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INFORMATION
Jobs
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CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
U2 cancel Glastonbury appearance
Slipknot pay tribute to their late bandmate Gray
In The Pop Courts
More documents made public in Viacom v YouTube
David Byrne sues Florida governor over campaign ad
Pop Politics
New IP minister appointed
Reunions & Splits
Liam Gallagher names new band
Future Of The Left bassist quits
Artist Deals
Charlie Simpson signs up to Pledge
Release News
Grinderman announce new album and UK live dates
Autechre announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Klaxons stream new track and announce tour dates
OMD: new album and tour
Morning Benders announce UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Single review: The Ruskins - Old Isleworth (Size Records)
Brands & Stuff
Pioneers cover classic songs for Levi's
The Music Business
UK Music to set up leadership network
The Digital Business
Subscription-based MySpace music not on cards
Chart Of The Day
This week's Subtv playlist
And finally...
Nas/Kelis divorce confirmed
Programmer dreams of Bieber free internet


 
WEDNESDAY 26TH MAY
SIA
Sia, born Sia Furler, is a soulful jazz-styled pop singer-songwriter from Australia. Her independently released debut album 'OnlySee' came out in 1997, though she subsequently came to wider attention through her various collaborations with Zero 7, which began with their debut album 'Simple Things' in 2001. She has maintained a career as a solo artist too, though, releasing three albums to date via Sony Music. Her fourth album, 'We Are Born', is out on 7 Jun, and will be preceded by a headline show at London's Roundhouse tomorrow (27 May). We spoke to Sia to find out more and ask the Same Six.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started making music when I was seventeen. I was in Italy and went to a discotheque where I did karaoke and sang 'Lean On Me' by Bill Withers. DJ Gaf was at the back and he heard me sing. He subsequently asked me to sing on one of his tracks and paid me £50 for doing so. I then used elements of that experience to write my own song, which was probably my first proper songwriting project. Though I'd been writing songs for fun since I was very young, eight probably. I remember, I had seen people around me suffer from AIDS, and I wrote songs about that experience.

Q2 What inspired your latest record?
Nothing really, because it's kind of like a compilation of all the up-tempo stuff I've done over the past six years. My label sort of pigeon-holed me as a down-tempo artist but, as this record shows, I can make poppier songs too! Generally, though, I'm inspired by what's going on around me; if I'm upset I'll write about that; if I've just watched 'Grey's Anatomy' and something moves me in that then I'll write about that; if I speak to friends and they're having problems, then I'll write about that.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well, I'm incredibly lazy, so most of the time I like to lay down when I'm writing; we often have beds in the studio! Whoever I'm writing with, we'll usually start with the chords and then build around that, with sample drums, bass, guitar, piano. Then we'll work on the track until it's at an acceptable stage, so that we can play it to management etc. Much much later, after we've practised it enough so that it's really sharp, we'll record it live.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Probably Michael Jackson from the early days. I listened to a lot of Jackson Five when I was growing up. In terms of current artists: Ponytail I really love, and a band called Men, and also Girl In A Coma. But my new album is totally about my childhood; my Dad left when I was eleven, and soon after that I stopped listening to the music I'd liked before and started listening to different things; everything became about intellect, partly because my stepfather was more academic.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Well, I wouldn't really want to talk over it! I think I would just say it's 'easy listening', and try and keep their expectations low. This record, in particular, is more wiggly than my others, so prepare to be wiggled!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest record and for the future?
I'd like the album to do well, obviously. I haven't always been a priority artist for Sony, and that seems to have changed, which is nice, I want to take advantage of that. Though, that said, I'm not sure how much I want the fame that can come with being more high profile. It was good living from synch royalties and being out of the public spotlight for a while! Now I'm learning how to deal with new types of fans.

MORE>> www.siamusic.net

 
MALE BONDING - YEAR'S NOT LONG
Formed in 2007 by Pre's John Webb and Kevin Hendrix (the latter also a former member of Seafood) and former Bullet Union drummer Robin Christian, Male Bonding released their debut album, 'Nothing Hurts', earlier this month. The record is an exercise in near-perfect noise-pop, carefully balancing both sides of that genre name to ensure that the hooks reach out of the fuzz and pinch your cheeks. Or, as they describe it: "Tinnitus. And a hook".

 
Two things mark that release this week. The album launch party takes place at the CAMP Basement in London on Thursday, with support from Pens and Veronica Falls, which will be followed by other tour dates around the country in the next two weeks. But before that, the video for album track, 'Year's Not Long', hit the internet on Monday. Directed by Vice Cooler, it features various forms of male bonding, such as wrestling, playing basketball, lifting weights, chopping wood, arm wrestling. Oh, and kissing. Lots of kissing.

pitchfork.com/tv/#/musicvideo/6836-male-bonding-years-not-long-sub-pop


 
 

KUSU IS LOOKING FOR AN ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER - SALARY £23,344
We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced individual who will be responsible for managing a well established and respected licensed venue. You will primarily be responsible for planning and delivering a diverse events and entertainments programme to meet the needs of our students and external customers, offering quality services and facilities in a safe and enjoyable environment. You will have at least two years management experience in the entertainment industry. You must be capable of working within agreed budgets and be driven by quality and results. The position is a hands- on operational one and involves working nights and weekends.

If you have the skills to meet this challenge, please contact Keele University Students' Union on 01782 733 700 or see www.kusu.net/kusu_vacancies. Closing date: 9 Jun 2010. Interviews will be held week commencing 14 Jun 2010. KUSU is committed to being an equal opportunity employer.

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  MUSIC EVENT ORGANISERS FOR 2010 OXJAM MUSIC FESTIVAL WANTED!
Sign up before the 31 May and you'll get to go to a free event training day run by Live Nation and the O2 academies near you in June. Industry experts will help you to plan, promote and raise money at your Oxjam event. You'll also get to meet other amazing Oxjam Event Organisers from around the country to swap ideas and advice, and together form the biggest line-up of any music festival in the UK!

Don't miss out, sign up on the Oxjam website today... www.oxfam.org.uk/oxjam
       
  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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Ivors dished out in London
Vaizey to have both culture and business remit
Parliament dishes out its jazz gongs
 
Industry bodies send final save 6 pleas to BBC Trust
BBC Trust's 6music consultation deadline approaches
George Lamb quits 6
 
Music festival line-up update - 25 May 2010
Scroobius Pip announces Camp Bestival poetry podcast
Charleston Festival will take you to the end of May
 

U2 CANCEL GLASTONBURY APPEARANCE
Following the previously reported emergency back surgery he underwent last week, Bono has announced that he, and therefore U2, will not be able to play this year's Glastonbury Festival, as well as a string of US dates.

According to neurosurgeon Dr Joerg Tonn, the singer was training for U2's upcoming tour dates last week when "sudden onset disease" rendered him temporarily paralysed. He added that Bono had been discharged from a Munich hospital on Monday, following the surgery there on Friday, saying: "The surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation".

Bono broke the bad news to Glasto mainman Michael Eavis by telephone yesterday, who apparently wasn't that bothered about the US dates but pretended to be concerned anyway (that's conjecture there, people; though it did definitely happen). In a statement issued through the Glastonbury website yesterday, Bono said: "I'm heartbroken. We really wanted to be there to do something really special - we even wrote a song especially for the festival".

Eavis added: "It was obvious from our telephone conversation that U2 are hugely disappointed. Clearly, they were looking forward to playing the Pyramid Stage as much as we were looking forward to watching them. At this point, we have no comment to make about possible replacements for U2's Friday night slot. Instead, we would simply like to send Bono our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery".

The performance would have been U2's first appearance at the festival, and Eavis' decision to stay tight lipped on the matter of a replacement has led to much speculation amongst people on the internet, and even some others in the real world via the use of their mouths. Coldplay are currently thought to be the most likely to take the slot. Kylie Minogue, who was also forced to cancel her planned appearance at the festival due to health reasons in 2005, has been tipped by some, though it has been pointed out that she has other commitments in Paris on that particular Friday night.

I wonder if the other members of U2 have considered performing without Bono? With the Glastonbury audience so split of the merits of band's performance there anyway, it might turn out to be a welcome compromise.

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SLIPKNOT PAY TRIBUTE TO THEIR LATE BANDMATE GRAY
Members of Slipknot yesterday staged an emotional press conference to pay tribute to their late bassist Paul Gray who, as previously reported, died while staying in a Des Moines hotel on Monday, aged 38.

Without their trademark masks and on-stage personas, the band's members took it in turn to say nice things about their former bandmate. Frontman Corey Taylor said: "The only way I can sum up Paul Gray is love", while percussionist Shawn Crahan added: "He was the essence of the band Slipknot. Paul was there from the very very beginning and none of us would be on the path we're on right now in life or have the sorts of lives we have without him".

Elsewhere, other American bands paid tribute to Gray and passed on their condolences to his friends and family, and his widow Brenna, who is currently pregnant with the couple's first child. James 'Munky' Shaffer, guitarist with Korn, said: "I want to send my love to his family and the band, they're going through a really very hard time right now. I'm speechless, I just want to send my prayers, love and respect to everybody that is surrounding his wife and his baby to be".

The members of Sepultura issued a joint statement which read: "RIP Paul Gray, we're shocked and very sad. This is another tragic loss for our metal community", while Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix told reporters: "[Paul] was an awesome person on and off stage. He will be missed by many, including myself. His spirit will live on through the killer music he wrote".

According to CNN, there were "no signs of foul play or significant trauma" found during the autopsy conducted on Gray's body yesterday. A verdict on cause of death will therefore not be reached until the results of toxicology tests are available, which normally takes between four and six weeks.

You can watch the Slipknot press conference here: www.ustream.tv/recorded/7209258

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MORE DOCUMENTS MADE PUBLIC IN VIACOM V YOUTUBE
More documents have been made public in the ongoing Viacom v YouTube litigation.

As much previously reported, MTV owners Viacom are suing YouTube for a billion dollars over allegations of copyright infringement. They allege that the video sharing service deliberately allowed clips of Viacom content to be uploaded to its website in its early days in business, because they knew hosting such content generated all important traffic.

The lawsuit, originally launched in 2007, only applies to Viacom content hosted by YouTube prior to 2008, ie before the by that time Google-owned service instigated its proper system for taking down and blocking content not cleared for streaming by its owner.

The latest documents show that there were efforts on Google's part shortly after Viacom began its legal proceedings to reach an out of court settlement. Despite YouTube being rampant with unlicensed content in its early days (infringing content that Viacom allege YouTube bosses deliberately turned a blind eye to), the video service has generally circumvented other litigation from high profile copyright, owners whose content was illegally uploaded, by agreeing to generous licensing deals with said content owning companies. All four major record companies signed such deals.

According to the new documents, Google offered Viacom $592 million in guaranteed income if they signed a licensing deal that presumably involved writing off any claims over past infringement. It's thought Viacom were open to the deal but were pushing for $700 million. For whatever reason, possibly price, no deal was reached.

Also among the new documents is an internal correspondence from Google from shortly after they acquired YouTube, in which an insider allegedly admits that Viacom's content was the "most valuable" on the video-sharing site in terms of attracting traffic.

That revelation follows the unearthing of other earlier documents from within YouTube that seem to back allegations that the site's founders deliberately turned a blind eye to infringement (and, in the case of one founder, uploaded infringing content himself) to boost traffic, so to boost the asking price when the inevitable takeover deal landed on the table. Google subsequently bought YouTube for $1.65 billion.

When Viacom originally sued YouTube, it seemed they genuinely wanted to hinder the development of the video service, it being such a big threat to their youth-centric MTV services. YouTube have even accused Viacom of pursuing their litigation out of sour grapes, because they had been considering making a bid for the video site prior to Google's audacious takeover.

But given YouTube now operates a take-down system for infringing content which most people believe satisfies their obligations under at least US copyright law, even a total court win for Viacom wouldn't really affect the video site's current operations.

However, Viacom are probably still motivated to continue with their litigation not just out of a desire to win multi-million dollar damages, but also on a point of principle. If you believe, as Viacom seem to, that YouTube's founders had a short-term strategy of actively enabling and encouraging rampant copyright infringement in a simple bid to build market share and therefore up the asking price when they sold out to a bigger corporate player, then a court win for the MTV company could set an important precedent.

If Google end up liable for billion dollar damages based on the alleged infringing activities of YouTube's founders, then that will make other corporates and investment types nervous in buying up future web businesses which have considerable market share, but which have won that market share by enabling or turning a blind eye to copyright infringement. In turn making digital products that enable infringement of some kind less attractive to web entrepreneurs primarily motivated by the big bucks that can be made in a corporate sell out.

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DAVID BYRNE SUES FLORIDA GOVERNOR OVER CAMPAIGN AD
Most artists hate it when political parties adopt their music for election campaigning, especially if it's a party said artists wouldn't choose to publicly support. But, as previously reported, when political types choose to use records at political rallies held in venues that hold public performance licences from the relevant collecting societies, there is nothing said aggrieved artists can do, because using music at events like that is covered by blanket licences.

However, if a politician uses a song without permission on a video - in a sync scenario - there is a case under copyright law to sue for infringement, which is what David Byrne is doing in America. He is suing Florida Governor Charlie Crist for a neat million dollars after the one time Republican used the classic Talking Heads song 'Road To Nowhere' on his website and in a YouTube-hosted video as part of his campaign for a seat in the US Senate (he's a "one time Republican" because he's running for the Senate seat as an independent).

Commenting on his lawsuit, Byrne said this week: "It's not about politics, it's about copyright ... though [Crist using the track] does imply that I would have licensed it and endorsed him and whatever he stands for".

Byrne is being represented by Lawrence Iser, the same attorney who worked for Jackson Browne who, as previously reported, won an out of court settlement from US presidential wannabe John McCain after he used a Browne track without permission on a YouTube posted advert. Commenting on his new case, Iser told reporters: "I was fairly astonished that this soon after the settlement of Browne v McCain, yet another politician with national aspirations is doing this again".

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NEW IP MINISTER APPOINTED
The British music industry possibly scored a victory when the previous UK parliament passed the Digital Economy Act. And those in the grass roots live sector are now optimistic that the new found power of the Lib Dems in the UK's new coalition government will mean the Liberal-supported reforms of the 2003 Licensing Act, to make staging small-scale live music events less bureaucratic, may now happen.

But there remains one big political issue for the record industry that is far from being resolved, that of copyright extension, which has sort of gone on the back burner of late, after a flurry of activity at a European level at the start of last year. The record industry wants the sound recording copyright term to be extended from its current fifty years, preferably to 95 years. It's a want with a pressing deadline, under the current system The Beatles catalogue starts to come out of copyright in 2013.

The main previous achievement in that domain. for the record industry on a UK level. was convincing the former Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy that he should campaign within Europe for the copyright term to be extended, previously the UK government was against extension. It remains to be seen what his successor, Tory Lord Judith Wilcox, thinks about the issue.

But presumably record industry's lobbying types will begin a charm offensive on the Baroness following yesterday's announcement that she will head up the Intellectual Property Office, which sits under Vince Cable's Department For Business Innovation And Skills.

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LIAM GALLAGHER NAMES NEW BAND
After much thought, Liam Gallagher has decided that it would be a good idea to call his post-Oasis band (essentially Oasis minus Noel) Beady Eye.

The band are currently recording their debut album with producer Steve Lillywhite, and their debut single scheduled for release in October. All they need now is for Noel to come along, rename the band and write them some good songs and the process will be complete.

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FUTURE OF THE LEFT BASSIST QUITS
Future Of The Left bassist Kelson Matthias has announced his departure from the band, as they prepare for a European tour, due to begin next month. All dates will go ahead as planned, with Oceansize bassist Steven Hodson stepping in as a temporary replacement.

In a short statement, Matthias said: "I'd just like to say thanks to everyone that's supported me in this band over the past five years, everyone that I've met at shows all over the world and all the bands I've had the pleasure to play gigs with. I'd like to wish Andy [Falkous, vocals guitar] and Jack [Egglestone, drums] the best for the future.

Falkous added: "How do we feel about it, as a band? Well, sad, happy, annoyed and relieved at the same time. Like human beings, all told. Future Of The Left is still a band, a thing, the centre of our unremarkable lives and continues, if anything, with more effort and furious pride than ever before. We wish Kelson good luck and hope that he flourishes in whatever he ends up doing, unless it's monster truck racing".

As well as preparing for their upcoming tour dates, the band, now expanded to a four-piece (once they replace Matthias), are putting the finishing touches on their third album (fourth if you count their live album). Titles for some of the songs on said album include: 'Assisted Suicide Blues', 'Home Taping Is Killing Susan', 'The Goose That Roared', and 'Destroywhitchurch.com'.

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CHARLIE SIMPSON SIGNS UP TO PLEDGE
The latest music type to sign up to fan-funding platform Pledge is that Charlie Simpson, who is raising cash from his fans for a solo project which will run alongside his Fightstar shenanigans. Simpson began his Pledge fundraising yesterday, offering exclusive t-shirts, album credits, the chance to design a page of the album's artwork, the chance to attend a pledgers-only gig, a handwritten lyric sheet, a chance to appear in a video and a whole load more to potential pledgers. As of this morning he'd already raised 82% of the money he needs to fund the mini-album.

Confirming his Pledge project, and the charity he will support as part of the initiative, Simpson told CMU: "I decided recently that I wanted to do something a bit different and make a solo record. This isn't the end of Fightstar at all, we'll be back together very soon, but I just had some songs that I fancied trying out on my own and this is a great opportunity to invite people to be part of the process. Pledge Music is a great way of connecting artists with their fans and I'm really excited about making this work. In addition, some of the funds will be donated to Breast Cancer Research UK, a charity close to me heart as breast cancer has directly affected my family".

Pledge MD Malcolm Dunbar added: "Charlie Simpson is exactly the kind of artist we want to be working with at Pledge Music - he is really creative, wants to try out exciting new ideas and has a loyal fanbase who are eager to interact directly with him. His enthusiasm is really infectious and we are looking forward to helping him make his first solo record and put in place a really compelling pledge campaign for his followers".

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GRINDERMAN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UK LIVE DATES
Grinderman will return with their second album, 'Grinderman 2', on 13 Sep. Released though Mute Records, the album is the follow-up to their 2006 debut, 'Grinderman'. See Crystal Castles? That's how you name consecutive eponymous albums.

The album was recorded at various London studios - RAK, State Of The Ark, and Assault And Battery Studios - last year with producer Nick Launay, and mixed by Launay in London and LA last month.

Following the release of the album, the band will embark on a European tour, which will include these four UK shows:

25 Sep: Nottingham, Rock City
27 Sep: Leeds, University
28 Sep: Glasgow, Barrowlands
29 Sep: Manchester, Academy
1 Oct: London, Hammersmith Apollo

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AUTECHRE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Autechre only released their last album, 'Oversteps', in March, but they've already thrown another one together. 'Move Of Ten' will feature ten new tracks, and be released via Warp on 17 Jul. It will be available on CD, vinyl and various download formats, including 16 and 24 bit WAVs.

You can hear a track from the album, 'y7', on SoundCloud now: soundcloud.com/warp-records/autechre-y7-move-of-ten/s-7Qeuo

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KLAXONS STREAM NEW TRACK AND ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Having spent a couple of years attempting to record their second album, scrapping their initial effort in full, Klaxons have finally cracked it, it seems. Having been in the studio with producer Ross Robinson (who has worked with everyone from Sepultura to The Cure), the first song from the new album, 'Flashover', was premiered on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show last night and is streaming via the band's website now.

Says bassist Jamie Reynolds of their progression since the release of their debut album, 'Myths Of The Near Future', in 2007: "We were an art project that got out of hand, but now we are a band".

Speaking as someone who has always had somewhere between little and no time for Klaxons in the past, I can report that 'Flashover' is actually pretty bloody good. You can hear it here: www.klaxons.net

In addition to this, the band have announced three live dates for July, which look exactly like these ones I am about to type out here:

13 Jul: Glasgow, King Tut's
14 Jul: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
27 Jul: London, Village Underground

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OMD: NEW ALBUM AND TOUR
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark will release their first album in over a decade, and their first with the original line-up since 1986, on 4 Oct, it has been confirmed. Founder members Andy McClusky and Paul Humphreys, plus Martin Cooper and Malcolm Holmes, who made up the "classic OMD line up" that recorded throughout the 80s, will all also tour together in the Autumn.

Here are the UK dates:

29 Oct: Brighton, Dome
31 Oct: Bristol, Colston Hal
1 Nov: Nottingham, Royal Centre
2 Nov: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
4 Nov: Liverpool, Arena
5 Nov: Ipswich, Regent Theatre
7 Nov: London, Hammersmith Apollo
8 Nov: Birmingham, Symphony Hall

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MORNING BENDERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
The Morning Benders will be in the UK next month. Coincidentally, the very day of their first gig on British soil, they'll also release their second album, 'Big Echo', via Rough Trade. It's almost as if they'd planned it.

Tour dates:

26 Jun: Brighton, Freebutt
27 Jun: Hyde Park Calling
28 Jun: Manchester, Night & Day
29 Jun: Glasgow, King Tut's
1 Jul: London, Barfly

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 23-27 Jun: Rusko, Chase And Status, Annie Mac and Roots head up the latest acts announced to play the Shangri La area at this year's Glastonbury. www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 25-27 Jun: Crosby Stills And Nash and Crowded House have been added to the Sunday night line-up at this year's Hard Rock Calling, headlined by Paul McCartney. Elvis Costello, Joshua Radin, Lissie and Tiffany Page have also been added to the line-up. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

OXEGEN, Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, 8-11 Jul: Biffy Clyro and Plan B are the latest additions to this year's Oxegen Festival, joining the previously announced Eminem, Muse, Kasabian and Arcade Fire. 2010.oxegen.ie

READING & LEEDS, Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Bramham Park, Leeds, 27-29 Aug: The King Blues, Kids In Glass Houses and Hadouken! head up the latest acts announced to play the Main Stage at this year's Reading and Leeds, with the likes of Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion and Crime In Stereo confirmed to play the Lock Up Stage. www.readingfestival.com, www.leedsfestival.com

ROCK NESS, Loch Ness, nr Inverness, Scotland, 11-13 Jun: Shy FX, Martyn and Jackmaster have all been added to the Rock Ness line-up, along with Grandmaster Flash, Hot Chip, Toddla T, Benga and Crazy P Soundsystem. www.rockness.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Ruskins - Old Isleworth (SiZe Records)
Returning with their second single, indie three-piece The Ruskins continue to deliver their eclectic mix of modern ska-infused, Irish-flavoured, country rock. Whilst still playing frenetically with an upbeat tempo, 'Old Isleworth' takes on a more earnest tone than debut single 'Slow Down Jessica'; moving from the topic of a slightly too intense love interest, to reminiscing about the good days in their hometown of Isleworth and how it's now changed, presumably for the worse.

To illustrate their tales of "possible threats" and community support officers, The Ruskins worked with young aspiring director Andy Little on the video for the song, filming scenes around the Worton Estate in Isleworth itself, and including cameos from the likes of 'Skins' and 'Shameless' stars Kaya Scodelario and Elliott Titensor, who they now count amongst their fans.

So, not a massive departure from their previous offering, but with, at its heart, catchy sensibilities, an edgy video and support from Xfm's John Kennedy, this is definitely a step in the right direction. GS

Physical release: 5 May
Press contact: SiZe Records IH

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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PIONEERS COVER CLASSIC SONGS FOR LEVI'S
Levi's has launched a new website which will see musicians from a variety of genres record classic songs which influenced them as they were starting out as performers. Calling the project 'Levi's Pioneer Sessions: The Revival Recordings', amongst the artists the jeans makers invited to participate are Nas, John Legend and The Roots, Dirty Projectors, The Swell Season, Raphael Saadiq and The Shins.

The first track to go live is Nas' version of 'Hey Young World' by Slick Rick. Nas says of the track: "Slick Rick is my personal favourite MC. This record opened my eyes to how big hip hop could become and Levi's Pioneer Sessions gave me the freedom to re-connect with the record in a new way".

Levi's VP Brand Marketing, Doug Sweeny added: "This campaign brings together influential musical pioneers of today with some of the most iconic musicians of all time. We are excited to work with such an inspirational group of musicians while providing a platform for music fans to check out remakes of original iconic songs".

Download Nas track (and future releases) for free from www.levispioneersessions.com

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UK MUSIC TO SET UP LEADERSHIP NETWORK
Cross-sector music business trade body UK Music has secured forty grand in funding from the Arts and Skills Councils backed Cultural Leadership Programme to set up a UK Music Leadership Development Network.

What's that, you ask? Well, it will be a network of six to ten "leaders" from the commercial and non-commercial music sectors, and will aim to help those leaders "develop their own networks to provide strategy and support to the music community". So, there you have it. The network will build on a similar pilot run by the Music Publishers Association in 2007 and 2008.

UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey, who will himself be part of this leadership network, told CMU: "This is a great win for us. We are delighted to have received the backing to set up our own Music Leadership Development Network, which puts in place roots for an organisation which will give support and encouragement to the industry's leaders and visionaries".

Although a number of music business people have already been invited to join the leadership network, up to three posts remain vacant, and interested parties are invited to put themselves forward. Potential applicants should contact UK Music pretty pronto for more information, the deadline for applications is Wednesday 2 Jun. I'd email contact@ukmusic.org.

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SUBSCRIPTION-BASED MYSPACE MUSIC NOT ON CARDS
So, this sounds like fun. Popular tech website TechCrunch this week staged a conference in New York which seems to involve journalists from the site verbally abusing the internet industry's most senior business leaders in front of a room full of geeks. Perhaps CMU should do something similar for the music business, though we're far too polite to ask the boss of Yahoo whether her claims regarding her company's relative strengths to rivals Google were just "BS". She told TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to "fuck off".

The most interesting interview of the day for music types was that with MySpace bosses Jason Hirschon and Mike Jones. Arrington asked "so how come you've lost 25 million users since you started your reign?" and then "your music business is losing $10 million per month - is that working for you?" To his credit, given defending such a rubbish website when faced with such hostile questioning can't be easy, Jones kept his cool, disputing Arrington's stats, and claiming MySpace was building a solid mobile audience which isn't counted in the web traffic figures of US stats firm comScore, and that MySpace Music was slowly building its revenues and music sales.

Arrington then asked how long Jones could continue to provide free music streaming, possibly remembering that the digital chief at MySpace's parent company NewsCorp, Jonathan Miller, told a conference in April that some sort of subscription-based music offer from MySpace was "more likely than less likely". But Jones said there was currently no plan to apply a subscription fee to music streaming on MySpace Music, perhaps in the knowledge no one would pay such a thing.

He did concede, however, that the opinions of the major record companies, who are shareholders in MySpace Music, might influence the business model of the social networking firm's music offer. Some US label execs are increasingly anti ad-funded free music streaming, though they possibly recognise that people tend to use MySpace more as a genuine preview service to check out new bands than as a click-and-leave-to-play service like Spotify, so it doesn't really compete with subscription services like those offered by Napster, Rhapsody or MOG.

According to MocoNews, Jones said: "We're constantly talking to the record labels. And so [our business model] could change. Right now, we're a valuable music discovery service for them".

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

A List
Aggro Santos feat Kimberly Wyatt - Candy
Alicia Keys - Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
Dennis Ferrer - Hey Hey
Dizzee Rascal - Dirtee Disco
Drake - Over
The Drums - Forever and Ever, Amen
Ellie Goulding - Guns and Horses
Jason Derulo - Ridin' Solo
Kelis - Acapella
Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug
Kids In Glass Houses feat Frankie Sandford - Undercover Lover
Laura Marling - Rambling Man
LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls
The Pretty Reckless - Make Me Wanna Die
Roll Deep - Good Times
Taio Cruz feat Ke$ha - Dirty Pictures

B List
B.o.B feat Bruno Mars - Nothin' On You
Example - Kickstarts
Florence and The Machine - Cosmic Love
Hurts - Better Than Love
Iyaz - Solo
Jack Johnson - You and Your Heart
Lethal Bizzle & Nick Bridges feat Luciana - Go Go Go
Kele - Tenderoni
New Young Pony Club - We Want To
Noisettes - Ever Fallen In Love*
Operator Please - Back and Forth
Pixie Lott - Turn It Up
Stornoway - Zorbing
We Are Scientists - Nice Guys
Wiley - Electric Boogaloo (Find A Way)*

Tip List
Born Ruffians - What To Say
Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Sick Tonight
Field Music - Let's Write A Book
The Like - He's Not A Boy
Matt Abbott - I Love This City
NightBus - I Wanna Be You
Smiler - Enza
The Temper Trap - Love Lost

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NAS/KELIS DIVORCE CONFIRMED
The marriage of Kelis and Nas has finally been officially dissolved. The couple's rather acrimonious divorce has been rumbling on for sometime. Just last month Kelis asked the judge hearing the couple's case to finalise the divorce "as soon as possible". And it seems like he listened, because according to the Press Association the divorce has now been finalised.

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PROGRAMMER DREAMS OF BIEBER FREE INTERNET
A programmer at the New York-based Free Art And Technology Lab has developed a Firefox plug-in which stops any Justin Bieber related content from appearing within the web browser. It basically looks for all references to the Biebster and blocks or blacks out any content linking to the poor pop-boy.

Programmer Greg Leuch explains: "We've developed a series of innovative tools to help cover the lower regions of web pages from unwanted Justin Bieber content. Shave away those Bieber mentions on websites with our bookmarklet, Firefox Add-on or JavaScript files".

It's possibly an attractive little web-tool given how ubiquitous Mr B has become in recent months, though if you activate Leuch's programme you'd miss out on footage of the pop kid walking into doors, which would be a shame.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
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