CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 24th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- German police charge 3500 eDonkey users
- Babyshambles fans evacuated in Glasgow
- Kaiser Chiefs' Wilson hit by car
- Belle & Sebastian man does music for kids
- Elton criticises Catholic Church and US government on approach to AIDS prevention
- Cash nominated for posthumous Mojos
- Led Zep presented with Swedish music prize
- Hewlett wins designer of the year
- Xfm Hall Of Fame shortlist revealed
- Album review: The Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental
- Stones postpone Paris dates
- New Noisettes single, tour
- Roland Shanks single, tour
- New Order tour
- Lordi single, download date
- Devils night at the Underworld
- Apple and Nike make player for fit people
- Loudeye plan reverse stock split
- EMAP man says no more major radio mergers
- EMI Nicoli still keen on Warner takeover
- New music industry course launches
- PPL confirm record revenues
- ITV say licence fee rises not justified
- Morrissey video
- Little Man Tate video
- Geri Halliwell names daughter Bluebell
- Bedingfield and Lachey up a tree

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TOP BIT: JIM NOIR INTERVIEW>>
If you're an aspiring band who's been slogging it out for years hoping for that lucky break, and you ask a highly acclaimed signed artist for tips on how to make it, I suspect the last thing you want to hear is that "I made a demo on a whim, sent it to a label, and they signed me". But sometimes, just sometimes, it is that easy. Certain members of the CMU review team have been raving about Jim Noir for ages - well, since the release of his debut 'Eanie Meany' EP via My Dad Recordings back in December 2004. Subsequent EPs received similar acclaim here and elsewhere, which is why we were so happy when those EPs were brought together on last year's album release 'Tower Of Love', and also when we heard about the partnership between My Dad and Warner label Atlantic on recent single release 'My Patch'. Coupled with the use of 'Eanie Meany' by Adidas on their World Cup ad campaign, hopefully this rather overly talented multi-instrumentalist will now be able to reach the masses. Well, some of them. Despite writing, recording and producing his music pretty much single handedly when in the studio, he has managed to get together an impressive live show utilising the talents of his mate's band, and he is busy touring that live show as we speak. Tonight he plays at the previously reported Carousel Singer Songwriter festival which is taking place as part of this month's Brighton Festival. If you're anywhere near Brighton tonight we strongly suggest checking him out (tickets from http://www.komedia.co.uk). Otherwise, check out our interview with Mr Noir right now on the CMU website, and have a look at http://www.jimnoir.com where you'll find a stack of other upcoming tour dates.

Read the interview at: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/interviews

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EVENTS N STUFF>>

*** BRANDS, BANDS & AUDIENCES 7th June 2006, The Waldorf, London
Do you want to secure global brand partnerships? Are you looking at new media as an extra revenue driver? Do you want to meet leading brands, music labels, new media giants, and those with the knowledge to help drive the profile of your music? Emap's one day event - Brands, Bands & Audiences - in association with Kerrang, Audience, Smash Hits, Media & Marketing Europe, In the City, Record Of The Day, Kiss, Magic, Q, and Mojo IS THE ONE PLACE to gain expert advice from all sectors of the industry. Can you afford to miss out? Full info at http://www.mandmeurope.com/brandsandbands

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Jerry Ewing welcomes former Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinne Paul into the bathtub. They talk about the Rebel Meets Rebel project ('Fat Man In The Bathtub', 11pm to midnight). Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

Beats in Brighton
The Brighton Festival is under way, and you can check out CMU's preview of the Carousel singer songwriter festival, plus reviews of other music events taking place at the Festival this year courtesy of our sister title ThreeWeeks in Brighton, all online at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

MySpace Of The Day: Kidda
I was turned on to Kidda when I lay my mucky mitts on his 2005 'Word Booty' EP. It wasn't just me that liked it, so it was lucky that we were sent more than one copy, to be frank. We revelled in its "uplifting, soulful breaks that combine the sweet melodies of classic soul with solid hip hop beats and the tweeks and quirks of electronica" (CMU Daily, 14/03/05). It really is the kind of music that can improve your day, because it's generally pretty sunny and funky. Yes, sorry to fall back onto that whole 'soundtrack to summer' theme, but this really is the kind of music that evokes summer for me; possibly last summer, actually, as I did listen to that EP a lot back then. Anyway, there's new stuff on the MySpace page, and it's all good. What's more, Kidda's from Brighton. And you clearly know why that's significant at the moment, yes?

http://www.myspace.com/kiddauk

Read more about our MySpace of the Day right now at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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GERMAN POLICE CHARGE 3500 EDONKEY USERS
Police in Germany have charged 3500 users of the eDonkey file sharing network in the biggest single action against the illegal distribution of music online. Those charged all made large quantities of music, sometimes up to 8000 tracks, available via the P2P network. A spokesman for the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry says that some of those charged could face up to five years in prison, which may well be scare tactics (however much you object to the sharing of music online, surely locking file sharers up isn't a great use of prison facilities), though many could face hefty fines if found guilty.

Welcoming the police action against the illegal filesharers, Michael Haentjes of Edel Music, speaking as a German representative for the IFPI, said: "Police today searched 130 premises to gather evidence in the investigations, which have been running for several months. The actions are coordinated by the Public Prosecution Service Of Cologne and the Police Authority of Bergheim. On behalf of the recording industry, IFPI thanks the police for a great piece of teamwork and a superb investigation success".

IFPI boss John Kennedy added: "No-one should be surprised that we are stepping up our campaign in this way. Internet piracy has hurt the whole music community in Germany, with legitimate sales falling by a third in just five years."

The criminal proceedings follow over 7000 civil lawsuits that have been brought against suspected filesharers in Germany in the last three years.

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BABYSHAMBLES FANS EVACUATED IN GLASGOW
A Babyshambles gig in Aberdeen was interrupted this week when a fire alarm went off at the city's Music Hall, meaning that 1400 fans had to be evacuated from the building. They were, however, allowed back into the venue a half hour later.

Reports mostly suggest that it was simply a false alarm, saying that the local Grampian police have confirmed as much, but adding that two people were arrested for disorder following the incident. The Daily Record, however, doesn't call it a 'false alarm', rather it says the siren started after Pete Doherty's guitar amp exploded and began belching smoke.

According to the tabloid a police spokesman said: "The fire alarm went off and there was an evacuation of the hall followed by some disturbances. The concert, which was being attended by 1400 people, was temporarily halted around 10pm due to a fire alarm activation."

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KAISER CHIEFS' WILSON HIT BY CAR
Chief Kaiser Ricky Wilson was hit by a car whilst walking through his hometown of Leeds at the weekend. The incident itself sounds relatively serious, but the singer is apparently not badly hurt, suffering only from a broken toe and some bruising, according to a statement on the band's website.

The statement explained that Wilson was legitimately making his way across a pedestrian crossing when the vehicle approached, and he was forced to jump to try and avoid it. He hit the windscreen, however, and "flipped over the top" of the car.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police confirmed that the hit and run incident occurred at around 10pm on Sunday in the Hyde Park area of Leeds and that Wilson was taken to Leeds Infirmary but released a short time later. "There's not a lot of detail other than he was hit by a small car - that's the only description anybody's been able to give," she added.

The band's statement went on to say: "He would like all of you to know he's OK. He's the luckiest man alive, because he is still alive. It sounds daft, but a 'Ricky trademark jump' has probably saved his life. The jump meant he was flipped over the top of the car, hitting the windscreen, rather than getting trapped under it. He was crossing on a green pedestrian light."

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BELLE & SEBASTIAN MAN DOES MUSIC FOR KIDS
According to reports, Belle & Sebastian's Mick Cooke is to curate a new compilation charity album, produced in aid of Save The Children, and set to be released by Rough Trade in September. The yet to be titled LP is expected to feature music by acts such as Franz Ferdinand, The Flaming Lips, The Divine Comedy, Travis and Four Tet.

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ELTON CRITICISES CATHOLIC CHURCH AND US GOVERNMENT ON APPROACH TO AIDS PREVENTION
Speaking to the Global Business Coalition on Tuesday night, Elton John has praised certain governments and multi-national businesses who have funded AIDS education programmes in Africa and elsewhere, but criticised the catholic church and others who oppose the promotion of the use of condoms which, John says, could have saved the lives of millions who have already died from the disease.

Speaking about the global AIDS epidemic, he told the event: "The Global Business Coalition has been pivotal in getting more companies engaged in the fight against AIDS - as this event tonight demonstrates. I congratulate companies like Unilever Tea Kenya, who are making life-saving treatment available to all their employees that need it - and it's vital that other companies follow their example, because there is still so much to do. The global community has made strides with prevention. My own Foundation worked successfully with the Brazilian government to integrate HIV prevention into door-to-door, primary healthcare. What began as a Sao Paulo-based programme is now recommended for roll out nationwide".

He continued: "But with another 5 million people infected with HIV last year, we are losing the fight on prevention. We know from the successes - in Thailand, Uganda and elsewhere - what really works in prevention: young people need choices and that includes condoms. Governments and the church need to support those choices, because when they don't, people don't change their behaviour, they just hide it. This is not speculation - it is fact. It makes me angry that the Catholic church has been so slow and unwilling to change its views on condoms which would ultimately have saved millions of people's lives. And that the United States, which is contributing more money than any other nation to the fight against AIDS, is rejecting scientifically backed, comprehensive AIDS prevention in favour of 'abstinence-only' programmes that have not worked in the past".

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CASH NOMINATED FOR POSTHUMOUS MOJOS
Johnny Cash has made the shortlist for three Mojo awards, two years after his death. The country star is up for the Icon and Inspiration awards, whilst a box-set of his recordings has been nominated for Best Catalogue Release.

The Mojo Honours List, as you all are no doubt aware, focuses on recognising artists for their body of work rather than new releases. The magazine's Editor Phil Alexander says: "It is not about the biggest names or the hottest acts. The event was created to recognise those artists that have enriched our rich musical culture and that's what it continues to do."

Cash is up against Paul Weller, Sparks, The Buzzcocks and The Fall in the Inspiration category, whilst he competes with Neil Young, Scott Walker, David Bowie and Van Morrison for the Icon award. It's not all about the old geezers, though, obviously. Corrine Bailey Rae, for example, is up for Best New Act award. Winners will be announced at an event at Shoreditch Town Hall on 5 Jun.

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LED ZEP PRESENTED WITH SWEDISH MUSIC PRIZE
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones and the daughter of the late John Bonham were in Stockholm yesterday where they were presented with the Polar Music Prize, that international award for outstanding achievement awarded each year by the Royal Swedish Academy Of Music.

Led Zeppelin shared the 2006 Polar Music Prize with Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, and were chosen for being "great pioneers" of rock music. They were particularly apt winners of the Swedish award, because they recorded their last studio album in Stockholm 27 years ago.

Making reference to those recording sessions, Robert Plant said "it's a long time ago", adding "Music has been a fantastic passport to us all",

Gergiev said he was "honoured to be on the same stage as my friends Led Zeppelin" while thanking his mother, "who made it possible for me to become a musician".

As we've surely mentioned before (last May probably), the Polar Music Prize was founded by Abba manager Stig Anderson in 1989, and is named after his record label, Polar Records. Previous winners have included Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and producer Quincy Jones.

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HEWLETT WINS DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett has won Designer Of The Year at a ceremony at London's Design Museum this week. Recognised for creating Gorillaz' graphics, animations and 'live' performances, he claimed the £25,000 prize ahead of previously reported fellow nominees The Guardian's redesign team, Cameron Sinclair for his work with Architecture For Humanity, and furniture and lighting designer Tom Dixon.

Jury chair Christopher Frayling said: "Jamie Hewlett has not only created a personal mythology with the virtual band Gorillaz, he has also created designs for the direction in which technology and culture are going, the shape of things to come."

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XFM HALL OF FAME SHORTLIST REVEALED
Radiohead, Nirvana, Muse, Oasis and The Clash have been voted on to the shortlist to be the first inductee for Xfm's new Hall Of Fame.

The bands came in the top five of a poll of Xfm listeners, and now a final online vote will take place, with music fans deciding who will be the inaugural addition to the Hall Of Fame. The deadline for voting is this Monday, 29 May, and the winner will be announced on 30 May. A group of industry experts are to take part in a live show on 27 May to discuss the five different bands.

Xfm plan to commission artwork to commemorate the win, which will be displayed at the Proud Gallery in Camden before finding a permanent home on a 'Wall Of Fame', location again to be decided by listeners to the radio station.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental (EMI/Parlophone)
Along with Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys stand proud as survivors of 80s electro pop, yet despite their longevity and undoubted influence, they've never been given the same kudos as their guitar playing peers. The Boys were always ahead of their time; they were even ironic before Alanis Morissette, sorry I mean U2, made it trendy. During the middle section of their career they lost direction somewhat, but with last year's impressive soundtrack for 'Battleship Potemkin', and now with 'Fundamental' they are definitely back on track. This album has Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe doing what they do best, creating great, fizzy, electro disco songs such as the recent single 'I'm With Stupid', which compares the Blair/Bush relationship to having an unsuitable boyfriend. Legendary producer Trevor Horn, who last worked with the PSB on 'Left to My Own Devices', has done his utmost to create a big, dramatic sound; the sweeping synths on 'The Sodom And Gomorrah Show' are gloriously theatrical whilst 'I Made My Excuses And Left' and 'Numb' (the latter written by Diane Warren) are full on orchestral numbers with melancholic themes of disappointments in love. Tennant's lyrics are sharp and relevant - 'Psychological' for example explores paranoia and asymmetric haircuts, 'Casanova' is about the great lover's impotence, while 'Integral' attacks ID cards. A definite return to form. JW
Release date: 22 May
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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STONES POSTPONE PARIS DATES
The Rolling Stones have indefinitely postponed two Paris gigs, originally set to take place at the Stade De France on 3 Jun and 2 Jul. Organisers say there is no immediate plan to reschedule the dates, but confirmed that an 8 Aug gig in Nice will go ahead. All may become clear when The Stones release a full revised schedule, which, as previously reported, they've promised to do shortly. As you all surely know by now, delays in the tour were caused by Keith Richards' fall from a coconut tree and subsequent surgery and sojourn in an Auckland hospital.

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NEW NOISETTES SINGLE, TOUR
The Noisettes are to release a new single 'Scratch Your Name' on 12 Jun via Side Salad Records, preceding the release of the band's debut album, which is expected to be released in mid-August. They'll be on tour to coincide with that single release, dates as follows:

2 Jun: Glasgow King Tuts
3 Jun: Aberdeen Tunnels
4 Jun: Birmingham Barfly
12 Jun: Sheffield Plug (NME)
13 Jun: Huddersfield Club (NME)
15 Jun: Nottingham Stealth (NME)
16 Jun: Bristol Lousiana
17 Jun: Coventry Coliseum
18 Jun: Middlesbrough The Basement
19 Jun: Hull The Lamo

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ROLAND SHANKS SINGLE, TOUR
Talking of singles and tours, Roland Shanks release a single, 'Tarantula' on 10 Jul, via CD and 7", and are also touring in May and June, as follows:

26 May: London 333
29 May: London Koko
1 Jun: Northampton Soundhouse
2 Jun: Southampton Joiners Arms
3 Jun: Cardiff Barfly
5 Jun: Stoke Sugarmill
6 Jun: Nottingham Liars Club
7 Jun: Newcastle Cluny
8 Jun: Hull The Lamp
9 Jun: Glasgow Kings Tut
10 Jun: Leeds Faversham
12 Jun: London 93ft East

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NEW ORDER TOUR
New Order have released details of a series of Autumn tour dates. The dates, which include one at London's Wembley Arena, are set to follow the release of live DVD 'New Order - New York / Hyde Park', due out later this summer.

Tickets for the gigs go on sale on Friday, dates as follows:

11 Oct: Newcastle Academy
16 Oct: Blackpool Empress Ballroom
18 Oct: Glasgow Academy
27 Oct: London Wembley Arena
29 Oct: Wolverhampton Civic Hall

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LORDI SINGLE, DOWNLOAD DATE
Eurovision winners Lordi are to release their victorious track, 'Hard Rock Hallelujah', via SonyBMG on 6 Jun, and you know it must be good (I haven't properly heard it, to be honest) because not only did it win Eurovision but it got the most votes in Eurovision's entire history (what, more than 'Making Your Mind Up'?), or so the press release tells me.

Lordi are also set to appear at the Download Festival this year, gracing (poor choice of word, that, possibly) the Gibson Guitar/MySpace.com Stage on 11 Jun.

Press info from Hobo PR.

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DEVILS NIGHT AT THE UNDERWORLD
I wonder if anyone involved in Lordi has noticed that the date a week on Tuesday is 6/6/6. Oh, except they have nothing to do with Satanism, so it wouldn't be relevant.

Anyway, Trepan Records have noticed the date and they are staging Devil's Night, a "showcase from Hell", to celebrate. Taking place at the Camden Underworld, on the bill will be Tribazik, Carnival Of Souls, Dr Filth and This Drama. Doors open at 7.30pm and it's a fiver with a flyer - info at http://www.trepanrecords.com.

The press release quotes a Mr B Elzebub as saying it will be "the gig of the century" though he went to voicemail when we called to confirm the quote.

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APPLE AND NIKE MAKE PLAYER FOR FIT PEOPLE
Apple have entered into a partnership with Nike which will see the launch of a number of iPod style products aimed at all you sporty types out there (anyone?).

The first such product will be an iPod Nano that, via the wonder of WiFi, will talk to a user's Nike running shoe (no, really) and will let them know how they are doing performance wise, initially via a display on the player screen, but later by delivering audio messages between the music. Nike, who have dabbled in offering music players for athletes for a while now, hope to launch a number of new products through their partnership with Apple.

Nike boss Mark Parker told reporters: "Nike+iPod creates a better running experience. We see many more such Nike+ innovations in the future."

While Apple man Steve Jobs said: "We're working with Nike to take music and sport to a new level. The result is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you every step of your workout."

It's an interesting alliance, of course, though I think there's probably a bigger market in 'iPods for the unfit'. An iPod that replaces lift music with tunes of your choice, an iPod which provides protection from the elements when you're forced out into the wind and rain to have a cigarette, an iPod that comes with a free meat pie, that kind of thing. Perhaps that's the market Creative should go after - if anyone from Creative is reading, give me a shout, I've got a number for the marketing guy from Ginsters somewhere.

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LOUDEYE PLAN REVERSE STOCK SPLIT
Digital music back end supplier people Loudeye (you know, the people who own OD2) are going to do a reverse stock split which means every ten shares in the company will be replaced with one lovely 'I'm ten times better, you know' share. I've no idea why, though it has something to do with the group's previously reported restructure following the sale of its US operations and also something to do with adhering to Nasdaq regulations. So now you know.

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EMAP MAN SAYS NO MORE MAJOR RADIO MERGERS
Very bad news for fans of merger news - EMAP boss Tom Moloney reckons there will be no more major consolidation in the UK radio sector in the near future. As you all surely remember, following a change in the laws governing media ownership a few years back there was much talk of mergers in the radio sector, leading to EMAP's acquisition of Scotttish Radio Holdings, and GWR's takeover of Capital.

The Guardian quote Moloney as saying: "The two biggest radio groups in the UK have grown significantly through acquisitions. GWR and Capital had a messy merger and thankfully for everybody they're recovering from that. EMAP made an orderly takeover of SRH - that was a pretty serious piece of consolidation. From an industry view maybe there will be other acquisitions here or there but the shape of the industry is now in place."

Moloney said expansion would now come from the opportunities offered by new radio licenses being advertised by OfCom, and from the growth of digital stations. No comment, however, on the other thing everyone talked about when those changes in media ownership rules came in - the possibility of a major US radio company buying out one of the big UK groups. While Clear Channel et al have been slow in taking advantage of those opportunities, I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility just yet.

Moloney made his comments after confirming the media group's combined publishing and broadcasting enterprises had enjoyed a 9% rise in profits in the last financial year, a boost aided, he said, by that successful SRH takeover.

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EMI NICOLI STILL KEEN ON WARNER TAKEOVER
Ah well, if there aren't any radio mergers on the way, perhaps the recorded music sector could help. EMI Group boss Eric Nicoli yesterday confirmed that his company remains rather keen to acquire rival major record company Warner Music.

He made the comments in his upbeat response to EMI's financial report, published yesterday, which showed that the London based major made pretax profits of £159.3 million in the financial year ending 31 Mar, up from £141.1 million the previous year - a boost aided primarily from a number of major releases during the year, including those from Robbie Williams, Gorillaz and Coldplay.

Commenting on the results, Nicoli told reporters: "We think this strong set of results shows that EMI is thriving in its own right, and I believe we've created a strong platform to pursue the possible acquisition of Warner Music Group. The industrial logic is compelling and the synergies would unlock considerable additional value".

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NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY COURSE LAUNCHES
Now, I suspect that most of the really significant things that have happened in the record business during its 100 year odd history were done by people who had no idea what they were doing - it's amazing what can be achieved when you're 'winging it'. But that doesn't mean there isn't a place in the business for people who do know what they're doing, and with that in mind the Open College For The Music Industry has teamed up with the BPI to launch an industry approved BTEC certificate on the record industry.

This certificate will come as the conclusion to an A-Level standard course that covers the structure of the music industry, marketing and promotion, money and contracts, people skills and a load of digital stuff (how to sue your own customers, that kind of thing). Key execs from major record companies, collection societies and music legal firms have contributed to the course, but don't let that put you off, it should be good anyway.

Throwing their support behind the course, BPI Director Of Public Affairs, Richard Mollet, told reporters: "The BPI endorses the initiative of an Open College for the Music Industry. It will be the first time an individual can develop his/her skills and receive an accredited qualification produced by the industry for the next generation. This initiative continues the BPI's ambition to support the grass roots training needed for musicians and executives and adds to existing educational programmes through the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology, our Music It's the Business training courses and the Music Education Directory".

The first term of the two year course, which is open to those already working in the industry and those who would like to, kicks off next month. Though it's gonna cost you £595 per module or £2230 for the whole course, so you'll need to have some spare cash lying around if you want to get involved straight away. More info from opencollegeUK@aol.com

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PPL CONFIRM RECORD REVENUES
Recording royalty collection society PPL release their annual report this week and have confirmed that, if you put their figures alongside those of their sister organisation VPL, recording royalties earned last year were just short of £100 million, which is great news; well, it is if you own a recording copyright. If you're a grass roots radio company struggling to get your web station off the ground because PPL won't offer you a viable licensing deal, you might find it slightly annoying news, but let's not spoil things by bringing that up on this happy day.

PPL's income for 2005 was £86.5 million, which goes up to £99.3 million when you add in VPL's video royalty income. Broadcast income remained the biggest, at £50 million, though public performance revenues also rose, up 4.6% to £33.6 million.

PPL boss Fran Nevrkla told CMU: "This is a tremendous set of results for our record company members and performers. At the end of the day, our key obligation to the record company membership as well as the entire performer community is to manage, enforce, license and monetise the rights entrusted to us and that is what we will continue to do".

All that money, and yet no new logo. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, PPL will not be getting a new logo to celebrate their merger with AURA and PAMRA. Some poor excuse about wanting to keep costs down so they can pass on greater royalty payments to performers and record labels. Like they need the money - they'll just waste it on extravagant lifestyles and silly file-sharer lawsuits. Much better to spend it hiring a top designer to come up with a new logo. Did we ever mention that CMU's sister company UnLimited Creative offers fantastic design services, by the way?

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ITV SAY LICENCE FEE RISES NOT JUSTIFIED
Talking of wasting money, everyone knows the BBC waste more money than most, so much so ITV doesn't think they deserve the 2.3% licence fee rise that they have asked for. The Beeb wants the government to boost the licence fee by 2.3% over and above inflationary rises. But a new report published by ITV says that there is no justification for any increases over inflation.

Releasing his report, ITV boss Charles Allen accused the Beeb of relying on badly thought out financials in making their claim for a bigger licence fee. He told reporters: "The BBC's back-of-a-fag-packet figures should come with their own health warning. This report represents a thorough economic analysis of the impact of the BBC's proposed licence fee increase and it is damning in its conclusions."

The report says that by raising the licence fee above the rate of inflation low income households in particular will lose out. It also argues that, given general economic growth in the UK, the BBC shouldn't need extra licence fee money to expand its digital operations - expansions which the Beeb frequently says it needs the extra cash for.

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MORRISSEY VIDEO
From wasting money to wasting time. And if you are looking to waste time today, why not do so by checking out the new Morrissey video? Go on, we even went to the effort of creating tiny-URLs for the links. New single 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved' is out on 5 Jun.

Watch the video through Flash: http://tinyurl.com/msnnm

Watch the video through Windows Media Player: http://tinyurl.com/ps6ed

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LITTLE MAN TATE VIDEO
Not interested in that? Well, how about the video to the new single from V2 signing Little Man Tate which is, we're reliably told, a little bit raunchy. 'What? What You Got?' is out this week, and the band play the Raynor Lounge in home town Sheffield tonight. The video is here:

Windows Media Player High: http://tinyurl.com/mzf6p
Windows Media Player Low: http://tinyurl.com/nwst6
Quicktime High: http://tinyurl.com/oefan
Quicktime Low: http://tinyurl.com/meqrt

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GERI HALLIWELL NAMES DAUGHTER BLUEBELL
Geri Halliwell, who as previously reported, gave birth to her new baby a week or two ago, has apparently named her daughter Bluebell Madonna. The singer told Hello! magazine that she was inspired to do so by seeing the flowers during her pregnancy, adding "what really clinched it for me was my mother telling me that the bluebell is increasingly rare - so it's a precious flower, which seems just right for my daughter."

On the middle name she said: "As she came out of my tummy, Bluebell had both arms flung wide in the air as if announcing to the world, 'Hi! I'm here!' She was screaming her head off, as though she was shouting, 'Hello, Wembley!' No one else has that name, apart from the Virgin Madonna and the singer, whom I love."

You may view this as another incidence of a celebrity calling their child by a very stupid name - lots of other people seem to (well, the gossip-bloggers). But nobody would care if she were named Rose, would they? And besides which, could anything, ever, be as bad as 'Apple'?

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BEDINGFIELD AND LACHEY UP A TREE
Only, they weren't in fact k-i-s-s-i-n-g. According to The Sun, Natasha Bedingfield has been on a date with Jessica Simpson's ex husband, singer Nick Lachey. They're said to have met up in the Foundation Lounge in Boston, before moving on to a party. One of the tabloid's sources said: "They were laughing and looking into each other's eyes in a rather romantic way. There was no public making out, but they were definitely there on a date."

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