26 SEP 2012

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I think it's fair to say, 2012 has been a tough year for UK festivals. Bad weather, the Olympics, the recession, increased competition from festivals on mainland Europe, a lack of new bands hitting headliner status and the BBC putting on a big fat free event in London have all been blamed for adding to the strain. And the fact that there are just so many festivals to choose from shouldn't be overlooked either more>>
'Darkwave' poseur Wesley Eisold credits dead French poet Tristan Corbiere as the muse for Cold Cave's new track 'A Little Death To Laugh', his first studio contrivance since 2011's 'Cherish The Light Years'. Much the same as that LP; it's a spiny, jutting structure hinging on the chill precipice of Eisold's voice; which stabs at the spaces between his 1980s-era idols (Smith, Gahan to name two) in a guiltless funereal eulogy more>>
- Guilfest goes into administration
- Appeal courts back McGraw in Curb dispute
- Wilson and Jardine pissed off that Love now plans to tour with his alternative Beach Boys
- LMFAO not splitting, just spring cleaning their brains
- Trent Reznor allies with Columbia, names new How To Destroy Angels EP
- Coldplay to release live album and DVD
- Lana Del Rey details deluxe LP
- Conor Oberst to play solo shows
- Jessie Ware to tour in 2013
- Errors share live dates, new music
- LA billionaire interested in AEG
- MySpace owners discuss upcoming relaunch
- Chapel Club ask fans to create remixes and sell them
- Planet Rock up for sale
- Global to shut regional DAB network, move stations to local networks
- Muse's Bond supremacy
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We are looking for a dynamic, dedicated and very organised individual to join our growing team working across both events and artist management. The candidate will be responsible for managing both London events as well as further developing and organising international tours for Future Disco.

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Surrey-based festival Guilfest announced yesterday that it had gone into administration, following poor ticket sales for this year's event. The news came just a day after Vince Power's 'Music Festivals plc - which owns the Hop Farm and Benicassim festivals, amongst others - also called into the administrators.

In a statement on the Guilfest Facebook page, parent company Scotty Events said: "Scotty Events Ltd regret to announce that Guilfest has ceased to trade due to poor ticket sales at this year's event in July. We assess that this was down to the worst weather conditions we have experienced in history of the festival, combined with intense competition presented this year from other events. On-going matters now lie in the hands of the insolvency practitioner Leigh Adams LLP".

Guilfest was launched in 1992 and, though reasonably small with a 20,000 capacity, has become a key fixture on the UK festival calendar - arguably being the first specific 'family-friendly' festival to hit the market.

Speaking to the BBC, founder Tony Scott said that poor ticket sales this year - due in part to locals holding off buying tickets in order to see how the weather turned out - had left the festival with debts of £300,000.

Scott said: "It rained on the Saturday and Sunday in 2011, but this year I've never known anything like it. It was a quagmire by Saturday and [by] Sunday it had turned into sticky bog. [Plus] there was a lot of competition this year. The Olympics were on, a lot of people were going to that. Farnborough Air Show was on the same weekend as us for the first time this year. There was Tom Jones playing up the road at Sandown Park, Bruce Springsteen was playing in London, and there was an awful lot going on around our weekend, as well as the bad weather".

He added: "I'd love to see Guilfest keep going, but I think it's got to be somebody with deeper pockets ... to make sure it goes through".

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An appeals court in Nashville has upheld the 2011 court ruling that said that country star Tim McGraw had fulfilled his contractual obligations to his long-term label partners Curb Records, and was now free to work with other labels.

As previously reported, the nearly two decade relationship between McGraw and Curb ended in legal action in May 2011, with both sides suing the other. At the centre of the litigation was whether McGraw's album 'Emotional Traffic' fulfilled his contractual commitments to the label regards new recordings, whether he was due an advance on it, and whether he was now out of contract with the record company.

In a complicated claim, Curb said the songs on 'Emotional Traffic' were not sufficiently new (the company said recordings started in 2008, he claims the studio work took place in 2009/10), and that McGraw therefore remained tied to the label when it came to recordings. McGraw's lengthy countersuit said the new album was in line with his contract, and that he now considered himself to be a free agent label-wise.

Last November a court sided with McGraw in the squabble, but Curb appealed. But now an appeals court has upheld the original ruling. Which is probably just as well, as since the first hearing McGraw has entered into a new record deal with Big Machine.

Confirming the latest court ruling on the matter, a legal rep for the singer told Billboard this week: "The Court Of Appeals has affirmed the [original judge's] ruling that Tim McGraw is now finished with being an artist on Curb Records. He's now a Big Machine artist and he is no longer a Curb artist".

When McGraw signed to Big Machine earlier this year, Curb issued a statement insisting the singer was still on its roster, and said that the courts would ultimately rule that it would actually own copyrights in any new recordings made under the Big Machine deal. Though this week's appeal decision does not seem to concur with that view.

According to Billboard, Curb could still appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, though could not then proceed to the federal courts on this issue, meaning just one more route of appeal remains.

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Founding members of The Beach Boys Al Jardine and Brian Wilson are seemingly pissed off that fellow founder member Mike Love plans to continue touring using the moniker, but without the other originals.

Love, of course, has always continued to tour as The Beach Boys with a newer and occasionally changing line-up of bandmates, he owning the rights to the name. But this year, to mark the band's 50th anniversary, he has toured once again with Jardine and Wilson, both of whom have had rocky relationships with Love over the years.

But with the 50th anniversary stint now nearly done, Love will return to the road with his usual Beach Boys show, despite both Jardine and Wilson seemingly keen to do more with the band. But Love says: "The 50th anniversary tour was designed to go for a year and then end. You've got to be careful not to get overexposed ... There are promoters who are interested but they've said, 'Give it a rest for a year'".

But, according to The Guardian, Jardine is now asking fans to sign a petition to try to force Love to tour with the him and Wilson, ie the surviving original members of the outfit. Love's other Beach Boys is a "money-saving, stripped-down version", he said.

And even Wilson, who has traditionally been the hold-out who has stopped previous original line-up reunion plans from coming to fruition, seems annoyed he is being deprived the chance to continue touring under the Beach Boys name.

He told CNN: "I'm disappointed and can't understand why Mike doesn't want to tour with Al and me. After all, we are the real Beach Boys".

So, despite all the recent chumminess, could the Beach Boys be heading for another public falling out and/or legal battle? Hey, let's hope so.

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LMFAO aren't splitting up after all, according to the duo's Sky Blu, they're just working on other projects in order to "free up our minds and stuff" before returning for more party rocking.

Sky Blu told MTV: "We've been working as LMFAO for so long and, you know, we've been working on a lot of other projects as well. And so I feel like ... we need to kind of realise these other projects we've been working on. And it'll free up our minds and stuff, [enabling us] to take on another LMFAO project [in the future], because the next one we do, it's got to be that like [an] amazing, amazing crazy album, and stuff like that. It's kind of like, let us get our wind up, let us kind of show the world who we are as individuals, and then we come together stronger than ever".

So, it's OK, you can stop your crying now. Or start. Whatever.

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Trent Reznor has "formally partnered" with Sony's Columbia in the US for a "series of releases" by How To Destroy Angels, his collaboration with wife Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan. The band will issue six track EP 'An Omen' on 12 Nov, and are also preparing an LP for release in early 2013.

So that's all very nice, but what of renowned DIY advocate Reznor's opting to associate with a major? "Regarding our decision to sign with Columbia", he notes via a statement on the HTDA Facebook page, "it really comes down to us experimenting and trying new things to see what best serves our needs. Complete independent releasing has its great points, but also comes with shortcomings".

A surprising compromise, perhaps, given his past criticism of the majors and various spats with former label Universal Music (not to mentioned his very public feud with the albeit independent TVT Records in the early 90s), which at one point included him encouraging fans to either steal his music, or at least not buy it. And HTDA's new releases will represent Reznor's first since 2007 (when Nine Inch Nails declined to renew their contract with Universal's Interscope) not exclusively credited to his own independent label, The Null Corporation.

Though, given Reznor's usual candidness regards his business ventures, it will be interesting to see how this major-label partnership experiment turns out.

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Coldplay have announced that they will release a live album and concert film, 'Live 2012', on 19 Nov. New single 'Hurts Like Heaven' will also be released on the same day.

Says Chris Martin: "The 'Mylo Xyloto' tour has been the most fun we've ever had as a band. It's felt very uplifting right from the start; partly because we are proud of the music, the LED wristbands, the pyrotechnics, the lasers and all of that stuff, but mainly because of the amazing audiences that we've been playing for. Over the years, our crowd has become more and more a part of the concert itself. They're loud, diverse, full of soul, and make the songs sound much better than we can on our own. We wanted to try to bottle the incredible feeling that they give us, and hence our concert film".

The film is directed by Paul Dugdale, who was also responsible for Adele's 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall and The Prodigy's 'Worlds On Fire', and includes footage from various concerts from June 2011 onwards, including the Stade de France in Paris, the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Pyramid Stage at last year's Glastonbury festival.

Dugdale explains: "We wanted to make a film that was as intimate as it was epic, punctuating Coldplay's colour-drenched performance with candid portraits of the band. The set is curated from several concerts around the globe, using the 75,000-capacity Stade de France as the backbone. It's a 90 minute kaleidoscope of emotions. My main objective as a filmmaker was to make the viewers' eyes widen and their hearts beat faster".

Watch the trailer for the film here.

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Lana Del Rey has gifted us all with further specifics about that 'Paradise Edition' reissue of her debut album 'Born To Die' she was gushing over in late July, you know the one.

We now know the titles of its seven bonus tracks, and they are (in order of appearance) 'Ride', 'American', 'Cola', 'Body Electric', 'Blue Velvet', 'Gods & Monsters', 'Yayo' and 'Bel Air'. The divine suite is released on 12 Nov as either a standard CD/vinyl LP, or as a super-deluxe boxset also featuring remixes, a 'Blue Velvet' seven-inch and a DVD of Del Rey's various 'Born To Die' videos.

You can hear 'Blue Velvet' via the promo for Lana's Lynchian new H&M campaign, and/or a montage of all seven bonus tracks via this trailer.

Plus one of those new songs, 'Ride', a studio collaboration with Rick Rubin and Del Rey's 'Video Games' writing partner Justin Parker, will be available as a single on 11 Nov and is on YouTube right now. Why not listen to it now, ideally while looking at a photo of Lana on a tire swing.

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Harper Collins has confirmed it will publish Willie Nelson's new memoir, 'Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die'. Featuring artwork by Nelson's son Micah and a forward by Texan musician Kinky Friedman, the weed-themed chronicle and "road journal" is set for release on 13 Nov. Perhaps Rusty Fleming could buy Fiona Apple a copy for Christmas.

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Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst is to take a solo European tour, it's been announced, including a couple of "unique and intimate" dates in London and Dublin. He'll play a set featuring tracks from across his back catalogue, first at the London Barbican on 4 Feb, and also at Dublin's National Concert Hall on 5 Feb.

Details and tickets via this link.

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Personable pop babe Jessie Ware, who's touring anyway this November, is now set to double her live presence via a second series of dates in March 2013.

As was decreed last week, she'll also release her fifth 'Devotion' single 'Night Light' on 22 Oct. This is officially its video.

Tour dates:

6 Mar: Cambridge, Junction 1
7 Mar: Manchester, Ritz
8 Mar: Glasgow, ABC
9 Mar: Birmingham, Institute
11 Mar: Oxford, Academy
12 Mar: Bristol, Academy
13 Mar: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

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Glaswegian synth trio Errors have new mini LP 'New Relics' to promote - it being released on 1 Oct - and to that end have arranged to tour that same month. They'll also play Norwich's Sound & Vision Festival and Cardiff's SWN on 11 and 20 Oct respectively, so that's nice.

And the dates of the tour proper are:

6 Oct: Stirling, Tolbooth
10 Oct: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
12 Oct: Newcastle, Hoults Yard
13 Oct: Edinburgh, Electric Circus
17 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega
18 Oct: London, Heaven
19 Oct: Bristol, The Cooler

'New Relics', by the way, will be available via Rock Action Records in all standard formats, plus as a limited edition VHS tape. Yesterday, Errors stashed videos for its eight tracks across various music websites, so screen a couple of the ones I've watched so far - 'Hemlock' and 'Pegasus' - now, or spin the 'web wheel' to cycle between videos via Drowned In Sound.

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According to Reuters, Patrick Soon-Shiong, an LA-based billionaire surgeon, who amassed his fortune by building and selling two pharmaceutical companies, is reportedly interested in bidding for live entertainment major AEG, which current owner Anschutz basically put up for sale last week.

Named by Forbes as LA's richest man, Soon- Shiong could actually afford to buy AEG himself, his fortune being valued at just over the expected $7 billion asking price, though he will obviously lead a consortium of financiers, with Reuters naming financial services firm Guggenheim Partners as a possible partner on any deal.

It will be AEG's various sporting interests, especially in the US, that will be of most interest to Soon-Shiong, who has already pumped some of his fortune into buying basketball and baseball teams. Which might be a worry to those on the live music side of the AEG business, though Anschutz has said it is only interested in bidders who are committed to keeping their entertainment group intact as one entity, incorporating sports, music and venues.

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The owners of MySpace have been talking about their all new look website, a sneak preview of which was posted online earlier this week. Chris and Tim Vanderhook of Specific Media, which bought MySpace from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp last year, joined up with their business partner in the social network, Justin Timberlake, to brief both employees and journalists about their latest plans on Monday.

And while it's quite hard to work out what exactly the all-new MySpace will do from the video preview (even if it does look a lot sleeker than any previous incarnation), in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tim Vanderhook said that their plan remained to target primarily musicians and other creatives when their new site launches, hoping to become a social network for creators and performers to connect to fans.

He told the magazine: "In a single sentence, it's a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans. We're going after artists, right after this we'll be talking to various artists to come on the platform. We want to give them a chance to help build it with us. We're really far along, but we really want that last 20% to be crafted by more people like Justin that actually know the tools and things that they need".

The Vanderbooks have always honed in on the MySpace Music of old - which for a time became the default destination for fans looking to connect with artists - as being the element of their acquisition worth having. Of course MySpace has long since ceased to be the primary home for artists looking to connect to fans, most acts having left their MySpace pages to rot for some time now (if they haven't deleted them, or set them up as a signpost to other social networks).

It will be interesting to see if MySpace has any hope in persuading decent talent away from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where acts most routinely connect with their fans these days. Many would say MySpace don't have a chance, though the growing popularity of Tumblr amongst artists shows that musicians, like their fans, remain pretty fickle when it comes to social media. Whether the fickleness that helped cause MySpace v1's collapse could help fuel MySpace v2's rise, well, that would be interesting.

But there's still a big hill to climb, even though, as Timberlake reportedly joked at Specific's staff briefing this week, "I know some artists".

So much work ahead, in finishing the platform, signing up talent and wooing back the punters. Though that relatively brief video preview got people talking in a way few probably expected, so I guess for now the Vanderhooks and their mate Justin will be happy.

Commenting on the video, Chris Vanderhook said: "Today is the launch of MySpace, and what we want people to see first is the actual design and the product. That's why that video is really important. I think that's necessary for people to be able to consider MySpace and to prove a point that we wanted to put out there. But we want people signing up, we want people to request an invite, it will be very soon".

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Chapel Club have announced an interesting project to promote their second album, 'Good Together'. The band are giving away the individual multi-track parts for the record's title track and asking fans to remix it.

So far, so tediously predictable. However, once remixes have been created, the band are encouraging their creators to commercially release them through digital music services and keep 100% of any profits they make. As well as this, the band have teamed up with Peter Gabriel's Cue Songs to help remixers to line up sync opportunities for their tracks - again keeping any revenue for themselves.

What the results of this project will be isn't clear, though it's possible that some of the tracks that come out of it could end up being reasonably popular - and with the financial incentive, the initiative could even pick up some known producers. Whether the world will welcome hundreds of remixes of the same track remains to be seen, though during the mash-up boom, some artists did certainly benefit from releasing a capellas which ended up on many a bedroom mix.

Speaking about the project, Chapel Club frontman Lewis Bowman told CMU: "The track starts as a neat little electronic pop song before evolving into a hazy, pulsing piano house groove thing. We thought it made the most suitable candidate for a remix project because it's ten minutes long with lots of parts to play with - and also because the extended end section began life as a kind of live, impromptu remix of our own".

Find out more and download the stems in order to start creating your own remix at

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Digital rock station Planet Rock is reportedly up for sale. According to The Guardian, current owner Malcolm Bluemel, who acquired the station from what was then GCap Media in 2008, is already sounding out possible buyers.

Bluemel has invested £3 million of his own money into the venture since 2008, and the company is still making losses of up to £300,000 a year, despite having a RAJAR of about a million listeners, as the UK digital radio market continues to develop at a slow pace.

The Planet Rock chief also recently hit out at those listeners who criticised the station's launch of a subscription-based premium online service, a bid to create a second revenue stream, adding: "I am not a fat cat. If I was I would have kept my money in my pocket, stayed at home with my wife and children and been £3 million better off".

Speaking to The Guardian about the proposed sale, Bluemel said: "Digital radio has come of age and Planet Rock is at the forefront of that. I have put four and a half years of my life into this and £3 million of my own money. Some people might say that I was lucky to have it in the first place, but I am not going to walk away from that lightly".

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Global Radio has announced it will not be renewing its licence to run the MXR regional DAB multiplex, which provided digital radio services to DAB devices in the North, the West Midlands and South Wales. The move will mean broadcasts on the multiplex will stop next summer.

Global ran the regional network with GMG Radio, which it has just acquired, and Arqiva, which has also decided to withdraw from the MXR venture. The decision could be seen as a further set back for DAB, which has taken sometime to gain momentum in the UK over FM services. As previously reported, some radio operators reckon DAB will never fully succeed, and should be abandoned.

Though Global insist that this move does not mean they are now of that mindset. Indeed, most of the areas served by the MXR network will also pick up broadcasts from the national and local DAB networks, and the radio major has just done a deal that means its stations will broadcast via Bauer Media's local DAB multiplexes where MXR is being turned off.

A spokesperson told Radio Today: "The industry - commercial and BBC - has agreed that the best way forward for digital roll out, and to speed up coverage, is to focus on local and national multiplexes. Therefore there is reducing demand for carriage on regional multiplexes".

With that in mind, Digital Radio UK says media regulator OfCom plans to use the spectrum freed up by the closing of MXR to enhance local DAB networks.

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You know how it is, you write a song, you stick it on your new album, then you realise it would be great as the theme song for the new James Bond film, only the discover that Adele has already done one. It's a story as old as time.

Speaking about 'Supremacy', the opening track from his band's new album 'The 2nd Law', Muse drummer Dom Howard told the BBC: "It's got a little whisper to the Bond vibe - it all goes a bit crazy 'Live And Let Die' in the middle. My view is they should use it for the next James Bond film, but I don't know what's going on with that. I heard Adele was doing it!"

How did this oversight come to pass? Well, the band have clearly been putting a lot of thought into their stage show of late, which possibly distracted them from wooing Bond producers.

Speaking about their upcoming live performances, Howard said: "On stage we're going to have this huge upside-down pyramid which can turn itself inside out. It represents the power hierarchy turned on its head. I'm going to do some kung fu and fend off some businessmen, who are losing their minds as they realise they've lost everyone's money".

Yes, really. He also added that there would be "dancing aliens".

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