CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 11th October

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In today's CMU Daily:
- BMG execs want Lack out of SonyBMG top job
- Gallaghers and Albarn take multiple gongs at Q awards
- UK record sales up
- Sanctuary axe jobs
- Universal accuse collection societies of restricting digital growth
- Eminem best of release imminent
- Carl Barat's band may have to change name
- Video iPod might not be imminent
- Yahoo launch podcast section
- Orange add music channels to mobile TV offering
- EMI make new online appointments
- Government to research how it can help smaller music companies
- Eastern Promise fundraiser this month
- REM play surprise set at wedding
- Babyshambles add more dates
- Johnathan Rice tour
- VEGC live dates
- Pink Floyd confirm DVD release
- Arctic Monkeys deny £1m publishing claims
- More Take That reunion rumours
- No Blue reunion rumours
- Bloc party Kele not impressed with British music press
- Jack White to be a dad?
- Britney withdraws bra from eBay
- Festival Awards nominations announced

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THE TOP BIT

WIN A VIP TRIP TO THE ICELAND AIRWAVES FESTIVAL
From 19-23 October the annual Iceland Airwaves Festival takes over Reykjavik with a great programme of international bands ranging from hip hop heavies The Mitchell Brothers to hard rocking Juliette & The Licks joining dozens of Icelandic artists, including the legendary Gus Gus and quirky electro poppers Bang Gang. London Now has teamed up with Icelandair to offer a lucky winner a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to the Iceland Airwaves Festival. This terrific prize includes a round-trip airfare to Reykjavik, four nights accommodation, plus hotel transfers, and of course a VIP pass to the Festival! To be in with a chance of winning it click the London Now button at http://www.virgindigital.com

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BMG EXECS WANT LACK OUT OF SONYBMG TOP JOB
Now, here's a fun one. According to the New York Times, the Bertelsmann execs who make up half the board of SonyBMG are pushing for the removal of Andy Lack from the top job at the merged major label. Lack's contract is up for renewal in six months time, and the BMG bosses are said to considering blocking that renewal.

Despite the fact SonyBMG's market share has fallen from 33% to 26% since the merger, internal supporters of Lack insist that any moves by BMG execs to oust their man has nothing to do with his performance in the job, and everything to do with ongoing political tensions between Sony and Bertelsmann execs. Those tensions have, if anything, increased recently, particularly after the previously reported announcement that Michael Smellie will step down from the COO job at SonyBMG at the end of the year - Smellie was the highest ranking former BMG man at the merged company.

But some say there are other reasons why some former BMG men would want Lack out. The Times say some feel the SonyBMG top man, a former TV industry executive, lacks passion for the music business, and the music his company releases, which might not bother investors, but which damages internal morale. The paper also reports that senior BMG exec Clive Davis has expressed frustration in Lack's handling of his long drawn out contract negotiations with the record company.

Lack seems to have support from higher up the Sony Corp, and some have predicted a promotion higher up the parent company might be in the pipeline. Whether BMG execs can do anything to threaten his role at SonyBMG in the meantime remains to be seen.

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GALLAGHERS AND ALBARN TAKE MULTIPLE GONGS AT Q AWARDS
Oasis took two key gongs at the Q Awards yesterday - topping off this year's successful comeback by winning the People's Choice Award, and by winning Best Album for 'Don't Believe The Truth'. Oasis' big rival of old, Damon Albarn, also took two awards at the event, though for his virtual band Gorillaz rather than Blur. He won Best Video and Best Producer. U2 were named Best Live Act, Mr James Blunt won Best New Artist, while KT Tunstall won the award for Best Track for 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'. Oh yes, and Coldplay, were named Best Act In The World, which would explain why the world's such a horrible place.

As well as the reader voted awards for recent releases and contemporary bands, the Q editorial team recognised a string of artists for their life time achievements. The Bee Gees were given a Lifetime Achievement Award, Jimmy Page was given the Icon Award, Nick Cave the Classic Songwriter Award, and Ray Davies of The Kinks was awarded a Classic Song gong for 'Waterloo Sunset'. Meanwhile, an Inspiration Award went to Bjork, the Legend Award went to Joy Division, the Innovation In Sound Award went to The Prodigy and an Outstanding Contribution gong was handed to Paul Weller.

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UK RECORD SALES UP
Now here's a problem. How do you spin it when you keep talking about how illegal P2P file sharing is killing the music business, and then your album sales go up? Ah, I know, you talk about how it's all down to the fact there's been a string of high profile British releases in recent months. Now there's an interesting concept - succeed by creating and selling compelling content. And there was me thinking it was all about lawsuits and DRM.

Anyway, enough of that, this is good news. Album sales were up 1.4 per cent this summer compared with the same quarter last year, aided by big seller releases from the likes of Coldplay, Gorillaz, Kaiser Chiefs and James Blunt. And in fact artist sales were up much more than that - 8.9% - the overall sales increase lower because compilation sales were down considerably.

Confirming the latest stats, BPI boss Peter Jamieson told reporters: "Our members invest millions of pounds each year in new UK artists, and time and again music fans choose to buy British. It's been a tough summer on the high street, but these figures demonstrate the enduring appeal of great British music."

Good news also on single sales, though needless to say that's only true if you count download stats in that equation. Physical single sales continue to slump - down 21.8% - but legit download sales were up a massive 288% meaning that overall single sales were up 49%, which is huge when you think about it.

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SANCTUARY AXE JOBS
London based music company Sanctuary has announced it will cut its workforce by a quarter in a bid to tackle those previously reported financial hardships. The difficult downsizing was announced following the release of a number of profit warnings in recent months, and a recent announcement that the group had ended talks with possible takeover bidders deciding to sort out their current difficulties themselves.

175 jobs will go, though it is not yet clear where the cuts will come. Sanctuary has operations in London, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Berlin, and is unique in that it trades in most sectors of the music business, including recordings, publishing, management and live music.

Bosses hope the move, which should save between £7m and £8m, will help the company turn round its fortunes. In a statement, exec chairman Andy Taylor said: "I am confident that we have a high quality business and, with a much-reduced cost base, I believe we are well placed to rapidly return to profitability going forward".

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UNIVERSAL ACCUSE COLLECTION SOCIETIES OF RESTRICTING DIGITAL GROWTH
The ongoing wranglings between the recorded music sector and the publishers continues. You'll remember that the BPI has taken royalty collection society MCPS/PRS to a copyright tribunal over their demands for a bigger slice of the pie on digital music sales than with physical CD sales. Well, now the Universal Music Group has filed a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that the royalty collection bodies are working together and conspiring against the record labels to force their cut of record sales up to their desired 12%. Universal claim that the royalty collection agencies are creating a "form of monopoly" in order to win this battle, but that in doing so they risk "restricting and distorting" the growth of the digital music sector. According to the FT, details of the complaint will now go to all of the agencies accused - responses from them can, presumably, be expected in the coming weeks.

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EMINEM BEST OF RELEASE IMMINENT
Eminem is to release his first best-of compilation, 'Curtain Call', this winter. The tracklist for the collection, which is expected to be out some time around the 6 Dec, is not yet finalised, but will definitely feature two of those now obligatory brand new tracks alongside all the old favourites such as 'Stan', 'Lose Yourself' and 'My Name Is'. Aftermath/Interscope say that MMIII has been working on the compilation since early in the summer. "I have some songs that a lot of people like," he says. "I have some songs that only I like. This album is obviously for the 'lot' of people."

Of course, the nature of the album, and it's title, may fuel even more irrelevant speculation that Eminem is planning to retire. As previously reported, the rumours began when the Detroit Free Press ran an interview with D12 bandmate Proof which suggested that Eminem was planning withdraw from the limelight, rumours which were further agitated by manager Paul Rosenberg calling the star's most recent album "certainly the cap on this part of his career".

Eminem, of course, denies that he is 'retiring', as such, and told MTV back in July: "I'm not retiring... When I say I'm taking a break, I'm taking a break from my music to go in the studio and produce my other artists and put their albums out. When I know my next move, I'll tell everyone my next move. Not some reporter who writes a story about `This is Eminem's last album.' I never said [Encore] was my last album."

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CARL BARAT'S BAND MAY HAVE TO CHANGE NAME
Following that announcement by ex-Libertine Carl Barat that his new band was to be named Dirty Pretty Things, it turns out there's already a band performing under the same name. Gigwise report that the group, who have been using the name since January, are determined to keep their name, claiming they have already established a copyright for its use. Legal negotiations will probably ensue. Vertigo, Barat's label, apparently say they have notified Barat and his manager.

And the moral of the story is, check http://www.bandregister.com before choosing your band name...

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VIDEO IPOD MIGHT NOT BE IMMINENT
Despite all those rumours that suggested tomorrow's Apple press conference will be used to launch a video iPod, some insiders are now saying the event will, in fact, be used to announce updates to the standard full sized iPod. Those updates include a slightly smaller size and a capacity increase to 80GB. Those same insiders say that, while a video iPod is in development, Apple bosses don't see the point in launching it until the relevant licensing deals are in place that would allow iTunes to sell content to be consumed on the video player.

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YAHOO LAUNCH PODCAST SECTION
Yahoo is the latest big online player to jump on the podcasting bandwagon. The leading internet portal launched a beta version of a new podcasting section yesterday at podcasts.yahoo.com, providing a search and find guide for podcasts on the net, as well as a recommends section where both the Yahoo team and users can tip podcasts worthy of your time. With Google also said to be working on a specific podcast search engine, access to this new webcasting medium is certainly growing, it'll be interesting to see if it does indeed catch on with a mainstream audience. Hope so.

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ORANGE ADD MUSIC CHANNELS TO MOBILE TV OFFERING
Orange are expanding their mobile TV offering by adding two new music channels built around EMAP music brands Kiss and Kerrang! The new services, providing the kind of music you'd expect from Kiss and Kerrang!, will be available to Orange 3G customers willing to pay a ten pound a month subscription fee.

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EMI MAKE NEW ONLINE APPOINTMENTS
EMI has appointed three new execs to help develop the major's online initiatives. Simon Walker will join the company from the Beeb next month as a Senior VP Of Consumer Strategy. He will work with recent appointments Kim Lee and Keston Smith, who both have the title of VP Of Strategy And Business Development. All three will report to EVP of Strategy and Business Development Adam Klein.

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GOVERNMENT TO RESEARCH HOW IT CAN HELP SMALLER MUSIC COMPANIES
Small music firms are "vital" for the economy. And if you don't believe me, ask James Purnell, Britain's Music Minister. He's so sure of that fact he's launched a research project into what support independent companies need. No, really, a research report. It's all very exciting.

The report will be used to inform future government policy in order to help smaller businesses in the music sector. Launching it, Purnell said that he recognised that smaller music companies often suffered - "we know the symptoms, now we must find the cause. This study will, for the first time, give us real, robust data which will help inform our future policies. It goes without saying - the small music businesses are vital, not only to the industry itself, but also to our culture and economy. Without the independent record labels and publishers - who discover much of our new and successful talent - we would be starved of great British acts such as Franz Ferdinand or Bloc Party."

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EASTERN PROMISE FUNDRAISER THIS MONTH
The annual Eastern Promise fundraiser takes place this month in support of Dave Coor and The Eastern Promise Football Club, and features a lovely line up that includes CMU favourites Groove Armada, Demi, Alex McCullough, Alex Sansford and Kai-Zen DJs. Presented by Deeper Substance Records, the event takes place at The Rhythm Factory on Whitechapel Road on 22 Oct at 8pm, with tickets priced at £15 (purchase at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk ).

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REM PLAY SURPRISE SET AT WEDDING
REM's original four members reunited on Saturday to play a surprise seven song set at the wedding of band guitar tech Dewitt Burton - it's only the second time since the departure of drummer Bill Perry back in 1997 that the four have played together. The unexpected gig took place at Kingpins Bowl & Brew in Athens, Georgia, REM's home town; owner of Kingpins Ed Connolly told Billboard.com: "Nobody really knew it was going to happen. As a matter of fact, I think it was fairly hit and miss up until the time it happened. I heard they didn't know if Bill was even going to make it, and I don't know if they had a chance to rehearse."

He continued: "I couldn't believe it. I was transfixed. I heard the count in and then 'Sitting Still,' and by the time they got to the first chorus, it was packed shoulder to shoulder." The band went on to play a total of seven songs, including 'The One I Love' and 'Begin The Begin'.

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BABYSHAMBLES ADD MORE DATES
The round-Britain Babyshamble continues with news that the band have added three more gigs to their existing tour dates, one of them a replacement date for that cancelled Norwich concert.

The dates are:
14 Oct: Norwich UEA
15 Oct: Coventry Coliseum
16 Oct: London Koko

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JOHNATHAN RICE TOUR
And more live news. CMU favourite Johnathan Rice has announced a series of Autumn tour dates, as follows:

18 Oct: Nottingham, Social
19 Oct: Bristol, St Bonaventures
20 Oct: Oxford, Zodiac
21 Oct: Norwich, Arts Centre
23 Oct: Sheffield, Fez Club
24 Oct: London, Scala
25 Oct: Brighton, Komedia
26 Oct: Southampton, Joiners
29 Oct: Cardiff, Barfly
30 Oct: Birmingham, Glee Club
31 Oct: Manchester, Night & Day
2 Nov: Liverpool, Academy 3
3 Nov: Newcastle, Cluny
4 Nov: Glasgow, Arts School
6 Nov: Leeds Faversham

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VEGC LIVE DATES
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club have announced a few live dates, too. As follows:

25 Oct: Brighton Ocean Rooms (with The Organ)
28 Oct: London Adventures In The Beetroot Fields @ Barfly
1 Nov: London Water Rats (with The Organ)
4 Nov: Belfast Gigantic @ Bunker
19 Nov: Leeds UK PIGS @ The Faversham

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PINK FLOYD CONFIRM DVD RELEASE
Pink Floyd have confirmed the details of their double disc DVD release 'Pulse' which features the band's 1994 performance at Earl's Court. It's to be released on 5 Dec, and as well as seeing the band playing seminal album 'Dark Side Of The Moon' in its entirety, will also include rare backstage footage and previously unseen extras.

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ARCTIC MONKEYS DENY £1M PUBLISHING CLAIMS
Buzzy buzzy buzz band Arctic Monkeys have enigmatically denied claims by the Daily Star that the band have signed a £1million publishing deal with EMI. The tabloid reported the news on Friday that the four piece had signed the deal, but a message on the band's website now reads: "With Regards to the Daily Stir; Please get your facts right before going to print."

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MORE TAKE THAT REUNION RUMOURS
Well, more Take That reunion rumours doing the rounds. A spokesman for Mark Owen has apparently said he would be more that happy to do a one off reunion concert, especially if it were for charity, but that one former member was not so keen. No idea which former member that is, though presumably getting Robbie on board would be the lynchpin to any Take That reunion event - he having least to gain from one last show with his former boy band - however fun that might be.

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NO BLUE REUNION RUMOURS
Talking of boy bands not reuniting, Lee Ryan has said he's not interested in a Blue reunion, though I can't actually remember anyone asking for one. According to Contactmusic.com, Ryan says: "I don't miss working with them. You could say we got sick of each other, though not friendship-wise. We all had different things we wanted to do and were sick of what we were doing. I can't go back. We said we'd come back but I never believed it."

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BLOC PARTY KELE NOT IMPRESSED WITH BRITISH MUSIC PRESS
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke has hit out at the British press who, he says, only ever ask stupid questions (obviously needs to do an interview with CMU - we only ask the important questions). According to the aforementioned Contactmusic, Okereke says: "In the last few months I haven't been asked any questions about anything I view to be important, so that's frustrating. No one's asking us questions that have anything to do with why we started this. I don't dislike doing interviews in Europe, I don't dislike doing interviews in America; it just feels like the mainstream music press in Britain is completely concerned with something that isn't essential."

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JACK WHITE TO BE A DAD?
According to reports, Jack White is to be a Daddy. The White Stripe apparently made the announcement that wife Karen Elson is pregnant to friends and family in Detroit last weekend. The couple have been married for only four months.

Meanwhile The White Stripes release their next single 'The Denial Twist' on 14 Nov. And just in case you don't know all about their UK tour dates yet, here they are:

5 & 6 Nov: London Hammersmith Apollo
8 & 9 Nov: London Alexandra Palace
10 & 11 Nov: Blackpool Empress Ballroom
13 & 15 Nov: Glasgow Academy
17 Nov: Manchester Apollo

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BRITNEY WITHDRAWS BRA FROM EBAY
Britney Spears has withdrawn a jewelled bra from a charity eBay auction, as she was worried that buyers were confused as to when she wore it. The item had already been removed once, when eBay staff decided it broke rules on selling used underwear, but it was then permitted to be put up for sale to raise funds for Katrina Victims.

Now, though, Britney has pointed out that she wore it as part of a promotional video for TV, not on stage as she performed Hit Me Baby One More Time as evidently some thought, and felt she ought to remove the bra, which had reached a bid of $47k. She said "I felt the correct thing to do was remove this item from the auction because I don't want any of you to feel misled." Do people mad enough to part with that sort of money for a bra care when exactly the singer wore it? I don't understand.

Ah well. Elsewhere in celebrity bra auction news, one of Kylie Minogue's favourite bras has managed to sell on eBay without incident, or confusion as to when she might have worn it, for £7,700. The money from that sale will be donated to a breast cancer charity.

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FESTIVAL AWARDS NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
Virtual Festivals have announced the nominations for this year's Festival awards, which run not altogether like what is listed below. The website's readers will now decide which events and artists should win each gong - voting begins online next Monday. More info at http://www.virtual-festivals.com

Best Major Festival (30,000+): Carling Weekend (Reading/Leeds), Creamfields, Download, Glastonbury, Isle Of Wight, T In The Park, V Festival.

Best Medium-Sized Festival (10,000-30,000): Bestival, Big Chill, Global Gathering, Guilfest, Lovebox, O2 Wireless, WOMAD.

Best Small Festival (-10,000): Beautiful Days, Cambridge Folk Festival, Glade, Jersey Live, Secret Garden, Summer Sundae Weekender, Wakestock.

Best New Festival: Ben & Jerry's Sundae, Bloodstock Open Air, Isle Of Skye, O2 Wireless, Orange Evolution, Park Live, Wychwood.

Best Dance Festival: B-Live, Creamfields, Escape Into The Park, Glade, Global Gathering, Homelands, Lovebox.

Best Cult Following: All Tomorrows Parties, Bloodstock, Bulldog Bash, Lost Vagueness, Big Chill, Truck, Wickerman.

Best One Day Festival: Ben & Jerry's Sundae, Creamfields, Get Loaded In The Park, Homelands, T4 On The Beach, TMF Rock Festival, SW4.

Best Family Festival: Beautiful Days, Cornbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury, Guilfest, WOMAD, Wychwood

Best Facilities & Organisation: Bestival, Creamfields, Download, Glastonbury, Guilfest, Summer Sundae Weekender, T In The Park

Most Innovative Festival: Bestival, Big Chill, Carling Weekend (Reading/Leeds), Download, Glastonbury, O2 Wireless, T In The Park

Best Official Website: Beautiful Days, Bestival, Big Chill, Download, Global Gathering, Isle Of Wight, WOMAD

Best Festival Headliner: Basement Jaxx, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Iron Maiden, REM, System Of A Down, Oasis

Best Festival Rock Act: Biffy Clyro, Doves, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Kasabian, Oasis, Queens Of The Stone Age, Razorlight

Best Festival Dance Act: Audio Bullys, Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Fatboy Slim, Goldfrapp, Mylo, The Prodigy

Best Festival Pop Act: Keane, KT Tunstall, James Blunt, Jem, Joss Stone, Natasha Bedingfield, Maroon 5, Scissor Sisters

Best Festival Urban Act: Dizzee Rascal, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Kano, MIA, Mitchell Brothers, Roots Manuva, Snoop Dog, The Streets

Best Live Newcomer: Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park, MIA, The Arcade Fire, The Go! Team, The Magic Numbers

Best Festival Feel-Good Act: Alabama 3, Hayseed Dixie, Ian Brown, Jools Holland, Norman Jay, Status Quo, The Cuban Brothers, The Proclaimers, Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain

Most Memorable Festival Moment
- Near on 10,000 Bestival goers stage a 'fancy dress party' to smash the world record
- Brandon Flowers joins New Order on stage at T In The Park
- Dave Grohl gets back on drums at Reading for first time in 13 years
- Franz Ferdinand and Scissor Sisters' perform 'Suffragette City' for V Festival finale
- Glastonbury is flooded by storms on its opening morning, but festival fans battle on
- Ian Brown opens his summer festival sets with classic Stone Roses songs
- More than 4000 festival-goers 'air guitar' at Guilfest to break the world record
- Society 1 singer performs Download set suspended from rafters by meat-hooks through his back
- Bloc Party, Maximo Park and others help The Rakes perform at Carling Weekend after singer falls ill
- Tens of thousands join hands during the 'Make Poverty History' moment at Glastonbury

Live Anthem of the Summer: Athlete - Wires, Audio Bullies - Shot You Down, Coldplay - Fix You, Foo Fighters - Best Of You, James Blunt - You're Beautiful, Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God, Maximo Park - Going Missing, The Magic Numbers - Love Me Like You

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