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DID YOU KNOW?
Our sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, it all kicks off this week - more here
Job ads
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Warner promote 14th Floor man
Jackson to be buried
Grohl unveils supergroup
Yorke: "I've always hated CDs"
In The Pop Courts
Miley Cyrus' 'fiance' charged with stalking
In The Pop Hospital
Aerosmith man hospitalised after stage fall
Obituaries
Renato Pagliari dies
In The Studio
Glasvegas plot second album
La Roux to collaborate with Heaven 17
Release News
Stream the new No Age EP
Johnny Foreigner announce second album
Gigs N Tours News
Beyonce announces UK & Ireland tour dates
Thomas Truax live dates
Reviews
Album review: Theoretical Girl - Divided (Memphis Industries)
The Digital Business
Sharkey welcomes new DigiBrit man
BT to launch bundled download service
PlayStation users stream 100m music videos
The Media Business
Sunday Times subscription website to be pilot for Murdoch
And finally...
Preston regrets Buzzcocks walk off
Daniel Merriweather likes porn
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FRIDAY 7TH AUGUST


SISTER SLEDGE
Sister Sledge, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, are legends of 70s disco. Formed in 1971 by sisters Kim, Debbie, Joni and Kathy Sledge (they are sisters and their surname is Sledge, geddit?) they are best known for the singles 'We Are Family', 'Lost In Music' and 'He's The Greatest Dancer', all taken from their 1979 album 'We Are Family'. Still going strong, the group are currently in the middle of a run of shows at the Carwash night at El Divino in Ibiza, where you can catch them every Saturday until 18 Sep. Tomorrow they will also be joined by UK disco diva Shena, who will be launching her new album, 'One Man Woman'. For those not heading to the White Isle this summer, they will play two UK shows in London and Brighton later this month. We spoke to Joni Sledge.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Our grandmother [Viola Williams] was a graduate of Julliard School Of Music. She was the one who taught us and got us started, giving us a keen appreciation for all kinds of music. She was an opera singer.

Q2 What inspired your music?
We consider ourselves to be extremely musically ambitious, and have been lucky enough to have an unusual number of big hits, and are thankful for all the blessings we continue to receive. We are thankful for the many people that still appreciate our music.

Q3 What process did you go through in creating your music?
Working with dream musicians to find a hook, which works internationally, after that it is all heart and soul.

Q4 Which artists have influenced your work?
So many. Stevie Wonder, Nile Rogers, Chic, Aretha, Ce Ce Winans, a gospel artist, and we love Kiri Takanawa. Traveling gives a lot of influence.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Leave your inhibitions at the door, listen from the heart, be prepared to have a great time.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your Ibiza shows?
I have been all over the world, but we wanted to come here for a long time. We left our inhibitions at the door!

MORE>> www.sistersledge.com and www.myspace.com/sistersledge71

 
VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Cleveland Watkiss Trio Live at Pizza Express Jazz Club
I first came across the vocal talents of this east London-born artist via his interesting drum and bass project, Project 23. Mr Watkiss's career goes back a long way before that, though, having helped to set up The Jazz Warriors with Courtney Pine in the 80s. His various projects cover jazz, reggae, some rock music and even drum n bass (most recently he has worked with Makoto), but he has piano and guitar skills to boot. Here he'll be on the jazz tip, and jazz journo Chris Parker thinks you'll be taken in by "extraordinarily flexible and wide-ranging voice swooping and scatting through the set", while the Guardian say, "Watkiss has been acknowledged as one of the worlds most outstanding male jazz singers". The Cleveland Watkiss Trio has Shaney Forbes on the drums and Mark Hodgson on bass. They all complement one another's activities, and possibly have a little telepathy going on when in session. Despite the venue's name, this is a great central location to check them out.

Wednesday 12 Aug, Pizza Express Jazz Club, 10 Dean Street, London, W1D 3RW, Doors 7pm (set 8.30pm), £15 adv, more info from 020 7734 3220, www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk and www.myspace.com/clevelandwatkiss




 

 

ROUGH TRADE RECORDS SEEKS A PRODUCT MANAGER
A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen within the Rough Trade label for an experienced, creative & hardworking individual.

Working closely with managers and artists, you'll be responsible for devising and implementing release plans for the Rough Trade roster.

You'll be highly organised, motivated and capable of effectively marketing and promoting our artist's visions and output.

CVs + covering letters should be sent to jobs@roughtraderecords.com. Please note this position is based in our London, UK office and the deadline for submissions is 12 Aug 2009.

 

WARNER PROMOTE 14TH FLOOR MAN
Warner Music have announced that Christian Tattersfield - who you might know (or not know, but can imagine) better as the man who set up Warner imprint 14th Floor - is being promoted to two very important sounding jobs.

He'll be Chairman of Warner Bros Records UK and CEO of Warner Music UK. I never really know what major label job titles mean - they all seem to be a bit made up to me, and speaking as the Principal Co-Chief Executive Senior Vice-President For Strategic Development, Planning And Digital Operations Officer for CMU I know about these things.

In his first new role, Warner Bros chairman, he essentially takes over from Korda Marshall who, of course, quit the major last year to return to the indie sector by relaunching his old label Infectious. In the latter role he will oversee all of Warner's UK operations, including the other principle division Atlantic UK.

In both roles he will report to Warner International and Europe top man John Reid (well, technically speaking in the first job he'll report to himself, and then report to Reid). Confirming the appointment, Reid told reporters: "Christian's unrivalled A&R vision, creative marketing instincts and commitment to his artists has resulted in some of the most extraordinary success stories of recent years, notable both for their critical acclaim as well as their popularity".

Meanwhile Warner's top man in the US, Lyor Cohen, added: "Christian is that rare executive who combines incredible creative instincts with real understanding of today's music business".

The boss of Atlantic UK, Max Lousada, was also promoted, from President to Chairman. No idea what that means either, though it is presumably designed to placate Max for the fact that Christian has been promoted above him.

Elsewhere in Warner news, the major saw its revenues and profits drop for the third quarter of its current financial year, with revenue down 9% year on year, and profits down 22%. So, fun company to be Chief-Presi-Chair of then. Come on Christian, sort it out.

Though, overall top Warner man Edgar Bronfman Jr does seem to think he has it under control: "At a time when quarterly results are pressured by the macroeconomic downturn and the industry transition, we remain focused on prudently positioning ourselves to benefit when those pressures abate - by actively creating a new recorded music business model to diversify our revenue mix. We are making good progress on that effort. For example, we now have comprehensive expanded-rights agreements with more than half of our active global artist roster". So that's alright then.

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JACKSON TO BE BURIED
Michael Jackson's family are reportedly making moves to bury the singer, six weeks after he died. The news comes after rumours that the family were planning to seek a third autopsy to attempt to finally determine the exact cause of Jackson's death. However, it is now claimed that the relevant paperwork has been signed to allow the burial to go ahead.

Jackson will apparently be buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in LA. The singer's older brother Jermaine had previously said that Michael should be buried at the Neverland ranch, but his mother Katherine, now the legal guardian of his three children, said that her son had not wanted to return there, alive or dead, since his child molestation trial in 2005.

Showbiz journalist Ross King told GMTV: "The word we are getting is the family has at last signed papers that means he will be buried at Forest Lawn Memorial. It's a famous resting place and lots of famous people are buried there. For a while, Neverland was mentioned. That almost happened but didn't quite come to fruition and what we are getting today is that the family has signed papers and Michael will be buried at Forest Lawn cemetery. It's certainly one of those places that you can get into but I'm sure when this news comes out now things will be looked at differently there".

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GROHL UNVEILS SUPERGROUP
Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones have formed a new band, called Them Crooked Vultures.

Grohl first mentioned the band in an interview with Mojo four years ago, saying: "The next project that I'm trying to initiate involves me on drums, Josh Homme on guitar, and John Paul Jones playing bass. That's the next album. That wouldn't suck".

Them Crooked Vultures will perform their first show together at The Metro in Chicago on Sunday. Presumably that album is on the way too, and stuff.

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YORKE: "I'VE ALWAYS HATED CDS"
CDs are on the way out, I think we've all decided that now. But they'll still be around for a little while yet. Thom Yorke can't wait to see the back of them, though. Partly, it seems, because he believes they delayed the music industry from having to change its business models by twenty years.

Yorke told The Believer magazine: "I always hated CDs. Me and Stanley [Donwood, creator of all Radiohead artwork] always hated CDs. Just a fucking nightmare ... There's a process of natural selection going on right now. The music business was waiting to die in its current form about twenty years ago. But then, hallelujah, the CD turned up and kept it going for a bit. But basically, it was dead".

He also pointed out that the internet's threat to radio is often underplayed, with all focus going to the recording industry. He said: "If you forget about the money issue for just a minute, if it's possible to do that - because these are people's livelihoods we're talking about - and you look at [the internet] in terms of the most amazing broadcasting network ever built, then it's completely different. In some ways, that's the best way of looking at it. I mean, I don't spend my fucking life downloading free MP3s, because I hate the websites. No one seems to know what they're talking about".

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MILEY CYRUS' 'FIANCE' CHARGED WITH STALKING
A man who claims to be secretly engaged to Miley Cyrus has been charged with stalking the 16 year old pop star for a second time.

Mark McLeod, who is 53, was arrested after trying to get onto a film set in Savannah, Georgia, where Cyrus is filming a new movie for Disney, called 'The Last Song'. McLeod was previously arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction after trying to gain access to the same set in June. He has now been ordered to stay away from Cyrus and her family.

He is reported to have told police that he met the singer 18 months ago, and that she then accepted a proposal of marriage from him. He added that her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, approves of the relationship and that she sends him "secret messages" via her TV show.

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AEROSMITH MAN HOSPITALISED AFTER STAGE FALL
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler had to be airlifted to hospital after falling off stage just three songs into a set at a motorbike rally at the Buffalo Chip Campground in South Dakota on Wednesday night. He apparently suffered head, neck and shoulder injuries in the fall.

According to reports the band were performing 'Love In An Elevator' when the incident happened. Although this may be a joke that everyone's now reporting seriously. Either way, stop laughing, it's not funny. Stop it!

A spokesman for the venue, Mike Sanborn, told Associated Press: "He was good-natured about it. He was in good spirits when he got in the helicopter. He was talking and joking with the physician".

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RENATO PAGLIARI DIES
Renato Pagliari, best known as one half of Renée And Renato, who had a Christmas number one with 'Save Your Love', has died aged 69.

Born in Rome, Pagliari was working as a waiter in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands when he was spotted by songwriter Johnny Edward on TV talent show New Faces in 1975. Edwards decided then that Pagliari would be perfect to sing the male part of 'Save Your Love', but it took until 1982 for the song to actually be recorded. It went to number one in the UK singles charts for four weeks in December the same year, by which time Renée (real name Hilary Lester) had already left to form another band.

Despite this, the duo released two more singles, 'Just One More Kiss' and 'Jesus Loves Us All', neither of which managed to live up to the success of 'Save Your Love'. Pagliari also sang on the 'Just One Cornetto' TV advert for Walls, but could most recently be seen singing in his son's Italian restaurant, Renato's, in Tamworth.

Pagliari died in hospital last week after surgery for a brain tumour. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter and three grandsons.

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GLASVEGAS PLOT SECOND ALBUM
Mercury nominees Glasvegas have revealed that they will begin recording their second album in LA later this year with producer Rich Costey, who oversaw their debut and recently produced that of the sort of similar-sounding Big Pink.

Frontman James Allan told the NME that over the coming months he will build a studio in his house in order to record demos of the new songs. He said:"I've got to set up the equipment in the house. I don't like the idea of going into a studio and spending one block of time there. I've got a good bond with Rich, I believe he's got more in him than the first record".

He added that fans should expect new material to be a bit more upbeat than that of their debut: "[For the first album] I left myself in a position of being stuck with a grey cloud hanging over me. I wanted to escape it - I like to think that a lot of my thoughts and optimism are going towards being liberated".

Allan also revealed some of the titles of these new, happier songs: 'Sonic Silence', 'Whatever Hurts You Through The Night', and 'Born To Die'.

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LA ROUX TO COLLABORATE WITH HEAVEN 17
La Roux may be about to collaborate with Heaven 17, if all goes to plan. The duo's Elly Jackson told The Daily Star: "Glen Gregory, the lead singer with Heaven 17, heard I was a fan and has been in touch. We email each other a lot. We finally met at an awards do recently, he's lovely. Greg and Ben [Langmaid, the other half of La Roux] are going to meet up to have a coffee and discuss some things. We'll see what happens".

She added that she thinks bands who collaborate with other artists on their debut albums are rubbish. They should, of course, wait until about two seconds after their debuts are out. She said: "I find it a bit unfocused of artists to collaborate with people so early on. It's strange to me that some bands' first albums are recorded with ten different artists. You end up thinking: 'Well, what have you actually done here?'"

She added that she feels sorry for Little Boots because she's not as good as them, or something: "The reaction she got [to her debut album] was so unfair. Hype can be a very dangerous thing, it can accelerate people's expectations. We felt the same about our album but we have got away with it".

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STREAM THE NEW NO AGE EP
Sub Pop are streaming No Age's new EP, 'Losing Feeling', via their website two full months before its release. So, head to the link below and sign up for an account on the Sub Pop website to get access to the stream, or wait around until 6 Oct to buy it on vinyl like an old man who smells.

www.subpop.com/releases/no_age/eps/losing_feeling

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JOHNNY FOREIGNER ANNOUNCE SECOND ALBUM
A band that we like called Johnny Foreigner have announced details of their second album, which will be called 'Grace And The Bigger Picture', and will be released on 26 Oct by Best Before Records. They recorded it in New York, which is in America.

Here's the tracklist:

Choose Yr Side And Shut Up!
Security To The Promenade
Ghost The Festivals
Feels Like Summer
Illchoosemysideandshutup, Alright
Criminals
Custom Scenes And The Parties That Make Them
More Heart, Less Tongue
Kingston Called, They Want Their Lost Youth Back
I Woke Up On A Beach In Aberystwyth
(Graces)
Dark Harbourzz
Every Cloakroom Ever
More Tongue, Less Heart
The Coast Was Always Clear

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BEYONCE ANNOUNCES UK & IRELAND TOUR DATES
That Beyonce will be over in this part of the world in November to play ten shows, which is nice of her. And nice for you.

Her new single, 'Sweet Dreams' also out on Monday.

Tour dates:

11 Nov: Liverpool, Echo Arena
12 Nov: Birmingham, The NIA
14 Nov: London, The O2 Arena
16 Nov: London, The O2 Arena
18 Nov: Manchester, Manchester Evening News Arena
19 Nov: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
20 Nov: Nottingham, Trent FM Arena
22 Nov: Dublin, The O2
23 Nov: Dublin, The O2
24 Nov: Belfast, The Odyssey

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THOMAS TRUAX LIVE DATES
Instrument investor and very fine songwriter Thomas Truax has some live dates coming up this month. In fact, one of them is tonight. Go and see him or I will hurt you.

Tour dates:

7 Aug: Manchester, Spinningfields
8 Aug: Moore Music Festival
14 Aug: Cardiff, The Globe
21 Aug: Edinburgh, Tepooka (with Amanda Palmer)
29 Aug: Duke Box Festival

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ALBUM REVIEW: Theoretical Girl - Divided (Memphis Industries)
Judging by her musical moniker, you'd half expect Amy Eleanor Turnnidge's debut album to be influenced by Glenn Branca's avante-garde and no-wave projects. However, just a few seconds into 'Rivals', the first track on the album, you know it's anything but. Self-described as 'chamber pop', it's one part early sixties pop, pre-dating the experimentalism of the later years of the decade, with a dash of early Belle And Sebastian for good measure. Given that The Pipettes haven't released anything in the last three years because of a curious revolving door policy of members that would make the Sugababes blush, Theoretical Girl easily slips into the musical space left by their absence. This template is consistently used across the album, with few deviations. When it works, on the likes of 'The Boy I Left Behind', whose gentle melancholic longing is rather touching, or 'Good Timing', a piano and strings led track that could have walked from the Bacharach and David songbook, 'Divided' has some very strong moments. However, you soon notice that you're getting too much of a good thing and that Turnnidge isn't stretching herself as much as she ought to, settling into a simple, uncomplicated pattern that becomes too repetitive and frustrating. More variety and more experimentation on her next album would be very welcome. Turnnidge is evidently a songwriter and performer with much potential, but it'd be nice to see her demonstrate this more and not sell herself short by staying in her comfort zone. KW
Release Date: 17 Aug
Press Contact: Create Spark [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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SHARKEY WELCOMES NEW DIGIBRIT MAN
The boss of that there UK Music has welcomed the appointment of treasury minister Stephen Timms as the government man who will take over the ongoing 'Digital Britain' project.

As much previously reported, the music industry was a bit disappointed with the provisions in the 'DigiBrit' report prepared by former Communications Minister Stephen Carter given its lacklustre proposals for taking on internet piracy. But Carter has now stepped down, and Timms will take over the task of implementing DigiBrit plans. And UK Music chief Feargal Sharkey seems to hope that might mean the Digital Britain team reconsidering their music piracy viewpoint.

Sharkey seems to base those hopes on Timm's comments on confirming his new remit, in which he said: "Building a 21st century knowledge economy is at the heart of government's vision. It's vital for jobs and growth that Britain is able to maximise the benefits of the digital revolution. At the top of my in-tray will be plans to ensure faster broadband access for homes and businesses and combating digital piracy - as we move towards publication of the Digital Economy Bill".

Here's what the Sharkey man had to say: "The music industry, and all content creating industries with digital means of delivery and consumption, will be looking to Government for leadership on tackling piracy. It has been, and continues to be, hugely damaging to our business and to the UK's economy".

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BT TO LAUNCH BUNDLED DOWNLOAD SERVICE
BT are reportedly in talks to launch a bundled music download service to rival those planned by Virgin Media and BSkyB. New Media Age report that the UK's largest ISP are currently in the early stages of talks with all four major labels. As well as competing with their rivals, BT are apparently responding to June's Digital Britain report, which encouraged ISPs to set-up legal alternatives to file-sharing.

BSkyB has been in talks with the majors to approve its subscription-based streaming service since last year. The service, a partnership with Universal Music, also has agreements with Sony Music and EMI, while talks with Warner Music are ongoing. Universal's digital senior VP Rob Wells told New Media Age that the launch of the service was "imminent", although a spokesman for BSkyB said that, while testing was underway, a launch date had not yet been set.

As previously reported, Virgin Media announced their own partnership with Universal Music in June, which will allow them to provide subscribers with unlimited music. Although in return they have agreed to suspend the net access of persistent illegal file-sharers.

With all three major ISP/TV providers offering unlimited music via their various services, over eight million people in the UK will potentially have access to all the tunes they could ever want. This may go some way toward reaching the Government's target of reducing illegal file-sharing by 70% in two years. Maybe. Probably not.

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PLAYSTATION USERS STREAM 100M MUSIC VIDEOS
Speaking of people legally accessing free music, Sony have announced that 100 million music videos have been streamed via its Vidzone app on the Playstaton 3 and PSP since it launched in June. The app has apparently been downloaded by 1 million users and offers 12,000 music videos.

People who are feeling left out because they bought an Xbox will be happy to hear that a streaming service powered by Last.fm will be coming to the Microsoft console later this year.

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SUNDAY TIMES SUBSCRIPTION WEBSITE TO BE PILOT FOR MURDOCH
As expected, Rupert Murdoch plans to use the Sunday Times website as a pilot for a radical new strategy to get his newspaper firm's online operations working on a subscription basis.

As previously reported, Murdoch recently said that the total free-for-all internet isn't sustainable, and with the ad recession and all, totally advertising funded online newspapers will never work. The challenge is that subscription-based online services have yet to really take off, especially in Europe, with only really the business press - FT here and Wall Street Journal in the US - having developed anything nearing a successful online subscription model (and the success of the FT subscription service is debatable).

However, having acquired the WSJ and seen the success of their online subscriptions business, Murdoch is keen to expand it across all his newspapers around the world, and the Sunday Times will be the first paper to go the online subs route. According to the Guardian, a new website will be launched for the title separate from the main Times website at the end of November. How exactly subscriptions will work is not yet clear.

If only a mild success, it is likely Murdoch would roll out the system across his other newspapers - so The Times, The Sun and News Of The World in the UK. And given that all newspapers are in freefall at the moment, you get the impression the entire newspaper industry is watching Murdoch closely, desperately hoping he'll find an online business model which adds up, and which they can copy for their own web editions.

It's a similar dilemma to that increasingly facing the music business, who are starting to enjoy the revenues of streaming services like Spotify, but realise they are primarily funded by venture capital at the moment. While ad revenues may start to rise, many reckon these services need to start signing up paid-for subscribers soonish to become viable businesses. In the US online subscription services are slowly taking off, but it remains to be seen if the same happens here.

Fingers crossed, hey.

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PRESTON REGRETS BUZZCOCKS WALK OFF
Former Ordinary Boy Samuel Preston has said that he regrets walking off 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' in a huff in 2007. The singer famously stormed out of the studio after host Simon Amstell began reading extracts from his then wife Chantelle Houghton's autobiography.

Preston told the BBC: "I'm struggling to think why I would have acted so weird. I would love to go on there and show them that I'm not a tantrum-y person. It was just an uncomfortable situation. I wanted the floor to swallow up and eat me, so I did the next best thing and ran away, which is terrible, because I'm really not the sort of person to walk away from confrontation, I'm normally the sort of person to talk it out".

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DANIEL MERRIWEATHER LIKES PORN
Daniel Merriweather sometimes looks at porn, he has revealed. Well, when I say 'sometimes', I think I mean 'often'. It's okay though; he's supporting feminism by doing it.

Merriweather told ChannelBee: "My guilty pleasure is porn, porn is great. People say its misogynistic, but I think people who like porn are in support of feminist movements, like myself. I am all for it, I feel like women's liberation is part of me, it's a cause I want to fight, yet I like porn. You can have the cake and eat it too".

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