CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 24th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Courts allow contempt proceedings against Kazaa
- Tiscali launch Secret Sessions
- Bestival announce line up
- Doherty in court again
- Spector murder trial postponed
- Keane release has a name
- Small Faces reissue
- Boy Kill Boy album
- Ride singer's solo stuff
- PJ Harvey releases live DVD
- Korn live and rarities album
- Single review: Milburn - Send In The Boys
- Lots and lots of Leyline
- New Neighbourhood night mixes it up
- Ultra add some indie into the mix
- Pixies announce tour, but not album
- Matthews announces tour
- Yorke apologises over website crash
- Pio Leyva dies
- Single review: Lucky Soul - My Brittle Heart/Give Me Love (Ruffa Lane Records)
-The Orchard announces Warner/Chappell deal
- Film studio announces movie download venture
- 7digital partner with DiS on new digital music store
- Will Bertelsmann sell SonyBMG stake?
- Two more execs depart from MTV International
- Skinner steals tiger, admits theft
- South Park hits back at Hayes

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TOP BIT>>
Not wishing to steal a gimmick off Popworld or anything, but despite the CMU Daily getting ever longer (you're all going to need to get bigger inboxes one of these days) there are always stories we just don't have time for. Here are some from this week. Jamie Cullum has announced a series of US dates, moving up to bigger theatre sized venues due to popular demand. Mary J Blige might be turning to acting soon - she's in talks to portray Nina Simone in a film about the legendary jazz singer. A pan-Arabic version of X Factor is due to kick off next week in 22 countries across the Middle East, the Gulf States and North Africa. The new Flaming Lips album will be released on 3 Apr and you can preview tracks from it online at http://www.atwarwiththemystics.com. A dancer who says she was harassed for having large breasts and a toe injury is suing producers of the Billy Joel musical in New York for $100 million. Over here actors are kicking up a fuss because Andrew Lloyd Webber is planning on recruiting a lead for a West End revival of the Sound Of Music via a reality TV show (depriving 'real actors' of the work, or at least so say Equity). Oscar winning rappers Three 6 Mafia are being sued by a man who claims he was assaulted after the hip hoppers allegedly incited a crowd to violence at a Pittsburgh nightclub in 2003. Prince is being sued by his basketball playing landlord for painting the mansion he's renting purple. The Guardian have just reported GCap Media have gone back on plans to sell off nine of its local radio stations. ITV bosses have said an acquisition of the TV company isn't inevitable after knocking back a takeover offer earlier this week. And several media people have been talking about the BBC licence fee being used to fund the digital switch-over, or non-BBC broadcasters, though we've been so busy I didn't even have time to read those stories. There, I think that's everything covered. Oh, did we mention Apple responding to France's decision to force inter-operability in the download space? Oh, we did. At length you say? Well, I'll shut up then.

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PRESS ROOM>>

THE INSOMNIACS BALL... Kill All Hippies and Stylish Riots present London's first ever all-night indoor festival, kicking off the Easter Weekend on Thursday April 13th, with three live stages and dozens of live bands and DJs underneath the arches at London Bridge in the seOne club. Line up so far includes no less than British Sea Power, White Rose Movement, Mando Diao, Battle, New Rhodes, The Pipettes, Art Brut, Dogs, The Rifles, Komakino, Good Shoes, Cooper Temple Clause (DJ set) and The Rakes (DJ set). How good is this? Doors will open at 8pm, when the live music begins, and the entertainment will continue until 6am the following morning - Good Friday. Full details at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk - for details of a special student discount check http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk.

Press info: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/insomniacsball

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
As you quite clearly know already, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a trio signed to Universal's Interscope Records who mainly specialise in melodic rock tracks with an indie feel. Lead singer Karen O's haunting voice welcomes visitors to their MySpace page which has their entire new album, 'Show Your Bones', available to stream. The band, clearly, are by no means small scale - but their page has the amount of detailed information one would generally expect to find on a MySpace occupied by an unsigned band. Which is very good of them.

http://www.myspace.com/yeahyeahyeahs

More on our MySpace Of The Day, plus Student Music Awards finalists answer the Same Six Questions right now at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S INDIE CLUB TIP: Clash Club At Luminaire
Unknown to many of you, I grew up with BWG (bands with guitars) - Rage, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Therapy, Sebadoh etc. After a few ales last year I found myself moshing to some classic Nirvana at the Barfly. And I had a stiff neck the following morning to prove I was there. Clash Club is showcasing the best in new music from the indie scene, and have on a collective of rising starlets: Battle (Transgressive Records), Action Plan (Young and Lost) and Stacs Of Stamina who are presenting Radio Clit, and will be hitting us with their special blend of 'crunk funk'. All with the Clash Mag DJs and Edith Bowman at Time Out's 'Venue of the Year'. And if all the Clash team are down from Dundee, don't forget your drinking boots.

Saturday 25 Mar, 8pm - 3am, The Luminaire, 311 Kilburn High Road, London, NW6, £6 all night. Info: 0207 372 7123

VIGSY'S REAL CLUB TIP: Carl Craig at Native
Joe90 from Futureboogie is going to have a challenge setting the pace for the main attraction at this night next week: needless to say, Planet E man and Detroit techno producer Carl Craig is a bit of a legend. With just 200 spaces available this seems to be a great place to catch one of the greats and his always diverse box of vinyl. I saw him at the small Bridge And Tunnel in Shoreditch a while back and he rocked it, and given his recent Fabric compo he's still seemingly on top form. Well worth checking. Book Now!

Thursday 30 Mar, 10-4am, Native, 15 Small St, Bristol, BS1, £7.50, advance info email craig@nativebristol.com or check http://www.nativebristol.co.uk/thursdays.html

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COURTS ALLOW CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST KAZAA
The ongoing fight against Kazaa (remember them?) in the Australian courts continued yesterday when three judges cleared the way for 32 record companies, including all four majors, to launch contempt of court proceedings against the P2P company and two of its directors.

The contempt charges relate to Kazaa's response to that previously reported court ruling last year regarding allegations the company was guilty of copyright violation. The courts in Sydney ordered the owners of Kazaa to adapt their software so that it prevented the sharing of at least some copyrighted music. The record labels expected to supply regular lists of tracks that they knew were being shared illegally via P2P, with Kazaa then being obligated to institute a filter that blocked the sharing of those tracks.

But instead Kazaa decided to close down its Australian website, meaning no new Australian music fans could download the file sharing software. They claimed that move fulfilled the demands of the Australian courts within their jurisdiction. But the record labels argued that that decision was not in the spirit of what the court intended, rather it was cynical attempt at damage limitation - because anyone in Australia who already had the Kazaa software installed could continue to use the P2P network without filtering even though the technology was no longer being officially distributed in the country.

The labels said that Kazaa was therefore in contempt of court - but the P2P company argued that because the original court ruling was vague in its wording it was "incapable of giving rise to a contempt charge". But yesterday a full bench of the Australian Federal Court disagreed, on that point at least, saying that a court would have to consider specific evidence relating to Kazaa's actions before anyone could make a judgement as to whether the P2P company was capable and guilty of contempt. That ruling means proper contempt of court action can now begin.

Kazaa's owners tried to play down the significance of the ruling, telling reporters: "Today's case was procedural and the judge has confirmed that another court will consider this matter. This clarification by the judge is useful and we look forward to the opportunity to test the record companies' allegations."

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TISCALI LAUNCH SECRET SESSIONS
Internet service people Tiscali have announced a new music event called the Secret Sessions.

To be honest, not a great deal is secret about this. We know it will kick off on 3 Apr, we know it will be a daytime thing (despite being on a Monday - so students, skivers and the unemployed are presumably targets), we know that tickets will be given away via Tiscali's website and that the line up for the first event will be Nizlopi, Kubb and Aha. The secret is the venue. Though it will be somewhere in London. That bit's not a secret.

The new Secret Sessions programme follows on from Tiscali's regular new music showcases, which have been showcasing new talent like Orson, Sway and Morning Runner for quite a while now. I'd tell you where to go for more info on all this, but it's a secret. No, not really, you need to speak (well, whisper, possibly) to LD Publicity.

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BESTIVAL ANNOUNCE LINE UP
Rob Da Bank's initial line up has been announced for the utterly lovely, award winning Bestival, and it includes the Pet Shop Boys, who are to headline on the Saturday night of the event.

Other live acts set to appear include Devendra Banhart, The Stranglers, The Fall, King Creosote, Jamie T, Cagedbaby, Kid Creole and The Coconuts, The Young Knives, The Sunshine Underground, Kanda Bongo Man, James Yorkston, Jeremy Warmsley, and the Young Blood Brass Band. DJs on the bill include DJ Marky, DJ Yoda, Annie Mac, Cosmic Fury (Tom Middleton & Fred Deakin), Erol Alkan, DJ Zinc, Justin Robertson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Jazzanova, Chris Coco, The Black Dog, and of course, Rob da Bank. And that's not the end of it. Oh, no no no: more acts are yet to be announced, including two more headliners.

CMU favourites (everybody's favourites, surely?) The Cuban Brothers will be compering on the main stage every day as well as playing tracks from their 'A -Z' album, and, following the success of last year's Guinness World Record breaking event, there'll be a another fancy dress party, this time with a circus theme.

There are also innovations in the accommodations area - this year you can hire a room in a double decker bus, which sounds fun, or stay in the luxury tented camp created by Mrs Josie Da Bank. But if you don't actually want to go to bed, there'll be plenty to keep you occupied overnight, what with the non stop Blue Room Ambient and Electronica Tent, a new 24 Hour Twilight Circus Field featuring a Voodoo Circus Big Top programmed by Rob da Bank and Continental Drifts, the Mad Hatters open mic tent and the now traditional Hidden Disco. And oh, look, I just noticed that there's going to be a Spiegeltent where you can learn how to dance, instructed by what the PR calls 'top tutors'. It all sounds so lovely. I hope I can make it.

Press info from Get Involved, or brucehay@yahoo.com for online. More from http://www.bestival.net

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DOHERTY IN COURT AGAIN
Pete Doherty has appeared in court over those previously reported drug charges and pleaded guilty to seven counts of possessing controlled drugs. The singer, who is of course, already on probation and subject to a rehabilitation order, was accused of carrying 0.406gm of heroin, 0.776gm of crack cocaine, 0.332gm of cannabis resin and 5.94gm of cannabis when he was picked up on 18 Dec in Clapton, and 3.103gm of heroin, 3.664gm of crack cocaine and 2.503gm of cannabis when he was stopped in the same area on 14 Jan.

Doherty's lawyer, Sean Curran, explained what had happened at his client's most recent hearing in Ealing - where, of course, he was judged to be responding well to his programme of rehabilitation. With that in mind, Curran asked that the current case be adjourned for six months to "see how his progress is in relation to the order", adding "I would not like the court to impose anything that would go against the grain. He is a very talented man. Unfortunately, every move he makes has been in the spotlight".

The judge, Jane McIvor, said that she was not prepared to leave it that long, but agreed to adjourn the case for four weeks, until 20 Apr. However, she warned Doherty: "All options remain open as far as sentence is concerned, including committal to the crown court for sentence."

According to reports, Doherty then went outside and caused trouble. Clambering over a wall, he apparently kicked a Radio 1 reporter in the arm, knocking her microphone from her hand - whether it was deliberate or an accident isn't clear. He then ran off down the street pursued by reporters, before making his escape in his Jag at high speed.

Elsewhere in Doherty and drugs news, a Rolling Stone reporter has said that the Babyshambles frontman took shitloads of drugs whilst he interviewed him recently, though it's not clear just how recent the incident was. Mark Binelli says Doherty took heroin, crack cocaine and ecstasy during the course of a three hour conversation. The journalist claims: "He does all of this casually, and openly, except for the shooting up, which he performs near the kitchenette, with his back to us. He offers me heroin and ecstasy but not crack. I decline. The more drugs Doherty does, the more he seems to relax. He never becomes incoherent, though occasionally he seems confused."

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SPECTOR MURDER TRIAL POSTPONED
Phil Spector's murder trial has been postponed until 11 Sep, because of the scheduling conflicts of the prosecutors and the defence lawyer. It's now taken more than three years for the case to come to court - as previously reported, the legendary producer is charged with shooting Lana Clarkson back in February of 2003. Spector, who denies the charge of murder, of course, claiming that the actress committed suicide, is currently free on bail of $1m, and attended the court hearing on Wednesday flanked by two bodyguards.

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KEANE RELEASE HAS A NAME
We reported a couple of days ago that Keane are to release a video preview next month ahead of the release of their second album. We didn't know what that album was to be called at that stage, but now we do. It's entitled 'Under The Iron Sea', and, as previously reported, will be out on 12 Jun. The first single to be lifted from the album will be 'Is It Any Wonder?', out 29 May, with that video preview 'Atlantic' to be released online mid April.

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SMALL FACES REISSUE
The Small Faces' 1968 concept album 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' is to be reissued this summer. The long player will be released as a three CD set packed in a circular metal tin and will feature a Radio 1 'Classic Albums' documentary originally broadcast in 1989. It's out on 5 Jun, via Sanctuary.

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BOY KILL BOY ALBUM
Boy Kill Boy have announced that their debut album 'Civilian' will be released on 22 May, preceded by the release of a single 'Suzie', on 8 May. The band, as reported earlier this month, have been announced as headliners for this year's NME New Music Tour 2006 joined by The Automatic, Forward, Russia! and The Long Blondes.

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RIDE SINGER'S SOLO STUFF
Former Ride man Mark Gardener, who is apparently planning to give solo debut 'These Beautiful Ghosts' a UK release later this year, has announced a series of live dates, as follows:

25 Mar: Sonic Cathedral @ Norwich Arts Centre
28 Mar: Winchester Railway Inn
29 Mar: Sonic Cathedral @ Liverpool Korova
30 Mar: Club AC30 @ London Luminaire
31 Mar: Sonic Cathedral @ Nottingham Social
1 Apr: Dublin Sugar Club

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PJ HARVEY RELEASES LIVE DVD
PJ Harvey is to release a live DVD of her 2003 'Uh Huh Her' tour. The DVD is entitled 'Please Leave Quietly', and features live performance cut together with behind the scenes footage, plus two previously unreleased tracks 'Evol' and 'Uh Huh Her'.

The full track listing is as follows:

Meet Ze Monsta
Dress
Uh Huh Her
Taut
Down by the Water
It's You
Big Exit
Harder
The Darker Days of Me & Him
A Perfect Day Elise
Victory
Catherine
Who the Fuck?
Evol
My Beautiful Leah
The Letter

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KORN LIVE AND RARITIES ALBUM
Korn are releasing a new album of live and rare tracks in the US called, erm, 'Live & Rare'. The album features the following ten tracks, and is released in the US on Epic on 9 May, and should be available over here on import.

Did My Time (live at CBGB)
Blind (live at CBGB)
Falling Away From Me (live at CBGB)
Right Now (live at CBGB)
Got the Life (live at CBGB)
Here to Stay (live at CBGB)
Freak on a Leash (live at CBGB)
Another Brick in the Wall (live in St. Louis)
One
Gift (live at Woodstock '99)
ADIDAS (live at Woodstock '99)
Earache My Eye
Proud

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SINGLE REVIEW: Milburn - Send In The Boys (Universal/Mercury)
You're probably thinking what a blessed relief it would be to read a review of mine that didn't mention the Arctic Monkeys. Well, that was my thought too. Unfortunately, the plan went somewhat awry upon sitting down with this single. Milburn, see, are a spunky young four piece, who happen to be from Sheffield (home of you know who) and have already got AM live support under their belt. (In my day, Sheffield was the birthplace of the glamorous new pop age of The Human League and ABC, not the epicentre of meat and-two-veg indie rock. Where did it all go wrong? Phil Oakey would be turning in his grave. If he were dead. Or something). I suppose I should try and salvage what little dignity, if any, I've left, by actually attempting to describe the single. I'll reluctantly concede that it's not too bad, as it happens. Full of energy, attitude, impassioned vocals and all that nonsense, it manages to cram a fair amount of agreeable tunage and likeability into its frenzied two and a quarter minute stay on Earth. Let them through, then. MS
Release date: 27 Mar
Press contact: Mercury IH [all]

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LOTS AND LOTS OF LEYLINE
I promised you a quick run through the 8000 nights coming your way from our friends at Leyline. Actually, 8000 was a bit of an exaggeration, though they are very busy.

First up, you've got their ska, dub, punk and Afro funk night Jump, which will take over Cargo next Friday (31 Mar), with live sets from 7 Seconds Of Love and Mr Mouth (look out for an interview with the latter on the CMU site rather soon). On the decks will be the Soul Jazz Sound System featuring Pete Reilly and Scott Bethell, plus Slim Jim.

Next up, CMU's very favourite rock night, Kill All Hippies, back at 333 in Shoreditch on 7 Apr with live music down there in the basement from The Maccabees and Jackson Analogue. Jeff Automatic and Frankie D will be on the decks downstairs, while on the ground floor the Fully Comprehensive crowd will be presenting indie-retro-eclectic-beats courtesy of the record boxes of Gavin Nugent, Syrinx, Mark Beaumont (NME) and Simon Jones (Hope Of The States).

Then almost immediately we go all breaksy with the next HUM All-nighter, taking over the seOne club on 8 Apr with Rennie Pilgrem playing host, and the Dreadzone Sound System featuring Spee (Functional), Ellis Dee, Dopamine (TCR) and Freaky Beatz DJs (MoS Radio) all on in the main room, with the Clive X Nubile Disco with Miss Pip in room two.

Then it's the much aforementioned Insomniacs Ball - you know the deal on this - indoor all-night mini-festival over at the seOne club on 13 Apr, with British Sea Power, White Rose Movement, Mando Diao, Battle, New Rhodes, The Pipettes, Art Brut, Dogs, The Rifles, Komakino, Good Shoes, Cooper Temple Clause (DJ set) and The Rakes (DJ set). Full details at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk - plus details of a special student discount at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk.

And that will take us up to the next Xfm Remix Night, back at Cargo on 21 Apr with Vatican DC and Dead Kids live, plus the mighty Krafty Kuts and Remix chief Eddy TM on the decks.

Phew, more on all this at http://www.leylinepromotions.com - press info from Leyline on 020 7575 3285.

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NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD NIGHT MIXES IT UP
Talking of blatant plugs for club nights involving Eddy TM, which we kind of were, here's a new date for your diaries, a new monthly night on the last Friday of every month co-hosted by Eddy and Dub Pistols man Barry Ashworth over there in West London at Neighbourhood. Called Pay Day, it all kicks off next Friday, 31 Mar, with Warren Suicide and Kill Electric both appearing live, plus there'll be a Dub Pistols Soundsystem while Eddy TM and the mighty mighty Pendulum will take to the decks.

It all runs from 8pm to 2am and tickets are six quid in advance or a tenner on the door. Though we have a special launch night free-entry guest list for subscribers of our Remix Update. There'll be full info on that in the next edition - out tomorrow - so I'd get emailing subscribe@remixupdate.co.uk if I was you!

Press info on all this from Get Involved.

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ULTRA ADD SOME INDIE INTO THE MIX
So, there you are, recovering from all things SXSW and then, bam, it's suddenly Winter Music Conference time. In fact the Miami Music Conference - the more punter focused dance music festival run by the Space people - has been underway since last weekend, but the WMC proper kicks off today.

Which means tomorrow WMC spin-off, the Ultra Music Festival, will be taking over Miami with a line up of DJs far too comprehensive for us to be listing here - mainly because the more interesting thing about this year's Ultra bash is that organisers have followed the lead of certain UK and Ibiza based dance promoters by throwing a couple of rock bands into the mix - in particular Hot Hot Heat and The Killers, the latter being co-headliners with The Prodigy.

On the inclusion of Hot Hot Heat and The Killers on the bill, Jam Showbiz quote Ultra co-founder Russell Faibisch as saying: "The Prodigy is one of the few bands, if not the only band, to bridge that gap between dance music and cool, grungy rock and roll. The Killers, they're not a dance band per se, but they do have a lot of dance elements."

The Prodigy's Liam Howlett, meanwhile, has been talking up the growth of indie and rock influences in the dance space, telling reporters: "I think it's good to have a band that can relieve people of the same sound all night. Just because it's a guitar, doesn't mean it's rock. There should be more live influence. That doesn't mean making it more rock influence, it means making it more live."

They're both right you know - and now I really want to go to this year's Ultra Festival. Which tube line is Miami on again?

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PIXIES ANNOUNCE TOUR, BUT NOT ALBUM
Pixies have announced a set of European tour dates for this summer, but guitarist Joey Santiago has said that there's no guarantee the band will continue after that. "It will be an organic process, I guess," he told Billboard. "After these shows, should we continue on? Should we let it rest? We really don't know."

He added that a new studio album won't necessarily be forthcoming, saying "I'd only be interested if it happens in an organic manner. If all our schedules are aligned and we're all feeling it. That's the only reason to do it."

The tour dates are as follows:

14 Jul: Trencin Pohoda
15 Jul: St Polten Nuke
16 Jul: Zagreb Salata
19 Jul: Toulon Voix de Gaou
20 Jul: Lisbon Atlantico
21 Jul: Benicassim Festival
23 Jul: Carhaix Les Veilles Charrues

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MATTHEWS ANNOUNCES TOUR
Former Catatonia frontlady Cerys Matthews has announced a series of UK tour dates. The singer is currently at work on a new solo album, slated for a release later in the year via Rough Trade. The dates are as follows:

22 Jul: Llangollen Town Hall
24 Jul: Cardiff The Point
26 Jul: London The Scala
29 Jul: Cambridge Folk Festival

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YORKE APOLOGISES OVER WEBSITE CRASH
Thom Yorke has apologised to fans who were unable to access Radiohead's website to buy tickets for the band's upcoming May tour when they went on sale this week. A number of tickets were released via the site for members of the band's official mailing list, but demand was, not surprisingly, a bit enormous, and the website couldn't cope.

Yorke wrote on the site: "Sorry about the system meltdown. We were caught by surprise by the volume of traffic. Even though we should technically be able to handle it. The numbers were far beyond what we expected. So sorry about all the confusion."

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PIO LEYVA DIES
Buena Vista Social Club singer Pio Leyva has died at the age of 88, from a heart attack. The singer, who collaborated on 25 albums during his lifetime, worked with late guitarist Compay Segundo in the 1950s, teaming up with his former colleague again to form the Buena Vista group in the 1990s.

Leyva apparently showed great promise as a child, winning a bongo competition when he was six, going on to sing with legendary fellow Cubans the late Beny More and Bebo Valdes before finding international fame when the band were featured in the highly successful Buena Vista Social Club film. He is the fourth member of the band to die in recent years. As previously reported, both Segundo and pianist Ruben Gonzalez died back in 2003, and Ibrahim Ferrer passed away in August last year.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Lucky Soul - My Brittle Heart/Give Me Love (Ruffa Lane Records)
We played one track from Lucky Soul's double A side on the CMU Radio show, and to be honest, my decision to play it was based entirely on the fact that the band are based in Greenwich, and we love Greenwich, because it's not far from CMU's Docklands office, plus, it's got an observatory and a lovely big ship. So it was pleasant to discover that I actually liked the songs in addition to the group's location. Both tracks engage with the sort of melodic pop that seems to hark back to a different era, with its fluid structure and clear, cut glass vocals. I like 'Give Me Love' best, highly reminiscent as it is of the sound of a sixties girl trio, an obvious comparison, but a pertinent one. Either way, this is charming, catchy stuff, worth checking out, and not just because of the group's proximity to the Cutty Sark, either. CM
Release date: 20 Mar (download), 27 Mar, limited edition 7"
Press contact: Seb & Fiona [CP, RP, NP] Hungry PR [CR, RR, NR]

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THE ORCHARD ANNOUNCES WARNER/CHAPPELL DEAL
The Orchard, a company which distributes music to web and mobile based operators, yesterday announced a new non-exclusive agreement with publishing major Warner/Chappell which will enable them to expand their offering to the mobile sector. The deal will see a wide range of songs from the Warner/Chappell catalogue made available for use as so called 'ringback' and 'master' ringtones via The Orchard.

Confirming the deal, The Orchard CEO Greg Scholl told reporters: "With a storied catalog that includes compositions from every country in the world, the Warner/Chappell name is synonymous with great music. Our agreement with Warner/Chappell in addition to similar previously announced agreements with major music companies, together with our network of thousands of leading independent labels globally, enables The Orchard to offer our mobile partners an impressive spectrum of music for their customers. For our publishing licensees and label and artist partners, we will continue to expand our network of mobile sales channels".

Jim Rondinelli, Senior VP Of Digital Strategy at Warner/Chappell added: "As the mobile music space develops into a place to find, discover and share music, we are excited that this new agreement will allow more consumers to have the opportunity to enjoy and access our songwriters and songs".

Elsewhere in news from The Orchard, the company has announced it is expanding its London office (in terms of staff, they're not knocking through any walls) with the appointment of former Sony Music new media man Neil Cartwright to a Regional Manager role, of Naja Detrekoy to the post of Product Manager and Veronika Dunn to the job of Label Relations.

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FILM STUDIO ANNOUNCES MOVIE DOWNLOAD VENTURE
The UK division of Universal Pictures yesterday said that they would be making major release movies available for download via a new service being run by AOL. Films such as 'King Kong' and 'Pride And Prejudice' will be made available via the new venture, which will offer films fans the chance to buy a combined DVD/digital package. In one purchase consumers will get a DVD copy of a movie, plus two digital copies - one for viewing on a PC, the other on a portable digital media player. Digital rights management technology will be used to stop consumers making additional digital copies of the movie, or burning one of the digital copies to DVD.

With the recent growth of broadband internet, movie downloads have been in the pipeline for sometime, with the film industry keen to learn from the mistakes made by the record labels - in particular by ensuring official digital sources of major movies are in place before the sharing of films via P2P becomes too established. Some in the independent film sector have already made their films available in this way, but Universal's venture will be the first making major release Hollywood movies officially available online

Announcing the plans Universal Pictures UK chairman Eddie Cunningham told reporters: "I think what you're seeing here is the beginning of a revolution in terms of how we can distribute digitally and I would expect you'll see a lot more news of this type over the next few months".

The new service will offer films in a Microsoft format which means, of course, they won't be iPod compliant. Apple would allow you to play Microsoft media on their iPods, but doing so would obviously lead to a surge in piracy and possibly cause sea levels to rise, ice caps to melt and Apple dividend payments to slip slightly.

Anyway, back to the story. What effect the arrival of official movie download sites will have on the emerging music download sector remains to be seen. On one level it will help grow the customer base looking to buy entertainment online, but on another level it will mean new players competing for digital sales.

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7DIGITAL PARTNER WITH DIS ON NEW DIGITAL MUSIC STORE
More download type news, and download suppliers 7Digital have confirmed a new deal with music website Drowned In Sound. The partnership will enhance DiS's recently launched singles club venture, which plans to launch 45 odd singles each year, available via all the major download platforms, and DiS's own soon-to-be-launched digital music store.

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WILL BERTELSMANN SELL SONYBMG STAKE?
From simple asides can come big stories - this aside relates to rumours German media giant Bertelsmann might sell its 50% stake in SonyBMG.

The rumours stem from that previously reported story that the Mohn family who own most of Bertelsmann may be looking to buy out Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, who have a 25% stake. That is possibly because GBL are known to be pushing to float Bertelsmann on one stock exchange or another, and that is something the Mohn family may not be so keen on.

The question is, however, how could the Mohn's afford to buy GBL's stake, which is worth more than $4.26 million? One solution to that challenge is to sell something the group owns - and in an article on the whole thing in the NY Times yesterday reporter Mark Landler, citing unnamed insiders, said: "One possible candidate would be its stake in BMG Music, which is now part of a joint venture with Sony". Those rumours have been heightened because when discussing a business review that Bertelsmann is known to be undertaking, the group's CEO Gunter Thielen went on record as saying he would never sell his company's publishing businesses, nor his TV business RTL. On the possibility of a sale of Bertelsmann's stake in SonyBMG, he wouldn't comment.

Of course if Bertelsmann did bow out of SonyBMG it would be interesting to see if Sony could afford to take complete ownership of the major, or if other investment partners would get a piece of the action. Also of interest would be whether any such sale would affect the power of former BMG execs at the merged major - power which recently increased when former BMG chief Rolf Schmidt-Holtz took over from former Sony chief Andy Lack in the SonyBMG CEO role.

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TWO MORE EXECS DEPART FROM MTV INTERNATIONAL
Two more senior execs have departed from MTV Networks International following the decision of the division's President Of Creative and Editor-in-chief, Brent Hansen, to quit last month. Senior VP Of Music, Harriett Brand and VP Music Programming Hans Hagman have both confirmed they will leave the MTV division. MTV have made no comment on the news, though they are known to be keen to cut staff numbers in their International bit, especially at the London office.

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SKINNER STEALS TIGER, ADMITS THEFT
Mike Skinner has written a post on his website apologising for stealing a large stuffed tiger from a service station shop whilst on tour in Germany on 10 Mar.

The Streets man wrote: "Apologies to the German authorities. The tiger was stolen from a motorway service station at approximately 3am the other night between Hamburg and Koln I think, or maybe it was between Hamburg and Berlin. My facts aren't sure. He was looking very lonely on the top shelf next to the porn and engine oil. The guy didn't see him jacked from the store and we understand that he was worth 200 euros. If you get in contact maybe we can return Tony (as we have named him) in exchange for amnesty from deportation and/or criminal charges being pressed."

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SOUTH PARK HITS BACK AT HAYES
The creators of animated comedy South Park have hit back at Isaac Hayes, who, as previously reported, left the show recently after it ridiculed his religion, scientology. The opening episode of the tenth series, which screened in the US last week, turned Chef, the character voiced by the singer, into a paedophile before apparently killing him off.

The instalment sees the character brainwashed by something called the 'Super Adventure Club' seemingly a veiled reference to Scientology. After travelling with the Club, Chef returns to South Park and repeatedly tells the children that he wants to "make sweet love" to them. The children manage to cure him, but he is brainwashed again, before falling off a bridge, being burned, stabbed, then mauled by a lion and a grizzly bear; the character does not survive, although presumably it's not a foregone conclusion that he'll never be back - if you've ever watched it you'll know how many times Kenny died and came back before his light was finally extinguished, as it were.

A funeral follows however, during the course of which one of the characters is heard to say "A lot of us don't agree with the choices the Chef has made in the last few days. Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can't let the events of the past few weeks take away the memories of how Chef made us smile."

Hayes, of course, did not participate, the relevant lines being cut together from the singer's previous recordings.

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