CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 5th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Bragg maintains pressure over MTV Flux terms
- Streaming media group plan copyright debate
- Poptones boss says music business is out of tune
- Judge defers Doherty sentencing
- Meat Loaf says he has no issues with Steinman
- Three 6 Mafia call for incitement suit to be dismissed
- Single Review: Tunng - Jenny Again
- Orthodox Christians step up Madonna protests
- Levellers live DVD
- Franz Ferdinand taking a break
- Cambell regrets Mercury comments
- Breeders new album news
- Local band win national competition to play Bestival
- My Chemical Romance cancel two US dates
- Five we rated: Reading 2006
- MusicTank goes classical again
- Musicbrigade announce SonyBMG deal
- Time Out pilot Manchester edition
- Single Review: Stephen Malkmus - Kindling For The Master
- Kook nicked for under age drinking

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TOP BIT>>
Billy Bragg is continuing his campaign against the terms and conditions MTV are using for their new Flux service. Despite reassurances from MTV's legal VP in the Guardian last week that nothing sinister is going on regards the terms unsigned bands are asked to sign when uploading their music to the MTV Flux website, Bragg says that as they currently stand the terms imply that MTV have a free rein to use uploaded music on all their services forever for free - which will prevent said bands from potential royalty income in the future, if and when the promotional benefit of appearing on MTV ceases to be of value.

MTV will probably argue (and possibly rightly) that such claims are more Bragg's inference than their implication - as with the MySpace and Bebo terms that Bragg has already successfully forced to be changed, the problem often isn't so much the intention of the web companies, more the ambiguities their legal people put into the terms (lawyers loving ambiguity of course - well, when it works in their favour).

Without wishing to suggest MySpace, Bebo or MTV have anything but honourable intentions in their provision of free promotional platforms for unsigned bands, the fact Bragg has been able to find worrying ambiguities in so many sets of terms and conditions does make you worry a bit for the unsigned bands of the world, desperately looking for ways to get noticed, but possibly jeopardising their future copyrights in doing so. As MusicTank's Keith Harris once said during a debate on the whole Creative Commons issue (and quite wisely so, if you ask me), bands will give away their early work as a promotional gimmick, assuming they can make a living from their future work - but there's always a real chance that their early work will be their best, and therefore their most valuable.

So, what would we do if Bragg hadn't appointed himself Terms Reader In Chief? Should someone in the industry be checking these things out, safeguarding the future rights of artists every where (after all, they'd be safeguarding the rights of whatever label signed them too)? I don't know, but for the time being, thank God for Billy Bragg. MTV's intentions are, I'm sure, good - but it is right that those intentions are clearly stated in the small print.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

HEAD OF LABEL MANAGEMENT
Digital music store TuneTribe.com is looking to recruit a senior member of staff to take responsibility for managing TuneTribe's label team and music catalogue. The role incorporates managing the delivery of all music products; maintaining and building relationships with record labels, distributors and aggregators; and helping to exploit the content commercially. You should be a fast learner as well as meticulously well-organised and able to deal effectively with numerous systems and simultaneous projects. You will be adept at signing up new labels and aggregators, whilst handling enquiries from existing content suppliers. You will work closely with labels to help implement on-site marketing initiatives for their artists. You will also regularly devise and manage off-site commercial opportunities maximising the exploitation of our digital catalogue. It goes without saying that you will be at ease with online content management systems and financial reporting. You should be used to dealing with major labels as well as independents. Applicants need to demonstrate a good understanding of the digital music market and the commercial and technological issues associated with it. You will have a minimum of 5 years experience in the music industry with emphasis on the retail, label and digital end of the business. A passion for music and all things digital will certainly help.

Please send a covering letter detailing how your experience is relevant to this position alongside a current CV to ronnie.traynor@tunetribe.com

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ADVERTISE YOUR JOBS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for details.

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BLATANT PLUGGING>>

CMU IN PRINT! - ADVERTISE RELEASES TO STUDENTS EVERYWHERE
As we mentioned back in July, we will be publishing a special edition of a CMU newspaper which will be distributed around campuses all over the UK as the student population returns for the new academic year later this month - offering a guide to all the great new music coming out this Autumn. This is a brilliant way to engage and excite 100,000s of students and young record buyers at the most important time in the college and music year. A full page costs £1000, a half page £600, a sixth page £260, a 12th page £160. Book your ad spots now - email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

JOIN THE TEAM - CMU STUDENT INTERNSHIPS FOR AUTUMN 2006
We are currently recruiting students to join the CMU/UnLimited team in a voluntary intern role, joining us one day a week during the Autumn term. This is a great way to pick up skills, experience and contacts in the media and music space - as well as getting involved in some frankly damn exciting new projects. If you're interested, email your details and a CV type thing to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: THIS IS THE KIT

I first came into contact with This Is The Kit via Rob da Bank's British/American folk/psychedelia compilation album, 'Folk Off', which featured the track '2 Wooden Spoons', which I believe was released by Sunday Best as a single to promote that collection. It all seems a very long time ago, and it was only July. But that, of course, is what a month at the Edinburgh Festival will do to you. Anyway, I loved that album, and I loved that song. So why is This Is The Kit worth mentioning just now? Well, firstly, I do like the other songs on the MySpace page and recommend you go and preview them. But also, to be honest, This Is The Kit (who is basically Kate Stables, with occasional contributions from two others) lives in Paris. And she's playing a gig, in Paris, next Tuesday. Why is this significant to a UK dweller such as myself? Well, I'll be in Paris next Tuesday. No really, I will. Who thinks I should go to that gig? And who thinks I just nominated This Is The Kit purely to show off that I'm actually going somewhere interesting for once? Answers on a postcard, to the first question. You evil doubters, she's great, go visit the page, with regard to the second question. I mean it.

http://www.myspace.com/thisisthekit

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BRAGG MAINTAINS PRESSURE OVER MTV FLUX TERMS
Go Billy Bragg, that's what we say. Yep, Mr Bragg is continuing to lobby against the terms and conditions set by MTV regarding its use of music uploaded by unsigned bands to the MTV Flux website.

As previously reported, MTV's Flux service has similarities to services offered to unsigned talent by social networking sites MySpace and Bebo (ie bands can stream and promote their music for free via the Flux site), except that bands featured on Flux have the opportunity to see their music being played elsewhere on the MTV network. In theory that is why MTV Flux is so great (ie bands might get much bigger exposure than traditional social network sites can offer) but, as also previously reported, it is that aspect of the service which is causing Bragg so much concern.

He reckons that the terms and conditions that give MTV the right to syndicate Flux content across their network are too wide ranging. According to Bragg, the implication of MTV's t+cs is that, while a band retains ownership of any music they upload to the Flux service, they are granting an indefinite licence to MTV to broadcast that content, or part of it, on their TV channels for free forever. Having your content aired on MTV is a great promotional tool at the outset but it is also a future revenue stream (because normally MTV would pay you a royalty for airing your music). Bragg is concerned that by uploading their content to Flux, bands might be signing themselves out of that future revenue stream.

And he isn't convinced by those previously reported reassurances given by MTV's UK VP Of Legal, Nayeem Syed, on the Media Guardian website last week. Syed said that the terms they expected bands to sign up to did not affect said band's copyrights, and that the terms were pretty standard in the broadcasting sector. But responding, also via the Media Guardian website, Bragg said this week: "I can't help but feel that he [Syed] is being slightly disingenuous when he claims that it is not MTV's intention to retain residual rights in videos appearing on their site. I'm not a music rights lawyer, but it looks like MTV own your material as far as their networks are concerned. Once you have uploaded it, they can play the song or video on Flux TV forever without paying you a penny".

Bragg also quotes media lawyer Alexander Ross, who told Music Week last week: "I have looked through the terms and conditions on the MTV Flux site and I think that Billy Bragg is right. It is a one way street. As soon as you upload content, you grant MTV the right to do whatever they like with the content in perpetuity for free. And I can't see any right of withdrawal."

Concluding, Bragg urges anyone operating in this space - providing bandwidth for unsigned artists - to ensure the terms they ask artists to sign up to adhere to three standards. "First, all proprietary clauses should begin with an unambiguous statement making it clear that the right to exploit original material belongs solely to the creator. Second, all rights claimed by host sites in the terms and conditions should be clearly explained in parenthesis. Third, all contractual agreements between user and host site should be terminated by simply removing the material from the site".

MTV will presumably respond shortly.

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STREAMING MEDIA GROUP PLAN COPYRIGHT DEBATE
I'm pretty sure we've provided a rational open-minded round up of the issues surrounding web radio licensing here in the CMU Daily in the past - well, I seem to remember ranting about it one time. Anyway, as I'm sure you all know, the ins and outs of how record labels, publishers, artists, song writers and their collective collection societies deal with radio stations broadcasting online are by no means clear cut - especially when said radio stations broadcast exclusively online and especially especially when those radio services are available on demand. Both PPL for the record labels and artists, and MCPS/PRS for the publishers and songwriters, have made moves in this domain, but I get the impression content owners and webcasters alike still have a number of unresolved issues on all things web licensing - issues which hardly help the growth of the web radio sector, especially the independent web radio sector where smaller players can't afford to risk future crippling royalty bills.

With all this in mind, the previously mentioned and recently formed Association Of Streaming Media Companies will stage a copyright discussion forum in London on 28 Sep, offering both content owners and streaming media types the opportunity to discuss their respective issues and, perhaps, identify ways both sides could move forward together.

As a starting point, collecting bodies PPL and MCPS/PRS will provide a summary of the new licences they have already developed in this area, while digital media companies PlayLouder MSP, Last FM and Totally Radio will speak about how current licensing models affect their businesses and what forms of licensing they are advocating for the future. Media law firm K&LNG, meanwhile, will provide an independent assessment of the current structures and predicaments facing the licensing of content over the internet. There will then be an opportunity for open debate among anyone in attendance at the event.

Regarding what the event aims to achieve, ASMeC told CMU: "We want it to be a fact finding exercise for companies and individuals wanting to know about online licensing structures, as well as something that creates a dialogue from which streaming media companies can outline their concerns and ideas for progressing the licensing debate forward".

The event will take place at the Last FM offices near Old Street, London on 28 Sep at 4pm. Anyone wishing to attend should contact tom@asmec.org. We'll have further updates about the event in due course - hey, I might even rant about it all at some point. Can't wait.

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POPTONES BOSS SAYS MUSIC BUSINESS IS OUT OF TUNE
Talking about ranting, former Creation boss, former Libertines manager, current Poptones chief Alan McGee has been ranting about the music industry which, he says, is completely out of touch with the digital age. Apple, he claims, are pretty much the only company who have a clue when it comes to the future of music.

Well, I say all this, I am quoting Macworld magazine who claim McGee said all this on his MySpace blog. I can't actually find the blog post they reference, though McGee has subsequently posted said Macworld article, so presumably they quote him correctly.

Anyway, here's what he says: "The whole music business model as we have known it these last 30 years is completely out of date. The only people who are on top of the changes are Apple". Apple, he says, have a modernist, futuristic approach, while much of the rest of the music business is, he says, "pensionable".

Praising Apple boss Steve Jobs for his role in building the computer firm's music operation, he continued: "The majors hate him and he is so far ahead of them. They should just buy EMI - buy The Beatles and take it from there. Jobs should put the majors out of their misery".

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JUDGE DEFERS DOHERTY SENTENCING
Pete Doherty has had his sentencing over drugs charges deferred during his appearance at Thames Magistrates Court yesterday.

The Babyshambles frontman is, of course, currently in rehab at the Priory clinic in Southgate, and so the Judge, Jane McIvor, told Doherty that his sentence would now be decided on 4 Dec, to allow him more time in rehab, saying regarding the option to put the singer in jail: "At this stage it would be counterproductive and simply take you away from society for a matter of weeks and would undo the hard work that a lot of professionals have put in." Noting that Doherty has tested negative for heroin and cocaine in the last month, McIvor added that Pete can still avoid a custodial sentence if he remains drug free. Doherty, however, claimed to have mixed feelings about the judge's decisions, telling the BBC that he "can't afford" to stay at the Priory.

Doherty's court appearance relates, of course, to his arrest in April, and subsequent guilty plea on five charges of drug possession. The singer has also admitted to one count of possession on 7 Aug, when he was found with a crack pipe containing a small amount of crack cocaine - solicitor Sean Curran avers that Doherty was clearing the substances out of his car when he was arrested back in April, and that he had "forgotten" to remove the crack pipe by the time of his arrest in August.

Elsewhere in Doherty news, reports are suggesting that the Babyshamble will in fact marry Kate Moss at some point in the near future. I suspect the reports are all based on the News Of The World's claim that supermodel Moss announced the plan to her friends whilst at a Glen Matlock gig in London. The tabloid alleges that, according to a 'friend', Kate said: "Yes, we're getting married. I love him so much. He's the sexiest man on the planet. I want to be with him. It's just a case of when. There are certain circumstances which we have to get over and then we'll be together."

The so-called friend added: "She was very open about Pete. I think we were all stunned. But she's obviously in love and doesn't care who knows. Her friends are being supportive."

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MEAT LOAF SAYS HE HAS NO ISSUES WITH STEINMAN
Meat Loaf has told reporters that he never really had a dispute with his former collaborator Jim Steinman, rather that his issues were with Steinman's manager.

As previously reported, Meat Loaf began legal proceedings against Steinman back in June over ownership of the 'Bat Out Of Hell' trademark. Meat Loaf is about to release a third installment of the legendary album, one that was made without Steinman's involvement - Steinman was involved in both the first two 'Bat Out Of Hell' albums and, indeed, was the album's original creator. As the original creator of the album, Steinman successfully registered the 'Bat Out Of Hell' trademark in the nineties, but in June Meat Loaf claimed that he should rightfully own the name - presumably because his people feared Steinman's people wouldn't give permission for them to use the name on the new album. Despite an initial angry response from Steinman, the dispute was resolved last month.

Speaking this week, Meat Loaf says that the issues between him and his former collaborator come about because of a mutual loathing of each other's managers. The Associated Press quote him thus: "It's about managers. I think Jim Steinman's manager is the devil. Jim Steinman thinks my manager is the devil, so we had to communicate through managers. [We sued] because his manager refused to sign some papers we needed. I didn't really sue Jim Steinman. I sued the manager. You just had to name him [Steinman]. The lawsuit was over in three weeks".

The singer also said that he decided not to work with Steinman on 'Bat Out Of Hell 3' simply because the producer had been ill, and he hadn't the patience to wait for him to be fit enough to get involved: "If you look at my life as a gas tank on an automobile, I got a quarter of a tank left. I made a selfish decision that said, 'No, I can't wait because I'm running on a quarter of a tank.'"

He added that he would be working with Steinman on a new project in the near future, though that won't be a fourth edition of 'Bat Out Of Hell'.

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THREE 6 MAFIA CALL FOR INCITEMENT SUIT TO BE DISMISSED
Oscar winning rap group Three 6 Mafia have requested the dismissal of that previously reported lawsuit in which a man is claiming the group should be held liable for an incident at one of their gigs where he was attacked by other audience members. Ramone Williams was beaten by gig goers at a Three 6 Mafia show in Pittsburgh in 2003. He claims that the rappers are liable because the incident happened during a track called 'Let's Start A Riot' - ie he claims the rappers' lyrics incited the audience members to act the way they did.

In a new motion filed by the group's lawyer, the rappers are challenging the lawsuit, claiming that [a] there is no "genuine issue of material fact" in Williams' claim and that [b] their lyrics are protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Williams' people are yet to respond.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Tunng - Jenny Again (Full Time Hobby)
Tunng here have come up with an incredibly sweet sounding song featuring incredibly dark subject matter. Put simply, it's the story of a man who kills his brother, in order to be with his brother's girlfriend - sung from the dead brother's perspective. According to Mike Lindsay of the band, 'it's like a forgiveness song, not so much a murder ballad'. Well, that's nice to know. Anyway, it's typical Tunng; brilliantly original, using odd samples (from an educational 70s poetry record!), with subtle bits of electronica, underneath a lovely little melody. Hopefully it will come to be recognised as a classic of one of my favourite genres; that of inappropriate songs you play to your loved ones because you don't realise they're not really love songs. I'm thinking here about the likes of 'Every Breath You Take' being played at weddings, despite being about the essentially unromantic notion of stalking. 'Forgiveness song', 'murder ballad' - whatever you choose to call it, this is simply a brilliant song from a group who, in my eyes, are fast becoming indispensable. TH
Release Date: 4 Sep
Press Contact: Ian Cheek Press [all]

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS STEP UP MADONNA PROTESTS
Around 100 Russian Orthodox Christians have been protesting in Moscow ahead of Madonna's upcoming concert there. Needless to say, they are objecting to that crucifix routine that features in Madonna's current live show - the one that has been pissing off church groups all over the world. The leader of the Russian protestors, Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich, told reporters that Madonna was "under the influence of the devil", adding: "We are proclaiming a new holy inquisition against those who struggle against God". As the protest continued protesters symbolically drove a stake through a photograph of the singer and then tried to burn it - though police intervened at that point. But the protestors have vowed: "We will do everything possible to prevent this concert going ahead".

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LEVELLERS LIVE DVD
Gotta love The Levellers. No, you gotta. Anyway, given that you love em, here's a treat for you all, a new live DVD, 'Chaos Theory', out 18 Sep. It's the first DVD release via the band's own label On The Fiddle Recordings, and is a two disc set, featuring a full live set recorded in 2006, plus bonus footage including selected acoustic performances at the Buxton Opera House, a 1993 tour diary, plus interviews, and backstage and hidden footage.

Press info/review copies from james@divisionpromotions.com.

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FRANZ FERDINAND TAKING A BREAK
Franz Ferdinand say they are taking some time off from the band. I expect it will start off some rumours to the effect that the band are splitting. But they're not. They've just been recording and touring without a break since the release of their debut back in 2004. Following the band's headline set at Reading and Leeds last week, frontman Alex Kapranos told NME.com: "The Carling Weekend felt like the summing-up of everything we've done over the last couple of years. We are going to have a little bit of a break. For me, taking a break means being able to write whenever I feel like it."

Guitarist Nick McCarthy added:"As a band, we will be away a while. It's going to be months before we even start rehearsing again."

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CAMBELL REGRETS MERCURY COMMENTS
Former Belle & Sebastian member Isobel Campbell has said that she regrets comments she made indicating that she was on a 'slump' after hearing that her album with Mark Lanegan, 'Ballad Of The Broken Seas', had been nominated for the 2006 Mercury Prize, the winner of which, is, of course, set to be announced tonight.

Campbell had said in an interview with The Scotsman that she may not even attend the ceremony, had a bit of a whine about the music industry in general, and added that she was afraid that she would get caught up in hype surrounding the nomination. To be honest, she also made some pretty fair points about sexism in the music industry and how much harder it is to be a female singer/songwriter.

Anyway, now she says: "It's a shame, because when I said those things I was on a bad day, you know? And I was really tired. But really, it's [being nominated] a good thing to happen. Initially, I was really happy and excited about it. But with a lot of the London media stuff, you're getting sort of whipped into some kind of excitement. And afterwards, I just got spat out of the other end. So after being quite excited, I went home, and sat down to think about what I want as an artist and that's not it. I'm still going to go, but it's just a world that I don't necessarily feel that I belong to."

Asked if she thinks she'll get it, she said: "I can't really see that it would win, because there's a lot of big names there - but I basically just wrote that record for myself, and it's just a bonus that a lot of people like it too."

Elsewhere in pre-Mercury Music Prize chat, Muse have said they don't want to win. Kinda. It sounds like they'd like to win it, but feel that one of the less established acts would benefit more from the £20k prize. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme told MTV: "The thing that's great about the Mercurys is that it's based on how good you are rather than how many records you've sold. For the past few years it's been smaller acts who've taken the prize so maybe it's time a well-known name did it again. Although saying that, you do win a cash prize so even though we'd love to get it, maybe it's fairer if it does go to a smaller act - we don't need the cash that badly right now."

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BREEDERS NEW ALBUM NEWS
According to a post on drummer Jose Medeles' website, The Breeders are back working with former Nirvana producer Steve Albini on a fourth album, the follow up to 'Title TK',

The post says: "So here's the latest update in Breederland...We'll be recording this month in LA...The studio in Dayton fell through due to elements out of our control, we tried... Kim [Deal] and Kelley [Deal] will head to Albini's to work on a couple songs in September... Mando [Lopez] is filming a ton of great footage for our DVD...thanks to everyone offering us shows, we're flattered...but we have to get this record in the can...thanks and I'll keep you posted...all the best"

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LOCAL BAND WIN NATIONAL COMPETITION TO PLAY BESTIVAL
It's Bestival this weekend - hurrah, and all those other excited-sounding words. One quick Bestival related story for you. Organisers of a UK wide search to find an unsigned band to open the festival's inspired-by Rizla branded Blue Pavilion have picked a winner who, conveniently enough, come from the Isle Of Wight and therefore live just up the road from the Bestival site. The band are The Chancers, and they will open the Blue Pavilion stage this weekend.

On their win, the band's Rick Stanbridge told CMU: "We were really surprised to be picked and very humbled to win. We are really looking forward to playing on this large stage and can't wait to meet Rob da Bank and the other artists. We are quite a new band but we've got big ambition and hope that this could be the start of bigger things. Hopefully this will be a great chance for The Chancers to progress!"

Bestival chief Rob da Bank added, "We had an amazing response to the competition and I was very impressed with the quality and variety of tracks we received. The Chancers have got an interesting sound and I look forward to seeing how they get on at The Blue Pavilion."

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE CANCEL TWO US DATES
My Chemical Romance had to cancel two US live dates over the weekend because drummer Bob Bryar was hospitalised due to complications relating to those injuries he suffered on a recent video shoot.

The band issued the following statement: "My Chemical Romance regretfully announced they are cancelling this weekend's performances in both Allentown, PA (September 2) and Syracuse, NY (3) due to the hospitalization of drummer Bob Bryar. Bryar was admitted to the hospital late Thursday night because of complications resulting from injuries sustained last month while the band was shooting a video in Los Angeles. He is expected to remain there through the weekend."

Band manager Brian Schechter added: "The band and I feel that they should stick by their bandmate and brother's side in this time and not go play a show with a different drummer. Please bear with us as we first sort out Bob's health and secondly the re-scheduling of these shows."

Both Bob Bryar and bandmate Gerard Way were injured during the aforementioned video shoot - an incident which already led to the cancellation of a San Diego show on 5 Aug.

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FIVE WE RATED: READING 2006
It is I, Leclerc, I mean...Tom Leaning, fresh from watching the 1980s sitcom, 'Allo, 'Allo', and the 2006 Reading Festival. This year's line-up was a tad disappointing considering that Glastonbury was taking a break, but there were still musical gems to be found underneath the colourful canvases of the Carling and Radio One tents. CMU have politely asked me to review my personal top five acts that I managed to see through the rising piles of flattened beer cups and half-eaten cobs of corn. And here they are, in no particular order, except alphabetical:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have a secret vocal weapon in Alec Ounsworth, who possesses a deliciously relaxed, almost idle melodic voice, which, at times, resembles the fluctuating noises of a pubescent teenager. Amalgamated with Ounsworth's ingenious lyrics, the band's inventive bass loops and guitar hooks, and supported by constant synthesizer sounds and drum beats, CYHSY produce majestical songs that are individually received as crowd favourites by an ecstatic audience. Not bad for a DIY debut album.

Secret Machines' multi-layered sound had not previously reached the delicate ears of this reviewer, but instantly impressed as they graced the Radio One stage for the first time. Enveloped in smoke and colour, one drummer and two brothers produced truly epic three-dimensional soundscapes, with icy synths, a frost-bitingly cool guitar and crashing, hypnotic drums. Owing much of their influences to German experimentalist pop groups, such as Kraftwerk, Secret Machines have recently released their second album, 'Ten Silver Drops', and are, most certainly, a talented band on the rise, with thoughtful lyrics and transfixing tunes.

Serena Maneesh scamper across the tight-rope that separates disorganised cringe-making noise and sublime psychedelic Goth-rock, with extraordinary vigour and originality. The soft, whispery angelic singing, the pounding drums, the shrieks and shrills of guitars and the ear-shattering distortions all make for a cataclysmic cacophony of sensational rhymes and rhythms that have the power to blow your mind inside out. Enjoy.

The Spinto Band's sumptuously weightless and melodic guitar-riffs fly above the wistful indie-pop clouds with Burt Bacharach and Beach Boy influences. The Delaware septet jerk about the stage like an army of Tin-men from the land of Oz, as they play away their monumentally original ballads, with youthful grace. The cosmically goofy 'Did I Tell You' and the old and epic favourite 'Direct To Helmet' charm and dazzle, but it is the magnificently catchy 'Oh Mandy' that tops a fresh and energetic musical set made in small-town America.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' backstage acoustic session (courtesy of Tiscali) saw lead-guitarist, Nick Zinner, swap his magic, pulsating, electric wand for something more wooden and classical, but no less enchanting. The intimate setting was filled by competition winners and artful opportunists alike; these privileged few were treated to a brief but bewitching warm-up set, which included colourful tracks from their breakthrough album 'Fever To Tell' and their more recent record 'Show Your Bones'. The toned-down show saw Karen O in a more relaxed and giggly mood (far from the feisty feline frolics we usually see on stage), but her meowing vocals were still more captivating than ever. TL

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MUSICTANK GOES CLASSICAL AGAIN
The next MusicTank Think Tank debate will again tackle the classical sector - and in particular what challenges and opportunities the digital domain offers classical labels. It will take place ahead of the Classic FM Gramophone Awards on 28 Sep, which means it'll be happening at The Dorchester, which is very exciting. Well, for fans of slightly flash London hotels. Anyone?

Anyway, in an interesting twist, the debate will be led by Tim Clark, one of the bosses of ie:music, Robbie Williams's management company, and a definite expert in innovative ways of working with music. He'll be applying his business strategies in the pop space to the classical domain, which should be interesting. Also on the panel will be practitioners more used to talking about classical - in particular LSO Live's Chas Jenkins and Universal Classics & Jazz's VP New Media Jonathan Gruber.

Full info on the event can be found at http://www.musictank.co.uk. We'll have a Think Tank interview outlining the themes of the debate here on CMU in the next couple of weeks.

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MUSICBRIGADE ANNOUNCE SONYBMG DEAL
Stockholm based digital content aggregator Musicbrigade yesterday announced a pan-European deal with SonyBMG which will enable it to offer songs, albums and videos from the major label's catalogue to its customers in ten European territories via both subscription based and a-la-carte digital music services. The new deal basically extends an existing deal between the two companies in Norway and Sweden.

Confirming the deal, Musicbrigade's Senior VP Of Content And Programming, Simon Gooch, told CMU: "It's wonderful to have SonyBMG on board as a content provider for Musicbrigade across all of our key markets. We have had a successful deal for Norway and Sweden in place with them for some time and this new agreement, which adds another 10 European territories, allows us to offer their world-class audio and video catalog to a much wider audience. We see this deal as part of a deeper relationship with SonyBMG as the digital market matures and enables us to explore new forms of distribution together."

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TIME OUT PILOT MANCHESTER EDITION
Time Out will trial a Manchester edition later this month. The London listings bible has been planning launching in the North West for a while now, presumably because Manchester has lacked a bespoke listings magazine ever since the actually quite sad demise of City Life. The one-off edition of Time Out Manchester will be timed to coincide with the Labour Party Conference which will take over the city at the end of the month, and all delegates will receive a free copy (typical freeloading politicians - why can't they pay £1.50 for a copy like the rest of us?). It's not entirely clear whether Time Out have any definite plans for a permanent launch in the city - and if so what timescales they are working on. The pilot issue will be out on 21 Sep.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Stephen Malkmus - Kindling For The Master (Remixes by Emperor Machine, Hot Chip, Major Swellings and Polmo Polpo) (Domino Recordings)
I know this will expose me for the superficial 90s indie girl that I truly am, but Stephen Malkmus is mainly my hero for his fantastic put-down of the Smashing Pumpkins on mid-90s Pavement single 'Range Life' ("I don't understand what they mean/I could really give a fuck"). It comes as a surprise to me, then, that I like this single as much as I do. For over these two simultaneous vinyl releases, there is hardly any of that great Malkmus wit. In fact, there are hardly any words at all. Yet each mix offers something in its own right and exposes Malkmus for the great tunesmith that he clearly also is. However, as with his lyrics, it's a quirky kind of tune. None of these mixes are particularly catchy, and they are between 5 - 9 minutes long. But if you have a superficial indie listener base, slap this on late at night (I recommend the Hot Chip mix, which is earthy and dreamy in a good 80s sort of way). They, too, will be speechless. SIA
Release Date: 28 Aug
Press Contact: Domino Records

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KOOK NICKED FOR UNDER AGE DRINKING
According to the Mirror, Kooks frontman Luke Pritchard was recently quizzed in a bar by policemen who thought he was underage, when he is in fact 21 years old.

A 'source' apparently told the tabloid: "Luke and his mate had been enjoying a few beers ... He's had a hectic schedule of late and this was one of the first nights Luke's had to himself. It was all going really well until they decided to leave just before closing time at 11pm ... When they were asked for ID neither had anything on them. Luke was saying, 'Why don't you believe us?' He was very polite but there were a lot of people around and you could tell he was feeling hugely humiliated."

The 'source' said that the pair were taken to a station whilst their parents were called to verify their ages. Which is sort of funny, really. Unless you're Luke Pritchard, possibly, and trying to maintain a veneer of cool.

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