4 SEP 2012

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When he's not crawling around in a white vest and shouting "Yippee ki-yay, mother fucker!" at unassuming passers by, Bruce Willis likes to enjoy music. Lots of music. Both playing it and listening to it. And Bruce is totally down with the digital revolution. He thinks CDs are for dorks and endlessly purchases music from iTunes muttering about what saps people who still buy physical media are more>>
Kenton Slash Demon have a website which initially looks very cool, but then forwards you to a MySpace page, which kind of dampens things a bit. Luckily I'd listened to a fair amount of their music before this happened and was excited enough to let this faux pas slide. The duo, Silas Moldenhawer and Jonas Kenton, are probably more familiar as members of When Saints Go Machine, but they have slowly been eking out tracks via this techno side project since 2009 more>>
- MegaUpload rival FileSonic offline
- Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong hospitalised
- The xx talk love of pop, dream of Beyonce collaboration
- Gilles Peterson preps third Electr*c Compilation
- Toy, Race Horses stream LPs
- Ital Tek releasing new LP
- Little Mix confirm large tour
- Neurosis and Godflesh to divide double-bill
- The Cribs add London date
- Palma Violets announce tour
- Just A Crush hosting London record fair, live bands
- Festival line-up additions
- Grooveshark app pulled from Google store again
- Universal tracks ABBA career in interactive YouTube video
- BBC iPlayer adds downloads for iPads and iPhones
- Freddie Mercury becomes Angry Bird
- Gigwise publisher to prioritise video content
- Nearly 40,000 girls apply to join Chinese spin-off of AKB48
- Kanye West ponders profanity in rap

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A MegaUpload competitor, FileSonic, has seemingly gone offline, with Torrentfreak reporting that the digital-locker and file-transfer platform ceased to be active last Wednesday.

Once a popular platform for storing and sharing digital files, FileSonic was one of the file-transfer set ups that restricted its services in January after the US authorities shut down MegaUpload and had four of its executives based in New Zealand arrested on charges of mass copyright infringement.

As previously noted, FileSonic went further than most in implementing anti-piracy measures after the Mega shutdown, making it so that users could only access content they themselves had uploaded (rather than also the movies and music other users were storing on the FileSonic servers), and actually deleting accounts that made large amounts of unlicensed content available to others.

Needless to say, FileSonic saw its user-based drop significantly once the new measures were introduced, possibly supporting the entertainment industry's argument that file-transfer platforms of this kind attract users not because they offer free or cheap cloud-based storage for digital files, but because they can be used to access large amounts of film, TV and music content for free from other users' digital lockers.

Though that doesn't mean FileSonic has closed simply because of waning user numbers. According to the BBC, FileSonic had its own legal woes, having been sued by a porn company called Flava Works, which accused the file-transfer company of enabling its users to infringe the adult entertainment firm's content. Similar legal action by the same porn outfit caused another file-transfer site called Oron to go offline last month.

Of course the wider file-transfer market watches developments in the MegaUpload case with interest. Some Mega rivals reckon their existing anti-piracy measures protect them from any liability for infringement (even if those measures aren't wholly successful), while others still just hope they can stay sufficiently under the radar to avoid any direct legal action, civil or criminal. Though, as the MegaUpload case progresses in a typically slow fashion, it will be interesting to see if any other similar sites decide to call it a day, whether motivated by actual legal action, or just the mere risk of it.

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Green Day's Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool have said sorry to fans for cancelling the band's headline set at the I-Day Festival in Bologna, Italy at the last minute, after singer Billie Joe Armstrong was hospitalised with an as-yet unspecified illness.

Speaking via a video message recorded on Sunday, the same day the trio were billed to play, Dirnt said: "We apologise profusely, this is really unfortunate. But Billie got rushed to the hospital last night due to illness, and the doctors don't think it's a good idea for him to play today".

Cool continued: "We're beyond devastated, we're as sad as you guys are. Billy is extremely upset about it".

Watch the video for yourself here.

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Much is being made at the moment of The xx's shyness, and now they've spoken about the attraction of writing music for other people, so that they could keep creating songs but not have to go to the stress of performing them themselves. Not that that's the plan or anything. Though if Beyonce was to call...

"That's something that really appeals to us", bassist Oliver Sim said of writing songs for other acts to Radio 1. "Who knows, maybe we could not want to be on-stage and put ourselves out there, but we're always going to write. Sometimes you can write something that you really like, but you don't necessarily want it to come from your own voice. To be honest, the idea of just writing pop songs sounds brilliant to me".

He adds: "I would like to try, Beyonce's the dream, but it would be an experiment again".

His bandmate, Romy Madley-Croft, continues: "We love pop music, we're all unashamedly fans of pop music. It doesn't seem the strangest idea to me to want to do that, it just seems like quite a natural thing".

Meanwhile, if this (hairstyle-obsessed) Observer interview is to be believed, a solo Sim has already written a track with Beyonce in mind, but hasn't yet summoned the nerve to propose it to her.

Hypothetical Beyonce duets aside for a second, The xx's own new LP 'Coexist' is released on 20 Sep. You can have a pre-release listen to it, in its entirety, via this NPR link.

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Brownswood Recordings will release a third volume of Gilles Peterson's 'Electr*c' compilations series on 24 Sep. With inclusion something of a badge of honour for any aspiring bass artist, past editions have featured Mount Kimbie, Mosca, Shlohmo and Pearson Sound, amongst many others. Comprising - as per 'Elect*c' tradition - nothing but exclusive and unreleased music, it spans house (Brighton-based Anushka), drum n bass (Dub Phizix), techno (Djrum) and many other genre sub-shades too.


Krampfhaft - Makin Magic
Kidsuke - Tiny Concrete Block
Djrum - Lies (feat Shadowbox)
Lost Twin - Nothing
Anushka - Tried & Tried
Aftawerks - Girl
Plezier - Wild
Metabeats - Bootney Farnsworth
The Risks - Too Many Y Chromosomes
Pomrad - Hot Rain
BMBxSpaceKid - Labyrinth
Jaded Laur - Scarlett
Frank Rodas - Kick It VIP
Dub Phizix - Never Been (feat Fox)

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Alt quintets Toy and Race Horses are each previewing their respective first LPs, prior to both being released on 10 Sep.

First to Toy and their eponymous debut, the new single from which, 'Lose My Way', is out now. You can trial this and the record's eleven other component tracks at www.toy-band.com. As announced at the start of August, the band will begin a tour on 19 Oct at Sheffield's Plug.

Welsh five-piece Race Horses' inaugural long player 'Furniture' is also available for streaming, in their case via SoundCloud. Frontman Meilyr Jones has also written a track-by-track commentary about it for The Line Of Best Fit, so why not read that as you listen?

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Ital Tek, aka Brighton-based Alan Myson, has detailed what's to be his first significant release (second, if you count that 'Gonga' EP) via Planet Mu Records. His third long player overall, 'Nevula Dance' apparently derives its sound from that of footwork, as in the style of music born out of Chicago street dance.

If you can't wait until its official release on 30 Oct to hear it, Midheaven is presenting partial plays of each track here.


Nebula Dance
Pixel Haze
Dusk Beat
Steel Sky
Solar Sail
In Motion
Human Version
Yesterday Tomorrow Today

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It's been decreed that Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade of 'X-Factor'-winning girlband Little Mix will take an eighteen date tour of our nation's auditoriums in 2013.

The quartet, whose post 'X' debut proper 'Wings' is number one in the charts at the moment, enthuse in unison: "It's so exciting that we're about to go out on our first tour! We've spent most of the year recording our album and we can't wait to see our fans again".

Tour dates:

28 Jan: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
29 Jan: Edinburgh, Playhouse
30 Jan: Newcastle, City Hall
1 Feb: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
2 Feb: Sheffield, City Hall
3 Feb: Liverpool, Echo Two
5 Feb: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
6 Feb: Manchester, Apollo
8 Feb: York, Barbican
9 Feb: Blackpool, Opera House
11 Feb: Plymouth, Pavillions
12 Feb: Oxford, New Theatre
13 Feb: London, Hammersmith Apollo
15 Feb: Brighton, Centre
16 Feb: Bournemouth, International Centre
18 Feb: Bristol, Colston Hall
20 Feb: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
21 Feb: Ipswich, Regent

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Metal behemoths Neurosis and Godflesh will co-headline a one-off show at London's Forum on 2 Dec.

Neurosis will be present to promote their Steve Albini-supervised new LP, 'Honour Found In Decay', which is set for release in the latter half of October. They'll also play ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas, these being the only two dates currently in their live diary.

Godflesh, meanwhile, are also rumoured to be making a new studio long player of their own.

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The Cribs have supplemented their almost-new live listings with details of an extra London date. It'll take place at Kentish Town's Forum on 20 Oct, after which the band will continue as previously promised to the Oxford Academy 2 on 23 Oct.

Meanwhile, an array of relevant Cribs viewing. First is Fat 'Rough Trade West' Bob's junior colleague Emy quizzing Ryan Jarman on his dreams and fears. This is followed by Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed's video for 'Anna', as is taken from The Cribs' fifth studio LP, 'In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull'.

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Signed to Rough Trade on the basis of... well, not very much in the way of physical releases, propitious 'guitar music' troupe Palma Violets have just shared lots of new tour dates to coincide with the premiere of their first official single, 'Best Of Friends'. In addition to all that, they'll also play Norwich's Sound & Vision festival and Wales' Swn.

The band may want to kiss goodbye to having any free time in October, because said tour looks something like this:

1 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega
2 Oct: Leeds, Nation Of Shopkeepers
3 Oct: Manchester, Deaf Institute
5 Oct: Stoke, Sugarmill
6 Oct: Sheffield, Leadmill
8 Oct: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
9 Oct: Glasgow, The Hug & Pint
10 Oct: Newcastle, The Cluny
11 Oct: Middlesbrough, Westgarth Social Club
14 Oct: York, Duchess
15 Oct: Wrexham, Central Station
16 Oct: Hull, Fruit
18 Oct: Preston, 53 Degrees
19 Oct: Birmingham, The Rainbow
22 Oct; Leicester, Academy
23 Oct: Oxford, The Jericho
25 Oct: London, Brixton Jamm
26 Oct: Bedford, Esquires
27 Oct: Tunbridge Wells, Forum
29 Oct: Brighton, Green Door Store
30 Oct: Southampton, Joiners
31 Oct: Bristol, Cooler

And here's the video for 'Best Of Friends', which is out on 21 Oct.

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Promotors Just A Crush is hosting a 'Record Affair' (aka a record fair) at Dalston's Shacklewell Arms on 23 Sep.

London labels Sexbeat, Marshall Teller, Tough Love, Suplex Cassettes and Faux Discx are amongst those who'll be plying their independent wares, while The Proper Ornaments, Sauna Youth, Former Bullies, Virginia Wing and Omi Palone will play live music in the pub's back room.

Event details available via this Facebook page.

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ATP NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Pontins, Camber Sands, 30 Nov: Oxbow, Nina Nastasia, Zeni Geva, Bottomless Pit, Pinebender, Stnnng. www.atpfestival.com/events/shellacxmas.php

CONSTELLATIONS, Leeds Metropolitan University, 10 Nov: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Kindness, Haim, Hooded Fang, Hookworms, Swimming Lessons. www.constellationsfestival.com

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So, there it was, and then there it wasn't. As previously reported, an official Grooveshark app reappeared in the Google Play store last week, over a year after the controversial streaming music service's original app for Android devices was removed because of complaints from major record companies, which accuse Grooveshark of copyright infringement.

Grooveshark implied that it had been working with Google to get back onto the official Android store, though the web giant made no comment. And then within three days the Grooveshark app was withdrawn from Google Play, again with no comment from the web firm. Though Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino has confirmed that the app has definitely been withdrawn, adding that he doesn't know why.

The Wall Street Journal has noted that, unlike Apple, Google does not manually check every Android app before putting them live in its store, but will deal with any complaints made about apps as and when they are received. So what seems likely is that Grooveshark sneaked its app back into Google Play on the quiet, coverage of it resulted in immediate complaints by the majors, and so the app was pulled.

Grooveshark, of course, disputes claims by the major record companies that it enables copyright infringement, and a lawsuit between Universal, Sony and Warner and the digital firm is ongoing.

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Universal Music has made an interactive YouTube video tracking the career of ABBA, which the major has called "a YouTube first" on Twitter, and who are we to dispute that claim? It's certainly the first Universal Music made interactive video featuring music from ABBA I've ever seen.

If watched in its entirety, the video features tracks, videos and artwork from across the Swedish pop outfit's career from 1974-1982 (in chronological order, sort of). The interactive bit is that you can skip from one year to another by pressing an inbuilt arrow in the player, and at anytime click on a bit of artwork to open up a relevant stand-alone ABBA video in VEVO, the original video politely pausing while you do so.

It's a seamless experience only slightly (aka totally) ruined by the 30 second KFC advert that plays every time you try to access one of the standalone videos. They could have at least commissioned Benny and Bjorn to write a new song about their nacho burgers.

Check out the video here.

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The BBC iPlayer will now let viewers download programmes to portable Apple devices for later viewing, meaning users can download content when in a wi-fi zone to watch when they are no longer connected to the net (or when they are relying on a mobile net connect with data costs or limitations).

The new service will also mean iPhone and iPad users can watch BBC programmes on their portable devices when outside the UK, where licensing rules mean viewers can't stream content from the popular BBC player.

The iPlayer download service - which comes with time limitations (content works for 30 days after download, and only seven days after first viewing) - has always been available on desktop computers, but not portable devices. The new portable download option should be available to those using Android devices later this year too.

Daniel Danker, GM of On-demand Programmes at the Beeb said: "This fundamentally changes one of the most annoying restrictions about viewing programmes. It means audiences are liberated from the constraints [of online-only viewing] and it fundamentally changes what it means to go on holiday. With mobile downloads, you can now load up your mobile phone or tablet with hours and hours of BBC programmes, then watch them on the road, on the tube, on a plane, without worrying about having an internet connection or running up a mobile data bill".

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After Green Day were turned into villainous green pigs for their own edition of the Angry Bird videogame, Freddie Mercury has now become one of the gaming franchise's heroes for a new video promoting this year's Freddie For A Day event.

Freddie For A Day, of course, is the annual event staged by The Mercury Phoenix Trust, the AIDS awareness charity set up by the remaining members of Queen following Mercury's death in 1991. People are encouraged to raise money for the charity by dressing up Mercury-style for a day

Which possibly means that the Mercury-like bird in this video is just dressed as Freddie. Decide for yourself by watching the video below. More on this year's Freddie For A Day festivities here.

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The publisher of music website Gigwise, Giant Digital Ltd, says it will be giving extra priority to video moving forward, increasing the amount of video-based content it publishes alongside the written news and features that have traditionally dominated its platforms. EntertainmentWise.com will be the first of Giant Digital's sites to give priority to video, with plans to add 240 clips a month.

Andy Day COO of Giant Digital Ltd told CMU: "Many media companies are only just getting to grips with 'digital first', but we feel mobile and video are what content consumers want. So, from this week we will be moving to a 'digital video first' strategy. Giant Digital is a digital publisher at the forefront of media convergence, providing advertisers a platform to really speak to their audience".

EntertainmentWise.com will launch its own video player as part of the new development. It's not clear how quickly the new strategy will have an impact on the music-focused Gigwise.

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38,066 girls in China have applied to join a new girl group, according to local media reports.

Applications were being accepted for seven weeks up to 30 Aug to become founding members of SNH48, what is intended as a Chinese sister group to AKB48, a ridiculously successful girl group franchise in Japan. According to the Xinhua news agency, interest was so high, the website taking applications initially crashed. Interviews are now taking place in five Chinese cities with those selected from all those application forms.

Shanghai-based SNH48 will be the third spin-off from AKB48, there already being JKT48 in Jakarta and TPE48 in Taipei.

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Kanye West was in a rare philosophical mood this past weekend, sharing a number of Twitter musings on whether curse-words like "bitch" and/or "nigga" were permissible to say in a rap these days, or in any other context for that matter.

The 'That's My Bitch'/'Perfect Bitch' hitmaker began by posing the question "I usually never tweet questions but I struggle with this so here goes... is the word BITCH acceptable?", adding: "To be more specific, is it acceptable for a man to call a woman a bitch even if it's endearing?"

Not content to toy with just one derogatory rap bastion, he continued: "Has hip hop conditioned us to accept this word? Do we love this word as much as we love the word NIGGA in an endearing way?"

And: "If nigga is such a positive word, why do we feel so uncomfortable for white people to say it, even with a hall pass?"

Oh, and: "Perhaps the words BITCH and NIGGA are now neither positive or negative. They are just potent and it depends on how they are used and by whom".

All thorny hip hop issues, and ones West confessed he'd yet to definitively solve. But at least he's asking the questions in the first place (unlike his 'Watch The Throne' associate Jay-Z, whose moment of "bitch" clarity didn't actually happen), and - or so he has said via Twitter - is editing certain excess swears from his records, all part of a credo to "use profanity as a tool and not a crutch". Stay curious, Kanye.

Anyway, here are 2 Chainz and Kanye further considering the issue of sexism in hip hop in the new video for their track, 'Birthday'.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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