25 OCT 2012

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Indie label collective Pink Mist was formed by Big Scary Monsters, Holy Roar and Blood & Biscuits in late 2010, bringing Tangled Talk on board last year. As well as allowing the labels to share resources in order to reduce costs, they also use the alliance to co-operate on releases where bigger budgets are required more>>
Relocating from New York to Austin, Texas last year, Anastasia Dimou left behind her former band Cruel Black Dove and began work on a new solo project, Feathers. Taking cues from the late 80s Depeche Mode version of pop, she's quickly pulled together a strong collection of songs. These will form her debut album, which is due for release later this year more>>
- Jeff Price discusses his sacking from TuneCore
- Irish ISP says temporary Pirate Bay blocking result of testing
- New Beethoven work identified
- AEG asks judge to ban leaked emails from Jackson legal battle
- Bieber stole credit card to pay for penis enlargement, claims Selena Gomez's 'father'
- GIT Award to return in 2013
- Depeche Mode debut new track; talk LP and world tour
- Glasvegas confirm new LP
- Mick Jagger "honoured" to produce James Brown biopic
- Deftones to tour
- AlunaGeorge add London show
- Susanne Sundfør announces London show
- The History Of Apple Pie add headline dates
- Swim Deep detail live dip
- HMV to introduce strict "appearance policy"
- RAJAR round up
- Bisexual fern genus named after Lady Gaga
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The former boss of independent digital distribution business TuneCore has spoken in pretty candid terms about his surprise departure from the company earlier this year. Jeff Price, the always very vocal co-founder of TuneCore was very much seen as the frontman for the digital business, but in August he was pushed out of the firm, a few months after his co-founder Peter Wells had also been told his services were no longer required.

And in a lengthy interview with Digital Music News, Price now confirms the exit was far from amicable, claiming he was forced out by Gill Cogan, a partner at one of TuneCore's early investors Opus Capital, and a board member of the digital distributor as part of that deal. His sacking seemingly followed growing tensions about certain board decisions that were made at the start of the year.

Price says: "At the beginning of 2012, there were certain things that occurred internally at TuneCore that I didn't expect or authorise. It was these actions that, in my opinion, severely jeopardised TuneCore's existence. I can't comment further as to the specifics but I can say a number of months later I was terminated 'without cause' by Gill on behalf of the board".

Adding that his dispute with the TuneCore board had now become rather personal, he added: "No specific reason was provided [for my sacking. Then] last week, almost four months after being fired, TuneCore's lawyers implied that if I sued, they would respond by making absurd and Kafkaesque claims about me. I can't believe things have gotten this stupid".

Price, who still has a 13% stake in the digital distributor, says that he is not aware of a new CEO being appointed since his sacking, and he therefore feels the company now has a total lack of direction. And that his efforts to provide advice to the board, or to find a buyer to buy out those board members that had problems with his leadership, have been rejected.

Conceding no one is irreplaceable, even a high profile founder of a high profile start-up, Price added "someone needs to tell me how that company is worth more now with me gone than with me there, because I don't see it. No one should be irreplaceable, but couldn't there have been another way to have done it, or a transition or something? Was this the best way? How is the company worth more today than it was when I was still there? Cause I don't understand it".

Although saying he is constrained to an extent about what he can say by contractual terms, Price is still typical open about his experiences and opinions in the full interview, which you can read on the Digital Music News site. As previously reported, Price is now consulting for Canadian collecting society SOCAN.

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There's some confusion in Ireland about why internet service provider UPC was blocking access by its customers to The Pirate Bay at the start of the week, after the net firm posted a notice saying it had put a block in place after receiving a court order, but then removed the block and said no such court order had ever existed.

Pirate Bay-using UPC customers first noticed that access to the infamous file-sharing site had been blocked on Monday. According to the BBC, instead of the TPB home page, they saw a notice that said the site had been blocked by the net firm as a result of a court order following legal action by the Irish Recorded Music Association.

But subsequently the net firm said that no block against The Pirate Bay was actually in place on its networks, either voluntarily or as a result of a court order, adding that the web-block notice customers were seeing at the start of the week was probably as a result of tests being carried out on the UPC networks. The net firm said in a statement: "Periodically testing is carried out across our European network, which may have been observed by Irish customers".

Like most ISPs in Europe, UPC has resisted efforts to make it police piracy on the net, in particular fighting the Irish record industry when it tried to make the internet provider adopt the three-strikes system voluntarily introduced by its competitor Eircom. UPC was also expected to lobby against plans by the Irish government to introduce some kind of web-block injunction system.

IRMA declined to comment on the temporary blockade that occurred on the UPC networks against The Pirate Bay, though it is an advocate of such blocks being introduced in the country. IRMA's UK counterpart the BPI, of course, successfully won court injunctions to force the big British ISPs to block the Bay earlier this year, and is currently preparing action to try and get blocks against Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents.

Opponents of the web-block system argue that such blockades do not work, because any block is circumventable if you know what you are doing.

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A University Of Manchester professor has said that notes in a sketchbook that belonged to Ludwig van Beethoven represent a previously unknown piece of work by the composer.

It's previously been thought that the notes related to a known Beethoven piece, but Professor Barry Cooper says that the score actually represents an adaptation by the composer of an existing hymn, the Gregorian chant 'Pange Lingua'. Cooper recognised the basic tune that Beethoven had reworked.

Cooper told the BBC: "When I looked at it, I thought, hey, that's not just a series of notes, that's a hymn tune with Beethoven's harmony. It seems that people who are experts in plainsong [Catholic chants] don't look at Beethoven sketches very much, and people who are experts in Beethoven sketches don't look at plainsong very much. But I happened to know both".

Noting that the work was unusual for Beethoven, Cooper added "to find him writing simple functional music for an ordinary church service is extraordinary". It's been speculated the adaptation was made for the service where Beethoven's patron Archduke Rudolph Of Austria was made Archbishop Of Olmutz in 1820.

The new found Beethoven hymn will be performed later today at the University Of Manchester.

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Lawyers for AEG have been in court this week in the US trying to persuade a judge to ban published emails between execs at the live firm about the fated Michael Jackson 'This Is It' residency from being presented as part of a legal battle between the company and the Jackson family.

As much previously reported, Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael, is suing AEG for damages over the death of her son, on the basis the company hired Dr Conrad Murray, the medic jailed for causing the late king of pop's premature death through negligence. AEG counters that Jackson himself appointed and managed Murray, so it cannot be held liable for the doctor's actions.

Last month the LA Times published a batch of emails from early 2009 between AEG staff, and personnel working on preparations for the 'This Is It' show, which expressed concerns about Jackson's mental and physical well-being, many of which ran contrary to the live firm's official statements at the time.

AEG has accused someone linked to the Jackson family of leaking the emails, which the firm says it provided to the Jacksons in relation to the wrongful-death lawsuit. According to CNN, AEG's lawyer Marvin Putnam told the LA court this week: "It is clear that only one entity could have done it".

The leaking of the emails was arguably damaging for AEG, because the live firm was in a separate legal battle, since settled, with insurers Lloyds Of London, over the insurance policy for the 'This Is It' venture. Lloyds said that AEG misrepresented Jackson's state of health when taking out an insurance policy, a claim never tested in court, but which the emails possibly showed to be at least partly true.

Putnam wants Judge Yvette Palazuelos to punish the Jacksons for allegedly passing confidential documents related to their case to a newspaper by banning them from using the emails when the Jacksons v AEG legal battle gets to court.

But the Jacksons deny any wrongdoing, saying no one associated with the family passed any documents to the LA Times. Countering Putnam this week, various legal reps for the Jackson clan argued that their clients had no interest in leaking the emails (because they portrayed Michael in a bad light, and the Jackson Estate is also fighting Lloyds for an insurance pay out). One even proposed that AEG might have leaked the emails themselves to make the Jackson family look bad.

In heated exchanges, one Jackson rep, Kevin Boyle, alleged that Putnam had claimed Jackson's ten year old son Blanket may have been behind the leak. Boyle exclaimed: "What's the idea, that Blanket Jackson got some documents and copied them and somehow walked them from Calabasas to [LA Times reporter] Harriet Ryan?"

Ryan says she won't reveal her sources regards the Jackson story, though Howard Mann, an occasional business associate of Katherine Jackson, has admitted to providing some materials to the LA Times journalist. But either way, the Jackson legal team insist there has been no wrong doing on their part, concluding that AEG has manufactured this whole sideshow to delay the main wrongful death lawsuit case from getting to court.

Quite why AEG would want such a delay isn't clear, but these complications have indeed led to the court hearing on Jacksons v AEG to be delayed until next April.

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Ah, another one of these then. A man claiming to be 'the father of Selena Gomez' has launched a lawsuit against Justin Bieber on various grounds, including that the singer stole the man's credit card in order to pay for penis enlargement surgery. He also says that Bieber's mentor Usher sodomised him with a firework while playing Katy Perry's 'Firework'.

TMZ reports that the man states in court papers: "Bieber has cost me $426.78 and never paid me back. This money was used as abortion money because Justin Bieber got my daughter Selena pregnant in my bedroom, on my Canadian bear rug".

He continues: "[Bieber] gave Selena an STD and Bieber stole my credit card to buy him and Sean P-Ditty [sic] Combs cocaine to use in drug free school zones. Bieber also got a penis enlargement with my stolen American Express card".

On Usher, he writes: "Usher Raymond came to my house on the forth of July 2012 and sodomized me with a firework and lit it inside my anal area while blaring Kate Perry [sic] firework song in my ear drums".

All of which makes for amusing reading on one level, though when you see this kind of litigation cropping up in the American court system time and time again, you do sometimes start to worry about mental healthcare provision Stateside. But, hey, there's an election coming up over there soon, and I'm sure everyone will vote in a manner that will improve all that. Maybe. Oh god.

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The GIT Award, aka the 'Merseyside Mercury', will return in 2013, it has been announced. Set up by Liverpool music blog Getintothis, the award recognises the best of the city's musical talent. The award's second outing will be officially launched on 16 Nov with a party which will include a live performance from 'neo soul' singer Esco Williams.

Liverpool Echo journalist and editor of Getintothis, Peter Guy told CMU: "The GIT Award is once again open to all [based in Merseyside]. I want the prize to appeal to everyone from bedroom musicians to those with record deals, all we're asking is for Merseyside musicians to send us their four tracks and who knows who will make the shortlist this year".

He continued: "For November's launch, we've teamed up with Esco Williams, as he's a fine example of what the GIT Award aims to do; champion new Liverpool music. Esco went from promising performer to capturing the national media's attention and now he's won a MOBO Award. His story is mirrored by many of last year's nominees. Let's hope this year's GIT Award finds a few more hidden gems".

Submissions for this year's award are open now, and the overall winner will be announced in April next year. For more information head over to And look, here's a nice video to watch.

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Depeche Mode have proclaimed via a Girls Aloud-style press conference in Paris that they will be doing several things in 2013; specifically a new LP and world tour.

No one said much about the long player as regards a title or release date, but Slicing Up Eyeballs cites the band's Martin Gore as characterising it thus: "It's got a bit of a feel of 'Violator' on some of the songs and a feel of 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' on other songs. It's a bit of a hybrid of those two for me".

The band also premiered a mysterious new 'in-studio collage', aka a track SUE says may or may not be called 'Angel Of Love'.

Listen to it now

The tour, meanwhile, will feature a single British date at London's O2 Arena on 28 May. The band will also headline various European festivals, appearing at Sweden's Peace & Love, Belgium's Rock Werchter, Spain's Bilbao BBK and Portugal's Optimus Alive.

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Glasvegas's third studio LP now has a title, and that title is 'Whoever Shouts The Loudest'. The band, who are apparently still independent following an abrupt axing from Sony's Columbia Records last year, intend to release it in 2013.

Confiding part of its tracklisting to NME, vocalist James Allen said: "The track titles include 'I'd Rather Be Dead Than Be With You', 'All I Want Is My Baby', 'Later... When The TV Turns To Static' and 'If'. But sorry, I can't tell you what they're like yet".

Touching on Glasvegas's 2011 record 'Euphoric Heartbreak', disappointing sales of which were seemingly the cause of the falling-out with Columbia, Allen added: "It's hard for any artist to really understand why someone would have a connection to their passion. There are records I didn't like at first but grew to love over time - 'Euphoric...' may be one of those for other people. They've just got to get to know it better".

If you'd like to do just that, how about seeing Allen et al on tour, where I assume they'll be playing some songs from that record? The band's just-announced December live dates are here.

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Mick Jagger has been talking about his role in producing a new screen adaptation of the life of James Brown. The cash-rich Rolling Stone will collaborate with Imagine Entertainment filmmaker James Grazer on the still uncast project, Grazer having developed the concept with Brown prior to the soul star's death in 2006.

Speaking to Deadline about his part in the biopic, Jagger says: "It's a great honour to be involved with a project as rich as the story of the legendary James Brown. He was a mesmerising performer with a fascinating life".

Yes, mesmerising and fascinating, indeed.

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Having recently shared details and the first track from their imminent new LP, 'Koi No Yokan', as is released on 12 Nov, Deftones are now spoiling fans with the promise of a five-date tour.

And those dates are:

15 Feb: Glasgow, Barrowlands
16 Feb: Nottingham, Rock City
18 Feb: Manchester, Academy
19 Feb: Birmingam, Academy
20 Feb: London, Brixton Academy

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Tickets are now on-sale for an extra London show by AlunaGeorge in addition to that previously mentioned tour they're headlining soon. The duo, whose appearance at the capital's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 22 Nov has proven a sell-out, will compensate ticketless fans via a 20 Feb 2013 gig at nearby XOYO.

Tickets for the tour and new date are available at

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CMU approved Norwegian songstress Susanne Sundfør has announced another one-off London show, again (as with her recent Notting Hill Arts Club show) promoted by Communion. This gig will take place on 26 Nov at the St Pancras Old Church in London. Tickets will be available here.

Sundfør's latest album 'The Silicone Veil' was released earlier this month by Sonnet Sounds, and was accompanied by the release of a new video for the title track, which you can watch right here.

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As speculated-about when they first mentioned debut LP 'Out Of View' earlier this month, psyched-out shoegaze types The History Of Apple Pie have arranged a tour to (almost) coincide with its 28 Jan release date. Apparently, we can also anticipate a London date being added to these sixteen existing ones, so that's nice...

1 Feb: Darlington, Inside Out
2 Feb: Derby, Victoria Inn
3 Feb: Stereo, York
4 Feb: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
5 Feb: Glasgow, Art School
6 Feb: Newcastle, Dog & Parrot
7 Feb: Chester, The Compass
8 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit
9 Feb: Aldershot, West End Centre
11 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
12 Feb: Cardiff, Undertone
13 Feb: Southampton, Joiners
14 Feb: Canterbury, Ballroom
15 Feb: Brighton, Green Door Store
16 Feb: Bournemouth, 6 Million Postcards
17 Feb: Bristol, Thekla

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Now on tour with Spector, Birmingham grunge babes Swim Deep will on 14 Feb 2013 begin headlining their own live freestyle about the nation's mid-sized indie HQs. All of which is one way of saying they're going on tour.

The band's sophomore single 'Honey', as is released via Chess Club Records on 5 Nov, now has a very erm... spontaneous video featuring a pretty model, so you should look at that/her as a pre tour-dates refresher.

14 Feb: Southampton, Joiners
15 Feb: Birmingham, Temple
16 Feb: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
17 Feb: Manchester, Soup Kitchen
18 Feb: Nottingham, Bodega
19 Feb: Sheffield, Plug
20 Feb: York, Duchess
22 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
23 Feb: Liverpool, Kazimier
24 Feb: Bristol, Thekla
25 Feb: Norwich, Open
26 Feb: London, XOYO
27 Feb: Brighton, Green Door Store

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HMV will this Friday introduce a new "appearance policy" effective both in stores and at the company's head office. As well as forcing staff with prominent piercings and tattoos to cover them up during work hours, female shop staff will have to wear blue denim skirts, amongst other new rules.

A spokesperson for the retail chain said that reports on the new policy had been "sensationalised" by the press, but added: "If someone does have extensive body art - whether in store or at head office - we would expect them to cover this up whilst working. More discreet tattoos and piercings are not an issue so long as people look smart".

They continued: "It goes without saying that we want our work colleagues to feel valued as individuals who can express their personalities, but it's also important that we balance this against the needs and expectations of our customers, who, ultimately, have to be at the heart of everything we do. We'd like to think our colleagues are presentable anyway, so this is just about adopting a more consistent approach, which we believe our customers will appreciate".

Presumably this all means that HMV staff with facial piercings will have to wear balaclavas, which is a pretty bold look. Balaclavas all round, I say.

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There's nothing like going out on a high, and this was nothing like going out on a high. The audience for the Chris Moyles breakfast show slipped to its lowest since 2006 as the self-proclaimed saviour of Radio 1 prepared to leave the programme, the latest RAJAR radio listening figures show.

So much so that the Radio 1 breakfast show, that Moyles once bragged was set to become the biggest in Britain after the ratings-topping Terry Wogan left Radio 2 at the end of 2009, came in third place, after both the Chris Evans breakfast show on R2 and news programme 'Today' on Radio 4. It will be interesting to see how new R1 breakfast dude Nick Grimshaw fairs when his first set of ratings are published. Meanwhile, some other RAJAR gubbins...

1. Good news for 6music, the once-to-be-axed digital service saw its audience grow by nearly a third in the last quarter to 1.62 million. The also nearly axed BBC Asian Network also saw its listening figures go up, 15.2% to 584,000.

2. 6music and the Asian Network - and another BBC digital service, 4 Extra, also seeing a rise in ratings - maybe benefited from the slow but steady increase in listening via the sometime controversial Digital Audio Broadcasting network, which could eventually replace the FM network (though that ambition is what's controversial). DAB accounted for 20.4% of overall listening in the third quarter of 2012, up from 18% a year earlier. Overall digital listening (so via DAB, online or a telly network) was also up, from 28.2% a year ago to 31.3% (though that's slightly less than last quarter).

3. Radio 2 remains the most popular radio station in the country, with a weekly average reach of 13.9 million and the UK's biggest breakfast show, with the Evans-hosted programme boasting an audience of 8.55 million, which is slightly down on a year ago, but still rather impressive.

4. In London, Bauer Radio had a good RAJAR day, with its Magic station becoming biggest in the capital in terms of number of listeners (2.17 million) and audience share (7.3%), ahead of Capital and Heart, both owned by rival Global Radio.

5. In terms of audience share, even Bauer's Kiss 100 outperformed Global's Capital FM, though in terms of weekly listener numbers, the latter was still slightly ahead, and the Global flagship station does still boast the biggest breakfast show in London by some margin, with Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon attracting 1.16 million listeners, compared to Neil Fox's 822,000 on the second place Magic breakfast slot.

6. The currently in limbo Smooth Radio, which Global hopes to buy regulator approval permitting, saw its listening figures slide 29.6% year on year to 431,000, though it had recovered a little from the previous quarter's low.

7. Xfm also saw listening figures slip, down 14.5% year on year, while national station Absolute was down 3.7% year-on-year, and 12.4% on the previous quarter. Though the listeners it's been losing might be moving over to the network's decade-themed digital stations, like Absolute 80s, all of which saw audience figures grow from the previous quarter.

8. Regards other commercial digital-only stations, Q and The Hits were down, 22.5% and 10.3% respectively, while Jazz FM was up 22.8%. Meanwhile, Planet Rock saw its reach increase year-on-year 3% to 864,000.

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Okay. What would you rather hear about, Lady Gaga's very vague and faraway new single, or the fact that she's just had an entire genus of ferns named after her? It's really no contest, is it?

So pressing on with the fern angle, the New York Times quotes one Kathleen Pryer - keen pop-lover and herbology professor at North Carolina's Duke University, who has filed nineteen species of ferns under classifications like 'Gaga monstroparva' (aka 'Little Monsters', a la the Lady's fans) - as saying this: "We wanted to name this genus for Lady Gaga because of her fervent defence of equality and individual expression. And as we started to consider it, the ferns themselves gave us more reasons why it was a good choice".

Most notable amongst said reasons are the ferns' characteristic of having "somewhat fluid definitions of gender", which mean they can be male, female, or both sexes at once. So, that's nice.

Now to the serious business of Lady Gaga's first single from her art/pop-tastic tbc LP 'ARTPOP', which, according to her Twitter tagline, is what happens when "POP sucks the tits of ART". Nice. Basically, the 'Government Hooker' star has said that either her next single, or at least official details about it - this tweet doesn't really clarify - will be released "next year". So, set 2013 aside for that then.

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