An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 13 December 2013

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The Pirate Bay ship has finally arrived in Peru. If only these journeys around the world were literal, that would be quite a movie. Let's all imagine a damaged but resilient old-fashioned pirate vessel running aground on the Lima coastline, having navigated Cape Horn since its last stop-off on Ascension Island (pirates don't get to use the Panama Canal). And crawling off the ship are the digital pirates, still... [READ MORE]
 
ARTISTS OF THE YEAR: Each weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we will reveal another of our ten favourite artists of the year. To see the first five, check this page. Today's artistis Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange... If this were a 'Producer Of 2012' piece - which obviously it isn't, but go with it - I'd probably be talking now about Sky Ferreira's 'Everything Is Embarrassing' and Solange's 'Losing You', both of which... [READ MORE]
   
BEEF OF THE WEEK: I have a theory that if we did away with all award ceremonies, there would be no more war. Nothing divides opinions like arbitrarily chosen lists of names. No, before you say it, not even religion. Trust me, if there was a multi-faith awards ceremony that aimed to pick the best deities each year - held at the O2 Arena with a sit down dinner for invited guests - the world would be in much worse [READ MORE]
 
TOP STORIES The Pirate Bay relocates domain to Peru
Boom: Behold the Beyonce bombshell
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LEGAL Ariana Grande sued over lyric from "back into time"
JUMP | ONLINE
DEALS Kelis signs to Ninja Tune
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ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Blockbuster UK to close
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LIVE BUSINESS Edinburgh Picture House to close
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES HMV Digital app rolls out in Canada
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RELEASES Beatles rarities compilation coming to iTunes next week
Julian Lennon releases app containing album, documentary and more
Damon Albarn gives glimpse of first solo LP
Katy B's Little Red to feature Jessie Ware, Sampha
Black Lips go Under The Rainbow
JUMP | ONLINE
GIGS & FESTIVALS Brian McFadden to do 'last' War Of The Worlds tour
Gigs & Tours round-up: These New Puritans, Blood Orange, Fat White Family and The Wytches
Festival line-up update: Secret Garden Party, Sonar, Rock AM Ring and more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #186: Grammy nominations special
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Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
PROPER MUSIC DISTRIBUTION - LABEL MANAGER
Proper Music Distribution Limited is the largest independent music distributor in the UK and winner of Music Week's Distributor of the Year award for 2009, 2010 and 2012. We are looking for an organised, knowledgable and creative Label Manager to join our team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
LIVE NATION - EVENT TICKETING MANAGER
The purpose of this role is to maximise ticket sales for Live Nation events by providing effective ticketing information and advice; and proactively managing inventory, ticket agents and allocations Live Nation Music UK is part of Live Nation Entertainment, the largest live entertainment company in the world, consisting of five businesses: concert promotion and venue operations, sponsorship, ticketing solutions, ecommerce and artist management.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SENTRIC MUSIC - COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATOR
Sentric Music is a growing music publishing company with an international focus seeking a new team member to join the expanding Rights Management department. The ideal candidate will be confident, ambitious, possess excellent communication skills, have exceptional attention to detail and be able to efficiently organise and manage their workload.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
UNITED AGENCY - ACCOUNT MANAGER
United Agency, the award winning social and digital marketing agency is searching for new account managers to join our team in London W1. The company creates and manages digital and social media strategies for some of the biggest names in music, retail, TV, fashion and travel. We are looking for creative, commercially astute, lateral thinkers with exceptional copy writing skills and a love of contemporary culture.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
 
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 

The Pirate Bay relocates domain to Peru
The Pirate Bay ship has finally arrived in Peru. If only these journeys around the world were literal, that would be quite a movie. Let's all imagine a damaged but resilient old-fashioned pirate vessel running aground on the Lima coastline, having navigated Cape Horn since its last stop-off on Ascension Island (pirates don't get to use the Panama Canal). And crawling off the ship are the digital pirates, still standing up for freedom, for free speech, and for everyone's God given right to free Lady Gaga MP3s. But will the Peruvians let them stay?

As previously reported, as part of ongoing efforts to shut down the Bay, the file-sharing operation that just won't die, the entertainment industry has been putting pressure on domain registries around the world to not host the official web address of the controversial website. And with some success, the Bay being forced to move its domain from Sweden to Greenland to Iceland to Sint Maarten since the start of the year.

With the .SX domain cut off earlier this week, the Bay quickly relocated its site to a domain registered in Ascension Island in the middle of the South Atlantic. But with that island a British Overseas Territory, and therefore open to pressure from the UK entertainment industry, Bay chiefs immediately began setting up its next alternative domain. And so thepiratebay.pe has gone live. TPB operators hope that it will be much harder for European and North American movie studios and record companies to throw about their weight in South America. We'll see I guess.

Though Team Bay have told Torrentfreak that new development work on their own PirateBrowser software - released earlier this year to help file-sharers circumvent the web-blocks internet service provides in various countries have been forced to put in place against the file-sharing site - will mean that the service no longer requires a conventional website, so that constantly disappearing domain names won't matter.

Referring to the various anti-piracy groups of the world, a TPB spokesperson told Torrentfreak: "They should wait for our new PirateBrowser, then domains will be irrelevant. Once that is available then all links and sites will be accessible through a perfectly legal piece of browser software and the rest of it will be P2P, with no central point to attack via the legal system. By their actions [the entertainment industry] finally brought on the next generation of decentralised services".

Of course rights owners will presumably hope that - while the enhanced PirateBrowser may make it harder to hinder the Bay's day-to-day operations - the decentralised version of the file-sharing community will be less attractive to more casual file-sharers, making them more likely to head to legitimate online services instead. Time will tell, of course, time will tell.

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Boom: Behold the Beyonce bombshell
It's alright everyone, Beyonce has recorded an album. And not just any album, an "unprecedented fourteen song, seventeen videos visual album". And you all thought she was just being lazy.

The eponymous album - as you all undoubtedly know and have expressed an opinion on already - was made available as an iTunes exclusive this very morning. Though you have to buy it as a complete album (visual album), because that's how Beyonce wants you to hear (see) it.

Explaining why she knocked together all these videos to go with her new music, Beyonce explains: "I see music. It's more than just what I hear. When I'm connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they're all connected to the music".

It's lucky no one else experiences music like that, or you might think Beyonce was robbing us of experiencing her new album on our own terms. But she's not. She's giving us the gift of listening (seeing) like Beyonce. Or in the words of the press release, experiencing "a non-linear journey through the thoughts and visions of Beyonce".

On the surprise release, the press blurb insists that this is "a fully designed preventative plan" against leaks. Which sounds a bit flimsy, but let's just go with it.

Failing to reference that at all, Beyonce adds: "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans".

Summarising, she concludes: "I just want to give my album to the people I love and respect and hope that they feel the same thing I felt when I made the music".

In something of a coup, Beyonce has managed to get guest performances on the album from her husband Jay-Z and her daughter Blue Ivy. Drake, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Frank Ocean also appear, while video directors include Hype Williams, Beyonce and everyone's favourite, Terry Richardson.

Here's the (non-visual) tracklist:

Pretty Hurts
Haunted
Drunk In Love (feat Jay-Z)
Blow/Cherry
Angel
Yoncé/Partition
Jealous
Rocket
Mine (feat Drake)
XO
***Flawless (feat Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Superpower (feat Frank Ocean)
Heaven
Blue (feat Blue Ivy)

And here are all the videos you get:

Pretty Hurts (directed by Melina Matsoukas)
Ghost (directed by Pierre Debusschere)
Haunted (directed by Jonas Åkerlund)
Drunk In Love (directed by Hype Williams)
Blow (directed by Hype Williams)
Angel (directed by @lilinternet)
Yoncé (directed by Ricky Saiz)
Partition (directed by Jake Nava)
Jealous (directed by Beyoncé, Francesco Carrozzini & Todd Tourso)
Rocket (directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein)
Mine (directed by Pierre Debusschere)
XO (directed by Terry Richardson)
***Flawless (directed by Jake Nava)
Superpower (directed by Jonas Åkerlund)
Heaven (directed by Beyoncé & Todd Tourso)
Blue (directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein)
Grown Woman (directed by Jake Nava)

Meanwhile, Facebook gets an exclusive premiere of part one of a documentary taking an in-depth look at the making of the album, called 'Self-Titled', which you can devote the next three minutes and 52 seconds of your life to here.

Ariana Grande sued over lyric from "back into time"
Nickelodeon star and occasional Justin Bieber support act Ariana Grande has been hit with a copyright action by UK-based Minder Music over her big song of the year (in the US at least), 'The Way'.

Universal Music and publisher Sony/ATV are also listed as defendants on the lawsuit, which claims that Grande's hit lifted a line from a song Minder represents, a 1972 track by American funk group The Jimmy Castor Bunch called 'Troglodyte'. The offending line is "What we gotta do right here is go back, back into time", which Minder reckons rips off the 'Troglodyte' lyric: "What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time".

And while it is just that lyric that the Grande track seems to borrow, Minder's lawsuit says: "the [two] songs' phrases are strikingly similar in several ways, including but not limited to: nearly identical lyrics; similar enunciation speed with a fast and consistent pace for 'what we gotta do right' and a slightly slower pace for 'here is go back'; and substantially similar placement at the same places in the respective compositions".

The legal papers go on: "The deliberate compositional decision to place the 'Troglodyte' phrase at the beginning of 'The Way', as it appears in 'Troglodyte' itself, not only shows a deliberate attempt to copy 'Troglodyte' compositionally, but to also evoke 'Troglodyte' to the many fans of it".

The legal action will likely lead to a new debate over how few words a copied lyric can include to still constitute copyright infringement, though Minder will be hoping that the other similarities in the way the line is used and delivered by Grande will aid their case. Meanwhile the Hollywood Reporter notes that the lawyer representing the London firm previously prevailed in a copyright infringement case that centred on the single line "bow wow wow, yippee yo, yippea yea".

Grande et al are yet to respond.

Kelis signs to Ninja Tune
Wepa! R&B type and pro saucier Kelis has signed to pro-genre-diversity label Ninja Tune, falling in beside other acts signed to the UK indie like Thundercat, Bonobo, The Invisible, Emika and Machinedrum.

Her manager, Stephen Satterthwaite of Red Light Management, told CMU: "Having worked recently with Ninja on a couple of projects, and having obtained gold status in the US recently with one of those - The Heavy - it was clear that [Ninja boss] Peter [Quicke] and his team had the resources and vision to give Kelis the support she needed. Not just for a single or two but for the longevity she deserves".

He added: "We were fortunate to have a huge amount of offers on the record and wanted to be creative with the structure of the deal. Ninja understood where Kelis was heading with this record, added incredible vision to our roll out ideas, and put impressive commitment and flexibility around the project as a whole. All at Red Light look forward to making this a true collaborative release with Ninja Tune".

In light of the deal, Ninja will release Kelis's sixth LP, the Dave Sitek-mixed 'Food' - which it's billing as "transcendent, with Spector-esque lift, warm bottom ends and vast depth" - on 28 Apr 2014.

Warm bottom ends.

Blockbuster UK to close
After an aptly Hollywood-esque long drawn out death scene, Blockbuster UK will finally disappear from the high street, it has been confirmed.

As previously reported, the DVD and games rental firm first went into administration back in January, pretty much around about the same time as HMV. But initially it seemed like the company might survive, when private equity firm Gordon Brothers bought the business.

And while 200 of the company's stores were closed, the new owners seemed optimistic that something could be done, with talk of pushing more of the rental operation online LoveFilm-style, but then expanding the product range on the high street, including expanding the music products sold.

But then in October the company fell back into administration. All that optimism hadn't come to much, it seems, partly because the new owner's online ambitions relied on doing a deal with the owner of the Blockbuster brand in the US, and said deal couldn't be done. This time no buyer came forward once the retailer was back in administration, and so stores began to close for good.

And yesterday administrators Moorfields Corporate Recovery confirmed no buyer could be found, and that the remaining 91 Blockbuster shops in the UK would close this weekend, resulting in 808 further job losses. Said the administrator: "It is with regret that we have to make today's announcement, we appreciate this is a difficult time for all concerned and would like to thank staff for their professionalism and support over the past month".

The demise of the UK Blockbuster business has pretty much coincided with its US counterpart, despite having different owners. As previously reported, Blockbuster in America recently announced all but its franchisee stores would close, though its owner Dish Networks still has plans for an online business using the brand.

Edinburgh Picture House to close
Edinburgh is to lose another of its live music stages following the news that the city's Picture House venue will close after this month's Hogmanay celebrations.

The slightly misleadingly named Picture House (those looking for movies need the Filmhouse just down the road) has been operating in its current form since 2008, having been an important gig venue in the Scottish capital in the 1970s and 1980s before a stint as a cheesy nightclub (anyone else remember Century 2000's student night? No, only me then).

In its most recent incarnation the venue was operated by MAMA & Company, and became known as the HMV Picture House during the period that MAMA was a subsidiary of the flagging entertainment retailer. The London-based live music firm confirmed to Edinburgh media yesterday that it was in the process of selling the property, adding that the deal should complete on 6 Jan and that the new owners are not expected to use the space as a venue.

A spokesman told the Edinburgh Evening News: "The sale is due to complete on 6 January and we understand that the new owners will close for refurbishment on that date and are not expected to re-open as a music venue. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the public, the venue staff, and all the great artists and promoters who have graced the stage over the last five years for their support".

HMV Digital app rolls out in Canada
HMV has rolled out its new download store to the good people of Canada. Which means they too can now fire up their Android-powered phones, scan in a album cover, capture a song in the air, and be immediately taken to a little place on the mobile internet where they can download the tracks those pictures or sounds are attached to for future music-based good times. Or they can access the mobile-centric service from their iPhone and wonder a little what the point is.

The HMV companies in Canada and the UK are now back in common ownership, of course, Hilco having acquired the Canadian business in 2011, and then rescued the UK enterprise when it fell into administration earlier this year. The HMV Group, of course, never really cracked the download market, having launched several lacklustre stores and services over the years, so one of Hilco's key challenges after acquiring the two HMV firms was what to do with digital content.

HMV Canada had a head start, not being distracted for most of 2012 by impending oblivion, and at the start of the year it put a platform called The Vault into beta, offering both streaming and downloads. The service went properly live in April, just as Hilco was getting to grips with its recent HMV UK acquisition, leading to speculation the retailer might enter the rather competitive streaming music space over here too.

But then in October the British side of HMV launched an all-new HMV Digital app, which was very much a conventional download store, albeit a mobile centric one with some artwork and Shazam-style sound recognition hoo haa stuck on the front. It's a decent experience on Android devices, though the iOS version is more limited, especially since Apple stopped the retailer from actually selling music through the app.

HMV's digital chief James Coughlan, who has a global remit, previously indicated that the new app would be launched in Canada too, so it wasn't especially surprising when the retailer's Canadian division quietly parked The Vault last month. And low and behold, the HMV Digital app has now gone live over there.

Coughlan told reporters: "I'm excited to say that we're putting music ownership back into focus with the launch of our new digital music products in Canada. Today we kick-start our wider digital strategy roll-out and allow music lovers to enjoy the traditional HMV shopping mall experience, with the ability to discover and build a high quality digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV, the home of entertainment".

  CMU Artists Of The Year 2013: Dev Hynes
Each weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we will reveal another of our ten favourite artists of the year. To see the first five, check this page. Today's artistis Dev Hynes, aka Blood Orange...

If this were a 'Producer Of 2012' piece - which obviously it isn't, but go with it - I'd probably be talking now about Sky Ferreira's 'Everything Is Embarrassing' and Solange's 'Losing You', both of which bear Dev Hynes' writing/mixing/production fingerprints.

Precisely how deep those grooves go, in terms of Hynes' role in and responsibility for the songs, versus the input of the women who sing them, is seemingly a point of difference between Hynes-the-producer and his 'artistes'.

Both Solange and Ferreira have taken against certain portraits of them as Hynes' muses, arguing that they, too, were instrumental in making the tracks what they are. I guess it comes down to ego; though Hynes' act of sacrificing what are essentially his greatest creations because he knows - as a good producer should - that they're better off tied to someone else's voice, face and persona, suggests he's concerned neither with ego nor glory.

I mention Hynes first in his context as producer, not only because it's the base of all his latter work as an 'artist', but also because it's damn hard to separate Dev the backstage technician from his public guise as a singer and performer. His second LP as Blood Orange, 'Cupid Deluxe', is very much a producer's record; busy with drop-in-vocalists, switch-fiddling and spontaneity, which perhaps is real, perhaps all a smart artifice. Either way, that improvised, loose-ended 'jam' aesthetic is clearly what Hynes is going for.

We know (and he knows we know) that Hynes can make 'hits', but in the case of most of 'Cupid Deluxe' he's choosing not to, seeing what sticks, keeping the vibe light and handing the mic to the likes of Skepta, Kindness's Adam Bainbridge and, most often, to his girlfriend, Friends' Samantha Urbani.

Indeed, although Hynes does have a go at singing, and supposedly plays every single instrument and makes near every single beat on the record, his position is primarily as a catalyst, a foil, an 'enabler', if you like, pitching his guests at the level at which they're most effective, most useful even, in bringing his basic blueprints to life.

Bruised, sometimes needling and prone to waver, his voice isn't the strongest, but he chooses to bring that frailty to light, even emphasising it by leaning it against, on LP intro 'Chamakay' for instance, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, who's classically-trained and has the kind of range Hynes can only dream of.

He plays that card a lot, revelling in the camp, almost feminine quality to his vocals, and isn't scared to show his scars, or to do a cringe-y 'come hither' spoken monologue on 'Cupid Deluxe' funk-interlude 'Uncle Ace'. Hynes is a modern, modest man, guys, and makes no bones about that, nor of the fact that he's an outsider (even more so, now he's sans-Solange) looking in, and doing his best to interpret all he sees and feels.

An apt way to close this Hynes big up is probably to go ahead and play 'Time Will Tell', the fifteen minute finale to 'Cupid Deluxe'. Dev says: "The song itself was recorded live in a one take. I ad-libbed the vocals recalling lyrics from songs of mine and a song by Adam Bainbridge (which he was unaware I was going to do). Adam was on the drum machine, Blue May on guitar, Sam Beste on piano, and Tawiah on backing vocals. I then took some of my vocals from towards the end and overlaid it as a backing vocal".

And that's how that was done.

CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Beatles rarities compilation coming to iTunes next week
Someone at Apple Corps has seemingly found a load of old Beatles recordings in a box and next week they're going to shove them up on iTunes and see what happens. A new 59 track compilation, called 'You Idiots Will Buy Anything', will feature studio outtakes, demos and 44 live performances captured by the BBC. Oh, it's actually called 'The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963', I misread it the first time.

The Beatles are currently three years into an exclusivity deal with iTunes, of course, an alliance which, this new release suggests, still has some mileage left in it. Insiders reckon that the current deal between the two Apple companies is due to end next year, though it's thought the arrangement has been extended once before and could be again. If the money's right - and it's certainly been lucrative for all involved so far - then a further extension may well be on the cards.

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Julian Lennon releases app containing album, documentary and more
Beyonce isn't the only artist with an audio/visual album out this week. She was pipped to the post by a few days by Julian Lennon, who has released his new album, 'Everything Changes', both as a standard iTunes download and a mobile app.

Fans who buy the complete album on iTunes will also get a 40 minute documentary about Lennon, directed by Dick Carruthers (who has previously worked with Led Zeppelin, Oasis and many others) and called 'Through The Picture Window'. An acoustic version of the album is also available to purchase separately.

Or, if you don't want to fork out £20 quid, for £7.99 you can get all of this and more wrapped up in the app, which comes with a whole load of extra bonus material too.

Within the software, each song is tied to an accompanying video, and users can switch between the full and acoustic version of each song by giving it a little shake. And amongst the other pieces of extra content, there's also a 30 minute interview with Bono. But you could just not watch that.

Discussing his collaboration with Lennon on the project, Dick Carruthers told CMU: "Julian saw my Noel Gallagher documentary and really liked the photographic, all B-roll style, and so we embarked upon a film about the making of his new album. The project grew as I discovered the story behind it, which is really Julian himself - and what an interesting tale it is, how he deals with being who he is really, the quality of the work itself. The film grew into a feature length documentary and now a ground-breaking app".

On the app, he added: "The app is the perfect medium to present everything in this project - the film, two albums, videos, and lots of extras; all interwoven and all interactive. It's stylish, instant, cutting edge, and the shake to switch between soundtracks feature truly is the bomb. I think this is the new delivery format".

Various physical releases are also available, which, as with the digital versions, are being sold directly by Lennon's own Music From Another Room company. To have a look at a trailer, text 'lennon' to 60999.

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Damon Albarn gives glimpse of first solo LP
Damon Albarn has announced a bit about his forthcoming first solo LP, which XL Records say is out in 2014. With XL boss Richard Russell on production duty, the still-untitled album will sound something like this introductory clip.

Talking to the Wall Street Journal in June, Albarn said Blur had plans to begin making a new record as soon as his solo one is released, saying of the latter: "You can hear a lot, what's going on. It's quite intimate".

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Katy B's Little Red to feature Jessie Ware, Sampha
Small auburn-haired dance star Katy B has let fans have all the details of her newest LP, 'Little Red'.

It features Jessie Ware and Sampha, naturally, plus beats and backing by Jacques Greene, Joker, George FitzGerald, Route 94, Artwork and Geeneus, and will be available in all the usual places via Rinse/Columbia on 3 Feb 2014.

See its tracklisting, and hear one of the tracks that lists, 'Crying For No Reason', right this instant:

Next Thing
5 AM
Aaliyah (feat Jessie Ware)
Crying For No Reason
I Like You
All My Lovin
Tumbling Down
Everything
Play (feat Sampha)
Sapphire Blue
Emotions
Still

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Black Lips go Under The Rainbow
Wild Atlanta rock pack Black Lips have kicked Mark Ronson and his brass trimmings to one side, and made a new LP with Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. Its title is 'Under The Rainbow', and it follows 2011's Ronson-produced 'Arabia Mountain'.

Gassing with Rolling Stone, Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley sums the album up as "roots music" with "traditional influences", adding: "I don't think making records gets any easier. It almost seems like the first one is the easiest because you haven't really used many ideas at that point so almost everything is new to you".

And here's a thing that's new, the 'Under The Rainbow' tracklisting, which in lieu of an actual track will have to do as a preview:

Drive By Buddy
Smiling
Make You Mine
Funny
Dorner Party
Justice After All
Boys in the Wood
Waiting
Do the Vibrate
I Don't Wanna Go Home
Dandelion Dust
Dog Years

Brian McFadden to do 'last' War Of The Worlds tour
The man already blurring lines while 'Blurred Lines' the song was still a shady gleam in Robin Thicke's eye, Brian McFadden, has been named as the new star of Jeff Wayne's 'War Of The Worlds' musical, which is being reprised as a live bonanza for the sixth and "final" time in 2014. Bri will act and sing alongside Jason Donovan in the roving show, which will start its last lap at Dublin's O2 Arena on 27 Nov, and finish at the Brighton Centre on 14 Dec.

And he says: "I've long been a fan [of 'War Of The Worlds'], and am so excited to be involved in the tour. It's a true honour to be involved in this electrifying show and to be joining such an exciting cast, including singing the thoughts of The Journalist, who is played by one of my all-time Irish heroes, Liam Neeson. It's also a thrill to be performing the two international hit singles 'The Eve of The War' and 'Forever Autumn'. This will be a totally new experience for me which is both terrifying and exhilarating!"

Additional info and tickets are probably at this link.

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Gigs & Tours round-up: These New Puritans, Blood Orange, Fat White Family and The Wytches
The Barbican in London has booked high-brow pop sorts These New Puritans for a one-off show on 17 Apr 2014. It's banner title is 'TNP Expanded', which apparently entails "a new imagining of the band, featuring an expanded TNP ensemble of brass, strings, voices, percussion and more". Ooooh. Info here.

And hey, today's Artist Of The Year Dev Hynes will appear live as his Blood Orange alias, probably with a load of collaborators, in London on 19 Feb 2014. Taking place at the capital's Village Underground, the show marks his first solo UK date since the days of 2011's 'Coastal Grooves' LP. In related news, made in the era of Hynes' new Blood Orange release 'Cupid Deluxe', this is a track that didn't quite make the final edit. Its name is 'West Drive (Profit Vocal Dub 2)'.

As fate would have it, another of our Artists Of The Year, Fat White Family, are touring in 2014 too. The 'Tour Of Struggle', which will go on in the dubious honour of the group's buy-it-now first LP 'Champagne Holocaust', will shove off on 14 Feb at The Hope in Brighton, and close on 25 Feb at London's Electrowerkz. Listings and ticketing enquiries should be directed here.

Oh, and just for lols, this is Fat Whites' new video, 'Wet Hot Beef', which they'll issue on a split EP with 'cave punks' Taman Shud on 25 Dec.

Moving quickly on, Brighton's doomiest 'surf doom' trio The Wytches are topping their own tour for the first time, to promote their debut LP, 'Digsaw, Beehive Queen' mostly. The first show is on 12 Feb 2014 at Northampton's Labour Club, whilst the last is on 1 Mar at the Chameleon in Nottingham. Find the particulars of all fourteen dates on this page.

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Festival line-up update: Secret Garden Party, Sonar, Rock AM Ring and more
Next year's Secret Garden Party has shared its first bank of on-site acts, adding the likes of Little Dragon, Fat Freddy's Drop, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Deap Vally, Morcheeba, Jagwar Ma and Fat White Family to its bloomin brilliant bill.

Spanish day-and-night broadcast Sonar Barcelona has also confirmed lots of the acts on its 2014 radar, amongst whom Massive Attack, Richie Hawtin, Caribou, Woodkid, Bonobo, Four Tet, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, I Am Legion, Gesaffelstein, James Holden and Oneohtrix Point Never are all worth naming.

More of those SGP and Sonar additions, plus additional ones just made to line-ups at Bilbao BBK, Pinkpop, Port Eliot Fest, Rebellion and Rock AM Ring, to follow...

BILBAO BBK, Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain, 10-12 Jul 2014: The Black Keys, MGMT, Imagine Dragons, White Lies, John Talabot. www.bilbaobbklive.com

PINKPOP, Landgraaf, Limburg, Holland, 7-9 Jun 2014: Arcade Fire. www.pinkpop.nl

PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL, St Germans, Cornwall, 24-27 Jul 2014: Gruff Rhys, Jimi Goodwin, Andrew Weatherall, Don Letts, Ben Watt, Viv Albertine , John Andrews, Will Atkins, Patrick Barkham, Richard Benson, Tim Dee, Kurt Jackson, Matthew & Me, Ceri Levy, Jeb Loy Nichols, The Rails (Kami Thompson, & James Walbourne), Charles Rangeley-Wilson, Chris Watson, Pete Fowler, Matt Sewell, Rob St John, Cheryl Tipp (British Library), Geoff Travis, Roy Wilkinson's Music & Nature Quiz, Love L.U.V., Emma Warren, Melissa Harrison, Neil Sentance, Malcolm Anderson, Trevor Cox, Mathew Clayton, Lux Harmonium, The RG Morrison. www.porteliotfestival.com

REBELLION, Blackpool Winter Gardens, 7-10 Aug 2014: Killing Joke, Anti-Vigilante, Criminal Class, Cult Maniax, Culture Shock, Dirty Old Folkers, Dragster, Dysphonia, Eastfield, English Dogs, Epic Problem, Evil Conduct, Foreign Legion, Funeral Dress, Hotwired, Infa Riot, Jon Langford, Maid Of Ace, Murphy's Lore, Night of Treason, No Thrills, Penetration, Poison Idea, Self Abuse, Sick On The Bus, Slagerij, Subhumans, Swamp Delta, The Angry Agenda, The Fuckwits, The Smears, The Three Johns, Vice Squad, Vince Ray & The Boneshakers. www.rebellionfestivals.com

ROCK AM RING, Nurburg, Germany, 5-8 Jun 2014: Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Mando Diao, The Offspring, Avenged Sevenfold, In Flames, Rob Zombie, Alter Bridge, Slayer, Opeth, Kvelertak, Mastodon, Fall Out Boy, Babyshambles, Jake Bugg, John Newman, Gogol Bordello, Maximo Park, Left Boy, Portugal. The Man, Klangkarussell, Booka Shade, Rudimental, Ghost, Gojira, Of Mice & Men, Sierra Kidd, Suicide Silence, Teesy, UVM, Die Fantastischen Vier, Jan Delay & Disko No 1, Marteria, Milky Chance, In Extremo, Heaven Shall Burn, Alligatoah, SDP. www.rock-am-ring.com

SECRET GARDEN PARTY, Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire, 24-27 Jul 2014: Little Dragon, Fat Freddy's Drop, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Deap Vally, Morcheeba, Jagwar Ma, Fat White Family, Dub Pistols, Southern, Champs, Honeyblood, The Correspondents, Bat and Ball, MT. www.secretgardenparty.com

SONAR, various venues, Barcelona, Spain, 12-14 Jun 2014: Massive Attack, Richie Hawtin, Caribou, Woodkid, Bonobo, Four Tet, Moderat, Jon Hopkins, I Am Legion, Gesaffelstein, James Holden, Oneohtrix Point Never, Matmos, Evian Christ, Happa, Jessy Lanza, Nisennenmondai, Clipping., Downliners Sekt, Copeland, Majical Cloudz, Balago, Desert, Pau Roca. www.sonar.es

CMU Beef Of The Week #186: Grammy nominations special
I have a theory that if we did away with all award ceremonies, there would be no more war. Nothing divides opinions like arbitrarily chosen lists of names. No, before you say it, not even religion. Trust me, if there was a multi-faith awards ceremony that aimed to pick the best deities each year - held at the O2 Arena with a sit down dinner for invited guests - the world would be in much worse shape. Fortunately, there is not.

Few award ceremonies get more people riled up than the Grammys - simply because it provides more opportunities for anger by having so many categories. The number may have been cut down in recent times, but in 2014 there will still be 82 awards on offer. 82. There's an award for the Best Surround Sound Album, for fuck's sake.

Anyway, the nominations for the 2014 edition came out this week, so everyone was in a bad mood. Not least Lily Allen, who got right riled on behalf of Lorde, who does not feature in the nominations for Best New Artist, despite her being new, an artist and really rather successful this year.

Noting this sizeable oversight, Allen took to Twitter after reading a comment from Jimmy Jam, former chairman of Grammy organiser The Recording Academy, in which he told CNN: "She is still very new. Sometimes I think the Grammy voters like to say: 'Well, let's see what else you have before we say you're the best new artist'".

"AT WHICH POINT SHE WON'T BE A NEW ARTIST!!!" wrote Allen, adding: "What crap".

Which would be a more valid point if the nominees in the Best New Artist category weren't James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves and Ed Sheeran, who have all been around longer that Lorde and rather confirm Jam's point that the Grammy voters have their own definition of "new". In fact, between them those nominees have released twelve albums, which is pretty good going for five 'new' artists.

Also, Lorde's not exactly hard done by in the Grammy shortlists, having been nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for her debut long player 'Heroine', and Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her single 'Royals'.

Next, king of the award-related rant Kanye West stepped up. He wasn't upset about Beyonce being sidelined on this occasion though (give it time). No, he was upset that another artist - specifically him - had only received two nominations. And them only for Best Rap Song and Best Rap album. It's like the people who vote don't even care. Or are racist.

During one of his now customary on-stage rants, at a show in Phoenix, Arizona this week, West said: "I'm 36 years old and I have 21 Grammys. That's the most Grammys of any 36 year old. Out of all of those 21 Grammys, I've never won a Grammy against a white artist. So when the Grammys nominations come out - and 'Yeezus' is the top one or two album on every [other] single list - but only gets two nominations from the Grammys; what are they trying to say? Do they think that I wouldn't notice? Do they think that, someway, that I don't have the power to completely diminish all of their credibility at this moment?"

He added: "People come to me and congratulate me on those two nominations. Fuck those nominations! It's all but patronising. It's only patronising. Don't patronise me. I would have rather had no nominations".

Now, I'm not about to start defending the Grammy voting committee and say that none of them are even a tiny bit racist. However, Kanye's complaint isn't that no black artist has ever beaten a white artist to a Grammy (because that wouldn't be true, clearly), it's that he has never beaten a white artist. And given his active attempts to alienate people at every turn, it's possible that's because some of the Grammy voters are a bit Kanye-ist.

Finally, and speaking of alienating people, we reach the latest chapter in Snoop Dogg's sustained campaign of annoying Jamaica.

As discussed in a previous BOTW column right back at the beginning of the year, there are many on the Caribbean island for whom the rapper's metamorphosis into reggae star Snoop Lion isn't quite the tribute to their culture he originally tried to presented it as. And now Snoop's 'Reincarnated' turning up in the shortlist for Best Reggae Album has stirred all that up again.

Roger Steffens, who headed the Grammy Awards Reggae Committee for 27 years, told the Jamaica Observer: "I think it would be a travesty if Snoop wins. He, like Matisyahu and many others before him, have used a Rasta-influenced format and warped it toward their own ends".

He added that he felt that this year's reggae nominations - which also go to Beres Hammond, Ziggy Marley, Sizzla, and Sly & Robbie And The Jam Masters - opted for "name recognition more than anything else, regardless of sales or actual quality", which in the case of Snoop is probably fair. Even he seems to have distanced himself from his reggae project of late.

Anyway, The Grammy's take place on 26 Jan in Los Angeles. I will put good money on Kanye West not feeling hurt and patronised enough not to turn up to the ceremony. Though he may also have another little rant if he wins either of his awards (and almost certainly if he doesn't). So that's something to look forward to.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
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