reported, there were reports last week that the collapse of Woolies and its sister distribution company eUK, which supplies Zavvi and its website with stock, could take the former Virgin Megastore down too. Zavvi has had to close its online operation during the busy Christmas rush because it's not sure eUK would be able to fulfil any online orders, and its high street stores are short of new stock as the company tries to set up deals directly with other suppliers as its eUK supply runs dry. On top of all this, Woolies is undercutting Zavvi on mainstream releases with its closing down sale across the street.

To make matters worse, Zavvi is going to struggle to set up credit accounts with other providers of CDs, including the major record companies direct, given reports the retailer is one of eUK's biggest debtors - they reportedly owe the distributor £106 million.

Word has it Ernst & Young have been parachuted into Zavvi to try and help restructure the company to overcome all these issues. The Times says that eUK's administrators Deloitte insisted Zavvi management get the consultants in, given the size of their debt to the distributor. Pessimists in investment circles are now predicting E&Y will become Zavvi's administrators, assuming the retailer won't be able to tackle its financial and supply woes without going into administration. That would be bad news for the retailer's former owners Virgin Group who still guarantee their 60 day credit account with eUK.

Zavvi, it should be noted, have denied there's a crisis situation going on at their HQ and are expected to comment on these reports in more detail later today.

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CUTS AT EPIC AND LAST.FM
More doom and gloom, and as expected jobs have been cut at Sony's Epic US division following the departure of its president Charlie Walk. Promo execs are the first to go, but A&Rs are expected to be cut next. As previously reported, it's thought Epic won't be merged into Columbia, but is set to be revamped with a new top guard, likely to include successful singer songwriter Amanda Ghost.

Elsewhere in lay off news, CBS Interactive are laying off people which is relevant to music type because they own last.fm. It's thought up to 20 people could go from the online music recommendation service.

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CHRYSALIS ENDS TAKEOVER TALKS
More city type news, and music publisher Chrysalis Plc has said it has terminated various takeover talks that have reportedly been ongoing since September. Chrysalis and its founder and key shareholder Chris Wright have been courting possible buyers for the not insubstantial indie publisher for a while, though Wright has always been clear that he's in no rush to sell and will only do so when the right deal is on the table. None of the deals proposed in the last few months were presumably right. The company said this week all ongoing takeover talks are over, but said it would continue to assess other offers if and when they are made.

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MUSIC LAW FIRM MERGES WITH MEDIA LAW FIRM
Media law specialists Lee & Thompson have announced that the partners at music law firm Engel Monjack, Lawrence Engel and Jonathan Monjack respectively, will be joining them in the New Year, Engel as a partner and Monjack as a consultant. The move will help Lee & Thompson expand its existing music law operations.

Lawrence Engel told reporters: "The time felt right to move our business into a more diverse media firm. It enables us to offer our clients a wider service and to build on what we accomplished with Engel Monjack. I have known Robert and Andrew for some time now and have always admired the reputation the firm has established. I'm hoping that we can add to that".

Robert Lee (the Lee of Lee & Thompson) added: "We are delighted that Lawrence and Jonathan are joining us. They are impressive lawyers and fit in well with our current team. Their music clients will marry in well with our existing clients to give our music practice increased diversity and strength. I have no doubt that with Lawrence and Jonathan's arrival the reputation of our Music Group will be second to none".

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BBC SUBMIT PROPOSALS TO HELP COMMERCIAL PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTERS
The BBC yesterday submitted its proposals to that OfCom review of public service broadcasting.

As previously reported, the Beeb is trying to fight off claims from other public service broadcasters, in particular Channel 4, that they should get a share of the licence fee income as it becomes increasingly difficult to provide public service programming in the commercial space. Keen to keep all of its licence income, the BBC has proposed other ways it could help out those commercial broadcasters with public service remits - basically ITV, Channel 4 and Five. As also previously reported, that includes making the Corporation's iPlayer technology available to those broadcasters for free and forging partnerships between them and the BBC's commercial division BBC Worldwide (maybe even allowing Channel 4 to have a stake in it).

ITV and Five were generally positive about the proposals, saying they would look at them in more detail in the next few weeks. Channel 4, however, were less impressed. They said they welcomed the BBC finally recognising it had a duty to assist commercial public service broadcasters, but that the proposed measures were not enough.

Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan said: "With the exception of the suggested partnership with BBC Worldwide, we don't believe these proposals offer any tangible financial benefit for Channel 4. Based on our experience of selling advertising around on-demand viewing, we've given the BBC clear feedback that their assumptions about the commercial benefits of a link with the iPlayer are inaccurate. We don't share their view that this particular proposal could deliver an immediate and sizeable financial upside".

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USHER BECOME A FATHER AGAIN
We all know that Usher is so smooth that woman get pregnant by just being within 12 metres of him, but the singer has officially become a father for the second time this week. His wife, Tameka Foster gave birth to a boy at around 3am on Wednesday morning. The couple's first son, Usher Raymond V, is one year old.

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HANSON'S HANSON WELCOME FOURTH CHILD
The wife of Hanson's Taylor Hanson has given birth to the couple's fourth child. Viggo Moriah Hanson was born on Tuesday.

The couple told People: "Viggo is doing great. He is the perfect early Christmas gift. We look forward to being home to enjoy the holidays with him and his very excited brothers and sister".

Viggo joins Hanson's two other sons, Ezra and River, and daughter Penelope.

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AKON CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR CURRENT HIP HOP TRENDS
Akon says he is responsible for the likes of Kanye West and T-Pain singing rather than rapping on their new albums. But he doesn't mind them copying him, he thinks it's flattering.

He told MTV: "As an artist, depending on who you are, you should never be in a situation where you feel threatened by another artist. If anything, I embrace the fact that they're doing it. Music changes every year. I'm just happy [about] the fact that people are jumping on what we're already doing. I look at it like a tribute to what we're already doing, and I look at it like a compliment, really. I say 'you're welcome' every time I hear [rappers singing]".

It also seems that, contrary to previous reports, Akon's collaboration with Michael Jackson hasn't been shelved. The rapper said: "I can't speak too much on Mike's project. Mike is a perfectionist. He's probably the most brilliant person I've sat across from. A humble, cool cat".

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LLOYD WEBBER ADMITS TO PRODUCING MALLETT
Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted to The Sun that he produced Timmy Mallett's 1990 top 30 hit, 'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini', despite Mallett himself being listed as producer on the record.

Lloyd Webber said: "[My wife] bet that me - a 'pompous' composer - could never produce a pop hit for the summer. It was a ridiculous idea I had to keep Madeleine quiet".

He also revealed that the voice on the record isn't Mallett's either. His vocals were replaced by schoolteacher Everton Barnes because the TV presenter's were too out of tune to be usable.

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