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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Google launch free download service in China
FAC support government over term extension wrangling
Ticketmaster COO resigns
Madonna adoption latest
In The Pop Courts
Andre 3000 charged with speeding
Luciano charged over fugitive shoot out
Obituaries
Maurice Jarre dies
Awards & Contests
Newsted on Metallica reunion
Artist Deals
Roadrunner sign Heaven & Hell
In The Studio
The Strokes on new album
Santigold guests on Beastie Boys and David Byrne albums
Release News
Agadoo to be re-released
Films N Shows News
Green Day album to become musical
Gigs N Tours News
Jeffrey Lewis is doing a tour
Festival News
Jazz legend to programme Meltdown
Creamfields provides some recession special ticket offers
Festival line up update
Reviews
Album review: Gomez - A New Tide (Eat Sleep Records)
Brands N Stuff
Barclaycard to sponsor Mercury Prize
The Music Business
Universal announce music JV with Formula 1
AMG acquire ABC, will add O2
The Digital Business
MP3 makers reveal more about HD version
Last.fm delay radio subscriptions
The Media Business
GMG head of music stands down
Christian returns to Key 103, for a week
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
Angello attacked for ignoring Hilton's hip hop requests
Kate Moss better than Lily Allen at drinking
Timberlake not engaged, okay?
Keane thought Spiralling was "a bad joke"

Jacko rumour round-up

 
TUESDAY 31ST MARCH
SHARAM JEY
A longstanding name on the Underwater Records roster, German DJ and producer Sharam Jey released his debut album for the label, '4 Da Loverz', in 2005. Now a number of the tracks that appeared on that album have been cut up and rearranged by the likes of Alex Metric, Darko Jones and John Dahlback for Sharam's new remix album 'Classic Editions', which was released last week. Sharam is also working on his new album as we speak, which will include his recent collaboration with Princess Superstar, 'Monday Morning'. We caught up with him for a quick chat.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started as a singer in a school rock band, and got a bit into DJing at birthday parties and stuff like that. It was mainly 80s stuff, a mixture of rock, hip hop and electronic bands, and later house music. It was fun, so I wanted to do it more professionally. Plan A was to raise the money to get a band into the studio, but then I got into house music and took a different path.

Q2 What's the inspiration for the new album, the Princess Superstar collaboration, and the remix collection?
Since the first album came out in 2005, I've toured constantly and played lots of festivals. All that travelling, not to mention the artists I have met along the way, have really inspired me. As a result there's been lots of ideas in my head for a while - I just needed the right time for them to materialise.

The single came about because Princess Superstar has always liked the track 'Monday Morning' and wanted to do some vocals for it. So we worked together, and a nice little release has come out of it.

With the remix album, I wanted to show that some of my tracks from the last ten years could still be fresh and relevant now with the right remix. All the remixers have been supporting the tracks for a long time and were thrilled to contribute their work to this project.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
That varies from track to track. Sometimes it starts with just a bassline I am thinking of. Sometimes it's the vocals or a hookline.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
As my roots are in the 80s, for me that was the best time for both electronic and rock music, and for hip hop, and that's what you'll mostly find on my iPod. But my influences are definitely wider than that. The artists involved in the remix album, Martin Buttrich, Zoo Brazil, The Glimmers etc, they are all artists that have been an inspiration to me.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would want them to take some time to listen carefully. So they can experience and discover it properly.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I have worked on the new album for a year and I'm very happy with the results, so I hope I will not disappoint my fans. I think they will be surprised how comprehensive and varying the tracks are. It will feature different artists like Princess Superstar, Tommie Sunshine, Australian rock band Lost Valentinos, Sam Obernik, German hip hop lady Brixx and many more. So I hope you will all like it!

MORE>> www.sharamjey.com and www.myspace.com/sharamjey

 
THE GOOD, THE BAD
I recently saw these guys live and at the time said, "I wouldn't want to ruin it by hearing them on record". Curiosity got the better of me, though. And I'm glad it did. While the studio doesn't quite capture the visceral energy of their live performance, it comes fairly close, and is just as thrilling. Hailing from Denmark, the band boasts former Raveonettes guitarist Manoj Ramdas amongst its number and has no singer because, lead guitarist The Adam says, "we couldn't find one that would stand behind the drummer". Which means, yes, all their songs are instrumentals. Their short bursts of garage-y surf rock sit somewhere between Dick Dale, Quit Your Dayjob and Karma To Burn. And, like the latter of those bands, all their songs are titled by number, leading to the catchy name given to their debut album, 'From 001 To 017'. It would be wrong of you not to check them out.

www.myspace.com/tgtb
   
SENIOR PR ROLE - www.spring-pr.com
This is a dream role in a small and exciting PR agency. We specialise in music, events and youth PR with clients ranging from corporate brands to underground recording artists, festivals and alternative art projects. We're looking for a senior member of staff to work across all areas of the business and as such we can only consider applications from people who have a proven track record in handling brand PR in a multi-agency setting. With an eye for detail and top-notch organisational skills, you'll be enthusiastic about working in a small team environment. You'll have 6 years of music and corporate PR experience, strong client servicing skills, and the highest communication skills. This is a full time role with a competitive salary and is based in our easily accessed central London offices. To apply, please email your CV and a covering letter to [email protected]

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ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.

 


INTRODUCING LEYLINE PUBLICITY
Leyline Promotions - better known as one of the capital’s leading independent promoters (The Remix, Kill All Hippies, Insomniacs Ball, Twisted Licks, Breaking Ground) - have created a new publicity department headed up by Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh. The pair have worked on major campaigns including a-ha, Glade Festival, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Standon Calling Festival and Hervé amongst others.

In addition to their wealth of experience in the live arena, Leyline Publicity now specialise in bespoke PR services including online and offline music and lifestyle press, radio plugging, brand development, digital marketing and blogging. For further information please contact: [email protected] or [email protected] t: 020 7575 3285

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PUBLIC RELATIONS CAREER COACHING
Have you been made redundant? Are you entering the PR jobs market? Do you need help getting your CV in tip-top condition? Do you need to brush up on your networking or interviewing skills?

PR recruiter Unicorn Jobs is holding a day of PR specific careers coaching on Wednesday 15th April. It will include a morning of workshops on: how to write an effective PR CV, answering job ads and writing covering letters, and networking and interviewing skills. Plus each participant will receive a 45 minute one-to-one session with a PR recruiter to discuss their CV and get personalised career development advice.

Places are £115 per person. To book your place please call 020 3051 1525 or email [email protected]

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ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.

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FABULOUS TOWN HOUSE TO SHARE IN BRONDESBURY PARK NW6 
Bright double bedroom with adjoining bijous living room and bathroom to let in a very large three bedroom luxury townhouse in Brondesbury Park NW6. The house has a large and spacious modern kitchen, large living and dining areas and a southwest facing garden with barbeque areas. There is free access to an onsite fitness complex with gym, full size heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna! The townhouse is situated in a beautiful private development with gated access and comes with a free off road parking space and visitor parking. Queens Park village is just a five minute stroll with lively pubs, deli's and eateries, a Sunday farmer's market and the park itself. Queens Park Station (Bakerloo) and Willesden Green (Jubilee) are both a five minute walk. The space is ideal for a professional single/couple. Rent: £795 pcm - includes internet/service charge. Call Adrian on 07971 555020 or email [email protected]

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CAMDEN FLAT
Bright and airy top-floor two bedroom flat in large detached period house on Camden/Kentish Town Border (corner of Camden Road / Camden Park Road). Very well appointed, clean and well maintained, with superb sitting room including open fire and working shutters, modern kitchen with washer/dryer & full size fridge freezer, and modern bathroom with bath & great power shower. Large double bedroom (9'x15') with built in wardrobes, second double bedroom (7'6 x 11'). Plenty of storage space including large loft space. 10 minutes walk to Camden Town and Kentish Town tubes, 253, 29 and 390 buses are 30 seconds walk. Secure cycle storage in building. Secluded shared garden for use. Ideal for young professional couple/sharers. Unfurnished. Available 1st April. £1275 pcm. For more information or to arrange viewing, please email [email protected]

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NEW TO CMU - advertise any flats or rooms you are looking to rent out, or flats or rooms wanted, for just £25 a week. Call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.

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GOOGLE LAUNCH FREE DOWNLOAD SERVICE IN CHINA
Google launched an interesting new service in China yesterday - a fully-licensed free-to-use ad-funded download platform offering some 350,000 tracks for free download from both Chinese and foreign artists, with the promise that that number will rise to over a million in the coming months. All four majors are on board. The service, though, is only available within China, and is unlikely to launch anywhere near here.

Why? Because while the service is attractive to the record companies in China, even though ad revenues are likely to be relatively modest, it wouldn't be so attractive elsewhere. The new service launches in the context of a Chinese market where pirated content is the norm and any legit music sale is a plus for content owners. In that context, any attempts to monetise the distribution of downloads online is a welcome development.

And, of course, Google's rivals in China, the Chinese version of Yahoo! and, in particular, Baidu both offer specific MP3 search facilities, which take users directly to all sorts of music sources, most of them illegal (it's been even alleged, by IT website The Register in particular, that Baidu links to illegal sources of music that exist pretty much exclusively for its MP3 search service, and which conveniently move around the web in a bid to avoid detection). Attempts to close those services down through the Chinese courts have not been hugely successful, despite the country's copyright laws now, in theory, being on the record companies' side. While the litigation continues to go through the motions, the Google service can be seen as the record companies trying to beat Yahoo! and Baidu at their own game, but in a way that brings in some revenue.

Announcing the new service yesterday, Lee Kai-Fu, President of Google in China, admitted that the fact his company had previously not provided a music search function had impacted on their ability to compete with their rivals in China. Whether the Chinese public will see the advantage of using a legit music search platform over a non-legit one remains to be seen - I think Google hope their legit service will be easier to use and offer better quality tracks, so that should help - and if the record company's are ever successful in even restricting Yahoo! and Baidu's music search engines through the courts, then Google would presumably suddenly have a real competitive advantage.

Confirming his support for the new service, Lachie Rutherford, President of Warner Music Asia Pacific and also Asia Chairman for the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, told reporters: "This is the first serious attempt to start [monetizing] the online market in China. I can't overstate how important this is".

Interestingly, such a service is unlikely to ever launch in the West where a record company's revenue expectations are so much higher and are unlikely, therefore, to be met by Google's advertising revenues (the fact that Google says it can't afford to cover PRS's streaming royalty fees - which are always a lot cheaper than download royalty fees - by ad sales on YouTube is proof of that I think). Which means the new service in China is interesting on a number of levels - including the fact that despite the internet creating a global market place, the way that market place operates can vary greatly from territory to territory.

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FAC SUPPORT GOVERNMENT OVER TERM EXTENSION WRANGLING
Talking of interesting, this is. While the UK's Musicians' Union joined with record label trade bodies BPI and AIM and recording royalties body PPL in criticising the government for blocking copyright extension proposals in Europe last week, even though they did so because British representatives didn't think it provided a good enough deal for musicians, the recently launched Featured Artists Coalition has said our political representatives did the right thing.

As previously reported, there was disappointment in much of the British music industry on Friday when a meeting of the EU's Committee Of Permanent Representatives failed to pass the current draft of the European proposals to extend the recording copyright term from its current fifty years. It failed because the UK's reps, while in favour of some kind of extension, disagreed with much of the rest of Europe over plans for a special 'session fund' which would give artists and session musicians an automatic right to a bigger cut of any royalties that come in after fifty years.

Currently said fund would only apply to recordings already in existence when the extended term becomes law, but the UK wants the increase of royalties to artists at fifty years to be a permanent measure that will apply to all future recordings too. As a result it refused to approve the proposals as they currently stand, stopping them from passing on to the decision-making EU Council Of Ministers. Although in theory just a delay in the proceedings, some worry that the proposal will now not be passed before the European Elections in June, which will in turn push any chance of copyright extension back months, maybe years.

The MU and PPL, both of whom represent some of the musicians the UK government would argue it is trying to help by pushing for an extension of the fund system, criticised ministers on Friday, saying that said musicians were in favour of the proposals as they currently stood, and that our reps had therefore jeopardised the passing of the whole term extension proposals by misrepresenting British musicians on the fund issue.

But the Featured Artists Coalition begged to differ yesterday, saying it supported the British government in its bid to secure a better deal for artists, over labels, as part of any copyright term extension. The announcement is perhaps unsurprising, given that the FAC last week said it was of the opinion that, while the copyright term on recordings should be extended, the rights should be returned to the artist at fifty years. Although that is unlikely to happen, the UK's efforts to improve the deal for artists post-fifty years - and there is also talk of a 'use it or lose it' system to force labels to make sure fifty year old recordings are publicly available online, otherwise they lose the copyright - were likely to appeal to the new Coalition.

Plus, it being a new body, FAC officials haven't themselves been involved in the current negotiations that have led to the current proposals being discussed at the EU council meeting last week, and therefore have less emotional attachment to them - they are willing to wait if they reckon it will deliver artists a better deal.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Coalition said: "Under the proposals voted down on Friday, record companies would simply gain another 45 years of ownership, entrenching the terms of record contracts signed in an analogue age. Historically, record companies took an average of 85% of the price of a sound recording because they had to manufacture and distribute physical product. Although the internet has made this no longer necessary, deals are still being signed under the old model and artists are being offered royalty rates of 15% of the price of a digital download. While this might sound a lot, the reality is that through a range of discounts and deductions this 15% is dramatically reduced to only a few pence at best".

They continued: "Owning our rights would enable artists to negotiate new deals with record labels and other users of music that would reflect the true costs of digital distribution. We would also be able to decide when our music can be used for free and when we should expect remuneration. Furthermore, the amount of catalogue that major rights holders have digitised is shocking, with one major record label admitting that only 30% of what is in their vaults has been digitised. If this is the case for other major rights holders then returning rights to artists would allow the remaining 70% of catalogues to be brought out into the daylight, providing consumers with greater access to a wider range of music".

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TICKETMASTER COO RESIGNS
So, we did wonder what role Ticketmaster COO Sean Moriarty would have in a merged Live Nation Ticketmaster, given he hadn't been mentioned in the two company's merger plans. The answer: none.

Moriarty was CEO of the ticketing giant before its merger last year with Front Line Management, a deal which put the artist management company's founder Irving Azoff in the top job at Ticketmaster. When they announced their merger proposals earlier this year it was revealed Azoff and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino would take the top executive jobs at the combined company, with Ticketmaster Chairman Barry Diller taking the same role at Live Master.

But no mention of Moriarty. Until yesterday, when it was revealed the COO had resigned from his job, and Ticketmaster's board, on 24 Mar. A short statement from him read: "I'll always be grateful for my time spent at Ticketmaster with its truly outstanding people and I wish the company every success in the future".

Confirming his former CEO's departure, the aforementioned Diller told reporters yesterday: "Sean's contribution to Ticketmaster in various management roles over time, including his role as president and CEO, has helped make Ticketmaster the great organization that it is today. While we will miss Sean's leadership and vision, we are confident that the management team in place, led by Irving Azoff, will help Ticketmaster continue to grow and prosper".

Speculation continues as to what role Terry Barnes, currently Chairman of the Ticketmaster bit of Ticketmaster Entertainment, will have if and when the merger with Live Nation goes through. His future role has also been suspiciously absent from past statements on the merger plans.

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MADONNA ADOPTION LATEST
According to reports, Madonna has attended a hearing in Lilongwe to ask for permission to adopt a four year old Malawian girl. The child, Chifundo James, previously reported as Mercy James (which is what the name translates as), has been living in the orphanage that Madonna's first adopted child, David Banda, was also being brought up in, since the death of her eighteen year old mother. The private hearing saw the singer seek an interim adoption order, and she will return to court on Friday to see if she will be given permission to take the little girl out of the country.

As previously reported, Madonna has met with both criticism and approval over her desire to adopt the Malawian children. A Malawian pressure group, Human Rights Consultative Committee, have expressed their reservations. Chairman Undule Mwakusunguraof says that the singer acts "like a bully" adding that she "has the money and the status to use her profile to manipulate, to fast-track the process". Ordinary people seem more supportive, however. One amongst a crowd of onlookers outside the court told the AP: "We are blessed for what Madonna is doing here. That baby is going to have the advantages of going to school and of becoming someone. Here it is very difficult".

Meanwhile, David Banda has met his natural father for the first time since leaving Malawi in 2006. Yohane Banda said of the meeting: "He asked me in English who I was and what I do. When I told him 'I am your daddy' he looked surprised". David was left at an orphanage after his mother died. His father said: "It's amazing how David has grown; I can't believe he is the same small and sickly baby we left at Home Of Hope".

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ANDRE 3000 CHARGED WITH SPEEDING
Well, I've always been quite a fan of Andre 3000 but I can't approve of speeding. Sadly, that's what the OutKast star has been charged with, after driving at 175kmph on a suburban highway in Atlanta. Police confirmed that the musician, real name Andre Benjamin, of course, was driving his Porsche in a 105kmph zone at about 12.30am on Saturday when he was apprehended, and that he apparently claimed he was going so fast because he missed an exit and had to turn around. Which isn't the best excuse I've ever heard. He is free on a $1,200 bond with a court date set for 29 Apr.

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LUCIANO CHARGED OVER FUGITIVE SHOOT OUT
So when police said last week that Grammy-nominated reggae star Luciano was not suspected of harbouring a fugitive who was involved in a shoot out at the singer's home, and would therefore not be charged, what they meant was Luciano was suspected of harbouring a fugitive who was involved in a shoot out at the singer's home, and would therefore be charged.

As previously reported, murder suspect Andrew Senior locked himself in Luciano's home in Kingston, Jamaica last week, leading to a one hour stand off between him and police and a shoot out that resulted in three police officers being injured. At the time it wasn't clear if Luciano was at the property during the stand off, or whether he had any connection to Senior, though police confirmed they had questioned him.

Now Jamaican police have confirmed they charged the singer with harbouring a fugitive yesterday. He was released after posting bail. No comment from Luciano's people as yet regarding the charges.

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MAURICE JARRE DIES
Film composer Maurice Jarre has died in Los Angeles at the age of eighty-four. He had been suffering from cancer.

Born in Lyon, France, in 1924, he only began studying music at a late age, and initially enrolled at the Sorbonne's school of engineering, later turning his back on that, against his father's wishes, to attend the Conservatoire to study composition, harmony and percussion. He wrote his first film score in 1951, but did not achieve a breakthrough until 1962, when he wrote the score for David Lean's 'Lawrence Of Arabia' and was rewarded with an Oscar. He went on to compose music for more than 150 films and continued his relationship with the work of David Lean, composing music for 'Doctor Zhivago' and 'A Passage To India', which won him two more Oscars. He was also Oscar nominated on number of other occasions, for his scores for 'Dead Poets Society', 'Gorillas In The Mist' and 'Witness', amongst others.

Jarre also earned a star on Hollywood's walk of fame, two Baftas, a Grammy and four Golden Globes during the course of his career, and put his music to the work of some of cinema's greatest directors, amongst them the aforementioned David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Huston. He also wrote music for theatre, ballet, and TV, most notably for 1970s mini-series 'Jesus Of Nazareth'.

At one of his final public appearances, he collected a lifetime achievement award from the Berlin Film Festival. The event's director, Dieter Kosslick, said at the time: "Film composers often are in the shadows of great directors and acting stars. It's different with Maurice Jarre - the music of 'Doctor Zhivago', like much of his work, is world-famous and remains unforgettable in cinema history".

Maurice Jarre is survived by his two sons, composer and electronic music star Jean-Michel Jarre, and Hollywood screenwriter Kevin Jarre, and his daughter, Stephanie Jarre.

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NEWSTED ON METALLICA REUNION
As previously reported, Metallica have said that former bassist Jason Newsted will appear with the band for the first time since his acrimonious departure in 2001 when they play at their induction to the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month. Now Newsted has been talking about it too.

Newsted told Rolling Stone: "I talked to Lars, and it's all good. I was happy to hear from him. I hadn't talked to him for a long time, so it was nice to hear his voice. It was just absolutely positive. It was like, there we were, getting ready to get a beer some place. And Lars is ready to rock. He sounded like a kid again talking about the induction, and I felt pretty much like that, too. Getting fired up to rock after that many years... it's pretty special".

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ROADRUNNER SIGN HEAVEN & HELL
Roadrunner last week announced it had signed Black Sabbath spin off Heaven & Hell to a multi-territory deal covering all markets but North America, Japan and Asia. The deal will see the metal imprint release the band's album 'The Devil You Know' on 27 Apr, the same week it is released in the US via Warner's Rhino division.

Heaven & Hell, in case you wondered, is the 1981 incarnation of the Sabbath - so Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice. They are going by the Heaven & Hell name so as not confuse the new venture with Iommi and Butler's occasional reunions with the original and most iconic Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne. Despite some reports that it is the Osbournes stopping the new venture using the Black Sabbath name, in fact the name is owned by Iommi so he could performe under that moniker if he so chose.

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THE STROKES ON NEW ALBUM
The Strokes' Julian Casablancas has spoken to Rolling Stone about work on the band's next album. The magazine quote him as saying: "We have three songs. Some of the new stuff has a 70s vibe, like Thin Lizzy or Elvis Costello. But then some of it is bizarre music from the future that we're trying to tone down to sound catchy. So we're trapped between the future and the 70s".

He adds that the band are getting a bit more grown up about resolving their issues in the studio: "We didn't used to be honest - there would always be mini feuds over stupid shit. Now, if Nick [Valensi] and Fab [Moretti] or anyone are saying they like it fast or slow, we'll talk about it, as opposed to saying, 'Well, I never liked your sister'".

Meanwhile, the band's manager Ryan Gentles has written an email to fans with an update on how that fourth album is progressing: "No recording studio time has been booked yet, as they sketch out the blueprints of new songs and fine-tune plans in their rehearsal space, but it will undoubtedly be all mapped out and etched in stone at some point in the not-too-distant future. I wish I could tell you that this definitely meant we can expect an album release date before the end of 2009, but it's just too soon to speculate on that for sure yet. One way or another... suffice to say, the work has begun!"

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SANTIGOLD GUESTS ON BEASTIE BOYS AND DAVID BYRNE ALBUMS
Santigold - you know, her who used to be Santogold but now isn't for legal reasons - is recording guest vocals for new tracks by Beastie Boys and David Byrne, according to Billboard.

As previously reported, Beastie Boys are currently putting the finishing touches on their eighth studio album, which the band's Adam Yauch has described as "weird". And, um, David Byrne is recording a new album.

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AGADOO TO BE RE-RELEASED
'Agadoo' is being re-released. I don't think any more needs to be said about that does it? Certainly there's no need to mention the fact that I have a suspicion there may be a copy of Black Lace's 'Party Party' album somewhere in my tape collection. I was nine at the time, remember. On the plan to re-release the wedding disco erm, classic, the Lace's Dene Michael told reporters: "With all the doom and gloom in the world, this is just what we need". I suspect he didn't say "this is just what we need" with the same intonation you probably read it with. Apparently former 'Coronation Street' actor Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby in the soap, directs the video, and former 'Corrie' actor Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts, appears in it. Joy.

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GREEN DAY ALBUM TO BECOME MUSICAL
Green Day's 'American Idiot' album is set to be turned into a musical. Mainly, I assume, because most things are turned into musicals at some point these days.

According to The New York Times, work on the show began in secret in 2008 in order to work out orchestration and choreography. Now, with the thumbs up from the band, the show will go into full production ahead of its premiere at the Berkeley Reportory Theatre on 4 Sep, where it will then run until 11 Oct.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said: "It doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's what I love about it. When people see it, it's going to be my wildest dream. It's not the most linear story in the world".

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JEFFREY LEWIS IS DOING A TOUR
Jeffrey Lewis is set to release his fifth album, 'Em Are I', on 20 Apr via Rough Trade. It'll be followed by a single, 'Roll Bus Roll'. He'll also be touring in the UK in between those dates.

Oh, and while we're talking about Jeffrey Lewis, you should watch this video of him and Laura Marling performing 'Brain Damage' by Eminem because, well, because I can't think of a reason not to: www.guardian.co.uk/music/video/2009/mar/15/jeffrey-lewis-laura-marling

Tour dates:

22 Apr: Hull The Adelphi Club
23 Apr: London Scala
24 Apr: Cambridge Soul Tree
25 Apr: Coventry Tin Angel
26 Apr: Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
27 Apr: Bristol Thekla Buy tickets here
28 Apr: Cork Crane Lane
29 Apr: Dublin Crawdaddy
30 Apr: Belfast Black Box
1 May: Glasgow Hinterland Festival
4 May: Newcastle The Cluny
5 May: Manchester The Academy 3 Buy tickets here
6 May: Liverpool The Barfly Buy tickets here
7 May: Birmingham The Academy 2
8/9 May: All Tomorrow's Parties

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JAZZ LEGEND TO PROGRAMME MELTDOWN
This year's Meltdown festival is going to be curated by jazz legend Ornette Coleman, who is a refreshing choice to programme the annual London festival. His programme is yet to be announced, though it's thought Coleman himself will play two concerts at the Royal Festival Hall.

Although in recent years it has been pop and rock artists who have programmed the Southbank-based festival, some key classical names curated early editions of the event - George Benjamin in 1993, Louis Andriessen in 1994 and Magnus Lindberg in 1996 - though Coleman is the first jazz performer to get the programming job, I think.

Confirming his involvement this year, Coleman told reporters: "I hope this festival will leave us with a lot of love for all mankind. We will use this time to gather together and create things that we love and believe in".

This year's festival will take place from 13-21 Jun.

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CREAMFIELDS PROVIDES SOME RECESSION SPECIAL TICKET OFFERS
Creamfields has announced it is offering a special credit crunching ticket offer this year, with the first 5000 tickets for the annual dance fest going for just £100. Day tickets will also stay at 2008 prices, and hospitality tickets have dropped as much as £25.

Confirming the special prices, Creamfields top man James Barton told CMU: "We're in the midst of a recession with most people having to tighten their belts, so we've made the first 5000 tickets as cheap as we possibly can. I hope this goes a little way to easing the cash burden for the people who have been there for us through thick and thin. On a first come first serve basis, it will be our most dedicated fans who will benefit".

Creamfields tickets are already available via the Mixmag website - www.mixmag.net - so if you want a good chance of getting one of the £100 tickets that's where you should head. Tickets go on general sale on Friday, the festival, of course, takes place from 29-30 Aug.

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

THE GREAT ESCAPE, Brighton, 14-16 May: Datarock, Soft Toy Emergency, Polly Scattergood, General Fiasco, Tucker, Thomas Dybdahl, Swarathma, Indigo Children, Wintersleep, The John Steel Singers, British India, The Shiny Brights and Cloud Control are among the latest acts confirmed. www.escapegreat.co.uk

OUTSIDER FESTIVAL, Rothiemurchus Forest, Aviemore, 20-21 Jun: Sharleen Spiteri heads up the first line up list to be published, and will be joined by Drever, McCusker and Woomble, King Creoste, Malcolm Middleton, James Yorkston, The Fence Collective, The Bum-Clocks, Karine Polwart and Attic Lights. www.outsiderfestival.co.uk

GLASTONBURY, Pilton, Somerset 24-28 Jun: Tony Christie to play the Pyramid Stage, joining headliners Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

LOUNGE ON THE FARM, Merton Farm, Canterbury, 10-12 Jul: Mr Scruff, Gong, Bent, The James Taylor Quartet, Steve Hillage Band, Dub Pistols, DJ Food, S.C.U.M, Ipso Facto, Sargasso Trio, Greco Roman Soundsystem, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, DJ Format, Wild Beasts, The Invisible, Wave Pictures, Baddies, Toddla T & MC Serosee, Zomby and Joe Gideon & The Shark have all just been confirmed. www.loungeonthefarm.co.uk

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, 10-12 Jul: Calvin Harris is among the latest names to be confirmed, as is that Jamie T fella, who will play in the King Tut's Wah Wah Tent on the Friday. Metronomy and Priscilla Ahn are also confirmed, both will appear in the Futures Stage. www.tinthepark.com

GLOBAL GATHERING, Long Marston (Avon Park Raceway), Stratford Upon Avon, 24-25 Jul: Carl Cox, Paul Van Dyk and Armin Van Buuren head up the latest additions list. Chase And Status, DJ Hype, Utah Saints, The Count And Sinden, High Contrast, Magnetik Man, Andy Whitby, Rusko, Darren Styles And Breeze and drum n bass legend DJ Marky also confirmed. www.globalgathering.co.uk

CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 30 Jul-1 Aug: The Zutons, Lucinda Williams, The Saw Doctors, Booker T Jones, Bellowhead, Cara Dillon, Blazin' Fiddles, the recently reformed Edward II, Alela Diane, Imelda May, Lau and Adrian Edmondson And The Bad Shepherds all set to appear. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk

HOVE FESTIVALEN, Tromoya Island, Norway, 23-26 Jun: Faith No More have been confirmed as headliners for this one too, joining co-headliners The Killers and Slipknot as well as Franz Ferdinand, All That Remains, White Lies, The Gaslight Anthem and many more. www.hovefestival.com

ROSKILDE, Denmark, 2-5 Jul: The Pet Shop Boys have been confirmed. M. Ward and Danish talent Mikael Simpson & Solvstorm have also been added to the legendary Danish bash. www.roskilde-festival.dk

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gomez - A New Tide (Eat Sleep Records)
Gomez return with an album written from disparate locations across the globe and joined together online - not that you would notice from the way it all fits together. With their typical growling guitar and mixed vocals this is classic stuff and songs like 'Natural Reaction' and 'Airstream Driver' are up there with the best things they have ever recorded. As on all their records, each track is a multi-layered piece, constructed from plucked guitar lines, shuffling percussion and coming together with those vocals to grab a chorus from nowhere. They recorded this stuff in Chicago with producer Brian Deck who has worked with the likes of Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine; also present are a number of guest musicians including Amy Milan, Josh Abrams and Oliver Krauss. It all adds to the mix of course but without the songs the quality musicianship would be wasted. From the upbeat groove of 'If I Ask You Nicely' to the mellow roll of 'Lost Track' though these are lovely pieces and maybe it's the vocals again but I've always been drawn into Gomez records without being able to escape - and this one is no exception. IM
Release Date: 6 Apr
Press Conact: Freeman PR [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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BARCLAYCARD TO SPONSOR MERCURY PRIZE
I've always thought BT should sponsor the Mercury Music Prize, just to amuse those of us with too good a memory for now defunct telecommunication brands. They could rename it the Rabbit Award.

Anyway, BT aren't sponsoring the annual album of the year award, Barclaycard are. The credit card firm are taking over from Nationwide as the award's sponsor, giving them a new high profile presence in music, a domain which has been dominated of late by their rivals Mastercard.

Confirming the new sponsorship deal, Barclaycard's Head Of Advertising And Sponsorship, Paul Troy, told CMU: "The Mercury Prize has always represented the huge creativity and diversity found in UK music. We are delighted that through this new partnership Barclaycard will be able to help the Mercury Prize take its valuable recommendations to an even wider audience".

Dan Ford, Mercury Prize marketing man added: "It's fantastic news that Barclaycard have shown this long-term commitment to supporting British music through this sponsorship. Their innovative and cutting edge values make them an ideal partner for the Mercury Prize".

As part of the new sponsorship deal, a new strand of events called the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions will be held at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. They should call them the One To One sessions.

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UNIVERSAL ANNOUNCE MUSIC JV WITH FORMULA 1
Anyone fancy a "pioneering and electrifying new global entertainment platform"? Well, people you are in luck, because Universal Music, its event production subsidiary All The Worlds, and the only slightly evil people behind Formula One have announced a new venture called F1 Rocks which will see a range of music events staged at F1 race locations, footage from which will be mixed in with some celebrity nonsense and put on the internet. As you can probably tell, I'm very excited about this.

Confirming the new venture, Universal Music International top man Lucian Grainge, told CMU: "The partnership between the world's most thrilling sport and the world's biggest music company is one of the most exciting entertainment initiatives to be launched anywhere. The combination of music, megastars and motor sport will create a groundbreaking, all-new entertainment spectacular, channelled through the multiple platforms open to our two global brands. I'm very much looking forward to working with [F1 chief] Bernie [Ecclestone]. He had the imagination to see the potential in F1 Rocks from the very beginning, and we want to make it a huge success on a global scale".

That Bernie Ecclestone chap added: "I have always said that we are in the entertainment business and this deal marks a new dimension for Formula One. It is the result of many months of discussions with Lucian and I am very pleased we are now ready to go. Universal are the biggest players in the music industry and we have high hopes for what we can achieve together".

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AMG ACQUIRE ABC, WILL ADD O2
The Academy Music Group has announced the acquisition of its 13th venue, which coming the day before 1 Apr has to have some significance, no? Oh, no, apparently. Oh well. The Academy Group have bought a majority stake in the ABC Glasgow venue previously operated by Regular Music and PCL Concerts, both of whom will stay on as minority shareholders.

The former cinema on Sauchiehall Street has been a gig venue since 2005. It will now be renamed the O2 ABC because of AMG's existing sponsorship relationship with the phone people.

Confirming the acquisition, AMG's CEO John Northcote told CMU: "The ABC is a first class venue, with an excellent reputation and we're looking forward to working with Regular Music and PCL to develop the venue within Academy Music Group, expanding our reach in the fourth largest city in the UK".

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MP3 MAKERS REVEAL MORE ABOUT HD VERSION
One of the companies behind the increasingly dominant MP3 file format, Thompson, has released more information about its new high quality version of the codec. One of the criticisms of what has now become the standard format for digital music files, is that the actual sound quality of tracks stored that way is not brilliant, even when the MP3 is created with a higher bit-rate. Some musos are already opting for other higher quality file formats - FLAC is particularly popular.

The MP3HD would be a so called 'lossless' format, like FLAC, which means music stored that way would be of much higher quality. The advantage of MP3HD over other lossless file formats, Thomson say, is that it will be backwards compatible. Because it is, at is core, an MP3, older digital music players not able to play lossless files would still be able to play an MP3HD, albeit with standard MP3 sound quality.

Of course the better the sound quality the bigger the file size, and insiders say the MP3HD will not, like the standard MP3, make especially efficient use of hard disk space - and, in fact, file sizes will be noticeably bigger than those of other lossless file formats, possibly because the file is trying to be both an MP3 and an MP3HD at the same time.

As uber-gig hard drives become affordable that isn't, in theory, a problem in terms of storage, though some say MP3 player and mobile phone technology will have to develop some way to make the storage of large quantities of lossless music files on a portable device realistic. MP3HD, therefore, is possibly a file format for the future for all but the most sound quality conscious of music fans.

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LAST.FM DELAY RADIO SUBSCRIPTIONS
last.fm are postponing the introduction of a three euro monthly subscription fee on its streaming radio services which, as previously reported, will come into effect outside of the UK, Germany and the US, because outside those territories the music recommendation outfit doesn't have the resource to sell advertising to keep the service free.

The announcement of the let's face it nominal subscription fee was met with much anger by some last.fm users in effected territories who, of course, increasingly expect everything for free. The postponement doesn't mean the subscription charges won't come into effect in due course, they will, but the online music service says it hopes to "squeeze in some additional improvements based on user requests" before making the charges, and also to look at alternative ways to allow users to pay other than with a credit card, probably by SMS.

Responding to the criticism that surrounded last week's announcement of compulsory subscriptions, last.fm founder Richard Jones wrote on the company's blog: "We simply can't be in every country where our radio service is available selling the ads we need to support the service. The internet is global, and geographic restrictions seem unfair, but it's a reality we are faced with every day when managing our music licensing partnerships".

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GMG HEAD OF MUSIC STANDS DOWN
The Head Of Music at the Guardian's radio division GMG Radio, former Signal Radio breakfast show presenter Terry Underhill, is leaving the radio firm this week following a 'management structure review'. He's headed up the music operations at the group, who own the Smooth Radio, Real Radio and Rock Radio stations, since January 2007, having previously headed up regional programming and operations for GMG's Welsh and Yorkshire stations.

Confirming Underhill's departure, GMG Radio's Group PD John Simons told reporters: "Terry has contributed enormously to the success of the group. He has been a loyal employee and has shown tremendous passion and commitment to the growth of the business. We wish Terry every success in the future and he goes with our best wishes".

I'm not sure why I mentioned the fact that Underhill previously worked for Signal Radio in Stoke On Trent, except I've been trying to find an excuse for mentioning this epic Signal jingle - which comes from the era when Underhill worked for the station I think - since I stumbled across it a few weeks back. The king of cheesy radio jingles, I reckon - tinyurl.com/au9yfy

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CHRISTIAN RETURNS TO KEY 103, FOR A WEEK
Talking of, erm, radio people called Terry broadcasting on radio stations that air in Cheshire - now there's a link - Terry Christian is to return to Manchester local station Piccadilly Key 103, albeit for just one week. Following his recent stint on 'Celebrity Big Brother', Christian will present the late night show on the station for a week from 13 Apr.

Key 103 Station Director Gary Stein says this: "We are thrilled to get Terry back on board in this way, obviously he is a radio legend in this area and was a Key 103 star over 20 years ago. We pride ourselves on being Manchester's original music station and Terry is so well known as one of Manchester's original music champions".

Christian himself adds: "I'm really excited to be coming back to my roots on Key 103. It's Manchester's heritage station and I'm really pleased to be coming back to cover these shows".

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony/Columbia)
2. Lamb Of God - Wrath (Warner/Roadrunner)
3. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
4. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
5. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
6. Guns n Roses - Chinese Democracy (Universal/Geffen)
7. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
8. Chris Cornell - Scream (Universal)*
9. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)*
10. New Found Glory - Not Without A Fight (Epitaph)*
11. Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone (Warner/Roadrunner)
12. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
13. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
14. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
15. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
16. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
17. Fall Out Boy - Folie A Deux (Universal/Island)
18. Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits (Sony/Columbia)
19. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
20. Rush - Retrospective III 1989-2008 (Warner/Atlantic)

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ANGELLO ATTACKED FOR IGNORING HILTON'S HIP HOP REQUESTS
Swedish DJ/producer Steve Angello, at number 12 in the singles chart this week with his track with Laidback Luke, 'Show Me Love', reportedly had a bit of a run in with Paris Hilton's security at a recent party at Miami club LIV.

The famous, erm, did we ever establish what Hilton's famous for? Well, anyway, it seems she got annoyed when Angello wouldn't change his DJ set according to her musical whims - she wanted some hip hop - and she sent over her security man to sort things out, leading to a bit of a DJ booth scuffle.

A source told CMU: "Steve plays dance music, he just doesn't play hip hop. He politely refused Hilton's requests but she got more and more agitated, and it escalated pretty quickly. Out of nowhere one of her security guards smacked Steve in the face. Steve had to act in self defence and fought back. He started pounding on the guy and it suddenly turned into a full scale fight in the DJ booth".

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KATE MOSS BETTER THAN LILY ALLEN AT DRINKING
The Daily Express claims that Kate Moss beat Lily Allen when the pair had a drinking contest last week at the supermodel's home. She's got her own bar, you know. I wish I did. Anyway, the duo were up until 4am, apparently, making and supping cocktails. A source claimed: "Kate and Lily each made up various cocktails and had a competition to see how many they could down. Kate doesn't know yet what Lily will be giving her. They both became pretty well-oiled by the end".

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TIMBERLAKE NOT ENGAGED, OKAY?
Justin Timberlake has denied that he is engaged to girlfriend Jessica Biel. The pair recently bought an apartment together in New York, and reports have also claimed that Timberlake proposed following a friend's wedding in Italy in 2007. But it's just not true, okay? Well, that's what he says, anyway. You'd think, with the number of times he's had to deny it now, he'd just get down on one knee to make everyone shut up about it. But celebs are famous for not being engaged and then suddenly getting married, as you all surely know. Anyway, asked about all this speculation on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he responded "I'm not engaged. If she's engaged, we have a problem".

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KEANE THOUGHT SPIRALLING WAS "A BAD JOKE"
So, here's a little insight into Keane's songwriting process, and an explanation of why so many of their songs are so tedious. Pianist and main songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley has revealed that the first time he played the best bloody song they ever came up with, 'Spirally', to the rest of the band, they all thought it was "a bad joke".

Rice-Oxley told Bang Showbiz: "I played the demo to the others and they didn't think it was very good. It felt a bit scary, I suppose. It took a while to convince everyone that it wasn't just a bad joke. But when it came together, it made us braver about everything else. I wanted something that incorporated our love of American pop, R&B and hip hop. The big snare sound is from Michael Jackson's 'Man In The Mirror' and the song was inspired by 'When Doves Cry' by Prince and that song 'Magic Dance' from 'Labyrinth' which I love".

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JACKO RUMOUR ROUND-UP
We're still over three months away from the start of Michael Jackson's O2 residency and already the rumour mill is in full effect. And you can be sure this is only the start. So, let's look at what's doing the rounds at the moment.

1: Michael Jackson is attending the funeral of Jade Goody
Michael Jackson is not planning to attend the funeral of Jade Goody. And he's not turning up on the back on an elephant, either (I made up that bit myself). According to various reports, Jackson was said to have contacted the reality TV star after she was diagnosed as terminally ill to offer words of comfort, and planned to pay his respects at her funeral in London this week. But he won't. Though he has sent a message to her family. Goody's publicist Max Clifford said yesterday: "Michael was never, ever coming, it was never on the agenda. He also feels the focus of the funeral should be about her and her family. But he has sent a lovely message of condolence to her family, that she was a brave girl and that her message will save a lot of lives, and he will be sending flowers".

2: Leona Lewis is supporting Jacko at The Dome
According to reports, X Factor winner Leona Lewis will support Michael Jackson for all 50 of his shows at the O2 Dome and will join him on stage for a rendition of his 1995 hit, 'Scream' (originally performed with his sister Janet, of course). Given that we were only recently being told that Leona Lewis won't go on tour because she's too scared to stand up on stage, this seems unlikely.

3: He will perform a duet with his son
Reports claim that Jackson will invite his 12 year old son, Prince Michael I, on stage to perform a duet with him on the opening night of his O2 residency. Could be true, I guess.

4: Michael Jackson is currently being played by an actor
This is true

Stay tuned for another Jacko Rumour Round-up soon.

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