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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Questions raised over Guru death note
Cirque du Soleil do deal with Jackson estate
In The Pop Courts
Judge rejects Carly Simon's Starbucks lawsuit
Awards & Contests
Ivor Novello noms out
Artist Deals
Macca signs back catalogue deal with Concord
SEG Management announce new signings
Release News
Kylie to release stuff
Gigs & Tours News
Hook to perform Joy Division debut for 30th anniversary
Free Mixmag party
Festival News
Festival Republic again warn of dodgy ticket sellers
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Elliot Smith - Roman Candle (Domino)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Jack Bruce to do intimate Q&A sesh
Brands & Stuff
Kelly Clarkson wants you all to smoke
The Music Business
Slicethepie make exec appointments
Purple promotions
The Digital Business
Another report says iPods could be damaging your hearing
Bebo became loss making in 2009
And finally...
Courtney splits from Love


 
WEDNESDAY 21ST APRIL
STEVE HILLAGE
Starting out as the guitarist in prog rock band Gong in the early 70s, over the last two decades Steve Hillage has immersed himself in dance music culture with long-term partner and fellow musician Miquette Giraudy. Steve and Miquette formed both System 7 and its more chilled spin off Mirror System, and in 2000 they launched their own label in the form of A-Wave. They remain in demand as a live act (as both System 7 and Mirror System) and as DJs, frequently appearing at those festivals with a credible electronic music programme.

 
You can check out the Mirror System vibe in a new mix CD they've compiled, which is out this month. Called 'Reflector', it is launched at the inSpiral Lounge in Camden on 24 Apr, where Steve and Miquette will also perform live. With that album, System 7 and Mirror System sets at various fests, plus a Gong reunion tour planned for September, it's going to be a busy few months for Steve. But he still found time to answer the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I learned piano from the age of four, switched to guitar at the age of nine, and had a really good band at school in my teens. Finally at the age of 20 I decided that making music was my destiny. Right from an early age I always had a yearning for the ethereal side of music, and after discovering early Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix in my mid-teens I was pretty much marked for life. Seeing Hendrix at the Marquee Club in early 1967, sitting two metres from him, was a massive jaw dropping moment, and all I could think about was: "Wow I'd love to do something like that!" Similarly, later on, seeing people for the first time dancing to Kraftwerk in 1977 opened up my mind to a future vision of electronic dance music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Mirror System is the chilled and downtempo extension of our dance music project System 7, which we started 20 years ago, in collaboration with other dance and ambient music figures, notably Alex Paterson of The Orb, that we were also part of at that time. Over the last few years, since the first Mirror System album in 2005, we've developed a DJ style that blends our Mirror System chilled feeling with soft minimal techno and electro beats, and we had a strong desire to make a mixed compilation album in this style. And this is that album - the Mirror System 'Reflector' DJ mix CD.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It can be many things; a new sound, a groove or an idea that just pops into our heads that will act as a catalyst and help us find the spark to start us off. From then onwards the mixing process, the composing process and the performing process are all blended. It's a very intuitive process - sometimes a track almost seems to make itself. DJing and playing live sets, which we do a lot as System 7, also helps as it allows us to try out new ideas with a live dance audience - and of course the people always like to hear new things.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
For this particular project we were strongly influenced by artists like Trentemøller and Evan Marc. In a wider context, we have enjoyed great and enriching influence over the years from our close collaborators in the System 7 project, like The Orb, Derrick May, Laurent Garnier and Son Kite/Minilogue, and the great remixers we have worked with like Dubfire, James Holden and Richie Hawtin. In a wider context still, I always say my number one musical influence remains Jimi Hendrix.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
For people new to Mirror System, I would say please relax and let the music take you on a rich and rewarding journey.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
As we say on the sleeve notes of 'Reflector', we wish this DJ mix to be a positive 'reflector' of what makes the electronic music scene vital. We'll be playing 'Reflector'-style Mirror System sets at various chill out lounges this year, while working on a new System 7 album, which will embody the harder elements of our dancefloor sound. We'll be trying out some of the new System 7 grooves in our festival sets this year, notably on Glastonbury's Glade Stage, where we are confirmed to play at 4pm on 27 Jun.

MORE>> www.a-wave.com/system7/

 
STEVE MASON - BOYS OUTSIDE
Steve Mason has released two solo albums since the break up of The Beta Band in 2004, but his latest, 'Boys Outside', is the first to be released under his own name. Produced by Richard X, the album is an attempt to apply R&B-style production to a simple singer-songwriter album. I'm still not entirely sure that plan was carried out successfully, but that's by the by, as the actual result is one of this year's most beautiful records.

 
Mason has always had an amazing ability to write vocal harmonies, and combined with his most personal lyrics to date, this works to devastating effect on songs like 'The Letter' and 'Lost & Found', the latter of which is released as a single this week. All of which you can experience for yourself right now, as the album is streaming in full on Steve's website, ahead of its release on 3 May. Selected independent record stores are also already stocking the vinyl version.

www.stevemasontheartist.com


 
  INTERNSHIP AT UNLIMITED MEDIA
We are looking for a student or recent graduate who is keen to get some experience working in a publishing environment to join the team at our London HQ for 3-4 weeks from next week working on our ThreeWeeks in Brighton title, which covers the Brighton Festival and Fringe.

You will help out with the production of online content, both audio and text, and be responsible for inputting content into the ThreeWeeks website.

This is an unpaid internship, but will be a great opportunity to get some real-world experience, and there'll be plenty of careers advice thrown in. If you are interested, just bung a CV over to georgina@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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  MEET A STAR PR
A Star PR is a dynamic creative arts company, at the forefront of innovations within the music and entertainment industry. The exceptional quality of our past PR, marketing and creative campaigns speak for themselves, with coverage in major print, online, digital and broadcast media outlets. From broadsheets to tabloids; social networks to mobile platforms - A Star PR have it covered.

Our team is comprised of passionate creatives, with unrivalled knowledge and expertise in their particular fields. Be it print press, digital, mobile or marketing consultancy, we are able to offer effective bespoke campaigns to all of our clients. If you are interested in an effective affordable campaign please contact ian.roberts@astarpr.com or ben.allen@astarpr.com or call 020 7836 1122 and quote CMU ad.

       
  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalogue you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
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Work on next Bond film suspended indefinitely
'Burn The Floor' to transfer from Broadway to West End
Adrian Chiles quits BBC
 
75% of UK music journalists against digital promos
New MPs will rely more on social media
Ofcom tell off Penk over Jump, let off 5live over RATM
 
Kendal Calling looking for arty types
Music festival line-up update - 20 Apr 2010
Spiegeltent may be absent from Edinburgh again this year
 

QUESTIONS RAISED OVER GURU DEATH NOTE
There was much speculation yesterday, following the previously reported announcement that GangStarr man Guru had died, over the validity of a letter, apparently written by the rapper on his deathbed, and published by his producer and recent musical collaborator Solar. Some have suggested that the letter, which outlines Guru's wishes on the handling of his posthumous affairs, amongst other things, was written by Solar himself, while others have said that it's simply very odd to publish via a press release something that, in places, reads like a last will and testament; especially so soon after someone's death.

As previously reported, Guru died on Monday after a year's battle with cancer. He briefly fell into a coma in February after suffering a heart attack, but later issued a statement - again via Solar - saying that he was recovering well after surgery. However, the rapper's nephew, Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff, then issued a statement via YouTube saying that Solar was "manipulating" Guru, withholding information about his health and blocking his family from visiting him.

The letter, released by Solar as he announced his musical partner's death yesterday, said: "I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options. I have a non-profit organisation called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting".

He continued: "My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody's feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my [son] KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own".

The letter then moved on the matter of his ongoing feud with his former GangStarr partner, DJ Premier, saying: "I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name, likeness, events, tributes etc connected in anyway to my situation, including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason, and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over seven years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ".

He finished by saying how proud he was of the musical legacy he leaves behind, with GangStarr as well as his 'Jazzmatazz' and other solo albums.

It was the section of the statement regarding DJ Premier which many fans found particularly hard to swallow, with some questioning whether a man apparently about to die would want his final words to be an angry rant about a former creative partner. It has been suggested by fans, media folk and other members of the hip hop community that this, and other statements issued in Guru's name, were in fact penned by Solar.

However, Solar issued a repost to anyone questioning the letter's authenticity yesterday, telling MTV: "I mean, it's ridiculous. Guru knew this time would come. The great artist he is, us being intelligent people, we knew there was going to have to be a statement relating to this. Unfortunately, there are those who have the wicked agenda, and just can't accept that Guru and I have handled this thing as men and not children, and this is how men of honour handle their business. He arranged his press release. I'm the repository of Guru's life story. I recorded his life story for book and for movies. We're not foolish. He was diagnosed with cancer well over a year ago. It's been operations and so forth. It would be ridiculous for him to not be prepared".

Born in Boston in 1966, Guru, real name Keith Elam, founded GangStarr in 1985, working with various producers before settling on DJ Premier. The duo then released six albums together between 1989 and 2003. In 2005, he began working with Solar, recording his solo album, 'Version 7: The Street Scriptures', the first to be released outside his ongoing 'Jazzmatazz' series, the same year. They went on to record two more albums together (including the fourth 'Jazzmatazz' instalment). The pair also founded the 7 Grand record label together.

PS: It's worth noting that the Solar at the heart of this story is not French rap man MC Solaar. Because this Solar, although primarily a producer, does some MCing, he is occasionally referred to - including in a past CMU Daily - as MC Solar. But Solar is not Solaar, OK?

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CIRQUE DU SOLEIL DO DEAL WITH JACKSON ESTATE
Cirque du Soleil has done a deal with the Jackson estate which will result in a Jacko themed version of the famous circus show being launched, incorporating some of the late king of pop's music and dance moves. The Jacko show will tour next year, with the eventual aim of installing it as one of the circus firm's permanent shows in Vegas.

Confirming a deal had been done with the Jackson clan, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte told reporters yesterday: "Michael Jackson is the king of pop and an all-time phenomenal artist, both timeless and contemporary. As a creative challenge, this project is the ultimate. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, we will produce a Cirque du Soleil experience not only worthy of Michael but unlike any other we have created before".

The Jackson estate will have a 50% stake in the new show, and will receive additional royalties for the music that features in it. Speaking for the estate and family, Jackson's mother Katherine told reporters: "Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way".

Of course, it's not the first time Cirque du Soleil have incorporated pop music into their shows, past rock versions of the Circus have incorporated the music of Elvis and The Beatles.

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JUDGE REJECTS CARLY SIMON'S STARBUCKS LAWSUIT
An LA judge has rejected the lawsuit launched by Carly Simon against coffee shifters Starbucks. As previously reported, Simon signed up to release an album via Starbucks' short lived record company venture Hear Music. Alas her long player, 'This Kind Of Love', was released just as the coffee firm decided to bring the label project to an end, and she said that had a negative impact on the way her record was promoted.

With sales of the album somewhat disappointing, Simon accused the coffee firm of failing to fulfil its promises to market and promote the long player. She also said bosses at the coffee giant had misled her when negotiating her record deal because, she reckoned, they must have known the Hear Music venture was about to be scaled down, but they failed to share that information with her. She also argued that the coffee firm's subsequent decision to discount her album in their own stores damaged her reputation. Starbucks refuted the allegations and said the main problem with the record release was that people just didn't like the singer's Brazilian-influenced fourteen track album.

Now LA District Court Judge George Wu has thrown the case out of court, saying the singer's contract with Starbucks said little about their marketing obligations, and that the firm had no duty to reveal their future business plans as part of their negotiations with the singer. The judge added that while Simon may have been misled while doing her deal, it was her job to prove that was the case, and that she had failed to do so. In a summary judgement released this week he wrote: "The court views this as a problem of proof and not a problem of pleading".

If Simon wants to continue with the case she will need to resubmit her lawsuit providing evidence she was misled by end of play today.

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IVOR NOVELLO NOMS OUT
So, this year's big nominees at the Ivor Novellos are Lily Allen and Dizzee Rascal, who are both nominated in two categories for the songwriting awards. La Roux, Bat For Lashes, Paolo Nutini, and The Duckworth Lewis Method, aka Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh, also get nods, plus there's a surprise nomination for last year's surprise nominee, The Leisure Society's Nick Hemming. This year's "you won't have heard of them, but they've been nominated" band are the previously reported (so, obviously you've heard of them) Patch Williams, who are up for Best Song.

This year also sees the introduction of the Best Original Video Game Score category, about which awards committee member Mark Fishlock says: "The Ivors has always sought to reflect the ever-changing world of songwriting and composing. The video games market has matured beyond recognition and big budget orchestral scores are regularly being commissioned. Writing music for games also requires a number of specialist skills compared with conventional film scoring, such as non-linear and multi-layered composition".

The awards will be handed out on 20 May at Grosvenor House in London. Here are the noms in full:

Best Contemporary Song: Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Dizzee Rascal, Armand Van Helden), Bat For Lashes - Daniel (Natasha Khan), La Roux - In For The Kill (Elly Jackson, Ben Langmaid)

Best Song Musically And Lyrically: The Leisure Society - Save It For Someone Who Cares (Nick Hemming), Lily Allen - The Fear (Lily Allen, Greg Kurstin), Patch William - The Last Bus (Ed Adlard, Will Adlard, Ali Digby, George Eddy)

Best Television Soundtrack: Desperate Romantics (Daniel Pemberton), Life (George Fenton), Red Riding 1974 (Adrian Johnston)

Album Award: The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method (Neil Hannon, Thomas Walsh), Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up (Paolo Nutini), Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N Cheek (Dizzee Rascal, Nick Denton)

PRS For Music Most Performed Work: James Morrison feat Nelly Furtado - Broken Strings (James Morrison, Fraser T Smith, Nina Woodford), Lily Allen - The Fear (Lily Allen, Greg Kurstin), Girls Aloud - The Promise (Nick Coler, Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Kieran Jones, Tim Powell, Jason Resch, Carla Williams)

Best Original Film Score: Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (John Powell), Skin (Helene Muddiman), The Young Victoria (Ilan Eshkeri)

Best Original Video Game Score: Empire: Total War (Richard Beddow, Richard Birdsall, Walter Mair, Lorenzo Piggici, Simon Ravn), Killzone 2 (Joris de Man), Savage Moon: Waldgeist (Armin Elsaesser)

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MACCA SIGNS BACK CATALOGUE DEAL WITH CONCORD
Paul McCartney has done a deal with US indie Concord Music Group who will now distribute and market all of Macca's post-Beatles recordings catalogue, including the Wings albums. The new distribution deal follows the end of a similar arrangement regarding back catalogue with EMI, and is therefore being spun by many as another blow for the flagging London-based major.

Of course, Macca ended his active label relationship with EMI back in 2007 when he signed up to the aforementioned Starbucks-owned label Hear Music, who released his 'Memory Almost Full' long player. Concord were Starbucks' business partners in its music project, and Macca has continued to collaborate with the indie since the Hear Music venture was wound down.

The new deal will see Concord reissue much of Macca's back catalogue, starting with 1973 Wings album 'Band On The Run'. Each reissue will come with the customary bonus material. Confirming the new deal, McCartney said in a statement: "Since the release of 'Memory Almost Full' in 2007 I've had a good working relationship with Concord and enjoyed our mutual love of music".

I think Macca is still glued into EMI on his classical projects and, of course, none of this affects the major's hold over the Beatles catalogue.

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SEG MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCE NEW SIGNINGS
Management firm SEG Entertainment is celebrating its first full year in business by announcing a string of new signings and deals. Both the reformed Leftfield and producer man William Orbit will be working with SEG moving forward, plus the company has acquired Mum's The Word Management, which means they are adding Breakage, His Girl Friday and Shy FX to their roster.

SEG Entertainment is the music-focused division of the Dutch-based Sports Entertainment Group, and was formed when SEG acquired John Arnison's John Management and Mark Marot's Terra Firma management companies last year (a deal which, if nothing else, meant Marot's company could no longer be confused for EMI's flagging equity firm owners).

Confirming those new deals, and commenting on the first year of SEG Entertainment, Marot told CMU: "The music industry rulebook is being rewritten on a daily basis these days. Artists need managers who can deal with the complexities of a 360 degree world, and managers need the infrastructure to ensure they deliver for their artists in every way they can".

He added: "We started SEG Entertainment UK a year ago with a vision of creating a new kind of management company, one which offers a full service to artists and gives managers currently working on their own a ready-made infrastructure which they can plug into. I am glad to report that it is a vision which the artist and management community also finds attractive".

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KYLIE TO RELEASE STUFF
So, it turns out that calling yesterday's announcement "extra special" was a bit of an overstatement, as Kylie Minogue was just revealing that she's planning on releasing a new album soon, which we already knew. Although now we know exactly when, which is nice, I suppose.

Anyway, here are the details of said announcement. Kylie's new single, 'All The Lovers', will be released on 28 Jun via Parlophone, followed by her new album, 'Aphrodite', on 5 Jul.

Kylie told reporters: "The single was one of the last tracks to be written for the album. As I was recording it I knew that 'All The Lovers' had to be the first single; it sums up the euphoria of the album perfectly. It gives me goosebumps, so I'm really excited to hear what everyone thinks of it".

Stuart Price, who mixed the track and was executive producer on the album, added: "'All The Lovers' is a magical song and sums up everything that the album is: Kylie doing pop dance music at her best. When you look in your mind's eye at everything Kylie is, it's on this record".

You can hear a clip of 'All The Lovers' here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrbyT_N7ELU

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HOOK TO PERFORM JOY DIVISION DEBUT FOR 30TH ANNIVERSARY
To mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Joy Division's debut album 'Unknown Pleasures', Peter Hook has announced that he will perform the album in full, with his band The Light, at a gig at Manchester's Factory venue next month, with a portion of the ticket price donated to mental health charity Mind and the Keith Bennett Appeal, which was set up to recover the remains of the Moors murder victim after police called off the search in 2009.

The show will take place on 18 May. Tickets cost £19.99 and can be purchased here: factory.fatsoma.com/event_etickets.php?eid=25212

Mind's chief exec Paul Farmer told CMU: "It is wonderful that Mind is going to benefit from such an exciting event. The generous donation will help fund our work to improve the lives of people with mental distress, including our MindinfoLine, which provides confidential advice and support to those that need it. Our sincerest thanks go to Peter Hook and everyone else that is involved. By raising awareness of mental health we can help combat the huge stigma that surrounds it and show others that it is okay to be open about your experiences and to seek help".

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FREE MIXMAG PARTY
Mixmag will be holding a free party at the Vibe Bar on Brick Lane in London this Sunday from 4pm to 12am. And who have they got lined up to play? Only every single one of these people: Kissy Sell Out,Late Of The Pier (DJ Set),Jack Beats,Doorly,Fenech Soler (Live),Danimal Kingdom (Live), Leatherhead, Blamma! Blamma!, Union DJs, Sly Fly DJs, The Squatters, Dollop DJs, Tomb Crew, Jonny Rap Attack, We Are Your Friends, Harry Bird, andWonky Ninja.

To get in, you just need to go and register to be on the guestlist here: www.dontstayin.com/uk/london/vibe-bar/2010/apr/25/article-12761

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FESTIVAL REPUBLIC AGAIN WARN OF DODGY TICKET SELLERS
Festival Republic has again warned festival-goers to only buy tickets for the Reading and Leeds festivals from official agents, after discovering more dodgy online set ups claiming to have tickets to the two events for sale. Of course all sold out festivals suffer from dodgy touts selling fake tickets, most of which won't get you into the event, though it does seem the trade in fake tix for Reading and Leeds is particularly rampant.

Festival Republic have published a list of official ticket sellers on the Reading and Leeds websites and have made a PDF available of the unofficial ticket agents they are aware of, who they say consumers should avoid doing business with. They say the unapproved ticket agents are either completely scamming you and have no intention of selling you legitimate tickets, or they are taking your money on the hope they can secure tickets via the secondary ticketing market, so even then there is a risk of you not getting anything for your money.

Although all weekend tickets are sold out, there are some day and coach tickets still available from legitimate agents. Viagogo is also the approved website for the resale of Reading and Leeds tickets.

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

CORNBURY, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, 3-4 Jul: Seth Lakeman, Angus & Julia Stone and Joshua Radin are amongst the latest acts confirmed for the Cornbury Music Festival, along with The Fisherman's Friends, Lucinda Belle Orchestra, Ben Montague, Jon Allen and Danny and the Champions of the World. www.cornburyfestival.com

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: Shakira has been announced to play on the Pyramid Stage at this year's Glastonbury, joining previously announced acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Flaming Lips, Jack Johnson, Slash and MGMT. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

THE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glanusk Park, Usk Valley, Powys, Wales, 20-22 Aug: Tindersticks, Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling head up the latest additions for The Green Man Festival. Other acts added to this year's bill include Efterklang, John Grant, Johnny Flynn and Chew Lips. www.greenman.net

KENDAL CALLING, Lowther Estate, Kendal, East Cumbria, 30 Jul - 1 Aug: Doves, The Coral and Stereo MC's are amongst the latest acts added to the Kendal Calling line-up, along with British Sea Power, Badly Drawn Boy, The King Blues and Kid British. www.kendalcalling.co.uk

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 16-18 Jul: James, The Feeling and The Coral head up the latest acts announced to play at this year's Latitude. Other acts added to the line-up include The Strange Boys, The Big Pink, First Aid Kit, Tokyo Police Club, Kirstin Hersh and Egyptian Hip Hop. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

NOZSTOCK, Bromyard, Herefordshire, 9-11 Jul: Pete And The Pirates have been confirmed to play at this year's Nozstock festival, as well as Gaggle, Jack Beats, Louis Barabbas and DJ Gammer. www.nozstockfestival.co.uk

ØYA FESTIVAL, Middelalderparken, Oslo, 10-14 Aug: The National, Fucked Up and Air have all been added to the Norwegian fest, along with Trash Talk and Imperial State Electric. www.oyafestivalen.com

ROSKILDE, Denmark, 1-4 Jul: Prince has been confirmed to play at Denmark's Roskilde festival this summer, joining the likes of Them Crooked Vultures, Muse and NOFX. www.roskilde-festival.dk

SERPENTINE SESSIONS. Hyde Park, London, 28-29 Jun, 1 Jul: Grizzly Bear, Laura Marling and Patti Smith have been announced as headliners for these intimate Hyde Park shows.
www.serpentinesessions.com

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER, De Montfort Hall & Gardens, Leicester, 13-15 Aug: The Jose Gonzalez-fronted band Junip have been confirmed for the Summer Sundae Weekender, with Dog Is Dead, These Furrows, Black Carrot, Charlie & The Martyrs and The Souvenirs also added to the bill. www.summersundae.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Elliot Smith - Roman Candle (Domino)
Ignoring the slight controversy surrounding Domino's decision to release a remastered version of Elliot Smith's first album - the idea and formulation of Tape Op Magazine's Larry Crane to "make the album more listenable" - one can appreciate it for the fact that it's reintroducing the earliest work of a lost songwriting master.

'Roman Candle', originally released in 1994 when Smith was still working with the heinously under-appreciated Heatmiser, is an extremely short but sweet collection of lo-fi DIY indie, recorded in a basement, the first output of a very promising but far too short career. Smith's voice, so familiar now that it's featured on the soundtracks of almost every contemporary American indie film, is tender and raw, scraping but soft as it recites the poetry of a generation who inspired and gave life to the likes of Conor Oberst and Adam Green.

Although remastered, Smith's original mixes are intact, and the record still has the rough, home-recorded quality of the original release, keeping it organic as Smith intended. A pointless re-release then? Maybe yes, maybe no. But there's no denying the delicate beauty of this man's artistry, and I always say that the best thing you can do to keep someone alive after their gone is to remember them well. TW

Physical release: 5 Apr
Press contact: Domino IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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JACK BRUCE TO DO INTIMATE Q&A SESH
Fan funding service Pledge is supporting an intimate Q&A session with Jack Bruce, which is being staged as part of efforts by the former Cream man's daughter, Natascha Bruce, to raise funding via the website to fund the release of a never before released live recording by Jack Bruce & The Cuicoland Express.

Only forty tickets will be sold to the meet and greet, which will also include an acoustic set. Ticket holders will also get an exclusive t-shirt, a signed copy of Bruce's previously reported biography, and some drinks and stuff, while a cut of the money raised will go to East Anglian Children's Hospices.

It all takes place on 28 Apr in central London. 26 tickets at £100 each are available as I write this. You should go here if you want to find out more: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jackbruce

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KELLY CLARKSON WANTS YOU ALL TO SMOKE
Anti-smoking protestors are getting all kinds of stressed over Kelly Clarkson inadvertently promoting a tobacco brand in Indonesia. They should probably have a cigarette and chill out.

Cigarette firm Diarum is sponsoring an upcoming Clarkson concert in Jakarta, and their logos are all over the posters promoting the show. It's not clear whether there's much the popster can do about that, though anti-smoking types in the US are pointing out that when the same brand sponsored an Alicia Keys show in Indonesia two years ago, she objected to their branding being on her posters and had it removed.

Matt Myers, President of the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, told Associated Press this week: "If Kelly Clarkson goes ahead with the concert, she is by choice being a spokesman for the tobacco industry and helping them to market to children. She has the power now to turn this situation around and to send a clear message to Indonesian young people and, frankly, to the young people of the world".

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SLICETHEPIE MAKE EXEC APPOINTMENTS
Fan-funding company Slicethepie has announced two new exec appointments. The first, new COO Jonathan Bunis, comes from a web background, while new Director Travis Baxter is a radio man, having spent time at the BBC and Bauer Radio. Both will work in particular on Slicethepie's market data analytics whatnot thing SoundOut, with Baxter looking at the potential of that service for the radio industry.

Confirming the appointments, Slicethepie boss man David Courtier-Dutton told CMU: "With SoundOut rapidly gaining momentum in the insight, analytics and predictive marketing space, I'm delighted that Jonathan and Travis have chosen to join us to help drive the business forward".

He continued: "The time is right to execute on our wider goal of empowering artists with the predictive data they need to maximise their fan acquisition, marketing impact and reach. Jonathan's operational and extensive search expertise combined with Travis' deep experience in the dynamics of the radio industry are a potent combination that will enable us to deliver a uniquely valuable service to independent and established artists and labels".

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PURPLE PROMOTIONS
Music publicity types Purple PR have announced two promotions. First former Mercury Records publicist Caroline Cabral, who has been with Purple for two years, becomes Head Of Press, and second Emma Philpott, currently a Press Assistant, gets the new title of Junior Press Officer.

Consider yourself informed of these Purple changes, people.

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ANOTHER REPORT SAYS IPODS COULD BE DAMAGING YOUR HEARING
OK, not it's just iPods. But another medical report has highlighted the potential risk to music fans' hearing posed by digital music players like the Apple device, which can play music much louder than the portable music devices kids of the eighties and nineties used to be glued to.

Various reports in recent years have raised concerns that iPod users might be damaging their hearing by turning the volume up too high, and some have called for limiters to be introduced so that MP3 player users can't listen to music at a volume that could damage their ears. New European regulations will insist digital music players are set, by default, at a safer volume, though users will be able to override that setting and turn things up.

A Yale professor, Peter M Rabinowitz, has written about the issue in the British Medical Journal, and says that the medical profession has failed to keep up with the rapid growth of new digital technology which plays music via headphones at potentially dangerous volumes. He writes: "As with mobile phones, the use of personal music players has grown faster than our ability to assess their potential health consequences".

He admits there is no conclusive evidence that increased use of digital music players is resulting in a rise of hearing problems, but he says: "Several small studies have found that reported use of personal music players is associated with worse hearing function in adolescents and young adults".

The Royal National Institute For The Deaf told the Guardian that Rabinowitz is right to raise the alarm on this issue, saying: "Our research shows 66% of personal music player users are listening to music at louder than 85 decibels, which according to the World Health Organisation, can cause permanent hearing damage over time".

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BEBO BECAME LOSS MAKING IN 2009
Figures obtained via Companies House by The Guardian show that social networking whatnot Bebo has seen its financial performance plummet in the last two years.

In the financial year that ended May 2009 the AOL-owned venture made an overall loss of £1.1 million, compared to the £2.6 million profit it made the previous year. Presumably things haven't picked up since, given AOL have announced they will try to sell the social network this year and, if they can't, will shut it down.

Bebo, like MySpace, has struggled as a result of the unstoppable rise of Facebook. AOL paid $850 million for the social network in 2008. Bad move, in retrospect. Still, I could have told them that back then. If only people would listen.

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COURTNEY SPLITS FROM LOVE
Turns out it's lucky Courtney Love chose to release her new solo album under the Hole name, rather than her own, as she's now decided that isn't her name any more.

Love, sorry, Michelle, told the NME: "Courtney Love is dead. We've all decided we don't like her any more. We love her when she goes on stage, but I don't need her in the rest of my life. [I'd now like to be addressed] Courtney Michelle. The name Courtney Love is a way to oppress me".

She was born Courtney Michelle Harrison, though presumably isn't using her real surname as she is estranged from both her parents.

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Andy Malt
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