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INFORMATION
Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Twenty parties interested in Warner, is one of them Gary?
In The Pop Courts
UB40 founders face bankruptcy
Pop Politics
Bono joins protest song debate in South Africa
PJ Harvey to become official war songwriter?
Obituaries
Stoke radio veteran dies
Awards & Contests
A very quick Grammys round up
Jedward get Irish Eurovision ticket
In The Studio
Ronson influence helped make best Black Lips album ever, say Black Lips
Release News
Radiohead release new album
Lupe Fiasco: Fan petition ensured album release
Guillemots to release third album
Gigs & Tours News
Hercules & Love Affair confirm UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo (Future Noise Project)
The Music Business
Sony Music appoints Gatfield
British industry has another good year in US
Universal UK digital director joins Warner down under
The Digital Business
Pandora preparing IPO
The Media Business
Tilllate goes digital
And finally...
Ronnie Wood seemingly not breaking up with girlfriend


 
MONDAY 14TH FEBRUARY
FIVE DAY FORECAST
Hey, it's Valentine's Day! I hope you've all taken advantage of the buy one get one free offer on Valentine's Day cards at Morrison's. Because nothing says “I love you” more than two cards from Morrison's. Nothing. Well, maybe one thing. If you want to get your partner something really special, you should head over to www.thelivelist.co.uk and sign them up for the weekly gig tips email the industry tip-sheet sends out every Monday. This week it's guest edited by me, which makes it extra romantic. But hurry, you need to be on the mailing list before midday or you'll miss out, and it'll probably all result in a very messy break up. Don't say I didn't warn you. Speaking of warnings, here are some more things that are happening this week...

 
01: The BRIT Awards. It's the BRITs this week. Are we all excited? To be honest, I lost interest a bit after it was announced that Gil Scott-Heron was not nominated for Best International Breakthrough Act, despite being on the longlist. It's a fix, I tell you! Still, if the awards themselves don't do it for you, why not take a look at the list of acts performing live at the event this year: Take That, Plan B, Rihanna, Tinie Tempah, Mumford & Sons, Adele, Cee Lo Green and Arcade Fire. And it'll all be broadcast live on ITV1 from 8pm tomorrow night.

02: AIM Digital Day. The latest of the Association Of Independent Music's events to train indie label folk in creating digital marketing campaigns takes place on Tuesday. The course will take attendees through essential digital marketing tips and tricks, online advertising, digital tools and campaign building, as well as offering a Q&A session for any of those burning questions you still need answered. The whole thing will be run by Dave Riley and Pete Heaney of digital marketing agency Good Lizard Media who, if you didn't already know, are very good at digital stuff. This one is sold out now, but keep an eye out for the next one.

03: The Great Escape super earlybird ticket deadline. It's possible that I'm a bit biased, but I reckon The Great Escape is going to be brilliant this year. Last week we announced the first speakers for the convention section - which Team CMU is programming - which includes BRIT winning producer Paul Epworth, PRS for Music Chief Economist Will Page, Martin Goldschmidt of Cooking Vinyl, Alan Pell from BMG UK and Carl Barat's manager David Bianchi, and more. A pass for that, and the hundreds of gigs that will take place on the festival side from 12-14 May, will cost you just £80 if you book by tomorrow.

04: New releases. It's another busy week this week, with some great albums coming out from the likes of PJ Harvey, Mogwai, Skepta, Bright Eyes, Gruff Rhys, Asobi Seksu, Gay For Johnny Depp, MEN, Tipper and DJ Seven. Lady Gaga made things easier by moving her new single release back to last Friday, of course, which means more room for my two favourite singles of the week by Mirrors and Letters. And finally, watch out for a new collection of vinyl re-issues from Spacemen 3.

05: Gigs. Bloody hell, there are some good gigs on this week. Getting us in party mode for that is the Old Queen's Head in Islington, which is celebrating its third birthday this week with a series of shows. As well as that, Danish pop star Oh Land is playing a one-off gig at the Notting Hill Arts Club on Thursday (the last time you'll see her in a venue that size, I reckon), and touring the country are Tinie Tempah and Katy B, The Streets, Mogwai, Ben Folds, Sleigh Bells, Gay For Johnny Depp, Wolf People, The Naked And Famous and The Agitator.

And now, here's the traditional plug for the CMU podcast, which is now a month old (the plug, not the podcast, there's a nice shiny new one of them). If you like serious music business analysis coupled with jokes about people urinating in the street, then you're in luck.

Get the weekly email with a podcast link
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Andy Malt
Editor, CMU

 
LAUNCHING THE ALL-NEW CMU-TUBE
As we revealed here in the CMU Daily last week, we have just launched an all new CMU-Tube video service on theCMUwebsite.com, which is all set to bring you exclusive sessions, recordings from some great gigs, and lots of interviews and backstage chatter, so that's exciting. This is all possible because we have teamed up with the guys at Square-i, who already have a video team touring all the big festivals and music events of the UK and beyond, and now we'll be tagging along too for the party.

 
To get things going we've raided some of the sessions and concert recordings sitting in the Square-i archives, and today we've got three more to share with you. First some classic Faithless, in the former of ‘God Is A DJ' performed all live and everything. Then a recent decent (well, 2009, that's recent right?) from the good old Temper Trap, with a live rendition of their track ‘Science Of Fear'. And finally a second song from that McFly acoustic session we featured last week, this time something more recent from them in the form of ‘Shine A Light', their Taio Cruz collaboration but without the rap and with more acoustic guitars.

Check out them and more right now at www.thecmuwebsite.com/cmutube. And there's more on Square-i at www.squareimusic.com


"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 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




TWENTY PARTIES INTERESTED IN WARNER, IS ONE OF THEM GARY?
Over 20 parties have expressed an interest in buying some or all of the Warner Music Group, according to a report in the New York Post, which cited some of those pesky "sources" last week.

As previously reported, owners of the US-based music major has called in the clever, clever experts (aka economy destroying idiots) from investment bank Goldman Sachs to review the company's options, which might include expanding through an acquisition of some of EMI, or a sale of some or all of the Warner Music empire, or a combination of the two. Insiders say that some of Warner's bigger shareholders feel that if they are going to sell some of the company they should do so before Citigroup formally puts EMI up for auction, and are therefore already sounding out possible buyers. Over 20 of them.

And if the Daily Mail is to be believed, one of those possible buyers being sounded out is a certain Mr Gary 'The Guy' Hands of Biscuit Street, Guernsey. As previously reported, Hands said in a speech last week that he would consider buying back EMI, the music company into which he pumped two billion before it was repossessed earlier this month by Citigroup, the bank which had financed his entry into the music business in 2007. But only, he added, if "the price was right". As it stands, Citigroup seems to value the EMI of 2011 somewhat higher than Hands does.

Why Hands would now want to buy into a different music company, given how much EMI cost him both financially and in terms of reputation, isn't clear. Though if he could lead a consortium of bidders who would share the risk, he certainly has more knowledge of the music business now than many of his private equity rivals, and perhaps once in control of Warner he could engineer the long anticipated merger of it and EMI. Though that is, of course, a merger that could face competition regulator issues.

No one official at Warner, EMI, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs or Terra Firma is commenting on any of this, but hey, it's fun to speculate. Also linked to a Warner bid, and more realistic it would seem, are BMG backers KKR and its rivals in the upstart music publishing domain, Imagem, both of whom have been very acquisitive of late. That said, while BMG has indicated it would be interested in expanding its sound recording catalogues, it seems likely Imagem would only be interested in Warner's publishing business Warner Chappell.

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UB40 FOUNDERS FACE BANKRUPTCY
Five of the original members of UB40 are facing bankruptcy proceedings in the Birmingham High Court this week, according to the News Of The World, after an investigation into the affairs of their record label Dep International.

Details of that investigation are not clear, though when former frontman Ali Campbell quit the band in 2008 he claimed he did so because of concerns about the way the outfit's financial affairs were being handled by the band's management. At the time he said he had asked for the band's finances to be investigated, which may have led to this week's bankruptcy proceedings. Shortly after, the band's keyboardist Michael Virtue also quit UB40 expressing similar concerns to those of his former bandmate.

The five UB40 men who face the bankruptcy proceedings are Ali's brother Robin plus Brian Travers, Terence Wilson, Norman Hassan and James Brown.

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BONO JOINS PROTEST SONG DEBATE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Bono has ploughed into a political debate in South Africa over the rights and wrongs of singing a protest song dating from the country's apartheid era which includes the line "shoot the boer" - 'boer' being the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, but which was, of course, often used as a derogatory term for all white people, and especially those of Dutch descent, who live in the African country.

The head of the youth wing of South Africa's African National Congress party, Julius Malema, was criticised last year for singing the song, called 'Ayasab' Amagwala'. But in an interview ahead of a gig in Johannesburg this weekend, Bono said he felt it was OK for people to sing old protest songs in the right context, including those with inflammatory lines relating to old political conflicts, because they become simple folk songs for a once suppressed part of the population. He seemingly equated 'Ayasab' Amagwala' with Irish folk songs he sang as a child which glorified the early days of the IRA.

Bono told South Africa's Sunday Times: "[When] I was a kid I'd sing songs I remembered my uncles singing ... rebel songs about the early days of the Irish Republican Army. We sang this and it's fair to say it's folk music ... as this was the struggle of some people that sang it over some time". However, he conceded that there was a time and a place for singing such songs, adding: "Would you want to sing that in a certain community? It's pretty dumb. It's about where and when you sing those songs. There's a rule for that kind of music".

The comments caused outrage among some parts of South Africa's white community, with one Afrikaans musician, Steve Hofmeyr, announcing on Twitter he'd thrown over £400 worth of tickets to the U2 gig into a river in protest. Though the boss of a Johannesburg radio station which had aired several angry comments from listeners about Bono's remarks, later told the Daily Telegraph that the outrage had quickly died down and that most realised that the U2 man's comments were about protest songs in general rather than the ongoing debate in South Africa about 'Ayasab' Amagwala'.

Talk Radio 702's Sheldon Marais said: "Anytime you mention this song, you are guaranteed to stir things up. There was a lot of discussion about this, a lot of anger from call-ins. [But] it has died down during the day, and I think people realised he [Bono] was not endorsing Malema and this song, just talking about protest songs in general".

It's not the first political debate to spin off from U2's current South African tour. A union representing mainly black roadies and technical staff were threatening to picket the band's show yesterday over claims many live music promoters in the country hire white staff by default. The union didn't have a problem with the band itself, in fact the aim of the protest, organisers said, was to raise Bono et al's awareness of the alleged issue, presumably to win some high profile supporters in the music business. Though the company which has organised backstage staff for the U2 gig, Gearhouse Group, insists that half of the technicians it hires are black.

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PJ HARVEY TO BECOME OFFICIAL WAR SONGWRITER?
The Head Of Collections at the Imperial War Museum has said he will propose to the museum's management committee that they approach PJ Harvey about her becoming an official war correspondent songwriter, documenting conflicts involving the British army through verse and song.

The museum's Roger Tolson was responding to an interview Harvey gave to Radio 4 talking about her new album 'Let England Shake', which was inspired by two and half years of research into military conflicts.

Harvey said: "I started wondering where the officially appointed war songwriter was. You have got your war artists, like Steve McQueen, and your war photographers. I fantasised that I had been appointed this official songwriter and so I almost took on that challenge for myself".

In 2006, Steve McQueen (the British artist, not the legendary Hollywood actor, obviously) went to Iraq as part of the Imperial War Museum's official war artists' programme, producing the work 'Queen And Country' as a result.

Responding to the Radio 4 comments, Tolson told The Guardian: "We are certainly interested in working with PJ Harvey. It is something we can take forward as we have never commissioned anybody in that capacity. We have never sent a musician out to a conflict zone".

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STOKE RADIO VETERAN DIES
A local radio veteran in the Potteries, former BBC Radio Stoke presenter Sam Plank, real name Terry Hilton, has died after losing his second battle with cancer.

Hilton was 40 when he gave up his job at the local council to become a full time DJ on BBC Radio Stoke, having originally taken over a weekend show from a certain Bruno Brookes, who was then heading to Radio 1. From 1988 he was a key presenter on the BBC local station, which broadcasts to North Staffordshire and South Cheshire.

In 2001 he and his second wife Verity Hilton, who frequently worked with Plank on his radio projects, moved to BBC Stoke's commercial rival Signal Radio, where he presented shows on the oldies station Signal 2. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Plank left Signal in 2008 to help launch a new digital station in the area called Focal Radio, though the company created to operate the station soon hit hard times and, despite Plank himself reportedly loaning the company money, the station went off air in May 2009.

More recently Plank presented shows on a local community station called Moorlands Radio, most recently in December. He overcame a battle with throat cancer in 2008, but was told a secondary cancer had returned last September.

Paying tribute to her late husband, Hilton told the BBC: "I am so proud of the way Sam has had the courage to battle this illness, never moaning or complaining or asking 'why me?' - even though many of us around him asked that question. It has been a tribute to the man he is that so many people of all walks of life have called to see him or spoken to him over the past few days and weeks".

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A VERY QUICK GRAMMYS ROUND UP
So, whose night was it then? Well, country trio Lady Antebellm led the way with five awards, Lady Gaga stole most attention with her three gongs and an egg, Arcade Fire took the all important Album Of The Year prize, and jazz lady, multi-instrumentalist, bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding beat rap star Drake and a certain Justin Bieber to be declared Best New Artist of the year, the first jazz act to ever win that award. Hurrah. And that, my friends, is the extra quick Grammys summary.

Elsewhere at America's big awards party, Jay-Z and John Legend both got three awards too, while Eminem, despite leading the shortlists with ten nominations, only took home two prizes on the night. As for the Brits (that is to say British artists nominated for a Grammy, not our rival awards event), guitar man Jeff Beck got two prizes, while La Roux won the Best Electronic/Dance Album award, Muse got Best Rock Album, Iron Maiden Best Metal Performance, Sade Best R&B Performance and Paul McCartney won Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for his live album 'Good Evening New York City'. A Beatles box set also won the prize for Best Historical Album.

Because yes, the Grammys is the sort of awards event where there are so many prizes there's even one for Best Historical Album. You can check out all 18,909 winners on the Grammys website at www.grammy.com/nominees. And don't forget to tune into the BRITS tomorrow and, if nothing else, admire how we manage to do the whole thing with just thirteen awards.

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JEDWARD GET IRISH EUROVISION TICKET
So, Jedward will represent Ireland at Eurovision.

I thought we already knew that, but it seems the dynamic duo had to win the support of the Irish people for the privilege. Imagine that, the people helping choose what artist and song should represent Ireland in the big Song Contest, what a crazy system, better for a BBC twonk to just decide that Blue should sing one of their terrible tunes, save all the bother of a public vote. Though, of course, had the Beeb gone with the traditional prime time 'choose the UK song' competition this year, as normal, Blue would almost certainly have won anyway. Well, providing it was a pissing competition.

Anyway, Jedward had to compete against four others to get the Irish Eurovision ticket. One of their rivals, singer Nikki Kavanagh, actually got more points from the judging panel, but a viewer vote secured the deal for the tedious twosome. So Jedward versus Blue it is. I wonder which pop outfit will work their magic best and secure that all important second to last place in the big Euro songs fest. As long as John and Edward know to get to the cash machine before Blue boy Antony Costa I'm sure all will be fine.

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RONSON INFLUENCE HELPED MAKE BEST BLACK LIPS ALBUM EVER, SAY BLACK LIPS
Jared Swilley of Black Lips thinks his band's upcoming new album, produced by Mark Ronson, is the best thing they've ever done. And that's in part down to Ronson being in the studio.

Speaking to InterviewMagazine.com, Swilley said: "We really wanted to [work with Ronson]. Just because we'd never worked with a producer before, and we wanted to see what it was like. And it turned out being really awesome".

Insisting the Ronson influence hadn't resulted in a "radical departure" from past releases, he continued: "It doesn't sound like an arena-rock record, or electro or anything. I just think it's arranged really well and the sounds are really good. It's not a radical departure, but I think it's by far the best thing we've ever done".

The release date for the new album is tbc.

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RADIOHEAD RELEASE NEW ALBUM
So, everyone's been wondering how Radiohead will release their next album, following the pay-what-you-like model they used for 'In Rainbows' back in 2007. Well wonder no more, because the band's eighth album, 'The King Of Limbs', came out this morning. Well, sort of.

And there's no sliding scale this time, just a fixed price. And that price is £30. Yep, £30. As experiments go, this one will possibly be more interesting than the previous one. The band are billing 'The King Of Limbs' as "the first newspaper album". What that means, I'm not sure, but here's what your 30 quid gets you:

- The album on two ten-inch vinyl records
- The album on CD
- Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
- The album in MP3 format (wav format will cost you an extra £3)

If you don't like vinyl and CDs, you can also get the album in digital form only, with MP3s costing £6 and wavs £9. Downloads will be available on 19 Feb, while the physical parts of the package will ship on 9 May. Get your hands on it all at www.thekingoflimbs.com

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LUPE FIASCO: FAN PETITION ENSURED ALBUM RELEASE
Rap man Lupe Fiasco has said that fan petitions did help in persuading his label, Warner's Atlantic, to finally release his new album 'Lasers', the long awaited follow up to 2007's 'The Cool'.

Originally tipped for release in late 2009, the rapper told fans his finished album was with Atlantic last July. Eager for its release, but with the label seemingly in no hurry to make the album public, his fans staged an online petition last summer, and subsequently a protest outside Atlantic's New York offices. Fiasco subsequently told fans a March 2011 release date had been set, and that now seems likely to go ahead.

Speaking about the long awaited album to Undercover, the rap man said: "If it wasn't for the petitions and it wasn't for the protests, this album probably still wouldn't be out. It'd probably still be 'Yo, Lupe, what's up with the record, what's going on?' We had all but given up on it, like a 'Let's just call it quits and go our separate ways' situation. In the midst of that you get the petition and you get the fans coming out and protesting and whatever they're going to do".

Implying Atlantic wasn't 100% happy with the album, or the idea of releasing it, he continued: "[The petition] motivated both parties to say 'Let's look at this from a different way: you don't want to ostracise your fans, we don't want to be demonised in the press as being bastards. Let's come together and compromise and just put out the music'. At the end of the day the best that we could do for both of us was to put this music out, and that's what you get: 'Lasers'".

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GUILLEMOTS TO RELEASE THIRD ALBUM
Curiously-christened quartet Fyfe Dangerfield, Magrão, Aristazabal Hawkes and Greig Stewart - otherwise known as eccentric indie outfit Guillemots - are to release new album 'Walk The River' on 18 Apr.

We've not heard any of the album yet, but good old Fyfe does his best to convey something of the intent and inspiration of the record, explaining: "The songs had to sound as if they were being heard through the night sky, sleepwalking their way onto tape. But they also needed to survive on a piano or acoustic guitar, and still grip you, still have a rawness and directness that would move you without relying on the arrangements. So it was all about trying to attain this wonky balance of sharpness and blurriness. We wanted to make a record that would completely surround you as you listened to it, fill you with warmth".

Well, that all sounds very nice.

Tracklisting:

Walk The River
Vermillion
I Don't Feel Amazing Now
Ice Room
Tigers
Inside
I Must Be A Lover
Slow Train

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HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR CONFIRM UK TOUR
New York dance collective Hercules & Love Affair have announced plans to tour the UK come March, having just released second album 'Blue Songs' via Moshi Moshi.

DJ Andy Butler and his nu-disco ensemble will appear at the following dates:

10 Mar: Brighton, Digital
11 Mar: London, Village Underground
12 Mar: Leeds, Faversham
13 Mar: Liverpool, Mojo
14 Mar: Sheffield, Foundry
16 Mar: Bristol, Metropolis
18 Mar: Manchester, Fac 251
19 Mar: Glasgow, Arches
20 Mar: Aberdeen, The Tunnels

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

CORNBURY, The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 1-3 Jul: Held in the grounds of a country estate in Chipping Norton, Cornbury will this year host headlining acts James Blunt, Status Quo and the still fairly recently reformed The Faces, who will again be fronted by flame-haired Simply Red siren Mick Hucknall. Also confirmed are the venerable Ray Davies, Cyndi Lauper and the not-so venerable Olly Murs. Sophie Ellis Bextor, Imelda May, Eliza Doolittle, The Like and Buffy Sainte Marie will bring a feminine element to the rural proceedings, while The Saw Doctors, John Allen and Bellowhead will not. www.cornburyfestival.com

DOUR, La Machine A Feu, Belgium, 14-17 Jul: A whole lot of dancey types are to jump around with existing headliners House Of Pain at this year's Dour fest, including superstar DJ Erol Alkan, The Japanese Popstars, Jamaïca, Shy FX & Digitalsoundboy System and Luke Vibert. Vitalic will also present his 'V Mirror Live' set in the Last Arena, which apparently features two giant steel and glass mirror-like structures - okay, mirrors - and an awe-inspiring LED display. www.dourfestival.be/en/

GLASTONBURY, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 22-26 Jun: Just in case you weren't aware, Beyonce has ended much speculation as to whether she will perform at Glastonbury this year, by confirming that she is to play a 90 minute set at the close of the festival. Having attended Glasto in 2008 to watch hubby Jay-Z's controversial headline set, she has been gushed about returning to Worthy Farm, quoted in a press release as saying: "This really is the biggest festival in the world and I cannot wait to perform there. Everyone who attends is really appreciative of music and is in such a good mood that entire weekend. I'm pumped just thinking about that huge audience and soaking up their energy". www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

LIVE AT LEEDS, various venues, Leeds, 29 Apr - 1 May: Organisers have released the names of the first wave of acts set to hit Leeds at this year's citywide music happening. Leading lights Anna Calvi, Pulled Apart By Horses, Young Knives, The Duke Spirit and Aloe Blacc are accompanied on the bill by an exciting line-up of emerging artists including Cocknbullkid, Dutch Uncles, Slow Club, Swimming, Spark and The Chapman Family. Since The Whip are playing almost every festival this summer, it makes sense that they are also booked to appear at this one. www.liveatleeds.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo (Future Noise Project)
On paper, 'Generation Indigo' should be incredible. Firstly, Poly Styrene, former frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, is one of the world's few remaining true punk icons. Secondly, the album is produced by Youth, who's worked with such luminaries as Killing Joke and Edwyn Collins. Sadly, however, the brilliance by association factor is somewhat dissipated on actually hearing the album.

It's probably "pastiche" and "social commentary", but the excruciatingly, well, lame, 'I Luv Your Sneakers' is nigh-on unbearable; while the MySpace ditty 'Virtual Boyfriend' is equally squirm-inducing. The title track is a departure from the pop-lite pseudo-political comment of much of the album, with thundering bass and reggae beats. 'Kitsch', funnily enough, rhymes its eponymous theme with 'witch' and 'bitch', and manages to induce that sense of watching your mum dance, badly, at a wedding after one too many sherries.

I'm aware this wasn't ever going to be another 'World Turned Day Glo' - but I really, really wanted to love this. Whatever 'Generation Indigo' means (should I know this?), if this is the soundtrack to it, I really hope I'm not part of it. EG

Physical release: 28 Mar

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SONY MUSIC APPOINTS GATFIELD
Sony Music has announced the appointment of former EMI A&R boss and Island Records chief Nick Gatfield to the job of President Of Music Division for the UK.

Gatfield was the big A&R hire at EMI after Terra Firma had taken over and fired everybody. Despite various changes to his job title and remit while with the major, he still managed to sign Tinie Tempah, Eliza Doolittle, Deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia, despite all the insecurity that surrounded EMI's long term future. Gatfield was one three senior execs to depart the flagging record company in September last year.

In his new job, which he'll take up in May, Gatfield will report directly to Sony Music UK CEO Ged Doherty, with the MDs of the Sony label divisions then reporting to the new recruit. Says Ged: "Nick is one of the most successful executives in the music business today. I'm thrilled he is joining us - he brings a wealth of experience to the Sony Music UK management team at what is a crucial time for the music industry".

Gatfield himself told CMU: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with Ged and the music team to further establish Sony UK as the natural destination for the best artists in the market and become the leading exporter of UK talent around the world".

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BRITISH INDUSTRY HAS ANOTHER GOOD YEAR IN US
The British music industry had another good year in the all important US market, according to stats released by the BPI last week.

The success of Taio Cruz, Jay Sean, Susan Boyle and Sade (now, there's a supergroup I'd like to see) helped the UK record industry increase its share of the US market slightly, with its share of the US album market up from 9.6% to 9.8%, and its share of the singles market up from 6.6% to 6.7%. That might not sound like much, but it makes the UK the second biggest source of repertoire in the US market after home-grown acts.

BPI boss man Geoff Taylor told CMU: "Music remains an area where Britain can be enormously proud of its international success. This is not just good for exports and our balance of payments, but also helps tourism and strengthens our reputation abroad. Our increased share of the US market is down to the extraordinary breadth of our native talent and the efforts made by UK labels in investing and promoting British music around the world. We must maintain our high levels of investment in talent at home if we are to continue this success abroad".

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UNIVERSAL UK DIGITAL DIRECTOR JOINS WARNER DOWN UNDER
Warner Music Australia has appointed Beth Appleton, most recently Director Of Digital for Universal Music here in the UK, to the role of Director Of Marketing. She will take over for the time being from Mardi Caught, who is taking maternity leave.

It's not Appleton's first stint in the Australian record industry, she having previously worked for EMI down under before joining V2 in the UK and, later, Universal, after its acquisition of the London-based indie.

Appleton told Music Network: "I'm very excited to be back in Australia - not just because of the 30 degree heat difference! Having specialised in digital in more recent years I'm raring to get back to marketing ensuring that digital is integral throughout".

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PANDORA PREPARING IPO
US streaming music service Pandora is seemingly getting ready to go public, having filed the appropriate paperwork with the US Securities & Exchange Commission needed to stage an IPO, or initial public share sale. Although the specifics of the share offer are unclear, it is thought that the digital firm will look to raise about $100 million.

Although Pandora, like most digital music services, has had some wobbles over the years as it tried to reach viable licensing deals with record companies and music publishers, it does seem to have secured a level of stability that most in the streaming content space currently only dream of through a combination of ad and subscription revenues. That has arguably been achieved by offering limited on-demand functionality, which reduces licensing costs, and resisting the temptation to expand globally into territories - including Europe - where licensing terms are less friendly.

It is thought Pandora could be one of a number of digital IPOs in the next year or so as City types - feeling more flush than they have for a while and having long forgotten about the dangers of investing in internet ventures with no obvious long term revenue streams - clammer to get a slice of the social media digital content pie. Actually, compared to most firms likely to go the IPO route, Pandora is probably a safer bet.

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TILLLATE GOES DIGITAL
Tilllate magazine, the Scotland-based clubbing-focused publication formerly called M8, has gone all digital and what not. As of last week the title is now publishing a 32 page digital magazine each week, available via a web browser or various digital devices including the iPad. Those who preferred the printed magazine will still be able to buy a printed version of the digital title via on-demand print service Magcloud.

Of the new venture, Editor Kevin Farlane told reporters: "We've watched the magazine market change, social media explode and an incredibly huge online asset emerge and grow in the form of tilllate.com. It makes sense for us to capitalise on it. We know that although people want an increase in the frequency of their information from magazines, they also want substance and a high quality threshold in terms of feature editorial and photography. It's about giving them a wealth of great content by utilising the best elements of traditional and new media".

M8 became Tilllate after it acquired the social network of the same name in 2009.

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RONNIE WOOD SEEMINGLY NOT BREAKING UP WITH GIRLFRIEND
Ronnie Wood has possibly ended rumours his relationship with polo coach and sometime model Ana Araujo is on the rocks and that he is trying to reconcile with ex-wife Jo Wood - just a month after their divorce was finalised - by attending a pre-BAFTA Awards party on Friday with his Brazilian girlfriend. The tabs have made much of the fact the couple looked very happy together, and that Araujo was showing off a diamond ring on her wedding finger which might mean, erm, I don't know, something.

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Andy Malt
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Caro Moses
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Club Tipper
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Minature Stonehenge Attendant

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