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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
HMV suppliers denied credit insurance
Vaizey welcomes 'on air, on sale' policy
In The Pop Courts
More ACS:Law shenanigans in court
Etta James husband given access to funds for medical costs
Vince Neil to do two weeks jail for DUI
Awards & Contests
Folk Award nominations out
Artist Deals
Chamillionaire quits Universal
50 Cent album 80% complete
Björk album 50% complete
Release News
Marnie Stern releases demo tape
Tim Ten Yen to release first full moon single
Cyrus Malachi announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
Mount Kimbie to play Heaven
De Staat announce new album and UK tour
Dry The River announce debut single and tour
Reviews
Album review: Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi (Domino)
The Music Business
Essential announces new distribution partnership
Ingenious puts new investment into rewind
Former Warner man to run Twenty First Artists Nordic
The Media Business
MTV moves up Sky’s EPG, launches new channel
Marilyn Manson to appear on Austrian X-Factor
And finally...
Bieber shop plans scrapped


 
WEDNESDAY 19TH JANUARY
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN
From violin virtuoso to eclectic alt-rock heroine, Joan Wasser has proved herself to be everything but predictable. In recent years she has lent her talents to a number of diverse projects; including a stint in Rufus Wainwright's live band and a noteworthy contribution to Anthony & The Johnsons 2005 Mercury-winning 'I Am A Bird Now'. Following acclaimed two acclaimed solo albums under her Joan As Police Woman moniker, her latest LP, 'The Deep Field', is released on 24 Jan via the recently relaunched Play It Again Sam label. Ahead of an eleven date UK tour, which kicks off on 1 Feb, Joan found some time to answer our Same Six Questions.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing the violin in the third grade when my school offered the opportunity to get hold of string instruments. The kids could rent an instrument for $10 a year. For some reason I kept doing it. I know my teacher told me I had talent and that kept me working at it because I wanted to be good at everything I did. And I liked the fact that it looked like I was carrying around a tommy gun.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Mind expansion, Nina Simone, every human being's imminent death, and the vulnerability and total freedom that holds each of death's hands, Curtis And The Impressions, Buffy St Marie, red, purple, gold, turquoise, Joni Mitchell, Cee-Lo, Ethiopia, the magnificence of dreams, forgiveness, fur, New York City, women and men and everything in between and on the periphery, the ocean, the varying ideas and manifestations of God, Cass Mccombs, the kindness of strangers, the constant ability to renew, fucking, joy, sadness, longing and love.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I start on either the piano or the guitar. Typically, the music comes first, then a melody and then words. The melody rises out of the chords. There are usually some words that come along with the melody. I find the rest of the words by writing almost anything down to act as place-holders and then revise them over and over.

Then I bring the song to my band. I try to not say much about what I want from the drums and bass. Before I insert my ideas, I want to hear what my genius rhythm section has to contribute. The rhythm usually turns out to be a combination of their ideas and a little shaping from me. They've got the hair and I just do a little styling. For this record, Parker Kindred played all the drum tracks. I used five different bass players, one of them being the Moog bass player who I tour with, Tyler Wood.

Then we go into the studio (Trout Recording in Brooklyn owned and run by Bryce Goggin, assisted by Adam Sachs) and do the basics. We (drums, bass, and me on either keys or guitar and voice) record the basics live, all in one room with some separation of the amps but no separation between the players. I sing live and we record it until the feel is right. Sometimes the run-through has the best feel; Bryce always has the tape machine running so we might catch it on the rehearsal; which has the potential to feel the most relaxed and free. Sometimes we record the basic five or ten times.

Then I do keyboards, guitars, lead vocals, backup vocals and call in any number of my favourite musicians from this fine city. Doug Wieselman has played on all my records. He plays saxes, clarinets and guitar. He is one of the deepest players I have ever heard. He is always in the moment. He played some bass clarinet on this record that is painfully gorgeous.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

As well as those mentioned in Q2, Stevie Wonder, Sly And The Family Stone, Talk Talk, Bowie, Prince, plus all the magnificent musicians that contributed to my record.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I would attempt to say nothing.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

To continue to make music, play live and move closer and closer to total freedom.

MORE>> www.joanaspolicewoman.com
 
TROPHY WIFE – A QUIET EARTH (JAMES YUILL REMIX)
After releasing their acclaimed debut single, 'Microlite', in November last year, Oxford-based trio Trophy Wife have announced the follow-up, a double-A side single, 'A Quiet Earth/White Horses', which will be released by Moshi Moshi on 28 Feb. In the run-up to the single's release, the band will be making a series of remixes available as free downloads, the first of which has been put together by indie-electro bod James Yuill.

 
Yuill takes what is an upbeat, danceable guitar-based romp, strips all the live instruments out and replaces it with some 8bit joy. The first of three remixes, this version is available to download now from the SoundCloud link below. It will be followed by reworkings from Foals and Esben And The Witch later this month. Speaking of Esben And The Witch, Trophy Wife will be supporting them on their UK tour, which kicks off on 29 Jan.

soundcloud.com/anoraklondon/sets/trophy-wife-the-quiet-earth-james-yuill-remix


LIVE NATION MUSIC - MARKETING MANAGER
Live Nation Music, part of Live Nation Entertainment, requires a Marketing Manager at our central London office. Working within a team reporting to a Senior Marketing Manager, you will be responsible for developing, managing and delivering complete, strategic marketing campaigns. Knowledge of the music or live entertainment industry, venue and label marketing, experience with UK media buying, ability to work under pressure and attention to detail essential.

A full job description and application information is here:
livenationuk.tms.hrdepartment.com/jobs/38/Marketing-Manager-in-Argyll-Street-office
       
TICKETMASTER - CLIENT MARKETING MANAGER, MUSIC
Ticketmaster, part of Live Nation Entertainment, seeks a marketing professional at our central London office. Reporting to the Senior Marketing Manager, you will be responsible for providing secondary marketing support for Ticketmaster's music clients, delivering high quality marketing campaigns and managing client relationships. Ideally with a marketing qualification, ticketing or marketing experience, music industry knowledge, and ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines essential.

A full job description and application information is here:
livenationuk.tms.hrdepartment.com/jobs/33/Client-Marketing-Manager-Music-in-Leicester-Square%20office
       
PROUD: ASSISTANT TO PROMOTIONS MANAGER
We are looking for an experienced, dedicated, extremely organised and well connected individual to assist the promotions manager at one of London's most revered 3000 capacity super clubs. The role will see you assisting the promotions manager. This includes, amongst other things, helping them find strong and current promoters (we expect the biggest names in the business) suited to the venue and its ethos, artist and event liaison, overseeing and monitoring all our current promoters to ensure they and the venue are working together to obtain optimal overall results, and elements of programming and booking for various club nights.

Not for the faint hearted, the ideal candidate would possess: Minimum 3 years working in a similar role, a very strong contact base within the music/promotions industry, exceptional, outstanding organisational and communication skills, strong drive and pro-activity, common sense and great lateral thinking. You must above all have a strong ability to multitask effectively and roll with the punches.

Please send an original cover letter outlining why we should consider you for the role, detailed information about your previous experience and a CV with a recent photograph to a.anderson@proud.co.uk. Salary dependant on experience. Please note that failure to provide any of the above will result in your application being unsuccessful.
 
PROUD: SENIOR LIVE BAND BOOKER
We are looking for an experienced, dedicated, extremely organised and well connected individual to head live band bookings at one of London's most revered 3000 capacity super clubs. The role covers, amongst other things, booking exceptional, current and well known bands (we expect the biggest names in the business) suited to the venue and its ethos, artist liaison, building and retaining strong relationships with booking agents and management in order to preserve the reputation of the venue, and elements of programming and booking for various live and club nights.

Not for the faint hearted, the ideal candidate would possess: A minimum of 3 years working at a venue of similar capacity, a very strong contact base within the music/promotions industry, with an emphasis on live music, a phenomenal understanding of the current live music scene, exceptional, outstanding organizational and communication skills, strong drive and pro-activity, common sense and great lateral thinking. You must above all have a strong ability to multitask effectively and roll with the punches.

Please send an original cover letter outlining why we should consider you for the role, detailed information about your previous experience and a CV with a recent photograph to a.anderson@proud.co.uk. Salary dependant on experience. Please note that failure to provide any of the above will result in your application being unsuccessful.




HMV SUPPLIERS DENIED CREDIT INSURANCE
Some suppliers to HMV have been denied credit insurance for the stocks they provide to the retailer, amid mounting concerns in City circles regarding the music and entertainment firm's ability to meet bank loan covenants. This means that if HMV were to default on payment for stock already received, or worse was to go out of business, suppliers wouldn't be able to claim monies lost from their insurers.

This latest development follows those disappointing pre-Christmas sales figures reported by the HMV Group at the start of the year, and the news that the company will close 40 of its HMV stores and 20 more Waterstones shops in 2011.

We know HMV has in the region of £150 million in debts, a bunch of which were run up as the company diversified its operations through acquisition in recent years. Top man Simon Fox has admitted that meeting financial performance targets demanded by those loan agreements is going to be "tight" this financial year, and that fact is probably behind the withdrawal of credit insurance.

If HMV failed to meet the terms of the covenants it has with its bank, the money lenders could withdraw the retailer's loan facility, though more likely they would demand higher interest and fees on the entertainment firm's debts. Neither is ideal.

In practical terms, a change in credit insurance status of this kind could result in suppliers refusing to supply stock to the retailer without payment upfront, a development that could cripple the company. That said, HMV insisted yesterday that it had not experienced any problems in getting supplies this month.

There is, of course, a lot of goodwill for HMV amongst the entertainment industry, with key players recognising that the retailer is now their only high street route to consumers. Few will want to stop their goods from being available via that route, and none will want to instigate a policy that could jeopardise the future of such an important sales channel.

That said, no one likes taking on extra risk, and reports suggest that distributors are already looking to the record companies and DVD and games publishers to guarantee any revenues that they might lose if HMV did go bad.

The latest development in HMV's woes comes as The Hut Group, which powers the online entertainment mail-order operations for various retailers, including Tesco, Asda, Argos and WH Smiths, revealed that its comparable sales for 2010 were up 57% on the previous year. Rival online entertainment retailers Amazon and Play.com are also expected to announce record sales for the festive period in 2010.

Of course, ten years ago HMV screwed up its online strategy, missing the small window of opportunity that existed to take a significant share of the online entertainment retail market, allowing newcomers Apple to dominate in digital and Amazon and Play.com in mail-order.

The latter benefit, of course, from the infamous VAT dodge, whereby they set up a base on the Channel Islands and then get away without charging VAT on CDs and DVDs under £18 thanks to an idiotic loophole in tax laws. This means online retailers can undercut high street stores by 20% without affecting their profit margin.

Of course, rather than lobbying to close the loophole that gave its new rivals such an unfair advantage, HMV decided to join the VAT dodge party itself with its own mail-order website (albeit, they claim, reluctantly). But HMV.com is a small player in the online entertainment retail market, while the HMV high street business struggles to compete with the VAT-free prices charged online by Amazon and Play.com et al.

Opinions remain mixed about HMV's future. There is still a lot of value in the HMV brand and at least certain strands of its business. However, until those loan covenants are met in March, both City and entertainment industry types will continue to look on nervously.

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VAIZEY WELCOMES 'ON AIR, ON SALE' POLICY
The government's top 'dude' Ed Vaizey has welcomed Sony and Universal's previously reported decision to release new singles digitally on the same day they are serviced to radio, rather than having new tracks appear on air weeks before they go on sale.

As previously reported, the move means that as soon as a music fan hears a new track on the radio they can stream it via Spotify or buy it from iTunes. The change responds to the "I want it now" nature of the modern consumer, and removes one of the key excuses for online piracy - that when a song is new and buzzy it can't be bought from legit digital music stores.

According to Music Week, Vaizey has welcomed the policy shift and called on EMI and Warner to quickly follow suit. The Creative Industries Minister said: "The internet has revolutionised the way we consume music and industry must respond to the change in demand. The more legal sources of online content meet the expectations of consumers in the digital age, the less people will be tempted to turn to unlawful sources".

In related news, the government has confirmed that Vaizey, whose creative industries brief previously saw him reporting to both Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Business Secretary Vince Cable, will now solely report to the former.

It follows the shift of a whole load of responsibilities for the media and telecoms sectors from Cable's department to Hunt's office, mainly because of the controversy that surrounded the Business Secretary's off guarded remarks to undercover journalists late last year that he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch, despite him supposedly independently reviewing the merits and implications of Murdoch company News Corp's bid to take complete ownership of BSkyB.

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MORE ACS:LAW SHENANIGANS IN COURT
So, another day and another chapter in the legal sitcom that is ACS:Law, starring that (seemingly) bumbling fool Andrew Crossley. Or, as it turned out, not - the lead player in this story being mysteriously absent. Perhaps he's still doing panto.

So, yes, ACS:Law is the London-legal firm which has, in recent years, been spearheading the sue-the-fans approach to tackling online piracy. The company most famously works for porn makers, though does have a few smaller music and movie clients on their books. As previously reported, ACS first caused a little concern over the allegedly threatening and misleading nature of the letters it mailed out to suspected file-sharers, and then lots of concern when its website was hacked and - somehow - that resulted in the private information of hundreds of suspected file-sharers being leaked online.

Some claim that ACS's business model is based on the theory that most accused file-sharers will settle out of court, however strong the legal case against them, especially if they are accused of illegally accessing pornographic content. The legal firm can then take a cut of the out of court damages settlement.

But ACS main man Andrew Crossley always insisted he was happy to take cases to court if accused file-sharers refused to respond or settle. But when he did just that last year, in a bid to get eight default judgements in his client's favour against accused file-sharers who had failed to respond to legal letters, it turned out Crossley's attention to detail was somewhat lacking, never great in a court situation.

First, it turned out that three of the file-sharers had, in fact, responded to legal letters, while there was no evidence that three others had ever been sent them. Second, the claimant named on the lawsuit was an agent representing copyright owners - MediaCAT - rather than the owners themselves, which isn't usually allowed under copyright law.

And third, Crossley's legal case in part relied on the assumption there was a legal obligation on web users to safeguard their wifi networks from third party use, a contentious opinion with no English legal precedent for which a law firm better than ACS is probably required to ensure judicial support.

Following that bungled court appearance, and with the judge hearing the case, Colin Birrs, of the opinion most ACS lawsuits displayed "unusual features", the Patents Court ordered a 'directional hearing' to review the 27 other copyright infringement cases brought against suspected file-sharers by ACS on behalf of MediaCAT, with a view to deciding how said cases should be handled. This hearing took place earlier this week.

Somewhat suspiciously, once this review was in the diary, ACS suddenly started writing to the 27 defendants last week saying the copyright cases against them were being dropped. But the Patents Court insisted the hearing should go ahead anyway, not least because if ACS is dropping all its cases at this late stage, some of the defendants' lawyers are pushing for the law firm to cover their client's costs.

Though, alas, not much could be said at the hearing, mainly because at the last minute Crossley sent in a letter from his mum saying that due to "an unfortunate family car accident at the weekend" he would not be able to attend.

According to TorrentFreak, which is covering this case in more detail, there was some discussion with MediaCAT representitives, who did show up, regards the issue of whether they - as agents of copyright owners - could actually launch legal proceedings for infringement, but with Crossley a no show little was resolved and the whole thing was adjourned to next week.

Meanwhile, as all this was going on, a new letter was being sent out to those accused file-sharers who haven't settled but who have not, as yet, been targeted with actual legal proceedings. Again according to TorrentFreak, this new letter said that out of court settlement payments should now be made to a new company - GCB Limited - rather than directly to ACS:Law.

Cynics might wonder if that's a move to stop any new money generated from out of court settlements from entering the bank accounts of ACS:Law, which is facing various fines and legal claims in relation to its sue-the-fans work and that aforementioned data spill.

GCB was previously a dormant company seemingly reactivated for the simple reason of collecting new monies from accused file-sharers. TorrentFreak say its registered address belongs to a firm of accountants who originally registered the limited company for a client. They say they had no idea the company was now being used by ACS for this purpose and have terminated their relationship with the firm as a result. Meanwhile, the phone line given for GCB in the aforementioned letter is now playing a recorded message saying the company is no longer colleting monies on behalf of ACS or its clients.

So, there you go, fun fun fun. All eyes are now presumably on the next court hearing on this matter on 24 Jan.

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ETTA JAMES HUSBAND GIVEN ACCESS TO FUNDS FOR MEDICAL COSTS
A California judge has granted the husband of Etta James access to $60,000 of the singer's money to cover medical fees until next month.

As previously reported, the R&B star suffers from Alzheimer's disease, while legal papers filed by husband Artis Mills last week revealed she is also battling leukaemia. Mills told the court his wife could no longer handle her own affairs, and that he needed control of her finances to pay for medical expenditure.

As also previously reported, James had already given power of attorney for such eventualities to her two sons, one of whom, Donto, challenged Mills' claim for control of his mother's finances last week.

Although he said he did not object to the use of his mother's money for medical treatment, he requested that a third party be put in charge of paying such fees out of James' bank accounts "to avoid present and future family conflict and discrepancies".

Nevertheless, the judge decided to give Mills direct access to sixty grand to cover short term medical care. Presumably another hearing will be needed to decide what happens after that time is up.

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VINCE NEIL TO DO TWO WEEKS JAIL FOR DUI
Motley Crue man Vince Neil will serve two weeks in jail in relation to the DUI charge he faces after being arrested for speeding in Las Vegas last June. After being pulled over by police and failing sobriety tests he was found to have a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit.

Although he initially pleaded not guilty to the DUI charges, he has now agreed to a plea deal which will involve him spending two weeks in jail in late February and another two under house arrest. Confirming he would now plead guilty, the rocker said in a statement: "I have recognised that you can't drink and drive at all. I take full responsibility for my actions and will learn from this experience".

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FOLK AWARD NOMINATIONS OUT
The nominations are out for this year's Radio 2 Folk Awards, which will be broadcast live on the BBC station for the first time this year. Singer-songwriter Donovan will get the lifetime achievement gong while the rest of the noms look like this:

Folk Singer Of The Year: Chris Wood, Heidi Talbot, Jon Boden, Kris Drever.

Best Duo: Chris While & Julie Matthews, Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson, Megson, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan.

Best Group: Bellowhead, Breabach, Coope Boyes & Simpson, Fisherman's Friends.

Best Album: Coope Boyes & Simpson - As If..., Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson - Gift, Chris Wood - Handmade Life, Bellowhead - Hedonism.

Best Original Song: Chris Wood - Hollow Point, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan Queen Of Waters, Laura Marling - Rambling Man, Emily Portman - Stick Stock.

Best Traditional Track: Bellowhead - New York Girls, Andy Irvine - The Demon Lover, Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson - Poor Wayfaring Stranger, Heidi Talbot - Willie Taylor.

Horizon Award: Emily Portman, Ewan Mclennan, Fay Hield, Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell.

Musician Of The Year: Andy Cutting, Brian Finnegan, Michael Mcgoldrick, Richard Thompson.

Best Live Act: Bellowhead, Fiddlers' Bid, The Demon Barbers, The Unthanks.

BBBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award: Adam Holmes, David Gibb & Elly Lucas, Mairi & Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul, Moore/Moss/Rutter.

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CHAMILLIONAIRE QUITS UNIVERSAL
US rapper Chamillionaire has reportedly ended his relationship with Universal after disagreements over creative direction led to various delays on the release of his third album, 'Venom'.

According to Hip Hop Galaxy, he said in a recent interview: "I think nowadays labels feel rap doesn't sell that much, pop does. So what they are doing is they are trying to turn rappers into that - 'You infiltrated pop culture with 'Ridin Dirty', now do it again'. That's what they wanted me to be, and if I came in with something that was more me, they wouldn't support it. But 'Ridin Dirty' wasn't a pop record - it was myself".

He continued: "It got to the point where I just refused to put out a project if it wasn't going to be right. I knew if I did that I had a better chance of getting off [the label]. I was fighting against this company and it was just an abusive relationship. It wasn't beneficial for either of us. I have a better way to monetise [my music] - I have a plan. I don't hate [Universal] and I'm glad they let me out [of my deal] because I have an innovative way to [make money now]".

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50 CENT ALBUM 80% COMPLETE
50 Cent has told fans that his new album, the follow-up to 2009's 'Before I Self Destruct', is 80% finished.

The rapper said via Twitter: "Here I am, I'm back. Did you miss me? I was working on the album today. I think I'm 80% done".

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BJÖRK ALBUM 50% COMPLETE
Björk has announced that she is halfway through recording her new album, the follow-up to 2007's 'Volta'.

The singer made the announcement to Icelandic newspaper, Fréttablaðið, though refused to speak about the record in any more detail than that because she is "very superstitious". She said: "I have had some bad experiences with a number of things before. I'm very superstitious. I go into the studio with a plan to go do what I have in mind, and then the idea is half dead".

She also said that she is aiming to tour in autumn this year.

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MARNIE STERN RELEASES DEMO TAPE
Phenomenal guitarist and number nine in our Artists Of The Year 2010 list, Marnie Stern has released solo demos she made in 2006, most of which were then rerecorded with Hella drummer Zach Hill for her 2007 debut album, 'In Advance Of The Broken Arm'.

Released by Dog Daze Tapes, the compilation is available on cassette and MP3 download. You can also listen to the release in full on SoundCloud here: soundcloud.com/dog-daze-tapes/sets/marnie-stern-demo/

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TIM TEN YEN TO RELEASE FIRST FULL MOON SINGLE
Last year, pop genius Tim Ten Yen announced plans to release a new single to coincide with every full moon in 2011, a project he's calling 'On The Moon'. The first track will be made available for free tonight at 9.21pm - the precise time the first full moon of the year will hit London.

To get your hands on the track, you'll need to email info@timtenyen.com with the subject 'On The Moon'. Subsequent releases will then be available to buy every month on the day of the full moon.

Those dates in full are: 19 Jan, 18 Feb, 19 Mar, 18 Apr, 17 May, 15 Jun, 15 Jul, 13 Aug, 12 Sep, 12 Oct
10 Nov, 10 Dec.

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CYRUS MALACHI ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
UK rapper and one third of Triple Darkness Cyrus Malachi has announced that he will release his debut solo album, 'Ancient Future', via No Cure Records in April.

Discussing the album, Malachi said: "I have always been fascinated with language and words at different stages in my life, I have really immersed myself in literature. The album is an epic twenty track opus. It features Ruste Juxx, Bronze Nazareth, Kevlaar 7, Killa Sha, Darkim Be Allah, M9, Kyza, Iron Braydz and more. The title 'Ancient Future' encapsulates everything I'm about".

As previously reported, the rapper recently released a free mixtape, entitled 'The Isis Papers', which can be downloaded from here: usershare.net/2pexm1smfcwi

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MOUNT KIMBIE TO PLAY HEAVEN
Mount Kimbie have announced that they will play their biggest headline show to date at Heaven in London on 28 Apr. Tickets for that are on sale now.

If you're hoping to see the duo a bit sooner than that, they'll be playing Gilles Peterson's World Wide Awards show at Koko on 22 Jan, though that show's sold out, so my telling you might not be that helpful.

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DE STAAT ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Dutch five-piece De Staat have announced that they will release their new album, 'Machinery', via Cool Green Recordings/Mascot on 7 Mar. They'll also be in the UK for a brief tour in April.

Tour dates:

6 Apr: London, Barfly
7 Apr: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
8 Apr: Nottingham, Bodega
9 Apr: Bristol, Louisiana

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DRY THE RIVER ANNOUNCE DEBUT SINGLE AND TOUR
The very good and CMU approved Dry The River have announced that they will release their debut single, 'New Ceremony', through Memphis Industries on 7 Mar. To coincide with the release, the band will be playing some gigs, the dates of which are as follows:

5 Feb: London, The Borderline
9 Mar: Liverpool, The Shipping Forecast
10 Mar: Glasgow, Barrowlands
11 Mar: London, The Barfly

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ALBUM REVIEW: Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi (Domino)
My first thought after listening to this album in its entirety was: "PJ Harvey, step aside". And that is not a statement that should be taken lightly. PJ Harvey is a legend, am I right? Enter Anna Calvi - a one woman machine who missed out on the BBC Sound of 2011 final five by the skin of her teeth, a singer-songwriter and guitar player extraordinaire with a voice like silk that will haunt you for days.

Her eponymous debut is so good that it feels alive. She brandishes a kind of dark, alternative pop somewhere between the atmospheric theatrics of Nick Cave and the Stateside cool of dark surf-rock and southern blues. Opening instrumental track 'Rider To The Sea' is a stellar showcase of those guitar skills, a talent that would make Dick Dale weep himself into a stupor; Calvi's enigmatic vocals then come in for 'No More Words', gentle at first, easing us in at first before she sores through the thrilling, Siouxsie-esque 'Suzanne And I' and the powerful 'Blackout'. The album positively drips with effortless cool.

Cynical though I am when reading these "tipped to be so massive they'll eclipse the sun" end of year/beginning of year lists, I can't help but bite my tongue this year given that this lady has featured on many of them - meaning they surely have something right. Though I'm surprised she hasn't topped any of them. TW

Physical release: 17 Jan

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ESSENTIAL ANNOUNCES NEW DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP
Label services company Essential Music & Marketing has announced it has hired the service of Gem Logistics - better known in the gaming and DVD sectors - to look after its physical product distribution. Essential's in house team will handle sales activity. The move sees Essential end its relationship with Warner Music's indie distributor ADA.

Essential MD Mike Chadwick told CMU: "Gem's ambitions for growth is impressive. Their facilities are truly state of the art and they are financially sound - a great combination. We were really impressed by their enthusiastic team and their IT was just what we were looking for. It's a very exciting time for both companies and we're looking forward to creating a major new player in the independent music sector".

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INGENIOUS PUTS NEW INVESTMENT INTO REWIND
Entertainment industry investment firm Ingenious has announced it is making a new investment into the 80s Rewind Festival.

Ingenious is sinking a million into the nostalgic festival brand, enabling the launch of a second event in Scotland this year. The Scottish event will take place at Scone Palace in Perthshire in late July, while the original event will return in August in Henley. The Human League, Tony Hadley, Rick Astley, Kim Wilde, Bananarama, Hue & Cry and a reunited The Bluebells will all appear at the Scottish edition.

Confirming the investment, Ingenious director Paul Bedford told CMU: "The massive success of the Henley event has confirmed that further investment in the festival's expansion is a positive move for our entertainment [funds]. This latest funding is just the first step in our plans to support the roll out of the Rewind brand internationally. There is already strong interest to launch the first 80s Rewind Festival in Holland and talks are also underway to take it to Australia".

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FORMER WARNER MAN TO RUN TWENTY FIRST ARTISTS NORDIC
Artist management firm Twenty First Artists has announced the appointment of former Warner Music Sweden exec Sandji Tandan to run its Nordic division. Tandan, who has been running his own music companies for the last eight years, will become SVP for Twenty First Artists Nordic, reporting to the group's CEO Colin Lester.

He told CMU: "The Nordic territories are an increasingly important marketplace for the artists we represent and it was imperative to get the right person to oversee our activities there. I have known Sanji Tandan for many years and it is no exaggeration to say that he is a legend in the Swedish music industry. For someone of his proven experience and talent to join our organisation says a lot about what we are building at Twenty First Artists and I am confident that he will help take our artists to the next level".

Tandan himself added: "Colin Lester is one of the best managers I've had the pleasure to deal with. When he asked me to join the Twenty First Artists family I felt that his vision was exactly what the music market needs at this point in time. Most importantly I still have a passion for signing and working with artists, both new and established. Both the artists and the industry face a lot of challenges in the new business landscape and I'm very keen to be involved in that process".

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MTV MOVES UP SKY'S EPG, LAUNCHES NEW CHANNEL
So, here's a snappy opening line to a press release. And I quote: "MTV Networks UK and Ireland, a division of MTV Networks International (MTVNI), owned by Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) and BSkyB (Sky), today announced plans for MTV and Comedy Central to move up the Sky EPG (Electronic Programme Guide)". Got that? Good.

Basically, Sky is shaking up the electronic programme guide on its satellite TV network, and among the shifts that will occur in channel order the main MTV station will move up the stack, appearing in amongst the general entertainment channels at 126 rather than sitting with the other music channels down in the mid-three hundreds. The move presumably recognises the fact the main MTV channel has had as much "general entertainment" programming as music shows for a long time now.

Of course, MTV has had a channel in the general entertainment section of the Sky EPG for a while now, albeit further down at 160. That particular MTV service - MTV Shows, and originally MTV-R - is being axed in favour of a new music-based MTV channel to be called MTV Music (yes, that's Music Television Music), which will sit back with the other MTV outlets in the music strand.

As you'll also see from that snappy press release line above, Comedy Central, another channel operated by the MTV Networks business - a JV with Sky in the UK - will also rise up the EPG stack to channel 112. It currently occupies channel 126, the slot being give to the main MTV service.

Confirming all this, David Lynn, MD of MTV Networks UK & Ireland, told CMU: "These EPG moves are a great coup for MTV Networks UK. Not only do they reinforce the strength of the MTV Network brands in the UK in helping increase value for Sky customers, they also demonstrate the value of the brands in helping differentiate pay TV. MTV's programming has made such a massive impact amongst 16-34 year-old audiences worldwide, that being able to showcase that content to millions of Sky homes in a more high profile channel location is really exciting".

On the new MTV Music service, he added: "This increases our freedom and flexibility to demonstrate our passion for and commitment to music in the UK. MTV Music is a channel dedicated to highlighting the best music out there across all genres and styles. It will provide a gateway into Sky's music genre that will drive even more value into the Sky subscription. We'll also continue to break new artists and develop new talent alongside sharing some of the greatest live performances ever and the ultimate access to talent that only MTV can bring".

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MARILYN MANSON TO APPEAR ON AUSTRIAN X-FACTOR
Oh now this has got to be worth watching, no? According to Kerrang!, Marilyn Manson has been confirmed as a guest judge on the Austrian equivalent of 'X-Factor', 'Helden Von Morgen'.

Whether he'll be throwing insults in German, I don't know. Does Marilyn Manson speak German? Answers on a postcard, please. Of course, we could all just wait until 21 Jan, when the show is due to air, and find out then. Yeah, don't send us postcards with Marilyn Manson facts written on them. Hmm, no, actually do. That sounds like fun.

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BIEBER SHOP PLANS SCRAPPED
Very sad news, plans to open a shop devoted entirely to Justin Bieber have been scrapped. The store had been due to take pride of place in LA shopping centre The Grove, but now the squeaky singer's US publicist has revealed that we'll all have to go elsewhere for our weekly Bieber shop.

Jennifer Gordon told the LA Times: "I was working with them last year with the possibility of this happening. [But] towards the end of November, everything had fallen through. It's not happening".

We'll all just have to find different ways of delivering cash to Justin Bieber, perhaps like this: youtu.be/0e50vqY7Szo

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Andy Malt
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