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INFORMATION
Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
The Great Escape convention: First speakers announced
Activision axe Guitar Hero
In The Pop Hospital
Franklin to return to stage in May
Awards & Contests
MPG present awards
Reunions & Splits
Mis-teeq reunion on the cards?
In The Studio
The Pierces: Guy off of Coldplay is the new Baby Jesus
Release News
Gang Gang Dance confirm eye-catching second album
Dels unveils debut album
EMA announces debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Rolo Tomassi announce UK tour
The Jim Jones Revue announce UK tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: MEN - Talk About Body (Sony/Columbia)
The Music Business
BASCA relaunches website
The Digital Business
EMI signs up to Beatport
Nokia boss (sort of) says "basically we're shit"
The Media Business
YouView confirms delays
And finally...
Ashley Simpson divorces Pete Wentz
She's not Gaga in bed


 
THURSDAY 10TH FEBRUARY
SEA OF BEES
Sea Of Bees is the pseudonym of Julie Ann Baenziger, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist from sunny Sacramento, California. Having left home at 23 to play one-finger bass in a band, she later went on to pursue solo interests, releasing EP 'Bee Eee Pee' (see what she did there?) via her own label Sea Of Bees Music in 2009.

There are similarities between her experimental style and more freakish tangents oft taken by artists like Devendra Banhart, Cat Power and Joanna Newsom, the latter of whom's delicate, almost childlike vocal quality has been likened to Baenziger's own. Confessional debut LP 'Songs For The Ravens' is out this week via Heavenly Recordings, with lead track 'Wizbot' out on the same day. Currently marking these occasions with an accompanying UK tour, which will stop off tonight at Birmingham's Hare And Hounds, we approached Julie to find out more.

 
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started when I was about six-ish years old. I was inspired by a religious hippy guru man in my mother's church. I would watch him sing my favourite hymn, 'Here I Am Lord'. I didn't initially sing, or pursue my thoughts of singing, though. That happened when I met this girl who sang for the church that my cousin went to. She was beautiful, as was her voice. I wanted to impress her. So I would go to my parents shed in the back yard and play my brother's girlfriend's broken guitar one string at a time. I would try but it was extremely frustrating. But I kept on thinking how much I desired to do what I loved, for me, so I went onward...

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
It seems clichéd but being caged from my own happiness, experiencing things for the first time, heartache. Just growing up, really. Bad things, good things. Somehow hope would show up without me deliberately trying to involve it in the songs.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
A main instrument, either acoustic guitar or piano for this album. Then synths, percussion, drums or shakers... tambourine! Then the bass... then electrics, like the guitars, and just make up pretty melodies afterwards. Then my friend John would mix it with some random compressors - old beauties.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Many. At the time of writing the album I listened to a lot of Rilo Kiley, Bonnie Prince Billy, REM and Bon Iver.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Just do it. Keep doing it. Grow your hair and rawk!

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

I plan to move towards electrics and melodies, but still quite raw. It will be a nice surprise.

MORE>> www.seaofbees.com

 
KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS
Keep Shelly In Athens hail from - well I never - Athens in Greece. Thankfully, neither of the duo are called Shelly, meaning they're free to purvey their music in locations the world over. Most importantly, in my London-based ears. And yours, if you like. And you should like, because the music that producer RΠЯ and vocalist Sarah P make is a kind of dreamy late night/early morning pop that feels like it's burrowed into your chest and tried to inflate you. Yes, that good.

 
As well as original tracks, such as the two that will make up their new double A-side single 'Hauntin Me/Song To Cheer You Up', they've also been responsible for various brilliant remixes, including reworks of CMU favourites Porcelain Raft and Steve Mason. In the case of the latter, they reworked the title song of his 'Boys Outside' album into a dark, trumpet-led house track. You can hear these remixes, tracks from the duo's debut EP, and 'Hauntin Me' (out via Transparent on 21 Feb) on SoundCloud.

soundcloud.com/keepshellyinathens



"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


MUSIC BUSINESS MODELS - MAKING MONEY, FINDING INVESTMENT
How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 9 Feb 2011

MUSIC RIGHTS - INSIDE & OUT
A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 23 Feb 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training




THE GREAT ESCAPE CONVENTION: FIRST SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED
So, we've been teasing you for weeks now about what we've got planned for The Great Escape convention this year - the conference side of Europe's leading festival for new music, which is being programming by Team CMU this time - and today is the day we can actually start naming some names.

There will be a number of new strands to the convention in 2011, including an 'in conversation' programme featuring one-to-one interviews with some leading music makers and music business leaders. And the first interviewee to be confirmed for this programme is the brilliant BRIT Award winning Paul Epworth, the record producer who joins the dots between so much of the last decade's best new music. His production credits include releases by Cee-Lo Green, Florence & The Machine, Plan B, Bloc Party, Jack Penate, this year's Great Escape co-headliners Friendly Fires and tracks on the current number one album from Adele.

We'll be talking Paul through his career to date, and will ask him about the relationship between producer and artists, and whether the role of the producer is changing in the digital, DIY age. We might also find out what it was like to produce four and half minutes of silence, as he did last December as lead producer on the Cage Against The Machine project.

Also new to The Great Escape convention this year will be a masterclass programme, featuring leading music business players offering practical tips and advice on key areas for new bands and their managers. Aimed very much at newer music business professionals, and artists themselves, these sessions will offer invaluable advice on engaging the media, developing journalist relationships and impressing agents and promoters to secure representation and bookings, as well as some legal tips from Brighton-based ACUMEN Media Law.

The other big news today is that PRS For Music will return as hosts of day one of the convention, presenting their own day-long programme of panels and insight sessions. These will include a keynote from PRS for Music Chief Economist Will Page, and discussions on new revenue streams and investment models, and how to move your band up to the next level. There'll also be insights from PRS for Music's Chris Carey on the last year in the music business, and Deloitte's Paul Lee, who will be predicting the future of the media and entertainment sectors.

Talking of panels, which we almost were there, we have some great discussions lined up this year, which will focus on the key issues, opportunities and threats facing the music industry in 2011, while also offering insightful case studies and practical advice on how entrepreneurial music business practitioners are reinventing the way our industry works. Among the panellists already confirmed are Martin Goldschmidt of Cooking Vinyl and Essential, Alan Pell from the rapidly growing BMG UK, and David Bianchi from Various Artists, who manages Carl Barat and Killing Joke among many others.

Finally for now, something we mentioned here in the Daily last week but which is officially launching today, the Great Escape Start Ups Forum. This year we are opening this up to all new music companies from across the UK. Any new company under eighteen months old that is innovating in the music space - whether in music rights, live events, digital or interactive, brand partnerships, or cross-media projects - is invited to submit a brief summary of their business. A panel of music industry leaders will select the most impressive and we will invite the owners of those companies to present at The Great Escape, promoting themselves to the convention's industry audience, and receiving direct advice from panellists. For more info check www.theCMUwebsite.com/thegreatescape.

We should add that all this is just the start of what we have planned for you guys come May, and we'll be feeding more news on panels and sessions as they are confirmed at the top of Daily each Friday. But take note, you should book your delegates passes now rather than later, because if you do so before next Tuesday you get the special early bird rate of £80, which is such a bargain I'm still thinking one of the accounts guys did some sums wrong somewhere along the line. But take advantage of this offer while it's there by going to www.escapegreat.com/buy-a-ticket/delegate-tickets.

And don't forget a delegates pass also gets you into all the gigs taking place at The Great Escape, which this year already includes Warpaint, Katy B, Brother, Twin Shadow, D/R/U/G/S, Becoming Real, PVT, Dutch Uncles, Tribes, worriedaboutsatan, Teeth, Visions Of Tree and Seams. Delegates can also get their hands on discount tickets (just a £6 top up) to the big Dome shows taking place during the festival, which this year includes Friendly Fires.

So that's all very exciting isn't it? So exciting, I think I need three quotes to help calm me down. Oh look, here they are...

PRS For Music boss Robert Ashcroft on their hosting day one again: "PRS for Music is delighted to be hosting the opening day of The Great Escape for a second year, bringing together a whole host of expert speakers to offer real insight and discussion on important issues that face the music business. The Great Escape is a great place to gain real practical solutions for developing emerging talent, not to mention a fantastic place to check out some new music".

Martin Elbourne, Great Escape co-founder, on PRS's continued support: "Having PRS for Music back on board again as hosts of our day one programme is excellent. They bring with them great knowledge about the state of our industry and an address book full of experts. I look forward to the debates they initiate".

And some bloke called Chris Cooke from CMU - also co-programmer of TGE this year - saying stuff in an excited voice: "I genuinely believe 2011 is set to be a turning point for the music business, as new approaches to monetising music being quietly developed in various corners of the industry start to gain momentum. Through the PRS for Music panels and insight sessions, and our other panels and debates, we'll get a real idea of what those approaches are. Anyone planning on working in music in five years time would be well advised to join us. That you'll also get to hear from Paul Epworth and other music makers while you're here is simply brilliant".

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ACTIVISION AXE GUITAR HERO
You remember how three years ago everyone was saying that the then burgeoning music games market was going to save the record industry? Well, not everyone. But some people. Idiots mainly. Well, anyway, 'Guitar Hero' has been axed due to slumping sales, so that prediction worked out well, didn't it?

Yes, gaming giant Activision yesterday announced it was halting development on its 'Guitar Hero' franchise and disbanding the business unit which oversees the game.

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg told investors that while the most recent version of 'Guitar Hero' and the second edition of its sister title 'DJ Hero' both won critical acclaim, sales of both were disappointing. Coupled with the high licensing costs associated with such games, it made the development and release of future editions impractical, he added.

Meanwhile a statement from the company said: "Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's 'Guitar Hero' business unit and discontinue development on its 'Guitar Hero' game for 2011".

It's not clear what this means for the future development of 'DJ Hero', though Eurogamer has reported that the developers of that particular franchise, Freestyle Games, have also just undergone a round of "severe layoffs".

Activision will continue to operate the platform that enables players to download new tracks into their existing 'Guitar Hero' games, with Hirshberg adding: "We'll focus our time and energies on marketing and supporting our strong catalogue of titles and downloadable content, especially to new consumers as the installed base for hardware continues to grow".

The demise of 'Guitar Hero' follows Viacom's previously reported decision to also bail on the pretend-to-play video games market. As previously reported, it put Harmonix, the studio behind 'Guitar Hero' rival 'Rock Band', up for sale last November. A sale was completed in late December, with a newly created company backed by investment firm Columbus Nova taking ownership of the games venture.

According to Wall Street Journal the buyers might have gained ownership of the 'Rock Band' studio and brand for a mere fifty dollars, though they will have taken on all liabilities associated with Harmonix. The newly independent games firm recently downsized its workforce by a reported 12%, while Viacom has completely shut its MTV Games unit, which actually published the 'Rock Band' games on behalf of its then sister company.

So, the end of an era in music gaming, really.

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FRANKLIN TO RETURN TO STAGE IN MAY
Aretha Franklin will return to the stage for a TV special in May and then three gigs in her home town of Detroit in June, it has been announced. They will be the first live performances since Franklin had to cancel some shows last year in order to undergo treatment for an unknown medical condition. The singer subsequently denied rumours she had pancreatic cancer, and insisted her ailments "had been resolved".

The TV special will be a tribute to Franklin, and feature both her and a number of other stars singing her songs. A Franklin tribute is also planned for this weekend's Grammy tedium fest.

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MPG PRESENT AWARDS
It was the Music Producers' Guild's annual awards bash in London last night, celebrating all the behind-the-scenes talent that goes into making fab records. As usual, in amongst the proceedings was the presentation of the first BRIT of the year, the Producer Of The Year MPG prize also doubling up as the Best Producer BRIT. And the winners were...

Producer Of The Year: Marcus Dravs
Recording Engineer Of The Year: Guy Massey
Mix Engineer Of The Year: Mark 'Spike' Stent
Mastering Engineer Of The Year: Tim Young
International Producer Of The Year: Daniel Lanois
Re-Mixer Of The Year: James Rutledge
Breakthrough Producer Of The Year: Eliot James
Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year: Jake Jackson

Live Album Of The Year: BBC Electric Proms 2009
UK Album Of The Year: The Coral - Butterfly House
UK Single Of The Year: Plan B - She Said

Best Studio: Air Studios

The Joe Meek Award For Innovation In Production: Tony Visconti
Outstanding Contribution To UK Music: Daniel Miller
Unsung Hero: Adam Sieff

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MIS-TEEQ REUNION ON THE CARDS?
Now, don't all get too excited straight away, but there are rumours that Mis-Teeq are in talks to head out on a reunion tour later this year.

Since splitting in 2005, of course, the group's Alesha Dixon has gone on to record some fantastically awful solo singles and managed to be at the centre of an ageism row when she took over one of the judging positions on BBC One's 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Meanwhile, band mates Sabrina Washington and Su-Elise Nash have, erm, I don't know, done things too, I'm guessing.

But now it's time to get back together. A source told The Sun: "All three have been approached and the signs are very good. They are not in touch regularly but have fond memories of Mis-Teeq. The tour will go ahead if their schedules allow it".

Even if the tour doesn't go ahead, Mis-Teeq are also rumoured to be headlining the Sunday night at Glastonbury this year, contrary to what everyone's saying about Beyonce doing it. Okay, I made that up. Or did I...? (I did.)

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THE PIERCES: GUY OFF OF COLDPLAY IS THE NEW BABY JESUS
According to The Sun, New York-based sibling duo The Pierces have proclaimed that Coldplay's Guy Berryman is like Jesus, after he resurrected their career. Though surely that would make their career like Jesus. Oh, I don't know. Anyway, I can't find the actual Jesus references in the quotes The Sun subsequently publish, so who knows what they said.

But here's the story: having slogged away for a decade, and having been tipped as the next big thing various times along the way, sisters Catherine and Allison Pierce decided to go their separate ways. But then Berryman appeared before them like the angel Gabriel.

Allison explains: "We broke up as a band. We felt like there was no more energy left in The Pierces. We couldn't get out of our record deal. We had a kind of tyrant head of the record label. I remember we were on the phone and we said, 'This is over. This is done'. We wanted to do solo projects. And then the very next day Guy called us and changed our lives for ever".

Berryman himself said, as if he was Moses coming down from Mount Sinai: "Myself, [co-producer] Rik [Simpson] and the girls formed a little gang of four and we just beavered away in the Coldplay studio and Electric Lady Studios in New York. I haven't really made records with anyone on this level before. I had to learn a whole bunch of new skill sets - about how to speak to the girls as a producer, rather than speaking to one of my band members. I definitely feel that the process has made me better at what I do and what I know".

The Pierces release a new EP entitled 'You'll Be Mine' on 7 Mar, followed by their new album 'You & I' on 23 May.

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GANG GANG DANCE CONFIRM EYE-CATCHING SECOND ALBUM
Leftfield New Yorkers Gang Gang Dance have appointed 9 May as the release date for their fifth album, 'Eye Contact'. This will represent their first new material since 'Saint Dymphna' in 2008.

In other sparse GGD news, the band are to make two rare live appearances at the Animal Collective-curated ATP and Primavera Sound festivals in May.

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DELS UNVEILS DEBUT ALBUM
DELS - aka innovative rapping man Keiren Dickens - has just announced the release of debut LP 'GOB', which will come out via Ninja Tune on 9 May. A new single, also called 'GOB', comes out on 18 Apr.

Dickens' collaborator list is not to be sniffed at. Production duties on the album have been handled by Young Turks-signed Kwes, Micachu (of The Shapes) and Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, while Goddard also lends his vocals to the chorus of album track 'Trumpalump', and label-mate Roots Manuva drops in for a spell on 'Capsize'.

Watch video for 'Trumpalump', as masterminded by Dickens himself, here: youtu.be/spNJrsgc_YI

The tracklisting goes thus:

Hydronenburg
Trumpalump (feat Joe Goddard)
Shapeshift
Moonshining
Eating Clouds
Melting Patterns
Capsize (feat Joe Goddard and Roots Manuva)
Violina/Bread Before Bed
DLR (feat Elan Tamara)
Droogs
GOB

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EMA ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM
EMA has announced details of her debut album 'Past Life Martyred Saints', which is slated for release on 9 May through Souterrain Transmissions. Not much is known about Erika M Anderson except that she comes from South Dakota, and used to be part of both folk act Amps For Christ and revelatory cult duo Gowns.

EMA apparently references her Viking ancestry in album-opener 'Grey Ship', which is a song of two parts. Commenting on the midway shift from lo to hi-fi in that track, she says: "I imagined it being like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and the whole world turns from black and white to Technicolor".

Explore this for yourself with a free listen to 'Grey Ship' here: http://souterraintransmissions.com/files/EMA%20-%20The%20Grey%20Ship.mp3

Also see the complete tracklisting:

Grey Ship
California
Anteroom
Milkman
Coda
Marked
Breakfast
Butterfly Knife
Red Star

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ROLO TOMASSI ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Rolo Tomassi have announced the dates of what is apparently to be their only UK tour of 2011, so we'd all better get tickets when they go on sale on Friday. Taking place in May, the tour will follow the release of the band's new album, 'Eternal Youth', in April. They are currently also making their way around Ireland. Dates below:

Tour dates:

10 Feb: Galway, Kelly's Bar
11 Feb: Cork, The Quad
12 Feb: Dublin, Twisted Pepper
13 Feb: Belfast, Auntie Annie's
5 May: Birmingham, Temple
6 May: Brighton, Green Door Store
7 May: London, The Garage
8 May: Newcastle, The Cluny
9 May: Norwich, Arts Centre
10 May: Bristol, The Fleece
11 May: Leeds, The Well
12 May: Glasgow, Stereo

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THE JIM JONES REVUE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
Punk-rock bluesmen The Jim Jones Revue are readying themselves for a twelve date UK tour in celebration of their critically-acclaimed album 'Burning Your House Down', which is out now via PIAS Recordings. A second single from the album is 'Dishonest John' will also be available as a seven-inch or download on 28 Mar. Now for those tour dates:

27 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
28 Mar: Edinburgh, Bongo Club
29 Mar: Glasgow, King Tut's
30 Mar: O2 Newcastle Academy
31 Mar: Leeds, Cockpit
2 Mar: Sheffield, Plug
3 Mar: O2 Birmingham Academy
12 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
13 Mar: Brighton, Concorde
14 Mar: London, Koko
16 Mar: Norwich, Waterfront
17 Mar: Manchester, Club Academy

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

BEARDED THEORY, Kedleston Hall Park, Derbyshire, 13-15 May: Organisers have just revealed that Athlete are to provide a stylish opening to this three-day 'Lords and Ladies' themed bash, headlining on the first night. Newly reformed post-punksters The Membranes are also confirmed to play. Existing bill-toppers The Waterboys and Alabama 3 will be joined by The Whip, The Undertones, Dub Pistols and, of course, special guest judge of Sunday's False Beard Competition, Wagner off of 'X-Factor'. www.beardedtheory.co.uk

ETHER, Southbank Centre, London, 9-24 Apr: James Blake, Micachu & The Shapes, Killing Joke and Pantha du Prince will be taking part in all sorts of wacky crossover projects and collaborations as part of the tenth anniversary of Ether, which according to its website is a celebration of "innovation, art, technology and cross-arts experimentation". Nice to get a bit of culture sometimes, isn't it? www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/festivals-series/ether

ROSKILDE, Denmark, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Having last played at the Danish rock fest a decade ago, PJ Harvey is to make a triumphant return to Roskilde this year, joining already-confirmed acts including Iron Maiden and Kings Of Leon on the programme. Anna Calvi, Matthew Dear, Kurt Vile & The Violators and Kloster complete the raft of recent announcements. www.roskilde-festival.dk/uk/

SLOTTSFJELL, Tønsberg, Norway, 14-16 Jul: Nick Cave's Grinderman are the first headliner confirmed for this fjordside festival, and are added to a diverse line-up that includes Deerhunter, Gallows and Datarock. www.slottsfjell.no

SOS 4.8, Murcia, Spain, 6-7 May: Curly-haired indie sorts The Kooks are new to the SOS bill, along with godmother of punk Patti Smith and DJ Tiga. The festival also plays host to MGMT, Suede, These New Puritans and Everything Everything. www.sos48.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: MEN - Talk About Body (Sony/Columbia)
This has been a long time coming. JD Samson, formerly of feminist electro-punk powerhouse Le Tigre, is the driver behind the wheel of disco-influenced Brooklyn-based trio MEN, and 'Talk About Body' is their much-anticipated debut album.

After a string of EPs and countless live shows (which are incredibly exciting and quite a visual and aural treat, I must add), the band have finally compiled and recorded an album worthy of that four year wait. 'Talk About Body' is, at its core, revolutionary and radical, as one might expect. It is a celebration of community - art, the queer scene, social and political liberties and feminist issues. This isn't a Scissor Sisters album, nor is it something CSS have dreamt up in the backroom of a sweaty art club - the music is fun and energetic, but the meaning and drive behind it is powerful and demands action.

'Who Am I To Feel So Free' is quite spectacular, a mid-album highlight full of energy and exhilaration, while the more down tempo tracks - 'Simultaneously' and 'Rip Off' - stop the record from punching you in the face with its stamina. It is never without spirit, though. 'My Family' easily sums up 'Talk About Body' and the band itself as wholes - the inclusion, the pride, Samson's stamp on the world and her desire for union in the drive for equality. TW

Physical release: 14 Feb

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BASCA RELAUNCHES WEBSITE
The British Association Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors has relaunched its website at www.basca.org.uk, adding lots of new functionality to help members to promote themselves.

Members can now set up individual pages for themselves, showcasing music and video. They can also flag themselves as available for collaborations, while classical composers can log the first performance of a piece of their work in a new catalogue of such things. In addition to all this, the site will continue to provide news and other information to members.

BASCA's COO Vick Bain told CMU: "The build has been a pleasurable process, with the staff at our development company, netXtra, proving to be a joy to work with. Our new features are designed to further cement our position as the organisation which fosters a sense of community amongst its members".

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EMI SIGNS UP TO BEATPORT
EMI has done a licensing deal with Beatport, the dance-focused download store, making it the first major to start selling music via the digital platform, which has long been popular in the dance community. The deal means that music from dance labels within the EMI group, including Positiva and DFA, will now be available in the Beatport store.

Other EMI artists with dance leanings or club-orientated remixes will also appear, including The Chemical Brothers, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Kylie Minogue, Gorillaz, Tinie Tempah, Daft Punk, The Japanese Popstars and LCD Soundsystem.

EMI's VP Of Digital Business Development, Cosmo Lush, told CMU: "Beatport is one of the top names in dance music online and with their reach and customer base they bring a powerful new channel for dance music fans to discover and enjoy our artists' music and catalogue".

Meanwhile Beatport boss Matthew Adell added: "EMI's catalogue is a significant addition to Beatport's repertoire of the most influential and groundbreaking artists in the dance music space. We are thrilled to make such a rich and diverse catalogue available to our customers".

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NOKIA BOSS (SORT OF) SAYS "BASICALLY WE'RE SHIT"
Remember when Nokia mobile phones were the cool ones to choose? No? Go on, focus your brain on 1999. They were happier, simpler times, when the kids got all excited about infrared and how it enabled two-player Snake (if you kept very still). But in this iPhone, Android age, happy times are long gone at Castle Nokia.

And their new CEO Stephen Elop has gone to great lengths to summarise the one time mobile technology giant's woes in an internal memo which was circulated around the net yesterday, in which he admits that Apple has completely taken control of the high end of their traditional market, while Android phones start to dominate in the mid-range and Chinese competitors are launching new devices for economy customers faster than "it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation".

The memo, published in full by Engadget, pretty much admits that every Nokia venture in the last couple of years has been a disaster, confirms that concerns in the investment community about the firm's future has affected its credit rating, and blames all these problems on poor leadership. It's all so gloomy that it makes me feel bad for constantly pointing out just how shit their Comes With Music service was. Though it was really, really, really shit.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, Elop says, in that later this week he will reveal his new strategy for turning the company round. So, that's exciting.

The memo opens with the story of a North Sea oil rig worker who chooses to jump 30 feet into the icy sea because his platform is on fire and, compared to the certain death of waiting for the flames to engulf him, the dangerously icy waters below suddenly don't seem so bad. Presumably, therefore, Elop is planning on proposing some radical and possibly risky plans for the mobile company, arguing that said plans are better than just waiting for Nokia's own burning platform to destroy the company.

Take a look at the brutally honest memo here - it makes for good reading: www.engadget.com/2011/02/08/nokia-ceo-stephen-elop-rallies-troops-in-brutally-honest-burnin

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YOUVIEW CONFIRMS DELAYS
YouView - the Freeview-linked video-on-demand service backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva - now won't launch until 2012, it has been confirmed. That the service's original timelines were being set back by technical problems with its set top box technology was first rumoured last month.

Confirming the 2012 launch, YouView boss Richard Halton said yesterday: "Creating a truly open TV platform that will bring consumers increased choice has required significant technological innovation. Our timings for the launch reflect the scale and complexity of this project".

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ASHLEY SIMPSON DIVORCES PETE WENTZ
Pop chick Ashley Simpson has filed for divorce from her husband, one time mouthy Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz. According to TMZ, Simpson's divorce papers cite "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the divorce. There is seemingly no prenup, and Simpson is asking for spousal and child support, and primary physical custody of their two year old son Bronx. Some gossipers say it is the custody arrangements that are most likely to cause tensions between the estranged couple.

Though they are still on good enough terms to release a joint statement, having just told reporters: "After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to file for divorce. We remain friends and deeply committed and loving parents to our son Bronx, whose happiness and wellbeing remains our number one priority. We ask that everyone honour our privacy as we navigate this next phase of our lives".

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SHE'S NOT GAGA IN BED
Lady Gaga prefers to be called Stefani in bed, she has revealed. One to bear in mind there.

Speaking to US TV show '60 Minutes', the singer was asked if anyone ever used her real name, to which she replied: "Yeah, some people do. Especially in bed".

Interviewer Anderson Cooper replied: "You don't want somebody yelling out 'Lady Gaga'".

"No," she replied. "That would freak me out".

Funny, I don't mind it.

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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
Anthony Costa
Hygiene Manager

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