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Job ads
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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
HMV to bid for MAMA Group?
Cowell against Rage Against The Machine
In The Pop Courts
Activision countersue No Doubt over Band Hero
Obituaries
Cherry Red VP dies
Awards & Contests
Lifetime achievement Grammys announced
EastEnders remix winner announced
NME awards voting opens
In The Studio
JLS prepare for album #2
Release News
Outkast overkill in 2010
Lil Wayne album delayed again
Lightspeed Champion to release 50 new albums
Kidda remix album incoming
Films N Shows News
Wainwright opera to get London airing
Books News
R Kelly writing autobiography
Gigs N Tours News
Biffy Clyro announce tour and ticket bundles
Le Sac Vs Pip live dates
Two Door Cinema Club announce tour
Reviews
Album review: Delphic - Acolyte (Universal/Polydor)
The Music Business
Festival Republic host crime conference
Head shops closing
The Digital Business
AOL and Time Warner divorce complete
Vevo falters - but could still be big news
Will iTunes sell downloads through the browser via Lala.com?
Bebo partner with GigJunkie
The Media Business
Lots of people tuning into streaming music services
Everyone loves Wogan, even if he makes Chris Evans cry
Billboard sold
And finally...
Rihanna eyes Glastonbury
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
FRIDAY 11TH DECEMBER


FRENCH HORN REBELLION
Originally from Milwaukee, and currently residing in Brooklyn, French Horn Rebellion are a dance-pop duo made up of brothers Robert and David Perlick-Molinari. It's Robert who plays the french horn referenced in their name - he's a former member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra don't you know - and he says the band's moniker is based on the frustration he once felt while mastering the instrument. The bleeps in this project presumably come a little bit easier.
 
Their debut single 'Up All Night' received high acclaim when it was released earlier this year, and appeared on an edition of the Kitsune compilation series, which is always a good sign of both quality and imminent success. The follow-up single, 'Beaches And Friends', a collaboration with Brazilian duo Database, is out on 1 Mar 2010 via Once Upon A Time Records, and an album is set to follow next summer. We spoke to David Perlick-Molinari to ask our Same Six Questions.
 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I remember playing with my toys in the family room of our old house in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and hearing my mom play the piano in the living room and going over to her and being very excited to play too.

Q2 What inspired your upcoming album?
It's about the struggle of being human. It starts with the beginning, floating like a big whale through the free and fancy void of the universe beautiful and expansive and then our 'spirit' is sucked into the body of a baby human and we start our exploration of the known and the unknown. It goes on from there.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Stories play a big role in our music. I find great meaning in telling stories that inspire me and help me come to grips with my hang-ups. I think it may be a process of getting to know myself better so then I am better equipped to help others around me. I think the music has a lot to do with self-realisation and how we exist in the environment we live in. Like growing up in America in the late 80s and 90s, and now struggling with what our surroundings have become and how our hopes and dreams may or may not fit in.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'd say mostly The Beatles and the Beach Boys

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Have Fun!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
My biggest ambition is to try as hard as I can to get it right - to express truthfully using to tools around me, to do the best I can to create something truly inspiring on multiple levels to me, to my brother, and hopefully to anyone else who may be interested.

MORE>> www.frenchhornrebellion.com and www.myspace.com/frenchhornrebellion, plus read Robert Perlick-Molinari's answers here.

 
CMU ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
As we head towards the end of the year, we'll be revealing, in no particular order, our ten favourite albums of 2009. Today, Tyondai Braxton's 'Central Market'.

The son of highly regarded avant-garde jazz musician Anthony Braxton, Tyondai is best known these days as the frontman of post-rockers Battles. His second solo album, 'Central Market', has been described as 'free jazz meets Disney' by some. But, while jazz it might be, to lump it in with a largely improvisational art form is a little insulting to the amount of work that has gone into composing it.
 
Suggesting it sounds like the soundtrack to an animated film, however, is completely fair. In fact, it most reminds me of Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack to 'Spirited Away' (an album I also recommend highly, incidentally). The orchestral instruments do sound as if they're voicing an array of strange characters, while Braxton's occasional abstract and heavily affected vocalisations act, if not as a narrator, then some sort of benevolent overseer.

While the first five tracks of the album follow this pattern, flowing into one another to create one complete piece, proceedings are brought to a halt with 'J City', which, though not what you'd call a 'standard' rock song, has the guitar-drums-bass-vocals format we're all more used to. And it would be weird for it to be included, if it didn't somehow work.

When Braxton returns to the style of the rest of the album for its final track, 'Dead Strings', albeit with a darker tone, you realise that, had track five, 'Unfurling', run straight into it, the shift would have been too jarring and ruined the flow of the whole thing. Because of this careful construction, 'Central Market' really works as a whole, perhaps more so than any other album I've heard this year.

iTunes - Amazon
 
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.

The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea
Lovely build - super pay-off. What's not to like?
Chris Nye-Browne, Senior Music Producer, Virgin Media

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

 

HMV TO BID FOR MAMA GROUP?
OK, so this is interesting. Perhaps it'll soon be His Mama's Voice. Following the news earlier this week that the management at London-based music firm the MAMA Group had turned down a takeover offer from their largest current shareholder, there has been speculation that entertainment retailer HMV might make a bid for the company.

As previously reported, bosses at MAMA this week said that Luxembourg-based investment firm SMS Finance were being "highly opportunistic" when they proposed buying the music firm at quite a bit less than most reckon the company is worth. It remains to be seen if SMS will come back with a more generous offer, or if they would consider going behind the backs of the MAMA board to try and engineer a hostile takeover.

It's if either of those things happen that some reckon HMV might take an interest in MAMA. The two companies are already business partners, of course, HMV having bought 50% of the music firm's Mean Fiddler venue network at the start of the year. Retail Week cite sources as saying that HMV buying MAMA outright was actually considered before the Mean Fiddler deal was done. Although both sides decided against such a move back then, if the MAMA board was faced with a hostile takeover from one or another investment house, HMV might step in and try to outbid them.

Whether HMV would have the funds to make such a bold bid isn't clear, and whether MAMA's existing shareholders would accept shares in the expanded HMV instead or alongside cash is debatable. But HMV has had a good year, even though the performance of their still struggling Waterstones chain means that sales across the group are down (according to half year figures released today), even though their main HMV stores saw sales rise, buoyed of course by the demise of two of its major high street rivals. Still, Christmas is a coming, which could provide a sales boost, and Waterstones could itself be buoyed in the New Year by the collapse of its key rival Borders.

But either way, whatever the figures say, the HMV board has recently won the respect of some City types for the rapid employment of a diversification strategy, moving the firm beyond just high street entertainment retail into live music (through the MAMA deal), digital (by buying half of 7Digital) and even high street cinema (through a partnership with the Curzon group).

With MAMA another success story in the music world - with its prolific live music and artist management divisions as well as interests in music media, youth marketing, music brand partnerships, music publishing and even recordings - a combined HMV/MAMA would be quite a force in the UK music industry, and perhaps the first truly 360 degree music company (assuming you ignore the Sanctuary experiment, which it's probably best to).

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COWELL AGAINST RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Simon Cowell has spoken out against the campaign to get Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name' to Christmas number one instead of the debut single from whoever wins this year's 'X-Factor'. He seemed to suggest that the campaign would do little to harm him, but might upset the eventual 'X-Factor' winner who has worked so very, very hard to get where they are today.

Of course the cynic in me is whispering that Cowell's outburst might be a clever ploy to generate more interest in both singles and raise a bit of extra cash for the entertainment group he works with, Sony (whose subsidiaries both released and published 'Killing In The Name', as well as working on 'X-Factor' winners signed to Cowell's SyCo label). If that's the case, I probably shouldn't even be writing about this. But the teenager in me is screaming that it would be funny if Rage Against The Machine got to number one with their sweariest track. I just don't know who to trust.

Anyway, at a press conference yesterday, reports The Guardian, Cowell said: "If there's a campaign, and I think the campaign's aimed directly at me, it's stupid. Me having a number one record at Christmas is not going to change my life particularly. I think it's quite a cynical campaign geared at me that is actually going to spoil the party for these three ['X-Factor' finalists]".

It is, of course, fairly unlikely that Zack De La Rocha and the boys will beat the 'X-Factor' machine, but with more than half a million people signed up to the Facebook group where the campaign is being organised, it could give it a run for its money. Last year, a similar campaign (similar largely in that the real winners were also Sony Music and publishing company Sony/ATV) to get Jeff Buckley's version of 'Hallelujah' to the top spot did result in a number two position for the song. However, Alexandra Burke's sales of 576,000 units were just too high for anyone to hold back.

Okay, so if everyone in that Facebook group actually buys a copy of 'Killing In The Name', it could happen (previous 'X-Factor' winners have got the Christmas number one with a lot less than half a million sales). But, as anyone who's ever done any direct marketing, or organised a guestlist, or tried to sell counterfeit drugs via spam email, will tell you, they won't. What we really need to cross our fingers for is a complete lack of interest in whoever wins the 'X-Factor', meaning their sales don't get anywhere near matching those of Burke's debut.

Speaking of the crappy pretend music competition, the celebrity guests who will perform with the finalists on 'X-Factor' this weekend have been announced. They are Robbie Williams, George Michael and Michael Bublé. Unless Elton John drags George Michael off to rehab before then.

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ACTIVISION COUNTERSUE NO DOUBT OVER BAND HERO
Games company Activision has launched a countersuit against No Doubt who, as previously reported, hit out against the firm's 'Band Hero' game, in which they appear, when they realised their virtual selves could be made to sing songs by other artists.

No Doubt have sued the gaming company, claiming that they were not aware that artists who feature in 'Hero' games could be unlocked and made to sing others' music. Their litigation accuses Activision of misuse of the band's likeness.

Activision deny that they misled any artists regarding the fact their likenesses could be made to sing songs other than their own, and claim No Doubt only expressed any problem with that element of the game after it had been released. They are suing because the band has reneged on its commitment to promote the game since becoming aware of the unlock function.

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CHERRY RED VP DIES
Mike Connelly, the Exec VP of Business Affairs for New York-based Cherry Lane Music Publishing, died on Monday after a ten year long battle with cancer, he was 56.

Connelly worked at Cherry Lane for 24 years and was involved in the development of the company and its expansion into territories around the world. A statement on the publisher's website reads, simply: "Friend, Mentor and Leader, the heart and soul of Cherry Lane for more than twenty-four years, you are dearly missed but your indelible spirit will be with us forever".

Commenting on Connelly's battle with cancer, Cherry Red's CEO Peter Primont told Billboard: "Over the course of the last ten years, Mike battled cancer valiantly. He never once complained and always maintained a positive outlook on life".

Cherry Red have also confirmed that a scholarship fund will be established in Connelly's memory.

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LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT GRAMMYS ANNOUNCED
The seven musicians who will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at next month's Grammys have been announced. Michael Jackson will receive the award posthumously, along with Leonard Cohen, singer Bobby Darin, blues guitarist David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, country singer Loretta Lynn, pianist Andre Previn and trumpet player Clark Terry.

The awards will be handed out the night before the other awards, with an acknowledgement given to the seven winners during the main ceremony on 30 Jan.

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EASTENDERS REMIX WINNER ANNOUNCED
The winner of a competition to remix the 'EastEnders' theme tune for the new web-only teen-focused mini-series 'E20' has been announced. 21 year old music graduate Carl Darling was judged - by a panel made up of 'EastEnders' executive producer Diederick Santer, 'E20' producer Deborah Sathe, 'E20' director Michael Keillor, composer Simon May and 1Xtra DJ Ace - to have come up with the best reworking of the tune.

Darling said of the win: "I have grown up hearing Simon May's original theme tune, so I feel very privileged to be a part of 'EastEnders' history. I was very excited to hear that my track was chosen by such an eclectic judging panel and to spend time at the BBC studios and walking around the Square was phenomenal".

Diederick Santer added: "I'm really pleased with Carl's new version, and think it will top and tail our new series brilliantly. It's noisy and fun and full of life - much like the characters of 'EastEnders: E20'".

While Simon May butted in, saying: "I was very impressed and excited by all of the shortlisted remixes. Every single one of them had its merits. We were looking for an original and contemporary remix of the 'EastEnders' theme, retaining its DNA but also something that had a young take on what BBC One viewers have become familiar with over the last 25 years."

So, congratulations to Carl. Although, I think it's important to remember that the best remix of the 'EastEnders' tune will always be Osymyso's 'Pat N Peg'. Compare the two tracks here.

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NME AWARDS VOTING OPENS
Voting for the 2010 NME Awards has opened. I propose we all vote for Rage Against The Machine in every category they are eligible for. We'll go with the 'X-Factor' winner in all the rest, yeah?

All voters will be entered into a draw to win tickets to a special awards party on 25 Jan, which will feature an exclusive set by The Maccabees, as well as the unveiling of the final shortlist for the actual awards ceremony, which will take place on 24 Feb at Brixton Academy.

Do the voting thing here: www.nme.com/awardsvote

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JLS PREPARE FOR ALBUM #2
Yeah, so, JLS will be heading out on a headline arena tour about this time next year. But, wait, how can that be? They clearly don't have enough songs to sustain that kind of show. Don't worry, they will have a second album out by then. Okay, good, now stop writing this as if you're having a conversation with yourself, it really isn't working. Sorry.

Anyway, JLS have revealed their plans for 2010, which will see them keeping very busy in order to suck every bit of life out of their career before everyone gets bored and moves onto something else. Following a break for Christmas, they'll be off on tour before recording their second album, ready for a November release, ahead of that arena tour.

The band's Marvin Humes told The Sun: "We've got a few days off over Christmas and we can't wait to go home to our mums for a kiss and a cuddle. Then it's straight back into it with the tour in February and the release of our third single. As soon as the tour is finished the plan is that we will go into the studio and start putting the second album together. That should be ready to go by November and fans will be able to hear the new songs at the arena tour next December".

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OUTKAST OVERKILL IN 2010
Outkast's Antwan 'Big Boi' Patton has announced that he and bandmate Andre 'Andre 3000' Benjamin will both release solo albums next year, plus, if fans are nice enough about those releases, a new Outkast album too.

Speaking to Billboard, Patton said: "This is all in the next year or so. Starting with my album coming at the top of the year, Dre 3000 right after me. And when the solo albums come out, depending on how the fans support them, then we're gonna give them the Outkast album".

Patton's solo album is the long-in-production 'Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty', which includes collaborations with Raekwon, Mary J. Blige, George Clinton, Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, TI and Jamie Foxx. Of the long wait fans have had for the album, he says: "I slow-cooked this album and, man, I'm just so happy it's about to come out. I cannot wait to give it to the fans. There's been a lot of stops and stars with this project. I've just been trying to make sure we've got the right avenues and the right brains and mindsets together to get the marketing and promoting behind it. When you work on something for, like, two years and eleven months, it's like your baby. You want to make sure that everybody has taken the project the way they're supposed to be taking it and the set-up is right".

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LIL WAYNE ALBUM DELAYED AGAIN
Lil Wayne's much delayed new album, the one on a rock theme, 'Rebirth', has been delayed again. Originally scheduled for release earlier this year, and more recently pencilled in to come out next week, it now seems the long player will finally hit the streets on 1 Feb. Perhaps his label want to use his incarceration on gun charges, due for February, as a marketing opportunity. Wouldn't be the first time.

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LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION TO RELEASE 50 NEW ALBUMS
Lightspeed Champion, aka Dev Hynes, has announced that he will release "at the very least" 50 albums recorded over the last two years through his website in the coming months. Some of them, he says, are "awful". Though the first, 'House-Sitting Songs', is merely embarrassing.

Writing on his blog, Hynes told fans: "I've decided to gradually over a period of time post all the stupid albums I make that (some people, but mostly) no one ever hears. ... The first album is one I recorded mid-May 2009 within a week whilst house-sitting for a friend of mine in Manhattan. The person in question was a musician and had a couple guitars lying around, as well as mini keyboards and drum pads for their kid to play on".

He continued: "I decided that in every gap in the week that I found myself sitting down, or watching TV, or waiting for tea to brew, or logging onto Facebook. I would write and record a song instead, without any real thought behind it, and by making words up essentially as I went along. I then uploaded it online at the end of the week onto my MySpace page, but took it down within the hour due to embarrassment etc. I'm not sure what's changed in me recently. But mainly due to developments personally I guess, and business-wise. I just don't care anymore".

Speaking to Spinner, he added: "Some [of the albums], I would say, are awful ... But mostly I find it all interesting. It's an experiment. Even some that I don't like particularly, I like the idea behind it".

You can download the album here: www.zshare.net/download/69323426ca962ec6/

And here's the tracklist:

Tonight You Belong To Me (Patience And Prudence cover)
Saleri's Deposit
Baby Baby Nooooo
Keep Me In The Cold
Never In A Million Years
You Didn't See A Thing
Fire In The Ocean (The Organ cover)
I Can't Wait Anymore
Is This Really Me?
The Ainslie In Us All
Repetititititit

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KIDDA REMIX ALBUM INCOMING
Remember Kidda? We liked him if I remember rightly. Well, a remix album including reworks of tracks off Kidda's 2008 album 'Going Up' will be released next February by Skint. Here's the tracklisting...

Under The Sun (Herve's Ain't No Sunshine Mix)
Feel To Good (Jack Beats Remix)
Strong Together (Heavy Feet Remix)
Smile (Detboi Luvs Me Mix)
Doo Whot (Jaymo & Andy George Moda Mix)
Hey Y'All (Kidda Remix)
Everything Bad Is Good For You (TLGB Remix)
Doo Whot (Parker Remix)
V.I.P (Beathoven Remix)
Feel Too Good (Blackgrass Remix)
Smile Sunday (Kidda Edit)
Under The Sun (Brighton Beach Boys Remix)

To get you in the mood, you can check out Herve's remix of 'Under The Sun' here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0ohhtYfNVg

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WAINWRIGHT OPERA TO GET LONDON AIRING
The opera written by that Rufus Wainwright blokey - 'Prima Donna' - which premiered at the Manchester International Festival earlier this year, will play for four performances in London next April, on 12, 14, 16 and 17 Apr at the Sadler's Wells theatre.

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R KELLY WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
US publisher SmileyBooks has announced that R Kelly is writing his autobiography, with writer David Ritz, and that it expects to have the book in stores in 2011.

A statement revealed that, as well as covering all the standard stuff, like growing up, the death of his mother and why he's so great at writing songs, Kelly will also discuss the child sex charges of which he was found innocent last year, six years after the case was originally brought against him. Oh, and he'll be writing it as Robert Kelly, which apparently makes a difference.

Kelly said in a statement: "I'm writing this book as Robert Kelly, not R Kelly. I'm tired of being misunderstood. I will show you the tears, fears, and sweat. I will open my heart and reveal the good in my life as well as all the drama. I want to tell it like it is".

SmileyBooks President Cheryl Woodruff said of the book: "You have the creative passion of R Kelly, revealed in his groundbreaking 'Trapped In The Closet' series, coupled with writer David Ritz, who has collaborated with the musicians Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, BB King, and Aretha Franklin. It's a great pairing".

I dunno, what does R Kelly really need to say that he hasn't already said in the first single from his new album? www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZo26PzXohU

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BIFFY CLYRO ANNOUNCE TOUR AND TICKET BUNDLES
Biffy Clyro have announced tour dates for next year, including a show at London's Hammersmith Apollo. The band are currently offering a special bundle, which gets you tickets to a show and the band's next single, 'Many Of Horror', in all three formats when it's released on 18 Jan, plus the chance to win tickets to a special pre-show acoustic performance, limited to 50 people, on the afternoon of the show. More information on that at www.biffyclyro.com.

Tour dates:

29 Apr: Perth, Concert Hall
30 Apr: Sheffield, O2 Academy
1 May: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
3 May: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
4 May: Portsmouth, Guildhall
5 May: Bristol, Colston Hall
6 May: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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LE SAC VS PIP LIVE DATES
Dan Le Sac and his buddy Scroobius Pip will be back together and doing musical stuff next year, starting with the release of the first single from their second album, 'Get Better', which is out on 1 Mar via the very lovely Sunday Best label. Then, but two weeks later, the pair will release said second album, 'The Logic Of Chance', and will head out on tour on the very same day - 15 Mar.

Tour dates:

14 Mar: Sheffield, The Foundry
15 Mar: Cambridge, The Junction
16 Mar: Norwich, Waterfront
17 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
18 Mar: Leeds, The Cockpit
19 Mar: Liverpool, Academy
21 Mar: Glasgow, King Tuts
22 Mar: Manchester, Club Academy
23 Mar: London, Koko
25 Mar: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
26 Mar: Birmingham, Academy 2
27 Mar: Bristol, Academy
28 Mar: Oxford, Academy 2
29 Mar: Brighton, Concorde 2

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TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB ANNOUNCE TOUR
I've been trying to check out Two Door Cinema Club's music, but there's too much buzz. Geddit? I'm making a joke about how they're really buzzy at the moment. No? Okay, sorry. Well, anyway, they're one of the bands on the BBC's Sound Of 2010 longlist and they have announced some tour dates.

Tour dates:

9 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
10 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
11 Mar: Sheffield, Academy
12 Mar: York, Fibbers
14 Mar: Glasgow, King Tuts
15 Mar: Newcastle, The Other Rooms
17 Mar: Birmingham, Academy 2
18 Mar: London, Hoxton Bar & Grill
19 Mar: Oxford, Academy
20 Mar: Manchester, Deaf Institute

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ALBUM REVIEW: Delphic - Acolyte (Universal/Polydor)
CMU favourites, Xfm Remix regulars and BBC Sound Of 2010 nominees Delphic release their debut album of electro-pop future classics on Polydor next month, and it is quite a grown up collection, despite their freshness.

You might have caught them performing their upcoming single, 'Doubt', on Jools Holland last month. Or maybe the video for 'This Momentary', nominated for a UK Music Video Award for its shots in Chernobyl, is what got your attention. Or perhaps you looked their way thanks to the sublime 'Counterpoint', originally out on Kitsuné, which they save towards the end of this tracklist. If you haven't heard any of these singles then you're in for a treat.

Think White Lies or New Order with a few more bleeps and prepare to discover the next big thing from Manchester. The tracks on offer are all given time to develop, and some sprawl out into grooves that are irresistible. 'Submission' reminds me of Mansun though, and I'm still undecided on whether that is a good thing. Get on board before the hype gets too much, it's worth it. IM

Physical release: 11 Jan
Press contact: Polydor IH [NP, RP], Radar Maker [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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FESTIVAL REPUBLIC HOST CRIME CONFERENCE
Festival Republic have announced they will stage a conference to look at combating crime at music festivals. It will be the second Crime At Major UK Music Festivals Conference organised by the Reading and Latitude promoters, the first one having taken place back in May. Edition number two will take place in Reading on 25 Jan.

The aim of the conference is to coordinate security activity at all of the festivals promoted and managed by Festival Republic - which includes the Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury, Big Chill and Latitude festivals - and beyond. The company says they have invited reps and security heads from a number of other festivals, including Bestival, Rock Ness, Isle Of Wight, Download, V, Glade, Secret Garden, Electric Picnic and T In The Park. Reps from police forces in areas where those events take place will also be invited.

All this networking is based on the theory that there are a number of thieving gangs who operate at various festivals, and there is a better chance of stopping them if festival promoters, security firms and police forces all collaborate. It's the same logic that led to the Association Of Independent Festivals launching its previously reported Security Task Force, which AIF say helped significantly cut crime levels at participating festivals.

Talking about his crime conference, Festival Republic top man Melvin Benn is quoted by Music Week as follows: "The inaugural conference in May was a real success and the joint approaches to sharing intelligence throughout the 2009 festival season appear to have paid off. This follow-up conference will be an opportunity for promoters, security agencies and police forces to review our progress and take the next steps to further develop our intelligence sharing systems so we can make greater efforts in 2010 and beyond. Organised crime is a real concern for the festival industry and it's crucial that we keep the momentum going on these initiatives".

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HEAD SHOPS CLOSING
The mini-chain of record shops set up by the former boss of Zavvi, and which bought a handful of the former UK-wide chain's stores, is closing down, according to Retail Week.

Simon Douglas' Head chain took over six old Zavvi stores, only really changing the name above the door. Two of those six closed down earlier this year, and now Head shops in Leeds and Dundee have launched closing down sales. According to the retail trade mag, the remaining Head stores in Bristol and Birmingham will also cease trading in the new year.

Head are yet to comment.

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AOL AND TIME WARNER DIVORCE COMPLETE
We've not really reported on the divorce of AOL and Time Warner - our interest in the media conglom waning somewhat ever since Warner Music became an independent company back in 2004 - but this is a significant development worth noting. The American internet giant and entertainment group have officially split, meaning AOL and Time Warner will again trade as separate companies on the New York Stock Exchange.

Warner's purchase of AOL in 2000 was problematic almost from the start, coming as it did just before the infamous dot com bubble of the late nineties burst. For years the more traditional side of the Warner business has blamed AOL for any group-wide misfortunes, while some AOL execs have expressed frustration that being part of the bigger group has prevented them from the sort of rapid business development required in the fast moving net sector. The split, therefore, has been a long time coming.

AOL relaunched itself as an independent concern in New York this week, with that Diddy fella on hand to help the celebrations. The relaunch also applied to the AOL portal, which now has a total new look, which is pretty mediocre but looks like it cost an awful lot of money. Yeah, Team Time Warner are probably better off out of it.

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VEVO FALTERS - BUT COULD STILL BE BIG NEWS
So there has been much chatter in the US this week about the launch of Vevo (which we are now officially writing in title case, in case you wondered. We did for a while) and, probably more so, the fact it spent much of its first 24 hours in business suffering from some pretty serious technical difficulties.

Many industry execs and music fans who went to explore after the Universal and Sony backed music video service launched on Tuesday found faltering pages and 404 messages. Vevo insiders admitted their system had struggled to cope with the levels of interest in the new service.

Whether the service was really that deluged with eager music fans I don't know - "we were overwhelmed by public interest" is a common excuse when internet start-ups discover major problems with their systems on launch - and it's not as if Vevo was delivering any video streaming itself, that bit being powered by YouTube.

But even if a higher than expected public appetite for their service was to blame, some webby types are wondering why Vevo didn't operate for three months under a beta tag before the glitzy celebrity launch party, as is pretty standard in the internet industry. The fact they didn't is, some net people reckon, proof that the record label execs controlling the new service still don't "get the internet".

Still, on the upside, what the Universal execs running Vevo do get is content, and some of the bespoke Vevo clips I've seen - some involving artists, others more arty - are rather good, even if you'd only really want to watch them once or twice. The fact that time, effort and money has gone into creating some decent original content means that Vevo could well be more than just another "build the platform, hope someone fills it with content" website. Which is, of course, the point. Well, the point is that advertisers will pay more to be associated with a website that generates such content. Whether that bit of logic will ring true remains to be seen.

Of course, if Vevo is a success - with both music fans and advertisers - this could be seriously bad news for MTV. The music telly network has already been hit by YouTube providing the kids with on-demand access to what was once their staple - the music video. If Vevo starts pumping out clever and engaging youth-targeting and music-orientated programming, that could be problematic for MTV, who might find that the only USP they're left with is as a purveyor of trashy reality shows.

Universal and Sony could as yet screw Vevo up, but MTV execs will presumably be watching with interest. As will those record industry execs old enough to still feel bitter about the way MTV managed to build a hugely successful global business by tricking the early eighties record labels into letting them air their videos for free. For Universal and Sony to take ownership of the music video market away from MTV would please many a major label old timer.

On an aside, no word as yet as to how long we'll have to wait for access to Vevo here in the UK. Hopefully, the roll out will be quick. If only because Vevo integrates with the main YouTube website, and we're hearing reports of some unofficial artist videos being removed from the video site to be replaced by Vevo content which is then not accessible outside the US. Such incidents may be isolated, but if not, that will seriously hinder non-American music fans' YouTube viewing until Vevo arrives in their neighbourhood.

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WILL ITUNES SELL DOWNLOADS THROUGH THE BROWSER VIA LALA.COM?
So, there's been speculation that Apple plan to incorporate Lala.com's streaming music service into the iTunes player and music store, since the IT giant's acquisition of Lala earlier this week. Some are now also speculating that perhaps the incorporation will work the other way, bringing the sale of iTunes downloads to web browsers for the first time, via Lala.com.

Currently any websites that provide sell-through links to iTunes downloads force the iTunes player to open if users want to buy a track (although they have recently introduced web-based preview pages for albums). Some of the Apple download platform's main competitors, most notably Amazon, sell through the browser, which, arguably, is more user-friendly - certainly for anyone who doesn't use the iTunes software to play their digital music collection.

Apple have in the past avoided launching their music store as a web based service. But they've also avoided streaming services, so who knows what is planned now Lala.com is part of their portfolio.

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BEBO PARTNER WITH GIGJUNKIE
Social networking whatnot Bebo has done a deal with gig ticket price comparison website GigJunkie.net which will mean that Bebo users can opt to receive tour information for any artists listed in the music bit of their personal profile. Said info will presumably include a link to the GigJunkie site where fans can see what price tickets for gigs are going for on various primary and secondary ticket sale websites. Lovely.

Bebo Europe Business Development Director David MacDonald says this: "By partnering with GigJunkie we are offering our users the widest choice of legitimate ticketing merchants through one provider, while helping labels to build an ecosystem around music by allowing direct access from the profile experience".

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LOTS OF PEOPLE TUNING INTO STREAMING MUSIC SERVICES
The number of people using streaming music services like Spotify is up and growing rapidly. We all knew that anyway, but it counts as news today because radio ratings body RAJAR have released some stats to prove it, which, if they're anything like RAJAR's usual listening figures for traditional radio, are essentially made up and worth nothing.

Still, as previously reported, it's the radio sector who probably have the most to fear about the rise of services like Spotify and We7, more so than the a la carte download stores, so it's good their ratings body is researching these trends.

Whether radio companies will figure out how to respond to the fact 4.5 million people in the UK had tuned into a streaming music service by last month, up from 2.9 million a year earlier, I don't know. Probably not.

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EVERYONE LOVES WOGAN, EVEN IF HE MAKES CHRIS EVANS CRY
The great and the good of the radio sector lined up to say just how bloody marvellous Terry Wogan was yesterday at a Radio Academy lunch designed to mark the Radio 2 legend's retirement from his ratings topping breakfast show.

Admitting that leaving the daily radio show was an incredibly difficult thing to do, Wogan told his fellow lunchers: "People come up to me and say 'I'm going to miss you'. I say 'I'm going to miss you too'. I'm going to miss it terribly. But you've got to change, you must move on, and that's what I'm doing. ... There is never a good time to leave but there is a right time".

Commenting on his continued popularity among the Radio 2 audience, according to The Guardian, Wogan added with typical modesty: "The British public has always confused longevity with merit. I'm much more popular now than I was ten years ago, and twenty years ago they thought I was an eejit. If you hang around, eventually a proportion of the British public will hold you in some affection".

Among the other DJs to pay tribute to Wogan were other national breakfast show hosts Chris Moyles, Christian O'Connell and John Humphreys (assuming you consider 'Today' a breakfast show). Wogan's successor on Radio 2 breakfast Chris Evans also spoke, and got really rather tearful about the whole thing.

Although Wogan is leaving Radio 2 breakfast before Christmas, he will return to a live Sunday morning show on the BBC station in the new year.

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BILLBOARD SOLD
American music industry trade mag Billboard is one seven titles that have been snapped up by a new media company called E5 Global Media, who are backed by some of those shady private equity types. Also part of the deal between E5 and US business publisher Nielson are The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, Film Journal International, Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek. E5 will also get The Clio Awards and the Film Expo conference business.

This is the previously reported deal that initially involved Lachlan 'son of Rupert' Murdoch, though he dropped out of the consortium setting up E5 at the last minute, so will not be part of the new company. E5 will be headed up by New York media man Jimmy Finkelstein who said yesterday: "We decided this was a great time to buy media assets. We're going to create great businesses in print, online, on mobile, [and] in events, and we think it's the right time to do it".

Not everyone is as optimistic of E5's chances of turning round the fortunes of the entertainment titles it's acquired, all of which have been struggling of late. However, it's expected the new owners will try to expand the pay-to-use components of each titles' online operations, which is the fashion among media owners just now, and which might work better in business media than with consumer titles. Time will tell, I guess.

In related news, Nielsen announced yesterday it would close Editor & Publisher, the trade magazine for the US newspaper industry, which presumably E5 weren't interested in buying.

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RIHANNA EYES GLASTONBURY
Rihanna has said that she would like to follow in the footsteps of Jay-Z and perform at Glastonbury. Though she's not fussy about where she appears on the bill.

Here's what Rihanna said at a press conference at the Westfield shopping centre and celebrity magnet in London: "Glastonbury is a great festival and a great platform for me to be a part of. I would love to be there. Even if I'm not headlining I would love to be there".

I vote yes, but what does Noel Gallagher think?

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