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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
HMV to close 60 stores as Christmas sales disappoint
In The Pop Courts
Courtney Love Twitter defamation case reaches court
Obituaries
Gerry Rafferty dies
Japan founder dies
Former MCPS executive Keith Lowde drowns in Thames
Awards & Contests
Roskilde co-founder to receive lifetime achievement award
Charts, Stats & Polls
New Year stats and polls galore
Reunions & Splits
Paramore comment on split
Artist Deals
Pink Floyd re-sign with EMI, end legal squabbles
In The Studio
Dave Sitek joins Jane's Addiction
Release News
Lady Gaga announces second album release date
Blink 182 drummer confirms solo album release
The Vaccines announce album details
Gigs & Tours News
Sleigh Bells announce shows
The Music Business
Digital sales continue to grow, but over all record sales still down
AIF announces seven new members
Warner Chappell appoints new chief
The Digital Business
Qriocity music service launches
MySpace lay offs expected
The Media Business
Q appoints new reviews man
And finally...
Cradle Of Filth frontman denied Suffolk icon status


 
THURSDAY 6TH JANUARY
THE ORB AND YOUTH
Last month, Alex Paterson of The Orb and renowned producer Flood released a three disc compilation of acid house, Balearic and dub tracks from the archives of UK label WAU! Mr Modo. Amongst the tracks on it are an unreleased demo version of The Orb's 'Little Fluffy Clouds', early productions by Thomas Fehlmann and Orbital, plus Youth's previously unheard remix of Zoe's 'Sunshine On A Rainy Day'. 'The Orb and Youth present Impossible Oddities: From Underground To Overground - The Story Of WAU! Mr Modo' is out now on Year Zero. We caught up with Paterson and Flood to ask the Same Six..

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Youth: By pretending to be a musician in front of a mirror miming to 'Rock N Roll Part 2'.
Alex: By listening to Led Zeppelin and Budgie!

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Youth: Infinite jellyfish.
Alex: Being a Dick head (Philip K Dick).

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Youth: Breaking through the conscious to subconscious, instinct calibration, pretend you're doing an armed robbery.
Alex: Blood, sweat, tears and finally knowing that less is more.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Youth: Everyone from Daniel Johnson to The Stooges, authors like William Blake, Vladimir Nabikov and Hermann Hesse, 'Apocalypse Now', Larry Levan, Miles Davis and David Essex.
Alex: Alice Cooper, David Bowie, War, Kompakt Muzik, King Tubby, Scientist, Colin Wilson, ancient modern thinking and the it.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Youth: Brace yourself, close your eyes, feel the wind in your hair, let go and fly!
Alex: Chill out.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Youth: Protest and survive.
Alex: 23rd century dub jump and don't believe the government - it's all hype - same old same old. Oh um. Alex (in black).

MORE>> www.theorb.com

 
THE AGITATOR
The one good thing about having the Conservatives in power is that people are angry again, and we might not have to look to Green Day for political commentary any more. Some are of the opinion that the new wave of political music will eventually come through dubstep, but someone who's angry and doing something about it right now is singer-songwriter Derek Meins under the name The Agitator.


 
While his debut single in this guise, 'Get Ready/Let's Start Marching', had more of a dance feel (and indeed included a dubstep remix), the follow-up 'Give It All You Got' follows the form of his live show - vocals, two drummers, nothing else. It's a winning formula, mainly because Meins' voice is so powerful and expressive, filling out the space that might otherwise be taken up by non-percussion instruments. And, of course, that voice has something to say.

http://www.nowisthetimetoagitate.com



HMV TO CLOSE 60 STORES AS CHRISTMAS SALES DISAPPOINT
The HMV Group will shut 60 of its retail outlets in the next twelve months - probably 40 HMV stores and 20 Waterstones shops - after admitting its Christmas trading figures were pretty poor yesterday. With the company's year end profits now expected to be at the lower end of expectations, HMV top man Simon Fox pledged to make £10 million in cost savings in the next year. The firm's share price nevertheless tumbled yesterday morning.

It's the HMV chain that is causing the problems, with sales in its all-important Christmas period down 13.6% on last year. The retail group says the poor weather in the run up to Christmas was at least partly to blame, though that wouldn't explain why pre-Christmas sales at Waterstones shops were pretty much equal to the same period in 2009. Perhaps book lovers are more snow-resistant than music fans.

Of course, HMV has been suffering for years now as both online retailers - mail-order operations and download services - and the supermarkets steal an ever increasing share of their three traditional markets: music, DVD and games. The window of opportunity ten years ago to dominate the online version of HMV's traditional business was small, and the retailer (and its then main competitor Virgin Megastore) was way too slow to rise to the challenge, letting upstarts like Amazon and iTunes seize by far the biggest slice of the online pie.

Aware that the decline of HMV's traditional high street revenue streams is only likely to continue, Fox has been pursuing a strategy of diversification over the last couple of years, both diversifying the company's product lines in its stores, and moving into areas of the entertainment industry outside of retail, in particular through its acquisition of artist management, festival and venue group MAMA. Some might now argue that the latest sales figures from the HMV shops suggests that the first part of Fox's diversification plan has failed.

The latter strand of diversification - the move into management, ticketing and live music - has in the main been a success, and is why some remain optimistic about HMV's long term future. Though more pessimistic analysts in the City point out that HMV's retail business is still by far the biggest part of the company, and profits from the new ventures are not, as yet, growing fast enough to make up for the decline on the high street.

The store closures and other cutbacks are not so much motivated by the slump in profits, but by covenants the company has with its money-lenders. HMV has £150 million in debts, a fair of portion of which were run up as part of last year's MAMA acquisition, and Fox has admitted that meeting the terms of those covenants this spring will be "tight".

That said, while the store closures are possibly being undertaken mainly to please the bank, there is an argument that with high street retail in terminal decline, having two largish units on every high street (one for HMV, one for Waterstones) isn't viable long term.

Therefore reducing the number of stores HMV operates, rather than increasing the number, as they have been in recent years, especially since the demise of former rivals Zavvi, is probably a good thing long term, even if it is stressful in the immediate future. And while some are predicting HMV might sell off Waterstones to raise some cash, there is actually a case for merging HMV and Waterstones stores in smaller shopping centres, reducing overheads without affecting market reach.

So, a slightly gloomy day for HMV, and clearly some difficult decisions are now ahead for Fox and his team, though some still see much potential for one of the last remaining big British music brands.

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COURTNEY LOVE TWITTER DEFAMATION CASE REACHES COURT
A defamation case brought against Courtney Love by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir after the Hole frontwoman launched a vicious tirade against her on Twitter and various other social networks in March 2009 will go to court on 18 Jan.

Love accused Simorangkir of many things, including prostitution, drug dealing, assault and, as is customary for Courtney, stealing from her. Seemingly this lengthy rant came after the designer demanded payment for several thousand dollars worth of clothing. Love claims that all the accusations she made were based on things told to her directly by Simorangkir, though the designer denies this.

Simorangkir's legal team will argue that Love's rant, coupled with their client's status as a fashion icon and trendsetter, caused significant damage to the designer's career, entitling her to millions of dollars in compensation. This is the first defamation case that focuses on a celebrity's tweets to go to trial, so will be watched closely by many.

Love's attorney, James Janowitz, told the Hollywood Reporter this week that he is confident his team can win the case, saying: "We don't believe there's any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage".

Perhaps wisely, Love yesterday announced that she is closing all of her social media accounts, tweeting: "The end. Am shutting down all social media tomorrow first thing, from here on in I have NO comment".

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GERRY RAFFERTY DIES
Singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty died on Tuesday, aged 63, after a long period of ill health.

Best known for his 1970s hits 'Baker Street' and 'Stuck In The Middle With You', Rafferty, who has struggled with alcoholism for many years, was hospitalised in Bournemouth in November, following sudden kidney failure. At the time, his fiancée Enzina Fuschini told reporters that doctors had switched off his life support machine, but that his condition had then begun to improve.

In February 2009 it was revealed that Rafferty had disappeared from St Thomas's Hospital in London where he was being treated for a liver failure that had occurred six months previously. Initially it was rumoured that he had died, though Rafferty then released a statement announcing that he was alive and well and living in Italy (although he was actually in Dorset).

Born in Paisley near Glasgow in 1947, Rafferty began his musical career in The Mavericks in the 1960s, and after that group split he joined Billy Connolly's folk outfit, The Humblebums. He appeared on the group's second and third albums in 1969 and 1970, but after they brought little success convinced Connolly to become a comedian instead.

Rafferty too went solo, though stayed in music, recording his first solo album, 'Can I Have My Money Back?', in 1971. However, the following year he rejoined his former Mavericks bandmate Joe Egan to form Stealers Wheel. The band's debut album was a hit in the US thanks to the single 'Stuck In The Middle With You'. Though, unhappy with the terms of the band's record deal with A&M, Rafferty soon quit, albeit only temporarily. He was coaxed back and released two more albums as Stealers Wheel, though the band had split again before the release of the third, 1975's 'Right Or Wrong'

Three years later he returned with a new solo album, 'City To City', which featured his best known solo single, 'Baker Street', with its distinctive saxophone solo played by Raphael Ravenscroft (not, as urban myth often claims, Bob Holness).

Although he continued to release albums, Rafferty also struggled with that alcoholism, which led to his wife of 20 years, Carla, divorcing him in 1990. Having lost his farm in Kent and home in Hampstead, he moved to California to be near the couple's daughter Martha. In 2008, he moved to Ireland and then to Dorset.

On Tuesday it was confirmed that he had died peacefully at home with his daughter Martha by his side. He is survived by Martha, his granddaughter Celia and brother Jim.

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JAPAN FOUNDER DIES
Mick Karn, co-founder of and bass player with seminal new wave outfit Japan, died after losing a battle with cancer on Tuesday, he was 52.

The story goes that Karn started playing bass after the bassoon he played as a child was stolen and his school refused to replace it, buying a bass guitar from a friend for a fiver instead. He formed Japan with brothers David Sylvian and Steve Jansen in south London in 1974, though the first album didn't come until four years later.

The early releases enjoyed success in Japan - partly aided by their choice of name - though less so here in the UK. But as their sound changed somewhat on album number three, 'Quiet Life' in 1979, with their music becoming more electronic, they started to win more acclaim back home. Commercial success began to grow in the early eighties, though the band wasn't around very long to enjoy the fruits of that success, splitting in 1983. There was, however, a brief reunion in 1989, under the name Rain Tree Crow, which resulted in another album and more critical acclaim.

After Japan, Karn released a solo album, recorded another with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus under the name Dalis Car, and collaborated with various other artists, including Gary Numan, David Torn and a number of Japanese musicians. And in 1999 he formed a supergroup of sorts in the form of NiNa.

In 2004 he returned to his home country of Cyprus where he worked on various music and art projects. He was diagnosed with cancer last June.

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FORMER MCPS EXECUTIVE KEITH LOWDE DROWNS IN THAMES
The body of former MCPS senior executive Keith Lowde was recovered from the River Thames on 3 Jan by police divers. Lowde had been transporting his wife and two other couples from his home on Pharaoh's Island to the riverbank in Shepperton, Surrey when the small boat they were travelling in overturned.

All three women and one of the men on the boat managed to swim to the bank, having suffered only minor injuries, but Lowde and another man, Cambridge University lecturer Dr Rex Walford, did not. Lowde's body was recovered on Monday, while the search for Walford was called off by Police on Wednesday.

Keith Lowde was the deputy manager of mechanical rights collecting society MCPS from 1981 to 1992, and also worked for the BPI, BASCA and Copyright Hotline, as well as directing the National Music Festival for the Department Of Culture, Media and Sport. Since 2002 he had worked as a lecturer on the music business at the Academy Of Contemporary Music in Guildford and in November launched a new company, Entertainment Connect, which provides entertainment for private functions and cruises.

In a statement, Lowde's family told the BBC: "This tragic accident has left a massive hole in all our lives. The response from all our friends, Keith's work colleagues, and his students has been immense and we thank them all for their support and help. It is clear that over his life Keith has helped so many people in such a positive way".

Speaking to The Guardian, songwriter Guy Fletcher said: "Keith was a one-off, a lovely guy. He was such a charming man. I was with him just ten days ago and this news has shocked me. He was a real luminary of the music industry and had been for a very long time".

He is survived by his wife and children.

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ROSKILDE CO-FOUNDER TO RECEIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Leif Skov, co-founder of the Roskilde Foundation, is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Festival Awards later this month, it has been announced.

The Roskilde Foundation took over the running of the Roskilde Festival in 1972, the event having been launched the previous year by two Danish high school students. As one of the heads of the organisation, Skov helped to expand Roskilde from a 15,000 to 100,000 capacity event over 30 years and saw it become one of Europe's most prestigious festivals before he stepped down in 2002. He was also involved in developing and instigating huge changes to health and safety procedures after nine people were killed in a crowd surge at the 2000 Roskilde event.

Skov is also a founding member of the European festival association Yourope, and held a place on the organisation's board between 1998 and 2002.

On being chosen to receive the award, Skov told CMU: "Music is great. The world is everything. I'm just me. Young people's lives and visions carry the highest challenge and motivation for us all. It's a pleasure to work for these. I'm thankful and humble. I receive the award still in service of the music, in respect for youth culture, and with the greatest care for young people of the world".

Yourope general secretary Christof Huber added: "I was lucky enough to be with Leif on the founding board of Yourope. He was and still is a visionary. His primary goal was always to raise the quality standards for European Festivals - not just for Roskilde. He wanted to give festival-goers the best possible experience. He is one of the biggest characters in the history of European festivals!"

The European Festival Awards will take place at Eurosonic Noorderslag on 12 Jan.

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NEW YEAR STATS AND POLLS GALORE
What's that Skippy, you want some New Year stats that aren't all that surprising? Well, how about this list of the most popular live acts in the UK in 2010 based on Viagogo data? Go on, you'll love it. And I've even got you a list of the bands who commanded the highest ticket resale fees last year, and a quote from a Viagogo director. For a kangaroo, I feel you're being very well serviced with stats.

So, the most popular live acts of 2010...

1. Take That
2. Kings of Leon
3. JLS
4. Lady Gaga
5. Michael Buble
6. Roger Waters
7. Bon Jovi
8. Muse
9. Black Eyed Peas
10. Westlife
11. Usher
12. Katy Perry
13. Justin Bieber
14. Rhianna
15. Leona Lewis
16. Foo Fighters
17. Eric Clapton
18. Linkin Park
19. Tinie Tempah
20. Florence And The Machine

And the acts that commanded the silliest resale prices for tickets to their gigs...

1. The Libertines £223
2. Sade £144
3. Cliff Richard £136
4. Van Morrison £133
5. Eric Clapton £126
6. Elton John £125
7. Roxy Music £124
8. Michael Buble £122
9. Kylie Minogue £120
10. Barry Manilow £115

And that quote from a nice guy (I'm assuming) called Ed over at Viagogo: "This year has been all about Take That with ticket sales breaking all records, but other 'man bands' have benefited from a year that's been all about the boys, including Kings Of Leon and the reformed Libertines. 'The X-Factor' has also played a pivotal role in driving ticket demand for certain acts, with nine acts from the top 20 appearing live on the talent show this year".

What's that Skippy, you want even more pointless end of year polls? God you're greedy. Well, here is the 'album of the year poll of polls' that HMV compiles by collating the album of the year lists tedious music publications (and a few non-tedious ones) insist on publishing each December. Here's the top 20.

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
2. The National - High Violet
3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
4. Beach House - Teen Dream
5. Janelle Monáe - The Archandroid
6. Vampire Weekend - Contra
7. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
8. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
9. Caribou - Swim
10. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
11. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark, Twisted Fantasy
12. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
13. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
14. Sleigh Bells - Treats
15. Foals - Total Life Forever
16. Villagers - Becoming A Jackal
17. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
18. These New Puritans - Hidden
19. Black Keys - Brothers
20. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

What's that Skippy, you don't really care what a bunch of journalists think, you want hard stats as to what music people actually bought last year? Well, OK, thanks to the BPI and Official Charts Company, I can do that for you too.

So, here we have it, the best selling singles of 2010...

1. Eminem feat Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie
2. Matt Cardle - When We Collide
3. Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are (Amazing)
4. Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)
5. Usher feat Will I Am - OMG
6. Owl City - Fireflies
7. BOB feat Hayley Williams - Airplanes
8. Katy Perry feat Snoop Dogg - California Gurls
9. Yolanda Be Cool vs D Cup - We Speak No Americano

And now the best selling albums of the year...

1. Take That - Progress
2. Michael Buble - Crazy Love
3. Lady Gaga - The Fame
4. Rihanna - Loud
5. Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
6. Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
7. Alicia Keys - The Element Of Freedom
8. Florence And The Machine - Lungs
9. Eminem - Recovery
10. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

And while you, as a kangaroo, are only interested in the past, I'm going to look to the future as well, because the first four fifths of the BBC's Sound Of 2011 poll has been announced. This is based on tips from all sorts of tedious music pundits (and a few non-tedious ones) as to what the big artists of the next twelve months will be. The overall first place winner of the Sound Of poll will be announced tomorrow. The list so far:

2. James Blake
3. The Vaccines
4. Jamie Woon
5. Clare Maguire

And that, officially, is more than enough stats for any one kangaroo to be digesting on a Thursday lunchtime. Happy New Year.

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PARAMORE COMMENT ON SPLIT
Paramore have commented again on the departure of guitarist and drummer Josh and Zac Farro in December, after their ex-bandmates issued their own statement dissing their former band.

As previously reported, in December Paramore issued a statement on their website telling fans that "for the last year it hasn't seemed as if [Josh and Zac] wanted to be around any more" and that they "support them finding happiness elsewhere".

However, shortly afterward, Josh released a statement on behalf of himself and his brother, dismissing the band as being just a front for what was actually a solo record deal for frontwoman Hayley Williams, while adding that they had been uncomfortable with what they deemed blasphemous lyrics on latest album, 'Brand New Eyes'.

Although a spokesperson for the band initially claimed that Josh's statement was a fake (it was the only post on a freely hosted blog), Josh later posted a video message to the same website confirming its authenticity.

In a new interview with MTV, which will be broadcast in the US this Friday, the remaining members of the band have given what they say will be their final comments on the matter.

Williams said of Farro's statement: "I don't know if I got a phone call or an email, but I woke up to it, basically, and that sucked, and I was not happy. And yeah, it hurts, because what we were told was that they weren't happy, they didn't want to do this, and you can't be mad at someone for not feeling something ... But then when it really became about all these other things, I was very surprised and kind of felt led on, almost. We've been doing this for six, seven years now. I don't think any of this has been in vain, for any of us ... and I don't think anyone should discredit it".

Guitarist Taylor York added: "It was a drag ... Once we released our statement, we all knew they would probably release something. So I think we were all kind of bracing ourselves. You know, break-ups are hard, and there's a lot of feelings so we kind of, in a way, we expected there to be something weird. So, yeah, it was really hard to read, just because it seemed like a lot of the stuff was pretty irrelevant to what happened. I think that was the weird thing, 'cause it just didn't seem really necessary".

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PINK FLOYD RE-SIGN WITH EMI, END LEGAL SQUABBLES
So, having finally reached a deal with The Beatles to get the Fab Four's music on sale online late last year, EMI has now entered into a new agreement with another of its heritage acts, this time good old Pink Floyd, who have spent some time in court with their long term record label of late while also trying to renegotiate their relationship with the major.

EMI said the new deal is global, will run for five years and brings to an end all and any legal squabbling between the company and the band. So, that's nice.

Here's EMI top man Rodge Faxon confirming the new deal: "Pink Floyd are one of the most important and influential bands of all time and I know I speak for everyone at EMI when I say that it is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with them. We're looking forward to continuing to help the band reach new and existing fans through their incredible body of work".

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DAVE SITEK JOINS JANE'S ADDICTION
TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek has joined Jane's Addiction as the band's bassist on their forthcoming new album. Sitek, who has also produced the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Foals, will write and record with the band, though it's not yet clear if he will tour.

As previously reported, original bassist Eric Avery, who had not been involved in any of the band's previous reunions but rejoined in 2008, quit in March last year. He was replaced by former Guns N Roses man Duff McKagan, who then also quit in September.

Whether Sitek can stick it out long enough to get this album finished in time for its summer release date remains to be seen. Things got off to a good start in a statement released to coincide with the announcement of Sitek's involvement, with frontman Perry Farrell saying: "Dave [Navarro, guitar], Steve [Perkins, drums] and I are fully immersed in the process of making modern music". Perhaps Farrell's so busy with the new album there wasn't time to say 'Dave' twice.

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LADY GAGA ANNOUNCES SECOND ALBUM RELEASE DATE
Lady Gaga announced some details about her second album, 'Born This Way', on New Year's Day, as promised. She revealed that the title track will be released in the US on 13 Feb, followed by the album itself on 23 May, along with some lyrics and a picture of her with her bum out.

It was later confirmed that the bum shot will not be the album's cover, but you can have a look at it anyway if you like: twitpic.com/3lvuh8

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BLINK 182 DRUMMER CONFIRMS SOLO ALBUM RELEASE
Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker will release his previously reported solo album, 'Give The Drummer Some', on 21 Feb.

The album features collaborations with a diverse range of musicians, including Slash, RZA, Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Slipknot's Corey Taylor.

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THE VACCINES ANNOUNCE ALBUM DETAILS
For some reason, people seem to like The Vaccines. Not really sure why, but they do. So, you might be pleased to know that they've got an album coming out. Are you? Really?

Entitled 'What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?', the album will be released on 21 Mar via Sony/Columbia. They've also got a new single out on 24 Jan called 'Post Break Up Sex' and will be touring as part of the NME Awards Tour in February. La-di-fucking-da.

The album has songs on it. Songs with these titles:

Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
If You Wanna
A Lack Of Understanding
Blow It Up
Wetsuit
Nørgaard
Post Break-Up Sex
Under Your Thumb
All In White
Wolf Pack
Family Friend

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SLEIGH BELLS ANNOUNCE SHOWS
Sleigh Bells will be back in the British Isles in January and February to promote the release of new single, 'Riot Rhythm', on 14 Feb. Good.

Tour dates:

20 Jan: London, The Forum
22 Jan: Glasgow, Stereo
14 Feb: London, Heaven
15 Feb: Brighton, Digital
16 Feb: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
18 Feb: Dublin, Whelans
19 Feb: Belfast, Ulster Hall

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DIGITAL SALES CONTINUE TO GROW, BUT OVER ALL RECORD SALES STILL DOWN
Sales of digital singles and albums in the UK continued to boom in 2010, though don't buy a new silver hat just yet, overall record sales continued to fall according to stats from the Official Charts Company and the BPI. Obviously illegal downloading is totally and utterly to blame for this, and anyone who says otherwise is just thinking too hard. Stop thinking, will you!

Digital album sales in 2010 were up 30.6% on 2009, and singles sales - mainly digital - were at an all time high. But overall album sales were down 7%, with CD sales declining 12.4%.

Says BPI top dog Geoff Taylor: "2010 showed that the digital singles highs seen in the previous two years were no fluke - music fans continue to embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by legal download stores. The market for digital albums also went mainstream in 2010 with nearly a fifth of sales now coming from online services".

He continued: "Yet however encouraging it is to see the digital market grow, this must be seen against the bigger picture. Despite unprecedented demand for music, and strong innovation offering consumers new ways to access music online, legal downloads are unable to offset the decline in CD sales because they are dwarfed by illegal competition".

Finally, he said: "We will continue to do everything we can to promote the legal market, but meaningful action to tackle illegal downloading remains absolutely critical if we are to stabilise British music sales, let alone return to growth. Without it, investment in new digital services and in British musical talent will begin to dry up".

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AIF ANNOUNCES SEVEN NEW MEMBERS
The Association Of Independent Festivals has announced it has signed up seven new members, meaning the promoters of 31 independent music events are now affiliated to the trade body.

The new recruits are: End Of The Road Festival, Kendal Calling, Grassroots Eco Music Festival, Beat-Herder Festival, Deer Stalker Festival, Outside:Inside Festival and Bearded Theory. They join other indie festies like Bestival, Green Man, Glade and Creamfields in the Association.

AIF GM Claire O'Neill told CMU: "We are happy to see the continued growth of the AIF membership. It's a positive reinforcement of the Association's value, providing a voice that will be heard for the independents. 2010 has seen a host of industry wide issues come to light that will directly affect independent festivals. The need to join together for collective action has never been more apparent".

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WARNER CHAPPELL APPOINTS NEW CHIEF
Warner Music has announced that Cameron Strang, the founder of New West Records and Southside Independent Music Publishing, will take over as CEO and Chairman of the major's publishing company, Warner/Chappell. Strang became CEO of Warner/Chappell as of 1 Jan, and will now work alongside the outgoing CEO and Chairman David H Johnson, who will stay on in his latter role until July.

Bigging up his new man, Warner Music top man Edgar Bronfman Jr told CMU: "Cameron's impressive track record of identifying and signing some of the industry's most successful emerging songwriters and catalogues, and his proven success as an entrepreneur, make him the ideal executive to lead Warner/Chappell. He has that rare combination of business smarts, operational experience and creative instincts, and I'm confident he'll be a great fit for the progressive and entrepreneurial culture that exists within WMG".

Edgar also found time to say how fab-dab-tastic Warner/Chappell's outgoing CEO was too, adding: "During his tenure, Dave has delivered excellent results at Warner/Chappell, including dramatic growth in both synch and digital revenue, and assembled an industry-leading music production business through the acquisition of the Non-Stop, V, Carlin, GrooveAddicts and 615 Music libraries. Dave has proven to be a versatile and highly capable executive who can succeed in a variety of roles, and I can't thank him enough for his significant contributions to Warner/Chappell and WMG".

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QRIOCITY MUSIC SERVICE LAUNCHES
So, Sony launched the music strand of its previously reported and stupidly named content-on-demand platform Qriocity just before Christmas here in the UK. Going by the snappy name of 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity', the new streaming music service is actually powered by London-based Omnifone and offers access to about six million tracks from the four majors and some indies.

It can be accessed by paying Qriocity subscribers on any net-connected Sony device, including Bravia TVs, Blu-Ray players, PS3s and VAIO computers. Portable Sony devices and Android phones will also be able to tap into the streaming service in due course.

Sony's Kazuo Hirai told reporters: "As we start to expand Qriocity globally, these services 'powered by Qriocity' offer a single ID log-in and wallet solution, and empower users to easily consume content including music and video across a growing number of integrated devices. Seamless accessibility to content through these fresh user experiences will enrich Sony's network service offerings and continually add value to the unique aspects of Sony's network-enabled products".

A basic subscription is available for £3.99, with a ten pound premium option also available. Having launched in the UK and Ireland, roll out in North America, Australasia and other European territories will follow later this year.

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MYSPACE LAY OFFS EXPECTED
Rumour is rife, I think it's fair to say, that a pretty serious headcount axe is about to fall at MySpace, the fumbling social networking come entertainment sharing and consumption distribution and something else whatnot.

Having already lost 30% of its workforce between 2009 and 2010, various media cited insider sources last week that claimed up to half of the remaining 1100 MySpace staffers could be fired by the end of January, though said sources do seem to admit that no decisions have as yet been made.

It is widely assumed any staff cull would be part of owner New Corp's attempts to sell the web-based company, which has caused nothing but headaches for the media giant for a some time now, after a couple of years of healthy traffic and ad revenues following the Rupert Murdoch conglom's acquisition of MySpace in 2005. It's certainly possible any interested buyers have been looking at the recently relaunched MySpace website and are saying to News Corp, in an exasperated tone, "it takes 1100 people to run that?"

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Q APPOINTS NEW REVIEWS MAN
Q Magazine announced the appointment of a new Associate Editor of Reviews just before Christmas, confirming that the magazine has nabbed the services of current The Fly editorial man Niall Doherty. He will join the Bauer Media-owned music monthly later this month.

Announcing the new appointment, Q's Editor In Chief Paul Rees told reporters: "Niall will bring to Q a real passion - and knack - for highlighting and supporting new artists. His knowledge and enthusiasm for all things Q also ensured that he was the outstanding candidate for the key role of managing Q's reviews content. Niall's appointment completes a re-energising of Q's editorial team that has also seen Chris Catchpole arrive as Now Editor and Ted Kessler promoted to Associate Editor (Features)".

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CRADLE OF FILTH FRONTMAN DENIED SUFFOLK ICON STATUS
It's a sad day for extreme metal. Cradle Of Filth frontman Dani Filth will not be allowed to take his place as a Suffolk icon, despite the metal band forming in the county in 1991, and despite the frontman achieving the highest number of votes in a poll specifically set up to choose such things.

Execs at Choose Suffolk, who asked the public to choose "icons" of the county to appear on a new website, decided to run the public-voted list by a panel of judges, who then dropped Filth from the list, despite him polling highest. It seems that when Choose Suffolk asked the public to choose their list of icons, they didn't actually want them to choose their list of icons.

Choose Suffolk head, Tim Passmore said in a statement: "The idea of what constitutes an icon will always divide opinion and stimulate engaging debate (which was part of the project's remit). The finalist Icons have been selected because the judging panel believe they have a countywide resonance and are symbolic of Suffolk, and extend across the county and beyond its borders".

He continued: "As a user-generated gallery, the site was designed to engage with visitors and encourage their participation. We are encouraged this remit has been successful. However, while some of the images on the site may have gained a larger proportion of visitors' votes, the judging panel felt that their list of finalists displays the required credentials to act as representative iconic images of Suffolk".

Come on, what says Suffolk more than Cradle Of Filth? I can't think of one without the other. Honestly, I am trying not to think of both of them at the same time right now and I can't.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Dani Filth
Icon (From Suffolk)

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