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Job ads
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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
MySpace confirm Imeem purchase - so Imeem closes
Canadian majors sued for six billion
In The Pop Courts
New York court overturns Death Row injunction
Former Fray manager counter-sues
IFPI Sweden activate the IPRED
Barker settles plane crash lawsuit
Awards & Contests
Goulding wins critics' choice BRIT
Reunions & Splits
Massive Attack kiss and make up with Tricky
Brooks & Dunn announce finale tour
Lenny Kravitz won't front Aerosmith
Artist Deals
Roadrunner sign Coheed & Cambria
In The Studio
Coldplay back in the studio with Eno
Release News
INXS plan new album with guest singers
New Pumpkins download
Muppets challenge X-Factor for festive number one
Liars announce new album with free download
Meshuggah announce live DVD details
Gigs N Tours News
Soulwax announce Christmas party in London
Festival News
Iron Maiden and Rammstein rumoured for Sonisphere
Reviews
Single review: Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang (Sony/Columbia)
The Music Business
MAMA board knock back takeover bid
The Digital Business
VEVO launches
Chart Of The Day
This week's Sub.tv playlist
And finally...
David Furnish on George Michael's health
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
WEDNESDAY 9TH DECEMBER


SISTERS OF TRANSISTORS
The brainchild of 808 State's Graham Massey, Sisters Of Transistors are an all female 'combo organ' quartet based at the South Manchester Museum of Keyboard Technology. They play a selection of fully working exhibition organs, with an emphasis on the Italian models from the early 1970s, directed by Massey and sometimes accompanied on drums by museum curator Professor Vernon World. Having just released their album 'At The Ferranti Institute' via This Is Music, we spoke to Massey about the whole project.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
As a teenager in the 1970s music had a lot of value. I became very open to all sorts of music and it was not long before I wanted to get involved. I got a Woolworths guitar, and then an electric violin, which gained me access to a band at school, playing proggy music, for which I was ill-equipped. That made me think that some kind of virtuosity was needed to succeed. But a lot of my friends had bought 'The Faust Tapes', a 49p budget album on Virgin, and that planted the idea in my head that music is sometimes just organised noise, which was a beacon of hope. It made me realise that I could be included and creative, and not just be kicked out at the first audition.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
When we set out to do the Sisters project, we began with some deliberate parameters. It was to do with a collection of specific keyboards known as combo organs. The organ has a lot of bad cultural baggage due to its life as a nightclub instrument - every Conservative or working men's club seemed to have one through the 70s and 80s. But on a positive side you have combo users like Sun Ra, Miles Davis in his mid 70s Agatha period, Fela Kuti, and Sly Stone. Context is everything. Combos are outcast instruments in need of re-appraisal.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Generally someone takes the bass role, often on a moog synth, then it's a case of using three other organs in a way that doesn't get in a tangle (not easy). The girls will change to different organs through out the set, as certain organ models handle certain roles better. There are about ten different kinds of transistor organs on the album and each has its own tonal character. That said, we only take out four when we play gigs, plus maybe a spare one, as, being forty years old or more, they often conk out (the organs, not the ladies!).

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
No one directly, we are just following the parameters of having to use these instruments and compose for four organ players. Sometimes we get labeled as prog, but it has as much Michael Jackson and 808 State in it as it does Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Again, people hear an organ and lump it in with The Doors or Focus or anything else they've heard with an organ in it.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
We are really sorry! We won't do it again.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Obviously, we would like to be wildly successful and cruise around in a luxury tour bus to constant ovations every night, but if that was what we were really going for, we would probably not have done this kind of music - it would be wrong to think of it as Girls Aloud gone wrong. Though, I must say, it's the closest I've been to pop music by accident in a number of years. I have, of course, been close to pop music on a number of occasions before, all of which were complete accidents.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/thesistersoftransistors, plus Graham's answers in full here.

 
CMU ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Converge - Axe To Fall
As we head towards the end of the year, we'll be revealing, in no particular order, our ten favourite albums of 2009. Today, Converge - 'Axe To Fall'.

Formed nearly twenty years ago, Converge shunned the rivalry between the hardcore punk and metal scenes, to become one of the bands which defined the 'metalcore' genre that grew up in the mid-nineties. And unlike many of their contemporaries, who either burnt out or spent years plugging away at the same old ideas, Converge's genius has always been their ability to stick to their genre while constantly evolving.
 
'Axe To Fall' stays in similar territory to 2006's 'No Heroes', though leans more on the band's metal influences to add more texture to the often relentless barrage of noise. Kurt Ballou's crushingly heavy guitar riffs are as apparent as ever, as are Jake Bannon's unmistakable vocals, which sound like they come straight from his stomach.

Heaviness is all well and good, of course. But I always think that the real test of a heavy band is their quiet songs. There are hundreds of bands who can play at breakneck speeds, but many fall down when it comes to doing something more restrained. But Converge fully expose their talent for songwriting by lowering the volume on the piano-led 'Cruel Bloom', which rolls along under soft growls from Neurosis frontman Steve Von Till, and closer 'Wretched World' brings the album to rest while still hinting that it could again explode.

The ability to write good songs at lower volume means that when they crank it up they know how to play hard and fast but still keep it interesting, making 'Axe To Fall' a far more varied and diverse album than most could manage.

iTunes - Amazon - Spotify
 
So, for the last few weeks we've been collecting your votes for Track Of The Year 2009. They've been coming in thick and fast, so throughout December, we'll be hearing what some people have had to say about their favourites. This week we throw it over you some of you fine people.

Friendly Fires - Kiss Of Life
It's upbeat, funky and I love the way that he dances. Plus when singing, you can replace "life" with anything. For example, "kiss of... Monday". A flexible and enjoyable treat.
Jessica Whitney, Global Radio

Tell us your favourite track of 2009 here

 

 

CLIENT RELATIONS REP
IODA, www.iodalliance.com, industry leading digital distribution company for the global independent label community, has a vacancy for a Client Relations Rep based at the London office.

As the first point of contact for our rights holders and roster of labels, the successful candidate will be the hub and advocate for information and co-ordination flowing between IODA internal departments. Providing support and assistance in educating and enabling labels to use our content management tools, coordinate release schedules, maintain and manage their catalogs and assets.

Send a CV with covering letter to uk.jobs@iodalliance.com.

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PRESS OFFICER WANTED
Leading independent music PR company looking for a Press Officer with experience in both online and traditional PR. Must be passionate, enthusiastic, intelligent, and a creative thinker. Knowledge of communications: PR, marketing, and blogging would be ideal, but not essential. If you are looking for a challenge within a dynamic company, please forward a copy of your CV to: recruitment@mediajunction.co.uk

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Advertise your jobs here: £100 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

 

26 or younger and have never attended MIDEM? Grab your reduction now!
Either studying or working in the music industry and never attended MIDEM, benefit from a special discount rate at 280 euros, more than 50% off October rate.

Networking: Seek out key contacts and extend your professional network; make deals with your partners and identify new business opportunities.

Educational content: access to the renowned MidemNet digital business conference at no extra cost; get concrete, practical knowledge and training from experts through workshops.

Live concerts: hook up with partners and new contacts at the Opening and Closing Night Parties; discover new international artists with Talent showcases.

MIDEM: the one stop destination for the world’s music community, 23-27 January 2010. Register now! Click here

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SHOREDITCH OFFICE, 764 SQUARE FOOT (15-20 DESKS), £1000 PER MONTH
Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates (£275 per month and £600 per month respectively). Includes heating. Available now. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

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Advertise your stuff here: £120 for five editions - ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

 

MYSPACE CONFIRM IMEEM PURCHASE - SO IMEEM CLOSES
MySpace's acquisition of rival music-based social network Imeem is complete. Which is bad news for Imeem fans, who will now find that, if they visit imeem.com, they are taken straight to MySpace Music, where they'll see a promise that their Imeem profiles and playlists will follow them in due course.

Imeem may not have been perfect, but it wasn't half as shitty as the MySpace interface. Given that MySpace's other recent music acquisition, iLike, has been left to its own devices since its takeover, we wondered if a similar policy would be applied to Imeem, in the short term at least. Perhaps MySpace bosses had spotted that Imeem was a better platform, technology-wise, and planned to capitalise on that better user experience as part of their acquisition of their rival.

But given said platform was turned off the minute the takeover deal was agreed, clearly this purchase was, for MySpace bosses and parent company News Corp, simply about securing a rival's user-base and advertising contracts, and increasing market share. With Imeem, MySpace Music and iLike now all essentially under one roof, that does give MySpace some dominance in the US streaming-music market, where Spotify is yet to launch.

How many Imeem users now stick with MySpace and its expanded music proposition remains to be seen. I suspect many US users will gravitate to Grooveshark, while in the UK the closure of Imeem may be good news for rival social networking sites like Bebo and other streaming music offers like Spotify. As for advertisers, the two sites probably had many clients in common already, so the main benefit there will be if MySpace Music's user-base now increases enough to justify a rate card hike.

Specifics of MySpace's Imeem purchase are, of course, confidential. Although, as previously reported, everyone knows Imeem was struggling and was therefore available for a bargain basement price. Insiders are saying MySpace - or rather MySpace Music, it's the MySpace music company who actually bought it - paid in the region of $1 million for its rival. Which is pound shop money in the world of digital acquisitions.

It's not clear if MySpace take on any of Imeem's liabilities - it's thought they'd defaulted on royalty payments, and we know for definite they were facing a copyright infringement lawsuit from The Orchard in relation to the TVT Recordings catalogue which the indie digital aggregator owns outright (in fact some say it was that lawsuit that pushed Imeem management and backers over the brink, so that a fire-sale to MySpace became option number one).

As for whether or not there will be any jobs for the Imeem team following the takeover, well, no word, but it's not looking good. CEO Dalton Caldwell and his top technology, operations and sales execs are expected to stay on, for now, as consultants, but it seems likely no Imeemers will be guaranteed permanent roles within MySpace Music.

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CANADIAN MAJORS SUED FOR SIX BILLION
Yeah, I'm sure bosses at the four major record companies would love it if their Canadian divisions suddenly had to hand over six billion in hard cash. It would be particularly galling if said damages were ordered as a result of a successful copyright infringement claim made against the majors in Canada, given the Canadian courts haven't been especially helpful in recent years when it's the labels themselves shouting "infringement" in litigation relating to P2P file-sharing.

Talk of six billion dollar damages stem from the news that the estate of late jazz man Chet Baker is pursuing a lawsuit against the Canadian Recording Industry Association and its major label members in relation to their failure to pay mechanical royalties, mainly relating to compilations. The lawsuit claims that major record companies in Canada frequently release compilations carrying recordings of songs
without securing the appropriate licence regarding the literary and musical copyrights that exist in said songs (ie in the lyrics and musical score).

Officially, the labels are assuming there will be no problem securing a mechanical licence for those songs, and are just putting off the paper work, and payment, until later, by plonking the name of the unlicensed track onto a "pending list". However, lawyers representing the Baker estate claim many label execs who follow this practice just hope no one in the songwriting or publishing sector will notice one of their songs has slipped through the net, meaning no royalty payment will ever have to be made.

The Baker clan claim that between the four majors some 300,000 unlicensed works that have appeared on compilation releases over the last three decades now appear on the industry's collective "pending list". They say some record label execs admit that amounts to about CAN$50 million in unpaid royalties. But, the plaintiffs argue, that's not even the half of it, because that figure ignores interest payments and the possibility of the court applying penalties.

Statutory penalties might, arguably, be applied if the court was to believe Clan Baker's claim that the "pending list" system is employed not for administrative convenience, but as a tactic to try and avoid paying any royalties. Canadian copyright law allows for statutory damages of CAN$20,000 per infringement. The Baker estate's legal team are requesting their lawsuit be considered a class action, meaning if they won the court's ruling would apply to all Canadian songwriters and publishers, and therefore all 300,000 unlicensed songs. Which is where you get the six billion Canadian dollars figure from.

Of course "six billion damages" makes a good headline, but even if the Baker estate was successful in this lawsuit, it is unlikely damages would be anywhere near that figure. For starters the application to have this lawsuit treated as a class action is pending. Plus, presumably a fair share of those 300,000 unlicensed songs are actually owned by one of the four major music publishers - who, of course, share ownership with the major labels being sued. Surely that would be taken into consideration. Though - as the big P2P cases in the US have demonstrated - when it comes to copyright infringement damages, common sense doesn't always prevail.

The Baker estate's lawsuit is actually over a year old. It's come to wider attention thanks to an article by internet law expert Michael Geist in the Toronto Star. He observes: "After years of claiming Canadian consumers disrespect copyright, the irony of having the recording industry face a massive lawsuit will not be lost on anyone, least of all the artists still waiting to be paid".

Interesting, Canadian mechanical rights collecting bodies - the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and Society For Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers - were originally named as defendants in the lawsuit, but they have since reached a settlement with the Baker estate, and now the boss of the former has provided an affidavit in support of the case.

More on this when we get it.

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NEW YORK COURT OVERTURNS DEATH ROW INJUNCTION
The New York Supreme Court has cancelled that previously reported temporary injunction that stopped the financial backers of the all new Death Row Records from entering into deals on the label's behalf.

As previously reported, the current owners of the seminal hip hop label have fallen out big time. Lara Lavi, the music lawyer who spearheaded the purchase of the record company after its original bankruptcy, and who has been the label's CEO since then, is in dispute with her financial backers, New Solutions Group.

She says they have been doing dodgy deals on behalf of the label behind her back. They claim she has been taking the label's royalty money for herself, and that they have fired her as a result. She took action against them through the New York court, while New Solutions filed legal action against Lavi in the Canadian courts. Both Lavi and New Solutions are primarily Canada based.

This week the New York court overturned the temporary injunction limiting New Solutions' control over the Death Row company, noting that they were now happy that the financial backers have a majority interest in the label and can therefore do whatever they like with it. They also said that a bond Lavi had been ordered to pay to the court as part of the original injunction ruling had not, as yet, be handed over.

However, Lavi's lawyers say they will continue to apply for a permanent injunction against New Solutions, adding that this week's ruling didn't affect that case, which would be subject to a more detailed court hearing.

Meanwhile New Solution's action against Lavi is due in the Ontario court tomorrow. So, all is still fun in the world of Death Row.

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FORMER FRAY MANAGER COUNTER-SUES
The former manager of The Fray has responded to that lawsuit launched against him by half of the US rock band by suing them. Of course.

As previously reported, Frayers Joseph King and Isaac Slade sued Gregg Latterman back in September, alleging their former manager had sneakily written a clause into the two songwriters' publishing deal which gave his company a cut of publishing royalties. King and Slade said they were not aware of this at the time of the deal, and would not have agreed to it had they been informed of Latterman's plan.

But the former manager has now issued legal papers denying wrongdoing regarding the band's publishing deal, and is in turn suing the band over allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duty. He claims the band tried to cut him out of their career early on, and pressured him to accept reductions in his earlier contracted rights as the band's popularity grew.

The band are yet to respond to the manager's claims.

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IFPI SWEDEN ACTIVATE THE IPRED
The Swedish branch of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has filed papers with a court in Stockholm in a bid to find out the identity of a suspected file-sharer.

This is only really news because they are doing so under a new law that came into effect earlier this year in Sweden which is meant to simplify the process through which content owners can secure the names and addresses of suspected file-sharers from internet service providers.

As much much much previously reported, record companies who track illegal file-sharing online can only link the sharing to an IP address, the file-sharer's ISP is the only one who knows the actual identity of the sharer. As that web user's identity is protected by privacy laws, a legal process is required to enable the content owners to discover that person's personal details, which are required, of course, if the label is to sue the file-sharer for copyright infringement.

As I say, Sweden's so-called IPRED law simplifies that process, and this legal action, which targets one solitary file-sharer, is the first to utilise the new system. So that's nice. Well, not for the file-sharer I guess. Though he or she will presumably receive hero status in the pro-file-sharing community should his or her case come to court.

Swedish labels recently said record sales were up 18% in the last year, with digital sales up 80% and even physical sales up 9%. Said labels said they thought the high profile introduction of the IPRED system, coupled with the high profile prosecution of The Pirate Bay Four in the Swedish courts, had played a big part in cutting piracy and boosting legit music sales. Which is nice. For the record companies. None of that helps that as yet anonymous file-sharer.

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BARKER SETTLES PLANE CRASH LAWSUIT
Blinker 182er Travis Barker has settled his lawsuit in relation to that place crash in which he and the now late Adam DJ AM Goldstein were the only survivors.

As previously reported, both Barker and Goldstein sued various companies involved in providing the private jet that went down, killing the pilots and two Barker/Goldstein friends/associates. TMZ.com says both Barker and the mother of one of the associates killed have now settled their lawsuits out of court. Details of the settlements are not known at this time.

None of this affects Goldstein's claim, which has been taken over by his estate since he died of a drugs overdose in August.

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GOULDING WINS CRITICS' CHOICE BRIT
That Ellie Goulding will be presented with the Critics' Choice Award at next year's BRITs. This is the one voted for by music journalist types, and celebrates talent which said pundits reckon will be big in the year to come. We knew Ellie would win it. We're well finger on the pulse. Given Florence & The Machine won this prize last year and went on to have a storming year, Ellie has a lot to live up to. Runners up Delphic and Marina & The Diamonds possibly had a close escape.

Chairman of the BRITs Committee Ged Doherty told CMU: "We are delighted that with the introduction of this award, we have been able to give a platform to brand new British artists in the past two years to reach a wider audience. We have no doubt that Ellie Goulding will follow in the successful footsteps of Florence & The Machine, we wish her all the best".

Ellie Goulding added: "When I found out, I had a little squeal, I had a little cry, and I had a little fall down! I didn't believe it at first, but now that it's sunk in I am delighted and utterly honoured to have been given this award. I couldn't be more happy and thankful to everyone right now".

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MASSIVE ATTACK KISS AND MAKE UP WITH TRICKY
Massive Attack's Daddy G, real and less silly name Grant Marshall, has revealed that the long-running rift between the duo and former associate Tricky has cooled, and that they may work together again in the future.

Tricky, of course, appeared on Massive Attack's debut album, 'Blue Lines', as well as writing lyrics for two tracks on the follow-up, 'Protection', and providing vocals for the track, 'Karmacoma'. However, he then moved on to concentrate on his solo career (with the lyrics he provided for 'Protection' also appearing on tracks on his debut album, 'Maxinquaye') after creative differences pushed them apart.

Marshall told BBC 6music: "I did actually ask Tricky to come on board for this album ['Heligoland'] and there's talk about him maybe coming on the next album. Things seem like they've healed between us and Tricky. It's been quite well documented how us and Tricky get on, hasn't it? It's not that well, but things have changed. Things have softened up. We saw Tricky a couple of weeks ago in Paris and it was quite an amicable meeting after five or six years".

'Heligoland' is due for release on 8 Feb.

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BROOKS & DUNN ANNOUNCE FINALE TOUR
Country duo Brooks & Dunn have announced that they will embark on one last tour before they retire. The duo announced their intent to call it a day back in August. That day will be called next August, with a gig in Chicago. Their final tour will kick off in April in Sacramento, and visit 47 cities before the last bash.

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LENNY KRAVITZ WON'T FRONT AEROSMITH
There were rumours Lenny Kravitz was set to take over from Steven Tyler as Aerosmith frontman. They were untrue. Though he was, seemingly, considered for the role.

Apparently a former Geffen Records exec John Kalodner, who has been involved with the band since the 80s, suggested Kravitz as a fill in for Tyler, but Lenny aint keen.

He tweeted this week: "As much as I am flattered that Aerosmith's camp would consider me to front the band, Steven Tyler is a family friend, and no voice could ever take the place of his. I hope the band stays together. They are classic".

As previously reported, there has been much confusion regarding Tyler's status as Aerosmith frontman. He insists he's not quit, but the rest of the band don't seem so sure. It now seems that Tyler is hoping to take a break from performing, but his bandmates want to carry on with a fill-in frontman.

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ROADRUNNER SIGN COHEED & CAMBRIA
Roadrunner Records have announced that they have signed a new deal with fantasy rockers Coheed & Cambria for all territories outside North America, where they will continue to release through Sony/Columbia.

The first release under the deal will be the band's fifth album, 'Year Of The Black Rainbow', in April, which will act as a prequel to the 'Amory Wars' story told on the band's previous four albums.

In addition to a standard CD release, the album will also be available as a part of a deluxe package containing a 300 page novelisation of the story it tells, written by frontman Claudio Sanchez and sci-fi author Peter David.

Speaking about the Roadrunner deal, the band said in a statement: "We are very excited! We think Roadrunner will make our music more widely available as well as open up the potential for us to come to countries we rarely or never have been to before".

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COLDPLAY BACK IN THE STUDIO WITH ENO
Coldplay have begun work on their fifth album, according to The Sun, and will be working with producer Brian Eno for the second time. A source told the paper that Chris Martin and co are currently holed up in a former church trying to write a more low-key LP than 2008's 'Viva La Vida'

The source said: "Chris is determined not to be seen as a huge commercial rock juggernaut, filling stadiums and cashing in. This is the plan to keep them as close to their fans as possible. The band are keen to make hay while the sun shines. They have hit a rich vein with their songwriting and feel more creative than ever. Chris had wanted to record while they were on the road but it was just too much. They have this work ethic while the going is good to just keep working as hard as possible".

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INXS PLAN NEW ALBUM WITH GUEST SINGERS
INXS have announced plans to record a new album with a number of guest singers providing vocals. The album will be released next year and will be promoted with another of those world tour things.

It's not clear what this means for JD Fortune, the Canadian guy who became INXS frontman via a reality TV show. Despite seemingly fitting in with the veteran Aussie rockers, Fortune claimed in an interview earlier this year that he'd been dumped as frontman during a conversation with his bandmates at Hong Kong airport. But the band's reps denied any knowledge of that conversation and said that they had assumed - until that point - he'd work with the band again in the future.

The fact guest singers are being brought in for the next INXS album would suggest that Fortune is out - either he always was or his remarks earlier this year resulting in his axing. That said, a spokesman for the band wouldn't confirm or deny that the reality show winner would or would not still have an involvement in the INXS franchise.

A statement on the matter is expected soonish though, along with details of what other vocalists will appear on the new long player.

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NEW PUMPKINS DOWNLOAD
Smashing Pumpkins, or Billy Corgan and friends, depending on your viewpoint on what constitutes pumpkins that smash, have made a new track available for free via the world wide web. It's called 'A Song For A Son' and is the first track from this 44-song venture Corgan is embarking on called 'Teargarden By Kaleidyscope'.

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MUPPETS CHALLENGE X-FACTOR FOR FESTIVE NUMBER ONE
That rather fine Muppets version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is the latest competitor taking on the Simon Cowell machine for Christmas number one. Having taken YouTube by storm, a single of the track will be released, download-only, on 14 Dec.

Whether the song without the video will have the same appeal, I don't know. The video will also be available for download - the label insist on calling this a 'vingle' - though I don't know whether that counts in terms of chart position. Possibly. I really should have checked with the Official Charts Company before writing this story.

Some hope the Muppets doing Queen might have the novelty appeal to finally stop the 'X-Factor' winner from automatically getting the once coveted Christmas number one spot in the singles chart.

As previously reported, a Facebook group has also been set up to try to encourage people to buy Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' in Christmas chart week, in another bid to stop there being another 'X' festive chart topper, in this case by getting a fuck-filled x-rated tune to the top spot instead.

That group now has 457,338 members, which, assuming all those people are [a] in the UK and [b] fulfil their promise to buy the RATM single, means that particular campaign could become a serious contender for stopping whoever wins 'X-Factor' this weekend from getting their number one. Though not necessarily. In any normal chart week over 450,000 sales would send you straight to the number one spot without passing go. But in the Christmas chart week last year Alexandra Burke sold over 576,000 of her tedious cover of 'Hallelujah'. So, those supporting the 'RATM for number one' campaign could still do with finding some more supporters.

If you're not one and would like to be, more info here: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2228594104

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LIARS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM WITH FREE DOWNLOAD
Liars will release their fifth album, 'Sisterworld', on 10 Mar next year. To tide you over until then, the band have made a track from the album available to download for free. Which is nice of them. You should write to them and say thank you.

Of the track, entitled 'Scissor', frontman Angus Andrew says: "The song is built from some strange vocal interactions I was having with myself. It's a description of someone realising their own inadequacies".

Download the track here: www.thesisterworld.com

And while you're waiting, look at the album's tracklist here:

Scissor
No Barrier Fun
Here Comes All The People
Drip
Scarecrows On A Killer Slant
I Still Can See An Outside World
Proud Evolution
Drop Dead
The Overachievers
Goodnight Everything
Too Much, Too Much

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MESHUGGAH ANNOUNCE LIVE DVD DETAILS
Swedish extreme metallers Meshuggah have announced full details of their previously reported live DVD. Entitled 'Alive', it will be released on 5 Feb and will feature tracks on both CD and DVD, recorded at gigs over the last two years in the USA, Canada and Japan.

The tracklists for each disc look like this:

Perpetual Black Second
Electric Red
Rational Gaze
Pravus
Lethargica
Combustion
Straws Pulled At Random
New Millenium Cyanide Christ
Stengah
The Mouth Licking What You've Bled
Humiliative
Bleed

DVD:

Begin
Perpetual Black Second
Twenty Two Hours
Pravus
Dissemination
Bleed
Ritual
New Millenium Cyanide Christ
Cleanse
Stengah
The Mouth Licking What You've Bled
Machine
Electric Red
Solidarius
Rational Gaze
Moment
Lethargica
Communicate
Combustion
Humiliative
Infinitum
Straws Pulled At Random
End
Bonus: Bleed (music video)
Bonus: The Making Of Bleed
Bonus: Micha Guitar Tour
Bonus: Tomas Drum Tour

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SOULWAX ANNOUNCE CHRISTMAS PARTY IN LONDON
Soulwax will play two special Christmas shows at Brixton Academy in London on 11 and 12 Dec. The shows, which they're calling Soulwaxmas gigs, will feature a live set as Soulwax, plus a DJ set as 2manydjs. And they'll be joined by as-yet-unannounced special guests.

Tickets are available now and will set you back £22.50.

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IRON MAIDEN AND RAMMSTEIN RUMOURED FOR SONISPHERE
I'm growing tired of all these definite festival announcements. How about some speculation? Okay. Well, Iron Maiden and Rammstein are rumoured to be headlining next year's Sonisphere festival at Donington.

We'll find out about Iron Maiden tonight, as Sonisphere are making an announcement about something or other at 6pm. As are Iron Maiden. It's possible they're announcing different things, but I'm guessing not.

As for Rammstein, well Thrash Hits say they've been told about that one by a "very reliable source". And given that Rammstein have just released a new album, it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility. Plus, as Thrash Hits so rightly point out, their touring schedule prevents them from being able to play rival metal festival, Download.

That TH website also says that the touring Sonisphere festival will almost double the number of one day events it hosts around Europe next year before the two day finale at Donington (there were five this year), spreading into eastern Europe.

Now, you know us, we're not usually ones to report on such idle speculation. But, considering that Thrash Hits managed to predict Sonisphere's entire existence last year, we're running with it.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Them Crooked Vultures - New Fang (Sony Music/Columbia)
Formed earlier this year, Them Crooked Vultures are every rocker's wet dream. Comprised of Queens Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme on guitar and vocals, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums and vocals and Led Zeppelin bassist John-Paul Jones, the terrific trio fly to the front line as one of rock n roll's most superlative super groups.

'New Fang' is the first single from their eponymous debut album. A raft of cataclysmic cymbal smashing from Grohl marks the song's introduction. Nesting alongside cumbersome bass loops, Homme's jubilant vocals soar effortlessly across the vast musical landscape they paint. In a candid reflection of their musical abilities, 'New Fang' is an optimistic anthem sown with frenetically switching time signatures, and percussive reverberations of tectonic proportions.

Take heed, this band can catch the most evasive prey with their predatory instrumental skills. Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the Vultures of war. SG

Release date: 16 Nov
Press contact: Digital Rebel PR [All]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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MAMA BOARD KNOCK BACK TAKEOVER BID
London-based pretty-damn-near-360-degree music company MAMA has been the subject of a takeover bid, which isn't a surprise, given that they've been quietly growing and growing while many others in the music biz have been all doom and gloom.

According to Billboard, the bidder was Luxembourg-based investment firm SMS Finance, who are already the biggest shareholder in MAMA, which is most prolific in the live and management bits of the music business.

However, MAMA management quickly knocked back the offer, saying that the equity house had seriously undervalued their business. In fact they dismissed the bid as being "highly opportunistic".

It remains to be seen if SMS come back for a second go with more cash.

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VEVO LAUNCHES
Universal Music's VEVO has launched, in the US at least, with a big bash in New York. This is the new YouTube-powered music video service which will only carry official artist content. Universal hope that will enable them to sell advertising at higher rates than YouTube itself.

As previously reported, Universal and Sony are partners in the project, while EMI has also licensed its content. Word has it Warner plan to hold out for a while yet, preferring to concentrate on its own all-new YouTube channels, on which it controls ad sales. Brands set to have a high profile on VEVO at launch include AT&T, McDonald's, Nikon, Mastercard, Dove and Colgate. Mmm, minty.

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THIS WEEK'S SUB.TV PLAYLIST
Hey look, people, it's the music videos that are playing this week on the Sub.tv network of video screens in students' unions all around the country. New additions marked with a *. More info on all things Sub.tv from DavidLloyd@sub.tv

A List
3OH!3 - Starstrukk (feat. Katy Perry)
Beyoncé - Video Phone (feat. Lady Gaga)*
Chuckie and LMFAO - Let The Bass Kick In Miami Girl
David Guetta - One Love (feat. Estelle)
50 Cent feat Ne-Yo - Baby By Me
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Groove Armada - I Won't Kneel
Ke$ha - Tik Tok
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
Paramore - Brick By Boring Brick*
Sidney Samson - Riverside (Let's Go) (feat. Wizard Sleeve)*
Taio Cruz - No Other One
Timbaland - Morning After Dark (feat. Nelly Furtado & SoShy)
30 Seconds To Mars - Kings and Queens
Wiley - Take That

B List
Biffy Clyro - Many Of Horror*
Chipmunk - Look For Me
Chris Brown - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne)
Empire Of The Sun - Without You*
Kaskade vs Deadmaus - Move For Me
Mini Viva - I Wish
Mumford And Sons - Winter Winds
Paloma Faith - Do You Want The Truth
Passion Pit - Little Secrets
Shakira - Did It Again
Simian Mobile Disco - Cruel Intentions (feat. Beth Ditto)
The Temper Trap - Fader
Tiesto - Escape Me
Weezer - I Want You To

Tip List
Bandito - Rockin' At The Disco
Delphic - Doubt*
Esmée Denters - Admit It
Hadouken! - Turn The Lights Out
Ian Carey - Shot Caller*
Kid Sister - Right Hand Hi*
The Mission District - Just Don't Feel The Same
Riton & Primary 1 - Radiates*

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DAVID FURNISH ON GEORGE MICHAEL'S HEALTH
George Michael last week sneered at suggestions by friends (in particular Elton John) that he should spend some time in rehab, denying that he has a drug problem and telling The Guardian: "Elton will not be happy until I bang on his door in the middle of the night saying, 'Please, please, help me, Elton, take me to rehab'. It's not going to happen".

Now John's partner David Furnish has commented on the former Wham! frontman's decline, saying on BBC Radio Five Live: "The difficult thing for Elton and me is a lot of George's friends keep calling us saying 'you have to do something, George is in a bad way, he's in a bad state'. We're only reacting to what his close friends say to us. I respect George, I love George, I think he's a huge talent. ... I just hope he's well and happy and continues to be the great artist he is. If he wants help we are here for him, if he doesn't want help that's fine, that's his choice too".

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