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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Beatles re-releases to coincide with Rock Band launch
Bragg criticises FAC critics over copyright extension
Who did it then? Rihanna's dad speaks
Madonna donates money to earthquake victims
In The Pop Courts
Love sues for stolen cash
Pop Politics
Dylan realistic about Obama
Awards & Contests
Metal Hammer Golden Gods nominations announced
New Indie Idle shortlist announced
In The Studio
Katy Perry wants Calvin Harris
Release News
Gossip set date for manly album
Eminem disses Amy, etc in new single
Films N Shows News
Gorillaz announce documentary
Gigs N Tours News
Madness to do free Camden gigs
David Byrne does free show
Festival News
Fans warned to be wary of fake tickets
Festival line up update
Reviews
Album review: Jeffrey Lewis And The Junkyard - 'Em Are I (Rough Trade)
The Music Business
BASCA appoint new PR chief
The Digital Business
Virgin appoint a Head Of Music
eMusic chief - we won't raise prices
MySpace appoint new marketing chief
The Media Business
Global sell Digital One
Global to launch internship academy
Press Gazette to leave the presses
Guardian launch US media podcast
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Gareth Gates is a dad
Jamie Cullum to marry

Flowers blames Cobain for Killers' failure

 

WEDNESDAY 8TH APRIL

MY TIGER, MY TIMING
Hotly tipped by many (including us in yesterday's SNAP Of The Day column), My Tiger, My Timing, formed last year and quickly hit upon danceable, dark pop sound with hints of Talking Heads, Hot Chip and Blur, which they having being touring around the pubs and clubs of the UK relentlessly, making sure everyone (or a lot of people, at least) knows their name. This week they release their debut single, 'This Is Not The Fire', via Silver Music Machine, which was produced by Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club. After a quick tour this month and next, they'll begin work on more recordings with Hot Chip's Joe Goddard. Before all that, we caught up with frontlady Anna Vincent to find out more.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We all started making music the usual way - in scrappy guitar bands, in our bedrooms, recording onto cassettes, playing at house parties. We formed My Tiger My Timing at the beginning of 2008 because we wanted to do something more pop, more disciplined, more musical.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
It's important to us to write lyrics which are universal but not vague. In one sense 'This Is Not The Fire' is quite a dark song because it's about the moment just before you break someone's heart. But more optimistically it's about that anticipation before you unleash something new on the world, and that's part of making music too. I liked the idea that the fire - the real event - is just round the corner.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We're a traditional band in the sense that we collaborate in the studio. Each song originates with one person's idea but by the end it's impossible to divide up who did what. We almost always start with the rhythm and then add a melody - these are really important elements to us. We also love adding new elements when we come to record - the single was produced by Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club and we found it a really creative environment, sonically it took the song to a new level.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We're named after a song by Arthur Russell and he was an initial influence when we started the band. We're really big fans of Blur, Happy Mondays, Roxy Music, Primal Scream and Fun Boy Three as well as new stuff like Late Of The Pier, Post War Years and Plugs. It's all about dark pop music that has great rhythm and melody but still has that edge and energy that you get with electric guitars and real drums.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I think our music takes a couple of listens to get into your head but maybe that's because we're trying to do something which will last and endure lots of plays! Our hearts are in great, dark, British pop music.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
The support we've received for the single and the band so far has been brilliant, we're really excited to get back into the studio (we've just finished recording with Joe Goddard from Hot Chip and we're about to work with Andy again) and we hope to have the beginnings of an album by the end of the summer. Playing live is also a big part of what we do and we're just trying to go to as many places and get out to as many new people as possible in the coming months.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/mytigermytiming

 

PAPA
I stumbled across these New Yorkers last week on an NYC blog and I've been tuning back in intermittently since. They've a gruff richness and purity in their sound, which could - as their video depicts - have well been recorded in an Autumnal woodland setting, with stripped-back percussion and acoustic harmonies aplomb. 'Ahh Real Monsters' is a favourite, with the singer's almost reaching baritone with his vocals, redolent of Arcade Fire's Wyn Butler, but with a country twang at the hilt of his pronunciation. There doesn't seem to be much other info, unfortunately - no tour dates, no bio, etc, so settle for some streaming goodness and their hic baiting video at the link below.

www.myspace.com/papabandmusic

   

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 rhiannon@spring-pr.com

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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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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: nick@leylinepromotions.com or adrian@leylinepromotions.com t: 020 7575 3285

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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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for information or to book.

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BEATLES RE-RELEASES TO COINCIDE WITH ROCK BAND LAUNCH
Big Beatles announcement people. No, not that announcement. The Beatles catalogue will be re-released on CD to coincide with the launch of the 'Beatles Rock Band' game in September.

The albums have been re-mastered, though will come with the original artwork, and a documentary video which I don't think appeared on the original releases, though I never put my vinyl copy of the 'White Album' in my PC to check, so it might have been there I suppose. As well as the re-mastered albums there'll be two new Beatles box sets.

The much anticipated digital release of all things Beatles is not yet on the agenda. I do hope the British music industry gets their copyright extension, otherwise half the Beatles catalogue might go out of copyright before Apple Corps, EMI and the download stores of this world agree on how to the Fab Four's songs legitimately into the interspace.

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BRAGG CRITICISES FAC CRITICS OVER COPYRIGHT EXTENSION
Talking of which, Billy Bragg has been talking up the Featured Artist Coalition's viewpoint regarding the good old copyright extension debate. He wrote to Music Week in response to some chatter in some parts of the record business that the recently launched FAC are hindering rather than helping the industry-wide effort to extend the recording copyright term in Europe from the current fifty years.

As previously reported, copyright extension is very much on the agenda in Europe at the moment, and various EU political bodies have approved proposals for a term increase. Part of the proposal is that a system is put in place which means musicians benefit more from the copyrights that exist in the music they created once the initial fifty years are up.

Of course if an artist has signed ownership of their recordings to a record company, as is, or certainly was, the norm for new bands, and if those bands haven't recouped on their original record contract, or they're a session musician who never had a contractual royalty to start with, then they don't earn much from the music the songs they were involved in generate. They do, despite what many people say, earn something - all artists and musicians earn a statutory cut of broadcast royalties oblivious of their record contract - but it's not much.

Anyway, the plan is that after fifty years, and during any subsequent part of the copyright term, artists and musicians would earn an extra automatic royalty from their music, increasing their total income. A system for that has been agreed by various music business bodies in the UK, and across Europe, and that system is part of the current proposals.

However, the British government, while supporting extension in theory, last month held up the current proposals by arguing they didn't do enough to benefit musicians over record companies during any extended copyright period. Other countries disagreed, and as such the whole term proposal document has been held up. Some fear it now won't get through the system before the European elections this summer, holding everything up for months, possibly years.

The Musicians Union and collecting society PPL, both of whom represent musicians, criticised the UK government for holding up the proposals in that way. But then the FAC issued a statement saying they backed the government in its bid to secure artists a better deal, even if it delayed the actual introduction of a term extension. Record labels would presumably prefer a term extension that doesn't involve them giving up too much of their extra revenue, while the FAC goes as far as suggesting that at fifty years the whole copyright in a track should return to the artist. All of which brings much new debate to the table. Some key players at other trade bodies worry such new debate could scupper the current term extension proposals, putting them back to square one.

Anyway, here's what Bragg says in his letter to Music Week: "The Featured Artists Coalition has been founded to give artists a voice in the important decisions that are being made about the ownership and exploitation of copyright within our industry. With regard to the issue of term extension currently being addressed by the European Union, we believe that after 50 years of ownership by the record companies, the recordings that we made - and ultimately paid for [because the label's cash investment is recouped from the artist's sales] - should become our property. We want the slate to be wiped clean for those who didn't recoup and we want our fellow performers, the session musicians, to start getting some royalties too".

On criticism of the FAC's late in the day remarks, he continues: "The industry is pushing the line that if the legislation fails to pass on its first reading this week, then that will be that, everything will be lost and there will be no extension at all. This kind of scare-mongering doesn't wash, neither with artists nor with government officials. This issue will have to be resolved sooner or later because there cannot, in a digital age, be such a huge anomaly in the term of copyright in recordings between the USA and the EU".

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WHO DID IT THEN? RIHANNA'S DAD SPEAKS
Rihanna's father Ronald Fenty has commented on Chris Brown's decision to plead not guilty to charges of assaulting and threatening his daughter when he appeared in court on Monday.

Fenty told US Weekly: "So what happened? Somebody else did this to Rihanna then? Who did it? That's the question now. If he's not guilty, who did it? He should say 'guilty' and let the court be [lenient on] him and try himself to the mercy of the court, see if he gets a fine... Now he's going to go beyond that and it could go longer, it can be even worse. It can be worse for him in the long run".

He added: "I just would like to see justice go in the right direction. I don't want his career to be damaged - it's damaged already. I think he's a talented guy, but everybody should have to pay. When you do the crime, you do the time. I don't want to see him locked up for a long time - I just want him to acknowledge and get some help".

Having pleaded not guilty, Brown is now set to return to court for a preliminary hearing on 29 Apr.

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MADONNA DONATES MONEY TO EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
According to reports, Madonna has donated money to the victims of the recent Italian earthquake. Madonna's family are, apparently, originally from the affected region, her grandparents having lived in the small town of Pacentro until 1919, and the mayor made a personal appeal to the pop star following the natural disaster. She told People.com "I am happy to lend a helping hand to the town that my ancestors are from. My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones or their homes".

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LOVE SUES FOR STOLEN CASH
Courtney Love is always babbling on about people stealing from her, but it seems there's actually some truth in it. Or rather, a lot of truth in it. It seems that all the money left to her and daughter Frances Bean by Kurt Cobain has been siphoned off by the people who were supposed to be looking after her estate for her.

Love's lawyer Rhonda J Holmes told the New York Post: "I have never seen such greed and moral turpitude. This case is going to make Bernard Madoff look warm and fuzzy. We will be filing civil cases ... within the next 30 days. There are many, many millions missing. We've only been able to track down $30 million, but there is more. And then there is the real estate. There is now a web of homes which were bought, flipped and used to launder money - up to $500 million worth".

And if you're wondering how much money is left, the answer would seem to be none. "Courtney noticed the money was gone when there wasn't any left", continued Holmes. "It's no secret she struggled with substance-abuse issues, but in the last year she's taken a more serious approach to sobriety and started noticing things were wrong. She hired private investigators, accountants and me. When Mr. Cobain died in 1994, he left his enormously wealthy estate behind for the benefit of his mother, two sisters, a brother, his wife and young daughter. Many of those [involved with] the estate's coffers mismanaged, stole and outright looted it shamelessly".

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DYLAN REALISTIC ABOUT OBAMA
Bob Dylan has said in an interview with Newsweek that he doesn't necessarily expect Barack Obama to fulfil all his promises now that he's in office, despite having backed him in the US presidential race.

The singer said of the new US Commander In Chief: "He'll be the best president he can be. Most of those guys come into office with the best of intentions and leave as beaten men. Johnson would be a good example of that... Nixon, Clinton in a way, Truman, all the rest of them going back. You know, it's like they all fly too close to the sun and get burned".

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METAL HAMMER GOLDEN GODS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
The nominations for this year's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards have been announced. The winners will be revealed at a ceremony at IndigO2 in London on 15 Jun. Performances on the night will come from Trivium, Amon Amarth, Devildriver, Saxon and special guests Anvil. This year's nominations span all corners of the metal scene, from underground to mainstream, old to new.

Here are the nominations for the eight fan-voted categories in full:

Best UK Band: Iron Maiden, The Answer, Dragonforce, Saxon, Gallows, Motorhead

Best Live Band: Slipknot, Devildriver, Clutch, Deathstars, Skindred, Down

Best International Band: Slipknot, Amon Amarth, Deathstars, Dimmu Borgir, Metallica, Lamb of God

Best New Band: Black Tide, Five Finger Death Punch, Sylosis, Malefice, Trigger The Bloodshed, Alestorm

Shredder(s): Mick Thompson & Jim Root (Slipknot), Olavi Mikkonen & Johan Söderberg (Amon Amarth), Mark Morton & Willie Alder (Lamb of Good), Eric Petersen & Alex Skolnick (Testament), Herman Li & Sam Totman (Dragonforce), Mike Akerfeldt (Opeth)

Breakthrough Artist: All That Remains, Amon Amarth, Gojira, Bring Me The Horizon, Airbourne, Underoath

Best Underground Band: Architects, Annotations Of An Autopsy, Kylesa, Beneath The Massacre, Legion Of The Damned, Behemoth

Best Metal Label: Roadrunner, Metal Blade, Rising Records, Nuclear Blast, SPV / Steamhammer, Spinefarm

On the night, there will also be a further nine awards selected by the Metal Hammer editorial team, including Best Album, Riff Lord and, of course, the Golden God Award.

Chris Ingham, organiser of this year's awards told CMU: "With Metal Hammer readers pitting the viking helmets of Amon Amarth against the masks of Slipknot, we've witnessed a truly phenomenal year for heavy metal music. With Iron Maiden and Metallica ripping up venues across the globe, heavy metal is bigger than ever, and we are selling more copies of Metal Hammer than ever before. The growing legion of metal fans in the UK and further afield will unite to honour the true pioneers of our genre".

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NEW INDIE IDLE SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED
Gigwise have revealed the results of their online vote to select the ten acts to get through to the next round of their Indie Idle competition. Those ten will now go on to be judged by a panel of industry experts who, on the first day of the Camden Crawl, will listen to their demos before deciding which three bands will play live the following day.

Here are the bands going through:

Personal Space Invaders
Future Social Junk
Pooch
Lego Castles
The Vivians
Milke
Lion O'Brien
Laura Hocking
Before I Explode
Viva City

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KATY PERRY WANTS CALVIN HARRIS
Calvin Harris has revealed that Katy Perry has approached him as a possible producer on her next album. Which would be good because we like them both. A lot.

Anyway, apparently Perry broached the subject in an email in which she compared Harris to Phil Spector. Though I think she probably meant in terms of his production, not that she was suggested he might (or might not) like pointing guns at women. This was a friendly email, as far as I know.

Anyway, speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Calvin saids: "There are some murmurings about Katy Perry. But you can never tell with Americans whether it'll happen or not. She sent me a big long email comparing me to Phil Spector which I found incredible but you've got to laugh haven't you? So that was great and we're possibly doing something. I'm a massive fan of Katy Perry. Huge. She wants to do like a fun album, like a dance album but obviously still pop. I kind of fit that bill so I guess that's why she thought of me. It'd be that kind of thing".

As for his own forthcoming album, he commented on rumours that it is heavily influenced by Balearic dance. "In the run up to making it I did spend a lot of time on YouTube researching Ibizan lost trance classics and taking it all in", he said. "Not necessarily ripping any of them off but just getting yourself in that zone. I was aware that it would be frowned upon that if I was to make a record that sounded like that and that was it. So I thought combine it with something which sounds a bit like Snow Patrol - maybe that will work. I kind of like the unexpected. I tend to [describe it as] a cross between Snow Patrol, Grandaddy and Faithless".

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GOSSIP SET DATE FOR MANLY ALBUM
The Gossip return with their new Rick Rubin-produced album, 'Music For Men', on 22 Jun (my birthday). The first single from it, 'Heavy Cross', will precede it on 15 Jun (not my birthday).

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EMINEM DISSES AMY, ETC IN NEW SINGLE
A video for Eminem's new single 'We Made You' has appeared online, and the promo and song lyrics mock the likes of Amy Winehouse and her estranged husband Blake Fielder Civil, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. It's on YouTube, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DptkI0EY6ZY

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GORILLAZ ANNOUNCE DOCUMENTARY
It turns out that Gorillaz aren't a real band, we've had the wool pulled over our eyes for nearly ten years now. It was all just an elaborate ruse by some guys called Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. Whoever they are.

Entitled 'Bananaz', the film follows the recording of the debut Gorillaz album in 2000, and shows that normally trustworthy people like D12, De La Soul, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator were also in on the joke. I feel cheated.

The film premieres on the Babelgum website on 20 Apr, but you can catch a brief clip of it right now, here: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/puffbox/tagpuff/7987542.stm

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MADNESS TO DO FREE CAMDEN GIGS
Madness have announced that they'll stage a number of live appearances in Camden later this month, coinciding with, but not part of the Camden Crawl. The gigs are all part of promotion for their new album 'The Liberty Of Norton Folgate', out 18 May, and are being coordinated by 6Music.

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DAVID BYRNE DOES FREE SHOW
David Byrne is to perform at the gala opening of free outdoor arts festival Celebrate Brooklyn. The former Talking Heads man will play his Prospect Park set on 8 Jun, following a cocktails and dinner event. The dinner costs a lot to get into (between $325 and $10k) but Byrne's performance is free. A donation of $3 is suggested in support of the festival, however.

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FANS WARNED TO BE WARY OF FAKE TICKETS
Fans have been warned against buying fake tickets for the Reading Festival, after Trading Standards identified a rash of seventy bogus sites offering tickets to the sold-out event.

The BBC quote councillor Paul Gittings, lead for environment and sustainability, as saying: "People should take care to only buy from the official website and beware fakes. The difficulty we have is that some of these websites are very impressive indeed and designed to entice and attract consumers into using them. The whole appearance and layout of these sites makes them look official and genuine. Many of these websites are simply online ticket touts, resellers of tickets, who are working on the customer's desperation by promising tickets for a sold out event".

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FESTIVAL LINE UP UPDATE

ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, 12-14 Jun: Ladyhawke, Alesha Dixon, Noisettes and Beverley Knight have all been confirmed to play the Big Top on the Friday. Eddi Reader and Pixie Lott are also to perform alongside Bananarama. www.isleofwightfestival.com

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL. Donington Park, Castle Donington, 12-14 Jun: Fightstar, Bring Me The Horizon, Staind, Stone Gods, The Answer, Static X and Shinedown are amongst the latest acts to be confirmed for this year's heavy metal major. Volbeat, Facecage, Sevendust, Go:Audio and Auger Bane have also been confirmed. www.downloadfestival.co.uk

WIRELESS FESTIVAL, Hyde Park, London, 4-5 Jul: Digitalism, Does It Offend You Yeah?, Delphic and Filthy Dukes have been confirmed for both days at Hyde Park. Q Tip, Flo Rida, Kid Cudi and Daniel Merriweather have also been announced to play on the Sunday, joining Kanye West, Young Jeezy and Mr Hudson. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Kinross-shire, 10-12 Jul: Edwyn Collins, Regina Spektor, The Courteeners and Daniel Merriweather are the latest acts confirmed to play the King Tut's Wah Wah Tent. Crystal Castles, The Hours, Twin Atlantic and Little Boots have also been confirmed to play the Futures Stage. www.tinthepark.com

LOOP FESTIVAL, various venues, Brighton, 11-12 Jul: Datarock, Joakim, Hatcham Social, Fanfarlo and Fujiya and Miyagi are the latest acts confirmed for this year's Loop festival. www.loopbrighton.com

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, Cambridgeshire, 23-26 Jul: The Holloways, Those Dancing Days, VV Brown, Rodrigo Y Gabriella, Chairlift and Baxter Dury have all been announced to play this year's boutique bash. www.secretgardenparty.com

BELLADRUM TARTAN HEART FESTIVAL, Italian Gardens, Inverness-shire, Scotland, 7-8 Aug: Editors and Ocean Colour Scene have been confirmed as headliners for this year's Scottish festival. The Saw Doctors and Shed Seven have also been added to the bill. www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

FIELD DAY, Victoria Park, Hackney, London, 8 Aug: Santigold has been confirmed to play an exclusive show at the festival, along with The Horrors, Mystery Jets and Juana Molina. www.fielddayfestivals.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jeffrey Lewis And The Junkyard - 'Em Are I (Rough Trade)
Jeffrey Lewis has long featured songs that wax neurotic on his fear that his artistic endeavours have somewhat been in vain. Although he has consistently produced outstanding lo-fi anti-folk, he has hardly crept into the mainstream consciousness. It is not a question of record sales. Lewis could be seen retrospectively as one of the finest songwriters of his generation and he has yet to be fully celebrated. 'Em Are I' might be the album that rectifies this. The album is much more immediate and polished - in a similar vein to his recent Crass covers album - than his astounding, yet rougher, early albums. In part this is due to his backing band, The Junkyard, which features his brother Jack. However, it still contains Jeff's nervy and introspective songs that uplift you through a calm wide-eyed fear and shared experience. The marriage of a more muscular music approach is evident early on. Opener 'Slogans' has a pop-hook drum and bass (not the genre) intro and then sounds like a geeky intellectual Springsteen song. Only he's deconstructing the slogans that The Boss uses to rally the blue collar factory boys. Clever bloke; it says something about the New Jersey/Manhattan and Brooklyn cultural schism too. Then, 'If Life Exists' is a classic Jeffrey Lewis song that plunges into his existential fear with a soft reverby xylophone and acoustic guitar backing. The same can be said about new single 'To Be Objectified'. Jack Lewis-written song 'Upside Down Cross' is the most daring musical arrangement that Lewis (Jeffrey) has attempted and is mildly psychedelic. However, trying to offer you guys some highlights of this album is like picking your favourite sibling, it's paining me (and it's completely arbitrary). What I do know is... it's really good. PG

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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BASCA APPOINT NEW PR CHIEF
Is it just me, or didn't the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers And Authors go by the name British Academy Of Composers And Songwriters until recently? It was BACS right, like the cash transfer? Well, clearly not any more, because BASCA have just announced the appointment of a new PR & Marketing Manger, Rebecca Chapman, who will take over from Margherita Watt in handling all things press and publicity and whatnot for the songwriter trade body. She'll also handle the press on the Academy's various awards, working with agency Taylor Herring on the big one - the Ivor Novellos. So, now you know.

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VIRGIN APPOINT A HEAD OF MUSIC
Virgin Media, who, as internet service providers go, well, at least they're not Tiscali (yeah, I'm still bitter about how Tiscali's incompetence ruined my ability to report while on the move this week, though to be fair a lovely person in their PR department has helped us track down a customer service person who might be able to get the net working again at my sister's house), have appointed a Head Of Music. Hmm, I'm thinking the long brackets may have made that sentence a bit hard to follow.

OK, let's try again. ISP and cable telly company Virgin Media have created the role of Head Of Music and have appointed Richard Wheeler, formerly Head Of Music & Film Partnerships at Orange, and prior to that a digital VP at Sanctuary, to the job. He'll be responsible for developing new music services across Virgin's mobile, internet and cable TV platforms.

Confirming the appointment, Virgin Media's Director Of Broadband Jon James told reporters: "It's a time of great change and opportunity in the music business and Virgin Media is uniquely well-placed to bring innovative new services to consumers, thanks to our fibre optic network. Virgin Media has a strong brand heritage in music and, coupled with Richard's outstanding wealth of experience and in-depth understanding of the needs of artists, labels and consumers, we'll continue to build our presence in music".

Relationships between music companies and the ISPs remain a little tense at the moment of course, because while the former recognise that the latter's big subscription-paying customer base is an obvious target for new revenue-generating digital music services, they still believe the net firms are failing to fulfil their ethical duty of taking a more proactive role in policing online piracy.

Virgin Media have a slightly better relationship than others, and were the first to agree to send out warning letters to suspected file-sharers. Also they, like BSkyB, have existing credentials as content providers, and therefore are more logical partners for new music services. However, no ISP is in favour of what some record label execs secretly desire - an introduction of the infamous three-strike file-sharer disconnection system - and disagreements over that issue will always have some impact on major music/ISP partnerships.

Not that that doesn't mean more tactical alliances can't be struck in the meantime. And the fact Virgin have decided to create the Head Of Music role, and appoint a former label exec into it, has to be a good starting point.

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EMUSIC CHIEF - WE WON'T RAISE PRICES
As iTunes introduces its previously reported variable pricing model, giving labels the opportunity to either discount or increase the cost of tracks from the to-date standard 99 cents/79 pence price point, the boss of eMusic has vowed to resist price increases.

There has been much chatter in the blogosphere that, despite the accompanying discounts on some tracks, if the labels hike up the price of the average download to $1.29 they'll be shooting themselves in the foot, driving people to free but illegal music sources instead.

Others reckon it will have a serious impact of Apple's market share unless similar price increases are replicated at other download stores - and some conspiracy theorists reckon that that's the majors' agenda, force variable pricing on iTunes as part of their DRM-free deal, and in doing so giving Amazon MP3 et al an advantage so to reduce Apple's hold on the digital music market, a digital dominance the majors have never really liked.

Anyway, commenting on the price increases at iTunes, Danny Stein at eMusic told reporters yesterday: "While I am CEO, I promise that eMusic will never sell single MP3 downloads for more than 99 cents". That said, eMusic's per download rate has always been quite a bit less than iTunes, because customers pay a monthly fee for a set number of download credits which, if they use them all, and on the biggest packages, can mean the per track rate is less than 30 cents.

The logic is that because eMusic customers commit to buying a certain number of tracks a month they should enjoy a preferential rate. Many of the indie labels who have been long time supporters of eMusic agree with that logic, though some notable indies have in the past withdrawn from the service when the per-track unit prices have been cut, even slightly.

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MYSPACE APPOINT NEW MARKETING CHIEF
MySpace has appointed a new International Marketing Director who will be charged with the task of promoting the social networking platform outside the US.

And the new marketing recruit is Lindsay Nuttall, currently head of marketing for BBC2, BBC4 and the Beebs' factual programming, and prior to that the marketer at Channel 4 responsible for all the marketing hoo haa that surrounded 'Skins'. Yes, that was her fault. Still, we all know about 'Skins' don't we, even if we don't watch it, so I'd say it's a good hire for MySpace.

Perhaps she'll stop MySpace emailing me suggesting that I enter a competition to win a band to play at my school - a misplaced bit of promo that led me to this hellish 'MySpace customer communications are shit' escapade...

www.stuffbyme.co.uk/post/Complaining-to-MySpace-its-not-easy.aspx

Anyway, enough about me, more about Lindsay. Confirming Nuttall's appointment, the MD of MySpace Europe, Rebekah Horne, told reporters: "Lindsay's impressive background in brand development and her experience with media companies such as the BBC and Channel 4 make her the perfect fit for this key strategic role".

It's not clear if Nuttall will be involved in marketing the global launch of MySpace Music, which is still anticipated despite the somewhat lacklustre reception to the all new music service in the US. One would assume she would be - music still being the one area where MySpace still has the edge, just, on its social networking rivals.

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GLOBAL SELL DIGITAL ONE
So, as expected, Global Radio has sold its majority stake in the national digital radio network Digital One.

The two radio firms that made up GCap - GWR and Capital - were both early advocates of digital audio broadcasting, hence their combined ownership of the bulk of the national DAB network, which Global acquired as part of its GCap takeover last year.

But with commercial radio struggling to make DAB services add up at the moment, ownership of a Digital One stake is a lot less attractive than it once was - especially since the collapse of the second national DAB network set up by Channel 4 whose demise, while meaning Digital One no longer has a big competitor, made everyone question the long term viability of the digital broadcasting system.

Telecoms and broadcast facilities firm Arquiva, the minority shareholders in Digital One, will take over Global's 63% stake. They will pay a nominal fee for it, but give Global reduced rates for broadcasting its stations on the network moving forward.

Arqiva's Director Of Radio, Paul Eaton, told reporters: "As an independent operator, Arqiva is in a good position to realise the full potential of the multiplex and encourage new services to launch on the DAB digital radio platform. We believe in the long term future of DAB, and this deal with Global extends both of our companies' commitments to digital radio well into the future".

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GLOBAL TO LAUNCH INTERNSHIP ACADEMY
Talking of Global Radio, their top man, Ashley Tabor, has told the Student Radio Association Conference in Leeds that he will launch a 'Global Academy' to offer work experience and internships to rising radio talent. According to Radio Today, he told the conference: "In the coming years the Global Academy will ultimately create a supply of real talent to the commercial radio industry".

The Student Radio Conference reaches its finale today, and what a fine conference it's been this year - I hear the 'student radio and the music industry' session was especially good. Well chaired. Though I did manage to lose my coat.

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PRESS GAZETTE TO LEAVE THE PRESSES
Newspaper industry trade mag the Press Gazette is all but closing down. Some sort of website and the title's annual awards will remain, but the monthly print magazine and online news service are to go.

The Gazette, of course, has had a more interesting history in recent years that many of the newspapers it reports on. There was Piers Morgan and Matthew Freud's purchase of it, and there much hyped relaunch, then lots of squabbling over those annual awards, which some newspaper groups boycotted once Morgan and Freud were in charge. As the title floundered and the usually money-making awards struggled, the dynamic duo put the title into administration.

Current owners Wilmington bought it from the administrators, initially relaunching the title, though they too instigated cut backs, making it a monthly magazine last Summer. The latest news means the operation will essentially cease, though some sort of website will remain.

Now, some people say trade magazines which are online only are vastly superior to those that come out in print, though I've no idea what those people are talking about, and I'm not sure that will be the case here. There'll be no news, and it sounds like the Gazette website will become primarily a commercial directory that exists mainly to plug the awards. But it's still not entirely clear what will happen, so don't quote me on that.

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GUARDIAN LAUNCH US MEDIA PODCAST
The Guardian has launched an American version of its Sony Award-nominated podcast, Media Talk. 'Media Talk USA' will be hosted each month by Jeff Jarvis of new media blog, Buzzmachine. Along with a regular panel of expert media commentators, Jeff will analyse and discuss the latest developments in the US media and world of technology.

Matt Wells, GNM's Head of Audio, told CMU: "Media Talk USA will adopt the same tone and approach as the original Media Talk podcast, dealing with serious subjects in an engaging and entertaining way - this time from a US perspective. I hope the new podcast will become popular among both American and British audiences, as developments in the media across the Atlantic are so often indicative of things to come in the UK and Europe".

For more info, and to download a preview of the podcast, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/mediatalkusa

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MTV2/MYSPACE CHART

1. [2] Elliot Minor - Discover
2. [NE] The Maccabees - Love You Better
3. [NE] Madina Lake - Never Take Us Alive
4. [3] Fightstar - Mercury Summer
5. [8] Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This
6. [1] Go Audio - Drive To The City
7. [4] Twisted Wheel - We Are Us
8. [10] Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
9. [NE] Gallows - Vulture (Act II)
10. [6] You Me At Six - Save It For The Bedroom

Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
In Case Of Fire - Enemies
Peaches - Talk To Me
The King Blues - I Got Love

www.myspace.com/mtvtwo

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GARETH GATES IS A DAD
Former Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates, currently starring in 'Joseph' in the West End, has become a father. The singer's wife Suzanne gave birth to a little girl on Monday, and have named her Missy, which seems like something of an affliction, but there you go. In a statement, Gates said: "We are so excited. Missy is beautiful and we can't wait to spend time together as a family".

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JAMIE CULLUM TO MARRY
According to The Sun, Jamie Cullum has proposed to his girlfriend, Sophie Dahl. The jazz star and the model have managed to stay together despite all the quips about the six inch height difference, so good luck to them, I say. May they have medium sized children.

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FLOWERS BLAMES COBAIN FOR KILLERS' FAILURE
Brandon Flowers has said that it's all Kurt Cobain's fault that The Killers' third album, 'Day & Age' hasn't done very well in America.

Speaking to The Daily Star, Flowers said: "I don't mean it in a bad way, but I think Kurt Cobain and grunge took the fun out of rock 'n roll. Everything's changing, though, and it's starting to become a lot more playful and brighter".

Yeah, that's right, 15 years after Kurt Cobain died, music is finally starting to change. Or maybe Kurt Cobain just highlighted that it's possible to record more than one good album.

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