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Top Stories
Three-strikes already back on French parliamentary agenda
Tories plan creative industries review
Consumer groups call for more fair use in UK copyright laws
YouTube launch web-recruited orchestra
Stars to climb mountain for charity
Clarkson family respond to Spector conviction
In The Pop Courts
Nate Dogg stalking charges dropped
Reunions & Splits
Soundgarden could reunite, says Cornell
Roxette's Gessle hints at comeback
In The Studio
Kanye, Leto and Flowers record together
Slash talks solo album progress
Release News
Mars Volta record "mellow" album
Ben Folds to release academic a capellas
Thomas Truax to release David Lynch tracks
Gigs N Tours News
Rihanna to return to the stage next month
Efterklang to perform with Britten Sinfonia
Leonard Cohen to play open air show this summer
Spears tour plans stalled
Festival News
AC/DC deny festival appearance
Festival line up update
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Un-Convention 2009 set for June
Musexpo Europe 2 announced
Music Connected is next week
Album review: Metric - Fantasies (Metric Music International)
The Music Business
UCJ to be rebranded Decca
EMI Publishing make Europe rejigs
The Digital Business
MySpace Music UK launch delayed
Warner unhappy with revenue lite MySpace deal
The Media Business
Zee Radio to close
Chart Of The Day
MTV2/MySpace chart
And finally...
Just Dance took ten minutes, says GaGa
Harris admits to lying about lost tracks
Posh boys Keane off to work with US celebs

High School Musical chap has music ambitions

The formidable combination of beat producer Smoove with singer and lyricist John Turrell makes a raw and heady mix of funk and soul. Smoove's name is dropped constantly on the breaks scene by anyone and everyone as the one to know right now. Meanwhile, John Turrell is considered as something of a soul enigma, whose heart-on-sleeve approach to his lyrics ensures his singing is full of emotion. The duo's debut album 'Antique Soul' is out on 20 Apr through Jalapeno Records, as their single 'I Can't Give You Up' is already building up a buzz. You can also catch them live with Kraak & Smaak on Friday 17 Apr at The Luminaire in London. Both Smoove and Turrell have answered our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Smoove: I started by editing music using the pause button on my sister's hi-fi. I would take voices and beats etc and cut and paste parts together. Later, when I got my hands on a Tascam four-track it was like a can of worms had been opened and all my ideas could be layered up. I'm a DJ, so using vinyl to make music has always been my passion. Today I make music on a laptop with samples but I also use real instruments like piano, Hammond organ, saxophone etc.

Turrell: I had the longest songwriting apprenticeship known to man, I think. For the last eight years I spent every Friday night at a friend's garage improvising and writing new tracks. It wasn't until I met Smoove that I actually started to record and understand how we could work and layer vocals on tracks. It was a real eye-opener for me and I felt as if a new world had opened up. Lucky for me I had put all the hard work in before I met Smoove as it's made our songwriting partnership even stronger.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Smoove: I have over 10,000 records so I'm surrounded by great music, artwork and brilliant choice of samples to take from. I don't think I will ever run out of inspiration. Meeting John Turrell also played a big part in the sound we have created together.

Turrell: Everything that should inspire an album. For myself it was an area that I could be free, to talk about what I needed to talk about at that particular time. Whether it was things in my life that were going well or things that were getting darker, it was all about sharing these experiences to an extent and a way of getting problems off my chest to try to deal with them. For me it's the only way I can really write music, it is all about story telling, trying to connect through similar thoughts and scenarios.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
Turrell: It's hard to say really, working with a guy like Smoove is a great experience because anything goes, we tend to use any method practical at the time. Sometimes songs can come out of a loop or a sample other times a melody or a beat. The good thing is that, however we do it, it's done quite fast, it keeps the energy and rawness of what we are trying to achieve.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Smoove: Producers don't really get recognition so I would have to say Quincy Jones as his work is epic. I dig a lot of jazz too, players like Ramsey Lewis, George Benson and Jimmy Smith. There are some great modern cats making funk like Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, who are a must see live, and a great band called New Master Sounds from Leeds who just broke into America!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Smoove: Open your mind ...your ass will follow!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album/single, and for the future?
Smoove: I hope it does really well, but more so I hope it will introduce more people to get into other funk and soul music. There are so many people who just make do with whatever the radio provides them with, but I want people to make more of an effort to discover music for themselves.

Turrell: It's really to carry on in this same vein of making what I think is great music with a fantastic friend. Hopefully along the way if we can make some money and meet interesting folk all the better but for now it's a bit of a dream, we've just got to keep grafting I suppose.

MORE>> and

Featuring two members of Le Tigre and one member of Peaches' live band, New York-based project Men will be in the UK (read London) for live dates at the end of this month, playing just three smallish gigs. Sounding relatively close to LT's disco laced synth-punk, there's nothing mind blowing here, but songs like 'Off Our Backs' and 'Make It Reverse' are pockets of joy - both instantly infectious, shout-a-long pop. Best of the songs streaming is 'Credit Card Babies', which is the kind of dub-lite number that Lily Allen should have recorded for her latest record, utilising profanities with the kind of brashness that America has become synonymous with: "I'm gonna fuck my best to make a little, tiny baby".


This is an amazing opportunity for a dedicated, ambitious and enthusiastic person to gain hands on and invaluable contacts and experience in music PR. We need someone who can hit the ground running, loves mucking in, will work across all accounts on admin, press releases and negotiating press plus doing mail outs to journalists.

Main requirements are: focus, creative and clever ideas, happy to muck in, enthusiasm, capacity of working and thinking quickly, excellent social skills, excellent organisation skills and time management, keen dedication to learning skills of Music PR, reliability and an interest in Climate and political issues and urge to change the world for the better using events and positive, call-to-action PR. (we look after some green / eco events). Applicant will be expected to work unsupervised sometimes and a sense of responsibility and desire to work with 100% reliability is necessary.

DeSylva PR is the freelance venture of Holly de Sylva who has spent 5 years at leading music and festival agencies across London. A young, hard working and dynamic PR looking after 4 festivals, plus leading, innovative venues and bands. and i need an assistant now! Other tasks include assisting managing interview schedules on site at festivals, assisting managing guest lists and much more besides.

Based in Shoreditch this Full-time freelance job runs until September. Applicants will be expected to work at the festivals as part of the full time position but expenses will be paid.

Please send CV's and intro email to [email protected]


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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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


Leyline Promotions has two desk suites available in a well-appointed courtyard studio in Westbourne Studios, W10. Ideal for a small creative agency in a very friendly and professional environment. Rent includes: storage, broadband connections, business rates, insurance, 24 hr access, restaurant and bar, conference facilities, natural sunlight. 4 mins walk from Westbourne Park tube station. Call Adrian for more info on 07971 555 020 / [email protected]


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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France's sometimes controversial 'Creation And Internet' law will be back on the country's parliamentary agenda by the end of the month.

As previously reported, the new copyright laws, which include the three-strike provision whereby illegal file-sharers who fail to heed two warnings regarding their actions will be disconnected from the internet, stumbled at the penultimate hurdle last week. Those against the proposals took advantage of a low pre-Easter turn out in the French Assembly to successfully vote against them, despite the Assembly having previous voted in favour of various rules within the proposed legislation.

France's government remains committed to the new laws though, and the whole three-strike malarkey, and the country's Culture Minister has threatened to resign if it isn't ultimately passed by the French parliament, so last week's vote is certainly just a delay rather than the end of the proposals. However, both houses of the French parliament will now have another chance to discuss the proposed legislation, including the Senate, which had previously passed it, which means more amendments could be pushed through before the whole shebang goes to the French Constitutional Council, the last stage before three-strikes et al actually becomes law.

The next debate on the proposals has been set for 29 Apr.

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Talking of political agendas, given that it's now not entirely laughable to suggest that a Tory might be in number ten Downing Street by the end of next year, we probably all ought to start paying attention to what David Cameron et al are actually saying, their various ramblings on the world possibly becoming government policy next summer.

Which is possibly why the music business is planning on paying more attention than normal to a Creative Industries Review being planned by the Conservative Party. The opposition's culture man, Jeremy Hunt, will launch the review at the House Of Commons next week.

It is likely to involve consultations on various creative industry issues, with a lot of the section headers likely to mirror those of the government's recently published 'Digital Britain' report - eg broadband expansion, internet copyright issues, etc etc. That said, some more conventional copyright issues, in particular term extension for the recording copyright, will most likely also be in there.

Given there's a chance Hunt's review will inform the cultural policies of the next government, expect music industry types to be lobbying those involved in writing it. Especially given that the current government seem rather reluctant to do anything to force internet service providers to act on casual online piracy, despite past indications they would. All of which presumably means the net firms will be quietly lobbying the opposition politicians as they do their cultural review too.

Confirming the review plans, an aide of Hunt is quoted in Music Week thus: "We want to look at the longer term picture and attempt to future proof intellectual property because we want to maintain our position as the creative hub". Words which might make sense if you look at them long enough.

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These guys will probably be lobbying the Tories too. A report from digital rights campaigners the Open Rights Group and Consumer Focus, the new name for the old National Consumer Council (it's merged with some other consumer groups), has said that the UK's copyright laws fail to "balance the interests of rights holders and consumers". They have surveyed copyright laws in 16 countries, including India, South Korea, Thailand and Argentina, and say that the UK's copyright systems are "the worst, by far".

Not that I'd wish to question the two trade bodies' research techniques, but I'm not 100% convinced of the approach this review took, and I suspect the main aim was to deliver a dramatic conclusion that backs up the two organisations' long held belief that some of the 'fair use' provisions that exist in US copyright law, and elsewhere, and which provide situations in which individuals and organisations can legitimately make copies of content without the content owner's permission, should be adopted in the UK. Some of the exemptions covered by fair use provisions in the US do actually exist under UK copyright law, but it's true fair use is a much bigger doctrine in American copyright.

The Open Rights Group and Consumer Focus' media release in relation to their copyright report centres in particular on the private copying situation in the UK. As much previously reported, in the UK it is, technically speaking, illegal to rip tracks from a CD onto a PC to be played on the computer or a portable digital music player, even for 'private use', and even though [a] the track ripper has legitimately bought the CD and [b] millions of people do exactly that every week. The two trade bodies are right, of course, to say this is a stupid law given that everyone disobeys it, many ignorant that what they are doing is illegal to start with. Not only that, but the then boss of record label trade body the BPI admitted during the government's Gowers Review of copyright in 2006 that no record company would ever sue someone over private copying.

In most other countries private copying is legal, though in some a levy is charged on blank cassettes and CDRs which is then passed onto music collecting societies as compensation for the private copies of their music that are likely to be made onto them. There have been proposals in some countries to extend that levy system to digital music players - the so called iPod tax - though such proposals have not been without controversy.

Over here, most in the music business believe that private copying should be allowed, though some advocate, rather than a change in the law, the introduction of a licensing system whereby owners of licensed digital music players are given permission to make private copies of music off CDs etc. The manufacturers of said digital music players would pay for the privilege of offering such a licence.

Personally I think it's a daft idea which would deliver nominal financial returns, and just give more ammunition to the likes of the Open Rights Group and Consumer Focus to say that the music business rips off customers at every turn. Not least because, of course, consumers will increasingly fill their iPods with tracks bought via legit download platforms, tracks which are licensed for use on portable devices in the first place. The record industry would be better off supporting a sort of fair use provision that allows private copying, and using it to generate some positive PR for the industry, for a change.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the ORG and Consumer Focus' questionable research. Consumer Focus top man Ed Mayo told CMU: "UK copyright law is the oldest but also the most out of date. It's time our copyright law caught up with the real world. The current system puts unrealistic limits on our listening and viewing habits and is rapidly losing credibility among consumers. A broad 'Fair Use' exception would bring us in line with consumer expectations, technology and the rest of the world".

Jim Killock, Executive Director of ORG, added: "Rigid copyright stifles innovation and hurts citizens. It's no coincidence that Google set up in America, where 'Fair Use' rights make copyright more flexible. The UK government needs to grapple with this now, so that new UK industries can spring up and consumers can benefit. It is ridiculous to ban copying, sampling and parody without payment, yet that is how the law stands today. The government is undermining copyright's reputation by failing to give clear rights to users in a changed digital world, where we all rip, mix and burn. Copyright urgently needs reform, as this study shows".

So there you have it. The Copyright, Designs And Patents Act 1988. It's rubbish. Official.

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Yeah, probably best for YouTube to concentrate its music efforts on the classical genre, given its current disputes with the UK and German song royalty collecting societies PRS For Music and GEMA.

I think the Google-owned video website can be confident that they'll never see Johann Bach, Johann Mozart, Wilhelm Wagner, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Lou Harrison or John Cage sitting next to Pete Waterman at a press conference whining about how little royalties they're getting from the video service. Though by my maths, the descendants of three of that little lot are still legally able to whine about such things on their (grand)father's behalf.

Anyway, let's not let such tedious royalty disputes get in the way of our coverage of this rather fine project which saw YouTube bring over 90 musicians from 30 different countries to New York's Carnegie Hall earlier this week to take part in a special performance of music by the aforementioned composers, plus a new 'Internet Symphony' by Chinese composer Tan Dun.

The 90+ musicians were selected from an online competition where classical musicians were invited to upload a clip of themselves playing. A selection of those uploaded went to a vote, and from that a YouTube Symphony Orchestra was put together. The orchestra amassed in New York for the first time this week, and played their concert at Carnegie Hall last night.

You'll find backstage footage from the project plus a mash-up video featuring all the uploaders who made it through to the final orchestra at

Ahead of the concert, one trombonist from Colombia who made it through, John Wilson Gonzalez, told the AFP: "It was unimaginable that I could get to play in Carnegie Hall, a mythical theatre where only the great musicians play", while Michael Tilson-Thomas, the San Francisco Symphony music director who led the YouTube orchestra, said: "We're going to give a terrific show at Carnegie Hall that will have some very new and different things about it, both in the way it sounds and the way it looks. But really the most important part of this is how the world out there on the internet will be experiencing that and that will be developing over time as more edits and more uploads take place".

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So, this sounds a bit familiar. Justin Timberlake and Lupe Fiasco are among the US celebs that have been recruited by pop singer Kenna to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year to raise money for water crisis charities.

Kenna, who was born in Ethiopia, told Elle: "My dad almost died as a child from waterborne diseases in Ethiopia, and he had talked to me about digging a well there, and I thought, 'I have too many friends who would be concerned with the subject of clean water. Maybe I can help out'".

Lupe Fiasco added, charitably: "I'm an adventure junkie. Part of the motivation is beating Kenna to the top. Sabotaging his tent, taking the lining out of his coat, lacing it with ants or something like that".

As I think you'll remember, Chris Moyles and Alesha Dixon were among celebs recruited by pop singer Gary Barlow to climb Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this year to raise money for Comic Relief. At least when America stole our Band Aid idea they had the decency to write a different song, you're telling me there's no other mountains in the world?

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As the rather sinister looking police mug shot of Phil Spector did the rounds on the internet yesterday following his conviction for the murder of Lana Clarkson earlier this week, the family of the late former actress issued a statement welcoming the jury's verdict. A spokesman told reporters: "The family's pleased that the jury rejected the distortion and trashing of Lana Clarkson's life which was a part of this trial, the past trial and it's been going on now for six years. Actions have consequences; Mr Spector has to face the consequences of his acts. There's no joy here today - it's a tragedy".

The Clarkson family will now continue with their civil proceedings against Spector for wrongful death which, given the conclusion of the criminal trial, are likely to quickly go in their favour. There is speculation that the legendary producer will have to start selling his rights to some of the 200 odd songs in his publishing catalogue in order to fund any appeal efforts and any compensation pay outs that stem from the civil lawsuits. He's already thought to have spent millions on his ultimately unsuccessful battle to fight the murder allegations made against him.

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Criminal charges of stalking against US rapper Nate Dogg have been dropped by prosecutors in California, who say that the alleged victim, the hip-hopper's estranged wife, has not been in touch with them.

The 38 year old star, real name Nathaniel Hale, pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of making criminal threats and one count of stalking as well as the misdemeanour count of driving with a suspended licence. The charges related to emails sent from Hale to his wife, and an incident in which he was accused of chasing her car on a freeway.

Nate Dogg is still in a rehabilitation facility after suffering two major strokes last year. The original court hearing relating to these charges was in between the two strokes, though Dogg still had to attend in a wheel chair. His attendance wasn't required at this week's hearing.

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As previously reported, the three former members of Soundgarden who aren't Chris Cornell got together in Seattle last month to perform an impromptu set with guest vocals from former Tad frontman Tad Doyle, Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, MC5's Wayne Kramer and singer-songwriter Steve Earle. Now the one former member of Soundgarden who is Chris Cornell has said that a full reunion isn't out of the question.

Speaking to Music Radar, Cornell said: "There was never any bad blood between us. I've always remained on great terms with everyone in the band. We've always been good friends. Seeing them reunite recently on YouTube? I thought that was terrific. It gave me a warm feeling. I wish I could have been there. I'm never going to count anything out".

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Roxette's Per Gessle has said that a reunion is not out of the question for the Swedish duo. The guitarist, who plays a solo show at Islington Academy on 4 May, told the BBC that a live reformation is up to singer, Marie Fredriksson, who has recovered from her 2002 treatment for a malignant brain tumour and has been releasing solo work since her diagnosis.

Gessle said: "We've talked about it. It's really up to Marie. She's started doing a few concerts before Christmas as a guest artist in Sweden, which was a big success for her, so slowly but surely she's coming back to the stage. I would love to do more Roxette and I would love to do more recordings as well, because she's a great person and a great singer, but I don't want to push her at all. It's really up to her. If she calls me up and tells me I'm ready, I'd say let's go for it".

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So, you know how it is, you're in the studio working on a track with actor and 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto when The Killers' Brandon Flowers pops in and you end up recording a new track together. Such is the world of Kanye West.

Writing on his blog, West revealed: "I was working on this dope ass song with Jared and Brandon stopped by. I played them some of the new beats and before everybody bounced Brandon hopped on the keyboard and I hopped on the MPC [drum machine]. Shit was dope".

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Former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash has been talking about the recording of his new solo album via his MySpace blog.

He said yesterday: "We've nailed four killer tracks with four amazing vocals so far and nailing another one Tuesday, so things are going extremely well. Everybody who has contributed vocals so far have been flawless and the rhythm section, Josh [Freese, drums] and Chris [Chaney, bass], are priceless. Eric Valentine is a genius producer, not to mention his team is great. All in all this last couple of weeks have been a hell a lot of fun and we're just getting started. It's definitely going to be a kick-ass record, if I do say so myself".

Yeah, but only time will tell if it will outstrip the unbridled success of Guns N Roses' 'Chinese Democracy'.

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Mars Volta frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala has revealed that the band's fourth album, 'Octahedron', which is set for release in June via Warner Music, sees the band exploring their more mellow side.

Bixler-Zavala told Australian radio station Triple J: "It's more mellow. It's a little more of what we consider our 'acoustic' side. We know how people can be so linear in their way of thinking, so when they hear it, they're going to say, 'This is not an acoustic album! There's electricity throughout it!' But it's our version. That's what our band does - celebrate mutations. It's our version of what we consider an acoustic album".

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Chief CMU favourite Ben Folds has announced that he is preparing to release an album of a capella versions of some of his songs recorded by university choirs. The album, entitled 'Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella!', will feature 14 songs, including 'Brick', 'Magic', 'Evaporated' and 'Army', performed by choirs from around the US, as well as his own instrument-less versions of 'Boxing' and 'Effington'.

Apparently Folds discovered that university choirs were posting a capella performances of his songs on YouTube and decided to pick some of the best to be recorded for the album, which he produced in between gigs on his 2008 tour to promote his 'Way To Normal' album.

Folds told Billboard that his songs "are definitely built for" being performed like this. "My songs have all the things you'd hope they'd have, because they're classically structured", he said. "It's pop music, but they're built to be interesting in their voicing and chord changes. They're kind of made for elaborate arrangements, so it makes sense to me they would appeal to these [groups]".

He added: "I'm a songwriter first, and yet I've never really been covered. In a funny way, I still always think of the [recordings], when I do them, like demos. I figure they're going to be covered by somebody important one day. So of course I was thrilled. I got to hear the songs actually take flight. These are the songs doing what they're supposed to do".

Folds is also getting ready to begin work on another album which, as previously reported, will see the musician soundtrack lyrics written by author Nick Hornby. "I write around his lyrics, which I do easily 'cause he's written these great lyrics", says Folds. "Right now we're up to 18 [songs] that I think are really good, but I think he'll be inspired when he starts hearing them finished and will start to write some more - like a creative second wind or something".

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Instrument-inventing crazed genius Thomas Truax has announced that his fourth album, a collection of cover versions of songs that have featured in David Lynch films cunningly titled 'Songs From The Films Of David Lynch', will be released via SL Records next month.

Talking about the album, Truax told CMU: "I've had my own music described more than a few times as the 'perfect soundtrack for a David Lynch film', so it seemed a natural project. He always picks, and sometimes has a hand in writing, great songs for his films. At least half these songs I could have easily chosen outside the context of their association with the Lynch films. 'I Put A Spell On You', for example. In a way I was just lucky that a version ended up in 'Lost Highway', because the original Screamin' Jay Hawkins version was something I loved even as a kid".

On his decision to record an album of covers, rather than original songs, he said: "A great song is a thing to celebrate, and worth revisiting in different times. A strong song will glow in different ways through different voices. I really love all these songs, I love playing them and I feel an affinity for them. I only chose songs that I felt I could do something new with, twist or cast a different light on. One has to remember that in the history of music it's a relatively recent trend that singers even wrote their own songs. And it wasn't long before that that songs travelled and got known by being passed on from player to player or via sheet music and got around by different musicians playing them, rather than in any fixed recorded medium. So covers are a traditional part of a music person's life".

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Rihanna will return to live performance next month with a show in the United Arab Emirates on 28 May. According to Perez Hilton, the venue is still to be confirmed but "Rihanna has signed off on her 38-page rider, which includes such specifics as anti-bacterial soap, 3 whole lemons, and teaspoons - not stirrers". And presumably some kind of face guard, just in case Chris shows up.

Managing Director of concert promoters Vibe Middle East Yassin Matbouly said: "We have been working to bring Rihanna to the region for a while now but it has never been the right time for one reason or another. This time everything worked out and the gig will more than likely be the last outdoor concert before the summer and one not to miss".

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Following on from their performance last year with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra, Efterklang will play their 2007 album 'Parades' in full with the Britten Sinfonia at the FuseLeeds09 festival on 25 Apr, which will temporarily swell their number to 39 members.

The band's Rasmus Stolberg told CMU "We have done this only one time before in Copenhagen where we played with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra and we are quite exited to get this second chance to perform this special concert".

Later this year Efterklang will be releasing that Copenhagen performance as a live album and DVD. They will also be back in the UK in September to play the End Of The Road and Bestival festivals.

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Leonard Cohen is to play a one-off open air UK show this summer. The musician will appear at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge on 11 July. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

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Britney Spears' plans to take her Circus tour to Europe and Australia have been stalled by the global economic crisis, or, more specifically, LA superior court commissioner Reva Goetz's opinion on it. The singer is currently touring North America and is scheduled for a London visit in June.

Spears went to court earlier this month to seek permission to extend the tour (presumably this permission is required because of the fact that her finances are under the court ordered conservatorship of her father Jamie) and her lawyers returned to court on Tuesday for the judge's verdict on the matter.

Goetz said: "It hasn't yet been determined whether it's feasible to expand tours to the Europe or Australia legs. That will be determined in the future after everyone's seen the analysis, in terms of the economy and value of the dollar".

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AC/DC have released a statement saying that they will not be appearing at a Romanian rock festival in May, despite organisers' claims to the contrary. According to reports, tickets for the event have been sold online as well as at retail outlets in Bucharest.

The band say via their official website: "Promoters in Bucharest, Romania have been falsely advertising AC/DC as the headliner for their two-day Bucharest Rock Arena festival, happening on May 30 and 31, 2009. AC/DC fans are encouraged to visit the band's official website for a list of all sanctioned concerts".

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HOP FARM FESTIVAL, Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, 4-5 Jul: The Fratellis have been announced as Saturday headliners, with Noah And The Whale, Pigeon Detectives and Echo And The Bunnymen also added to the bill.

ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Butlins Holiday Resort, Minehead, 4-6 Jul: My Bloody Valentine have been announced as this year's curators, with The Horrors, EPMD and Sun Ra Arkestra all set to perform.

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey, 10-12 July: DJ Yoda, Pendulum, Joe Bonamassa and The BossHoss have all been added to the line up, joining previously confirmed headliners Brian Wilson, Motorhead and Happy Mondays.

STANDON CALLING, secret venue, Standon, 31 Jul - 2 Aug: Femi Kuti And The Positive Force, Tony Christie, Ladytron, Sun Ra Arkestra, The Whip, Easy Star All Stars and Ed Harcout are amongst the first acts to be confirmed for the three-day festival. Chrome Hoof, Micachu And The Shapes and Eddy Temple-Morris have also been confirmed along with Dave Haslam, Son Of Dave, Paloma Faith and We Have Band.

SONISPHERE, Knebworth House, 1-2 Aug: Trying but possibly failing to match up to Download's headliners Faith No More, Sonisphere have announced Feeder amongst the latest to perform, as well as Taking Back Sunday, Frank Turner and Skindred.

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Quite a few industry events for your diaries now. First the 2009 edition of Un-Convention, the grass roots event for self-releasing bands and truly indie record labels, which launched last year in Manchester (well, Salford to be precise), running at the same time as the bigger In The City convention across town. This year the event will take place earlier in the year from ITC, from 4-6 Jun.

Commenting on the motivation for the event, organisers told CMU: "The first Un-Convention was designed to provide a forum for people with a dogmatic and unrelenting desire to put what they believe out there, to make people listen, and to discover something new. The Un-Convention goal was to launch an alternative and truly independent event that would not be about the next big thing or the next big deal but more about exchanging ideas, camaraderie, collectivism, and developing opportunities for creativity to flourish".

There will be five main panel sessions at the event this year. Already confirmed to take part in the popular artists session are Madness' Chas Smash, New Order's Peter Hook, The Whip's Lil Fee, Ashley Beedle and Liam Frost, with Goldblade's John Robb chairing. There's more information about the whole thing at

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Also taking place earlier this year will be the London edition of MUSEXPO, another event which launched in 2008. Back at the Cumberland Hotel, this time from 29 Jun to 1 Jul, the three day conference will again bring together the great and the good of the worldwide music business, with evening showcase events due to take place at the 100 Club and Borderline.

Already confirmed speaker wise for 2009 are ITB co-founder Barry Dickins, Fiction Records MD Jim Chancellor, Infectious Records president Korda Marshall, Sony/ATV MD Rakesh Sanghvi, Ting Tings manager Stephen Taverner, BBC Radio 1 Head of Music Policy George Ergatoudis, Xfm music chief Mike Walsh and NME Radio boss Sammy Jacobs.

The founder of the MUSEXPO events Sat Bisla, told CMU: "We had such a truly fantastic response to the first MUSEXPO Europe that we vowed to return to London as soon as we could. We showed that there is a gap in the market for a truly international event in London that combines music and business and places the strongest emphasis on connecting people and ideas that create tangible outcomes. This year the event will build on the quality, focus and ethos the world has come to expect from MUSEXPO in the US and Europe. In 2008 we showed we could deliver quality in depth. In 2009 we're going to do it even more".

MUSEXPO began as a music business conference in California. This year there will also be an event in Australia as part of the One Movement festival in Perth.

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But sooner than that little lot, the next edition of Music Connected, the Association Of Independent Music organised event which focuses on all things digital, takes place next week, on 21 Apr. And the full line up for the event has now been announced.

Among the digital music types due to appear this year are Charles Caldas (Merlin), Ted Cohen (TAG Strategic), Zac Vibert (Hospital Records), Goran Andersson (Catch media), Gary Clay (Xbox 360), David Courtier-Dutton (slicethepie), Ged Day (peoplesmusicstore), Philip James (Lewis Silkin), Steve Purdham (We7), Martin Hewett (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe), Tim Grmisditch (Nokia Music) and Martin Hewett (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe).

Meanwhile All Dig Down, Friend MTS, Juno Download, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Slicethepie, TAG Strategic and Web Sheriff are among the companies who will be represented at the trade fair component of the event.

To book, go to

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ALBUM REVIEW: Metric - Fantasies (Metric Music International)
Metric are self-described as a "nomadic" outfit because of the way they zip from one city to the next; from Toronto to London, Los Angeles to New York, they never really settle in one place long enough to claim that they are based there. Their music kind of reflects that: it's changeable, but its heart belongs to the strong, multi-faceted indie of the country they claim their true home: Canada. 'Fantasies', the band's fourth release, sits comfortably between the poppy charm of Rilo Kiley and The Like, and the edgier girl-fronted set Tilly And The Wall. Starting off with The Postal Service-esque 'Help I'm Alive', 'Fantasies' sails through smoothly, guided by Emily Haines' pretty but self-assured vocals, and the band's seamless instrumentation that incorporates both bass-heavy indie rock foundations and flawless, studio-perfect synths. 'Satellite Mind' is the album's sure and catchy focal point, and has an almost Auf Der Maur-feel to it, with its rhythmic bass and acidic lyrics. 'Fantasies' is a strong fourth effort from indie rock's favourite drifters. TW
Release Date: 27 Apr
Press Contact: Sure Shot [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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So, those so called 'classical-crossover' artists which were moved from Universal's Decca label to its UCJ label earlier in the year are now back with Decca, if you follow. There was speculation that when Universal moved Decca's more bankable classical names over to its newer classical division in February that the eighty year old imprint could be phased out in the UK, but in fact the opposite has happened, in that UCJ is to be rebranded Decca, meaning the UK branch of the legendary label will be bigger than ever.

The new Decca division will manage the UCJ roster of classical and jazz artists, and also continue to represent Universal's German classical label Deutsche Grammophon and US jazz label Verve in the UK. Those classical names who weren't switched from Decca to UCJ in February will continue to sit on a separate roster, which will use the 'red and blue' Decca logo, rather than the main black hexagon Decca logo. Though I think operationally the two classical rosters (ie the UCJ one and Decca one) will be worked the same.

Confirming the rejig and rename, Universal UK boss David Joseph told reporters: "Decca is at the heart of classical and jazz. It's an incredibly creative and healthy time for these genres, and I am confident that [UCJ boss] Dickon [Stainer] and his team will create more opportunity, break new artists and grow the business going forward".

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EMI Music Publishing is rejigging its European operations following the departure last year of Continental Europe President Peter Ende.

The major's UK and Continental Europe divisions will essentially be merged. EMI Publishing's UK chief Guy Moot will continue to head up operations over here, but will also take on a pan-European A&R role. The major's Continental Europe COO Claudia Palmer will continue to oversee the company's operations in mainland Europe, but now reporting directly to overall EMI Publishing boss Roger Faxon, who will take a more active role in developing the firm's European business.

Confirming the changes, Faxon says this: "As we looked over the estate we saw a lot of potential in developing the European market, in the sense that there's a lot of fantastic music out there that we want to find and develop in a much more concerted way".

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MySpace Music, the social network's stepped up digital music service, which was launched in the US last year and which allows users to stream the back catalogues of all four major labels, will not now launch over here in the first half of this year, as had been planned, although it will still make it to these shores in 2009, according to the man in charge, Courtney Holt.

As previously reported, Holt was brought in to work on MySpace's new music offering after a lacklustre US launch, that was marred somewhat by the vocal opposition of indie label digital rights body Merlin, who said the indie sector was being offered a rubbish deal compared to the majors.

Speaking to New Media Age, Holt said: "I'm working on trying to make sense of a business that existed as a bunch of features. So we went silent while we brought in the right people. Perhaps we launched the business before we had the key stakeholders in place internally".

What I think he's coyly saying there is that the whole thing was thrown together and pushed out before anyone sensible had a chance to look at it, so he's pretty much scrapped the whole thing and started again - psychologically if not technically. This "making sense" work will be completed over the next few months, at which point they will launch in "key international markets".

Holt explained: "Most of the steps on the label side have been dealt with. We've taken active steps for international expansion. The product side is global so we've done the work for the core offering wherever we go".

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More from MySpace Music. Those wondering why Warner refused to renew its YouTube licensing deal at the end of last year, while the other three majors indicated the video service was turning into a pretty good earner for them, might find a new TechCrunch article on the major's deal with MySpace Music interesting.

They reckon the major cut a much less favourable deal with the social networking site's new music service than their competitors, and that they are now feeling rather pissed off by it all. Insiders say that when their current deal with MySpace comes up for renewal they'll push for a much better arrangement, to bring them in line with what the other majors are getting, and perhaps some more to compensate for losing out to date.

Some wonder if a similar thing happened with YouTube - Warner were first to originally sign up to the video service - and that's why they stepped up their demands when their YouTube deal came up for renewal at the end of 2008. A by that time cash strapped YouTube wouldn't play ball, hence the pulling of Warner content. Could the same happen at MySpace when licenses are up for renegotiation?

The story also poses some questions about how well MySpace's revamped music service is doing in the context of the advertising recession. TechCrunch reckon the other majors get a per-stream fee for their music, while Warner only get a cut of advertising revenue. The latter is not a good deal for Warner if MySpace is struggling to sell any ads. And if they are struggling to sell ads, the former is a very bad deal for them, because it might mean they are handing over huge sums to Sony, EMI and Universal, which will presumably have to be financed by Murdoch's wallet if there's insufficient ad revenues. So, doom and gloom all round really.

TechCrunch write: "Our sources say Warner has been complaining about the deal they did with MySpace. That deal has no per song streaming cost, but includes a revenue share on advertising displayed when the song is played. That revenue share hasn't been what they thought it would be. And the staggering number of plays of songs from their catalogue, combined with their newly acquired knowledge that their competitors are being paid per stream, has left them steaming mad. Warner will get little sympathy from, well, anyone. But they're telling people that they plan to make changes when their deal comes up for renewal, or pull their music from the service".

Neither Warner nor MySpace have commented on the TechCrunch story.

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ZEE Radio, the London-based Bollywood music radio station spin-off from ZEE TV, which broadcasts on AM and DAB in London, and nationwide via Sky and the net, will close down at the end of the month, just over a year after its launch. Asian media news site Bizasia says ZEE Network owners want to concentrate on their TV operations.

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It's the MTV2/MySpace chart, based on votes by MTV2 viewers on MySpace. The top ten this week is as follows...

1. [1] Elliot Minor - Discover
2. [2] The Maccabees - Love You Better
3. [5] Bombay Bicycle Club - Always Like This
4. [8] Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
5. [3] Madina Lake - Never Take Us Alive
6. [NE] The View - Temptation Dice
7. [6] Go Audio - Drive To The City
8. [4] Fightstar - Mercury Summer
9. [10] You Me At Six - Save It For The Bedroom
10. [RE] Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls

Meanwhile, added to the list for viewer voting this week are...

Ladyhawke - Back Of The Van
Magistrates - Heartbreak
Maximo Park - The Kids Are Sick Again
The Prodigy - Warriors Dance
Tiny Masters Of Today - Skeletons

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Lady Gaga has said that her big hit 'Just Dance' only took ten minutes to write, and that she's amazed by its success. So are we. About its success, not the fact it took ten minutes to write.

The pop star told Heat: "It's been unbelievable the way the song has crossed over into the mainstream. It took ten minutes to write! I think it's because it's a happy record. Maybe the record will be appreciated more now there are lots of people who are going through rough times, losing jobs and homes".

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Calvin Harris has admitted that he lied about losing a hard drive full of songs at Heathrow to detract from the fact that his new LP was coming on so slowly.

Harris has now told Popjustice: "The first tactic of delaying the album was pretending that I lost it at Heathrow. That one worked pretty well. That was concocted between me and my sound engineer, Jimmy. I should make it clear that they did in fact lose our bags - that is fact - but it was not true that the album was in them. I would never check a hard drive in luggage. So the thing about Heathrow wasn't so much a lie, as, well, an untruth".

Shocking. And in fact, probably exactly the kind of thing I would do. So I'm not one to talk.

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Keane are sick of hanging around in the UK being called posh boys, and much prefer it in the US where loads of celebrities want to work with them.

Frontman Tom Chaplin told The Daily Star: "It's amazing how far and wide our music has reached in terms of other artists, especially in America. There's less stigma attached to us, like all of the things we have been lumbered with in Britain. Being posh, etc etc - annoying things that have nothing to do with how we sound. Over there they make judgments solely on the music so we have these cool people and we should have some exciting collaborations coming soon".

To be fair, I don't think we've ever called them posh boys. We always judge them solely on their music, which we think is mostly tedious. However, we did like a few tracks on their latest album, 'Perfect Symmetry'. That's balanced criticism there, if you were wondering.

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Oh joy. That Zac Efron, who found fame via Disney's 'High School Musical' claptrap, has told MTV News that he'd like to release a solo album at some point. Though only when he's "ready". Which might be never.

The actor is quoted as saying: "I've always been a fan of music. I love it. It's my life, but at the same time, it's not necessarily my passion to an extent where I want to create it and put it out there. I think that potentially it could be someday. I think the day I could make an album is the day I could write and produce it on my own terms and when I have the skills and wisdom to do it".

Indicating that he likes Kasabian, Asher Roth, Radiohead and Kings Of Leon, he added: "I just saw the Kings of Leon in Australia. They do a great show. It's just music".

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