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TODAY'S NEWS

Top Stories

iTunes goes completely DRM-free
Beatles catalogue goes online. For about four minutes
Fans want to see John Lennon's MBE
Presley defends Travolta's Scientology beliefs
Patrick Wolf attacked at Madonna show
In The Pop Courts
Winehouse drops Norwegian appeal plans
Veoh win another copyright case - impact on Viacom v YouTube
In The Pop Hospital
Long Blondes guitarist discusses stroke
Pop Politics
Eno joins anti-Israeli-bombing gang
Obituaries
Stooges guitarist dies
Awards & Contests
Unsigned bands offered chance to play Glastonbury
Charts, Stats & Polls
Guardian break down 2008 charts with fun pink circles
In The Studio
Preston prepares solo album
Release News
New Morrissey single appears online
50 Cent reveals new album tracklist
Groove Armada announce first Barcadi release
Courtney bags $30m of tampons and tequila
Springsteen previews and freebies on Amazon and Guitar Hero
Gigs N Tours News
Jay-Z announces Obama inauguration gig
Emmy The Great UK tour
Reviews
Single review: Kid Cudi vs Crookers - Day 'N' Night (Data Records)
The Music Business
Lady Sovereign's label to be distributed by EMI
The Digital Business
Best Buy to sell refurbished iPhones for less
The Media Business
Richard Skinner to become Xfm presenter
Silent radio station launches on Twitter
And finally...
Leona to write autobiography
Coldplay: Music to wipe your ass to
Allen takes a pop at Perry again
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WEDNESDAY 7TH JANUARY

THE REDWALLS
They may only be releasing their first UK single this week, but The Redwalls is a name many will recognise. Releasing their debut major label album via EMI's Capitol Records in 2005, the band toured the UK with Oasis that same year. More recently, they have toured with The Zutons and have appeared on US TV shows such as 'The Tonight Show' and 'The Late Show', after their song 'Build A Bridge' was used on an advert for AT&T. The single, 'Memories', is out this week and frontman Logan Baren took some time to tell us about it and his band.


 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I picked up the guitar and learnt songs that I liked and every once in a while I'd come up with something of my own. It just kinda happens. Fortunately it happened for my brother [Redwalls bassist Justin Baren] too.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
I came up with the hook very early on, but didn't have any firm words so I used the first that came to mind as a sketch.

Later, I found that it seemed to work really well with some old reggae rhythms I'd been listening to. I'd been in Los Angeles for a while, getting frustrated at not having anything to say and not having words for this tune.

Then I heard on the news there was a lot of violence being reported, one instance of which was a brutal murder, and I began to think about that.

I put the two together with the intention of changing the words to the chorus, but ended up liking the juxtaposition. I was trying to see the world through the eyes of one of these people that the news was talking about. It's really Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
See above!

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The blues of our hometown, Chicago. The Beatles, The Stones. All the classic stuff. I love reggae, but I can never go too far with that, due to my pasty complexion!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Be careful and enjoy!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
We just want people to like it and enjoy the elements that we enjoy. Hopefully it'll do enough for people to have us back here.

MORE>> www.theredwalls.com

 

CMU'S TIPS FOR 2009: LA ROUX
Sometimes - just sometimes - there's a reason why every critic is raving about a particular act amidst all that 'start of year hype'. And in La Roux's case their enchanting, tropical, steel drum-flavoured single 'Quicksand' is that reason. Reeling from the influence of Swedish electro pioneers The Knife's more recent records - 'Silent Shout' era as opposed to the early Euro house - they're both musically and visually engaging - their work a paean to what appears to be the kind of single-mindedness Kate Bush was famed for (or at least that's the hope). With the debut released through Kitsune and the backing of behemoth Universal to follow, there seems to be a preconceived destiny for La Roux's route to the top, and when has CMU ever been wrong making such bold statements?

www.myspace.com/larouxuk

 

 

ITUNES GOES COMPLETELY DRM-FREE
Top man Steve Jobs may not have been giving Apple's keynote address at the Macworld conference this year, but the man sent in his place, Phil Schiller, was given a big announcement to make. The IT firm has finally reached a deal with Sony, Universal and Warner allowing them to sell DRM-free music from all four major record companies via their iTunes Music Store.

iTunes, of course, was the first legitimate download store to sell major label music without digital rights management technology embedded, when, in April 2007, London-based major EMI agreed to drop its insistence that download providers use the controversial technology which restricted how consumers could use the tracks they bought, mainly by limiting how many times it could be burned to CD and how many devices it could be played on. EMI launched its DRM-free offer initially through an exclusivity deal with Apple, before rolling out DRM-free tracks to other digital music stores.

But when EMI's rivals -Sony, Universal and Warner - eventually decided to also jump on the DRM-free bandwagon later that year they decided to do DRM-free deals with everyone but Apple, mainly in a bid to give a head start to the IT giant's rivals in the download space - in particular Amazon, who had helped persuade those slow coach majors to go DRM-free to start with.

The other majors, in particular Universal, resented (and still do) iTunes's dominance in the download market, and the power it gave Apple at the negotiating table. They hoped that - because going DRM-free meant Apple rivals could now sell music in the iPod compatible MP3 format (in the DRM days only tracks bought from iTunes worked on the iPod) - the move away from DRM could help some iTunes rivals get decent market share. As a result, DRM-free music from all four majors started to appear on Amazon in the US, and 7Digital and Play.com over here, but not on iTunes.

The other majors also hoped that by acting all disinterested with regards getting their super new DRM-free catalogues onto iTunes that they could force Apple into budging on some long-held grievances regarding the IT firm's a-la-carte download model. And given the announcement made by Apple product marketing VP Schiller at Macworld yesterday that strategy worked, because he also confirmed iTunes would finally give way on one of the biggest issues between Apple and the majors - that of variable pricing.

The record companies have long wanted to be able to sell digital tracks at different prices (mainly because it's easier to sneak prices up that way), but Apple have always insisted there should be one price for all tracks - ie 99 cents or 79 pence. Schiller confirmed yesterday that iTunes would soon introduce a three-tier price structure - with tracks for 59p, 79p and 99p (69, 99 and 129 cents in the US). It's not proper variable pricing, but it is a step towards the model preferred by the record companies.

According to the BBC, Schiller told Macworld: "Starting today, 8 million songs will be DRM free and by the end of this quarter, all 10 million songs will be DRM free". On the new pricing system he added: "Over the last six years songs have been 99 cents. Music companies want more flexibility".

There has been other give and take in the negotiations between Apple and the majors, with not all he give on Apple's side. Also in yesterday's announcement was the news that iPhone owners will be able to download music over their 3G phone network for the same price as when they buy them online. The majors have long tried to position mobile downloading as a premium service, charging more per download (sometimes a lot more) on the basis the customer is enjoying the extra convenience of being able to download away from an internet connection. Customers, though, don't generally recognise that as much of a convenience, and many experts have said mobile downloading would never properly take off while there were price differences between over-the-net and over-the-air downloads. That issue was one of the reasons Apple didn't initially incorporate over-the-air downloading into their iPhone.

In a subsequent press release, Apple boss Steve Jobs was quoted thus: "We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi".

The arrival of DRM-free music from all four majors on iTunes was certainly the big story to come out of the Apple keynote at Macworld this year, though in some ways it's not really that big a deal, and the fact it was the headline grabber is possibly proof that the computer firm hasn't really got many big product innovations planned for 2009 (one of the reasons some bloggers reckoned Jobs had decided to pull out of the Macworld event in the first place - alongside him being ill, of course).

The fact is most iTunes Music Store customers listen to their music through the iTunes players, or on their iPod or iPhone. Those who want more flexibility are probably tech-savvy enough to burn their tracks to CD and to then immediately re-rip them as DRM-free MP3s (a very simple process, even if it does contravene the iTunes licence agreement). The big issue with DRM really was that it stopped iTunes rivals from selling major label music that worked on the iPod. That issue was overcome as soon as Amazon, 7Digital, Play.com et al added major label MP3s to their download offers.

And it should be noted, of course, that Apple's DRM-free iTunes Plus service doesn't actually sell tracks as MP3s. The DRM is gone, but they are still supplied in the AAC format preferred by Apple. While this doesn't lock the tracks to the iPod in the way the DRMed AAC files did, they will still only work on digital players that play the AAC format, which isn't all players, and certainly not as many as play MP3s. A point the boss of iTunes rivals 7Digital - the first UK provider to sell DRM-free tunes from all four majors - was keen to make yesterday.

Their MD Ben Drury told CMU: "Downloads from iTunes are still in the AAC file format regardless of whether they are DRM-free. 7digital.com prides itself on offering the MP3 universal download format, which works across any iPod, MP3 player or mobile phone. The AAC file format is only compatible with iPods/iPhones and a limited number of other devices. So consumers who buy downloads from iTunes are still restricted to where they can play that music regardless of whether it's DRM free or not".

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BEATLES CATALOGUE GOES ONLINE. FOR ABOUT FOUR MINUTES
Of course a much bigger digital music story would be the arrival of the Beatles catalogue on iTunes or any other legit download platform - the Fab Four's songs still not being officially available for download, mainly because of ongoing issues between the band's own company Apple Corp and their record company EMI.

As Apple Computers made their DRM-free announcement in San Francisco yesterday, there was another announcement on the other side of the world that threatened to over shadow it. The Norwegian version of the BBC was putting podcasts online which contained whole Beatles tracks. The podcasts were downloadable versions of a radio series NRK had broadcast back in 2001 in which journalists discussed, in depth, a Beatles track, and then it got played. The radio show was being put online as part of NRK's mission to make more of its archives available on the net, and not only did the move mean the Beatles were now available, seemingly legitimately, online, but the podcasts were free. Fans could download the Beatles catalogue legally for no krone, albeit with some Norwegian journalist rambling on about the music before it played.

I say "seemingly legitimately" because almost as soon as the news broke that these podcasts were going online the whole venture was brought to a stand still. NRK, it seemed, had failed to do even the most basic of homework.

The podcasts were being released under a podcast licence from Norwegian publishing royalty body TONO, which allows radio stations to include their member's songs in podcasts providing the music makes up less than 70% of the overall output. All well and good. Except that licence does not, of course, cover the recordings, just the songs. As we understand it, a call from the recording industry trade body the IFPI quickly followed, acting on behalf of EMI, and the podcasts were offline.

In fact, it turns out the podcasts didn't even obey TONO's rules regarding the inclusion of even the songs in the downloads, because the licence is designed to enable radio stations to offer a 'listen again' podcast service, and therefore podcasts can only be put online for up to four weeks after a show originally aired.

NRK Technology Adviser Oyvind Solstad told reporters: "We had a very good and open agreement with the Norwegian composers and people forgot that we need to have the same agreement with the record companies. We could have aired the whole thing and then podcast it, but I think the record company would have tried to stop it anyway".

He added: "We want to share as much as possible of our archives with the public. We can't do that if we can only podcast things that have been aired in the past four weeks. We need a better agreement. People's media habits have changed, and young people want things on their ipods", but admitted he didn't expect any better agreement that allowed the release of the Beatles material via podcast. Given iTunes can't even get permission to sell the songs, I doubt NRK will be allowed to give them away.

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FANS WANT TO SEE JOHN LENNON'S MBE
Talking of the Fab Four, Beatles fans are calling for John Lennon's MBE to be put on display, forty years after he famously sent it back to the Queen in protest against UK politics and record-buying trends at the time.

In a note sent with the award, Lennon told the Queen: "Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon".

A spokesman for the Chancery Department of the Royal Household in St James' Palace, where the MBE and accompanying note are currently held, told The Telegraph: "John Lennon's MBE is being taken good care of and is in storage at the Central Chancery, St James' Palace. It has been retained since the day Mr Lennon returned it, but in order to decide whether the medal could go on display in a museum, we would have to establish ownership first. It could be up to Yoko Ono as she is the custodian of John Lennon's estate".

Gene Grimes, founder of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society said: "The Palace are sitting on a unique piece of Beatles history and it should not be left to gather dust in a draw. The medal is a vital piece of Beatles memorabilia and should be exhibited for John's fans to see".

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PRESLEY DEFENDS TRAVOLTA'S SCIENTOLOGY BELIEFS
Lisa Marie Presley has written on her MySpace blog to defend John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston's membership of the Scientology "religion" in the wake of claims that this contributed to the death of their son, Jett Travolta, last week.

An autopsy found that Jett's death was due to a seizure disorder. Some have claimed that the disorder, Kawasaki Syndrome, had gone untreated because of the family's Scientology beliefs. Travolta and Preston say they took their son off his medication after consulting neurosurgeons.

Presley, herself a Scientologist, wrote: "Among most of the crazy made up garbage that goes around about it, it is not true that Scientologists 'Don't believe in medical care, medicine or medical doctors. Just like anyone else, if one is sick, they go to the doctor, If a medication will make it better then they take it. If they don't then they are an idiot and you can't blame their religion".

She continued: "Whatever medical and or physical condition Jett had, I can tell you first hand that his parents were on a tireless, never ending quest to get and provide him with the absolute best care anyone could ever ask for and need, medically, physically, emotionally, medicinally and spiritually".

Asking people to stop attacking the Travoltas and their beliefs at this difficult time, she concluded: "Folks, as popular as it has been to discriminate and ridicule Scientology and Scientologists in the recent past, now is NOT the time".

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PATRICK WOLF ATTACKED AT MADONNA SHOW
Patrick Wolf has revealed that he was beaten up by bouncers for being openly gay and swearing at a Madonna's show at Wembley Stadium last September. He claims that police officers also became involved in the attack and that CCTV footage is currently being checked, pending a full investigation.

Wolf told Electroqueer: "Three songs in, me and my man were kissing and there were loads of conservative straight couples around us that complained. And then the bouncers came up to me and said 'can you stop that, this is a family venue'. No joke. I said 'for fuck's sake' and they said 'oh you can't swear - this is a family venue' when there's Madonna on stage going 'fuck you, motherfucker'. The bouncer said 'you know we can do this the easy way or the violent way' and I said 'I'm staying so you do whatever you want'".

Unfortunately for Wolf, they did just that. He continued: "They just grabbed both of us. We were beaten up outside Wembley, handcuffed. These guys were like football bouncers. The police came and it just went on and on and on. My man's face covered in blood. I couldn't move for like a month. I had to lie in bed on painkillers for ages. They totally twisted my arm and my legs - it was just mad. They are currently researching the CCTV - it just really nuts. We basically got beaten up by the police".

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WINEHOUSE DROPS NORWEGIAN APPEAL PLANS
Amy Winehouse will not now stand trial in Norway for drugs offences after deciding to drop plans to appeal the conviction. As we reported yesterday, Winehouse, her husband Blake Fielder-Civil and her hairdresser were caught with seven grammes of marijuana in Norway in October 2007. They were released after paying fines of £294 but later appealed the convictions. Winehouse was due to stand trial on 12 Jan, but her lawyer Ole Kvelstad said that she and Fielder-Civil had decided to drop their appeals after "a careful review".

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VEOH WIN ANOTHER COPYRIGHT CASE - IMPACT ON VIACOM V YOUTUBE
Oh, look at that, we turn our backs for the Christmas break and a very interesting copyright case gets resolved in the US courts. You do find copyright litigation interesting don't you? Go on, you know you love it.

Anyway, this was a copyright action launched by Universal Music against YouTube rival Veoh and centered on some very specific issues regarding the interpretation of the US laws governing online copyright. It's interesting because of the impact it possibly has on one of the big online music legal battles still to go to court -Viacom v YouTube.

As previously reported, there is some legal dispute in the US regarding what obligations the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 puts on video sharing sites like YouTube and Veoh regarding the posting, by punters, of content without the content owner's permission.

The video sharing services have differentiated themselves from those dodgy P2P file sharing services like Limewire because, although they do frequently host infringing content on their servers, they have in place a system whereby content owners can complain if their copyrights are infringed and infringing content is quickly removed. Because these servers generally (although not exclusively) offer content as streams instead of downloads, such removal is effective because most people (ie those not clever enough to turn a stream into a download, which is most people) lose access to the infringing content once it is done.

They argue that, under the DMCA, that means they are not guilty of infringement, even though they may host infringing content from time to time. While the big content owners don't necessarily disagree with that viewpoint completely, they argue there is an obligation on the video websites to put in place technical or human systems that better monitor the uploading of videos to stop infringing content from going online to start with. Otherwise, they argue, the onus is on them the content owner to constantly monitor every single video website on the planet - a potentially expensive pursuit.

The big ongoing legal case on this issue is Viacom v YouTube, with the MTV owner suing the flagship video sharing website on the basis they are not doing enough to stop content from their various TV channels from being posted.

Both sides have experts who swear blind their interpretation of the DMCA on this issue is right, but YouTube's case was strengthened last summer when their rivals Veoh won a similar but smaller lawsuit brought against them by porn company Io Group.

The similar and more recent Universal case against Veoh centred on one specific bit of the DMCA - one of the so called 'safe harbor' clauses that says tech firms who simply host digital content on behalf of users can not be held liable if a customer uploads unlicensed content to their servers. Although really designed to protect those companies who offer remote digital storage facilities, this clause is one used in the aforementioned defence put forward by YouTube, Veoh etc.

But Universal argued that Veoh not only stored content uploaded by punters, they also automatically transcoded it into a Flash video format, created copies of the file, and allowed third parties to access to infringing content. Those activities, not mentioned in the DMCA, could not, Universal argued, be exempted from infringement claims under a safe harbour clause that only referenced storage of files for third parties.

The Io Group unsuccessfully argued similar points in their case against Veoh. And over Christmas the US courts rejected Universal's version of the argument too, strengthening the video site's defence against infringement charges made by the likes of Universal.

While Veoh isn't especially used by music video fans (most opting for the predominantly licensed YouTube instead), this ruling, coupled with the Io Group ruling from last summer, potentially weakens Viacom's case in its litigation against YouTube. To the extent, some legal experts argue, that that legal battle might not be as landmark a case as some had expected - with many of the disputed points of law being settled in earlier smaller cases.

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LONG BLONDES GUITARIST DISCUSSES STROKE
Former Long Blondes guitarist Dorian Cox has spoken about the stroke he suffered last summer following the band's first US tour. Writing for The Guardian, he spoke about his two month stay in a rehabilitation unit and continued weekly visits there, as his recovery continues. He also said that he feels "lucky to be alive at all".

Cox said: "I remember getting out of bed to go to the bathroom and keeling over on my way. I couldn't move. Luckily, a friend who had visited me the day before had notified staff that I had been feeling ill and a maid came to check on me. [She] found me on the floor. I told her I was fine but that I just needed a hand getting up. When she said she would call an ambulance, I was adamant that there was no need; that if I was helped to my feet I would be fine. It was only when the ambulance arrived and I heard the medics' assessment that I understood that I had had a stroke. At 27 years old, this was the last thing I expected".

He added: "I feel extremely lucky that, despite having had a very big stroke, at present it seems that the lasting problems are only physical. I count my blessings that my mind and speech have not been affected. In fact, I feel lucky to be alive at all".

He concluded by saying that doctors have been unable to tell him why he suffered the stroke, but that "the lifestyle that goes with being in a band would have a detrimental effect on anyone's health". However, he does not regret that lifestyle, saying: "While I wish I hadn't had had a stroke, at least I can say that I was enjoying my life 100% until it happened".

As previously reported, The Long Blondes split up in October last year as it remains unclear how long it will take for Cox to fully recover.

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ENO JOINS ANTI-ISRAELI-BOMBING GANG
Now Brian Eno has been condemning Israel's ongoing military attack on neighbouring Gaza, claiming the Israelis were wrong to pretend they were the "victim" in the dispute between the two countries. An increasing number of c'lebs have been speaking out about the ongoing bombing and ground attack on Gaza - as previously reported, Annie Lennox spoke out last week.

Speaking at a London rally last weekend, Eno said: "What we're seeing in Gaza is an experiment in provocation conducted by the Israeli government. You take one and a half million people, you stuff them into a small space, you deny them food, water, sanitation, medicine, and then act surprised when they get hostile. But you want that hostility, because that's the cue for you to act the victim. Israel is pretending to be a victim in a situation in which they are the oppressor".

The legendary producer and former Roxy Music man continued: "It's tragic that a country formed in the ashes of the holocaust should act in this way. It's heartbreaking. Why do the Israelis do it? What's the reason for creating this conflict? The reason is that under the cover of it they can continue to build settlements. They can continue to get large grants from the American government. They can continue to steal the homeland of the Palestinians, and continue to make a Warsaw ghetto in the Middle East".

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STOOGES GUITARIST DIES
Ron Asheton, guitarist and occasionally bassist with The Stooges, has been found dead at his home in Michigan. Police say they discovered Asheton's body at his home yesterday after an associate who had been unable to contact him for several days reported his concerns. There were no signs of foul play and its thought he died of natural causes.

Asheton was a founder member of The Stooges, alongside his brother Scott, Dave Alexander and, of course, Iggy Pop. Initially Asheton played lead guitar though, after Alexander was kicked out of the band, he took over bass duties, and that's what he played on the band's 1973 released third album 'Raw Power', a long player which, despite an initially lukewarm reception, became influential on the then emerging punk scene and is now considered a seminal release.

After The Stooges initially split in 1975 Asheton went on to play with various other bands, as well as dabbling in a bit of acting. In 2000 he, his brother and Minuteman Mike Watt (who Asheton had worked with on the soundtrack to movie 'Velvet Goldmine') began to perform together and were quickly dubbed The New Stooges. Iggy Pop was so impressed he decided to rejoin his former band mates and so the The Stooges reformed, leading to 2007 album 'The Weirdness', and various live dates, including a Glastonbury set.

In 2003 Asheton was ranked the 29th greatest rock guitarist by Rolling Stone magazine, The Stooges, meanwhile, have been nominated for inclusion in the US Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame this year (though it's not the first time they've been nominated, in the past without actually be inducted).

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UNSIGNED BANDS OFFERED CHANCE TO PLAY GLASTONBURY
The first stage of this year's Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition is under way, with entries now being accepted for UK bands to win the chance to play at the festival this summer. Previous winners of the competition have included The Subways and Scouting For Girls.

Now in its fifth year, entries will be judged by Michael and Emily Eavis, Q editor in chief Paul Rees, and Radio 1's Huw Edwards. They will select a shortlist of 12 finalists who will be invited to play a 20 minute set at the Pilton Working Men's Club. The act deemed the best of these twelve will then play either the Other or Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2009.

To enter, go to www.qthemusic.com/glastonburynewtalent. The closing date for submissions is 26 Jan.

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GUARDIAN BREAK DOWN 2008 CHARTS WITH FUN PINK CIRCLES
Here's a fun thing. The Guardian have analysed last year's UK charts and come up with some interesting stats, which you can access by clicking on pink circles. For example, did you know that 4% of last year's hits were made by people from Barbados? Or that 56% were made by people over 25?

See more here

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PRESTON PREPARES SOLO ALBUM
Former Ordinary Boys frontman and celebrity husband Samuel Preston has revealed that he is now close to completing work on his debut solo album. Despite the fact that The Ordinary Boys website has been rebranded as a Preston-only site for some time now, and the fact this album was in production for the whole of last year, new material has so far not been forthcoming.

In a new post on his Blog, Preston wrote: "I am in Philadelphia once more ... I came over here a year ago to write the album and ended up mainly doing nothing much except the odd bit of hanging out and a little lounging around if the mood took me... but... now the album is done and I have returned ... I am getting the artwork done by some friends who run an art space from the city and it's looking great. Before I left England, I went to my old school in Chichester and got the choir to sing on one of the songs on my new record and that was very possibly the most fun day ever... I wanted bratty chanting, so they had to unlearn everything that my old music teacher had ever told them".

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NEW MORRISSEY SINGLE APPEARS ONLINE
Morrissey's new single, 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' has been posted on the singer's MySpace page. The song is the first track to be taken from the former Smiths frontman's forthcoming album, 'Years Of Refusal'.

Described as a "cosmopolitan hymn to architecture", you can hear the song at www.myspace.com/morrissey

'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' will be released on 9 Feb, with the album following on 16 Feb.

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50 CENT REVEALS NEW ALBUM TRACKLIST
50 Cent has revealed the tracklist and lengthy list of collaborators for his new album, 'Before I Self Destruct'. Among the guest vocalists and producers are Dr Dre, Eminem, Nate Dogg, JR Rotem and Swizz Beatz.

The album was originally set for release in December but has been pushed back, with no new date yet announced.

Tracklist:

Intro
Came To Win (produced by Red Spyda)
Get Up (produced by Scott Storch)
Need Your Hate (Produced by Dr Dre)
Here For A Reason (feat. Nate Dogg) (produced by tha Bizness)
Good To Be A Gangsta (produced by Ty Fyffe & Sha Money XL)
Don't Mess With 50 (produced by Don Cannon)
Trust In Me (produced by JR Rotem)
Norman Bates Motel (feat. Eminem) (produced by Dr Dre)
Bitch I'm Sorry (produced by Needlz)
All For You (produced by Hi-Tek)
No Time To Lose (feat. Swizz Beatz) (produced by the Individuals)
Lonely At the Top (produced by Play-N-Skillz)
You Need Us (feat. Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo) (produced by DJ Khalil)
Different Path (feat. Dave Young) (produced by Havoc)
I Get It In (produced by Dr Dre)
Somebody Forgive Me (produced by Jake One)
My Reign (produced by Eminem)
Ready For War (feat. Dr Dre) (produced by Dr Dre)

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GROOVE ARMADA ANNOUNCE FIRST BARCADI RELEASE
Groove Armada have announced a new record release as part of their ongoing partnership with rum manufacturers Barcardi. As previously reported, the band and brand entered the agreement which provides financing for Groove Armada's touring and recording in April last year.

In a statement, Groove Armada's Tom Findlay said: "The relationship with Bacardi has taken us all over the world and seen us perform in some jaw-dropping locations. However, what sets our unique relationship apart is the music we're producing, so we're especially excited to be in the final stages of the mini-album and ready to see the impact a band and brand collaboration will have on both our fans and the music industry".

The four track EP, which is yet to receive an official release date, will be released through Barcadi B-Live Records.

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COURTNEY BAGS $30M OF TAMPONS AND TEQUILA
Courtney Love has gained $30 million worth of sponsorship from tampon and tequila companies, according to her MySpace coordinator. The unnamed spokesperson posted a follow-up message to that previously cagey MySpace blog explaining (or not) why the Love's new solo album, 'Nobody's Daughter', had not be released on 1 Jan, as planned.

They wrote: "Courtney has $30 million in sponsorships from a prominent feminine hygiene/menstrual company and a prominent tequila company - and Courtney doesn't even understand that part! - and many more companies etc".

As to why the album was not released, they were a little more forthcoming with information this time, blaming ghosts and hip hop, or something. They said: "Here are some reasons why the album was delayed (and we are not sugarcoating it, kids). The studio that Courtney and her band were using to record had some paranormal technical issues and had to be moved from one studio to another studio right around the holidays due to some technical sound issues that everyone, including [producer Michael] Beinhorn who is a master and a genius was not happy with [it]. Courtney and crew could not hear between guitars. Sound and vocal mixings have to be completed still to perfection. If Courtney had it her way she would have it the studios sound checked first but it was originally use as a hip hop/rap studio, so the acoustics were all fucked up".

'Nobody's Daughter' is now expected to be released on 9 Feb.

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SPRINGSTEEN PREVIEWS AND FREEBIES ON AMAZON AND GUITAR HERO
Bruce Springsteen will preview tracks from his forthcoming new album 'Working On A Dream' via Amazon in the US, and two tracks will also be given away via the Guitar Hero platform on the week of the album's release - 27 Jan. Springsteen's new album will be released in the US on 27 Jan, just before he plays the half-time show slot at the Super Bowl on 1 Feb, watched by half of America.

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JAY-Z ANNOUNCES OBAMA INAUGURATION GIG
Live Nation has confirmed that Jay-Z will play a special concert at Washington's Warner Theatre the night before the God-like Barak Obama becomes President of the USA.

Jay-Z, of course, was a vocal supporter of the new prez during the US election, encouraging his fans to register to vote and then put a cross next to Obama's name, adding: "Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run, Obama's running so we all can fly". For his part Obama let it be known he was a fan of the rapper's work. When Mr Z's man won the big vote he released a special online song to celebrate, though wasn't seen when Obama gave his victory speech amid rumours the new president's people had suggested his celebrity supporters stay away so not to steal the limelight from the new prez-elect.

The gig to celebrate the arrival of the new president to the White House will take place in the US capital on 19 Jan, the day before the inauguration. It's not clear if the President-elect himself plans to attend.

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EMMY THE GREAT UK TOUR
Emmy The Great has announced details of a sizeable UK tour to coincide with the release of her debut album, 'First Love', on 2 Feb. Stayed tuned to CMU Daily for a review of the album soon.

Tour dates:

31 Jan: Oxford, Academy
1 Feb: Exeter, Phoenix
2 Feb: Brighton, Komedia
3 Feb: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
5 Feb: Gloucester Guildhall
6 Feb: Bath, Chapel Arts
7 Feb: Reading, South Street
9 Feb: Norwich, Arts Centre
10 Feb: Colchester, Arts Centre
11 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
12 Feb: Liverpool, Academy 2
14 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
15 Feb: Aberdeen, Moshulu
16 Feb: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
17 Feb: Newcastle, Cluny
19 Feb: Sheffield, Plug
20 Feb: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
21 Feb: Hull, Adelphi
22 Feb: Stoke, Sugarmill
24 Feb: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
25 Feb: Birmingham, Glee
26 Feb: Bristol, Fleece
27 Feb: London, ULU

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SINGLE REVIEW: Kid Cudi vs Crookers - Day 'N' Night (Data Records)
He's been tipped by Rolling Stone, worked with Kanye West and been on the cover of US hip-hop magazine, XXL, and now Kid Cudi has come to the UK with his hip hop tones and electro beats that aspire to bring a touch of credibility to the dancefloor. The Kid succeeds. With Crookers delivering a host of loops and samples, this is a world beyond any generic floorfiller. There's oscillations and joy makings in the science of this form, and Kid Cudi's vocals relate a driven individual, eager to escape a lifetime of monotony. Escape in this - day or night. TM
Release Date: 12 Jan
Press Contacts: Tomorrow Never Knows, Run Music

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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LADY SOVEREIGN'S LABEL TO BE DISTRIBUTED BY EMI
Hip hopper Lady Sovereign has entered into an agreement with EMI which will see the major's music services division distribute her new label Midget Records in both the UK and US. The first release to be distributed by the major will be the Lady's own new longplayer, 'Jigsaw', which is out on 7 Apr.

Confirming the deal, Lady Sovereign told reporters: "I feel great now. I feel like I've overcome all my dark times. I get to pick who I want to work with, that's why I'm in business with EMI. It feels amazing. I've got my own label, the support of EMI's team around the world and everything works my way. Producing other people is another thing I want to do. I know what works and I'd love to A&R someone else's record. I've got a massive confidence that I will put out some amazing artists. And because I've got the opportunity to do that now, that's exciting to me. I'm really looking forward to it".

EMI's Dominic Pandiscia, added: "Lady Sovereign is an exciting, creative, eclectic talent and we are delighted to re-connect her with current fans and turn on new audiences with this record. We look forward to complementing her creativity, energy and passion with our experience and global distribution and service capabilities".

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BEST BUY TO SELL REFURBISHED IPHONES FOR LESS
US retailer Best Buy is selling second hand iPhones for fifty dollars cheaper than brand new phones. They're not really second hand - they are phones that were returned to retailer within 30 days of original purchase. Best Buy will 'refurbish' the phone and sell it at the cheaper price point. Such cheaper refurbished phones have only previously been available via the website of Apple's US mobile partner AT&T. It's not clear if any similar arrangement may be made in the UK, where Best Buy have a stake in iPhone seller Carphone Warehouse.

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RICHARD SKINNER TO BECOME XFM PRESENTER
Xfm has announced the appointment of another new daytime presenter - Mr Richard Skinner - who will join the station later this month when Ian Camfield also returns. Skinner, of course, has previously worked for the likes of Radio 1, Capital FM and Virgin Radio and will now present the weekday morning show on Xfm from 9am in London and 10am in Manchester, finishing at 12pm in both cities.

In a statement, Skinner said: "I'm excited to be joining Xfm, a station that understands the immense influence that heritage bands and songs have had on the newest acts and music. I will be bringing my 25 years' experience of presenting indie and alt rock radio to the new morning show, mixing the finest of then and now, and playing the next 'big act' before anyone else! I can't wait to get started".

Xfm Group Programme Director Paul Jackson added: "We are thrilled to welcome Richard to the Xfm family. His enthusiasm, dedication and wealth of experience will be a fantastic asset to us as we build a more powerful sound for Xfm's daytime output".

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SILENT RADIO STATION LAUNCHES ON TWITTER
This is either a very clever idea or a dumb one. A new online radio station has launched on micro-blogging website Twitter. The difference between Twadio and other stations is that this one doesn't broadcast any sound. Users who subscribe to the station will be shown song titles every 15 minutes via Twitter and will then have to sing the song to themselves in their head if they want to listen to it. There is normally a link to an Amazon preview if they need to remind themselves how it goes.

To, erm, tune in, go to www.twadio.com

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LEONA TO WRITE AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Leona Lewis has signed a deal with publishers Hodder & Stoughton to write (or at least say some words that will be rewritten) her autobiography for release later this year. The book will also contain over 100 photographs of the star from across her 23 years of existence.

Lewis said that she wanted to document her "unbelievable experience" and added that the pictures will really help to bring it to life for readers, especially those who are illiterate, or just lazy. She said: "To have it documented in pictures and to be able to tell people in my own words how it feels means a lot to me. I know the book will be full of special moments and I'm already having a brilliant time putting it together".

The book is thought to be set for publication in October to coincide with the release of Lewis' second album.

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COLDPLAY: MUSIC TO WIPE YOUR ASS TO
Now here's a compilation series no one's thought of before. 'Music To Wipe Your Ass To'. Could be big in the Japanese market where musical toilets are so popular. The concept was suggested by Slipknot's Corey Taylor, as was Coldplay's inclusion on it.

He was talking about Chris Martin et al to Zane Lowe on MTV. I don't think he's a Coldplay fan, except in the bathroom. He told Lowe: "[Viva La Vida is] one of the most self-celebratory pieces of shit I've ever fucking heard in my entire fucking life. I fucking hate that album. It's music to wipe your ass to".

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ALLEN TAKES A POP AT PERRY AGAIN
Lily Allen has been badmouthing Katy Perry again, this time on Facebook, where she signed up to two anti-Katy Perry groups last week and threatened to reveal Perry's mobile number to them. She posted a message on one of the groups, saying: "I have Katy Perry's number, someone did me a favour. I'm just waiting for her to open her mouth one more time then it hits Facebook".

Lily Allen releases her second LP, a concept album about her relationship with Katy Perry (possibly) called 'It's Not Me It's You', next month.

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