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Top Stories
New Zealand government publishes revamped three-strikes system
In The Pop Courts
EMI sue Vimeo
Brooks sues hospital
Awards & Contests
Oscar best song shortlist revealed
Charts, Stats & Polls
Can we write about RATM every day this week? Yes we can
Reunions & Splits
Frusciante confirms Chili departure
In The Studio
Interpol go orchestral
Release News
Oh No Ono announce new single
Gigs N Tours News
Kid Cudi departs Lady Gaga tour
Why? announce UK dates
Marina And The Diamonds tour dates
An Experiment announce tour dates
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
MUSExpo moves to Liverpool
The Music Business
Chrysalis doing well - praise be to Jacko
The Digital Business
Pandora doing well
DMN publish digital hold outs list
The Media Business
Gately's partner complains to PCC
Jonathan Ross may take 50% pay cut
Ben Folds is the new Simon Cowell
And finally...
Moloko Murphy gives birth
Fiddy says getting shot helped him succeed
But what are the Stereophonics thinking about?
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Hey people. This is the final proper CMU Daily of 2009. On Monday we will provide you with your customary Review Of The Year, which will include the final top ten of the CMU Track Of The Year vote, and possibly a fleeting mention of who won the Christmas number one battle, not that you'll need us to tell you that presumably. We'll be covering key music and music business stories on the CMU News-Blog - - throughout the festive fortnight. The CMU Daily will return for 2010 on Monday 4 January, with a free trifle for every reader*. In the meantime, have the greatest Christmas and a wonderful Hogmanay, and see you all next year.

*This offer is not real.

Describing his sound as "other other pop", Jonjo Feather has managed to create timeless pop songs infused with a sense of the unusual. While drawing inspiration from the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Beck and The Beatles and the atmospheric spookiness of David Lynch films, Jonjo also names pop artists like Lady Gaga and Girls Aloud as preferences to most indie bands. With his latest single 'Little Spark' out now on Dead Young Records, we caught up with Jonjo to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
My parents gave me a head start by giving me 'Nevermind' for my fifth birthday. I started playing drums but then changed to guitar, and I started writing my own stuff when I was about ten. It felt pretty natural, so I just carried on.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
I was mowing my Nana's lawn when I came up with the verse and bridge, and when I got to my guitar the chorus just came. You can come up with some good stuff when you hum to the drone of a machine. It works with motorboats too.

Q3 How do you got about creating a track?
In the writing sense, I couldn't tell you exactly how it works, it just seems to come. You can tell if it's a keeper instantly. In the studio, I usually have a rough idea of how I want the song to sound. I start with the rhythm guitar and then move on to tambourines and the rest.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Lately I've been listening to DJ Shadow and Screaming Trees.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'm not sure if this is the final mix.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
A few like-minded people getting off on it is cool with me. I want to make records forever, and try to make a difference.


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

Beginning as a solo project for singer-songwriter Edward Droste in the early part of the decade, Grizzly Bear's popularity has risen in sharp spurts with the release of each of their albums. 2006's 'Yellow House' brought the band wide acclaim and a reasonable level of commercial success. Still, if you had described to anyone the shape their 2009 would take at the beginning of the year, I'm not sure anyone would have believed you. Not until they'd heard 'Two Weeks', the lead single from 'Veckatimest', anyway.
'Two Weeks' is what you might call Grizzly Bear's crossover hit. It's certainly the closest they've ever got to writing a proper pop song - catchy, upbeat and easy to sing along to, but without compromising their smart, ethereal folk sound. Although, it's not the album's only pop moment. The chorus of 'While You Wait For The Others', in particular, sees the band again getting infectious.

But it's not just catchiness which makes this album one of the best of the year, it's much more that no note is wasted. The band make every single sound on the album count, to such a degree that you can barely believe these songs were written by real people. Okay, maybe that's a step too far into hyperbole, but they certainly take indie-folk to a very different and infinitely more interesting place than the painful tedium of Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver.

More so than any other album in our 2009 round-up, I am convinced that this is one with real staying power. The kind of album people will be discussing in too much detail on TV shows and in magazine articles of the future.

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, throughout December. Voting is open until 5pm TODAY and the overall winner will be revealed in the CMU Review Of The Year next week. Here's one final thought from one of you fine people.

Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
I've always loved Dirty Projectors for their experimental and intricate guitar music. However, this track is quite different to what they've done before. Somehow they've combined their idiosyncratic sound with a brilliantly funky R&B riff, which is both innovative and accessible to a wider audience. The Solange Knowles cover version isn't bad, either. Maybe this is the shape of things to come, what with Jay-Z attending Grizzly Bear concerts. Here's to a Jay-Z/Grizzly Bear collaboration next!
Ronan Burke, musician, Ranger3

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE! Voting closes at 5pm today. Cast your vote here.




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It's the end of the year, I don't know if you've noticed. If you haven't decided what you're doing for New Year's Eve, it's about time you did. Thankfully, our resident club tipper Paul Vig has selected the five best parties taking place on 31 Dec in the whole wide London.

ROY AYERS LIVE at The Jazz Cafe, London, 7pm til late, £36
This is just one night of a six day post-Christmas UK residency for Uncle Roy, possibly the world's most celebrated jazz, soul and funk composers, probably best known for 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine'. The NYE show is selling fast, but if you miss out, be sure to check out one of the other shows from 26 Dec to 2 Jan.

SOULBREW NYE at East Village, London, 9-5am, £15 adv
The mighty Village hosts the SoulBrew All-Stars Spin Doctor & Andy Bird, joined by big hitters Jazzie B and the ballistic brother himself Ashley Beedle, plus Mr Thing, Kidkanevil and Kyri R2. Good venue, good line up.

SECRETSUNDAZE NYE at The City Arts & Music Project, 9-6am, £15 adv
The CAMP sees the basement rocked by Delano Smith (Mixmode/Third Ear) and Wbeeza (Third Ear), with resi's Giles Smith, James Priestley shoring it up. And in the bar To The Bone and The Cosmic Truth will get things grooving.

INNOVATION NYE at Fire, Vauxhall 8pm-11.30am £25 adv
With over 100 artists in six rooms, this promises to be a back in the day night of mentalness, taking you on a journey from 1988 to 2010. The bill includes the Dreem Team and Rob Blake, the Old School Epidemik with Baby D and Ratpack, Slipmatt, Vibes, Top Buzz, Nicky Black Market, DJ Phantasy, Dr S Gachet with Probe and DJ Ollie, and then in the main dnb room we have Andy C, Mampi Swift, the mighty mighty Grooverider, Fresh, Adam F, Hazard, Shimon and Bryan G. Most likely gonna be roadblocked - this is a truly gargantuan line up.

BATMUCUMBA VS WAH WAH 45's at Life, Old Street, 9-5am, £15 adv
The rather good DJ Cliffy from Batmucumba takes control of the room beneath this smallish Japanese restaurant, going head to head with Dom Servini from the Wah Wahs, and will join the dots from bossa to deep house and funk to fiesta beats. A bit different but should be good.

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Remember how New Zealand was the first country to introduce the good old 'three strikes' flim flam? But then someone pointed out that no system had been proposed as to how the whole thing might work, and that was a bit of a problem? Especially for anyone accused of file-sharing, because they had no way to say "hang on mate, you havin a laarf? Me file-share? Not on your life, you fuck muppet". A quick Google search assures me "fuck muppet" is a common slang term for "complete idiot" in Australia. I only used it in that example to piss off any New Zealander readers, on the assumption everyone in New Zealand is far too sophisticated to say anything as vulgar as "fuck muppet". Happy holidays everybody.

Anyway, yes, three-strikes in New Zealand, or Section 92A of the Copyright Act, to give it its proper name. This is the provision that will force internet service providers in the country to send out warning letters to persistent file-sharers, with the threat to disconnect their net connections if they don't stop accessing and sharing unlicensed content. Following a load of online outrage to the original 'three-strikes' proposals when they technically speaking became law earlier in the year, the legislation has been reviewed and ministers released the revised law this week.

The new document outlines the system through which content owners can instruct ISPs to send out the warning letters, of which three must be sent before action can be taken. That action will be launched through a new strand of the country's Copyright Tribunal, who will have the power to fine persistent file-sharers up to NZ$15,000 if it can be shown defendants continued to access unlicensed content despite the warnings. Net suspension or disconnection is still technically on the agenda, I think, though that would seemingly involve a second stage of court action on the content owner's part.

Those who were most vocally against the three-strikes proposals when they first became law - consumer rights groups and internet firms - do seem to be a little placated by the proposed system, assured that it won't result in content owners having people's internet connections disconnected on whim. Though all sides remain a little cautious.

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith of the Creative Freedom Foundation told reporters that the new proposals were "a real improvement" on the original Section 92A of the Copyright Act, and that she was pleased that the courts would be involved before any actual action could be taken against the accused. However, she says she's concerned about the proposed fines, telling reporters: "They say fines will be in proportion to offending but there isn't any guidance on how fines will be structured". Her conclusion: "There are still some issues to resolve".

For the music industry, what remains slightly unclear is just how tedious the Copyright Tribunal bit of the process will be and, perhaps more importantly, how much it will cost, given the content owners will most likely have to foot the bill of any court action. Whether or not the rules have any impact whatsoever on file-sharing rates will presumably depend on how easy it is for content owners to take at least a handful of infringers through to the fine and/or disconnection stage of the process, and whether doing so in isolated cases proves to be a deterrent for all.

Again, it was cautious welcomes all round really. Anthony Healey of the Australasian Performing Right Association told Billboard: "It sends a strong message that illegal file-sharing is a serious issue and has a negative impact on the entire creative community. It will also encourage the development of new online business models. However some of the detail in the proposed legislation is unworkable and we will continue to work with government to ensure the law is a fair and reasonable one. Now, have a good Christmas, you fuck muppets". Well, he said some of that.

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EMI are suing YouTube competitors Vimeo for copyright infringement, over allegations the video site encourages users to upload videos of themselves lip syncing to songs, even though the video service, unlike YouTube, does not have any licencing agreements with the record companies or music publishers. The major's lawsuit claims that even Vimeo staff have uploaded said unlicensed lip syncing vids.

EMI's litigation says this: "The lawsuit is about a commercial, for-profit venture that has built a business by reproducing, adapting, performing, and distributing works that it knows contain the plaintiff's copyrighted recordings, and then knowingly profiting from the draw created by making these works available for free to millions of its users".

I think Vimeo say that they remove any copyright infringing videos as soon as they are made aware of them, which technically speaking means they are not liable for the infringement that occurs before the video is taken down (well, depending on your interpretation of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, though that is the prevailing interpretation). However, EMI says that the video service only removes specific videos it is alerted to, not other videos featuring the same sound recording. They also make no effort, EMI say, to spot infringing content themselves (something YouTube is doing, increasingly through its automated content blocking system).

Vimeo, which is owned by IAC, which is run by Ticketmaster chairman Barry Diller (fact fans), are yet to respond. Perhaps they could get Barry to lip sync to the closing minute of 'Killing In The Name' and stick it up on Vimeo.

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Country & Western man Garth Brooks is suing a hospital in Oklahoma in a bid to get a $500,000 donation back after the medical facility failed to fulfil a promise to name a new wing of their building after his mother.

I think Brooks donated the cash to the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon during a fund raising initiative to help pay for a $27 million extension programme. The problem arose because, in the end, the particular extension that was to be named in honour of Colleen Brooks was never built.

Brooks' lawsuit says he has been trying to reach a settlement with the hospital regarding his 2005 donation and their naming pledge for two years. The hospital are yet to respond to the lawsuit. Slackers, they're probably off saving lives or something inane like that.

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Want a list of the 63 songs on the long-list for the Best Original Song (in a movie) category at next year's Oscars? Even though it includes five from the 'Hannah Montana Movie'?

Note 'The Climb' (The 'HM' song Simon Cowell chose for the 'X-Factor' winner's debut single) does not appear. You might think that's because it wasn't specifically created for the film, and the Oscar people noted the recent decision by the Grammys people to take the track off its Best Original Song For A Film shortlist for that reason. But that is not the reason it does not appear on this list. It's not on here because it is a shit song. A shitty shitty shitty song. Possibly the shittest ever. You don't believe me? I spoke to Mr Oscar, and he confirmed it himself. Actually, that's not true. Happy holidays everybody.

'All Is Love' from 'Where the Wild Things Are'
'Almost Over You' from 'My One and Only'
'Almost There' from 'The Princess and the Frog'
'AyAyAyAy' from 'The Maid'
'Back to Tennessee' from 'Hannah Montana The Movie'
'Being Bad' from 'Duplicity'
'Blanco' from 'Fast & Furious'
'Brothers in Arms' from 'Brothers at War'
'Butterfly Fly Away' from 'Hannah Montana The Movie'
'Cinema Italiano' from 'Nine'
'Colorblind' from 'Invictus'
'Depression Era' from 'That Evening Sun'
'Don't Walk Away' from 'Hannah Montana The Movie'
'Dove of Peace' from 'Bruno'
'Down in New Orleans' from 'The Princess and the Frog'
'Fly Farm Blues' from 'It Might Get Loud'
'Forget Me' from 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'
'God Bless Us Everyone' from 'Disney's A Christmas Carol'
'Here' from 'Shrink'
'Hideaway' from 'Where the Wild Things Are'
'Hoedown Throwdown' from 'Hannah Montana The Movie'
'I Bring What I Love' from 'Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love'
'I See You' from 'Avatar'
'(I Want to) Come Home' from 'Everybody's Fine'
'If You're Wondering' from 'The Lightkeepers'
'Impossible Fantasy' from 'Adventures of Power'
'Innocent Child' from 'Skin'
'Invictus 9,000 Days' from 'Invictus'
'Legendary' from 'Tyson'
'Let Freedom Reign' from 'Skin'
'Loin de Paname' from 'Paris 36'
'Ma Belle Evangeline' from 'The Princess and the Frog'
'My One and Only' from 'My One and Only'
'Na Na' from 'Couples Retreat'
'Never Knew I Needed' from 'The Princess and the Frog'
'New Divide' from 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'
'New Jersey Nights' from 'Adventures of Power'
'New York Is Where I Live' from 'Did You Hear about the Morgans?'
'No Time for Love' from 'Simon & Malou'
'One Day' from 'Post Grad'
'Only You' from 'The Young Victoria'
'Other Father Song' from 'Coraline'
'Petey's Song' from 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'
'Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea' from 'Ponyo''
Possibility' from 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon'
'Raining Sunshine' from 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'
'Running Out of Empty (Make Ourselves at Home)' from 'Lymelife'
'Smoke without Fire' from 'An Education'
'Somebody Else' from 'Crazy Heart'
'Stu's Song' from 'The Hangover'
'Take It All' from 'Nine'
'Through the Trees' from 'Jennifer's Body'
'Trust Me' from 'The Informant!'
'Un Bouquet des Violettes' from 'New York, I Love You'
'We Are the Children of the World' from 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'
'We Love Violence' from 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'
'The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)' from 'Crazy Heart'
'When You Find Me' from 'Adam'
'Winter' from 'Brothers'
'The Word Is Love' from 'Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!'
'You Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger' from 'An Education'
'You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home' from 'Hannah Montana The Movie'
'You've Been a Friend to Me' from 'Old Dogs'

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I really thought we might get through one day this week without talking about this whole Rage Against The Machine v 'X-Factor' thing, but them Zach and the boys performed live on BBC 5Live's breakfast show and everything went all Bruno Brookes.

The band joined Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty from a US studio for an interview and, perhaps bizarrely for a talk station, a live performance of 'Killing In The Name'. Prior to the performance, guitarist Tom Morello said that the campaign had "tapped into the silent majority of the people in the UK who are tired of being spoon-fed one schmaltzy ballad after another".

Frontman Zach De La Rocha added: "Simon [Cowell] is an interesting character who has profited greatly off humiliating people on live television and has a unique position of someone who can not only capture the attention of some people on television but also on the airwaves".

The band then performed the song, with De La Rocha initially removing the swearing from the lyrics, but managed to shout "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me" four times over the end of the song before being faded out. Fogarty then announced, seemingly without irony: "We asked them not to do it and they did it anyway".

But you don't need me to tell you all this, the BBC videoed the whole thing. You can watch it here (with bleeps) right now:

A spokesman for the BBC said in a statement later: "We had spoken to the band repeatedly beforehand and they had agreed not to swear. When they did, we faded the band out and said sorry immediately. We apologise again to anyone who was offended".

Meanwhile, back to the RATM v 'X-Factor' battle itself.

And what does Simon Cowell think of the whole thing? Well, he thinks it's stupid, we already know that. But now he's come out and accused everyone who's bought the Rage Against The Machine single of bullying. He told The Sun: "If you take me out of the equation, you have a teenager with his first single being attacked by a huge hate mob on Facebook. It almost feels like a little kid being bullied. It feels like a spiteful campaign aimed at an eighteen year old who won a talent competition. It's David versus Goliath and it's not fair on Joe. It's getting out of hand".

Just to clarify, he's saying that the 'X-Factor' winner is David and RATM is Goliath. Though he did then concede that it was good to have a bit of competition for the Christmas number one, and agreed that the result would be close, saying: "One part of me says, good for you guys for bringing on some competition. The other part isn't sure about the point they are trying to make. I think they've got a shot at making number one. The retail numbers are very, very encouraging for us but this Rage record now has a momentum of its own".

But what does Joe McElderry's 'X-Factor' mentor Cheryl Cole thing about the whole thing? Well, she's none too happy about it and is starting her own campaign to rid the charts of foreigners (possibly). She told The Sun: "I would be devastated to see Joe lose out. He put his heart and soul into every single week of 'The X-Factor'. I cannot bear to see him lose to a mean campaign that has nothing to do with his efforts. If that song, or should I say campaign, by an American group, is our Christmas number one I'll be gutted for him and our charts".

But what does last year's 'X-Factor' winner think of the whole thing? Well, she's backing Joe McElderry. Alexandra Burke told The Sun: "I think Joe McElderry should be number one because it'll be his first number one, bless him. I support him dearly. It's all about what the public want Christmas number one to be - nobody else can dictate that, it's what they want to buy. End of".

She also said that she would have been upset if a similar campaign had been launched against her after she won the show last year. You know, say, if people had tried to get Jeff Buckley's version of 'Hallelujah' to number one instead of hers, or something like that. She said: "I would have been upset for sure but what people fail to remember is that the 'X-Factor' isn't forcing someone to be number one. This is not what the show is about, it's not about forcing people to buy into the single".

But what does Dave Grohl think of the whole thing? Well, he's backing Rage Against The Machine. He told Rock Radio yesterday: "We were on our way here and we stopped at a rest stop. It was 4.30 in the morning, I hadn't slept all night and there was nobody in there except the one guy who works at the sandwich stand. I was paying for my sandwiches and he said: 'Are you going to buy the Rage Against The Machine single this week?' I said, 'Yeah, I think I might have to!' There's some music that I question for its intention. I think when people rise up and decide, hey man, I'm sick of this, let's derail this other thing for something real - I'm all for it. It's an incredible song and it's meaningful - maybe people are craving something that actually means something".

But what does Paul McCartney think of the whole thing? Well, he's leaning towards Rage Against The Machine, despite appearing on the 'X-Factor' final last week. He told Sky News: "Everyone expects Joe to do it. If he goes to number one then good luck to him. He's just some kid with a career ahead. I've got nothing against that, but it would be kind of funny if Rage Against The Machine got it because it would prove a point".

But what do the record buying public think of the whole thing? Well, they're still backing Rage Against The Machine, too. Just. The band maintained their lead after their first day of competing with sales of the CD single of the 'X-Factor' track, which, unlike most physical singles, is expected to sell very well. Yesterday morning the band's lead had dropped from 65,000 to just under 37,000, and as of this morning it stands at just 9000, having sold 306,000. Just over half of McElderry's sales have been physical CDs so far. As previously mentioned, the true test for RATM will be Saturday, when shoppers most likely to buy the 'X-Factor' single on CD will be out in force.

But what do Ladbrokes think of the whole thing? Well, despite reopening the book on the chart and putting RATM at the top on Wednesday, they've shifted their allegiance back to McElderry. The company's spokesman, Nick Weinberg said: "Joe has recovered from his black Wednesday. Earlier this week there was a very real chance that he could miss out. But that's diminishing with every day that passes". William Hill have also made McEldery their favourite.

We'll have to wait until Sunday to find out the result, of course. The votes (or sales, if you want to call them that) will continue to be counted up until midnight on Saturday.

PS: While many people have pointed out that Sony Music, and therefore the mainstream music industry, will be the winner either way in this battle, because they released both songs, the wider record industry will, in one way, be the loser again. That very well made mash-up video making 'X-Factor' contenders seem to sing the RATM song has been taken off YouTube because of a copyright claim made by record label trade body the BPI. Others have re-uploaded it, but presumably YouTube will continue to take it down when they can. It means that when people click on the video snippets many media have posted on their websites people see "removed because of a copyright claim by British Phonographic Limited".

Presumably the BPI are acting on behalf of Sony, or someone else related to the 'X-Factor' or 'Britain's Got Talent' machine, on this. But when people see 'BPI' they read 'the record industry at large'. So, once gain the industry looks, at best, like a bunch of boring spoilsports, and worse like a bunch of evil bastards. When will the major labels and their trade body learn about the importance of public perception towards their businesses and industry if they want political support for anti-piracy measures and copyright extension? Can I come and give every record label chief some basic corporate PR training in the New Year please? Things like this drive me insane.

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John Frusciante has confirmed that he is no longer a member of Red Hot Chili Peppers, although he says he actually left the band over a year ago, halfway through their two year hiatus, from which the remaining members have just emerged.

Frusciante originally joined the band in 1988, going on to record the 'Mother's Milk' and 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' albums, before quitting in 1992. He rejoined in 1998, sparking a resurgence in the band's commercial success with the albums, 'Californication', 'By The Way, and 'Stadium Arcadium'.

Writing on his own website, Frusciante said: "When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on an indefinite hiatus. There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction. Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone".

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Interpol fans can expect the band's third album, which they are currently in the process of recording, to have a more classical feel. Frontman Paul Banks told BBC 6music: "Carlos [Dengler, bassist] has gone to total new levels of crazy sophisticated orchestration. There's some really classical stuff going on. I think he brings that elegant, orchestral quality and he's gone even further with that. Daniel [Kessler, guitarist] and Carlos, they've really pushed what they do. It's very atmospheric but it sounds really different in my mind. What we've worked on is a real step forward and just very different and very relaxed in what we're doing, but it certainly doesn't sound like anything we've ever done before, to me".

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Oh No Ono release their new album, 'Eggs', via The Leaf Label on 1 Feb. And very good it is too. The band also release a new single from said album, 'Helplessly Young', on 18 Jan. You could wait until then to buy it, or you could go and download it for free now before you buy it next month.

While you're deciding, I'll just leave the link here:

The group have also made three videos for the song, which you can find here:

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Kid Cudi is no longer supporting Lady Gaga on her current US tour, following the appearance on YouTube of footage of the rapper punching a fan at a show last weekend. The question now is, was he pushed out because of that attack, or is it just because he's suddenly realised he's got a load of recording and acting to do?

An official statement on the subject claims the latter. A spokesperson said: "Kid Cudi has decided to take an early leave of absence from Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour, in order to balance his schedule surrounding the recording of his next album and acting commitments. Cudi does not want to disappoint his fans and will move forward with his individual show dates in December and throughout the month of January".

As previously reported, audience member Michael Sharpe earned himself a punch or two after a wallet was thrown on stage at a gig in Vancouver. Cudi initially seemed relaxed about it, and threw the wallet back into the audience. But it was caught by Sharpe, who was not its owner, and he therefore tossed it back onto the stage. It didn't land anywhere near Cudi, and clearly wasn't aimed at him, but the rapper nonetheless took offence and gave Sharpe a bit of a roughing up.

But Sharpe has said that he will not press charges over the assault, telling Rap Radar: "When he came down I thought he was gonna pull me on stage and I was like: 'Shit, I'm gonna get on stage'. I was just in awe. Pretty funny though, good story to tell my grandchildren when I'm old"

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US indie fellas Why? will be back in the UK in March for their first gigs since the release of latest album, 'Eskimo Snow'.

The shows will take place on these very dates:

16 Mar: London, Heaven
17 Mar: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
18 Mar: Glasgow, Stereo
19 Mar: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
20 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
21 Mar: Brighton, Komedia

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Marina & The Diamonds, aka Marina Diamandis, has announced that she will release a new single, 'Hollywood', on 1 Feb via 679, ahead of her debut album, 'The Family Jewels', on 15 Feb.

We asked Marina to tell us about her album. This is what she said: "It's inspired by family, being sad, drive, ambition, being average, being unique. Anything that I'd felt strongly about over the past four years. I would like my album to touch people. I'm after people's hearts rather than their pockets".

She'll be touring in support of the releases from the end of January. These are the dates:

26 Jan: London, Dingwalls
29 Jan: London, The Tabernacle
14 Feb: Norwich, Arts Centre
15 Feb: Brighton, Audio
17 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
18 Feb: Newcastle, Digital
19 Feb: Glasgow, Òran Mór
21 Feb: Manchester, Deaf Institute
22 Feb: Bristol, Cooler
23 Feb: London, Bush Hall

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Punk rock awesomeness An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, who have just released their new EP, 'Buy A Life', have announced tour dates for next year, plus a New Year's Eve show. Go to at least one of these dates or forever be wrong about everything.

Tour dates:

31 Dec: London, Decasia Club John Waters New Years Eve Party at The George Tavern
23 Jan: London, Queen of Hoxton
30 Jan: Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers
31 Jan: Sheffield, Harley
1 Feb: Glasgow, Captain's Rest
2 Feb: Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's

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So this is exciting. The European version of the always rather good MUSExpo music business conference will this year take place in Liverpool rather than London, as part of the Liverpool Sound City convention and festival in May.

MUSExpo chief Sat Bisla helped programme the conference components of both Liverpool SoundCity and spin-off event Dubai SoundCity this year, but this time MUSExpo Europe itself - which launched in London last year - will form the main industry component of the Liverpool event.

The Liverpool Daily Post quote Bisla as saying: "This event will help enhance the global profile of Liverpool as being a true international music destination and a place to do business. It will raise the profile of Liverpool not just as a music hotspot, but an industry hotspot".

LSC chief Dave Pichilingi added: "By bringing Liverpool SoundCity and MUSExpo together, we have the opportunity to attract people who had never considered coming to Liverpool or the North of England before. It's a huge step up in terms of industry presence. It's a true coup for us to attract MUSExpo."

Liverpool SoundCity 2010 takes place from 19-22 May. We've got some other exciting news about the event to tell you in January. So, stay tuned people.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Mew - Repeaterbeater (Sony/Columbia)
There's this genre of music I like to call goosebump-pop. You know, the kind of music that makes the hairs on your arms stand on end, and your heart race, and your eyes tear up a little (but only when you're alone, of course). M83 makes this kind of music, as do Sigur Rós and Oceansize. And, of course, Mew. I think Mew maybe even invented it.

'Repeaterbeater', the latest single to be taken from Mew's fifth album, 'No More Stories', is heavy-paced and thumping, but at the same time, light as a feather. In every possible brilliant way. It's spine-shivering, throat-tightening, uplifting stuff we have here, and proof that Mew have every right to act as superior as they like.

You can't really say, 'Hell yeah, Mew are back on form!', because... well, they never fell off 'form' in the first place. They've always been fucking stellar. And that's that. TW

Release date: 16 Nov
Press contact: Radar Maker [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Another company who are better off with Michael Jackson being dead is music publisher Chrysalis, who saw their revenues rise £6.4 million in the financial year to the end of September, thanks partly to their ownership of 'Thriller' and 'Off The Wall' via songwriter Rod Temperton, both of which, of course, enjoyed huge download sales and radio play once the late king of pop shuffled off the mortal earth. Overall Chrysalis profits for the year were a more modest £500,000, though City types said that was better than expected.

Chrysalis chiefs said this current year is looking pretty good also, though revenues are unlikely to rise quite so steeply as they did last year. Interest in Jacko continues to aid the publisher, as does the recently re-released Beatles catalogue, which they benefit from via their partnership with producer George Martin, who has some rights in the master recordings. Other Chrysalis-signed song-writing artists, including Estelle, Robbie Williams, Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z and Cheryl Cole, will also help boost revenues.

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US streaming music service Pandora says it has doubled its user base in the last year, and now has 40 million people signed up. New subscribers, it says, have been coming in at 600,000 a week. It seems the Pandora mobile app has played a big part in the new boost in users, with 10 million Pandora users accessing the service via their iPhones.

Whether they are making any money I don't know. Like Spotify the service has two models - a free to use ad-funded system, and a subscription service. Like all other streaming music services, they have struggled to negotiate workable royalty rates with the record companies and collecting societies, a fact that led them to have to block the service to anyone outside the US.

If Spotify ever does get round to launching in the US it will be interesting to see what impact it has on services like Pandora. The latter does not offer anything like the on-demand flexibility of Spotify, though arguably has the "set me up and I'll play you music you like without you having to bother doing anything" thing better cracked than anyone else.

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Just in case you're keeping count, Digital Music News has published a list of the bands still not making their music available via legit download stores. We all know The Beatles and AC/DC are the big hold outs on the digital age, but who else is refusing to sell their music via iTunes et al? Well, according to DMN it's a short list consisting of Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, King Crimson, Kid Rock (mostly), Def Leppard (mostly) and Tool. And, aptly, for failing to embrace the digital revolution, they're all tools.

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Stephen Gately's civil partner, Andrew Coyles has issued a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, through his solicitors, about that article written by Jan Moir and published in The Daily Mail following the Boyzone star's death in October, and the day before his funeral.

As previously reported, the article noted that there were some unanswered questions about Gately's sudden demise, before basically suggested that aspects of the Boyzoner's lifestyle led to his death, and that that lifestyle was basically a result of his homosexuality. This despite her previously listing a number of heterosexual celebrities who, she claimed, also lived "dangerous lifestyles" in the spotlight - some of whom have, or have had, drug dependencies on a whole different level to the dope smoking it was revealed Gately was partial to.

Many concluded Moir was really participating in some casual homophobia, a theory strengthened by the Mail hack's conclusion that Gately's death "strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships". As if civil partnerships had somehow been positioned to the Mail-reading faithful as being fairy tale unions in a society where most straight marriages ultimately fail. The conclusion seemed to be that because a man in a civil partnership had died, the whole concept should be abolished.

On the Friday the piece appeared on the Mail's website, the PCC received 1000 complaints, thanks largely to people expressing outrage on Twitter, and by the following Monday afternoon the complaint count had reached 22,000, meaning the article generated more complaints in one weekend than the whole body had received in the previous five years.

Moir responded to all the outrage about her piece, saying that the article - or at least its homophobic undertones - were simply misunderstood, and accused pressure groups of orchestrating a campaign against her which, she said, explains the sheer scale of the formal complaints made about the piece. She failed to point out the reason she had been misunderstood was that she is an atrocious writer.

Boyzone's record label, Universal/Polydor, were among the complainants, but the PCC only usually steps in when an individual personally connected to an offending article complains. Although it did previously ask the Mail to respond regarding the piece, that key complaint was not submitted until now.

Cowles cited inaccuracy, intrusion into grief and discrimination as reasons for the complaint, meaning the Press Complaints Commission will now formally investigate whether or not Moir's column breached its code of practice.

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Johnny Ross has reportedly agreed to a pay cut of 50% as he renegotiates his contract with the BBC.

Given all the pressure on the Beeb to cut the pay packages of its big stars and senior execs, as the commercial media are forced to do the same (well, in some cases) as a result of the economic down-turn, it was always likely that the chat show host - whose record breaking (reportedly) £6 million a year previous contract has become the standard complaint for BBC haters - would have to accept a much lesser pay deal this time round, oblivious of how well his shows are doing. Though Sachsgate presumably also reduced his power at the negotiating table.

And, with that in mind, while a £3 million a year deal will be quite a cut back, most BBC haters will probably rightly argue that's still far too much for any presenter, and certainly one who - while still good at what he does - is hardly the hottest talent on the block.

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If the TV producers of Britain want to make a telly talent show I'll watch (and I read somewhere that's the main aim of the TV industry next year) then they could do worse than following the lead of NBC and recruiting Ben Folds as a judge. Hey, how about that, a telly talent show judge who can actually provide proper musical feedback to contenders, rather than slurring "you're loverly you are" or snapping "that was shit".

Folds is judging on NBC's four night Idol competitor 'The Sing Off'. And the competitors on this show really can sing. I mean, it's all a bit jazz hands, but I'm a sucker for some quality close harmony a cappella singing. This is how the first edition of the show kicked off:

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Former Moloko frontwoman Roisin Murphy has given birth to her first child, a baby girl to be called Clodagh, apparently. So that's nice. Happy holidays everybody.

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CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke often give talks to aspiring artists and music entrepreneurs about launching themselves into the industry, and now he has a great new piece of advice from 50 Cent for anyone wanting to make it big in music, as a performer or business man. Get shot. Preferably nine times.

Fiddy says being shot helped him succeed in music, giving him a better perspective on the world, and a stronger nerve in business dealings. Recalling how, in 2000, a drug dealer shot him no less than nine times, he told Angry Ape recently: "[After the shooting] I put in more effort to be a success. [Now] I will be the person with the least amount of fear in the room when we're negotiating business. Because I'll weigh it up against situations far more dramatic than a deal going bad - like the confusion after being shot".

Looking back, he says the mental aspects of the shooting were harder than the physical, concluding: "Not knowing what I was going to do with my life after being shot hurt more than being physically shot". So, that's something to think about this Christmas. Happy holidays everyone.

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Adam Buxton knows: Happy holidays Kelly Jones.

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