Thursday, 23 December 2010

Unsigned Band's Debut Single Storms Download Chart

Unsigned rock band Intraverse has taken the iTunes download chart by storm.

Their debut single, Please Don’t Share Your Kisses, which was released on Monday (December 6) reached number four in the rock chart above The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

The five-piece alternative rock act from Tunbridge Wells have recently supported Might Boosh and The IT Crowd actor Matt Berry’s band in a UK-wide tour and put their success down to some tireless gigging around the country.

Intraverse is also set to play next year at Mayfield’s Music on the Meadow in May and the Local & Live Festival in Tunbridge Wells.

we7 predicts future for UK’s online music industry


Music Week has reported that we7 CEO Steve Purdham believes mobile devices will overtake PCs to become the primary listening device to access digital music in the coming year.

With the online music landscape changing dramatically in 2010, Purdham has given his top five predictions for the coming year.

They are:

- Online radio services will continue to grow in popularity and together with traditional radio will increase overall music listening hours dramatically.

- Mobile devices will become the primary listening device to access digital music overtaking tethered PCs.

- Music downloads will begin to plateau in the UK, and increasingly be replaced by music streaming and subscription based services.

- The music industry will increasingly look to streaming services as the potential answer to the crippling problem of illegal downloading. As a result, both subscription and ad-funded services will take centre stage in the consumer mind-set.

- Apple will at last launch its digital locker service allowing all purchased downloads to be accessed from any location and Apple device. This will quickly be followed up by an iTunes subscription service.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fire Hits Kings of Leon Tour Buses at London's O2 Arena

Following this morning's fire on a show tour bus, at London’s O2 Arena organisers are currently assessing whether Kings of Leon will go ahead with tonight’s gig.

Kings of Leon are due to play the final night of their UK arena tour at the venue tonight.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said that around 60 fire-fighter’s were called to the scene at 8:18am (GMT) this morning (December 21) to deal with the blaze, with two vehicles on fire.

The fire, which took place in a loading bay at the arena, is now under control.

Assessments are currently underway and a decision will be made in the next couple of hours as to whether tonight’s Kings of Leon show will go ahead.

Fans have been advised to visit the O2 website for the latest updates

Monday, 20 December 2010

Blink 182 Confirmed for T in the Park 2011


Following the recent announcement of Foo Fighters as the first headliner for T in the Park 2011, festival organisers DF Concerts and founding partner Tennent’s Lager have confirmed that Blink-182 will also join music fans in Balado for the July event.

Formed in 1992, the Californian pop punk trio have 25 million worldwide album sales under their belt, and released five studio albums including multi-platinum selling breakthrough album 'Enema of the State' before splitting up in 2004.

The band got back together last year for the 51st Grammy Awards and a new album is planned for release in spring 2011, with Blink 182 expected to showcase a new track or two for their Scottish fans. They are not one of the headline acts.

Christmas Earlybird Tickets for the eighteenth T in the Park at Balado, which takes place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July, are now sold out.

The next batch of tickets for T in the Park 2011 will go on general sale in February 2011.

Friday, 17 December 2010

BPI Report Shows On-going Problem with Illegal Downloaders

A study for the recording industry lobby group BPI said yesterday, at least 1.2 billion songs will have been illegally downloaded by the end of 2010 in Britain.

The estimated figure dwarfs the 370m tracks expected to be bought legally in 2010.

Music industry executives said the figures underlined the scale of the problem facing record labels and other investors who are reluctant to spend on new talent when revenues are being undercut.

Illegal downloading "is a parasite that threatens to deprive a generation of talented young people of their chance to make a career in music, and is holding back investment in the fledgling digital entertainment sector," said Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Teen Admits Involvement in £500k Music Royalties Con

A young musician from Wolverhampton admitted his part in a fraud scheme involving stolen credit cards to pay for downloads on iTunes and Amazon MP3 as part of a £500,000 royalties con.

Lamar Johnson, aged 19, posted music on the two sites and then used the stolen details to buy them thousands of times over. The teen admitted he was part of a gang that was collecting royalties from the downloaded tracks.

Johnson is the youngest member the gang, who allegedly downloaded the songs 6,000 times between January 2008 and June 2009.

The hearing was at Southwark Crown Court and the BBC reports that Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud. Sentencing was adjourned yesterday and he was remanded in custody.

Nine remaining defendants will face sentencing on January 25.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Voting is Open for iTunes Best Tracks and Albums of 2010

Voting has opened on iTunes for users to pick their favourite tracks and albums of 2010.

A dedicated voting app is available for iPhone/iPad and votes can also be cast on the http://www.bestalbumandsong.co.uk/ site.

Rather than make their own selections, users are asked to pick their favourites from the 20 biggest albums and tracks of the year on iTunes. The service's music editors have also selected five additional albums and songs to bring the shortlist in each category to 25.

Voting closes at midnight on December 19 and iTunes Best Album and Song 2010 People's Choice winners will be announced on December 21.

Voters are also invited to add comments alongside their choices. All votes are automatically entered into a draw with the top prize being 10,000 free iTunes downloads.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Cure and Primal Scream to play Bestival 2011

Rob Da Bank revealed the first batch of artists for next year's Bestival today via Twitter, announcing 16 acts billed for Saturday, September 10th at the enormous bash on the Isle of Wight.




The Cure will play their only European show next year when they headline Bestival, it was announced today. Primal Scream will also perform, playing their landmark album Screamadelica in its entirety.



Robyn and Crystal Castles will bring the electronic pop, while A-Trak and Boys Noize keep the party rocking, with festival favourite Magnetic Man and Katy B also appearing.



Brian Wilson, DJ Shadow and Grandmaster Flash will also be on the bill for the festival which takes place on the Isle of Wight from September 8-11, 2011.



More acts will be announced early next year.

ALBUM REVIEW: Josh Groban, Illuminations

Multi-platinum-selling pop-opera sensation Josh Groban returns with his long-awaited fifth studio album 'Illuminations'.

On the new album, Groban worked with veteran producer Rick Rubin, known for his critically acclaimed work with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Johnny Cash among many others.

The bracing result creates a new vibe, which Groban calls "the rawness of an intimate folk record and the power and warmth of a classical record."

Tracks such as Hidden Away and Higher Window try to be conventional pop ballads but Groban’s vocal ability is too grand for pop. The mandolin melody on, If I Walk Away, segues into an explosion of strings. He sounds more at home on the spacious Galileo.

Illuminations feels like natural evolution for Groban, an enjoyment of the new direction of his artistic expression whilst mindful and appreciative of where he’s been.

Tracklisting:

1. Wandering Kind, The [prelude]
2. Bells of New York City
3. Galileo (Somebody like You)
4. L'ora Dell'addio
5. Hidden Away
6. Au Jardin Des sans Pourquoi
7. Higher Window
8. If I Walk Away
9. Love Only Knows
10. Voce Existe Em Mim
11. War At Home
12. London Hymn
13. Straight to You

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kate Rusby, Make the Light

Make the Light is Kate Rusby’s first album consisting entirely of her own compositions. The album also marks the debut of her new band, which features her partner Damien O'Kane on guitar, tenor guitar, tenor banjo and vocals.

 
Album opener, The Wishing Wife, is a pleasantly jaunty narrative set to springy accordion and banjo similar in style to her old favourite The Goodman. It’s followed by the cool ballad, The Mocking Bird.

 
Rusby’s first protest song Let Them Fly is a tilt at self-serving clergy and politicians. She writes strong melodies on songs such as the hymn-like Green Fields and Walk the Road, which features a brass ensemble, a gorgeous horn arrangement and fine backing vocals by O’Kane.

 
Although there’s an absence of traditional songs on this album, as one of the defining voices of English folk, Rusby, has not made a complete departure from her traditional sound, staying well within her comfort zone. All in all, Make the Light is a nice effort but lacks something, nothing grabs you, there’s nothing too experimental.

 
Tracklisting:

 
  1. The Wishing Wife
  2. Mocking Bird
  3. Let Them Fly
  4. Only Hope
  5. Lately
  6. Shout To The Devil
  7. Green Fields
  8. Fair Weather Friend
  9. Walk The Road
  10. Not Me
  11. Four Stars

Friday, 26 November 2010

Pirate Bay Appeal Fails

Three men who were found guilty of being accessories to breaching copyright laws in The Pirate Bay trial in April 2009 today lost their appeal against the ruling in a Swedish court.

The court upheld the verdict reached by a Swedish judge that Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström were guilty of facilitating mass copyright infringement. The fourth defendant, Godfrey Svartholm Warg, did not attend the hearing.

Neij was today sentenced to 10 months in prison, Kolmisoppi to eight and Lundström to four. They also face damages of 46m Swedish Kronor (£4.18m) – considerably less than the music and film industries were demanding, although more than the initial fine of 30m Kronor.

The defendants are now likely to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Paolo Nutini to Headline RockNess Festival 2011

Paolo Nutini is set to headline next year’s RockNess festival, organisers have announced.

The Scottish singer-songwriter will close the festival with a “monumental landmark homecoming gig” on the main stage on Sunday (June 12).

The event is scheduled to take place on the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland on Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June 2011.

Kasabian headline the Friday, and The Chemical Brothers will headline Saturday night, they are the only acts confirmed so far for 2011.

Tickets went on sale today (November 26) at 9am.

For more information, go to http://www.rockness.co.uk/

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Kasabian and Chemical Brothers to headline RockNess

Kasabian and Chemical Brothers have been confirmed as headliners for RockNess 2011.

The Scottish event, which takes place at Dores, close to the banks of Loch Ness, recently won line-up of the year at the 2010 UK Festival Awards.

Fatboy Slim and The Strokes were two of the big names that played at this year's RockNess bash.

Kasabian’s frontman, Tom Meighan, told Radio1’s Newsbeat he was looking forward to their appearance.

"It's like booking Disneyland, isn't it? I can see it, it's in front of me but I've got to wait” He said.

The Chemical Brothers' reliable mix of electro anthems and beats is also likely to pull in a big crowd.

Rockness takes place from 10-12 June 2011 and tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 26 November.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

T In The Park 2011 Ticket Details Announced

T in the Park festival 2011 tickets go on sale next month.

A limited number of tickets for the Scottish festival will be available from 9am (GMT) on December 3. The remaining tickets will go on general sale early next year.

The summer event takes place on July 8-10 next year in Balado. Foo Fighters are rumoured to be signed up to headline the festival – although no acts have been officially confirmed yet.

Last year Eminem, Muse and Kasabian topped the bill at the event.

For more information, go to www.tinthepark.com

Friday, 19 November 2010

Web piracy bill passes Senate Judiciary Committee in US

A bill designed to stem online piracy in the US has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and looks set to be passed by the full Senate.

The Hollywood Reporter says the Combating Online Infringement & Counterfeit Act would, if made law, “give the Justice Department a new tool to go before a federal judge to ask that a website that it believes is acting illegally be shut down”.

Currently, plaintiffs have to seek a criminal complaint which is a time-consuming process.

The bill will go in front of the full Senate next week.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Scot’s Singer Celebrates Double Chart Success

Singing sensation Susan Boyle has become the first female artist to have a number one album in both the United States and UK twice in less than a year.

Her album The Gift reached number one in the UK on Sunday, and has now taken the top spot across the Atlantic.

It comes after her debut album I Dreamed a Dream achieved the same success following its release last year and sold more than 10 million copies.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship

Award winning leading music college, the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), is partnering with EMI on a new course that will school students in the world of A&R.

The BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship intends to develop skills in A&R practices.

The course comprises of seven specialist modules designed to integrate A&R into a broad overview of the music industry. As part of this they will have classes with key EMI staff.

This is an innovative new initiative where students can be trained in the core area of the music industry from the experts, while the industry can benefit from the opinions of the people at the cutting edge of music.

The year-long apprenticeship will be based at BIMM’s West London campus, Tech Music School. On-the-job-training will include scouting for bands, meeting artists, managers and record producers, whilst mentored through the whole process by BIMM and EMI.

At the end of the year, students will be assessed on how their A&R abilities have developed.

The BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship will commence in April 2011 with a further intake of students in September 2011.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Aspiro Sees Sharp Increase in Digital Music Sales

Scandinavian digital media company Aspiro has seen its music sales grow 65% in the last quarter, reports Music Week.

Its WiMP service in Norway and Denmark, seen as a local challenger to Spotify, was the key driver here as it moved into mobile with the launch of an iPhone app.

In June Aspiro sold its mobile division to concentrate on music.

The company also published research in June, claiming that 54% of respondents who had tried streaming services stopped using illegal download sites.

Gunnar Sellæg, CEO of Aspiro said, “Now that we have divested former business segment Mobile Entertainment, it's clear that Aspiro is a growth company. Music sales have doubled and we're noting continued very brisk progress, especially in streaming services.”

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Edinburgh's 4-Day New Year celebrations line up revealed

Edinburgh's Hogmanay is to be expanded on to New Year's Day with singer KT Tunstall headlining the four-day long celebrations.

The singer will perform her own intimate gig - a 3,000-capacity concert - as part of a brand new programme of events for January 1 entitled One Day.

The initiative was revealed as organisers unveiled the full details of the city's Hogmanay celebrations and an "action-packed" programme of events surrounding it.

One Day, which celebrates the special date of 1/1/11, will see a variety of Scots singers, songwriters; musicians and poets perform in West princes Street Gardens. The special "resolution day" will celebrate home-grown talent.

Headlining the gig is the award-winning Fife singer herself, plus performances from King Creosote and up-and-coming bands Kassidy and Silver Columns.

The event will be held in Resolution Square, a newly-named event space on Mound Precinct, followed by the One Day Resolution Concert in Princes Street Gardens, which is being put together by Tunstall.

The move comes in a bid to entertain the thousands of revellers who are expected to remain in the capital after its Hogmanay celebrations. Organisers expect the new initiative will attract around 20,000 revellers to the city centre on January 1.

Pete Irvine, organiser of Edinburgh's Hogmanay, said: "This roll call of talent demonstrates that the power of the word and the song is alive and well in Scotland, and it's great to be able to show that to the huge international audience that we expect on New Year`s Day. It will be one great day in Edinburgh to remember."

On Hogmanay 80,000 revellers are expected to enjoy the city centre celebrations.

The Charlatans will be performing alongside headliners Biffy Clyro at the Concert in the Gardens on 31 December.

The world famous Street Party will feature live music, entertainment and DJ sets on four stages - the West End DJ Stage, Waverley Stage, Mound Party Stage and the new East End DJ Stage.

There will be performances from The Coral as well as DJ sets from the Kaiser Chiefs and Goldie Lookin Chain plus the winners of the “Hog the Stage” competition.

Organisers said a "spectacular" fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle and the world's largest Auld Lang Syne would mark the transition into 2011.

The four-day programme of celebrations also sees the return of popular events from previous years. The Torchlight Procession takes place on December 30 and the One O'Clock Run down the Royal Mile will be held on New Year's Day.

January 1 also marks the 25th anniversary of the "Loony Dook" when hundreds of bathers traditionally brave the chilly waters of the River Forth.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Black Eyed Peas Face Another Plagiarism Lawsuit

The hugely successful, Award-winning hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas are facing their second plagiarism lawsuit this year.

A Texas songwriter, Bryan Pringle, filed papers in federal court in Santa Ana, California on Thursday alleging the group based their chart-topping tune "I Gotta Feeling" on his track "Take a Dive".

The musician related that within the span of 10 years, he submitted demo materials of the song to Interscope Records, UMG Recordings and EMI after getting copyright for his song in 1998. He alleges the music executives admitted receiving the demos, but had no interest in signing him as an artist.

This latest case comes on the same day a suit against the group dating back to January was refiled; musician Phoenix Phenom launched a copyright infringement case against the US band, alleging the rhythm and lyrics from her track Boom Dynamite were copied in their hit Boom Boom Pow.

Both cases are being handled by the same law firm. The lawsuit is seeking damages, including all net profits received by the defendants as a result of the two songs, as well as future credits and royalty payments.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Ministry of Sound Abandons Filesharing Action

Ministry of Sound has been forced to abandon plans to send warning letters to thousands of BT customers suspected of illegally sharing its content online.

The move came after BT allegedly deleted 80 per cent of the customer details it requested be saved pending a court application.

BT agreed to retain personal details of 25,000 of its customers earlier this year, so that Ministry of Sound could pursue them once an injunction on the court order was lifted.

However, the music company said that BT had "failed to preserve" the details and has deleted 20,000 of the records.

BT announced that, as per its policies, it was mandated to delete consumer data after 90 days and so had deleted 20,000 out of the 25,000 details it had been asked to provide, prompting the music label to drop the litigation.

Ministry of Sound CEO Lohan Presencer, said in a statement to BBC News: “Given that less than 20 per cent of the names remain and BT costs have soared from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, it makes no economic sense to continue with this application.”

Monday, 1 November 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Broken Records, Let Me Come Home

Edinburgh band Broken Records, once described by NME as the ‘Scottish Arcade Fire’, release their second album, Let Me Come Home, only a year after they released their debut, Until the Earth Begins to Part.

My only criticism of their debut is how the sheer number of band members involved and use of multiple instruments somehow managed to clog their vision and arrangements. Although they write beautiful, heartfelt songs, they seem to limit their own potential with the complexities of their composition.

This time round there’s a slight shift to rock with careful consideration gone into their song structure, as well as plenty of strings and wholesome bass-lines allowing the album to take off where their debut should have but never quite made it.

Opener, A Leaving Song starts out with the dirty drone of the guitar and crashing drums, stirring hard-folk and light rock with sensitive vocals all leading the way nicely to the dizzy heights of the soaring chorus, one of the highlights of the album.

The duet of Dia Dos Namarados is more Nick Cave than Arcade Fire, with its sombre tones. The other standout track is the emotively melancholy ‘The Motorcycle Boy Reigns’ an obvious choice for a single with its catchy chorus.

They up the tempo on ‘A Darkness Rises Up’, taking it to full pelt with delirious energy, indulging in another infectious chorus. ‘I Used to Dream’, is a short, tender piano-led folk-rock song.

Bringing the album to a close is the sweeping triumph ‘Home’, a song of aching regret and endless blame, where Sutherland’s impassioned vocal excels.

Let Me Come Home shows definite progress for the Edinburgh band who have made a collection of impressive songs that are beautifully written and performed, showing sophistication throughout. It feels like, finally, Broken Records have worked out how they want to make their music sound.

Track listing:

01 - A Leaving Song
02 - Modern Worksong
03 - Dia Dos Namorados!
04 - The Motorcycle Boy Reigns
05 - A Darkness Rises Up
06 - Ailene
07 - I Used To Dream
08 - You Know You're Not Dead
09 - The Cracks In The Wall
10 – Home

Brandon Flowers – O2 Academy, Glasgow – 12th October 2010

Brandon Flowers kicked off his first solo UK tour with a bang at Glasgow's 02 Academy, and was rapturously received.

The Killers frontman soon got things underway, opening with the demure On the Floor; he looked a bit surprised when the crowd started singing along. He followed with his biggest solo hit Crossfire.

One of the highlights of the night was when the singer - who is on hiatus from his band The Killers - launched into Kim Carnes’ classic 80s track, ‘Bette Davis Eyes’.

It was a short gig of only one hour; the atmosphere remained subdued throughout with a couple of nods to his former glory with The Killers, with a version of Losing Touch and a rendition of When You Were Young for an acoustic encore.

The night was certainly no flop, however, it was a bit lacklustre. The performance proved that Flowers’ best work is done when he’s with the rest of The Killers.

Setlist:
On the Floor
Crossfire
Magdalena
Bette Davis Eyes
Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts
Hard Enough
Losing Touch
Right Behind You
Was It Something I Said?
Swallow It
Only the Young
Playing With Fire

Encore:
When You Were Young

Saturday, 30 October 2010

French Torrent Site Launches VPN to Mask Filesharer’s Identity

France has been at the forefront of the ‘war on piracy’ since they introduced the Hadopi anti-piracy law, earlier this year.

Under the new legislation, file-sharers will have their IP address recorded and monitored, and account holders will receive warnings from their ISP. After three warnings, infringers risk a fine and having their internet connection terminated.

However, in a counter-move, France’s largest torrent site, Smartorrent has launched a VPN (virtual private network) service, which offers file-sharer’s anonymity.

TorrentFreak reports that 2,500 users of the site have already signed up for an account, which costs €5 (£4.37) a month.

Smartorrent co-founder Clever told TorrentFreak, “Since the adoption of this new Hadopi law we thought about starting a VPN service. We wanted to give our beloved users the ability to keep downloading safely by using our VPN servers that are located in Canada.”

Despite the tough new measures, the French don’t seem to be holding back on their downloading habits. Hadopi currently sends out 25,000 warning letters a day.

Friday, 29 October 2010

File-sharer fined €30 by German Court

A German man, who as a teenager file-shared two music tracks, finally learns his fate.

In 2006, a then 16 year-old used his father’s Internet connection to share two unlicensed tracks, “Angel” by “Rammstein” and “Roll Over not” by Marius Müller-Westernhagen, online.

The claimant, who owned the distribution rights for the songs, had asked for damages of €300 (£261) per title. After nearly five years a German court has published its decision.

Hamburg Regional Court ruled that the then teenager had violated copyright law and as such was required to pay compensation to the rights holders. However their damages demands were excessive.

The Court informs the man is only liable to pay damages of €15 (£13) for each title he had illegally shared online.

The court rejected the rights holder’s claims against connection owner, the teenager’s father. He neither carried out infringements or authorized them, and had no knowledge of them occurring. Although he was considered responsible for his connection, that did not lead to a liability for damages.

Several factors were taken into consideration when making the decision. It was decided that as the tracks were old there would be a limited demand for them. And also, since it could only be proven that the tracks were made available for a short period of time, few downloads of the tracks would have taken place.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

LimeWire Closed Down By US Court Ruling

LimeWire, one of the world's most popular P2P file sharing websites, has been forced to shut down after a four-year legal battle with the US music industry.

A US judge issued a "permanent injunction" late on Tuesday, ordering LimeWire to disable the "searching, downloading, uploading, file trading, and/or file distribution functionality" of the software it distributed to its 50 million monthly users to access and share files through the peer-to-peer service.

Following Tuesday's injunction, the Recording Industry Association of America said the injunction "will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that LimeWire and Mark Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely."

Founded in 2000 by Mark Gorton, a former Wall Street trader, LimeWire will appear in court in January, for a trial to determine the appropriate level of damages necessary to compensate the record companies for the billions and billions of illegal downloads that occurred through the LimeWire system."

According to RIAA figures, US recorded music sales fell to $7.7bn in 2009 from $14.5bn in 1999. The rise to prominence of peer-to-peer file sharing networks is singled out as a primary factor for this decline.

LimeWire now joins other high-profile file-sharing sites, namely Grokster and Napster, in being shut down through a lawsuit filed by entertainment companies.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Musician’s Union Condemns Cuts to Arts Funding

The Musicians’ Union (MU) has condemned the cuts to arts funding following yesterday’s comprehensive spending review.

The Arts Council will face cuts of nearly 30%, with 14% of these taking place in the first year. They have warned that about 100 arts organisation will lose funding altogether.

The MU has described the Government’s cuts as “devastating to music and culture”.

John Smith, MU General Secretary, says:

“We all knew that cuts were coming, but funding cuts of 14% in the first year means that many organisations will really find it difficult to survive. We would have preferred to see the cuts spread out over a longer period of time to give the arts time to adjust.

Smith adds that the MU has consistently argued that, at a time when the economy is struggling, it is illogical to cut an industry that has consistently maintained growth; every £1 invested in the arts produces £2.”

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Liverpool Gets Ready for Tonight’s MOBO Awards

The excitement is building as the city of Liverpool gets ready to host this evenings 15th annual MOBO Awards, the biggest urban music award ceremony in Europe.




The awards ceremony, which celebrates music of black origins, will be held at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. JLS and Tinie Tempah are among the acts set to appear.



Tempah leads the nominations for this year’s awards with four nods, including Best Video and Best Song for his number one hit ‘Pass Out’.



The rapper and Professor Green are also shortlisted for Best UK Act, as are Roll Deep, Leona Lewis, Plan B, N-Dubz and Giggs.



The show will close with a live performance from Tinchy Stryder, who will be joined on stage by the year's leading MOBO nominee Tinie Tempah, as well as Professor Green, Devlin and Giggs - the cream of the UK hip hop and grime scene.



The event, co-hosted by Radio 1's Reggie Yates and Strictly Come Dancing judge, Alesha Dixon, will be shown live on BBC Three this evening at 9pm.

Q Awards 2010 - Next Big Thing

The 21st anniversary of The Q Awards next Monday sees the introduction of a brand new award category for emerging talent - the Next Big Thing award, the shortlist for which was announced today.

The shortlist was chosen by a special guest panel comprised of Columnist of the Year Caitlin Moran from The Times, Radio1's new music guru Huw Stephens, The Sun's Showbiz Editor Gordon Smart and Q Editor In Chief Paul Rees.

Next Big Thing - The Nominees

From a list of 20 acts the panel have shortlisted six acts for the Next Big Thing award, The Nominees are:

• Alice Gold
• Clare MaGuire
• Esben And The Witch
• Fenech-Soler
• Mona
• Murray James

Commenting on the Next Big Thing, Q's Editor In Chief Paul Rees said: "One of our core aims right across the Q brand - be it magazine, online, TV, radio or live events - is to highlight and champion the very best new music for Q's audience to discover.

He added, Following on from the New To Q Sessions shows in January and the New To Q tour of May, the inaugural Next Big Thing award is a natural extension of this and something that will be accelerated still, more in the year ahead. The winner of this year's award will be the band or artist Q believes to be the outstanding new talent of 2011."

The winner of the Next Big Thing award will be announced at the Q Awards 2010 with Russian Standard Vodka ceremony on Monday, 25 October at the Grosvenor House hotel in London.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Google to Assist with Anti-Piracy Activities

Search engine giant Google has suggested that it could get involved in fighting online piracy and helping copyright holders track down pirated material.

CNet reports that Google said it would help, but only for a price. They could charge copyright owners - such as movie studios and record labels - a fee to help them identify their infringed material.

It quotes a leaked letter from Google executive James Pond in relation to the company's Site Search offering. He indicated Google could charge a fee of $5 (£3.12) per 1,000 searches. They would only cover searching for links but not their removal.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed Pond's letter had been sent and told CNet, “As always, Google honours valid legal removal requests. We don't charge for removals and have no plans to. We have a great relationship with the music industry and have worked consistently with them to advance their interests through services like YouTube Content ID, our music search feature, and our developer tools."

In the coming months Google is expected to launch a cloud-based music service. The company has indicated that its Android mobile platform will be key to the offering.

EU backs French Subsidies of Music Downloads

In an attempt to fight the rising rate of music piracy, the French government has launched a scheme to try and encourage people to download music legally.

French residents who buy a card to download music from subscription-based websites will only have to pay half of a €50 card, with the government paying the remainder.

The government hopes the scheme, which is targeted at 12-25 year olds, will encourage people to download music files legally and not indulge in illegal file sharing.

According to the French government, the scheme will cost around €25 million or £22 million, if it manages to sell one million music cards within a year.

Online music download websites will be forced to comply by the subsidised prices offered by the scheme, by reducing download charges, extend the subscription period and marketing the new scheme.

The strategy has been approved by the European Union and was praised for its promotion of cultural diversity.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Gary Barlow signs ‘Must be the Music’ Winner

The winner of the unsigned TV talent show ‘Must be the Music’ has been signed by Take That frontman, Gary Barlow.

Emma’s Imagination - aka Emma Gillespie - from Glasgow beat five other finalists to win the Sky1 show and the £100,000 prize.

The 27 year old former busker has been signed by Gary Barlow's record label Future Records, in a joint deal with Polydor.

The Scottish singer has already been in the recording studio and the label is hoping to put out an EP before Christmas which will include rerecording’s of two of the songs she performed on the show, Focus and This Day.

Both songs have already charted in the top 10 following her performances on the show were released digitally.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Unlicensed Music Download Service Operators Arrested

The unlicensed Mulve music download service has been shut down following the arrest of the sites operators in the UK, according to reports.

A spokesperson for Mulve told TorrentFreak, “Just letting you know that following arrests, we have decided to take Mulve offline for good. We do not want to fight this […] Hell, I am not prepared to spend the next 5 years in prison for a project that was simply meant to be a little bit of fun. We would like to apologise to all those who were affected by this.”

Mulve first appeared at the end of September, offering unlimited downloads of 10m tracks from a set of servers, believed to be in Russia, rather than via decentralised a P2P network.

TorrentFreak claims the site itself was not hosting any music but instead “pulled it from hardware owned by Vkontakte, Russia's biggest social networking site”.

Since Mulve first appeared it has played a game of cat and mouse with organisations such as the RIAA in the US, initially disappearing then quickly resurfacing. Similar sites are expected to spring up in its wake after the code on which Mulve ran was released.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

City gets set for Liverpool Music Week 2010

The UK's biggest indoor winter music festival Liverpool Music Week starts 29th October and this year sees a cutting edge line-up of artists perform at venues across the city.

This year’s event will feature performances from the likes of Leftfield, Efterklang, Chase & Status, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Warpaint, Hadouken, Beardyman, K'naan and !!! Chk Chk Chk who will perform their first Liverpool show in over 7 years on 31st October.

2009 attracted 65,000 people to the city and has recently been shortlisted in the Best UK Metropolitan Festival category at the UK Festival Awards. The multi-venue event, which began in 2003, offers a combination of free and ticketed shows for music fans.

The free music agenda has always been an integral part of the festival's blueprint, and this year audiences will also be able to get the chance to see exciting new acts such as Sleigh Bells, Field Music, Egyptian Hip Hop, Chapel Club, and Los Campesinos!

Also performing is former Rascal and Last Shadow Puppet Miles Kane who will make his Liverpool solo debut on Thursday 11th November. Another highlight of the free show agenda comes from one of Liverpool Music Week's favourite sons. John Power will return with Cast to play in the performance space at BBC Radio Merseyside.

John has a special affiliation with the festival since his legendary show back in 2005 where he was joined on stage with the La's bandmate Lee Mavers. This unique performance from Cast, especially for LMW, will precede their full UK tour including 3 sold-out o2 Academy Liverpool dates later in the month.

You can access more information on these shows by checking the festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/liverpoolmusicweek. Organisers will make announcements on how to guarantee entry to free events via the Facebook page.

Tickets on sale now / Info: www.liverpoolmusicweek.co.uk / Tel: 0151 707 1309

www.liverpool-live.info

Thursday, 7 October 2010

‘Hog the Stage’ at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Party

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the biggest New Year parties in the world, and one lucky Scottish band will be given the chance to kick it off in style.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay have launched a new scheme, called ‘Hog the Stage, inviting up and coming bands to do battle for a coveted spot upon the stage of the capital’s world-renowned New Year street party celebrations.

They’ve teamed up with Leith Records and The Skinny to search for the brightest and best of home-grown talent, giving the ultimate victors the chance to Hog the Stage on 31 December, and share the rapturous applause of international tens of thousands with headliners Biffy Clyro and many more as-yet-to-be-announced acts.

Any band from or based in Scotland can enter, but judges will be putting particular emphasis on looking for emergent, unsigned acts. All band members must be over 16.

If you’re act is shortlisted, you’ll be asked to play a preview night at the HMV Picture House on Friday 26th November, and of course be available to play to thousands on December 31st in Edinburgh.

All entries must be in by Friday 12th November and shortlisted bands will be announced on Monday 15th November.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Ministry of Sound Targets Illegal Downloaders

Ministry of Sound has spoken out against file sharers who've illegally shared its music.

The BBC reports that the UK record label went to court on Monday (4 October) to ask for the names and addresses of 2,000 people it claims have illegally distributed its music.

The judge said Ministry needed to prove people were illegal downloaders. The case has been adjourned until 2011.

Ministry's CEO, Lohan Presencer said: "We can't afford to have our business and artists stolen from any more." The Ministry boss asked "What's the alternative?"

"If I ran a shop and someone came into the shop and started stealing things off the shelves, should I just allow that to happen? Lohan Presencer added "We can't afford to have our business and artists stolen from any more and we have to take some action."

Reports show that over the last 10 years internet piracy has grown rapidly. BitTorrent websites give access to music files that can be downloaded without any payment.

Lohan Presencer says it's time record labels fought back: "Every record company has been suffering from piracy. These people are stealing. I'm afraid you can sit on the side-lines or you can say, 'No this is wrong'."

The Label is confident it will eventually get the information it wants from BT-owned internet service provider (ISP) PlusNet.

BT, the UK's largest broadband company, has already said it's unhappy with the way some law firms are trying to stop possible illegal downloaders.

It wants Ministry's demand to become a test case, with a judge deciding what is acceptable when it comes to taking on illegal downloaders. BT says it wants to ensure broadband subscribers are adequately protected.

The BBC has reported that in a statement, BT told Newsbeat that rights holders should be able to make claims for copyright infringement but without causing unnecessary worry to innocent people.

Ministry of Sound has already had thousands of letters sent out on its behalf. Some people have already agreed to pay hundreds of pounds to avoid court action.

Friday, 1 October 2010

BT Digital Music Award Winners

YouTube, iTunes, The Music Fix and BBC Introducing were among the winners at last night's BT Digital Music Awards in London.


Muse won best fan site, Pendulum won best music app of the year and Gorillaz walked away with best artist promotion.

Winners of other artist’s categories include Lady Gaga, Cheryl Cole, Dizzee Rascal and JLS. ‘Nokia presents Rihanna Live’ was named as event of the year.

The BT Digital Music Awards was established in 2001 to recognise the pioneers in the then fledgling digital and online music industry.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Female Artist in association with SugarScape.com

Winner: Cheryl Cole



Best Male Artist in association with The Sun

Winner: Robbie Williams



Best Group in association with The Daily Star

Winner: JLS



Best Song in association with The London Entertainment Lowdown

Winner: Fight for This Love - Cheryl Cole



Best International Artist or Group in association with TOTP Magazine

Winner: Lady GaGa



Best Independent Artist or Group in association with Clash

Winner: Dizzee Rascal



Best Newcomer in association with Last.fm

Winner: Tinie Tempah

ALBUM REVIEW: KT Tunstall, Tiger Suit

KT Tunstall was tossed into the limelight by Jools Holland five years ago; the Fife singer-songwriter's third album should make an even longer-lasting impression.


KT became famous playing folky acoustic pop, but Tiger Suit represents a directional shift for Brit and Ivor Novello Award winning Scottish songstress. KT calls it ‘nature techno’ due to its mix of organic instrumentation and dance-friendly textures.

Recorded at Berlin's legendary Hansa Studios, the inventive follow-up to 2007's platinum selling ‘Drastic Fantastic’ merges raspy folk with campfire rhythms. Tiger Suit sees KT encompass a more edgy feel and bolder musical styles.

Album opener Uummannaq Song named after a town in Greenland captures the change in style with backdrop of keyboard drone, simmering snake rattles, a tribal-cry hook and Afrobeat guitar. KT rocks with Madame Trudeaux's swaggering blues.

There’s a maturity in her voice, confidently exploring a range of pop with alt-folk. She confirms her ability to pen catchy yet credible pop hits with reflective first single (Still a) Weirdo, highly infectious Come on Get In and urgent, Fade like a Shadow.

Seasick Steve adds a broody hum of guitar on Golden Frames and there's a bluesy feel, a darker complexity in the driven twang of Push That Knot Away.

Tiger Suit still plays to KT’s strengths as a tunesmith and perceptive lyricist, and features more up-to-the-minute ingredients than her previous work, with some tracks harnessing electronic beats to her acoustic guitar.

This new album reveals her as supremely confident with her studio arsenal, and richness to the songs gives this record a lot more depth than its predecessors.

If you love music, whether it is blues, rock, pop or dance, you will adore Tiger Suit.

Track listing:

1. Uummannaq Song

2. Glamour Puss

3. Push That Knot Away

4. Difficulty

5. Fade Like A Shadow

6. Lost

7. Golden Frames

8. Come On, Get In

9. (Still A) Weirdo

10. Madame Trudeaux

11. The Entertainer

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Biffy Clyro to headline Hogmanay concert

Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro are to headline Edinburgh's 2010 Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, it was announced today.

The band, who have been hailed one of the best festival acts of the year, will play the Concert in the Gardens, the city's New Year fireworks and music spectacular.

The Ayrshire boys, currently in the States on tour, are sure to receive a warm welcome when they take to the stage in the Scottish capital. With anthems such as Mountains, Who’s got a Match? and The Captain, Biffy Clyro are sure to rock Edinburgh well into the New Year.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, a spokesman for the city's events and festivals told reporters: 'Edinburgh's Hogmanay is envied across the world and this year, with Biffy Clyro set to perform, there will be no better place to be to bring in the new year.'

Tickets for the garden gig are to go on sale at 9am on Friday, while passes for Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party, which features live music, giant screens, and midnight fireworks are already available in the UK and abroad.

The Concert in the Gardens begins at 9pm and runs through the bells until 1am in 2011. Ticket prices start at £40 to be within the enclosure, £35 for access to the gardens, and £15 for the Street Party.

Previous Hogmanay headline acts include Madness, Groove Armada, Kasabian, Scissor Sisters, Blondie, and Calvin Harris.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Nominations Open for 2011 Music Producers Guild Awards

The 2011 Music Producers Guild Awards will take place on February 10th and nominations are now open for the UK’s biggest celebration of the creative talent and technical ability of the UK’s music producers, engineers, mixers and re-mixers.

Anyone, including non-Music Producers Guild members, can nominate individuals (including themselves) for a particular award. Categories include recording engineer of the year and best live album, while the MPG is again collaborating with the Brit Awards to present the winner of its producer of the year category with a Brit.

Once all nominations have been validated The Music Producers Guild’s Full Members will draw up short lists in each category and these will be judged by an official judging panel consisting of record industry experts including producers, engineers, artists, artist managers, A&R representatives, music journalists and radio presenters.

Nominations are now open and will close on October 26th 2010.

New Nightmare for Music Industry – Mulve

A new site called Mulve has emerged offering users millions of tracks to download for free, and is being described as a “nightmare scenario”.

Mulve is a music download site which allows users to quickly search through a catalogue of over 10 million songs, and download them free of cost. Even though the service is illegal, infringing on millions of copyrighted songs, it has been able to stay up because its servers are located in secret locations throughout the globe.

TorrentFreak reports that the downloadable Mulve client lets users pull down unlimited files from servers in secret locations - with some possibly in Russia - in a way where they will not be detected, as it does not run on P2P technology. Users are asked to make donations to run the site.

The website crashed earlier today after the server was overloaded with download requests. The new free music downloading program server simply could not handle the amount of visitors and downloads being done at once.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

American Express and Mark Ronson in New Interactive Campaign

American Express and channel 4 have teamed up with DJ, producer and recording artist, Mark Ronson, to launch an exciting new competition to “uncover the UK's best music experiences”.

The interactive campaign, ‘My Live Story’ celebrates the power of live music to entertain, inspire and create lasting memories whilst also highlighting American Express' involvement in live music.

The project draws attention to American Express’ award-winning 'Preferred Seating' programme, which is available to its cardholders.

Entrants are invited to share photos, videos and memories of their favourite music experience online in one of three categories: My Shared Story, My Memorable Story and My Inspired Story.

The campaign will reward 21 lucky winners by turning their experiences into a short film which will be aired on national TV towards the end of the year.

American Express has selected a unique mix as the film’s directing team: director Toby Dye, of Ridley Scott Associates, and Ronson, who will collaborate on the soundtrack.

Mark Ronson will also perform at a private red-carpet screening of the film for the 21 campaign winners, organized at Abbey Road Studios in November.

Other music related prizes – such as tickets to the Relentless Freeze Festival and T4's Stars of 2010 – will also be awarded as the promotion gets underway. One lucky person will be in with a chance of winning the grand prize of a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Emma's Imagination Wins Must Be the Music

Emma’s Imagination – 27-year-old Emma Gillespie from Glasgow – has won Sky talent show Must Be the Music, after a spectacular final at Wembley Arena.

Gillespie performed two self-penned songs; Focus and This Day, to beat off competition from the other five finalists live in front of an audience of 10,000 people.

The singer-songwriter was so overcome with emotion she was unable to perform her winning song, This Day. Judge Dizzee Rascal joined Gillespie onstage to help her out.

Studio versions of all the tracks performed at the final were immediately available to download on iTunes and Sky Songs. By the end of the show, Emma's Imagination had gone to number 12 in both the iTunes chart and the alternative chart.

Gillespie wins £100,000 and advice to help kick start her music career.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Register Now for Live and Unsigned 2011

Live and Unsigned is the largest national music competition for original artists; bands and solo artists. Over 10, 000 acts from across the country enter every year... Are you good enough to enter?

Auditions will be held around the country in London, Sheffield, Manchester, Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Ipswich, Cheltenham, Fareham, Bedford and Aldershot.

Auditions will begin in January 2011; however there are only a limited number of places, so register early if you want to be in with a chance.

Each act will perform, in front of a prestigious judging panel, a live piece. Successful acts will be given a place in the regional final.

You will perform an original track with your band or backed by a backing track in front of a live crowd, battling for a place in the Grand Final and the Live and Unsigned Festival.

The winning act will be offered a recording contract and will also be invited on the UK Live and Unsigned tour.

For information go to www.LiveandUnsigned.uk.com

New Music Award 2010 winner Announced

The winner of the New Music Award 2010 is The Organ of Corti, by liminal. Last night the PRS judging panel awarded liminal the £50,000 prize money to realise their pioneering new work.

liminal is composer David Prior and architect Frances Crow. The Organ of Corti, named after part of the inner ear, recycles existing sounds in already sound-saturated environments.

The group hopes to challenge expectations of what might constitute a piece of music with their composition, offering new ways of listening to what is around rather than adding sounds to the environment.

The entry was chosen from a shortlist of five ideas by a panel of judges comprising music journalist Paul Morley, artist Martin Creed, singer and DJ Bishi, composer and pianist Michael Finnissy and pianist and conductor Joanna MacGregor.

The judges were inspired by the ability of The Organ of Corti to:
'challenge the notion of what it is to listen'
'remind us of the value of sound and how beautiful it can be'
‘provide an antidote to the sound saturated, digital world in which we live’

The work will premiere at the City of London Festival in July 2011 and then travel to the Tebay Gorge in the Lake District, the Cotswold Water Park in Wiltshire and Diglis Weir in Worcester for three further performances.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bathgate Music Festival 2010 Kicks off on Sunday

This Sunday, 12 September, Kirkton Park will host the launch of the 3rd Bathgate Music Festival, which runs from Sunday 12th – Saturday 18th of September.

The week long event kicks off this Sunday with a free family fun day in Kirkton Park, where local acts will be performing live in the park between 12.30 and 5pm.

Bands lined up to play include: Fire and I, Flip Banshee, YAP Music, Columbia, Look Left Again and The Amorettes. There’s also a variety of musical acts at a host of venues throughout the town.

'Live at the Steelyard' on Saturday 18 September, will provide a lively line up of free musical entertainment between 11.15am and 3pm.

Headline band Skerryvore - fresh from a hectic festival schedule which included a gig at T in the Park and performing at the World Expo Event in Shanghai - will also make an appearance before going on to perform later at the Regal Theatre, Bathgate.

The Regal Theatre is the venue for the main concert programme which this year reflects the wealth of modern music produced in Scotland – from the powerful voices of Caledon to the madcap musical arson of Pluck, harmony outfit the Bevvy Sisters and the timeless style of Ken Mathieson's Classic Jazz Orchestra.

The full programme of events from 12-18 September is in the festival brochure available now from shops and venues all over Bathgate and from libraries, community information and education centres across West Lothian.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

PRS New Music Award 2010 – Public Voting Closes this Sunday

PRS New Music Award 2010 – Public Voting Closes this Sunday

There’s only five days left before the first ever public voting on the 2010 New Music Award shortlist closes. Voting closes at midnight this Sunday 12 September.

The winner of the New Music Award 2010 will be awarded a £50,000 prize at a glittering ceremony in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London, on 16 September and their winning new musical work will premiere in 2011. Click here to cast your vote.

The shortlisted ideas cover the widest possible range of musical genres from electronic and site specific to acoustic and African-inspired beats.

New Music Award 2010 finalists:

 aroundNorth – a “stellar orchestra” based on the rotation of the stars around the Celestial North Pole

 Automata Musica – combines the skills of composer and craftsman to make “automatic instruments” which audience members can play

 The Battle of the Wordsmiths – recreates African musical instruments through beatboxing which introduces western audiences to the ancient traditions of Yoruba culture

 The Organ of Corti –recycles existing sounds to create new ways of listening

 SATSYMPH – a “satellite symphony” delivered through an iPhone app

For further information on the PRS New Music Award 2010 or the shortlisted ideas visit: PRS for Music

Thursday, 2 September 2010

St Helier Music Crown 2010 Winners Announced

The St Helier Rock Music Crown 2010, an unsigned UK and Ireland talent competition, today, announced their three category winners.

The winners are: Maria Marcial from Manchester winner of the Pop category, Leo LeVox from Birmingham winner of the urban category and Messiah from Edinburgh, winners of the rock category.

Contestants had to submit an original track through the Music Crowns Website to be analysed by a judging panel which included the likes of UB40 Legend Ali Campbell, US R'n'B superstar Montell Jordan and lead singer of Skunk Anansie, Skin.

Over 1000 entries were whittled down to a succinct, high calibre ten in each category via the scoring system before they faced the public vote, which took place throughout the month of August, to determine the winners of each category.

Each winner takes home the crown trophy and secures a 1 year management/PR contract, an official website, record label exposure and a live awards presentation and performance at Cargo, London on Monday October 11th, 2010.

Winning Tracks from the 3 Categories:

- Maria Marcial's winning Pop track - "No Compromise"
- Leo LeVox's winning Urban track - "Safe"
- Messiah's winning Rock track - "Out Of Sight"

St Helier Music Crowns 2011 will begin the intake of new artists in January next year and promises to be an enhanced and evolved format with a 'live' performance within the voting stage a prospect.

For more information, visit www.rockmusiccrown.co.uk

Snoop Dogg and Norton Launch Cyber Crime Rap Competition

Snoop Dogg has signed up to front a campaign to crack down on internet fraud.

The rapper has teamed up with anti-virus company Norton, to launch a promotional competition, The ‘Hack is Wack’ cybercrime rap video contest, to help raise awareness of cybercrime.

‘Hack is Wack’ invites rap enthusiasts to submit a two-minute video showing off their lyrical skills on the subject of cybercrime and a variety of related topics including hacking, identity theft, computer viruses, and why it is important to protect yourself from online crime.

A panel of Norton representatives, and the rapper’s management, will judge submissions. Videos will be assessed on originality, creativity, rapping and performing skills, and delivery of a compelling anti-cybercrime message.

One lucky winner will net two tickets to a Snoop Dogg concert, a Toshiba laptop and the chance of a meet and greet with the rapper’s management and/or agent in order to understand the business issues surrounding making it in the music industry today.

Closing date for the competition is September 30, 2010, and the winner will be announced October 20, 2010.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Global Online Singing Competition Launched, Avon Voices

Cosmetics brand Avon launches its first ever global online singing talent search for women, and songwriting competition for women and men.

The competition, Avon Voices, will also feature a panel of award-winning judges including six-time Grammy Award winner, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and legendary songwriter Diane Warren.

To mark the cosmetic company's 125th anniversary, Avon Voices was “designed to inspire and empower women to share their voice, their song and their story."

This December, singers can upload videos of themselves for the judges to consider. Another part of the competition will also allow aspiring song writers to compete for top honours.

Prizes have not yet been announced, registration for the competition begins on December 1 and more information will be available then.

Check Avonvoices.com for details.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Wizard Festival 2010, Kicks off Tomorrow

Around 5,000 music fans will descend on New Deer Showground in the heart of the Aberdeenshire countryside for the fourth annual Wizard Festival, which takes place this weekend, Friday 27th & Saturday 28th August 2010.

The event, one of Scotland’s fastest-growing music festivals will be held in the open air for the first time this weekend. The main acts will be performing in a huge, half-orbit structure, fully rigged for spectacular light shows.

The festival kicks off tomorrow with a line-up which includes former chart-topper Sandi Thom and Manchester legends James.

Headlining on Saturday is fellow Mancunian’s The Happy Mondays, supported by Alabama 3, the Complete Stone Roses and The Dykeenies.

This year a new comedy stage has been added and the line-up includes Gus Tawse, Scott ‘the dog’ Forbes, Andrew Learmonth and Jason C Murphy, who will all be appearing in the wee wizards arena on Friday and Saturday evening.

There will also be the Snafu Soundsystem tent, which will play host to a raft of DJ talent, as well as the Banshee stage, which will feature up-and-coming acts from across the country.

For more details visit www.wizardfestival.com

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NASA Launches Music Contest for Final Space Missions

NASA is asking the general public to help choose songs to wake up the astronauts during the last two missions of the Space Shuttle Program.

Traditionally, the songs played to wake up the astronauts are selected by friends and family of the crews. For the last two scheduled missions, NASA is inviting the public to visit the "Wakeup Song Contest" website to select songs from a list of the top 40 previous wakeup calls or to submit original tunes for consideration.

The two songs, from the top 40 list, with the highest number of votes will be played as crew wakeup calls on the final scheduled flight of space shuttle Discovery, which is scheduled to launch on November 1.

The list of top 40 songs includes songs like “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra; “Free Fallin,” by Tom Petty; the Star Trek theme and U2’s “Beautiful Day.”

In addition to the "Wakeup Song Contest", NASA is also offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to have their music broadcast in space, by submitting original music to their website by January 10, 2011.

Original songs must have a space theme and be submitted to NASA by 4 p.m. CST on January 10, 2011. The songs will be reviewed by agency officials and the top entries will be put to a public vote.

The top two songs will be used to wake space shuttle Endeavour's crew. Endeavour's mission is the last scheduled space shuttle flight, and is targeted to launch on February 26, 2011.

To vote or submit an original song, visit: www.songcontest.nasa.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Virgin Media debuts mobile music service at V Festival

Virgin Media will launch a music download store for mobile and PC this weekend, and they are giving music fans attending V Festival’s a preview of the service.

Festival-goers at V Festival's Essex or Staffordshire sites can sign up for a free month's trial by texting a special number that will be promoted on-site.

They will receive five free tracks as part of the trial and have the option to continue the service for £4 per month.

Existing Virgin Media mobile customers will be able to sign up for £3 for five tracks a month.

The service has more than one million tracks licensed and is based on a subscribe-to-download model.

The Virgin Music Media Store service is powered by IMImobile DaVinci Music and opens fully to the public on September 1 on a month-by-month basis.

Virgin Media director of mobile Jonathan Kini says, “With Virgin Media's long heritage with music, V Festival is the perfect place to launch our brand new Music Store. This is a key milestone in our mobile entertainment strategy and anyone with a mobile can take advantage of this new service to access great new music in an instant.”

Survey claims Streaming reduces Illegal Filesharing

Aspiro Music has published new research it claims shows that the use of streaming services make people listen to more music luring users away from filesharing sites.

The Scandinavian company operates the subscription WiMP service in Norway and Denmark and commissioned Norstat to conduct the research in June this year.

The Survey found one in three Norwegians have streamed music, with 68% saying they listen to more music as a result and 72% say they often find music they didn’t know about prior to using a streaming service.

The survey also found that the range of music listened to increases, while users discover more artists and bands than they did before.

According to the survey there is a striking difference between men and women with 43% of men and only 19% of women have streamed music.

Regarding who streams music, there is also a big difference between urban and rural areas, 46% in urban areas and 21% in rural areas have streamed music so far.

The survey also concludes that streaming services reduce the extent of illegal music file sharing. Over half of respondents (54%) said that since using streaming music services, they no longer download illegally.

Aspiro Music CEO Per Einar Dybvik says, “We believe that efficient and payment-based streaming services will lead to better economy for artists, record labels and rights holder’s long term, and that it will turn around recent years descending revenue trend.”

“We see these results as strong indications that streaming increases both the total consumption of music, as well as broadening the range of music people listen to. We find that very positive”, concluded Dybvik.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

V Festival 2010 to be Streamed Live Online

This weekend’s V Festival is to be streamed live online for the first time ever in the event’s history.

The 2010 V Festival will be broadcast for free on the official site in partnership with Ovi by Nokia. Webcast footage from three of the festival's four stages at its Chelmsford site will be broadcast live.

In addition to the live performances, the streaming will also include artist interviews as well as competitions where viewers will get the chance to win themselves one of the many Nokia smartphones up for grabs.

Festival-goers can also get the latest weather reports, festival gossip and tweets from artists on the official free V Festival mobile app, as well as download an interactive map of the festival sites in Chelmsford and at Weston Park, Staffordshire.

Music fans will also be able to watch sets on V Festival's YouTube channel as well as on the artists' official website while they're playing.

The twin-site event will feature headline performances from the likes of Kasabian and Kings of Leon. Also performing this weekend are dance legends The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Faithless and David Guetta.

Other big names on the bill include Paul Weller, Stereophonics, Editors, The Coral, The Kooks, Seasick Steve, The Charlatans, Doves, Calvin Harris, Madness, Florence and the Machine and many more.

Friday, 13 August 2010

LimeWire Calls for Jury Trial in Publisher Lawsuit

Filesharing site operator LimeWire has requested a jury trial in a case brought against it in the US by major music publishers, BusinessWeek reports.

Business Week quotes National Music Publishers' Association president David Israelite as saying, “Thousands upon thousands of American songwriters have been harmed by the illegal activities of Lime Wire. We look forward to their day in court.”

On May 12, U.S. Southern District Court of New York Judge Kimba Wood found that the company and its founder, Mark Gorton, committed mass copyright infringement following a case brought against it by record labels in the US.

It was claimed the company had generated over $20m (£12.8m) in ad revenue to date and that 93% of all its traffic was made up of infringing content.

Last week, a judge rejected a request from RIAA that the assets of LimeWire and its founder be frozen.

LimeWire has stated it is developing plans to launch a new legal unlimited download service.

'Words Up' - Music Writing For People Who Mean Business

The University of Westminster’s music business network MusicTank has joined forces with former deputy editor of monthly fanzine Sleazenation, Lulu Le Vay, to develop a new innovative music journalism course.

Designed by Le Vay and featuring guest speakers such as Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Radio 1 DJ and Bestival promoter Rob da Bank the course will look at the entire journalistic process including music journalism.

Spanning eight weeks Words Up aims to cover everything from building up contacts to pitching stories and, according to MusicTank “seeks to nurture a new wave of journalism talent” equipping them with a “360-degree view” of music journalism.

Words Up also claims it will support a new breed of writer with the drive and talent to steer an anti-churnalism campaign.

For more information, go to: www.musictank.co.uk

Friday, 6 August 2010

NZ Government urged to impose total internet ban for pirates

The government in New Zealand is being urged to impose a complete internet ban for online pirates.

The call has been made by the New Zealand Law Society, which believes the proposed three-strike bill is not enough to stem piracy.

The body argues that current proposals to suspend suspected infringers under investigation will simply drive them to sign up to another ISP where they can continue illegal uploading and downloading.

Clive Elliott of the New Zealand Law Society has been quoted as saying, "The Bill proposes that District Courts be able to order a six month suspension of a person's Internet Services Provider (ISP) account for serious copyright infringement.

However, during this period, it appears that there is nothing to stop that person from opening an account with another ISP and immediately continuing illegal file sharing. The Bill should include a power to allow the court to order that a person cannot open an account with another ISP during the period of the suspension."

Monday, 2 August 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: The Magic Numbers, The Runaway

The Magic Numbers first emerged five years ago with their self-titled debut album. A poorly received second album, Those the Brokes, followed a year later.

After a four year break the Stodart and Gannon siblings are back with their third album, The Runaway, which continues the darker themes of 2006’s Those the Brokes, while being careful not to lose the tunes.

One of the most appealing things about The Magic Numbers is main singer-songwriter, Romeo Stodart’s voice strung with romanticism and an ever present cracked vulnerability.

The album begins with gentle opener, The Pulse, a brave lament based around a simple hook, veritably soaked in strings (arranged by the late Robert Kirby, who worked on Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left). It sets the tone of the record perfectly - it reappear’s as an instrumental in a 'hidden track' at the end.

Reminiscent of 70s Fleetwood Mac is the gentle Hurt So Good, with the multi-layered harmonies. While Angela Gannon and Michelle Stodart take over vocal duties on the lovelorn, brisk folk of Why Did You Call?

Romeo’s vocals are complemented with some lovely vocal interplay with Sister Michelle - as in the gorgeous swooning harmonies of A Start With No Ending. Angela Gannon takes the lead vocal on the elegant Throwing My Heart Away.

However, the album doesn’t live up to it’s title ‘The Runaway’ instead it just keeps plodding along with more of the same sun-kissed smooth harmonies, which makes listening to it in it’s entirety somewhat of a chore.

Track listing:

1 The Pulse
2 Hurt So Good
3 Why Did You Call?
4 Once I Had
5 A Start With No Ending
6 Throwing My Heart Away
7 Restless River
8 Only Seventeen
9 Sound of Something
10 The Song That No One Knows
11 Dreams of a Revelation
12 I'm Sorry

Friday, 30 July 2010

Opera-singing Scots builder to perform at UN peace event

An opera singing Scots builder has been invited to perform at an international peace day event in New York.

41-year-old, Martin Aelred from Falkirk is about to take the opera world by storm.

He has already wowed critics on both sides of the Atlantic, singing arias from classic Italian composer Puccini.

In an interview with the Scottish Daily Record, Martin said his workmates thought he'd been "on the drink" when he announced he was going to be an opera singer.

But Martin has had the last laugh as he prepares to sing in front of thousands at the United Nations International Peace Day on September 21.

He also told the newspaper that he has accepted an invitation to perform as the tenor with the Cairo Philharmonic Orchestra in December in front of the Pyramids on the day the planets are aligned.

He said: "I decided to take up opera singing after hearing Puccini. My dad loved the composer's work.

"I went for lessons in Edinburgh with Rupert Forbes, a retired singer.

"I don't read music and can't speak Italian so Rupert was a bit taken aback.

"But he saw the hunger in me and realised I wasn't there to waste his time. I started the lessons in January 2009 and went for seven months.

"After about three months I felt I was improving.

"Last year I saw an advert on a website asking if anyone would like to sing at St John's Church in Edinburgh.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

First `Rock the Boat`, Boat Party at Loch Lomond this Weekend

An exciting new music event kick’s off this weekend at Loch Lomond Shores on board the ‘Maid of The Loch’ paddle steamer.

It’s one of a series of events planned to rock the loch this summer with the aim of raising the £3m needed to get the Maid back in action and sailing again.

The first ‘Rock the Boat’ starts this Saturday 31st July, and will feature three stages over two days and promises to be the bash of the summer with over 20 bands and 10 top DJs playing on the ship’s deck from 2pm until 3am.

The series of events was put together by Glasgow promoters Alex McNally and Stevie Wilson, who are behind Chemical Works Live and Diversify. They have given themselves one year to raise the £3 million target to get the boat restored.

The pair vow to rock the loch with a stellar line-up including Dumbarton band The Haze, The Soviets, The Manikees, The Blackhand Gang, Cheviot Hoods, Girobabies, The Only Jones, Johnny and the Giros, The Fast Camels, DJs John Mancini, Stevie Wilson and the guys from Diversify, plus many more.

The event, which will include a fancy dress competition with VIP tickets up for grabs for Rock the Boat 2 for `the best dressed pirate`, is an over 18s ticket only event.

Tickets are priced at £15 each and are available at local venues.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

EMI to pay 5% of royalties for Down Under riff

A judge in Sydney has ordered the Australian band Men at Work to hand over a portion of the royalties from their 1980s hit Down Under, after previously ruling its distinctive flute riff was copied from a children's campfire song.

EMI is to hand over 5% of all royalties earned from Men At Work’s Down Under to independent music publisher Larrikin Music following the ruling.

The company alleged that Men At Work's most famous track used a segment of the famous Australian children's folk song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree without permission and that they were due a cut of the royalties as a result.

Larrikin had originally asked for 60% of the royalties generated by the 80s hit, however the judge hearing the case says he "considered the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic.”

It remains to be seen if EMI continue to appeal the original 'Down Under' ruling given the relatively modest royalty share awarded to Larrikin. Whether they do may depend on whether Larrikin appeal the royalty share judgment.

Monday, 5 July 2010

BBC 6 Music Has been Saved from Closure

Digital music station BBC 6 Music has been granted a reprieve with the BBC Trust announcing that the digital music station will stay on the air pending a broader review of the broadcaster’s digital radio activities.

Responding to the BBC strategy review, BBC Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons said that the case for the closure of 6 Music had not been made.

But the Trust accepted plans to close the Asian Network, cut 25% of the online budget and close teen service Blast!

A high-profile campaign to save 6 Music was set up after a strategic review of the BBC's services was announced in March.

The Trust published its initial conclusions to the strategy review alongside the BBC's Annual Report.

In a statement, the Trust said: "The Trust concludes that, as things stand, the case has not been made for the closure of 6 Music.

"The Executive should draw up an overarching strategy for digital radio. If the director general wanted to propose a different shape for the BBC's music radio stations as part of a new strategy, the trust would consider it.

"The trust would consider a formal proposal for the closure of the Asian Network, although this must include a proposition for meeting the needs of the station's audience in different ways."

Musicians including David Bowie, Lily Allen, Damon Albarn and Coldplay lent their support to 6 Music when its closure was tabled.

6 Music was launched in 2002, the first national music radio station to be launched by the BBC in 32 years. Amongst its main roster of rock and indie shows, it has featured regular DJ mixes and shows from international music luminaries like Erol Alkan and Andy Weatherall and others.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Open Mic UK Auditions Start Soon

Auditions for Open Mic UK, the biggest national music competition for singers and solo artists, return to Glasgow this August.

Last year saw over eight thousand unsigned singers and solo artists from across the country enter the competition and this year it's set to be even bigger.

The competition travels across the country in search of the UK's best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists. The competition is open to all genres, whether you’re into RnB, Rap, Acoustic, Pop or Classical.

Open Mic UK not only offers entrants the chance to win prizes, but the opportunity to perform live in some of the best music venues in the country and the chance to make it to the Grand Final which will take place in London’s 02.

Acts can perform either covers or original material and they’ll be invited to a live audition in front of a judging panel made up of industry insiders, A&R, vocal coaches and guest celebrities.

Auditions will start in August 2010. For full details and to book your audition, go to www.OpenMicUK.co.uk

Reading Festival to Introduce 2010 Alcohol Restrictions

Reading festival is to pilot a new scheme which restricts when festival-goers can bring alcohol onto the site this year.

The new rules will prevent fans from bringing their own alcohol into the venue after 6pm on the Sunday (29 August). Firewood and campfires will also be monitored.

The rules have come in response to a report published by Reading Borough Council on last year's festival.

The report said: "As groups grew in numbers they began moving around the site committing crime and acting in a disorderly and anti-social manner.

"Numerous fires were started, telegraph poles carrying onsite lighting were tampered with, sections of fencing were ripped up and hedgerows, tents, rubbish and combustibles were set alight."

Organisers Festival Republic, in conjunction with the local council, has also agreed to increase night-time security throughout the whole event.

The Reading festival takes place from August 27-29 and will be headlined by Guns N' Roses, Arcade Fire and Blink-182.

The trial will not affect the corresponding Leeds festival held on the same weekend.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Laurie Anderson, Homeland

Homeland is the first studio album in nine years, from New York based performance artist, Laurie Anderson. The album combines personal acoustic songs with the synth-powered social commentary of her 1980s heyday.

Things that really fire Anderson up are the developments in world politics, with an emphasis on American misadventures at home and abroad, the substance of ‘Homeland’ is explicitly political.

Stunning opener, Transitory Life is a Zen-like overview of 21st century human greed set to North African wind instruments. Anderson summons chamber music on, Thinking of You, and echoes classic Motown on the lyrics to Strange Perfumes.

The album’s show stopping track is the most forceful piece, Only an Expert, a chunk of pounding electro which raises a quizzical eyebrow at our trust in so-called experts: Anderson takes aim at bank bailouts, the Iraq war and climate change denial and the roaring guitar feedback from Anderson's hubby, Lou Reed.

For every blatant political turn on the album, Anderson includes an atmospheric meditation on modern existence. It's the quieter moments such as Transitory Life, backed by Tuvan throat singers and igil players that have the greatest impact.

It is not all political, though: several of the compositions are personal in tone.

Homeland, in its entirety is not so much an album as it is a poetic capturing of the still moments of a restless mind, and is true to the popular-classical crossover spirit of Laurie Anderson's best work.

Tracklisting:

1. Transitory Life
2. My Right Eye
3. Thinking of You
4. Strange Perfumes
5. Only an Expert
6. Falling
7. Another Day in America
8. Bodies in Motion
9. Dark Time in the Revolution
10. The Lake
11. The Beginning of Memory
12. Flow

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Break Into Music Competition

Break Into Music is a competition all about turning the “What If” into “Why Not” backed by Peter Dixon and Steve Foster who are currently producing for a number of X Factor artists, the competition is open to all budding musicians.

Teaming up with online recruitment specialists Monster.co.uk and student website Kaboosh.net the competition gives you the chance to break into the music business and win the opportunity to be managed and developed into a music sensation.

Anyone who is interested can upload their auditions online which are then voted for by the public and also guest judges from within the music industry.

Steve Foster and Peter Dixon of X Factor fame judge each act alongside Radio 1’s Drivetime DJ Scott Mills, picking an act each week who will go on to compete against each other to win the ultimate prize of a full artist development deal.

The deal includes: recording a track with hit producers, discovering and developing your unique genre/style, management and promotion, an official artist website, high quality music video along with the priceless prize of using the team’s industry contacts to ensure a record deal.

If you think you have what it takes or you want to check out the talent then head over to www.breakinto.co.uk

ALBUM REVIEW: Kele, The Boxer

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke adopted a more dance-oriented sound on his debut solo album, The Boxer. He explained recently in an NME interview “I've been into clubbing for years. I've said from the beginning I'm into dance, it gets me excited and I think this record is going to go some way to prove that to people."

With his recent guest turns on tracks by The Chemical Brothers and DJ Tiesto, It may be safe to assume that this is the album Okereke’s always wanted to make; the electronic influence is evident on The Boxer from the outset.

The opening track, Walk Tall, is a military cadence-style vocal given a hardcore throbbing synth and hand-clap drums to hide behind. On the Lam, nudges the boundaries a little more with garage beats, pulsating synths and dirty bass accompanying the high pitched vocals of Okereke.

Lead single, Tenderoni, is a slamming, melodic electronica track driven by aggressive beats and brooding body-rocking synths. Everything You Wanted marks a notable change of sound; the bleeps are a little more restrained resulting in one of the least intense electronica tracks on the album.

The Boxer is not wall-to-wall mechanical beats oscillating sequencers and Auto-Tune voices. The New Rules with its tight strings is a surprisingly dainty duet with songstress Jodie Scantlebury, which provides a delicate audio intermission between the heavy synths of the rest of the album.

All things considered, this is a persuasive solo debut, confident and innovative, a record that is ultimately an emotional mass of synth hooks that’ll go down in the world of electronic dance with ease.

Tracklisting:

1. Walk Tall
2. On The Lam
3. Tenderoni
4. The Other Side
5. Everything You Wanted
6. New Rules
7. Unholy Thoughts
8. Rise
9. All The Things I Could Never Say
10. Yesterday's Gone

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Roundhouse launch 30/30 unsigned band search

The Roundhouse has joined forces with EMI Music for the second year for 30/30 in 2010, a groundbreaking youth music project designed to cultivate and develop new and emerging talent.

Every day this September, 30/30 will offer 30 unsigned artists - between the ages of 16-25 - one free day of recording time in the Roundhouse’s EMI Live Music Studio, along with top guest producers to professionally record and mix their track for free.

On 13 October, the 30 lucky acts chosen by the Roundhouse team will have the opportunity to put their questions to a panel of experts from all areas of the industry - from artist management and marketing, through to publishing and A&R. 30/30 is non-genre specific and aims to attract an eclectic variety of artists.

Last year’s project was a huge success, attracting submissions from hundreds of aspiring artists, which culminated in the 30/30 Compilation Album 2009, a collection of 30 tracks featuring artists such as Ghosts You Echo, Hella Better Dancer and Ken Kobayashi, all of which have since signed recording deals.

Artists interested in 30/30 should visit www.roundhouse.org.uk/3030 to download an application form. The deadline is 16 July.