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INFORMATION
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Jackson doc could be charged with manslaughter today
In The Pop Courts
Anka sues estranged wife for defamation
Awards & Contests
Musical Oscar nominations
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners announced
Worldwide Music Awards this weekend
Reunions & Splits
Black Grape reform
Garbage working on new material
Wentz not sure about future of Fall Out Boy
Release News
Finally, a Haiti single we can all enjoy
Fierce Panda announce birthday EP
Apparatjik take orders for debut album
Festival News
Muse and Stevie Wonder join U2 as Glasto headliners
Reviews
Album review: Various Artists - Thisisnotanexit Manifesto #1 (Thisisnotanexit)
Brands & Stuff
Red Bull Academy in London this year
The Music Business
Report says City still cautious about HMV future
Hip hop label Def Jux on hiatus
The Digital Business
Spotify US launch "looking pretty good"
The Media Business
Another radio boss speaks out against rush to DAB
Guardian speculate about the all new London Weekly
Chart Of The Day
This week's Sub.tv playlist
And finally...
Lily back on Twitter


 
WEDNESDAY 3RD FEBRUARY
TRISTRAM
Tristram is a London-based country and folk singer-songwriter. He put on such a good show at the London-based club night Oh, Inverted World recently, that the people behind the club have set up a label just to put out his debut EP. His imaginative use of words and gentle encapsulation of folk has been likened to artists such as Conor Oberst, Daniel Johnston and Nick Drake. You'll be able to hear him for yourself when that aforementioned EP is released next week. Ahead of that we spoke to him to ask the Same Six.

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Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've been making music since I was eleven, when my mum and dad bought me a little nylon string Spanish guitar. The first song I ever wrote consisted of one chord strummed over and over again. I only started playing in front of other people last year, at open mics and stuff.

Q2 What inspired your latest EP?
Little things that are indicative of bigger things. Bicycle theft. The joys and malfunctions of a long term relationship (in the process of coming unstuck). The feeling of jealousy. The fact of being in London, in a population centre of modern society, which combines an immense range of possibilities with an array of negative attributes, for example the sense that everything we do is commoditised, bought and sold. Old school hip hop, especially Public Enemy. All the little thoughts you have when you're sitting on a bus going nowhere. James Dean in 'Rebel Without A Cause'. Zombie films. Astral travel (from a sceptical perspective).

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
All the songs on the EP I wrote by piecing together words from notebooks I carry around with me. They're simply reactions to different aspects of my life at the time. The instrumentation evolved over a period of time, as my friends Greg, Tom and Becca became involved in playing them, too. Now we write songs a bit more co-operatively, where-by I come up with the bones of a song and the words, and then we work out a structure for it together as a group.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Jeffrey Lewis (lyrically, and the idea of not being afraid to expose your deficiencies), 60s folk revival things like Bert Jansch, Ann Briggs, Richard Thompson and Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, Johnny Flynn, Alan Lomax and all the songs he collected, Tom Waits, Conor Oberst, Silver Mt Zion, Godspeed and Constellation Records, Daniel Johnston, Nick Cave, Bill Callahan, The Low Anthem, Willkommen bands (Brighton folk collective), Fionn Regan, Coco Rosie, Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Devendra Banhart, Jens Lekmann, The Smiths. I like a lot of other things as well, but I don't know if the influences are discernable.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'm not sure if I would say anything. But if I had to, I'd say: "Make of this what you will, thank you very much for listening".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your leatest EP, and for the future?
I don't really want to jinx anything by speculating. In the future, I would like to play music as much as possible to large groups of people on a regular basis, and just to carry on this process we've started of evolving new songs as a group, exploring different characters for songs. I'm quietly excited, but I'm not sure what's going to happen.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/tristramsongs

 
ASH LIVE ON THE INTERNET
Ash will perform live at their own Atomic Heart Studios in New York tonight. That's all well and good, but aside from the fact that New York is a very long way away for most of us, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to all fit inside a studio without it being a bit of a squeeze. I like Ash as much as the next person, but I'm not a fan of discomfort, I can tell you. Luckily, that won't be an issue, because the whole thing will be broadcast live online at 8pm UK time.

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Interested parties can tune in via the bands official site, Facebook fan page, and on a dedicated page on the website of Livestream, who are handling the broadcast. Following the performance, the band will answers questions submitted by fans via Twitter and Facebook. Staying in and watching gigs is the new going out and watching gigs, don't you know.

www.ash-official.com

PS: Not that we'd use this slot to approve ourselves, but have you checked out Mark Hamilton from Ash's Power Of Ten Spotify playlist in this week's CMU Weekly? If you haven't, you really should. Read this week's edition or subscribe to the Weekly at www.theCMUWebsite.com/weekly.



 
  LET THE MAKERS OF CMU DO SOMETHING CREATIVE FOR YOU
UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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Royal Opera House to create jobs for young unemployed
Lee Mead to join 'Wicked' later this year
Hairspray to close
 
PR hired to try and mend England captain's reputation
Revolver man reckons ongoing digital training should be part of the job
Radio industry might adopt motor industry scrapping system to turn us digital
 
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
Zellweger to judge at Berlin Film Festival
Tim Burton to lead Cannes jury
 

JACKSON DOC COULD BE CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER TODAY
A spokesman for the late Michael Jackson's personal medic Dr Conrad Murray has confirmed he is in LA and is prepared to give himself up to the authorities, who are reportedly now ready to charge him with involuntary manslaughter.

As much previously reported, the LAPD have been investigating Murray for months, amid allegations he was negligent in administering the anaesthetic drug which killed Jackson. Jacko seemingly requested the drug - normally only used in surgery - in a bid to overcome chronic insomnia. There is also some question as to how Murray and Jackson had access to the prescription medication. Murray maintains that he did not behave negligently prior to Jackson's untimely death.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors plan to charge Murray and then push for a public court hearing to assess whether there is enough evidence to take the case to a full trial. This would skip the grand jury stage of the proceedings, a review of the evidence in private that is customary in cases such as this in the US, but not compulsory at a state level.

A spokesman for Murray told reporters: "Dr Murray is in Los Angeles for a dual purpose - on family business and to be available for law enforcement. We're trying to be as co-operative as we can. We continue to maintain that Dr Murray neither prescribed nor administered anything that should have killed Michael Jackson".

If and when criminal proceedings are launched against Murray, it remains to be seen if the Jackson family will consider launching a civil case for damages also. And if so, whether such a case would also name AEG Live as a defendant, given they hired Murray as part of their deal with Jackson ahead of his never-to-happen O2 residency. Although, of course, it was Jackson himself who requested Murray be appointed as his personal doc.

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ANKA SUES ESTRANGED WIFE FOR DEFAMATION
Paul Anka, who, as previously reported, is in the process of divorcing his wife after the couple had an almighty row last December (to which the police were called), is now also suing his other half for defamation.

There seems to be two parts to the defamation claim. First Anka says that his estranged wife, Anna Yeager, lied to reporters when she told them he had forged her signature on a prenuptial agreement. It seems Yeager had previously claimed there was no financial agreement between the couple before they wed, and now that Anka has produced a prenup as part of the divorce proceedings she has denied ever agreeing to it.

Anka also claims Yeager told scurrilous lies about him to the Swedish media while promoting a reality TV show she was involved in called 'Swedish Hollywood Wives'. The crooner also alleges that Anna only ever married him in the first place in a bid to score a TV career, correctly believing that a celebrity husband would help her get a gig on reality TV.

The defamation claims are added to previously reported allegations that Yeager physically attacked Anka by throwing a large piece of ice at him in late 2008. Police were called following that incident, too. According to TMZ.com, legal papers filed in California say Anka is seeking "justice for a pattern of emotional violence and abuse by Anna, including a battery she committed against Paul on 28 Nov 2008".

Yeager's people are yet to respond to Anka's litigation.

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MUSICAL OSCAR NOMINATIONS
So, the Oscar nominations are out, and who is nominated in the two music categories, I hear you ask. What, you didn't ask that? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.

Shortlisted for best original song are:
Randy Newman's 'Almost There' from 'The Princess And The Frog'
Randy Newman's 'Down In New Orleans' from 'The Princess And The Frog'
Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas' 'Loin de Paname' from 'Paris 36'
Maury Yeston's 'Take It All' from 'Nine'
Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett's 'The Weary Kind' from 'Crazy Heart'

Shortlisted for best original score are:
James Horner for 'Avatar'
Alexandre Desplat for 'Fantastic Mr Fox'
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders for 'The Hurt Locker'
Hans Zimmer for 'Sherlock Holmes'
Michael Giacchino for 'Up'

Both 'Avatar' and 'The Hurt Locker' have eight other nominations each other than their musical ones, and tie for the title of most nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards. Both are also up for Best Picture, for which there are ten nominees this year. The Oscars will be dished out on 7 Mar.

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BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were handed out on Monday night at The Brewery in London, with performances from some of the winners, including Nanci Griffith, Dick Gaughan and The Transatlantic Sessions, keeping things lively.

Radio 2 Controller Bob Shennan told CMU: "Radio 2 is committed to a rich and diverse range of music and the Radio 2 Folk Awards are a fantastic way to showcase such a well-loved and thriving musical genre".

Highlights from the show can be heard on Radio 2 tonight at 7pm. The full list of winners is just here:

Folk Singer Of The Year: Jon Boden
Best Duo: Show of Hands
Best Group: Lau
Best Album: Hill of Thieves - Cara Dillon
Best Original Song: Arrogance Ignorance and Greed - Steve Knightley (performed by Show of Hands)
Best Traditional Track: Sir Patrick Spens - Martin Simpson
Horizon Award: Sam Carter
Musician Of The Year: John Kirkpatrick
Best Live Act: Bellowhead
Lifetime Achievement Award: Nanci Griffith
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dick Gaughan
Good Tradition Award: The Transatlantic Sessions
Folk Club Of The Year: The Magpie's Nest, London

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WORLDWIDE MUSIC AWARDS THIS WEEKEND
Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards will be given out at a bash at The Garage in London this Saturday, which is rather exciting. The Radio 1 DJ will again be celebrating musical talent from across the world, from the eclectic mix of genres you find on Peterson's radio show.

Alongside the award giving, there'll be performances from El Michels Affair, Robert Glasper Trio, Nailah, Floating Points Ensemble and Danay, the latter being flown in from Cuba. Gilles discovered Danay while working on that previously reported 'Havana Cultura' album.

I think all the tickets for the first part of the evening - ie the awards bit - are sold out, but tickets will be available on the door for the party bit that kicks off at 11pm. More info in the relevant bit of www.gillespetersonworldwide.com

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BLACK GRAPE REFORM
Shaun Ryder has announced that he is reforming Black Grape, who originally split in 1998. Featuring original members multi-instrumentalist Danny Saber and rapper Kermit amongst the new line-up, the band will play their first show together for more than twelve years on 1 Apr at the Easter edition of the Get Loaded In The Dark club night at The Coronet in London.

Ryder told The NME: "It's great, it's interesting, it's part two. I've had a break and now I'm back to do it. Danny Saber and I have a great working relationship and the time is right".

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GARBAGE WORKING ON NEW MATERIAL
In March last year Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson revealed that she was fed up with the way the music industry is run and that she was leaving it behind forever in favour of acting. However, it seems that she might have had a change of heart.

Tucked at the end of a lengthy post about the Grammys on her Facebook fan page, she wrote on Monday: "Guess who I just spent a week in the studio with? Would you be pleased if I said one of them was called Steve and one of them was called Duke and another was a Grammy-winning producer?"

For those of you not keeping up, the members of Garbage are Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig, who won a Grammy at the weekend for his production work on Green Day's '21st Century Breakdown'.

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WENTZ NOT SURE ABOUT FUTURE OF FALL OUT BOY
How about some idle speculation about the future of Fall Out Boy? I say "idle speculation", it's Pete Wentz doing the speculating, who you might think should be as in tune with the future of the punky emo types as anyone, though he doesn't seem so sure.

In a posting on his website, the Fall Out Boy bassist writes: "To make it perfectly clear. I don't know the future of Fall Out Boy. It's embarrassing to say one thing and then have the future dictate another. As far as I know, Fall Out Boy is on break (no one wants to say the "h" word). As much as I don't have a solo project, I also can't predict that I'd ever play in Fall Out Boy again. Not due to personal relationships as [such, just that] as a band we grew apart".

He rambles on: "In this statement I'd like to include there is the possibility that FOB will play again without me or I will be a part of it when everyone is on the same page. It is no one's fault and there is no animosity about the decision. I felt as fans you deserve to know. There is no singular reason for this. The side-projects or bands are supported by all members of the band. I am the single biggest fan of FOB and if this is our legacy, then so be it. I am proud of it".

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FINALLY, A HAITI SINGLE WE CAN ALL ENJOY
So, by now you've all heard Simon Cowell's Haiti single. Whatever you think of the recording itself (well, it could have been worse, I guess) it still bothers me a bit that the big British pop effort here is - simply by choosing to cover REM's 'Everbody Hurts - sort of saying to a country half flattened by a terrible earthquake "stop you're moaning, you know, we all get a bit sad sometimes".

Meanwhile American pop's all new version of 'We Are The World' is incoming, and I'm sure you've all seen the coverage of the recording and marvelled at the long list of stars involved (and wondered who all those other people hanging around might be).

But now, finally, there's a charity single for Haiti we can all get behind without fear of coming across as patronising or ending up with a record that's actually no good at all. Because how could anything organised by Shane MacGowan be either patronising or bad? It couldn't. In fact, this sounds fucking brilliant.

MacGowan has got a load of his mates, including Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Glen Matlock and Mick Jones, to take part in another Haiti supporting collaboration - a cover of Screamin Jay Hawkins' 'I Put A Spell On You'. See? That I would buy even if it wasn't for charity.

The single will be released later this month, with all money raised from it donated to Dublin-based charity Concern Worldwide, which has been operating in Haiti for sixteen years and has been distributing 135,000 litres of water per day since the earthquake hit.

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FIERCE PANDA ANNOUNCE BIRTHDAY EP
Indie label Fierce Panda's sixteenth birthday is fast approaching, and to celebrate they're going back to their roots and releasing a compilation EP full of buzz yew bands.

The very first Fierce Panda release in 1994 was the EP 'Shagging In The Streets', which featured six up-and-coming bands over two 7" singles, including These Animal Men and S*M*A*S*H. This format then became the staple for the label, with similar releases over the next decade featuring early recordings from the likes of Green Day, Razorlight, Super Furry Animals, Ash, Supergrass, The Rakes, The Bluetones, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Babybird, Symposium, Lush, Theaudience and many more.

Although the format was retired in 2004, it's coming back for the sixteenth anniversary of that first release. 'Zip It Up' will be released on 22 Feb and will include seven, rather than six bands (the extra track they put down to getting over-excited), including The Molotovs, who we like a lot. Its catalogue number is NING229, the physical release will be limited to 229 CDs and there will be a launch party at 229 in London on 24 Feb. Numbers are fun.

Here's the tracklist:

Brilliant Mind - Leave Your Friends Behind
The Crookes - Yes, Yes, We're Magicians
The Heartbreaks - Jealous, Don't You Know (Demo)
Hoodlums - Not A Love Song
Ideals - These Seasons (Demo)
The Molotovs - One Up On Me
Sketches - This Sir Is War

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APPARATJIK TAKE ORDERS FOR DEBUT ALBUM
Apparatjik, the band comprising Mew's Jonas Bjerre, Guy Berryman from Coldplay, A-ha's Magne Furuholmen and songwriter/producer Martin Terefe, have released their debut album, 'We Are Here', in downloadable form. A CD/DVD release is also available to pre-order, though the actual shipping date of the physical release has not yet been announced.

Get it all here: www.apparatjik.com

The names of the tracks, when placed in the order they appear on the album, look like this:

Deadbeat
Datascroller
Snow Crystals
Supersonic Sound
Arrow and Bow
In A Quiet Corner
Josie
Antlers
Electric Eye
Look Kids
Quiz Show

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MUSE AND STEVIE WONDER JOIN U2 AS GLASTO HEADLINERS
Speaking at The Event Production Show yesterday, Michael Eavis said that Muse have been booked to headline Saturday night at this year's Glastonbury Festival, while it was "probable" that Stevie Wonder will top the bill and close the show on the Sunday night. U2 have, of course, already been announced as the Friday night headliners.

Eavis also revealed that the festival site will be expanding again this year, not to let in more people, but to accommodate a trend for larger tents in the campsites. The issue of flags was also raised, they having been banned at last year's Reading and Leeds festivals and this year's Download festival. He said that while flags would not be prohibited at Glastonbury, efforts would be made to ensure a clear line of sight for all members of the audience at the main stages, which is good news.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Thisisnotanexit Manifesto #1 (Thisisnotanexit)
Thisisnotanexit have unobtrusively been carving a niche for themselves as purveyors of frequently brilliant music sharing a singular aesthetic (a kind of Balearic open-mindedness combined with a love of fearless sonic adventures) that, by accident or design, has positioned the new label as a kind of fantastic covert operation waiting to be discovered.

Primarily dealing in electronic odysseys (aside from the raw post-punkiness of Detachments, whose 'Fear No Fear' - featured here on a mixed second CD - is one of the most incendiary debut singles of recent times), 'Manifesto #1' is a compilation, but, more than that, it's a statement of intent, a list of instructions and a dossier of clues to a secret society (in the best spirit of Factory Records).

So, we have insistent, experimental post-rave ambience (Brain Machine, Professor Genius) alongside Eno-esque throbbing beatless minimalism (Naum Gabo, Spectral Empire), before more dancefloor-friendly fare arrives, in the shape of Pink Stallone, Night Plane and Moscow, with their dreamy takes on cosmic nu disco. Parallels' 'Ultralight', meanwhile, is simply a delicious slice of synthed-up strobe-lit Euro-pop.

The artist names, of course, divest no pointers to the creators' provenance or status. (Are they duos, groups, or sole operatives?) The mystery is all part of the appeal, but as long as TINAE keep releasing remarkable music united by both a progressive mentality and terse single-mindedness, I'm happy to remain enlightened whilst in the dark. MS

Physical release: 8 Feb
Press contact: Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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RED BULL ACADEMY IN LONDON THIS YEAR
The Red Bull Academy, the annual programme of events for aspiring musicians from around the world, backed by the caffeine-rich syrupy stuff, is taking place in London this year, and kicks off on Sunday. sixty up-and-coming musical types will take part in a series of seminars, masterclasses and collaborative projects over the following month, with two two week 'semesters', each involving thirty people.

Most of the events that take place during the Academy are for participants only. Actually, for a brand-backed programme involving so many class acts as speakers and tutors, the Red Bull Academy is a remarkably low-key affair, focused on giving the 60 participants the best possible experience, rather than scoring the drink column inches, which should be commended, I reckon. But there are some events open to the public, kicking off with a special Innervisions night at Fabric this Sunday.

Giving some background to the Academy, one of its founders, Many Ameri, told CMU: "The Red Bull Music Academy is a source of inspiration for those who shape our musical future. Ever since we first started in Berlin in 1998, the Academy has fostered musicians' full creativity by bringing them together with a diverse and talented group of their peers from around the world - with state-of-the-art studios and music gear at their disposal".

He continued: "At the Academy, young aspiring artists have the unique opportunity to gain knowledge from and collaborate with the well-known music-makers who coined the very scenes and genres they are now pushing to new levels. They take the energy of this experience home to start new projects of their own, from collaborative albums to pirate radio stations to local workshops. So it's not about preaching to the converted and teaching skills that our participants already have. It's about mutual inspiration, helping them to connect the dots, and make their own valuable contribution to music - as part of a globe-spanning network that keeps on evolving through word-of-mouth".

There's more info at www.redbullmusicacademy.com with evening events open to the public listed in the 'calendar' section.

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REPORT SAYS CITY STILL CAUTIOUS ABOUT HMV FUTURE
The continued growth of digital entertainment products over the physical will present a challenge for high street entertainment retailers like HMV and Game. Or so says a report from a KPMG-backed think tank, and thank God for that, because there was the rest of us thinking it was going to be all smooth sailing for CD, book and game sellers from this point on.

To be fair, I think the point that the think tank is trying to make is that those pie-guzzling City types remain unconvinced that HMV, Game and their like are yet sufficiently equipped to deal with the continued shift of entertainment consumption from the high street to the internet.

And I suppose the growth of streaming and on-demand entertainment services will mean that even attempts by the traditional retailers to move into the mail-order CD/DVD/game and a-la-carte download domain - even if you ignore the fact that move hasn't been entirely successful - won't be enough to maintain market share.

The report is perhaps most interesting in that it seems to suggest City types still view HMV in the context of its traditional high street presence - so the HMV and Waterstones shops - rather than its recent efforts to reinvent itself as an all round entertainment provider, through its 50% stake in digital download store 7Digital, its partnership with cinema people Curzon, and its existing JV with and pending acquisition of the MAMA Group, one of the UK music business' biggest success stories of recent years.

The report says: "The stock market has decided that the structural decline of the physical market for games, books and music caused by digital downloading will very quickly overwhelm the efforts of both companies to adapt and prosper. The severe derating of Game and HMV seems harsh, but the stock market tends to get these things right, so both companies will have to work very hard to get both consumers and investors more on their side this year".

All in all, HMV could probably do with reviewing and simplifying its product portfolio and then overhauling its corporate brand, in a bid to convince consumers and investors alike that His Masters Voice is now an all round entertainment powerhouse, and not just a record shop with an awful lot of side projects on the go.

Elsewhere in the think tank's report, some more general doom and gloom for the entire non-food retail sector. Despite the government's recent announcement that the British economy had stopped receding, this think tank doesn't see any reason for retailers to feel any optimism, especially now the Christmas spend-a-thon is over.

KPMG's Helen Dickinson: "Because retail is so heavily dependent on consumer sentiment and individual consumers' personal financial situations, which, in turn, rely on the economy, the sector is affected very quickly by economic events. Unfortunately the current situation is more of a bumping along the bottom of the recession cycle than real recovery from it and the delicate confidence that has recently returned could very easily be shattered".

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HIP HOP LABEL DEF JUX ON HIATUS
The boss of decade old New York based hip hop label Definitive Jux has said he is putting the business on hiatus in terms of releasing new recordings, so he can concentrate on his own musical output and the company can re-invent itself as the music business evolves.

EL-P, real name Jaime Meline, issued an official statement about the label this week following several weeks of speculation that the venture was about to close. Meline says the label will continue to operate a website and sell its catalogue, and that plans are afoot for new ventures in the future. However, following a retrospective compo and remix album package, there will be no upcoming Def Jux releases while Meline himself concentrates more on his artist and producer projects.

Confirming he would step down as the label's Artistic Director, Meline said this week: "This means change for Jux. Of course we'll still have our website, we will still sell our catalogue, merch and more as well as bring you news and updates on all our projects and artists. We will be releasing [the late Camu Tao's album] 'King Of Hearts', a Def Jux remix compilation, a ten year anniversary retrospective and some other goodies. But then as a traditional record label Def Jux will effectively be put on hiatus".

He continued: "We are not closing, but we are changing. The process is already underway, and the last several months (for those wondering what the hell we've been up to) have been spent dealing with the technical aspects of wrapping up the label in its current form and re-imagining our collective and individual futures".

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SPOTIFY US LAUNCH "LOOKING PRETTY GOOD"
A US launch for Spotify is "looking pretty good", according to the streaming music service's top man Daniel Ek, who was speaking at the New Music Seminar in LA this week.

With reports that some key label people in the US remain unconvinced about Spotify, with particular concerns that the service's free-to-use version is too good, making the chances of signing up large quantities of people to a premium version slim, Ek used his key note at NMS to give a thorough introduction to his service and his company's plans to distinguish the subscription offer from the free streaming platform.

According to Billboard, Ek added that the Swedish company had not rushed into the US market because they wanted to be certain their offering was properly tailored to it. He told the trade mag: "This is a huge market. We want to make sure we do it right".

On progress towards a US launch, Ek told the event: "We're in the final stages of setting up. Yesterday we signed a data centre contract, which is huge for us. We're making a huge investment in servers and all the infrastructure here in the US. So, we're gearing up for a US launch. I can't say if it's in one month's time or two month's time, but it's looking pretty good".

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ANOTHER RADIO BOSS SPEAKS OUT AGAINST RUSH TO DAB
Another smaller player in UK radio has spoken out against any rush to make Digital Audio Broadcasting - or DAB - the standard radio platform in the UK.

As previously reported, some in radio say broadcasting the same services on both FM and DAB isn't cost efficient, and the sooner FM is turned off forcing listeners onto DAB the better. The government backs a speedy switch off of FM because then it can flog off that airspace. But others in radio say that UK radio listeners are not ready for a total switch from FM to DAB, and forcing that switch in 2015 - as the government is proposing - will favour the bigger radio firms over the smaller operators.

Certainly, big boys Global Radio and Bauer Radio seem more supportive of a rapid switch to DAB than the smaller players. Meanwhile both UTV and TLRC-UKRD have hit out at the 2015 deadline for FM turn off, both quitting RadioCentre over the issue, accusing the commercial radio trade body of been to tuned into the interests of Global when it comes to DAB.

Now Adam Findlay, the boss of New Wave Media, which owns Wave 102 in Dundee, has supported UTV and UKRD's viewpoint. On Radio Today he is quoted as saying: "From the outset more than a decade ago the handling of DAB has been one of infliction against the radio industry. Radio operators were 'incentivised' to apply for the DAB multiplexes since the late 90's, since which millions of pounds has had to be written off and an untold number of radio jobs lost as operators try to absorb the huge losses incurred over the past decade".

He continues: "[Therefore] one understands [the bigger radio firms] wish now to recoup some of that 'investment' [by rushing the switch to DAB, but by switching off FM] smaller stations throughout the UK will be put at a terrible disadvantage, particularly those in rural and island locations. Some could even disappear from the airwaves due to monopoly ownership of DAB transmitters resulting in uneconomic pricing or simply the lack of DAB in a given area".

You can read Findlay's full piece at www.radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.5587.

As previously reported, it has been mooted that those in the industry who support a rapid move to DAB are considering a radio scrapping programme where consumers get a discount on their digital radio sets if they hand over an old FM set when they buy it, a bid to take FM radios out of service. The body overseeing the move to digital - Digital Radio UK - has admitted it is a proposal they are considering.

Needless to say, the boss of the aforementioned UKRD, William Rogers, isn't impressed with that proposal. He told Radio Today: "This is yet another typical example of those who support this ridiculous piece of legislation [the 2015 target] trying to find assorted pieces of sticking plaster to cover over the cracks of a flawed piece of policy. Half baked proposals like this are clearly designed to respond to the ever increasing reality that the present strategic policy and direction is being exposed as a tarnished and inappropriate route to take".

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GUARDIAN SPECULATE ABOUT THE ALL NEW LONDON WEEKLY
The Guardian has been speculating about the soundness of the London Weekly, the new weekly free-sheet for the capital which is due to launch this weekend.

They say that at least two of the journalists on the 50 strong staff list published on the new paper's website have said that, while they were approached by the new venture, they have not confirmed their involvement, and have not heard from the paper's editors for a while. Which might be because the Weekly's initial chief editor, Roisin Robertson, has seemingly left the company.

Meanwhile the Press Manager at leading media buying agency Starcom Mediavest, Scott Moorhead, told The Guardian that the new paper had made no efforts to contact him about advertising sales. While admitting that the new title's commercial people might be trying to sell advertising direct to advertisers - the big agencies not always being overly supportive of new titles - he still thought the total silence was odd.

Meanwhile another anonymous media buyer reportedly said: "I think [The Weekly] is the most amateurish, doomed-to-failure thing I have heard of in years. They have not really been in touch with [media] agencies. The business plan targeting Friday and Saturday is two different groups, one commuters, one not, so it is not clear how that is going to work. They should have started approaching agencies two months ago. Some of their people have come through switchboard, trying to reach directors on client accounts, which is not the way it is done. I will be surprised if it is on the street on Friday. We are dismissing them".

However, a commercial rep for the paper, Paul Morris, insists everything is going well. He told the Guardian: "People who doubt [the London Weekly] is real, will surely doubt no more when it launches next week on 5 Feb. There were doubts when we announced the launch of the website last year and everyone wondered whether the website would launch. We proved them wrong with www.thelondonweekly.co.uk going live on schedule on the 20 Dec 2009".

Of course, for a project that was reported to have considerable financial backing, that website is pretty rubbish, but still, presumably we'll see on Friday where this one is headed in terms of the printed product. While a newspaper in format, the new title is expected to have an entertainment and lifestyle bias.

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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 around the UK. New additions marked with a *. More info on all things Sub.tv from DavidLloyd@sub.tv.

A-List
Biffy Clyro - Many Of Horror
The Big Pink - Velvet
Calvin Harris - You Used To Hold Me
DJ Zinc feat Ms Dynamite - Wile Out*
Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed*
Example - Won't Go Quietly
Hot Chip - One Life Stand
I Blame Coco feat Robyn - Caesar
Jay-Z - Young Forever*
Kasabian - Vlad The Impaler (Live)
Marina and the Diamonds - Hollywood*
Muse - Resistance*
Owl City - Fireflies
Plan B - Stay Too Long*
Sade - Soldier Of Love*
You Me At Six - Underdog

B-List
Alphabeat - Hole In My Heart*
Cobra Starship - Hot Mess
Daisy Dares You feat Chipmunk - Number One Enemy
Erik Hassle - Hurtful*
Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over*
Jason Derulo - In My Head*
Jay Sean feat Sean Paul & Lil Jon - Do You Remember*
JLS - One Shot
Kid Cudi feat MGMT & Ratatat - Pursuit Of Happiness
Miike Snow - Silvia
Mika - Blame It On The Girls
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (Live)*
Phoenix - 1901
Steve Aoki feat Zuper Blahq - I'm In The House*
Sugababes - Wear My Kiss*
The XX - VCR*

Tip List
Blood Red Shoes - Light It Up*
Broken Bells - The High Road*
The Drums - I Felt Stupid*
Field Music - Them That Do Nothing*
Gabriella Cilmi - On A Mission
Girls - Morning Light
Gucci Mane feat Usher - Spotlight
Groove Armada - Paper Romance
McLean - My Name*
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out

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LILY BACK ON TWITTER
Finally, the internet has a purpose again; Lily Allen has returned to Twitter four months after announcing that she was becoming a "neo-luddite" and quitting the microblogging site.

Yesterday, she announced that she was back. She said: "Hello, I'm back", which I think pretty much confirms it.

What has she been up to while she's been away, though? Lily updated us thus: "Just got back from Australia, and I had a wonderful time. Setting up my new office in London, got some really exciting stuff to share with you. For now though, I'm off to the gym. Went to India over Xmas and the clarified butter has made its way from my tummy to my thighs. Eeuuggh".

So that's good to know.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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