CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 5th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Xfm and Capital DJs swap places
- Radio 1 old guard lined up for new music magazine show
- Bono says G8 must be held accountable
- Cocker releases solo track
- Dallas Austin gets away with it
- Israel Kantor dies
- Fierce Panda moving into full album releases
- Dr Octagon remix, release news
- International artists flock to Llangollen
- Strummerville nights launch tomorrow
- Charity gig in London tonight
- Taking Back Sunday Taste Chaos
- Subways announce rescheduled tour
- Broken Social Scene single, live stuff
- Jurassic 5 album tour
- DJs sign stuff to sell for charity
- Analysts increase estimated savings of EMI Warner merger
- Bertelsmann complete share buyback
- People dis commercial radio - yeah, we did it first
- North West England is UK's 'most successful music region'
- Metallica to guest on Simpsons
- Popstars dis football stars

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TOP BIT>>
It's far too hot and humid to have an opinion on anything today, so we'll do a logistical reminder instead. Some of you have already been in touch about this - and we'll be back in touch with your good selves early next week, but in case you missed it first time, we'll run through it again. As you may well know, as well as this here CMU Daily, we also publish a thing called the Beats Daily Bulletin, which is also a daily e-newsletter, though one targeted at music fans rather than people working in the wider music industry. 1000s of record buyers and gig goers now receive the Beats Daily Bulletin every day, getting a daily dose of news and reviews from the CMU team, but with slightly less copyright law news (apparently music fans aren't so keen on that, as crazy as that might sound). So why mention this here? Well, we are planning on running regular competitions through the Beats Daily Bulletin from later this month. If you are a PR / label type and you have releases or events to promote, and you are able to offer a decent prize for us to give away (from signed albums to DVDs to games to quirky merchandise to all expenses paid trips to the Caribbean), then this is a great way of getting yourself noticed by the Beats Daily Bulletin's loyal readership. If you are interested in running a competition in the Bulletin, just email over the information to competitions@unlimitedmedia.co.uk and we'll be in touch. Thank you and good night.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

BigTime TV / RockChic(TM) - Channel Manager
To mark Fender(r)'s 60th anniversary, BigTime TV has invited 60 world-renowned creators to customise a Stratocaster(r). The exhibition 'RockChic' launched to huge acclaim in Paris, and is now set to move to Dublin and London, before the guitars are auctioned for charity. Contributing creators include: Bryan Adams (ft Kate Moss), Agnes B, Christopher Bailey, Bono, Sir Peter Blake, Anton Corbijn, Patrick Cox, Buddhist Punk, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jamie Hewlett , David LaChapelle, Peter Lindbergh (ft Keith Richards), Jennifer Lopez, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Rankin (ft Heidi Klum), Nick Rhodes, Johnny Rocket, Lord Richard Rogers, Hedi Slimane (Dior), Philippe Starck.

BigTime is looking to recruit a Channel Manager who will coordinate the logistics of staging the show in Dublin and London, providing a day to day link between our exhibition venues, production team, publicists and the 60 creators. In addition, the Channel Manager will play a key role in developing complimentary RockChic channels - including a book, a dynamic digital channel and possibly a TV documentary. The manager will also be responsible for identifying new commercial opportunities and partners for both the online and physical manifestation of RockChic. The Channel Manager should be a good organiser and people person, able to balance various concurrent projects. Editorial and web skills an advantage, ability to get on the phone and talk to potential partners a must. Applicants should send a CV to info@bigtime.tv - check http://www.rockchic.tv for more information on Rock Chic.

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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>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES JULY & LOVEBOX
Kill All Hippies returns this Friday - 7 Jul - at the 333 in Shoreditch. This month you'll find Komakino and Milk Teeth live on stage plus Jeff Automatic and DJ Frankie D on the decks in the basement, and the Fully Comprehensive guys doing their stuff on the ground floor - with Gavin Nugent, Mark Beaumont, Syrinx and the Cooper Temple Clause boys doing the DJ thing. Tickets are a tenner unless you guest list in advance, then it's just a fiver, you can do that at http://www.leylinepromotions.com

Not only that but on Sunday 23 Jul Kill All Hippies will be bringing some rock sensibilities to the Lovebox Weekender at London's Victoria Park by hosting its own big top arena featuring some great live bands and DJ action. On stage will be Battle, White Rose Movement, Longcut, Rumple Strips, The Delilahs and Little Barrie. Not only that, but the Kill All Hippies co-founders Eddy TM and Jagz Kooner will be hosting the day and taking to the decks - supported by Charlotte Hatherley and Gavin Nugent.

Full press releases for both KAH July and KAH at Lovebox at:
http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Cristiane talks to King Ov Hel, bassist with controversial Norwegian black metalheads Gorgoroth ('Sonic Attack', 9-11pm). Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: Folk Off
Folk Off is a new compilation (of folky stuff, as you might expect) selected by Rob Da Bank and out via Sunday Best on 10 Jul, and this is the MySpace page devoted to it. It's a double album, with two CDs, one entitled 'The British Isles', the other 'North America', and it's a real treat; I know, because I have listened to the whole thing. I am suggesting, in fact, that you procure a copy of the whole long player, in fact, and not just visit the MySpace page, though visiting the MySpace is probably a very good start, because you can see the tracklistings and have a listen to some of the tracks from it. One of my favourites from the collection - in fact, possibly my very favourite - is one of the four tracks previewing - This Is The Kit's 'Two Wooden Spoons', which has also been released as a single to promote the album. Time to get your folk on.

http://www.myspace.com/folkoffcomp

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

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XFM AND CAPITAL DJS SWAP PLACES
In something akin to one of those hostage swaps, Richard Bacon and Lucio will be swapping slots and floors within the GCap network when the former returns to Xfm while the latter moves on up to Capital Radio.

Former Big Breakfast host Richard Bacon first garnered popularity for his radio work via Xfm before taking over the drive time show at GCap's flagship station Capital just over a year ago. Lucio, meanwhile, joined Xfm last year to take over its drive time slot from Lauren Laverne after she moved over to breakfast. Now they will swap places - Bacon hosting Xfm drive time, Lucio the same slot on Capital.

Capital Radio, of course, has struggled in recent years against ever increasing competition from Heart and Magic. Both Bacon and fellow flagship presenter Johnny Vaughan survived a radical revamp at the station at the start of the year, but with listening figures still disappointing management, and following the axing of the station's MD, Keith Pringle, back in April, further schedule changes have been expected.

Confirming the show swap, GCap Operations Director Steve Orchard told reporters yesterday: "In Richard, we have a presenter who is already well-liked by the Xfm audience and with Lucio - while he has already proved popular on Xfm - I believe he can reach new heights at the reinvigorated Capital Radio."

On his move back to Xfm, Bacon added: "I have enjoyed my time at Capital, but I am looking forward to a return to my radio home at Xfm."

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RADIO 1 OLD GUARD LINED UP FOR NEW MUSIC MAGAZINE SHOW
Talking of radio revamps, you can all sleep soundly tonight safe in the knowledge that Radio 1 have found a new slot in their specialist show schedule for Mr Steve Lamacq, whose current weekly Monday night show will disappear when the station's evening line up relaunches in September.

The initial announcement about the specialist show rejig earlier this week didn't mention where Lamacq would fit in, though bosses insisted he wasn't leaving the station completely. Yesterday they confirmed that he would remain on the air, albeit for one hour a week, as one of four presenters of 'In New Music We Trust', a nightly new music magazine programme type thing.

Lamacq will host Mondays, with Tim Westwood hosting Tuesday, Jo Whiley hosting Wednesday and Pete Tong hosting Thursdays, which does make it something of a 'forty-somethings speak to the kids' slot, though it is probably to Radio 1's credit that their flagship specialist presenters (or former specialist presenters in Whiley's case) maintain their credibility in their respective genre communities, despite having been around for so long.

That they maintain some link with Lamacq seems important to the Radio 1 top guard, presumably because he continues to be popular among the indie faithful - though presumably most of them are clever enough to tune in to his daily afternoon show on BBC digital/online station 6Music.

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BONO SAYS G8 MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
Bono has told CNN that those who took part in last year's G8 summit must be held to account for their failure to act on the pledges they made at the conference. Not sure exactly what mountaineering has to do with this, but the U2 star commented: "They started to climb an Everest but over the past year they got lost at base camp."

Those remarks follow the release of a report which analyses the recent actions of G8 members when acting on the issues of debt relief and AIDS funding, comparing their actual performance to the promises they have made. The report, put together by the charity DATA, of which Bono is a board member, concludes that the countries have done alright in the area of debt relief and AIDS funding, but that trade is still a huge problem, with present practices leaving poor countries unable to escape from the cycle of poverty.

You can see that study at http://www.thedatareport.org.

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COCKER RELEASES SOLO TRACK
Talking of things related to Live 8, Jarvis Cocker has released a new song via his MySpace page, and that's probably the only place you're going to hear it as it's not exactly radio-friendly, containing, as it does, the use of the word 'cunt'. I'm pretty sure we reported on his plans to release the track earlier on in the year, but I can't find any trace of the report, so maybe I imagined it. But you'd think that I would remember that he was planning a song entitled 'Running The World' and featuring the lyric "cunts are still running the world", wouldn't you?

Anyway, it's the first track he's released under his own name, and you can hear it at http://www.myspace.com/jarvspace. On the page, he writes: "If all the technical bits and pieces are working properly then you should be able to hear a new song I've been working on I wanted you to hear it now cos it's exactly one year since that Live 8 thing and it was the night of that event that I wrote this song."

Summing up my thoughts on the matter, he continues: "I apologise for all the swearing but sometimes that's the only thing that seems appropriate. It's in no way a criticism of Geldof & co but I remember thinking at the time: 'Where does engaging with these politicians/businessmen really get you?' - ( 12 months on & the cunts still haven't paid up as far as I can make out) - maybe the problem is something more ... fundamental."

He adds: "Anyway, what do I know? I'm just a pampered rock star - but at least I think it's good to discuss this stuff. Don't you?"

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DALLAS AUSTIN GETS AWAY WITH IT
Dallas Austin has been sentenced to four years in jail for drugs offences in Dubai, but has received a pardon from Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, according to the music producer's lawyers.

As previously reported, Austin was tried for possessing 1.26 grammes of cocaine when passing through Dubai Airport in May, en route to Naomi Campbell's birthday party. He claimed in court that he had accidentally brought the drug into the country, forgetting to get rid of it before leaving the US, where cocaine possession is, erm, what?

Austin's lawyers report that it will be a few days before full details of the pardon are available, but that the delay is "a matter of paperwork", and the producer will be released imminently.

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ISRAEL KANTOR DIES
Cuban singer Israel Kantor has died from cancer at the age of 56. Kantor, who fronted the band Los Van Van before emigrating to the US, passed away on Saturday at his home in Miami.

Born Wilfredo Israel Sardinas in western Cuba, the singer changed his name in 1984 at the suggestion of Puerto Rican musician Johnny Pacheco. After several world tours with his popular band, he decided not to return to Cuba in order to exploit greater freedom and career possibilities abroad. He has been quoted as saying: "I had great schooling before coming to Los Van Van. After I travelled a lot with them, I had much restlessness to know the world, and the third time that we were in Mexico, I decided not to return to Cuba."

In 2002 Kantor joined the Miami based Tropicana All Stars orchestra, a group nominated for two Latin Grammy awards and two Grammy awards for their albums 'Recuerda a Benny More' and 'Tradicion'.

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FIERCE PANDA MOVING INTO FULL ALBUM RELEASES
This one has been doing the rounds for a week now, but we forgot to report on it, so here goes. London label Fierce Panda, legendary in indie circles for releasing the early singles of many subsequently major selling artists, including Supergrass, Ash, Coldplay and Keane, has said that it will stop signing new bands for one single/EP deals, concentrating instead on its more conventional album releases. Label boss Simon Williams says he wants to concentrate on album projects and developing his business in other ways, presumably building on Fierce Panda's global reputation for discovering new music, and the recent launch of Fierce Panda Canada.

The label's final single only release will be Dead Disco's 'Automatic' on 14 Aug, preceded by Dead Kids' 'Dead Wife Pills' out on 31 Jul - definitely a bit of a 'dead' theme going on there.

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DR OCTAGON REMIX, RELEASE NEWS
OK, we mentioned yesterday that the second Dr Octagon remix - designed to promote upcoming album 'The Return Of Dr Octagon' - is doing the rounds, and we can now confirm that you can download it here...

http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action =download&ufid=20625CEB2D1EF580

Meanwhile, we hear that the first single off the new album, 'Aliens', will be available via independent download store TuneTribe on 17 Jul, while the album, 'The Return of Dr Octagon', will be available there from 6 Aug. So don't go saying we didn't tell you.

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INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS FLOCK TO LLANGOLLEN
Participants from more than fifty countries have travelled to Llangollen for the 60th International Music Eisteddfod, which began yesterday with a concert by baritone Bryn Terfel as the main event of the day - it is his first appearance at the festival in a decade. The event, which runs until the 9 Jul, will conclude with a gala concert featuring Katherine Jenkins, in her Eisteddfod debut, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Eisteddfod, a festival of music, dance and song, has previously featured performances from the likes of Lesley Garrett, Nigel Kennedy, James Galway and Shirley Bassey, and it received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2004.

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STRUMMERVILLE NIGHTS LAUNCH TOMORROW
Strummerville, the Joe Strummer Foundation, will be launching its Strummerville Nights venture at SMASH under the Westway in West London tomorrow night (6 Jul). As we may have mentioned before, Strummerville Nights aims to showcase new bands alongside more established acts. Tomorrow night you'll get The Larry Love Showband (Alabama 3 unplugged), Flipron, The Barker Band, Attack The System, DJ Scratchy and DJ Statik. It all kicks off at 7pm and will go on till 3am.

The night follows the launch tonight of the Strummerville Studio, part of the Roundhouse studios, which will aim to offer young musicians the opportunity to practice music in a supportive environment. More info on all this from www.strummerville.com or info@strummerville.com

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CHARITY GIG IN LONDON TONIGHT
Quick one for those of you at a loose end tonight. Events company Ceki are staging a charity night at Madame Jo Jos in London from 8pm to 2am tonight, all in aid of Hepatitis C charity Hep C. There'll be a photography exhibition, plus music from The Kooks (though that's a secret, so don't tell anyone), Client, Trafalgar and Lost Penguin, while Kiki n Slinks, Rene and Jack Your Body will be on the decks. Tickets are £6 on the door. Press info from emma@thesundayclub.com

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TAKING BACK SUNDAY TASTE CHAOS
Taking Back Sunday are to headline the 2006 'Taste Of Chaos' UK tour, joined by Anti-Flag, alexisonfire, Underoath, Senses Fail and Saosin, dates as follows:

10 Nov: Birmingham NIA
11 Nov: Glasgow SECC
12 Nov: Manchester Apollo
13 Nov: Brighton Centre
17 Nov: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
18 Nov: London Brixton Carling Academy
20 Nov: Doncaster Dome
21 Nov: Cardiff International Arena

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SUBWAYS ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED TOUR
The Subways have announced rescheduled tour dates, following those previously reported cancellations back in April due to singer Billy Lunn's throat trouble. Tickets for original dates valid for the new date, refunds available from point of sale. New dates as follows:

5 Sep: Nottingham, Rock City
6 Sep: Newcastle, Carling Academy
7 Sep: Glasgow, Carling Academy
9 Sep: Manchester, Academy
10 Sep: Bristol, Carling Academy
12 Sep: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
13 Sep: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

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BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE SINGLE, LIVE STUFF
Broken Social Scene release their new single 'Fire Eyed Boy' on 17 Jul via download and 7". They're also doing a few live dates in the next couple of months, some of which are festival appearances, as follows:

25 Aug: Leeds Festival
27 Aug: Reading Festival
28 Aug: Oxford Zodiac
29 Aug: Cardiff The Point
30 Aug: Liverpool Academy
1 Sep: Sheffield Leadmill
2 Sep: Stradbally Ireland,
3 Sep: Indian Summer Festival

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JURASSIC 5 ALBUM TOUR
Crikey. There's lots of live-date-news today. Perhaps it's the weather. Jurassic 5 have announced a series of UK tour dates to support the release of their new album 'Feedback', out on 24 Jul. It is, of course, four years since the US hip-hoppers have released a long player. Here are the dates:

26 Sep: Bristol Academy
27 Sep: Birmingham Academy
28 Sep: Southampton Guildhall
30 Sep: London Brixton Academy
04 Oct: Manchester Academy
05 Oct: Newcastle Academy
06 Oct: Glasgow Academy

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DJS SIGN STUFF TO SELL FOR CHARITY
A variety of DJ types have lined up to sign football jerseys to be auctioned off online by Involved, the organisation that raises money for UNICEF. The list of DJs involved in the Involved World Cup Squad project includes Chris Fortier and Roger Sanchez for the U.S.A., Sasha, John Digweed, Pete Tong, Steve Lawler, Nick Warren and Paolo Mojo for England, Hernan Cattaneo for Argentina, Carl Cox for Trinidad, Tiesto and Ferry Corsten for Holland, Paul van Dyk, Chris Liebing and Timo Maas for Germany, Deep Dish for Iran, Infusion for Australia, Laurent Garnier for France and Paul Oakenfold for, er, Brazil.

Other stuff is also up for sale, donated by the various DJs, including signed CDs, DVDs and vinyl.

See more info, and the shirts up for auction at: http://www.involvedevents.com/djsquad.php. The auction runs for a month, press info from Get Involved.

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ANALYSTS INCREASE ESTIMATED SAVINGS OF EMI WARNER MERGER
City news anyone? According to the Times, financial services company Credit Suisse has estimated that the total cost savings of an EMI Warner merger could exceed £200 million, which is about £40 million more than previously estimated. If others back that judgment, it could persuade both parties to increase their bid prices as both EMI and Warner continue to attempt to stage a takeover of the other.

Credit Suisse has based its estimate of the cost savings a merger would produce by comparing EMI and Warner with Universal Music, which is already about the size a combined EMI Warner would be. According to the Times, Universal is achieving an underlying profit margin of 16.9 per cent, while EMI and Warner are achieving profit margins of 9.9 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively. Based on those figures and some complicated equations (I assume, it's possible they just made an educated guess), Credit Suisse reckons the pre-tax savings of an EMI Warner merger would be at least £182 million, and maybe quite a bit more.

Whether that kind of report will persuade EMI and Warner to up their respective offers remains to be seen. So far it has been assumed that, while both sides are bidding for the other, EMI are more likely to take over Warner than the other way round. However, the Times reports that Hugh Hendry of Eclectica, a shareholder in both companies, has leant his support to Warner's takeover proposal, while criticising EMI's proposals. The paper quote him as saying that EMI are "behaving like civil servants, and Warner like true investors".

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BERTELSMANN COMPLETE SHARE BUYBACK
More city news, hurrah! German media conglomerate and SonyBMG half-owner Bertelsmann has announced it has completed a 4.5 billion euro buyback of 25.1 per cent of its business from former shareholder Group Bruxelles Lambert, who had been threatening to sell their share on the stock exchange, a move much opposed by the company's majority shareholders, the Mohn family. The company said in a statement yesterday that "the transaction was completed with the transferal of the purchase price", adding that GBL's two representatives had left the company's supervisory board.

As previously reported, Bertelsmann is funding the buyback by taking out a rather large loan and selling BMG Music Publishing. Whether they will sell some or all of their stake in SonyBMG to pay back those loans is still not clear - I don't think they want to, but they might have to.

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PEOPLE DIS COMMERCIAL RADIO - YEAH, WE DID IT FIRST
Now I feel bad for dissing the commercial radio sector in yesterday's Top Bit, because it seems like everyone was taking a swipe at commercial radio yesterday. Speaking at the Radio Festival, Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant said commercial radio was "corny and uninteresting" and accused them of "blackmailing" artists into cooperating with station plans in return for playing their songs.

According to the Guardian, Tennant ranted thus: "You could sometimes think commercial radio lets you down. There is an assumption when you have been making records for 20 years that your records are not as good as they were. Our records have changed and developed, but people who would once A-list something won't any more because they don't think it's cool. People are obsessed with doing things they perceive to be cool. If I was a radio station I'd be thinking, 'what am I contributing ... to creativity, to the community'. I think the assumption that creativity is only going to come from something completely new, or that is a guaranteed hit, is a mistake - that is why a lot of radio stations sound corny and uninteresting. It's difficult to have a relationship with a [commercial local radio] station. The relationship that is developing is a kind of blackmail - that 'if you do a Party in the Park kind of thing we'll A-list your record'. So then you do the Party in the Park kind of thing and then they don't A-list your record because they've lost interest by then. So a mistrust develops."

And then EMI Music boss Tony Wadsworth joined in: "The UK music industry is a very vibrant place and works best when it takes chances... I would say to radio - and I know it's easier to say to the BBC than to commercial radio - if in doubt, take a creative chance because more often than not you'll succeed in that. The artists I've done best out of are the ones that are further out there in terms of creativity. I don't feel particularly let down by radio, but I do think we could all do better, record companies included."

On the upside, BBC boss Mark Thompson, who back in May accused the commercial sector of being too keen to accuse the Beeb as being the cause of its woes, rather than looking at mistakes made within the sector, did use the Radio Festival to admit that the BBC should be working with the commercial stations more in certain areas - in particular in encouraging the take up and development of digital radio. Asked by GCap chief Ralph Bernard if that would mean the BBC would put more money into the cross-industry Digital Radio Development Board, Thompson replied: "We should get together under your chairmanship and look at what a broader remit for the DRDB might consist of. And of course, if that means the DRDB needs more support, then, together with the other members, we would be prepared to look at that and indeed find more money for it."

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NORTH WEST ENGLAND IS UK'S 'MOST SUCCESSFUL MUSIC REGION'
Well, I think CMU alone, which its two North West born editors, is proof that all the real talent in the music world comes from the North West of England. But now we have indisputable proof of that fact. Well, a fundamentally flawed survey designed to sell a website, but that will do for me. Yep, according to 'research' done by Yahoo! Music, the North West of England has produced more successful music artists since 2000 than any other UK region.

The statistic is based on the number of chart topping singles or albums that have come from any one region compared to the area's total population. The North West has achieved a number one for every 115,254 people, whereas Greater London, the second most successful region, has one for every 216,647 people. Other high scoring regions were the South East in third place, the West Midlands in fourth place (presumably thanks in the main to the fact Robbie Williams harks from Staffordshire), and Scotland in fifth place.

Oasis, with three chart topping singles and three chart topping albums, accounted for 12% of the North West's number one records, while releases from Doves, Morrissey, Richard Ashcroft and The Coral all also helped. London's score was aided by number one records from So Solid Crew, Faithless and The Libertines.

Commenting on the survey, Yahoo! Music Europe's Shannon Ferguson told reporters: "There have always been key areas that are hubs of musical creativity, and the North West has proven to have a higher success rate in terms of artists' chart positioning in the 21st Century".

I won't even begin to ask the questions a survey of this kind raises. Like, how do you decide where a band comes from, when most bands are London based by the time they have a number one? And what happens if members of a band are from different places? And is having a number one single a measure of success, given how few singles you need to sell to get to number one in a quiet release week? Oh look, now I've begun asking questions - damn you Yahoo!, now the Daily is going to go out late again.

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METALLICA TO GUEST ON SIMPSONS
Metallica have been given the ultimate modern accolade - a guest slot on The Simpsons. The rockers star in the first episode of the show's eighteenth series, set to be broadcast in the US in September. They follow the likes of Elvis Costello, Aerosmith and U2 in appearing on the animated comedy programme.

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POPSTARS DIS FOOTBALL STARS
You may have already heard that the suddenly very newsworthy Lily Allen has had a go at the English Footie team, but now Elton John has reportedly laid into them too.

Lily, who, by bizarre coincidence, released her single on Monday, wrote in her blog: "Thank god Sven's reign is over. England have been shit in this tournament. Saying that, I was proud of them from the second half of [the Portugal] game. I think football reflects the state of a country at that time, and to be honest I'm with Germany from here on. Germany have managed to shake their stereotype of being a square, uncultured and over-efficient society and have embraced a 21st century way of living.

She continued: "I was in Germany last week, they have a good health service, great opportunities for young people and seem to be a country I would be proud to be a part of and I think their football reflects that. England, on the other hand, play in a way that reflects our society - money-minded, confused, lacking control and direction and, most of all, bored."

She also laid into poor little David Beckham: "Beckham's shit. I hope he never plays for England again, the FA only play him for fear of losing shirt sales, and I'm ashamed of us for those reasons. Sven's walking away from today's match with five odd million quid, he doesn't give a shit."

In fairness, she had something to say about Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo too, who's caused a great deal of controversy by winking apparently: "Ronaldo is a dirty, dirty bastard. Ronaldo is pure evil, did you see the winking and him winding up Rooney earlier on in the game? I bet the press are gonna use Rooney as the scapegoat, but I reckon we should go after Ronaldo."

As for Elton John, he let his audience at that previously reported gig in Bournemouth know exactly how pissed off he was by England's performance this year, saying: "There has not been an outstanding player at this World Cup. I do not even want to talk about that fucking Sven Goran Abba-dabba. As always the England fans have been fantastic. They have been let down by the team and let down by people earning £125,000 a week. It's a disgrace."

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