CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 30th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner comment on merger negotiations
- Throwing Muses reform for three shows
- Eminem on his BET performance
- DMX locked up
- Lil Kim to get early release
- Jackson v Schaffel trial update
- Police appeal for witnesses to attack on singer
- Album Review: Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon
- Johnny Jenkins dies
- Yorke solo album to get a full airing
- Arnold denies Goldfrapp claims
- Live 8 behind the scenes photo book released
- Pavarotti cancels more tour dates
- Acts added to Latitude
- The Strokes play for dinosaurs
- Timberlake to play Palais
- Free Ladyfuzz ringtone
- Album Review: The Puppini Sisters - Betcha Bottom Dollar
- Anti-DRM group calls on Bono for support
- Virgin Megastore France fined for ignoring Madonna deal
- Spanish government introduce hardline anti-P2P laws
- Live Review: Depeche Mode, et al, at the O2 Wireless Festival
- Fall Out Boy respond to Flowers attack
- Lavigne on drugs
- Madonna defends crucifixion

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TOP BIT>>
Enough major label merger nonsense, a bit of a media polemic today. There's been much commentary in the political and media press this week regarding David Cameron's appearance on the Friday Night With Jonathan Ross programme last, erm, Friday. Alas, I missed it myself, but the commentary seems to centre on Ross' decision to ask the Conservative leader whether he had ever had schoolboy sexual fantasies about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (actually, I think what he said was "did you or did you not have a wank thinking about Margaret Thatcher"), and his producer's decision to include that question in the version of the show that aired. To be honest, I thought this was a bit of a non-story, given that the main person initially complaining about the question was Norman Tebbit (and not Cameron himself). But having seen BBC's The Week politics programme last night I get the impression this has angered more people in the party political world than I realised - some calling the question "obscene" and "outrageous". The outrage leads to two questions - should Cameron have gone on the show, and should Ross have asked the question? On the former - well, that's for Cameron and the Tories to assess. From my viewpoint, on balance it was probably a good if slightly risky move - the Tory leader reaching a much bigger audience through Ross' show than he ever could on a current affairs programme (or even a Richard & Judy style daytime show). As to the latter questions - many politicians seem to be saying "no", Ross should not have asked the question. But surely the right answer is "yes he should". Or, rather, he shouldn't have cut or avoided any of the kind of questions he would ask an actor, musician or TV presenter just because Cameron is a political leader. Ross' TV show is a comedy programme through which people can plug their work. Ross' cheeky and risqué style of comedy is well known (and for most the main attraction of the show, especially when used with American A-listers used to the stricter US chat shows) and politicians who want to make use of the plugging power of the show have to work within that comedy framework. If Cameron's decision to appear on the show was a bad one then his political colleagues are right to criticise him for it - but I don't see how they can credibly criticise Jonathon Ross for just being Jonathan Ross.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

Up-Comms - PR Account Manager
Up-Comms, the PR division of content/research agency Ramp Industry (http://www.rampindustry.com), is looking for an account manager to join our team. Around half of the projects will be music-related; around half covering fields elsewhere in lifestyle/entertainment. We need someone who's massively organised, has at least two years experience in offline or online music PR; who's confident, creative and, as importantly, who's capable of implementing the PR/awareness themselves. Salary circa: £22k. Location: London. Preferred start date: early July. Please send your CV to andy@rampindustry.com

Outpost PR - Online & Press Office
Outpost PR is seeking a new online and press officer to join our fast expanding team. This is a unique, joint role covering all aspects of online promotion and traditional PR. Some online experience is a pre-requisite for this role, either in the form of HTML, web design, or other online knowledge. No direct press experience is required, though would be advantageous. Creative, motivated and enthusiastic, you will also be able to demonstrate exceptional writing and communication skills as well as an eye for detail. Please send your application, including CV, via e-mail to david@outpostmedia.co.uk stating 'Outpost Vacancy' in the subject line. No calls please!

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HOT OFF THE PRESS>>

ALOUD FESTIVAL GUIDE IN ASSOCIATION WITH SONY ERICSSON
Can't be arsed to research festivals this summer? The Aloud Festival Guide has got the info on over 60 events taking place, written by music-lovers for music-lovers. As well as news and updates, we've got on-site blogging from the festivals, features, photos and advice from the illustrious Professor Portaloo - don't shag Anne Widdecombe scores quite highly. You can also win tickets to Lovebox, Belladrum and Bestival by sending in your photos, and feature in our summer podcast - brilliant!

www.aloud.com/festivals
www.myspace.com/aloudfestivals

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PRESS ROOM>>

PAY DAY JUNE
Eddy TM and Barry Ashworth's PayDay returns to Neighbourhood this Friday, 30 Jun. Live on stage will be buzz bands Vatican DC and Devils Gun, plus the guys from Cooper Temple Clause will be on the decks, alongside Eddy TM and Barry Ashworth. It kicks off a 9pm and runs till 2am, tickets are £10 on the door, or £8 in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Press information from Get Involved.

Full press release at: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/payday

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
The Mighty Twang talks to prog rock legend Keith Emerson ('Helldrive', 3-6pm). On Saturday, July 1, Talita airs an interview with Me First & The Gimme Gimmes ('Breakfast At Talita's, 9am to noon). Jerry Ewing meets Armored Saint. Can they deliver? Tune into the 'Classic Rock/Metal Hammer Show' (3-6pm). Malcolm meets Foreigner's Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen ('Doom & Co.', 6-9pm). Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

Same Six Questions: Devils Gun
We like things that mix it up a bit, you all know that, which is why, I guess, we like Devils Gun - their sound being a little hard to describe, but almost definitely taking in electro, breakbeat, house and a sort of synthy-rocky sound. Both Eddy TM and John Kennedy at Xfm have been bigging up these guys, which is always a good sign as far as I am concerned. If you want to find out more, check their MySpace for previews (http://www.myspace.com/devilsgun), check out how they responded to our Same Six Questions, then get down to PayDay at Neighbourhood tonight, where you'll get to see them live. Sorted.

MySpace Of The Day: Goose
These guys are from Belgium, so it would be too easy to use Soulwax as a reference point, but I'm going to anyway. There is a real Soulwax sensibility in these guys' music (more Soulwax in darker Nite Versions mode though), though that's not to say the Goose boys aren't quickly developing their own sound. Guitars, beats and electro toys go hand in hand to create some storming music which will be coming your way sometime soon courtesy of Skint Records (there's a limited edition vinyl release of stand out track 'Black Gloves' on 17 Jul). Meantime you can check out three of their tracks here on the MySpace plus, if you fancy seeing them live (and if they are even half as good as Soulwax live, they'll rock) there's quite a few UK dates upcoming, all listed here. Oh yes, and there's a video too. Go see.

http://www.myspace.com/goosemusic

This and more at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Soul Heaven at Ministry
The original superclub is still getting on with it - and this weekend Soul Heaven comes to town with some massive names to launch their compo. There's the US garden state's finest - Kerri Chandler & Dennis Ferrer - with Kerri adding live elements to the set by way of keyboards and vocals, in a rather unique way. One of my faves, Phil Asher, will be main rooming with his usual quality, soulful house, while in the bar there's the Soul Heaven residents: Aaron Ross, Neil Pierce, Andy Ward & Rudeboy Rupert, with dangerman Paul Trouble Anderson (who rocks a joint wherever he may be). They're joined by special guests from Paris: Afromento ft Jus Dope and DJ Fudge (who is pretty wicked, I hear). Should be a cracker if the footy comes out right...

Saturday 1 Jul, Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, London, SE1, 11pm-7am, £15 (£12 concs, £8 NUS), press info from ablackett@ministryofsound.com

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: PayDay at Neighbourhood
You've probably been seeing this is the Press Room all week, but just so it's in the front of your minds we should probably include it here too. PayDay, as you all surely know by now, is the last Friday of the month night from Xfm Remix's Eddy TM and Dub Pistols frontman Barry Ashworth. Both hosts will be on the decks, the latter with the rather fine Dub Pistols Sound System, while they are joined each month by a carefully selected mix of great bands and guest DJs, covering all bases from indie to rock to electro to breaks. Tonight the storming Vatican DC (one of Eddy's biggest tips of the year) will be playing live, as will the wonderful Devils Gun (who are answering the Same Six Questions on CMU Beats today), while the guys from the Cooper Temple Clause will be there in DJ mode. Storming.

Friday 30 Jun, Neighbourhood, Acklam Road, London, W10, £15, press info from Get Involved.

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WARNER COMMENT ON MERGER NEGOTIATIONS
More major label merger nonsense for you. Over there in New York, the lovable Warner Music Group yesterday issued its own statement regarding the ongoing merger talks between themselves and London based EMI. This followed that statement by EMI earlier this week that confirmed both parties had now made two unsuccessful bids for the other.

While some analysts reckon that Warner's main objection to EMI's most recent offer is still the offer price, the major's statement yesterday also identified some of the conditions of the proposal that they had problems with. The statement read: "The EMI proposal also includes several important pre-conditions which increase execution risk. These include, in particular, the pre-sale of Warner/Chappell Music and underwriting a substantial rights offering. The WMG and EMI proposals each also include certain other pre-conditions and conditions, including regulatory approvals and due diligence. However, the WMG proposal to EMI is not subject to a pre-condition requiring the pre-sale of EMI's music publishing business, nor would it carry an equity financing condition."

Warner concluded: "The WMG board agrees with EMI that there are potential merits in combining the businesses of WMG and EMI, but believes that a WMG acquisition of EMI will provide shareholders of both companies with a superior opportunity to realise significant value in their shareholdings."

This, of course, is essentially the same as the concluding statement issued by EMI earlier this week, only in reverse. EMI's board said: "The Board of EMI continues to believe that [our current offer] would be very attractive to both sets of shareholders and far superior to Warner Music's revised alternative proposal".

Behind the scenes there is increasing chatter regarding Warner's tactics in all this. EMI clearly want a simple cost effective deal which allows them to over night grow to a similar size to other rivals Universal Music and SonyBMG - their strategy hasn't really changed since they tried to buy Warner Music off previous owners Time Warner back in 2003. Arguably Warner want the same thing, but some continue to question the motives of Edgar Bronfman Jnr's key financial backers, who don't seem to be the sorts of people who would want to stay in the still insecure music space indefinitely, and who will surely, at some point soon, want to make good their 2004 investment when they bought the major off the aforementioned Time Warner.

The EMI offer, price permitting, is surely an easy way for those investors to bow out of the music space within the year with a healthy profit in their pockets. So, why come forward with the counter-offers? Do they think they could make a bigger buck by creating a Universal sized mega-major and then floating it? Possibly, but given that they must know EMI chief Eric Nicoli is in no mood to sell just now, many reckon the counter-offers are a bluff designed to strengthen Warner's hand at the negotiating table - to show EMI that they have other options, and therefore force the London major to offer the best possible price. Whether EMI can afford that best possible price remains to be seen.

PS: By the way, pan-European indies body IMPALA have just announced they will, unsurprisingly, oppose any EMI Warner merger should the two companies reach any agreement. Any merger would need EC approval, and that's where IMPALA would try to block it. As you'll remember, the trade body opposed the SonyBMG merger when it was at EC approval stage, and is still fighting the EC's decision to allow the merger through the European courts, even though the two companies combined their operations just under two years ago.

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THROWING MUSES REFORM FOR THREE SHOWS
The Throwing Muses have announced that they are to reunite for three shows this summer. The band are to play at Iceland's Innipukinn Festival in Reykjavik on 5 Aug, and follow this up with two North American dates on 11 and 12 Aug. The line-up will consist of Kristin Hersh, drummer David Narcizo and bassist Bernard Georges.

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EMINEM ON HIS BET PERFORMANCE
Eminem's people have said that Slim Shady put in an appearance on stage at this week's BET Awards in America because of his respect for Busta Rhymes. Eminem has kept out of the public eye since his Anger Management Tour last year, and is reportedly battling depression following the break up of his second marriage to Kim Mathers/Scott and the death of his good friend Proof. But he appeared on stage with Rhymes this week, adding a new verse to Busta's recent hit 'Touch It'.

A spokesman for Eminem said that he had appeared at the awards event "out of love for Busta", while Busta himself has told MTV: "Eminem is one of my favorite artists. To be able to have him on the same stage with Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Rah Digga, Papoose, Lloyd Banks, Will.I.Am, Kelis and Spliff Star for my performance was one of the biggest highlights of my career".

Eminem's appearance led to some speculation that he might be returning with some new material - especially given that G:Unit DJ Whoo Kid recently told MTV that Eminem had recently joined the rest of the Shady Records crew to record a freestyling mixtape that should surface over the summer. But his people say that his sole project just now is executive producing the upcoming Obie Trice album. There are also no plans to re-release 'Touch It' with Eminem's verse though, needless to say, recordings of the awards show performance are circulating on the net already.

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DMX LOCKED UP
DMX made it to court yesterday, following that previously reported no-show last week. The hip-hopper is, of course, facing charges of speeding and dangerous driving whilst in White Plains, New York and you will remember that the judge in the case, Barbara Leak, put out a warrant for his arrest following his no-show, which rather forced him to appear. I'm not exactly sure what went on in the courtroom, but it ended with the rapper, real name Earl Simmons, being held on $25,000 bail and led off to a cell in handcuffs. He was still there yesterday afternoon. We'll let you know if we hear he's made a break for it.

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LIL KIM TO GET EARLY RELEASE
Lil Kim is to get an early release from her year-and-a-day prison sentence. It's not a huge surprise, really - it was said at the time of her perjury conviction that she would be released early for good behaviour, and, it would seem, she has behaved herself. Lawyer L. Londell McMillan says: "She has accepted responsibility and handled herself in an exemplary manner".

The rap star, real name Kimberley Jones, who was found guilty in 2005 of lying about that 2001 shooting outside the Hot 97 radio studios in New York, began her sentence at the federal detention centre in Philadelphia on 19 Sep, and will be released on 3 Jul (the day before Independence Day, interestingly enough), but remains under house arrest for thirty days following her departure from prison. She has released the following statement via her publicist: "I am thrilled to be coming home. I thank all my fans for all their letters, as well as my family and friends for all their support throughout the past 10 months."

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JACKSON V SCHAFFEL TRIAL UPDATE
Proceedings in the Jackson/Schaffel case have begun, and Michael Jackson, appearing in a videotaped testimony, has said that he believed he had paid Schaffel what he owed him. As previously reported, Schaffel, Jackson's former business associate, is suing the pop star for $3.8million, claiming, amongst other things, that he was never paid for work on a charity single which was never released, as well as two TV documentaries designed to portray the singer in a better light, made in the wake of that dope Martin Bashir's hatchet piece 'Living With Michael Jackson'. Jackson, is of course, countersuing.

The video shown at the California courthouse this week showed Jackson saying: "I'm sure he got money," and when asked how he could be sure of this, said: "because he always seemed to be happy." Schaffel's lawyer, Howard King responded "Money doesn't buy happiness", adding that Jackson frequently claimed that he could not remember details of his own finances and that he plans to call a number of Jackson's other former associates to testify to his financial incompetence. Which seems almost unnecessary

Previously, King had defended his client against accusations from the Jackson camp that the pop singer had cut ties with him after finding out that Schaffel had no record industry expertise and was a producer of gay pornography, explaining that the video-producer's career included "legal adult entertainment... In 2000 he was done with that and he began to work with Mr. Jackson."

Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mundell, says Schaffel owed his client hundreds of thousands of dollars, and transfers of money, made apparently to Jackson by Schaffel, were actually made by other people; and that Schaffel has no record or receipts of the transactions, despite his alleged usually meticulous record keeping. Mundell says: "The evidence will show Mr Schaffel should have left well enough alone. He could have gotten away with a chunk of money from Michael Jackson... but he sued for several million dollars."

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POLICE APPEAL FOR WITNESSES TO ATTACK ON SINGER
The police are appealing for witnesses of a recent assault on Les Incompetents singer Billy Bell to come forward. The singer came under attack on his way home from the band's gig in Camden last Thursday, and is still in hospital.

A statement from the police says: "Police are appealing for witnesses and information to a serious assault in Islington. We were called at approximately 23:00 on 22/6/06 to reports of a man having been assaulted as he got off a No.29 bus in Camden Road, Islington. The victim, aged 19, alighted the bus in Camden Road, near Brecknock Road, N7. The suspect got off at the same stop and assaulted the victim. LAS attended and the victim was taken to a central London hospital, suffering from head injuries. His condition is described as life threatening. The suspect is described as a white male, aged approximately 28 years old, with dark hair and possibly an Australian accent. He was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans."

DS Sean Smyth from Islington CID said: "The suspect and victim are believed to have exchanged words on the bus before the assault took place and I am appealing for information from anyone who was on the 29 bus just before 23.00 on the 22/06/06. I am also appealing for anyone who witnessed the assault in Camden Road, near Brecknock Road, to come forward. Witnesses reported having seen the suspect laughing as he headed north towards the Holloway Road after the attack. If it helps to jog people's memories the assault took place the night Australia beat Croatia in the World Cup. So far no arrests have been made and inquiries are continuing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the CID at Islington on 020 7421 0350 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A recent statement on the band's website suggests that despite having a fractured skill, the singer is now in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon (Thrill Jockey)
Tortoise's latest release follows 2005's excellent cover album collaboration with Bonnie 'Prince' Billie and will follow their upcoming performance of their seminal album 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die', as a part of next month's 'Don't Look Back' festival. 'A Lazarus Taxon' is a retrospective boxset collecting bits and bobs from 12 years of Tortoise, all the way from the self-titled debut of 1994 through to their current work. The set contains three CDs comprised of 33 hard-to-find remixes, limited-edition releases and compilation appearances as well as the previously unreleased Mike Watt remix of 'Cornpone Brunch' and the out-of-print 1995 album 'Rhythms, Resolutions and Clusters'. It also includes a DVD containing most of the band's music videos alongside live performance footage. Visually, Tortoise's albums have always been interesting affairs and 'A Lazarus Taxon' is no exception: the packaging features photos of car accidents by a former Swiss police officer whose work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Pretentious, moi? Whilst 'A Lazarus Taxon' will most definitely be enjoyed by fans of the five piece, and is worth the ticket price for the tangled jazz maze of 'Whitewater' alone, newcomers should be warned that upon bringing the set home they may find themselves lost indefinitely in a 33 track swamp of progressive rock-jazz-electronica. Before you buy ask yourself - is that your idea of fun? EM
Release Date: 21 Aug
Press Contact: Hermana PR [all]

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JOHNNY JENKINS DIES
Guitarist Johnny Jenkins, an associate of the likes of Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix, and renowned for his musical 'acrobatics', has died at the age of 67 following a stroke.

Jenkins was a flashy, left handed and self-taught guitarist who started out in a blues band, The Pinetoppers, before working with Redding, who he met at a talent show in Macon, in Georgia. Recalling that first meeting, Jenkins has said: "I heard Otis at the Douglass, and the group behind him just wasn't making it. So I went up to him and said, 'Do you mind if I play behind you?' Cause he didn't know me... Well, he sounded great with me playing behind him."

His style was exploited by admirer Jimi Hendrix, who vocalist Arthur Ponder (who sang with Jenkins) remembered as a "little guy who would follow us around a lot. Next thing we know, he's Jimi Hendrix".

Late Capricorn Records founder Phil Walden, speaking in 1996 said "I thought my entire world rotated around Johnny Jenkins' guitar. I was convinced he could have been the greatest thing in rock 'n' roll."

Jenkins is survived by three children and eight grandchildren.

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YORKE SOLO ALBUM TO GET A FULL AIRING
Thom Yorke's upcoming solo album 'The Eraser' is to be broadcast in full this weekend by a radio station in Australia, Triple J, from 6pm on 2 Jul. You can listen to it online, if you're a particularly obsessive fan, but it will on be 3am. It will be here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej.

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ARNOLD DENIES GOLDFRAPP CLAIMS
The musical director for the new James Bond film has denied those reports that Goldfrapp have been asked to provide the new theme tune. David Arnold says it's not true, but won't yet reveal who is going to provide the track for the new movie, although he promises he'll tell us all soon. On the Goldfrapp rumours, he expressed some surprise as to how effective the internet can be in warping things and spreading rumour.

Arnold told 6Music: "The Goldfrapp thing came about I believe as a Bond fan made up a fake fan art poster and put it on the net. He listed on the credits music by Goldfrapp as that was a band he would like to see doing it, and a French website decided that it was real so published a story. The internet is really quite amazing."

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LIVE 8 BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTO BOOK RELEASED
Photographer Mike McCartney, brother to Paul, has published a limited edition book of behind the scenes photos from the 2005 Live 8 gig in London's Hyde Park.

McCartney, who was cleared earlier in the year of sexual assault, said: "It began as a nice family day out in Hyde Park, but when you find yourself backstage at the greatest show on Earth and bump into Brad Pitt, Madonna, George Michael, U2, Annie Lennox, Bill Gates, the Beckhams, Kofi Annan, Paris Hilton, Robbie Williams, Snoop Dog, Peter Kay, Pink Floyd etc, it would be rude not to take their photo."

Only 1000 editions will go on sale, at a cost of £60 for a signed copy and £30 unsigned, with all proceeds to go to the Live 8 Trust. Copies will be available on eBay and from the O8 Place in Whitechapel, Liverpool.

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PAVAROTTI CANCELS MORE TOUR DATES
Luciano Pavarotti has cancelled his UK tour dates, the latest in a series of cancellations due to his recent health problems and back surgery. Manager Terri Robson has said: "He went on to develop an infection during his stay in hospital; this condition has unfortunately delayed his recovery time. He is currently undergoing a course of intensive physiotherapy in New York."

In a statement, the tenor said he was "deeply disappointed" and offered an "enormous apology". The dates affected are as follows:

15 Jul: Glasgow SECC
8 Jul: Chatsworth House
12 Jul: Southampton Rose Bowl
15 Jul: Warwick Castle

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ACTS ADDED TO LATITUDE
The Latitude Festival has announced a host of new acts for this year's line-up, including Archie Bronson Outfit, The White Rose Movement, The Noisettes, Captain, The Longcut, and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. They join acts such as Mogwai and Snow Patrol on the bill for the event, which takes place at Henham Park, Suffolk from 14 - 16 Jul.

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THE STROKES PLAY FOR DINOSAURS
The Strokes will play a gig in the National History Museum in London as part of T-Mobile's bands- play-gigs-in-odd-places thing. They will play the museum on 6 Jul. The Strokes, who release new single 'You Only Live Once' on 10 Jul, told reporters: "We have played in many different places before but never in front of a dinosaur, we are looking forward to it, will be a great night."

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TIMBERLAKE TO PLAY PALAIS
Justin Timberlake, "the hottest artist on the planet" according to the embargoed press release (quite what would have happened had someone reported on this before 7am this morning I'm not sure - the end of civilisation possibly), will play his first UK date in two and half years at the relatively intimate surroundings of the Hammersmith Palais on 13 Jul. Tickets (at £50 a shot) for "hottest gig this year" (I suggest some air conditioning) went on sale at 9am this morning and quite possibly have sold out by now. Timberlake's second album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' is, as I'm sure we've mentioned before, out on 11 Sep and will be, no doubt, the hottest release of the year. If there are any left you can get your tickets from http://www.aeglive.com

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FREE LADYFUZZ RINGTONE
Want a free Ladyfuzz ringtone? Well, to get a free ringtone of upcoming single 'Oh Marie' (out 10 Jul on Trangressive) you need to dial 82822 and you'll be sent a WAP link. They'll only charge you your normal text rate, promise. (Well, I'm promising nothing, but Transgressive promise it).

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Puppini Sisters - Betcha Bottom Dollar (Universal)
Seems like bands these days are turning to kitsch 1940's hits for inspiration. What with The Pipettes' be-bop beats and now, here, are another female trio, who will no doubt be compared to The Pipettes, partly because they both look to the same era and also, er, because there aren't many other girl groups to compare them with. In reality, these are just standard covers that sound little different to the originals, though this may not matter to today's younger listeners, who possibly won't know or realise this, and will joyfully relish in the sense of childhood Christmases, birthdays and old musicals that the songs evoke. Upbeat and unabashed, the former burlesque dancers sing in perfect harmonies to jazzy beats that sound very similar to Japanese group Pez. These are carefully chosen covers that will appeal widely - even the hardest to please will get caught up in the nostalgic magic. They do a slow tempo take on 'I Will Survive', which is brave, but doesn't really work. Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights' is, however, displayed pristinely. Nothing new here, then, but everyone will be raving. RM
Release Date: 31 Jul
Press Contact: Universal IH [all]

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ANTI-DRM GROUP CALLS ON BONO FOR SUPPORT
A Boston-based lobbying group who oppose the use of digital rights management technology by the music industry are calling on U2 frontman Bono to back their campaign. The Free Software Foundation, a champion of IT's open source community, has recently turned its attention to DRM through its Defective By Design campaign, and has now launched an online petition calling for Bono to announce his support for their core aim - to persuade the music business to stop using DRM which restricts the way consumers can use the digital music they buy.

It is obvious why the Foundation has picked Bono. As an experienced lobbyist often portrayed as a 'champion of the common man', they want to see if Bono will take a stand on an issue somewhat closer to home - signed to Universal/Island, all legitimate digital sources of U2's music come with DRM, while the band are one of the most high profile artists to partner with Apple's iTunes, a company whose entire business model depends on their proprietary DRM.

Of course, the major labels like DRM because in theory it prevents the illegal flow of digital music onto file sharing networks, while the technology firms like it because it locks consumers to their download services while providing healthy revenue streams from the content owners who licence their DRM software. However, the Foundation argues that DRM is unfair on consumers, and that the use of DRM is actually hindering the growth of the digital content industry.

As previously reported, it is a viewpoint that is actually shared by certain sectors of the music industry, especially the independent sector, but whether major label signed Bono will take a stand on this remains to be seen. He is yet to respond to the Foundation's petition.

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VIRGIN MEGASTORE FRANCE FINED FOR IGNORING MADONNA DEAL
Interesting court case in France this week involving the French division of Virgin Megastore (which may or may not be part of the Virgin Group, I can't quite work it out) and Madonna's single 'Hung Up'.

This court case basically relates to the growing frustration among the traditional music retailers regarding the exclusivity deals record companies have been doing with non-traditional music sellers (you'll remember HMV in Canada has staged boycotts of certain artists who have done exclusivity deals with other retailers or, in a number of cases, Starbucks). Warner Music did an exclusive deal with French tel cos France Telecom and Orange making 'Hung Up' exclusively available via the phone companies' digital music services a week ahead of everywhere else. Rather than boycotting Madonna's back catalogue, Virginmega France decided to download the track off the France Telecom platform, hack the DRM they had put on it, re-encode it with their DRM, and made it available to buy via their download store! I think the phrase is "a bit cheeky". Or, in the words of France Telecom's Herve Payan, "an amazing case of simple piracy by a respected company".

Warner and the phone firms sued Virginmega France, and this week the Paris courts found the retailer guilty of "ignoring an exclusive deal by Warner Music France with France Telecom and Orange", and ordered them to pay 250,000 euros compensation to each phone firm, and 100,000 euros to Warner.

Welcoming the ruling, Payan told the International Herald Tribune: "This is an amazing case ... Virgin behaved in a surreal manner by downloading the song, cracking protection measures and then selling it from their own website".

But Virginmega maintain they were acting in the interest of the consumer. The Tribune quotes store director Laurent Fiscal as saying: "We have always been ahead of the others posing questions that look to the interests of consumers. We are precursors in the question of exclusive sales and think a debate should take place between sales platforms and producers."

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SPANISH GOVERNMENT INTRODUCE HARDLINE ANTI-P2P LAWS
The Spanish government has introduced hard line intellectual property legislation that will outlaw the acquisition of copyright content through unauthorised P2P networks, while charging a copyright levy on digital devices capable of storing content, including memory sticks, CDRs and mobile phones (though not hard drives). The new laws will also make it a criminal offence for ISPs to "facilitate" unauthorised downloading.

As previously reported, Spanish authorities have been keen to tighten up copyright piracy legislation after the content industries named it as the home to the highest levels of piracy in Europe. When the International Federation Of the Phonographic Industry launched a report on worldwide piracy issues a year ago, they staged the launch in Spain to highlight the high levels of piracy there. At the time, IFPI chief John Kennedy told reporters: "We are launching this report in Spain for a very good reason. Spain was once a thriving legitimate music market known for the quality of its artists and the success of its music industry. Today Spain is known for the most serious piracy problems in Europe and urgent action is needed to do something about it".

A Brussels based representative of the Movie Picture Association Of America this week welcomed Spain's new laws, describing them as "a definite step forward". But, of course, it remains to be seen how the new laws work in practice and how the authorities plan to enforce them. Of particular interest are the laws that pass liability for copyright violation onto the ISPs of those who illegally share music. Some experts say that the new laws possibly conflict with the 2000 E-Commerce Directive of the European Commission, which included some measures to protect internet providers. Whether Spanish and EC law in this domain can co-exist won't be tested until Spain's authorities take an ISP to task on the illegal file sharing that is occurring on their networks.

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LIVE REVIEW: Depeche Mode, et al, at the O2 Wireless Festival
Ah, now that was a good night. Apart from one thing. On the way into the O2 Wireless Festival, as you might expect these days, they search your bag. I was fairly confident I had absolutely no bombs or sharp objects so I handed it over happily. Well, relatively happily. Anyway, horror of horrors, the security man searching my bag found a can of cola and told me I couldn't take it in. "Why?" I said. "You just can't", he countered. If he'd explained that it was a handy missile that I could do some serious damage with I might not have minded so much, but I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that it was really so that I would have to buy an overpriced drink from one of the Festival's food stands, instead of bringing in my own. Whatever, the can might have remained unused, full, at the bottom of the bag, until I got home that night, or until the following day. As it was I had to bloody-mindedly drink it in front of the security guard before I went in, holding up the queue nicely, thanks. Why spend 200 words on this here? Well, firstly to shame the security guard (or the person who set the rules he was following), obviously. But also because the fact that I had such a good night despite entering the festival enclosure in such a bad frame of mind is a testament to how good the artists on show really were.

We didn't get to Hyde Park until around 7pm, sadly missing The Fratellis, who should really have been on the main stage just ahead of Depeche Mode. Well, maybe not, but I do love 'em. Anyway, we did manage to see three bands perform. The first was 'Nite Versions' - aka Soulwax. We're big fans here at CMU so were pretty much expecting to enjoy this. Though I think Chris was expecting to enjoy it more than I was to be honest, but my enjoyment far exceeded my expectations. By the way, if you are unclear on what 'Nite Versions' is, it's basically the band's own remix of their 'Any Minute Now' album. This was the live version of the remix, and I wasn't the only one enjoying it. The crowd in there were bouncing feverishly by the time it got to the last track.

We then fooled around taking photos of ourselves pointing at things before wandering over to the MySpace/Fender stage, getting there in time to see Lorraine. You know Lorraine. They were cruelly mocked on Popworld. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan, but they seemed to be doing quite well, and there were clearly a fair few fans in the audience, which was nice. And I just looked them up on Wikipedia and their entry claims that they named themselves after Marty's mother in the 'Back To The Future' trilogy. Which is alright by me.

So, on to headliners Depeche Mode. Actually, Sunday at Wireless was more like a Depeche Mode concert with a lot of support acts than a festival - especially as they were on stage for a full hour and a half. Sitting waiting on the grass (we managed to find a patch amongst the dust), I became feverishly, unexpectedly excited, and initially wondered why, though I soon figured it out: at one stage in my youth I was a feverish Depeche Mode fan, and I had almost forgotten this. I am still a fan, clearly, but my tastes have become wider with the passage of time, I suppose. But suddenly, there I was, about to see a band I'd loved for as long as I could remember but which I had never before managed to see live. And by God, I was excited.

And they did not disappoint. I can't remember the order of the songs; I'm rubbish at that kind of thing at the best of times, but this time I had a good excuse - I was simply transfixed for most of their set, mesmerised by the energy of their performance and David Gahan's vocals, which always did have the power to mesmerise me. I do remember, however, really enjoying the use of lights during 'Personal Jesus' - it had gone dark by then, and it was really effective way to control the excitable audience's participation in the track.

Being a bit of a wuss, I left before the encore to make sure I didn't get into a horrible crush at the tube station. As I walked through Hyde Park, on my way out, I heard the strains of 'Shake The Disease', one of my favourites, and, I think, the track that drew me right into Depeche Mode at the tender age of whatever-it-was. Damn, we missed it. Ever so slightly gutting. Though neither that, nor the cola can incident, could ruin such a fantastic experience. CM.

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FALL OUT BOY RESPOND TO FLOWERS ATTACK
Well, Fall Out Boy aren't actually doing their best to keep the whole feud-with-The-Killers thing going, by saying nice things about Brandon Flowers. As previously reported, Killers frontman Flowers has laid into the rival band in a new NME interview, but Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz has told MTV news that, actually, he quite likes Brandon.

Wentz: "Honestly, I like Brandon a lot from what I've read in interviews. He's sharp. I don't think people would take as much notice [of his comments] if he wasn't. I respect that. I kinda like how he called Fall Out Boy 'dangerous'. It felt like how Ice called Maverick 'dangerous' in 'Top Gun'. I kind of think of it this way: How could you feel like a superhero if you didn't have an arch-nemesis?"

He added that his only objection is over Flowers' claim that the two bands have never met. "We met a couple of times. I think they maybe tried to order drinks from us at the MTV Video Music Awards, because they thought we were waiters. The drummer was really nice though."

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LAVIGNE ON DRUGS
Avril Lavigne has been talking about herself.

On drugs: "I'm proud to say that I do not do drugs. I'm against them 100 per cent - and I don't hang out with people who do drugs."

On her determination to have an acting career: "That's how I go about things. I do what I do and take the steps I'm going to take and I don't worry about other people. I don't think anyone should go through life that way."

Lavigne will play the voice of a possum in a new film, 'Over The Hedge'.

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MADONNA DEFENDS CRUCIFIXION
Madonna says that she has no regrets about the use of that crucifix stunt on her world tour, and insists that she is making a statement.

She told the New York Post: "It is what you make of it. If you want to be shocked, be shocked. As I've said, I don't think Jesus would be mad at me, as my message during that song is not so different than his. I want to help make the world a better place. I want to open people's eyes to the suffering that's going on, especially the children still dying of AIDS in Africa."

So much fuss. As far as I'm concerned, she can crucify herself whenever she wants.

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