CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 13th May

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- The aides are to blame: Jacko trial update
- Iron Maiden release new live album
- Gates disses the iPod
- Microsoft planning digital domination
- SonyBMG follow Universal's lead in music video pricing
- London venue confirm clubber seriously injured after fall
- Album Review: Benjamin Diamond - Out Of Myself
- McKeown retracts guilty plea
- Eminem asked to headline Live Aid gig
- Gervais and Merchant return to Xfm
- Radio London relaunches
- MPAA target TV show sharing
- Masterpeace line up
- Oasis man doesn't expect to return to Glastonbury
- Album Review: Kathryn Williams - Over Fly Over
- Rod Stewart cancels third show
- Good Charlotte drummer parts with band
- Radio 2XS launch new player
- Brandon flowers speaks about Jodi song
- CMU city news: Warner Music and Yahoo
- Britney to return to film
- Usher and Beyonce to star in a film too
- Brian says Madonna sucks

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COLLEGE MEDIA NETWORK>>

***Calling all college media people - expand your skills and showcase your work with the latest media development projects from UnLimited's College Media Network - check out www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk

***Calling all music / media people - advertise your summer internship opportunities in the CMN interns directory - email company name and details, internship dates and details plus a contact email to chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Fabric at Fabric
This club continues to command a cult following, and understandably so, if only because of its strong record in the realms of credible dance-focused compilation releases. Fridays are rocking but Saturday sees the more 'serious' club night Fabric's 'Fabric' take over, and that's my personal favourite. This Saturday techno legend Adam Beyer, who is releasing the 22nd Fabric CD, will be on the decks, joined by Matt Herbert (of Big Band Fame) who will be doing a 'proper' set. Second room resident Craig Richards from Tyrant will be dropping some harder beats - house, techno and perhaps techy-breaks - while The Psychonauts will be in the third room letting off. The only question is can you last till 7am when it all kicks out?

Saturday 14 May, Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, Farringdon, London EC1M 3HN, 10.30pm-7am, £15/12 (NUS), tickets 08709 020 001, press info from http://www.fabriclondon.com/press

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with the date of your club event in the header.

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THE AIDES ARE TO BLAME: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
At times it seems more like it is Michael Jackson's aides that are on trial in Santa Maria at the moment because, while the trial has confirmed that the pop star clearly lives the weird life we all assumed, it is the people who manage his affairs that are continually portrayed as the dodgy crooks in this whole affair.

Certainly that was true yesterday, when one of Jackson's former lawyers said he believes two former Jacko aides diverted some $965,000 from his accounts. Lawyer David LeGrand says he was hired by Jackson to sort out confusions over his business interests. In that work he "became suspicious of everybody," because everyone around the singer "wanted to benefit from Mr Jackson one way or another". He became particularly concerned about two aides who were seemingly in a position to divert funds from Jackson's accounts. Such were LeGrand's concerns that he hired a private detective to investigate them. That testimony backs up comments made by Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe who described the singer's aides as "vultures".

LeGrand also blamed Jackson's advisors for the "terrible contracts" the singer signed with ITV before filming began on the now legendary Martin Bashir documentary. Earlier in the day the court was shown outtakes from that programme that showed Jackson in a much more compassionate light than anything that appeared in the final cut. Bashir himself was seen describing Jackson's relationship with his children as "spectacular". LeGrand said Jackson was misled into believing he would have some measure of control over what footage was used in the final cut of the show, and that the contracts the singer was hoodwinked into signing with the broadcaster were awful.

LeGrand's testimony should help Jackson distant himself from those accusations that the family of his current accuser Gavin Arvizo were held hostage at his Neverland ranch. Even if those accusations are true (and the defence team argue they are not), Jackson could argue that any decisions to keep the Arvizos at the ranch were made by his aides, and not sanctioned by him.

LeGrand was less useful in backing up the defence's denial that Jackson's finances were in meltdown when the child abuse and hostage taking incidents he is accused of took place. The prosecution say fear of bankruptcy provided the motivation to keep the Arvizos hostage - Jackson and his people were terrified, they argue, of the effect the family talking to the media would have on his career and therefore his already weak finances. The defence deny Jackson's accounts were in such a mess, but LeGrand told the court yesterday that the singer was "highly illiquid" and would be "on the verge of bankruptcy" if he did not act immediately.

Elsewhere in Jacko trial news, speculation is now circulating as to whether Jackson himself will make an appearance in the witness stand. The jury were shown a videotaped testimony earlier this week and some reckon that is all the court will hear from Jackson himself. Others say he could still be called to the witness stand by his defence team, although they agree that Jackson might only testify if his defence was going badly which, so far, hasn't been the case.

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IRON MAIDEN RELEASE NEW LIVE ALBUM
Iron Maiden have announced that they will release a new double DVD and Live Album on 29 Aug. 'Death on the Road' will feature footage of a 2003 concert in Dortmund, Germany as well as a 70 minute documentary about the creation of the album and the band's tour preparations. Producer Steve Harris said: "We've spent time starting from the bare bones to create a full length concert feature that captures the excitement of the show but also the drama as well. I'm really happy with the end result as it captures the dark and lighter moments perfectly."

Tracks performed in the live recording are as follows:
Wildest Dreams
Wrathchild
Can I Play With Madness
Trooper
Dance of Death
Rainmaker
Brave New World
Paschendale
Lord of the Flies
No More Lies
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden
Journeyman
The Number of the Beast

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GATES DISSES THE IPOD
Microsoft boss Bill Gates has been dissing the long term future of the iPod - though that's what you'd expect him to do I guess. Speaking to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Gates said he did not believe the iPod was "sustainable in the long run", adding that, "Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphical user interface - like the iPod today - and then lost its position."

Asked which of the mobile music devices he reckons will dominate in the future, he said "I'd bet on the mobile phone for sure". That prediction conveniently precedes the release of Windows Mobile 5.0, which Microsoft hope to get installed on as many mobile phones in the coming years as possible. Though Apple are sure to point out that his prediction also supports their joint venture with Motorola, with rumours that the much talked about Motorola iTunes mobile with 1GB of memory is not too far away now.

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MICROSOFT PLANNING DIGITAL DOMINATION
And talking of which, Microsoft have done a non-exclusive deal with Philips electronics which will see Windows Media systems installed on Philips' digital media devices. On the deal, Philips say "by supporting Windows Media technology, we're opening additional opportunities for a seamless user experience from the internet and PC to consumer electronics devices at home and on the move". What that probably means is that Microsoft plan to get their media technology (for playing audio and video) installed on so many different electronic devices (PC, mobile, car stereo, PDA, games console, TV, radio, fridge) that over time the iPod, and therefore iTunes, becomes irrelevant. Which is good news for all those download platforms selling music in Microsoft formats.

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SONYBMG FOLLOW UNIVERSAL'S LEAD IN MUSIC VIDEO PRICING
Staying with all things digital, and SonyBMG have followed the lead established by the Universal Music Group and have introduced a new payment system for the use of their videos on online on-demand-video platforms.

As previously reported, Universal were the first record company to reposition music videos as an online revenue stream. Prior to that decision, music websites could offer their users on-demand music videos with a simple blanket licence - for the record label the music video was just a marketing tool through which to promote audio releases. However, following Universal's re-evaluation of the music video, music websites now have to pay a fee every time one of their users streams a Universal video, meaning the major label can now truly profit from their pop promos.

Once the key online music video services agreed to Universal's new terms it was only a matter of time until the other major labels followed. SonyBMG divisions J and Arista records have now reportedly made a move, alerting music websites that they must stop streaming their videos until they have reached an agreement with their parent company.

They have sent a letter to key music websites saying: "As a result of a new policy implemented on behalf of J Records and Arista Records by our parent company Sony BMG, all video streams of J Records and Arista Records artists must be removed from your website or on-line distribution platform. A formal notification from Sony BMG Business Affairs setting forth the end-date on which the videos need to be removed is forthcoming, along with information on how to license our videos for use in the future."

Insiders expect key digital music players like AOL Music and MSN Music to reluctantly comply with SonyBMG's new restrictions.

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LONDON VENUE CONFIRM CLUBBER SERIOUSLY INJURED AFTER FALL
London club KOKO has confirmed a man was seriously injured after falling off a balcony at the venue last weekend. The incident occurred during the regular Club NME night on 6 May. The man fell from a first-floor balcony to the dance floor sustaining severe head injuries. He is reportedly still on a life support machine following the incident.

Responding to rumours circulating about the incident, a spokesman for the venue told reporters yesterday: "An accident occurred at KOKO last Friday night (May 6) where a man in his mid 30's jumped from the first floor balcony during a club night. The local authorities were called immediately and the decision was taken by management to close the venue for the night. The man was taken to hospital for treatment of serious head injuries.

"KOKO takes the safety of its customers very seriously and works hard with our security team to ensure a safe environment for everyone that enters the building. The Metropolitan Police, upon reviewing witness statements, satisfied themselves that a crime had not been committed and consequently they are not investigating further. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the injured party at this moment."

The club reopened as scheduled on Wednesday night and the incident isn't expected to affect their future operations.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Benjamin Diamond - Out Of Myself (!K7 Records)
Cast your mind back to the Summer of 1998, and Benjamin Diamond's voice would have been hard to avoid. Yet his name would barely gain any recognition from even those with a deep knowledge of pop music. So where would you have heard him before? Well he provided the smooth vocals on Stardust's huge single 'Music Sounds Better With You'. In the intervening years, Benjamin has collaborated with a number of artists, established his own label, and released some solo material, of which 'Out Of Myself' is the second album. Although Diamond is respected as a vocalist, he's also a fairly talented songwriter, and has pushed these gifts to the forefront of the record, rather than hide the songs behind over the top production methods. The song writing is simple and unpretentious; Diamond's preference is for lyrics about love lost and won on the whole; fairly standard you might think, but Diamond approaches the subject in a warm and amusing manner. Those who know their pop music are fully aware that France is a goldmine of terrific pop music, from Air to Daft punk, from Tahiti 80 to Phoenix, and aspects of all these bands and others can be heard in Diamond's music. Although it doesn't re-invent the wheel, it has substance and remains intriguing. If there was any justice 'Let's Get High'. the blissful dance-pop anthem of the record, would be just as successful this Summer as his Stardust single was all those years ago. It's merely one of many great tracks on this album, and it's not even as if Diamond repeats the same formula throughout the entire album. Opening track 'Mr Fate' is far more rock orientated, sounding like a less contrived Killers, whilst 'These Emotions' is a synth-led ballad of yearning. 'Out Of Myself' is a pleasant surprise; a lovely blend of pop, funk, and electronica, backed with warm and smooth vocals, and perfect for the approaching Summer. KW
Release date: 9 May
Press contact: The Outpost [CP, RP, NP] Ish Media [CR, RR, NR]

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MCKEOWN RETRACTS GUILTY PLEA
Bay City Roller Les McKeown, who, as previously reported, appeared at Thames Magistrates last week to plead guilty to crashing his car while more than twice over the legal alcohol limit, has now decided that he is not guilty after all. McKeown had been due to be sentenced yesterday, but his lawyer is now arguing that he should be allowed to take back the guilty plea, claiming that a toxicology report was flawed. The district judge has set aside the convictions made last week and the case is now adjourned until 26 May when a date for a new trial will be set.

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EMINEM ASKED TO HEADLINE LIVE AID GIG
Eminem has apparently been asked to headline a Live Aid style gig in Washington DC, which, reports suggest, will happen around the same time as the proposed Live 8 events being planned to coincide with next year's G8 summit in London. As previously reported, Bob Geldof denied that there were plans to celebrate Live Aid's 20th anniversary, but the Live Aid trust did confirm that plans were afoot to stage a series of events, with a possible concert in Hyde Park, to raise awareness about Africa around the time of the summit.

According to The Sun a source said: "Talks are under way to get Eminem to headline a massive concert in Washington DC. He is the No1 star in the US at the moment and it makes sense for him to be the big name at the gig. He also has the power to convince young Americans to back the Make Poverty History campaign - which is what the whole event is about."

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GERVAIS AND MERCHANT RETURN TO XFM
Still on a high from their wins at the Sony Awards, good old Xfm were yesterday able to announce that one of their most famous shows is returning for a six week run at the end of the month. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and producer / sidekick Karl Pilkington will return to the 1-3pm slot on 28 May.

Bigging up the return of one of the station's most famous presenters, the station's Programme Controller Andy Ashton told reporters: "Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are great friends of the station and we are incredibly grateful that, as busy as they are, they can still find time to return to Xfm and reunite with the K-Man [that's Karl Pilkington] for another run on Saturday afternoons. The archived shows online are one of the most popular items at www.xfm.co.uk and I know the audience will be as excited as we are about hearing the show back on Xfm whilst Adam and Joe are away."

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RADIO LONDON RELAUNCHES
Talking of radio, one of the original pirate radio stations - Radio London - is making a comeback this weekend, 38 years after it closed down. John Peel, Kenny Everett and Tommy Vance are amongst the radio legends who began their careers at the pirate, which broadcasted to the South East in the late sixties from a rusting boat in the North Sea. The new service will have a base in the Essex town of Frinton-On-Sea, although its broadcasts will be transmitted from the Netherlands - therefore bypassing British broadcasting regulations (a licence-dodging method first mastered, of course by Radio Luxembourg, and later by Dublin based longwave station Atlantic 252). The new station will also appear on Sky and will webcast online.

It's not the first time a legendary pirate station of old has relaunched itself - Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline have both returned in various guises over the years. The problem is that these relaunches often adopt music and programming policies similar to the original which makes them sound very much like the plethora of mainstream classic hits radio stations that already exist. The original attraction of Radios Caroline, London and Luxembourg, of course, was that they were providing young music fans with the kind of music and radio that just wasn't available anywhere else at the time, in much the same vein as the current generation of youth-dominated (and mainly urban music based) pirates that still exist in London and other UK cities. It will be interesting to see if the new Radio London can win itself an audience competing in a crowded market place on an AM frequency.

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MPAA TARGET TV SHOW SHARING
The Motion Picture Association of America has turned its attention to the illegal sharing of TV programmes via torrent file-sharing sites. The MPAA has been focusing on the illegal distribution of movie files so far, but is now launching lawsuits against torrent websites that provide access to digital recordings of TV shows.

MPAA boss Dan Glickman explains: "Internet thievery of all creative materials is unacceptable and these thieves need to realize they are not anonymous. Every television series depends on other markets-syndication and international sales to earn back the enormous investment required to produce the comedies and dramas we all enjoy and those markets are substantially hurt when that content is stolen. On these sites, anyone in the world can download entire television seasons in a single click."

So if you are half way through downloading the fourth season of '24' you better get a move on.

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MASTERPEACE LINE UP
Organisers of the Masterpeace 'camping festival for clubbers' have announced details of its 2005 line up. The festival takes place from 19-21 Aug, somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales. Line up as follows:

The Masterpeace Stage: Lol Hammond, Leggo Beast, Alucidnation, Mixmaster Morris, Sundaze Featuring 66Digriz, The Only Michael, All Funked Up DJs, Emma Nosurak, Peepshow Paddy, SpinCycle, Harold Heath, Toby Wiltshire, Phantombeats, Paul Barkworth, Frenchy, Private Parts, Johnny Bongo.

Nubient Stage: Nick Manasseh, Pork Sound System, Yamauchi, Nik Weston, Pathaan, Ambient Daan, Different Drummer Records, Nick Interchill, DF Tram, 302 Acid (live), ISHQ, Lackluster + Sean Quinn.

Music Against Guns Stage (Live Stage): Jon Kennedy, Echasketch, Laroca, Bussetti, Boomclick, Belleruche, Digitonal, Raya presents 'Cultures of Resistance', Breakin' Even collective, Jake Bickerton, Bodixa, Nellboy, LJ Kruzer, Line, Thesecondwhorl.

Spit Kingdom Soundsystem Marquee: Killa Kela, The Mixologists, DJ Skeletrik, MC Trip, Rookwood, Spider J

Robsoul Recordings Marquee: Fries & Bridges, Phil Weeks + Hector Moralez, Justin Long, Amir Javasoul, Chris Carrier, Casamusica boys, Drop Music Marquee, Inland Knights, Little Men, Steve Lee

Bass Line Circus Marquee: Electric Press, Tom Thorpe, Si Baker, Alex Grzybowski, Andy Whittker, Dan Ward, PBR Street Gang

Tickets are on sale now - more info at http://www.themasterpeace.com

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OASIS MAN DOESN'T EXPECT TO RETURN TO GLASTONBURY
Noel Gallagher has said he doesn't expect Oasis will ever play the Glastonbury Festival again. Gallagher's band have played Glasto on three occasions of course. Their first appearance in 1994 is often regarded as one of the most legendary sets in the whole history of the festival, but their 1995 headline set was less of a stand out, while their headline performance at last year's Glastonbury was considered by many to be the most disappointing set at the three day event.

Speaking to the BBC after the band's performance at the London Astoria this week, Gallagher said: "Glastonbury is probably better to be at than to play at. I've played there three times now and I've not enjoyed it. You go on at about eleven o'clock and by that time everyone around you is absolutely fucked. By the time you get off, everyone's crashed out vomiting on the floor or asleep. I don't know if it's the weight of expectation or what, but we've come to the conclusion that we probably won't do it again." Because, of course, Oasis' rubbish performance was all the audience's fault.

Ah well, I guess Oasis don't need to play Glastonbury given the demand for their own forthcoming arena dates. Talking of which, organisers of those concerts have said that a limited number of extra tickets for each show will go on sale today. But they went on sale at 9am this morning, so they're probably all gone by now.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Kathryn Williams - Over Fly Over (Caw Records)
Kathryn Williams was propelled into the spotlight of media attention when her second album 'Little Black Numbers' (released on her own label in 2000) was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. But it wasn't until I saw her performing at last year's Fleadh festival, where she held her own up against the likes of Bob Dylan, that I realised just what a talent she had. The album art work shows a bird of paradise and Kathryn's voice is as delicate and beautiful as the picture, her fragile vocals embellished with strings, flugelhorn and vibraphone. 'Three' and Breath' in particular are sweet and lovely and the violins on the instrumental track 'Untilt The Dark' are perfectly gorgeous. Thus far Williams has received almost entirely praise from the critics who are also unanimous in agreeing that if Kathryn had the looks and style of, say, Natalie Imbruglia, she would doubtless have gate-crashed the charts by now. However Williams has Alan McGee as her manager and folk has never seemed more popular than it is now, so this could be her time. JW
Release date: 9 May
Press contact: Caw Records IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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ROD STEWART CANCELS THIRD SHOW
Rod Stewart was forced to cancel the third of his London Earl's Court yesterday, due to that previously reported throat infection, but, as you'd expect, he hopes to be back on stage tomorrow night at Birmingham NEC. Fans who were planning to attend the London concerts are advised to hold on to their tickets as they will be valid for rescheduled dates, though refunds are available from the point of purchase.

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GOOD CHARLOTTE DRUMMER PARTS WITH BAND
Good Charlotte drummer Chris Wilson has parted company with the rest of the band due to 'personal health problems'. He will be replaced by Dean Butterworth on the group's forthcoming 'Noise To The World' tour, but it's not clear whether Butterworth joins the band as a permanent member.

The band said in a statement on their website: "As many of you know, our drummer Chris Wilson has been on and off the road due to personal health problems. Unfortunately, his problems continue, and we have made a collective decision to have Chris stay around his friends and family and begin to truly rehabilitate... This has not been easy on any of us. We loved playing with Chris so much. We hope everyone will be respectful and understand the situation and pray that Chris gets better."

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RADIO 2XS LAUNCH NEW PLAYER
Online radio station Radio 2XS have launched a new MP3 player on their web platform which will give listeners access to more music from the station's music library on demand, plus, the station says, will offer their existing webcasting services with a higher quality sound.

You can check the player at http://www.radio2xs.com/mp3/2XSmp3playerLander.shtml

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BRANDON FLOWERS SPEAKS ABOUT JODI SONG
Brandon Flowers has been in touch with NME this week to clarify remarks he made about his new song 'Where Is She?' As previously reported, The Killers frontman had suggested that the song was written about murdered Scottish teenager Jodi Jones and was "written from her mother's perspective".

Flowers told NME.com "A quote I gave in NME last week about the inspiration behind one of our new songs, 'Where Is She?' came across kind of badly and I'd like to clarify this as I'd hate to cause offence or further hurt because of it. I was indeed inspired to write 'Where Is She?' after I saw coverage of the Jodi Jones murder case while we were on tour in Scotland last year. It affected me deeply and got me to thinking about how awful it must feel to be the parent of a missing child, how powerless a person must feel in such a dreadful situation. The song is not a direct portrayal of that one story, though - there's no way on earth I could ever possibly pretend to know what it must actually feel like to suffer such a thing, and I wouldn't presume to appropriate any other individual's feelings for a song. Rather, seeing those news stories got me to thinking about the powerlessness and frustration that must come from losing a child like that, and it was from those thoughts that 'Where Is She?' came to be."

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CMU CITY NEWS: WARNER MUSIC AND YAHOO
City news now, and first up, the Warner Music Group continue to perform poorly on the New York stock exchange, which is good news for everyone who likes to see rich people suffer (which is everyone except the rich people suffering, surely). US website HitsDailyDouble have been enjoying the whole thing more than most, and have been publishing quotes from city types dissing the Warner flotation. They include:

IPO Financial Network's David Menlow: "This is all about investors finally waking up and realising they don't want to be involved with companies that have big names but are solely about enriching private equity firms."

CurrentOfferings.com's Tom Taulli: "A pure music company in a declining market is not attractive to investors. This company still has significant amounts of debt. The stock market is unstable right now. Put all that together and it's hard to be excited about this stock."

Fulcrum Global Partners' Richard Greenfield: "This poor opening will be a cloud over this company for at least the next few years."

One person was slightly more forgiving about Warner Music's performance - Warner Music boss Edgar Bronfman Jnr. He wrote to staff in a company wide email: "The current stock market environment is difficult and the IPO market is more challenging than it was when WMG initially filed to be publicly traded in March. Combined with the fact that the market was down sharply [Tuesday], our stock did not price at the level originally recommended to us by our underwriters. We've seen this happen in several recent IPOs." The same email, clearly designed to reassure staff, did most of its reassuring by telling them they would be getting their post-share sale bonuses very soon.

Elsewhere in city news, and there's much speculation as to what Yahoo's arrival in the digital download space will do to the sector. Certainly the respective share prices of Apple, Napster and RealNetworks' all fell after Yahoo announced their launch with its cut-price $4.95 a month subscription rate. Analyst Steven Frankel told Reuters: "Clearly, this is a reaction to Yahoo's aggressive entry into the space. They were expected to enter the market, they were expected to be aggressive, but they were not expected to be this aggressive. We don't know yet what the long-term effect will be, [but] you can assume the others will need to respond quickly to this news."

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BRITNEY TO RETURN TO FILM
Reports suggest that Britney Spears is to star in and produce a new film, following her, er, illustrious debut in coming of age, er, classic 'Crossroads'. The new movie is to be set in the motor racing world and will be called 'Trading Paint'. The plot is said to revolve around the rivalry between two racing drivers who lose touch after both surviving a terrible crash, before being brought together for a final race. She is also expected to appear in 'In The Pink', a Tim Allen vehicle scheduled for a 2007 release.

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USHER AND BEYONCE TO STAR IN A FILM TOO
More now from the file marked 'singers deciding they can also act', and news that Usher and Beyonce are to appear in 'Dreamgirls', a film charting the ups and downs of a sixties girl group. Beyonce is to play the lead singer of the group whilst Usher is to put in a turn as a choreographer in the film which is scheduled for release in 2006

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BRIAN SAYS MADONNA SUCKS
Brian McFadden has apparently said that Madonna has no talent and can't sing, which slightly brings to mind pots, kettles and the colour black. Anyway, according to The Sun, he said "People are saying Madonna makes great music. It's really rubbish. She doesn't have a good voice, she's boring. Just because she's Madonna, everybody says 'brilliant' and 'genius'. I don't think she's ever been a good musician."

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