Tuesday 31 January 2012

Harrison Ford honoured by US cinematographers...

Harrison Ford is to be presented with an outstanding achievement award by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

The Star Wars and Indiana Jones star will be honoured at a ceremony in Hollywood on 12 February.

Ford was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2000.

He has also been nominated for four Golden Globes, the last one coming in 1996 for the comedy Sabrina.

In 2002, the Hollywood Foreign Press awarded Ford, 69, with their Cecil B. DeMille Award.

The actor recently starred in sci-fi movie Cowboys and Aliens opposite Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell.

He is currently working on another sci-fi movie Ender's Game, based on a short story by Orson Scott Card.

Ford's other credits include Witness, which earned him an Oscar nomination in 1985, Blade Runner and The Fugitive.

The ASC gives the outstanding achievement award annually for advancing the art and craft of film-making.

Previous recipients include Julia Roberts, Warren Beatty and Francis Ford Coppola.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16807661

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Lowest record sales on Official Album Chart in 17 years...

The Official Album Chart saw its lowest sales in nearly 17 years last week as Ed Sheeran returned to the top spot.

The singer's debut record, +, went back to number one for the first time since September with sales of 20,607.

That is the lowest total since September 1995 when the Levellers' Zeitgeist was top with 13,885 sales.

Coldplay's latest album Mylo Xyloto rose to number two with Adele's record-breaking 21 falling to number three with weekly sales dipping to 19,394.

Nearly half of Coldplay's total sales were from digital downloads.

Adele's second record has sold 3,855,537 copies in its 52 weeks on release in the UK with its top total standing at 257,731 on its 10th week on the chart.

January is traditionally a quieter time of year for album releases, and coupled with higher spending before Christmas, has seen fewer people buying records.

Sales should pick up again this month with the release of several high profile records, including Emeli Sandé's Our Version of Events.

Lana Del Rey's debut Born To Die sold 50,000 copies alone on its first day of release on Monday (30 January).

The Brits also take place on 21 February.

Sales have also been slow in the US, where for the first time five albums entered the Billboard top 10 with fewer than 20,000 copies sold last week.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16808049

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Jack White to release debut solo album in April...

Jack White has revealed he will release his debut solo album in April.

The singer and guitarist says Blunderbuss is "an album I couldn't have released until now".

He added: "I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name."

White has previously been a member of a several bands - including The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

Describing the new material, White said: "These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colours on my own canvas."

The album will be released on Third Man Records, the label founded by White in 2001.

In an interview with Radio 1's Zane Lowe, White said it "felt really good" to be launching a solo career.

Explaining how the album came about, the singer said: "A few months ago we had a [recording] session booked for one of the singles on Third Man.

"Someone didn't show up so I said, 'Well, I guess we'll do one of my songs that I've been writing.'

"And that kick-started the whole process of many, many songs I've been writing. It felt really good to do that, because I hadn't really done that by myself in a long time."

The album's lead single, Love Interruption, was posted online on Monday (30 January) and will be officially released on 7 February.

Jack White has scored a number of top 10 hits as a member of The White Stripes - including Seven Nation Army, Icky Thump and My Doorbell.

He also recorded the theme to the most recent James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

Another Way To Die, a duet with Alicia Keys, reached number nine in the UK singles chart in 2008.

Jack White's debut solo album Blunderbuss will be released 23 April.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16809988

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New Order tour dates...

Recently reformed (without original bassist Peter Hook) New Order have announced four UK tour dates. These will precede several festival fixtures in the band's forthcoming live calendar, which include Serbia's Exit and Spain's Benicassim.

Tour dates:

26 Apr: Manchester, Apollo
29 Apr: Birmingham, Ballroom
2 May: London, Academy Brixton
5 May: Glasgow, Academy

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The company behind new Libertines documentary 'There Are No Innocent Bystanders', Pulse Films, has teamed up with PledgeMusic to offer fans access to all sorts of extra material filmed by director Roger Sargent when he followed the band on their brief 2010 reunion, which climaxed with their sets at the Reading and Leeds festivals.

The film is due to be screened at various Academy venues around the UK in March before going on general release in April. Fans can pre-order the DVD version and other related content, including a live EP, artwork, and all sorts of extra stuff via the Pledge website, which is offering a number of different packages in different price ranges. The Pledge initiative has enabled Sargent to delve deeper into his footage and make lots of extra bits and pieces available to fans.

Says PledgeMusic MD Malcolm Dunbar: "The Libertines are a hugely important band and we are extremely pleased to be able to help them connect with their loyal and committed fanbase for this fantastic new project. The fact that we have already reached our original target in such a short space of time demonstrates the appetite out there for this new film and highlights the viability of getting fans involved at an early stage".

More at www.pledgemusic.com/artists/thelibertines

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/

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Work has started on a sequel to These New Puritans' much-acclaimed second studio LP 'Hidden', the band have announced.

The new record will come out on London-based independent Infectious Music (Local Natives, Temper Trap) rather than via the band's former label Angular Records, a move that has seemingly involved a lot of tedious legal shenanigans.

A TNP tweet reads: "We are making a new album. We spent months with lawyers and are pleased to have moved to Infectious Music for its release".

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/

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“‘Main Street’, the first single from Deer Tick's new album, Divine Providence, finds the Rhode Island rockers hitting a comfortable sweet spot where the romantic rhythms of girl-group pop, the raspy punk of Nirvana and the rootsy, blue-collar poetry of Bruce Springsteen all blend together into something fresh and new.” –Rolling Stone
“This one is much closer to the reckless abandon of their live shows…it’s served with such a knowing grin that you can’t help but love it.” –Uncut

www.deertickmusic.com / loosemusic.com/deertick

John McCauley - guitar, vocals / Ian O'Neil - guitar, vocals / Chris Ryan - bass, vocals /
Rob Crowell - keys, saxophone, vocals / Dennis Ryan - drums, vocals

Deer Tick is proud to announce the UK release of their new album ‘Divine Providence’, available on April 2nd via Loose Music.

‘Divine Providence’ is the Rhode Island quintet's fourth album in just five years, and is the first release recorded in their home state. It's a follow-up to their fantastic ‘Black Dirt Sessions’, which New York magazine called "flat-out great," and inspired the Late Show with David Letterman to give the band its network television debut.

After years of critics mainly praising them for their "folk" and "country" sounds and not touching on their other musical styles, the band wanted to make a record that was true to their live set (which has gained some notoriety): raw, loud, heartfelt, and completely uninterested in whatever the hell the rest of the music industry is up to. The results are unlike anything you’ve heard on a Deer Tick album.

To produce this record, the band recruited the team of Adam Landry and Justin Collins, who produced McCauley's side-project Middle Brother's debut album. Distorted guitars aplenty, guitarist Ian O'Neil and drummer Dennis Ryan take lead vocal duties for the first time on record, you can practically smell the sweat and the beer! And even hear a guitar or two break somewhere in there! It's got a little Exile, it’s got a little In Utero, it’s got a little Nilsson Schmilsson, but it's 100% Deer-F**king-Tick in their purest, and most carefree form.

The songs are there. The delivery is in your face. There's no studio magic. There's no hiding the fact that Deer Tick is just five regular dudes. This record may rattle your thoughts and it may make you think differently about Deer Tick, but at least they didn't make the same album four times in a row, right?

The band will be embarking on a European Tour throughout March with a London date confirmed for The Garage on April 4th.

‘Main Street’ music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNG6aK81ZAk

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Painter Faris McReynolds steps away from fine art successes to release album as Exdetectives...

Painter Faris McReynolds steps away from fine art successes to release album as Exdetectives.

Taking cues from Blur, Ride, Elastica, “Take My Forever” pays tribute to the music of his youth.

“…a flight through the clouds. …listen to this album over and over again.” – The Aquarian

Unlike so many musicians that become painters, the Los Angeles-based artist Faris McReynolds found success as a fine artist first. Showing his work in galleries before he was even out of art school, McReynolds thought his career path was mapped out for him. He was wrong.

McReynolds, who also makes music as the minimalist avant-garde pop project One Finger Riot, takes a totally different songwriting approach as alter-ego Exdetectives on Take My Forever due February 14th from the Post Planetary record label.

"I’m paying tribute to the music of my youth,” McReynolds says about the record. “Britpop bands like Blur, Ride, and Elastica, first wave indie rock like Dinosaur, Jr. and also The Beatles which I didn’t hear until after I’d gone through punk. This music is about being straightforward and letting the songs do the work. It’s loose, casual and direct. Hopefully something I didn’t plan for comes out of that approach.”

Take My Forever’s first single “The Lawn” is a droning wash of guitars and live -- as in not programmed -- synthesizers. “I wanted it to be this mass of sound that stays in place all the way through the song. No dynamics, just this wide swirl of textures,” McReynolds says. “It’s got loud distorted guitars, yet it manages to come off as mellow. I’m proud of that because guitars can get old really fast.”

Created in a quick two-week fit of low-budget recording (vocals were tracked in a storage closet), McReynolds plays all of the instruments (save for the drums) on Take My Forever. It’s a radical approach to making a record that bears itself out all the way down to the title itself. As McReynolds states, “The title of the album says, ‘Here, you can fucking have it. Make of it what you will.”

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Danny DeVito plans West End debut...

Danny DeVito is to make his West End debut alongside Richard Griffiths in a play about a pair of veteran comedians who reunite for one last performance.

The pair will star in Neil Simon's play The Sunshine Boys, which was first staged on Broadway in 1972.

It was made into a film starring Walter Matthau and George Burns three years later, earning an Oscar for Burns.

The play, directed by Thea Sharrock, will run at the Savoy Theatre in London from 27 April to 28 July.

DeVito emerged in the 1971 off Broadway stage version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest before appearing in the film of the same name in 1975.

He went on to star in TV sitcom Taxi and on the big screen in such films as Ruthless People, Batman Returns, Get Shorty and Twins.

He has also turned his hand to producing such films as Pulp Fiction and Erin Brockovich, as well as directing movies including The War of the Roses and Matilda.

Griffiths won Olivier and Tony awards for his role in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys and is also known for playing Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16788675

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Only Fools and Horses gets US remake...

Classic TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses is to be remade for a US audience.

The ABC network is to make a pilot US version of the British show, which starred David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst and ran from 1981 to 2003.

The script will be penned by Scrubs writers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley.

ABC said it would follow the same formula of two brothers who "concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires".

If the pilot is picked up for a full series, it will be broadcast in the US later this year.

The original show came top of a poll to find the UK's greatest ever sitcom in 2004.

Its 1996 Christmas special was seen by more than 24 million people, making it one of the most-watched programmes in the history of British TV.

It also spawned two spin-offs - The Green Green Grass and Rock & Chips - before the show's writer and creator, John Sullivan, died last April aged 64.

Over the years, the programme has been sold and re-dubbed in dozens of countries.

There have also been international remakes, including Wat Schuift't? in The Netherlands and Brat Bratu in Slovenia, where Del Boy's three-wheel Reliant Robin car became a camper van.

UK sitcoms have a chequered history in the States.

One success story is the US version of Ricky Gervais' The Office, which has run for eight series, with Steve Carell and James Spader in the lead role.

But others, including American versions of Absolutely Fabulous, Fawlty Towers, Men Behaving Badly and Coupling, failed to take off.

Another UK comedy currently receiving a US makeover is political satire The Thick of It, which will be appearing as Veep on the HBO channel from April.

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Noel and Liam Gallagher nominated for NME music awards...

Noel and Liam Gallagher are among the nominees for this year's NME Awards.

Noel is nominated for best solo artist and best album, but his brother Liam has fared less well. He's in the running for villain of the year.

He faces competition in the category from David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

Liam's band Beady Eye, who formed after Oasis split in 2009, are also nominated for worst band at the ceremony, which takes place on 29 February.

One Direction, Muse and Coldplay are also shortlisted for the award.

Noel Gallagher has already been revealed as the winner of this year's Godlike Genius prize.

He is also nominated for hero of the year, alongside Noel Fielding, Alex Turner, Matt Bellamy and Dave Grohl.

'Very happy'

PJ Harvey's Let England Shake, which won the Mercury Music Prize last year, is nominated for best album.

It faces competition from The Horrors, The Vaccines and Arctic Monkeys - who have seven nominations in total.

The Sheffield band are also up for best album and best live band.

Drummer Matt Helders said it was "good to be recognised" at the event.

"We're up for all the big ones - we're very happy," he said. "We had a lot of fun making Suck It And See and it's great to be up for best live band."

The group are up against Bombay Bicycle Club, The Horrors, Kasabian and Muse for the best British band trophy.

Bombay Bicycle Club face Hurts, Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine and Arctic Monkeys for the best track honour.

Azealia Banks, who signed a major label record deal earlier this month, is nominated for dancefloor anthem for her single 212.

She faces competition from Katy B, Foster The People, Justice and Metronomy.

There are also categories for best TV show, best film and best festival - where Glastonbury takes on T In The Park, Reading and Leeds, V and Bestival.

Comedian Jack Whitehall will host this year's ceremony, which will feature live performances by The Vaccines and Kasabian.

The 2012 NME awards take place on 29 February at Brixton Academy.

Nominations for best solo artist:

Florence + The Machine
Frank Turner
Laura Marling
Miles Kane
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16788316

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The Archers: 30/1/2012


Brian does a spot of networking and Joe launches a new enterprise.

Brian’s pleased with the promotional leaflet for the dairy, which will start to be mailed out today.

Mike and Jim are pleased with the turnout for the opening of the green burial ground, until Joe turns up with Bartleby, intending to give out leaflets for a ‘bespoke transportation service for a loved one’. Jim’s annoyed to learn that official gravedigger Eddie is also involved. Jim sends Joe home. Jennifer takes photos for the website. Brian chats to journalists from the Borchester Echo and Radio Borchester and is confident he’s got his side of things across.

Upstairs at The Bull afterwards, Mike tells Jim he’s unhappy with his record of hours worked at the orchard. Jim insists it’s the best he can do. Joe turns up and accepts a drink from Brian but states that he can’t be bought. Brian wouldn’t insult him – he’s sure Joe will make an informed decision about the dairy based on the evidence. Jim thought he made things clear to Joe earlier but Joe insists he said nothing about leafleting at The Bull.

It looks to Kenton as if the day’s been a roaring success. As one of the undertakers said to him, all that’s needed now is a body.

Listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b9hjl

Episode written by Joanna Toye

Monday 30 January 2012

THE SMALL FACES: Deluxe Reissues...


On May 7th 2012, Universal Music Catalogue is set to release deluxe editions of the four albums released by The Small Faces during their short but highly creative and eventful lifetime between 1965 and 1969.

The albums in question: SMALL FACES, Decca, April 1966; FROM THE BEGINNING, Decca, June 1967; SMALL FACES, Immediate, June 1967 and OGDEN’S NUT GONE FLAKE, Immediate, June 1968 are each released as deluxe two-disc editions with the notable exception of OGDEN’S which has now been expanded to three discs.

All newly re-mastered, these definitive editions carry both the mono and stereo versions of the albums, plus related non-album singles and alternate versions many of which are previously unreleased or released for the first time on CD. In the case of OGDEN’s, there are separate discs for the mono and stereo formats and a third disc of previously unreleased material – early session versions, alternate USA mixes, instrumentals and the previously unreleased backing track “Kamikhazi”.

Complete with rare photos and memorabilia, each album package includes liner notes by Mark Paytress featuring entertaining and fascinating new interviews with the surviving members of the Small Faces, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones.

It was Andrew Oldham who coined the phrase ‘there are but four Small Faces’, the group establishing its familiar line up of Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan in November 1965, once McLagan replaced Jimmy Winston behind the keyboards. McLagan joined within three months of the group’s debut single “Watcha Gonna Do About It” (reaching No. 14 in the charts in September 1965) adding the final ingredient to their distinctive sound.

Over the next two years The Small Faces achieved truly iconic status with a series of hits that included “Sha La La La Lee”, “All Or Nothing”, “My Mind’s Eye”, “Itchycoo Park” and “Lazy Sunday”, their celebrity heightened by their flamboyant appearance and bigger than life personalities, their sound shifting from explosive, spirited ‘mod’ anthems to memorable psychedelic pop culminating in the artistic triumph that was OGDEN’S NUT GONE FLAKE.

Never short on controversy, following a contractual dispute, The Small Faces left Decca for Andrew Oldham’s Immediate label around May 1966, hitting the charts for Oldham’s label straight away with “Here Comes The Nice”. Decca retaliated by releasing the first in a series of spoiler singles and the album FROM THE BEGINNING. It was a collection of outtakes, singles and works in progress which, despite its untidy origins, more than holds up today. Immediate responded by rush-releasing its own debut album by the group just two weeks later, confusingly titled SMALL FACES. In the battle of the LP charts, Immediate won out, reaching the No. 12 position to Decca’s No. 17.

The most celebrated Small Faces LP, OGDEN’S NUT GONE FLAKE was easily their most successful, enjoying a six-week run at the top of the UK charts during June and July 1968. Originally packaged in an elaborately designed round sleeve like a tobacco tin, it signaled the arrival of the Small Faces as a bona fide ‘album band’, a brilliant achievement just months ahead of the group’s acrimonious collapse within a year of its release.

The Small Faces have since taken their place alongside the likes The Who or the Kinks as one of the most fondly remembered, original and wonderful British groups of the 60s. Their best loved songs are still on rotation to this day, “Itchicoo Park” and “Lazy Sunday” both re-charting in the 70s while the individual reputations of both Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane have grown considerably since their untimely deaths. Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan have enjoyed success in their own right and, of course, with Ronnie Lane, were founder members of members of The Faces.

This series of reissues, the most complete editions to date of the Small Faces four classic albums, is a testimony to a truly original group whose influence is as great today as it was during its lifetime.

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Billy Connolly 'most influential comedian of all time'...

Scottish funnyman Billy Connolly has been voted the UK's most influential stand-up comedian of all time.

The Glaswegian topped a poll of 2,000 people, commissioned by TV channel Dave for the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Second placed Morecambe and Wise were followed by Victoria Wood, Eddie Izzard and Ben Elton.

Stephen Merchant, Jack Dee, Miranda Hart, Jason Manford and Jo Brand were among 100 comics who compiled a shortlist, which the public voted on.

Peter Cook was placed sixth, followed by Les Dawson, Lenny Henry, Sean Lock and Rik Mayall in 10th place.

US star Robin Williams was named top international comedian.

Steve North, head of TV channel Dave, which commissioned the poll, said: "British stand-up is there with the best in the world.

"It is great to see trailblazing stand-ups such as Billy Connolly and Robin Williams get the respect they deserve.

"Both Connolly and Williams have consistently pushed the comedy envelope and whilst they may have over 40 years of experience between them, they are still the funniest men on the planet."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-16787617


Smudged Productions Presents:

February is full of fantastic feats. Clara's album "The Emblem" (released tomorrow) will have its London launch at THE FORGE, on Thursday 23rd of February. R2 Magazine calls it "vibrantly exotic world-folk.... richly diverse and accomplished... lively and spirited throughout". Book tickets early to avoid disappointment.

A brand-new website by the wonderful Alaric King, incorporates Clara's drawings and artwork and is full of the latest widgets and colourful curios. Have a browse, let us know what you think, forward it to your friends! Clara will appear on The Discovery Show at Boisdale is Canary Wharf on Feb 29th. The gig will broadcast a week later for JAZZ FM. For more dates and information please visit: www.clarasanabras.com

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This weekend, veteran record business exec, industry conference regular, and champion rock n roll storyteller Seymour Stein was presented the Billboard Icon Award, a new prize to recognise lifetime achievements in the music industry. That the Sire Records co-founder deserves the prize is sort of a given, surely, but if you need convincing Billboard has posted a review of his career and a video of top names bigging Stein up at this URL:


Commenting on the award at the breakfast bash where it was presented, Billboard's Editorial Director Bill Werde noted the impact one of Sire's most famous signings, The Ramones, had on him personally when growing up. Said Werde: "The Ramones are really the band that changed my life. That was my gateway drug... That was the band that took me on my path and got me into cool music and got me into all these things. To some extent, you can blame Seymour for my being here at all. And Seymour, I personally thank you very much for that".

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/


The House Of Lords gave speedy approval to the Live Music Bill on Friday, meaning the much previously reported legislation - which will remove much of the bureaucracy inflicted on the promoters of small music events by the 2003 Licensing Act - should now be law by March, with the Queen due to apply her rubber stamp sometime next month.

Although a private members' bill, introduced twice by Liberal Lord Tim Clement Jones, the legislation - being approved by both the Coalition government and its original opponents, the Local Government Association, in its final form - was able to get through both the Lords and the Commons in the short time dedicated to non-government initiated proposals. Having passed the Commons the Friday before last, the Lords just needed to approve some final amendments last week.

Commenting on the impact his bill should now have by simplifying the process for staging small-scale gigs, Clement-Jones told reporters: "This is a modest Bill but one which I believe will have a major impact on the performance and enjoyment of live music, the livelihood especially of young musicians and the viability of our pubs and clubs'.

Source: http://www.unlimitedmedia.co.uk/

The Help triumphs at SAG film awards...

Civil rights drama The Help has won three prizes at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards, including best cast and best actress for Viola Davis.

Another of the film's stars, Octavia Spencer, was named best supporting actress.

"Dream big and dream fierce," Davis told the audience at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Sunday.

Silent movie The Artist, tipped for Oscar glory, could only manage one win, a best actor prize for Jean Dujardin.

The SAG awards are seen as a key indicator of which films and stars may come out on top at the Oscars.

Actors make up the biggest voting group in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which picks the Oscar recipients.

Veteran Christopher Plummer was named best supporting actor for his portrayal of an elderly man who comes out to his family in Beginnners.

Like the Golden Globes, the SAG awards also honour television work.

Paul Giamatti was named best actor in a TV film or mini-series for his role in Too Big to Fail, a drama about the 2008 financial meltdown.

Kate Winslet was named best actress for playing the title role in Mildred Pierce, having won the same award at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

The cast of Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire picked up the TV drama ensemble prize, while its star Steve Buscemi was named best male actor in a drama series.

Jessica Lange was named best actress in a drama series for her role in American Horror Story.

Alec Baldwin won best actor in a comedy series for 30 Rock, while Betty White picked up the best comedy actress prize for Hot in Cleveland.

"I think they made a terrible mistake," White joked, adding that the prize belonged to all four female leads in the series.

Modern Family won the comedy ensemble prize, while the best stunt award went to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

The ceremony also saw Dick Van Dyke present a lifetime achievement award to Mary Tyler Moore, best known for her self-titled sitcom in the 1970s.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16785536

Original Happy Mondays line-up to re-form for tour...

The Happy Mondays will re-form for a month-long tour in May, singer Rowetta Satchell has confirmed.

Rowetta, also an X Factor finalist, told BBC Radio Manchester the group had been in talks for a long time, but made the final decision to reform last week.

Although the Manchester band have reformed previously, this will be the first time the original line-up has played together since 1992.

"We want to put on a really good show," Rowetta told Darryl Morris.

All seven of the original line-up met last week to "see if they could sit in a room together", Rowetta said, referring to the band's acrimonous past.

She said the drive to bring the original members back together had come from lead singer Shaun Ryder and his manager.

"We decided it would only be special and work if it was the total, original line-up," she said.

"We're all really excited. They are my family, these boys; I've really missed them... and I'm sure they've missed each other."


The band, who were at the forefront of the Madchester scene, formed in 1980, with Ryder as their frontman.

The original band also included Ryder's brother Paul, guitarist Mark Day, Paul Davis and drummer Gary Whelan. They were joined by Mark "Bez" Berry and Rowetta.

Discovered by music impresario Tony Wilson, they went on to release the albums Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out), Bummed, and Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches, before disbanding after 1992's Yes Please!.

They reformed twice, most notably in 1999, but split again in 2001, with Paul Ryder vowing never to perform with his brother again.

A further incarnation of the band followed in 2004, with only Shaun Ryder, Bez and Whelan from the original line-up.

Rowetta said the band would be rehearsing throughout April, but denied there were currently any plans for them to support the reunited Stone Roses at Heaton Park.

"It's up to the Roses. As long as we've not killed each other by then, we'd be up for it."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16781683

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The Archers: 29/1/2012


Neil acquires an unlikely assistant and Jennifer tries to build bridges.

Pat thanks Susan for coming into work on a Sunday. Susan’s happy to help. Pat’s been too busy to prepare lunch and Tony feels that he’s the only person running the farm. Pat reminds him that the launch, and all the work that Tom is doing, is for the good of the farm. Tony thinks it’s all too much.

Jennifer wishes Brian and Adam could sort things out. She defends Adam’s comments on the mega dairy to the reporter but Brian’s not having any of it, despite Debbie feeling sorry for Adam. Jennifer wants Brian to come to the Ambridge Organics launch but he won’t go.

However, Brian is keen to attend the open event at the green burial ground. Jennifer warns him not to hijack the event. Brian insists he’s just going to be networking. After all, they gave the land to put something back into the community.

Listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b8zw1

Episode written by Joanna Toye

Sunday 29 January 2012

Review: Highway Ghosts

Highway Ghosts - Beyond All Help (Independent)
Highway Ghosts are an Americana outfit from Boston, comprising of David DeLuca (guitar and vocals), Dennis Barry (bass and vocals), Dan Cody (guitar and vocals) and Matt Slowick (drums and vocals). That’s a lot of vocalists in one band, but it’s something they constantly use to their advantage, through rich harmonies and alternating leads.

Contemporary Americana reflects the music business as a whole. It’s constantly evolving and appears almost unlimited in its scope, from Bonnie Prince Billy and Josh T. Pearson, right through to Taylor Swift, it’s a broad church and Highway Ghosts have set up in the nave. They take the classic sound of ‘70s country rock – Poco, Eagles, etc. – strip back the excess and inject plenty of urgency. Take “Please Don't Run Away”, lyrically it could pass for a new wave classic, but the banjo and mandolin tell a completely different story. It’s probably my favourite track here, but it’s got an awful lot of competition. “Alone” might be a song to cry into a beer to, but maudlin it’s not. It’s all gone wrong on “Laurie” but a sublime Hammond organ goes some way to making it better, and “And She Goes” is a Tom Petty-esque rocker with a catchy-as-hell chorus and the finest quality “whoah whoah” backing vocals – you will join in.
Rob F.

Highway Ghosts: Beyond All Help

Desert Island Discs celebrates 70 years...

Desert Island Discs is celebrating its 70th anniversary with 44 different versions of the radio programme across the BBC's entire UK network.

Sir David Attenborough appears on BBC Radio 4's version for a fourth time - a record he shares with Arthur Askey.

The special editions will feature the public's favourite tunes and memories.

Over the 70 years the great and the good have imagined life on a secluded island; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has been the most popular musical choice.

Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf has been the most frequently chosen non-classical tune which guests said they would have on the island with them.

'Constantly surprised'

Amongst the 2,881 luxuries chosen to be taken on the island are 183 pianos, five trombones, the Albert Memorial and a cheeseburger machine.

At midday on Sunday all 40 local radio stations and Radio Scotland, Radio nan Gaidheal, Radio Wales, Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle will simultaneously broadcast their own Your Desert Island Discs featuring listeners' stories.

They will include Chris Seery, who first heard Alive by Pearl Jam when he worked in the US and played it while training for the New York Marathon.

The song has since taken on a whole new meaning for the married father-of-two from the Suffolk countryside.

In 2010 he was diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer and despite operations, many cycles of chemotherapy and an initially positive outlook for recovery he is terminally ill at 46.

"This time the words have great meaning as I am determined to do everything to beat the odds and stay alive for the sake of my boys and the joy of being alive," he said.

First broadcast on 29 January 1942, the programme was conceived and presented by playwright and novelist Roy Plomley, who each week asked a guest to choose eight songs, a book and luxury item for their imaginary stay on the island.

The "castaways" are then invited to discuss their lives and reasons for their choices.

Kirsty Young, who has been presenting the programme since 2006, told the Radio Times she has "probably the best job in the world" and would like to be doing it "until I'm 85".

She said of her castaways: "Although the premise is phoney - sitting in a studio talking to each other - I don't think I'm deluding myself when I say you can establish connections.

"I'm constantly surprised, and delighted, by their frankness and honesty."

Four presenters, 70 years

Roy Plomley (1942-1986)
Michael Parkinson (1986-88)
Sue Lawley (1988-2006)
Kirsty Young (2006-present)

Kirsty Young's 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs with Sir David Attenborough is at 1115 GMT on BBC Radio 4 (FM only).

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16778273

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Scottish rockers Glasvegas have announced several UK tour dates, each of which will find the band previewing material from the in-progress successor to their second studio album, 'EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\'.

Though they remain unsigned, Glasvegas have denied any plans to split after being dropped from Sony/Columbia last year.

Guitarist Rab Allen of the band has published this Facebook note to accompany the tour announcement: "These are just wee shows to try out some of the new material we've been doing along with the older stuff. Hope you can make it down. I think they will be special little gigs. Hopefully more gigs in more cities not long after if all goes well".

Live dates as follows:

3 Apr: London, Garage
4 Apr: Liverpool, Academy 2
5 Apr: Glasgow, Classic Grand


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Saturday 28 January 2012

NEDRY new album 12 March 2012...

NEDRY release new album 'In A Dim Light'
- out 12 March 2012 on Monotreme


“When a band is as good, as versatile and as daring as Nedry, you hope the wider world will stand up and take notice.”
Huw Stephens, BBC Radio1

On 12 March 2012 Nedry, whose distillation of advanced rhythmic structures, low frequencies and raw human tones stand uniquely at a fascinating sonic crux of leftfield, club and indie juncture, are to release their new album, In A Dim Light' on Monotreme Records.

Nedry are a trio by way of London, Osaka and Bristol whose distillation of advanced rhythmic structures, low frequencies and raw human tones stand uniquely at a fascinating sonic crux of leftfield, club and indie juncture.

Drawing on the gothic undertones of David Lynch – and at points, absorbing T.S. Elliot’s ‘Four Quartets’, vocalist Ayu Okakita revels in ruminations urging acceptance of the shadows; to permit the darkness to settle around her.

British bass music clings to few modern regulations. As grey areas become inviting, zones of conflict are transformed into fertile new ground. Nedry are dictating a path that recognizes no genre, no structures, no rules. Ripping progressive dance culture out of the bedroom producers’ smoke stained confines and planting it resolutely on the live stage, Matt and Chris utilize MPC, laptops, guitars and synths to create a deep, thoughtful musical space.

Nedry are dissolving the distance between this cutting edge and hungry audience. Splicing a band aesthetic with the ‘heads down and thumbs up’ bass craft of the UK, they gift the faceless revolution of dark music an inviting visage within which we can all dwell.

As comfortable on the dancefloor of London clubs like The Boiler Room or FWD>> nights as they are onstage at The Great Escape or Barcelona’s Sonar electronic showcase – Nedry are the hypnotic, tender and evolving exponent of the delightful mutation that we face each day in Britain’s refreshingly wobbly musical culture.

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Review: Mitch Siegal

Mitch Siegal - Save The World (Independent)
Mitch Siegal is a Chiropractor from Florida who treats patients with spine and neck problems. In his spare time he raises money and writes music for the Songs of Love Foundation in New York, an organization that creates personalized songs for sick children all over the USA. Which neatly brings us to Mitch Siegal’s other career, the one that probably doesn’t pay the mortgage or feed the family, but is clearly close to his heart.

“Save The World” is his second album of original songs. Whether his albums are a natural progression of his charity work, or his prime musical focus, I’ve no idea, and in many ways it matters not a jot. Siegal is a regular performer in his home state and I’m sure he’ll be selling the majority of his CDs to audience members, though his sound and style is universal. His songs feel heartfelt and honest, and he repeatedly hits his targets, whether he’s writing about natural (in)justice, love and loss, or more abstract topics. There’s a sunshine lilt to much of the material, which is no surprise considering his location, and the best tracks on “Save The World”, the Coldplay-esque “Till Now”, the vibrant “Rose Marie” and the new-wave flecked “I'll Never Learn” all readily transcend the local singer-songwriter tag.
Rob F.

Mitch Siegal: Save the World

Review: Deep Roots Of The Ramones

Various Artists – Deep Roots Of The Ramones (Sireena Records)
If you’re credited with inventing a genre, as The Ramones often are, it must surely be a worthwhile enterprise trawling record catalogues to pin down the tunes that inspired their music. Sounds like a lot of fun, too. Of course, The Ramones didn’t invent punk rock, as any ‘60s garage dweller, or Detroit musicologist will testify, but that’s no reason to overlook their huge contribution to three-chord nihilism, leather jackets and ripped jeans.

This feisty compilation from the German Sireena label paints a picture that’s by no means complete, but still sounds extremely impressive. All the usual suspects are present and correct: Iggy and the Stooges (“I Got A Right”), MC5 (“Looking At You”) and the New York Dolls (the always good to hear “Personality Crisis”), but interestingly it’s the early stuff that really works, tracks by Link Wray, Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent seem to epitomize the basics of punk rock that The Ramones effortlessly tapped into. Add some fine contributions from The Troggs, Flamin’ Groovies and Jack Scott, and the result is a compilation that’s going to live in your CD player for some time. Go on, crank it up and spoil the neighbours.
Rob F.

Classic Reviews from the Leicester Bangs Print Archive...

2 Foot Flame – Ultra Drowning (Matador)
Ultra Drowning are not for the faint of heart as guitars and keyboards overload in a cacophony of sound reminiscent of a harshly ambient Sonic Youth strung out on Draino, or a less structured Diamanda Galas dragged up on Grace, Janis and Patti.

For all the madness, layered noise and general weirdness, there are real songs scattered around, telling stories of disappointment and suffering which make 2 Foot Flame a challenging but always worthwhile experience. New sonic blues for an apathetic generation, then? Quite possibly.

If alternative music has joined the mainstream then 2 Foot flame are about a hundred yards from the bank, whirling ‘round pretending to be aeroplanes, but with no discernable intention of getting even a little wet.
LB (1997)

Run On – No Way (Matador)
New York’s Run On are poppy noiseniks on a mission. With their second album “No Way”, they mix melody and drones in equal measure to produce a record that has some interesting tracks but is never completely satisfying.

New member Katie Gentile adds a new dimension to the band after the departure of David Newgarden, especially on the violin led “Anything You Say”, which might be the album’s high water mark. Other songs to look out for are the trance-like “Dance Away”, the Nick Drake cover “Road” and the impressive six-minute “Sinnerman”, which almost brings the proceedings to a close.

Not a bad record by any means, just slightly disappointing.
LB (1997)

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Crazy Arm - March 2012 mini tour‏...


Devonian roots-punk ensemble, Crazy Arm, embark on a short UK stint ‘The Leap Of Faith tour’ in March alongside good friends, Apologies I Have None and Great Cynics. They also hook up with Indiana US country singer, Austin Lucas, for a couple of shows, with Crazy Arm appearing as Austin's backing band on a number of songs.

The band’s second album, 'Union City Breath', was released in October last year. Much like its predecessor, 'Born To Ruin', it has been very well received nationwide and throughout mainland Europe by fans and critics alike. Produced and engineered by Peter Miles (The King Blues, The Computers, Sonic Boom Six), the album is a triumph of punk rock energy, alt. country vitality and rabble-rousing honesty.

Not easy to categorise, and all the better for it, Crazy Arm's sound is an accumulation of decades of influence and inspiration: rooted in hardcore/punk, ‘60s protest folk/country and Springsteen-esque classic rock’n’roll. They combine this with a grass-roots political overview that embraces anti-war, anti-fascist and pro-community activism.

29th – White Rabbit, Plymouth (with Austin Lucas + Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)

MARCH 2012
1st – Croft, Bristol (with Austin Lucas + Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)
2nd – The Hydrant, Brighton (with Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)
3rd – Firebug, Leicester (with Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)
4th – Fighting Cocks, Kingston (with Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)
5th – Norwich (with Apologies I Have None + Great Cynics)

Reviews for 'Union City Breath':
'Blisters with energy' – KKKK Kerrang!
'You need Crazy Arm' – 5/5 Big Cheese
'A triumph from start to finish' – 9/10 Punktastic
'Delivered with a fired-up passion' – Rock Sound
'Never faltering from the pinnacle it attains from the off' – Punk News
'A patchwork blanket of musical bliss' – Room Thirteen
'This is the band to watch at the moment' – Rhythm Circus
'Supremely confident' – Sputnik Music
'Album of choice to represent Britain on the punk scene' – Alter The Press


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Review: Rebecca Pronsky

Rebecca Pronsky – Viewfinder (Nine Mile Records)
It helps to gain that lonesome, winsome and downright handsome voice if the context for recording fits snug. Rebecca Pronsky hightailed from her Brooklyn home to the wilds of woodland Maine to create this atmospheric and haunting collection. Rebecca’s superb jazz–trained voice combines eloquently with the country twang and sweeping landscapes of songs, which, in their detail of relationships and breakdown, of anger, regret and love, call to mind Carolyn Mark and Neko Case.

‘Give Up too Easily’ has a ‘60s bounce and sway, with Rich Bennet’s Smiths-style guitar licks. Beautiful. And ‘Aberdeen’ had me pondering an imminent trip to the North of Scotland… or Washington State, just to pay homage to the song. Rebecca Pronsky tours extensively, and has just wowed audiences on her UK shows. Can I ask that she make it back to the UK soon, please...
Carl J.

Review: Miles Nielsen

Miles Nielsen - Presents The Rusted Hearts (Rotown Records)
The idea on this sophomore album is that Miles Nielsen lets you get to know his five-piece band. That’s no bad thing, but despite his intention, Nielsen still takes centre stage on almost every track. There’s a tendency amongst some contemporary singer-songwriters to go one of two ways; it seems they either want to shout at you, or whine away for three minutes at a time. The title track falls into the latter category, and "The Grain" doesn't help me make up my mind. It’s an uptempo, spikier number, with big backing and boisterous chorus. Quite fine stuff in its own way, actually, but it does have just a little too much going on.

We get back to the basics on "Dear Kentucky (You're Killing Me)", and it is more obvious that, despite the brevity of this song, we have something real and true here, simple but meaningful lyrics, with a gentle caress of heartfelt love/hate for the bluegrass state. Another two nuggets in the mix are "Cold War", which is followed by "Overrated". Both are quality songs and wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Willie Nile record. The band doesn’t appear to put a note wrong, either. It could still go either way, but add the smart-sounding "Sirens" to the list of good things happening here, and I’m happy to wish them only the best.
Kev A.

Miles Nielsen: Presents The Rusted Hearts

Review: Buildings

Buildings - Melt Cry Sleep (Double+Good Records)
‘Melt Cry Sleep’ indeed. I know a noise when I hear it, and this is a noise. But here’s a pertinent question – do I know a good musical noise from a bad musical noise? As ever, it all comes down to personal preferences and for me this is musical noise that I can like and appreciate – but you’ve got to give it a chance. I did the same with Barkmarket years ago, and Aminiature, and never regretted it. I don't regret listening to this, either, but you might, as I did, need to pick your time and place.

Buildings make aggressive music, hardcore to the hub, but with a flowing motion that provides a superlative drive, propelling the sound of music forward, on every track. Of course, we’re not talking about Julie Andrews here, and this is as far from the ‘Sound Of Music’ as an investment banker is from philanthropy. Their song titles, from "Born On A Bomb" to "I Don't Love My Dog Anymore" spell it out for you. It’s a coruscating noise that Buildings make, and it hurls around the brain until you’re ready to digest, or perhaps, reject, it. Sure, there’s always an element of near thrash, but it all adds up to a truly invigorating experience. Just pick the moment when you feel the need to be engulfed in sound. You might emerge with a pink tinge, but you’ll come to no serious harm.
Kev A.

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Review: Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan - Oh Fortune (City Slang)
Here's a guy who knows exactly what he’s doing. He's managed to get his head above the parapet and he’s primed for launch. The big time beckons, and hopefully whatever success is attained, it’s done so with his artistic integrity intact. 2010's 'Nice Nice Very Nice' was exactly that, and was a rallying cry to get him noticed - a flag waver, if ever I heard one - but as good as 'Nice Nice...’ was, this is a huge leap forward. He’s ready to rouse the rabble, or those of us who‘ll listen to his musical call to arms and pass on the word. We’ll tell our friends about the sheer exuberance of being in on something that’s just about to break (we think... we hope...).

The arrangements on all eleven tracks have that certain extra something, whether its orchestration or individual sounds (the clang at the start of "Daffodil", and the accompanying drones are just wonderful). However, it’s the voice that brings such quality to the songs, demonstrating melancholy, euphoria, reflection, heartache, and an honest desire to deliver his songs without the falsity of excessive showmanship. They appear to mean so much to him. That’s what his voice tells us. This is heart and soul, no less. Indeed, if this doesn’t put him in the spotlight, for better or worse, I don't know what will. All hail Dan Mangan!
Kev A.

Review: Marconi Union (x2)

Marconi Union – Under Wires and Searchlights / Distance (Just Music)
2012 sees Marconi Union’s 2003 debut “Under Wires and Searchlights” mastered for the first time, and a re-mastering of their critically acclaimed 2005 follow up, “Distance”.

The once duo (of Richard Talbot and Jamie Crossley), now trio (add Duncan Meadows) have over the years submersed themselves in the worlds of music, art installation, theatre, film and TV commercials with their hybridisation of dub, jazz, ambience and electronica. “Under Wires and Searchlights” blends radio controlled elegance, stark and melancholic moods, cinematic jazz and subtle trip-hop, and is equal parts Angelo Badalamenti, Barry Adamson and Massive Attack.

“Distance” (cited by The Sunday Times to be “one of the most successful ambient albums of recent years”) has an overtly optimistic aura to it, which is more emotional and cohesive in direction where occasional mildly claustrophobic tones are outweighed by the immensely cathartic. Subsequent Marconi Union releases have received a wealth of mainstream media compliments and a new album is planned for later this year.

Review: Azusa Plane

Azusa Plane – Where the Sands Turn To Gold (Rocket Girl)
“Where the Sands Turn To Gold” is a retrospective two CD and DVD package complied in memory of Jason DiEmilio (aka Azusa Plane). DiEmilio suffered from chronic Tinnitus and Hyperacusis; aural conditions brought about by extreme sound exposure. He committed suicide aged 36 in 2006. Whilst DiEmilio’s music is obviously quite personal and insular, there are experimental rites of passage and homage to be paid. Influences are drawn upon, such as Spacemen 3, Velvet Underground, The Smiths and Belle and Sebastian, and Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music”

CD1 comprises extended atonal and drone exercises and slabs of solid distortion and controlled feedback, interlaced with the temperate “Live At Leeds” which proves a refreshing wash and “Every Wave Has Its Own Integrity” has an almost Jan Hammer-esque ambience to it. Apart from the occasional forays into noise, CD2 is a more accessible affair and sonically less abrasive. A place in which the haunted tones of “A Magnetic Breakthrough” and “Ode To the Mountain Goats” can hang upon swirling repetitions and the playful blips of “The Last of The Famous Electronic Playboys” can nestle inside their effervescing dust.

Azusa Plane was a prolific musician and the DVD features a further thirty-minute live set and 65 MP3s which include rare tracks, an interview with Jason and unreleased live and studio recordings. The expansive booklet contains essays, thoughts, reflections and memories of DiEmilio's life and musical output. Azusa Plane RIP.

Review: Lil Daggers

Lil Daggers - S/T (Song, By Toad Records)
Welcome to the new indie kids on the block, and they’re from Miami. In the past I’ve welcomed The Postmarks, and, er, Lansing-Dreiden anyone? If we stretch the list and add solo artists, there’s Chan Marshall (Cat Power to you and me); and that's about it. So, what do Lil Daggers bring to the table then?

Well, for one thing, they build their sound in a most powerful way, so by the time you’re approaching the end of a track like "Past Due" or "Slave Exchange", you’re well into what they are trying to do, which appears to be to give everyone a good time. Subtler tracks such as "Pignose" and "Give Me A Pill" don't have the same edgy feel to them and are a little more organized perhaps, and pay their dues to old school garage rock, with a smattering of R&B and a healthy dose of psyche-rock thrown in.

The fact it took me half of the album to realize that the drawl of the lead singer was a chap (well, hello to you, Johnny Saraiva) didn’t in any way diminish what I’d already heard. I filed it away and decided that the charm of the music was responsible for my mistake, and just continued to enjoy the (quiet) mayhem that Lil Daggers produce - or perhaps it was because earlier I’d been playing the marvelous Warpaint, and this isn’t a million miles from their style. There is also a grand finale; out on its own is "Pair Of Lives", which quietly, and smoothly, and ever so beautifully, puts the album to bed.

Lil Daggers, they know their past, and it looks like they’ll be contributing to the future, and not just in Miami, either. This is a great starter album to what should be a long career for them, in the studio, in the arena, and in your life.
Kev A.