CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 8th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- RIAA respond to Jobs' DRM essay
- Glitter sentence cut
- Spector trial likely to be televised
- Urban and Urban in URL litigation
- Grateful Dead widow sues over company and tape
- EP review: DJ Jazzy Jeff - Return Of The Magnificent
- Soul Train nominations out
- Aguilera speaks out against domestic violence
- Ash and Snow Patrol back Irish music centre
- Kaiser Chief says music scene is shit
- Klaxons have hip hop ambitions
- Madness collaborate with Sway
- Free Duke Special tracks available
- Smashing Pumpkins album title and date set
- Superthriller Friday upcoming
- The Twang tour
- Kings Of Leon confirm tour
- Police set for 'special announcement'
- Wombats to play Liverpool Academy
- Album review: Little Barrie - Stand Your Ground
- EMI job changes galore
- Ticketmaster tie up with iTunes
- Myspace announce European mobile partnership
- Music lawyer launches own consultancy
- Single review: Errors - Salut! France
- Allen tells Allen: get thee to the Brits
- Mika says hits don't make dates

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TOP BIT>>
So, the Recording Industry Association Of America have tried to deflect the attention of the interoperability brigade back onto Apple et al after Steve Jobs surprising little polemic against the use of DRM in the music space.

As we mentioned yesterday, Jobs has suddenly said that the music companies shouldn't be protecting their music with DRM, which is an odd thing for him to say given that Apple is probably the only company actually benefiting from DRM in the music space (DRM being much better at locking casual consumers to iPod and iTunes than it is at stopping more tech savvy fans pirating music).

But, as we also said yesterday, Jobs is presumably suddenly keen for the majors to drop DRM because if they were to do so the (lack of) interoperability problems that currently exist in the digital music space (and which are slowly going legal in mainland Europe) would cease - and without Apple having to make its DRM technology available to its competitors, as some European legislators are suggesting they should. Actually, what Jobs is probably hoping is that the majors won't drop DRM, but by him saying they should he has managed to make it look like the record companies are to blame for interoperability in the digital music space. Jobs, as we know, is nothing if not clever at spinning the media agenda to his advantage.

The RIAA, as you'll see in a minute, have responded rather oddly, by seemingly (and possibly deliberately) misunderstanding Jobs and welcoming his offer to open up his DRM technology to rival digital music firms, which I'm pretty sure isn't what Jobs said at all! But either way, the RIAA seem keen to defend the use of DRM by the major record companies, blaming Apple and their IT competitors for all the interoperability problems.

Personally, on an ethical level, I think that the majors should stop using DRM, and that Apple should share their DRM technology - though on a commercial level I can see why Apple wouldn't want to, but find it hard to understand the majors' commercial rationale.

But either way, there is another interesting dimension to this story - and something we've touched on before. The fact is, neither Apple nor the major record companies are being especially consumer friendly in the interoperability space, yet it is always the major record companies that come out of this as being the evil money grabbing capitalists with sinister motives, while Apple are seen by many as the consumer's friend. Even though the labels are in the more sexy business of making music, while Apple are primarily concerned with microchips and plastic.

And this, of course, is because the major record companies continue to fail to market themselves as the creative risk taking brands they actually are, instead getting media attention only when they're suing teenage file sharers. I really do think some consumer facing corporate level PR could do wonders for the labels, and help them take on PR geniuses like Jobs. Even when, like Jobs, they're actually in the wrong.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

PACHA MAGAZINE
Pacha magazine returns to the Miami Winter Music conference for a second year. Pacha will again distribute 25,000 free copies of the magazine in the build up and duration of the various dance music conferences taking place during March (WMC, Miami Music Week), targeting the most influential and savvy electronic music consumers in the World. Pacha will be the most visible publication in south Beach's hippest hotels, bars and shops. The magazine, produced by Graphite Media, also features an exclusive free CD from CR2 Records. The advertising deadline is Friday 9th February... Advertising rates start from £396... call Gary at Programmedia now to discuss your requirements

Programmedia.co.uk : Advertising in the best independent music magazines including Pacha, Disorder, Fact, Fusion, Stool Pigeon, Base:ad, Blowback, Beat, Swell and many music festival programmes. Check http://www.programmedia.co.uk for latest.

Programmedia Landline: +44 (0)1494 866337
Email: Gary@programmedia.co.uk

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES FEBRUARY
This month features live sets from five great new bands - Xerox Teens, Rat:Att:Agg, Das Wanderlust, Ox Eagle Lion Man and The More Assured plus, on the decks, will be KAH resident Gavin Nugent plus guests Teens Of Thailand. It'll be a storming night, running from 8.30pm through to 4am the next morning. And Carling will be £1.80 a pint all night! Tix are £6 if you buy or guest list in advance, info at http://www.leylinepromotions.com.

BASICS: Friday 9 Feb, Carling Islington Academy, London, 8.30pm - 4am, tix £6 in advance.

More recommends: http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/cmurecommends

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: GURU

Well, you know me - or maybe you don't - but the more observant amongst you may have noted that my taste in hip-hop has been, of late, very much focused on the UK hip-hop scene, and that's what I tend to champion, as it were. However, I'm prepared to make an exception for New York rapper Guru, one half of Gang Starr, as I'm sure you remember, who is set to release a new album in April, and the next mix tape in his Jazzmatazz series, 'Jazzmatazz 4', which is out in March. It's a very busy MySpace page, lots of info and stuff to read, blog entries, photos, and four very nice tracks for your aural pleasure. I enjoyed them, even though I've got a splitting and seemingly incurable headache. But don't waste your thoughts on worrying about me and my intense physical pain. Think about Guru. Go and visit his page. He needs you more than I do. Or maybe not. He's got 30,333 friends, which is just less than thirty thousand more than me. But still. Think about Guru, visit his site, and in the meantime, I'll take some paracetamol. Cheers.

http://www.myspace/guru7grand

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RIAA RESPOND TO JOBS' DRM ESSAY
That Recording Industry Association Of America issued a somewhat confusing response to Apple boss Steve Jobs' previously reported proposals that the major record companies should start making digital music available without restrictive DRM.

As reported yesterday, in an essay published on Apple's website on Tuesday, Jobs said that the solution to interoperability issues in the digital music sector, something that is increasingly concerning consumer rights groups, especially in mainland Europe, isn't for companies like his to share their proprietary DRMs but rather for major record companies to stop using DRM altogether. Some reckon (well, me really, but someone else I was talking to yesterday agreed, which surely equals 'some') Jobs made those comments in a bid to focus the attention of concerned consumer rights bodies away from technology firms like his and onto the major music companies.

Speaking for those companies, in the US at least, a statement credited to the RIAA that circulated yesterday seemed to misunderstand Jobs' point. It said that "Apple's offer to license [its proprietary DRM technology] Fairplay to other technology companies is a welcome breakthrough and would be a real victory for fans, artists and labels". Which is a bit of an odd response, because as far as I'm aware, Jobs wasn't really making that kind of offer at all.

However, what did seem to be clear from the RIAA's response is that, despite growing opposition to DRM from within the record industry, the official line remains that the record companies should be able to use the restrictive technologies if they so wish, and that the problems of interoperability in the digital music space are caused primarily by the technology sector. On the case of Apple's Fairplay software, they continued: "There have been many services seeking a license to the Apple DRM. This would enable the interoperability that we have been urging for a very long time".

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GLITTER SENTENCE CUT
It's been confirmed that Gary Glitter's prison term in Vietnam has been cut by three months. He has, however, failed to secure an immediate release, following speculation that he may have the remainder of his sentence waived as part of an annual local amnesty coinciding with Lunar New Year. That means he will now remain in prison for at least another eighteen months.

As previously reported, Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is serving a three year term of imprisonment after being judged guilty last year of molesting two young girls in the Vietnam's Vung Tau province. He is due to be released in August 2008.

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SPECTOR TRIAL LIKELY TO BE TELEVISED
Now this is bad news. For CMU's Murder Trial Correspondent anyway. As mentioned yesterday, with the long awaited Phil Spector trial possibly reaching court next month, our MTC was busy checking out flights to LA. In fact we were about to hand over the company credit card, when we heard reports that the judge who will be overseeing the trial is leaning towards allowing the proceedings to be televised. Now, if the whole thing is going to be on the telly, our MTC will be able to cover the case from here in London, which is much more preferable (not because we're a stingy operation, but because we're all very concerned about carbon footprints here at CMU, and wouldn't want to be funding unnecessary flights to the US).

Anyway, I seem to be waffling here, and for not very comedic effect. The point is that the judge overseeing the Spector murder trial, Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, is erring towards allowing cameras into his court room, telling reporters: "This is a trial of public interest. I always have a problem with commentators telling people what is going on rather than letting the public see the trial for themselves. I'm a firm believer in having the public see it". That said, he won't make a decision until he has consulted lawyers for both sides of the case. There's a pre-trial hearing set for 16 Feb, so a decision might be made there regarding media coverage.

As previously reported, Spector is accused of killing actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home in Febraury 2003. He has always maintained his innocence.

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URBAN AND URBAN IN URL LITIGATION
Aussie country star Keith Urban is suing a namesake in New Jersey over his use of the domain name Keithurban.com. The other Keith Urban is an artist, and on his home page he writes "Welcome to the wonderful world of Keith Urban, to those who don't know, oil painting is one of my hobbies". Aussie Urban (shall we call him Mr Nicole Kidman to avoid confusion?) says that the introduction on the web page is deliberately vague to imply that the site belongs to him. According to the Associate Press Urban is accusing the painter of "federal trademark infringement, dilution of a federally registered trademark, federal unfair competition and violation of the anti-cybersquatting consumer protection act and the Tennessee consumer protection act". Mr Kidman seems to want to gain control of the keithurban.com domain through the litigation, as well as getting a commitment from the painter that he will not use their shared name in a confusing way in the future.

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GRATEFUL DEAD WIDOW SUES OVER COMPANY AND TAPE
More from the pop courts, and the widow of Grateful Dead main man Jerry Garcia has launched legal action against her own company, which is all a bit confusing. The litigation is aiming to secure access to unpublished tapes of various Garcia musical performances, which his widow wants to restore and release.

Deborah Koons Garcia's lawsuit is against a company jointly owned by the late rocker's beneficiaries, which still manages the assets of his estate. Koons Garcia claims that the other shareholders of the company have been unfairly blocking her attempts to restore the recordings, and also argues that the company should have been dissolved in 2005 (ten years after Garcia's death) with individual beneficiaries getting sole control of different assets.

The lawsuit asks a judge to clarify the terms of agreement that led to the formation of the business entity and, presumably, to back Koons Garcia's arguments that the company should no longer exist which, in turn, would presumably give her access to those tapes.

It's not the first litigation relating to the company. Other beneficiaries, including the rocker's daughter Keelin Noel Garcia, have sued Koons Garcia in a bid to keep the company going, and also over allegations Garcia's widow has incompetently managed the estate's finances.

The lawsuit should go to court in April.

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EP REVIEW: DJ Jazzy Jeff - Return of the Magnificent (K7/BBE)
Despite a solo career that frequently surpasses his earlier chart successes, it must be hard for DJ Jazzy Jeff to escape the shadow of the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and be considered for his own work. And I'm fully aware that reviews (such as this) that write about how hard it must be for DJ Jazzy Jeff to escape the shadow of the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air probably don't help. But as I say, his solo work frequently impresses, and in the main, this EP is no exception. The first track 'Jeff n Fess' feat Rhymefest is a funky hiphop tune that announces the return of DJ Jazzy Jeff's straightforward approach to mixing. The rap is mixed with some decent samples and a main beat that gives the single an instant marketability. The same can be said for 'All I Know' feat CL Smooth which is a slow R&B track shrouded in the deep colours of Jazzy Jeff's obvious blues aspirations. Where the EP loses its way slightly, though, is the likes of 'Whatever U Want' and the appallingly titled 'My Soul's Not For Sale'. These tracks belong on a Boys2Men bargain bin album and not as supplements to the initial funky offerings on this otherwise brilliant EP. GM
Release Date: 29 Jan
Press Contact: Outpost [all]

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SOUL TRAIN NOMINATIONS OUT
More nominations for y'all. This time it's the Soul Train Music Awards which, I suppose, are a little bit like a US version of the MOBOs. A little bit. The nominations for the 2007 awards were announced yesterday, with Beyonce coming out top, appearing, as she does, on three shortlists - Best R&B/Soul Single, Best R&B/Soul Album and Best Music Video. Getting two noms each ('noms' isn't a word, no, but HiphopRnbSoul.com use it, so I thought I would too) were John Legend, Chris Brown, Gnarls Barkley, Ne-Yo, Mary J Blige, Jagged Edge and The Isley Brothers. In fact, if you're interested, here's the full list of nominations:

Best R&B/Soul Single (Female): Beyonce - Irreplaceable, Mary J Blige - Take Me As I Am, Love - Keyshia Cole, LeToya - Torn.

Best R&B/Soul Single (Male): Avant - 4 Minutes, Chris Brown - Yo (Excuse Me Miss), John Legend - Save Room, Ne-Yo - Sexy Love.

Best R&B/Soul Single (Group, Band or Duo): Gnarls Barkley - Crazy, The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley - Just Came Here To Chill, Jagged Edge - Good Luck Charm, The Pussycat Dolls Featuring Avant - Stickwitu.

Best R&B/Soul Album (Female): Beyonce - B'Day, Mary J. Blige - The Breakthrough, India Arie - Testimony: Vol. I Life & Relationship, Monica - The Makings of Me.

Best R&B/Soul Album (Male): Chris Brown - Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable, John Legend - Once Again, Robin Thicke - The Evolution of Robin Thicke.

Best R&B/Soul Album (Group, Band or Duo): Danity Kane - Danity Kane, Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere, The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley - Baby Makin' Music, Jagged Edge - Jagged Edge.

Best R&B/Soul Or Rap New Artist: Lupe Fiasco - Gotcha, Ne-Yo - Sexy Love, Rick Ross - Hustlin, Yung Joc - It's Goin' Down.

The Michael Jackson Award For Best R&B/Soul Or Rap Music Video: Beyonce - Irreplaceable, Busta Rhymes Featuring will.i.am & Kelis - I Love My Chick, Jay-Z - Show Me What You Got, Jim Jones - We Fly High.

Best R&B/Soul or Rap Dance Cut: Dem Franchize Boyz Featuring Lil Peanut & Charlay - Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It, Sean Paul feat. Keyshia Cole - Give It Up To Me, Webstar &Young B Featuring The Voice of Harlem - Chicken Noodle Soup, Yung Joc - It's Goin' Down.

Best Gospel Album: The Caravans - Paved The Way, Kirk Franklin - Songs from the Storm, Volume I, Bishop G.E. Patterson & Congregation - Singing the Old Time Way, Volume II, Youth For Christ - The Struggle is Over.

The awards take place on 10 Mar at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

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AGUILERA SPEAKS OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Christina Aguilera has been speaking about domestic violence whilst doing press for her upcoming US tour. It's not the first time the singer has voiced her opinions publicly on the issue, of course, as she and her mother were both victims of domestic abuse at the hands of her father.

Speaking about the content of her 'Back To Basics' album, Aguilera told Undercover: "As much as I do talk about it being feelgood music, there is a lot of sadness. In blues it originates from pain. To me there is beauty in that. I do not shy away from what a lot of people consider dark music. I do talk openly about my past and what I have been though, abuse being something that was very real in my household".

She continued: "As I was growing up as a child I think that I just naturally gravitated towards to what I could really feel on a deep level. If that meant sadness, I think that I was really able to really connect with that at a really young age because there was a lot of sadness. When there is domestic violence in the house, there is a lot of pain there. I think that is what made me connect at a really early age. I think it is quite normal for a 6 or 7 year old to relate to that style of music but I did. These singers sing with such passion and such realness. To me that is so good and still feels good to this day".

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ASH AND SNOW PATROL BACK IRISH MUSIC CENTRE
The members of Ash and Snow Patrol have given their support to plans to create a music centre in Belfast. A whiskey warehouse in the heart of the city's cathedral quarter is set to be renovated to create the centre, which will consist of rehearsal space, a recording studio, a café, and office units set to house new music businesses. The project, dubbed 'Oh Yeah', has been put together by a team made up of BBC broadcaster and former NME chap Stuart Bailie, multimedia type Martin Neill and businessman David Matchett.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody says: "What Patrol would have given for the advice of professionals; the space to rehearse or cut demos; a place to hang out and listen to music and meet people that might one day change your life."

He continued: "What is needed is a nexus to focus musical energy into and to unite the Belfast music scene in a way that has been elusive until now. It is staggering how simple music is when you boil it down: people, together."

Ash's Tim Wheeler added: "I think this is a fantastic, long-overdue idea for Belfast. The music scene in Belfast needs a hub like this. It has a wealth of musical talent, but talent needs the right conditions to grow and develop. The music center would be a great place for this to start."

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KAISER CHIEF SAYS MUSIC SCENE IS SHIT
Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson says he thinks there are a lot of crap guitar bands around at the moment. He's probably not wrong. But to be fair, there are probably always a lot of crap guitar bands around.

Anyway, here's what he said to NME: "There's so much shit in guitar music at the moment. You imagine an A&R man seeing this bandwagon, jumping on it and signing any old shit with a guitar around its neck. I was watching this film about The Ramones. It got me thinking how everything was so average nowadays. Arctic Monkeys were the last of the best and we need something else now to get us out of it. Maybe it's The Twang."

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KLAXONS HAVE HIP HOP AMBITIONS
Klaxon Jamie Reynolds has apparently said his band wouldn't mind working with Dre and/or Snoop at some point in the future. Which is nice. His bandmate James Righton is quoted as saying: "I think it's exciting that white boys can work with big R&B producers. It's weird that it's a new phenomenon. I couldn't work out why it has never happened before, what with the melodies of (indie) blending so well with beats - now it's like the thing to do. We would very much like to make an R&B record. If we could afford it".

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MADNESS COLLABORATE WITH SWAY
Talking of collaborations with hip-hoppers, the lovely Madness have done that very thing with UK rapper Sway on a new single. 'Sorry' is out 5 Mar, but you can currently preview it on the band's MySpace page - http://www.myspace.com/madnessofficial.

Sway, who says further collaborations with Madness may be in the pipeline, comments: "I've always wanted to do something with them; it's an honor for me."

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FREE DUKE SPECIAL TRACKS AVAILABLE
You know, I'm still getting Duke Spirit and Duke Special confused. I really need some clever way of remembering which one's which. Anyway, it's Duke Special who has just made a free mini album available online. The free downloads are available via a special little micro-site, where you can also preview his new single 'When The Bear Bytes (A Few Of My Favourite Things)', which is out this week. Go see at http://www.v2digital.net/uk/dukespecial

And if you like what you see, why not visit one of these live shows? Go on, tell me, why not?

8 Feb: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire
9 Feb: Glasgow, King Tuts
10 Feb: Stockton, Georgian Theatre
11 Feb: Leeds, Faversham
13 Feb: Birmingham, Glee Club
14 Feb: Sheffield, Leadmill
15 Feb: Bristol, Thekla Social
16 Feb: Norwich, Arts Centre
17 Feb: Brighton, Duke Of York's
19 Feb: Nottingham, Social
20 Feb: Manchester, Matt & Phreds
21 Feb: London, Ulu
22 Feb: Oxford, Zodiac
28 Feb: Belfast, Ulster Hall
1 Mar: Derry, Nerve Centre

Press info from V2. Talking of which, for those of you out there who are fans of corporate identities, if you click through to the final page of Duke Special's microsite you get to see the new V2 logo. How exciting's that? But do make sure you listen to some of the free tracks while you're there. We'd not want to suggest that logos are more exciting than music. Well, not always, anyway.

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SMASHING PUMPKINS ALBUM TITLE AND DATE SET
Smashing Pumpkins have announced the title of their much reported new album. And a release date. According to a brief post on the band's MySpace the new album will be called 'Zeitgeist', and will be released on 7 Jul, seemingly because that's 070707, which is a bit pretty. It's also a Saturday, which is an odd day for a music release, but when there's the potential for dateric symmetry I suppose that doesn't matter. I heard somewhere Warner's Reprise were releasing the new long player, but it's possibly I made that up (mainly because they released Billy Corgan's Zwan material). We're still not sure if any of the other original Pumpkins are joining Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain on the new material, or at any of the following live dates. When we do know we'll tell you.

2 Jun: Nuremburg Nürburgring
3 Jun: Nuremburg Zeppelinfeld
15 Jun: Austria Nova Rock Festival
17 Jun: Switzerland Greenfield Festival

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SUPERTHRILLER FRIDAY UPCOMING
Oh, oh, it's going to be Superthriller Friday on 23 Feb. All day. Which is great news. For fans of Superthriller like us here at CMU. We'll be doing Superthriller related things all day to celebrate, but the festivities really kick off at 8pm over there at Cargo in East London where the band themselves will be hosting a night of fun things, featuring a live set from their good selves, and some DJ nonsense from Slyde and Jonny Trink. As I understand it, the band will be revealing tracks from their upcoming second long player 'Superthriller 2'. Tickets are a tenner, but if you get there before 9pm you can get in for free. More at http://www.superthriller.co.uk, probably.

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THE TWANG TOUR
So, I hear you asking, what do those aforementioned The Twang boys that were so nicely namechecked by Kaiser Chiefs actually sound like? Well, if you want to know, you should go and see them at one of the following live shows...

16 Feb: Barnsley Lucorum
17 Feb: Stoke Sugarmill
18 Feb: Derby, Victoria Inn
21 Feb: Hull The Lamp
22 Feb: Preston 53 Degrees
23 Feb: Newcastle Academy 2
25 Feb: Aberdeen Cafe Drummond
26 Feb: Stirling University
27 Feb: Glasgow ABC2
28 Feb: York Fibbers
3 Mar: Sheffield The Plug
4 Mar: Leeds Faversham
5 Mar: Wolverhampton Little Civic
7 Mar: London ICA
8 Mar: Nottingham Social
9 Mar: Tunbridge Wells Forum
10 Mar: Guildford Surrey University
11 Mar: Brighton Engine Rooms
20 Mar: Liverpool Barfly
21 Mar: Manchester Night & Day
22 Mar: Birmingham Academy 2
23 Mar: Norwich Arts Centre
24 Mar: Leicester Sumo
26 Mar: Cardiff Barfly
27 Mar: Bristol Louisiana
28 Mar: Southampton Joiners
29 Mar: Oxford Zodiac

The band's debut single 'Wide Awake' is out on 19 Mar. Press info from Nile-On.

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KINGS OF LEON CONFIRM TOUR
Kings Of Leon have announced a series of UK tour dates to follow the release of their upcoming third album 'Because Of The Times' on 2 Apr. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 9am, dates as follows:

14 Apr: Swindon Oasis
15 Apr: Plymouth Pavilions
18 Apr: London Hammersmith Apollo
19 Apr: Birmingham Academy
20 Apr: Manchester Apollo
22 Apr: Newcastle Academy
23 Apr: Doncaster Dome
24 Apr: Glasgow Academy

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POLICE SET FOR 'SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT'
Well, it looks as though all that speculation over a larger Police reunion may have been on the money. A press conference, featuring a 'special announcement' is set to take place on 12 Feb in Hollywood following their previously reported appearance at the Grammys. The band are expected to announce a thirtieth anniversary world tour. This is probably based somewhat on the fact that Live Nation announced the press conference via press release.

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WOMBATS TO PLAY LIVERPOOL ACADEMY
The Wombats have announced that they are set to headline a show at the 1000 capacity Liverpool Academy on 24 Feb. This is of note because The Wombats are an unsigned band, of course, who recently turned crowds away from a gig at the Liverpool's Academy 2 such was teh demand to see them. Their debut single 'Backfire At The Disco' is expected to be released shortly after the upcoming Liverpool gig.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Little Barrie - Stand Your Ground (Pias/Genuine Records)
There's nothing better than being surprised by a band. After a little internet search on Little Barrie, I was a bit disheartened to see that this all male 3-piece were being compared to the overrated likes of Little Man Tate. But I'd heard they'd been labelled 'CMU favourites' so I thought I'd better give the album a listen anyways. And as soon as I whacked the first track on I knew I was going to like them. 'Bailing Out', said first track, is the kind of song that just instantly hooks you with its subtle coolness. They seem to draw their sound from so many different influences, there's an obvious comparison to the Arctic Monkeys (as is the thing to do these days) but I don't think this is completely justified. What I mean is, it's clear that Little Barrie are a fair amount more sophisticated with their craft and this is no more true than on the second track 'Love You' (the first single off the album) which sounds distinctly like a 50s, Johnny Cash ballad with its slack chords and chorus driven melody. My favourite track on here has to be 'Pin That Badge' which has a cheeky bass line which would be right at home hidden in a Beastie Boys album, thankfully though, it's used here as the backbone to the stand out track on this album. There's a definitely Marc Bolan, 70s influence to 'Stand Your Ground' and by the time 'Green Eyed Fool' kicks in, you'll no doubt be loving this album as much as I currently am. GM
Release Date: 5 Feb
Press Contact: Neilsen [CP, RP] Freeman PR [NP], On A Plate [CR, NR] Hungry [NR], Motion [O]

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EMI JOB CHANGES GALORE
More EMI Music shenanigans, where the restructure that's following that recent sacking of the company's two chiefs is starting to get under way.

Firstly the appointments, and the boss of the newly created EMI Music International division, JF Cecillon, has announced that the current COO of the major's Continental Europe bit, Chris Kennedy, has been promoted to the new job of CFO for International. Meanwhile, the current COO of EMI Music France, Nathalie Collin, will take on some of Cecillon's old responsibilities within the French division now that he has new things to do for International. And Adrian Cheesley, previously in charge of EMI Music's operations in the logical region that is Finland-Eastern-Europe-Middle-East-Turkey-South-Africa, has added Greece and Scandinavia to his mini-Empire.

Elsewhere, not happy promotions, but sad departures, as the axe starts to fall in the major's US division, where Capitol Records and Virgin Records are being merged. All departments are expected to be affected, though the promotions departments will see the most immediate cuts. Wonderers are now wondering if cuts will happen in EMI UK also. In fact with rumours of job losses at other UK majors also - it might be a gloomy Spring for the recorded sector. Hope not.

Finally from EMI, a promotion that actually has nothing to do with the wider restructure. VP Legal of parent company EMI Group, Chris Ancliff, has been promoted to the role of General Counsel following the decision of incumbent Charles Ashcroft to scale back his duties for health reasons.

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TICKETMASTER TIE UP WITH ITUNES
Ticketmaster in the US have announced a number of co-promotional tie-ins with Apple's iTunes. Firstly, they will be offering a free iTunes download with every concert ticket bought via their online ticketing website, http://www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket buyers will also have access to a digital sampler featuring a selection of music from artists currently on tour.

Meanwhile, fans who pre-order featured artist albums from iTunes will get priority access to gig tickets for that artist - an extension of a promotional technique used to maximise US pre-orders of new albums from Bob Dylan and Red Hot Chili Peppers last year.

The two companies also plan to launch joint gift cards which can be used to buy tracks from iTunes or tickets from the Ticketmaster website.

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MYSPACE ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN MOBILE PARTNERSHIP
MySpace yesterday announced its first European mobile partnership, with Vodaphone. The partnership, which will begin here in the UK, will mean selected Vodaphone mobiles will come with 'MySpace Mobile' functionality, while other users will be able to download MySpace software from the phone network's 3G platform Vodaphone Live. The software will enable users to edit their MySpace profiles, add friends, post photos and blog all via their mobile.

Announcing the partnership, MySpace's VP Of International Corporate Development, Colin Digiaro, told reporters: "This partnership brings together the world's number one lifestyle portal and the world's leading mobile operator. Millions of people use MySpace as their primary means of communicating with family and friends, so it's vital we make this available on the move. Whether it's adding new friends, sending messages, or uploading photos, the ability to access MySpace functionality from your mobile adds a new dimension to the experience".

Vodafone Global Marketing Officer Frank H Rovekamp added: "Today's announcement is a great example of Vodafone empowering its customers with new, internet-based services on their Vodafone Live handsets, helping people make the most of their time. Teaming up with the world's leading online community means that people can take the MySpace experience anywhere and enjoy it anytime".

The mobile version of MySpace doesn't seem to include any music preview functionality, though that may well be something the social networking company will look to add in the future, especially as they roll out their much anticipated music sell through platform.

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MUSIC LAWYER LAUNCHES OWN CONSULTANCY
Veteran music lawyer Patrick Rackow has announced he is leaving legal firm Steeles to launch his own consultancy with the nifty name of Patrick Rackow Legal and Business Consulting. The new company will specialise in music publishing and offer services to composers and publishers.

Patrick told CMU: "Running my own company is a challenge I'm really looking forward to. The music publishing industry is currently in a very interesting stage of its evolution - existing business models are being re-evaluated and this makes it a very exciting time to be involved in helping define some of ways we will all be doing business in the near future. "

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SINGLE REVIEW: Errors - Salut! France (Rock Action)
What could be mistaken for a bunch of students playing with synths and Apple Macs is in fact a bunch of students playing with synths and Apple Macs. In their defence, the members of Errors have now graduated but their exciting musical venture started in their student digs. The snappy snare, tinny synths and distorted feedback of Errors spread out across Glasgow and eventually the UK as they supported Mogwai, Sons & Daughters and Death From Above 1979. 'Salut! France' grasps enough of your attention for head nodding but unless it's being pumped out of some massive speakers it's just background music rather than big dancing beats. AW
Release Date: 5 Feb
Press Contact: Sainted PR [all]

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ALLEN TELLS ALLEN: GET THEE TO THE BRITS
Lily Allen has decided that she'll attend the Brit Awards next week, because her dad, Keith Allen, told her to. The singer, nominated in four categories, had said she might not attend, for fear of leaving without an award.

The Sun reports that Dad told her: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing to be nominated for four Brits - you must go and have a good time."

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MIKA SAYS HITS DON'T MAKE DATES
Recent chart topper Mika says that having a number one single has not helped with his romantic pursuits. What a shame. No really, it must be sad and lonely up there at the top. Crikey, I really can't stop myself from sounding sarcastic, but I mean it. Really, I do.

Here's what the Mirror quote him as saying: "I may be getting famous now but no one wants to go out with me. In fact, no one has ever really wanted to go on a date with me. I've got no date for Valentine's Day either - it's all a bit depressing to be honest".

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