CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 18th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- UK royalty body disputes eMusic licence
- Run DMC sued by The Knack
- Busted ordered to respond to original members' claims
- Robbie cancels Asian dates
- Babyshambles pleased with Parlophone project
- Ryan Adams records with Willie Nelson
- Motley Crue biopic coming up
- Fatboy and Jamiroquai to play Electric Proms
- Scissor Sisters joined by Kylie
- Killers tour sells out in minutes
- Beatles' first venue gets listed status
- Get cape. Wear cape. Fly. Go on. You might as well
- Album review: The Hidden Cameras - Awoo
- Cradle Of Filth tour dates
- Sol Seppy on tour with Sparklehorse
- Ty tour dates
- Bugz In The Attic tour
- MCPS involved in raid on eBay bootlegger
- RIAA welcome New York rule change on bootlegging
- Live Nation launches video network site for Download
- Heap uses MySpace to recruit support
- FX launch two speed ad
- CanWest get new licence
- Supernova have frontman if not a name
- Lloyd Webber has a Maria - but for how many times a week?
- Album review: Sebastien Tellier - Universe
- Chart update
- Total Rock World Album Chart
- Stewart says that Brown says he is great
- Jay-Z finally officially not retired
- Madonna not going into space
- Graham Norton thinks Bono is rubbish

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TOP BIT >>
A new report from those Jupiter Research fellas last week revealed that only 5% of the music on the average iPod will have been bought from iTunes - the only legit download source of major label music that iPod owners have access to. Much of the remaining 95% will have been ripped from CD, though some will probably have been sourced from one of those dodgy illegal file sharing networks.

Given where we are in the development of digital music this is hardly surprising - given that the average iPod user will have at least ten years worth of CD collection to transfer onto their iPod before they even think about downloading new music from iTunes, or anywhere else for that matter. But there are two interesting implications in the Jupiter research.

First, that even when people start to use iTunes on a regular basis, they still supplement their music collection with illegally acquired tracks - either via P2P networks or ripped from friends' CDs. Jupiter suggest that even the popular download platforms will struggle to compete with free sources of digital music like those offered by LimeWire - concluding that perhaps the only real solution is ad-funded download services like that proposed by SpiralFrog, which will provide free music while compensating rights holders. While SpiralFrog is definitely an interesting model - I'm not sure it is really the solution, nor am I convinced there's much of a problem to start with.

SpiralFrog may, or may not, prove to be a popular source of music, it will depend very much on the DRM it employs (another reason for accessing music illegally is, after all, that music from P2P networks is not only free, but contains no limiting DRM). But either way, the fact that people access music from both legal and illegal sources is not news, nor is it new - people have always filled their music collections with both original albums bought from record shops and albums recorded from their friends' albums. It would be interesting to see how the legal/illegal ratio between individual's digital and physical record collections compares - from that we'd perhaps have a better idea of whether a problem exists, and if so, how big a problem it is.

The second interesting point raised is that iTunes users are still going into record shops and buying CDs, even though they intend to rip tracks off the CD onto their PC and iPod as soon as they get home. While it may be older record buyers who act this way (being of the generation that still has an emotional attachment to the packaging that comes with a physical album release), that is surely good news for record retailers - suggesting that even digital music fans still enjoy the social aspect of record shopping, of calling in on a weekend and flicking through racks of CDs or records. Given that is the case, even among early adopting iPod users, I think there is still everything to play for in the traditional retail space - traditional retailers just have to think about how to better integrate the real world and download experience, combining the best of both the physical and digital domains. If they get it right, I suspect they could truly compete with both the digital and the free sources of music. Viva la counter revolution.

PS: MusicTank have just issued an interesting report on the future of the music business penned by Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner - lots more on that tomorrow, I suspect.

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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.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS

I really really really really meant to review these guys' new single last week, but I got so side tracked trying to figure out how the hell I was going to play the 78RPM 10" vinyl it's been released on. Which is a bit stupid given that Sunday Best had cleverly supplied me with a CD version for reviewing purposes and, of course, all three tracks are streaming here on their MySpace. These guys are officially my favourite family band of the moment (13 year old Kitty, 18 year old Daisy and 15 year old Lewis are, you see, siblings, who are occasionally accompanied by their mum and dad) - with their timeless swinging rockabilly rock 'n' roll type sound (it's hard to describe - you really ought to go and listen). I'm yet to see them live, but have heard great things from some very reliable sources, and will be making an extra special effort to catch them doing their thing as soon as I can. An ICA date this Friday is listed here, but alas, I'm otherwise occupied (McFly are calling), but I'll be keeping an eye on the MySpace for future dates until a convenient one comes up - and so should you. New single 'Mean Sun of a Gun', meanwhile, is out now on Sunday Best. Go see.

http://www.myspace.com/kittydaisylewis

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UK ROYALTY BODY DISPUTES EMUSIC LICENCE
Now this is interesting. Those MCPS-PRS bods have disputed claims made by independent download platform eMusic regarding the way it intends to pay royalties generated by its new pan-European download platform.

On launching its European service last week, eMusic announced it had forged an alliance with Dutch collecting society Buma-Stemra which will allow it to operate on a Europe-wide basis. eMusic says it will report to and pay royalties via the Dutch organisation which will then liaise with other European royalty bodies via "reciprocal agreements already in place among those organisations".

Such a system would overcome bureaucratic problems experienced by many other digital music companies whose European growth has often been hindered by the need to deal with so many different royalty bodies in different territories. It would also please European Commission officials who have been pushing for such collaboration between collection organisations.

However, MCPS-PRS, as the UK's main publishing royalty collection society, said on Friday that such a pan-European system was not currently possible, because they have not, as yet, agreed to it. In a statement, the organisation told reporters: "The MCPS-PRS Alliance has made it clear to eMusic and to Dutch collecting society Buma-Stemra that it (Buma-Stemra) is not able to grant such a pan-European licence since it does not have the MCPS or PRS rights to do so".

MCPS-PRS's General Counsel, Crispin Evans, also stressed his organisation's position regarding the Burm-Stemra licence, although added that they still recognised the value of eMusic's proposition and would continue to work with them to reach agreement. He told reporters: "The eMusic European launch took place on 12 September 2006, reportedly with a pan-European licence from Buma-Sterma, which we do not recognise. MCPS and PRS continue to work with eMusic to resolve this issue. This service looks like an exciting possibility for exploitation of our members' work - it just needs to be licensed properly."

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RUN DMC SUED BY THE KNACK
Members of LA rock group The Knack are suing Run DMC and everyone associated with them over the hip hop group's use of an unlicensed guitar sample from the rockers' 1979 platinum selling hit 'My Sharona'.

Their guitar riff allegedly appeared in Run DMC track 'It's Tricky', and The Knack's Doug Fieger reckons that the sample "is not only the essence of 'My Sharona', it is one of the most recognizable sounds in rock 'n' roll". That doesn't help explain why it has taken until now for the rockers to notice - given that 'It's Tricky' first appeared on Run DMC's 1986 album 'Raising Hell' - but apparently they've only just heard the track for themselves.

Of course, if the court are willing to hear a dispute over the use of a sample twenty years after the fact, then the case could be costly for Run DMC and their record labels, given how many albums 'It's Tricky' has now appeared on. The Knack's lawsuit, filed in California last week, seeks unspecified damages.

Run DMC are yet to comment.

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BUSTED ORDERED TO RESPOND TO ORIGINAL MEMBERS' CLAIMS
Elsewhere in the pop courts, former Busted boys James Bourne and Matt Willis, and their management, Prestige, have been given 28 days to respond to royalty claims being made by former band mates Owen Doyle and Ki Fitzgerald.

Doyle and Fitzgerald were in the original Busted line up (pre-Charlie Simpson) and have both claimed that they were involved in the writing of the band's early hits, including 'What I Go To School For', 'Year 3000' and 'Sleeping With The Light On', but that they were frozen out of royalty payments when they left the band.

If I remember rightly, both claim that they were forced into signing away their rights when they left, but they are now disputing the legitimacy of the agreements they entered into at that time. I think that is based on the fact that previous agreements between the pair and Prestige said that the management firm would "act in their best interests at all times". Lawyers will argue that making Doyle and Fitzgerald sign away their rights to Busted songs was not "acting in their best interests" - rather they were forced to sign an agreement that was only in the interests of Prestige and the rest of the band.

Doyle began his legal proceedings shortly after Busted split up at the start of 2005, while Fitzgerald confirmed his intention to sue at the end of last year. According to MusicWeek, Bourne, Willis and Prestige now have four weeks to respond to Doyle and Fitzgerald's claims.

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ROBBIE CANCELS ASIAN DATES
Robbie Williams has called off the Asian leg of his world tour because of that old "stress and exhaustion" thing. A spokesman has said that to ask Robbie to fulfill his November schedule, which was due to take in China, India and south east Asia, would be "asking too much" after his gruelling run of European and South American dates. The decision means Robbie will now take a break in November before ending his world tour in Australia in December.

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BABYSHAMBLES PLEASED WITH PARLOPHONE PROJECT
Those Babyshambles have been talking about their new record deal with EMI's Parlophone label. As previously reported, having parted company with Rough Trade, Doherty et al have signed a one-EP deal with the major.

Speaking about the deal, the drumming Babyshamble, Adam Ficek, told NME: "We're just seeing if we like the label and vice-versa. But it's amazing really, we're made up about them signing us for the EP because they didn't even hear a demo. It's frightening when you consider we're such an unreliable bunch of sods. But we're not like that any more, so that's cool."

New guitarist (ie Patrick Walden's replacement) Mick Whitnall, added: "We've signed with Parlophone for the EP and they're in negotiations for the album too along with B-Unique and Warner Brothers. We're just waiting to see what happens."

Elsewhere in Shambles news, word has it Radio 4 producers have shortlisted Doherty to be one of its 'celeb guest editors' during the Christmas break - you'll remember Bono did it last year. In an idea which is surely three parts inspired, seven parts stupid, Doherty would help decide which stories are focused on during one edition of the BBC station's flagship news show. The Sunday Mirror quote a source who says: "Pete will be assisted by Today staff and he will have to make the big decisions on what he thinks are the most important issues of the day. And as long as the subjects are relevant and in keeping with BBC guidelines, the style and the content of the programme will be left to Pete."

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RYAN ADAMS RECORDS WITH WILLIE NELSON
Ryan Adams has recorded an album with country legend Willie Nelson. The rather prolific musician told The Scotsman that he's really pleased with the collaboration, out next month, adding: "It's Willie, with me and the Cardinals backing. I'm producing; it's really raw and different.We have a weird relationship, like we don't have to talk too much - we just play or hang out. He's really laidback."

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MOTLEY CRUE BIOPIC COMING UP
According to reports, a Motley Crue biopic is in pre-production. It's based on their biography, 'The Dirt', by Neil Strauss. The project, put on hold after director David Fincher dropped out last year, will now be helmed by Larry Charles, and will be shot in Los Angeles.

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FATBOY AND JAMIROQUAI TO PLAY ELECTRIC PROMS
Fatboy Slim and Jamiroquai have been added to bill for the BBC's previously reported new Electric Proms season. Fatboy is to play a mini gig for just one hundred people at a secret venue (presumably somewhere in Camden, though, as that's where all the Electric Proms events are taking place), with tickets being given away by Radio 1. Tickets for the Jamiroquai concert, which will take place at London's Jazz Café, will similarly be given away via a competition.

Basement Jaxx also join the line-up of previously confirmed acts set to appear at the five day series of events, which includes James Brown and The Who, Guillemots and Damon Albarn's new project, The Good, The Bad and The Queen.

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SCISSOR SISTERS JOINED BY KYLIE
Scissor Sisters played a free open air gig in Trafalgar Square on Saturday and, by all accounts, it went rather well. The band were introduced by Kylie Minogue, who said: "They are some very special friends of mine. You've taken them to your hearts as have I."

The band played songs from their new album 'Ta-Da', including their current single 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing'. Jake Shears reiterated the band's well documented love of the UK by saying. "We can call London our new home town". Ana Matronic added: "British people are smarter than Americans."

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KILLERS TOUR SELLS OUT IN MINUTES
Tickets for The Killers' upcoming tour sold out within five minutes when they went on sale at 9am on Friday morning. Which doesn't altogether surprise me. It does bother me slightly, however, as I was very much hoping to go and see them. I could, of course, attempt to procure some tickets via less legitimate means, but I am nothing if not legitimate. And what's more, according to reports, they're already going for as much as £200 a pair on eBay. Time to put on my blagging hat, methinks.

Here are the dates. For which there are no tickets. And no plans, as yet, to add any extra dates:

18 Nov: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
20 Nov: Manchester Apollo
21 Nov: Hull Arena
22 Nov: Glasgow Academy
23 Nov: Newcastle Academy
25 Nov: Nottingham Rock City
26 Nov: London Brixton Academy
27 Nov: London Brixton Academy
28 Nov: London Brixton Academy
30 Nov: Dublin The Point

The new single 'When You Were Young' is out today. The album, 'Sam's Town', follows on 2 Oct.

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BEATLES' FIRST VENUE GETS LISTED STATUS
A club in Liverpool where The Beatles played their first ever gig has been given Grade II listed building status. The Casbah Coffee Club was set up in the basement of the home of original Beatles drummer Pete Best, and John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison played there in August 1959 as The Quarrymen. Best soon joined the band, which became The Silver Beatles, and they performed there on many occasions until it closed in 1962. Despite its closure, the cellar club was preserved and still contains murals by the band and Lennon's then wife Cynthia.

Confirming that the building was being awarded Grade II status, UK Culture Minister David Lammy told reporters: "It is absolutely right that the club where the group first learnt their craft should be badged as an important part of our heritage, and receive the extra protection from harmful redevelopment that listed building status affords".

Bob Hawkins, of English Heritage, added: "The basement rooms are historically significant because they represent tangible evidence of The Beatles' formation, their growth in popularity and their enduring cultural influence. The club survives in a remarkably well-preserved condition since its closure in 1962, with wall and ceiling paintings of spiders, dragons, rainbows and stars by original band members along with 1960s musical equipment, amplifiers and original chairs. We know of no other survival like it in Liverpool or indeed anywhere else."

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GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY. GO ON. YOU MIGHT AS WELL
Singer songwriter Sam Duckworth - aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - has explained to The Sun why he has called himself a name that is a bit wacky and disrupts my sentences when I'm trying to write news stories about him. Far from trying to piss me off, what he actually wants to do is to distinguish himself from other artists that he doesn't fancy being pigeonholed alongside.

He apparently told the tabloid: "The name's ambiguous but one of the main reasons I didn't use my real name is that it helps detract me from the James Morrisons and those other singer-songwriters. I hate being lumped in with them. I don't sound anything like them. There are too many preconceptions when you go under your own name."

He doesn't mind being compared to Billy Bragg, however, commenting: "It's a big compliment. I think musically or politically we're similar. We're both no-holds-barred and in your face. We also strive for honesty."

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Hidden Cameras - Awoo (Rough Trade)
Rejoice, for everyone's favourite Canadians are back! For their third album proper, the HCs return with more of the same melodic gay-church-folk-indie music fuelled by Joel Gibb's endearing vocals and fondness for sexual/religious metaphors. According to Gibb, 'Awoo' is a "sex death cult album". Best not to delve too deeply; after all this is a group who sing beautiful love songs about the joys of urinating on your partner. Whilst the instrumentation remains more lush and eclectic than your average indie combo (these songs would sound a great deal more ordinary were they not embellished with strings, accordion, xylophone etc) the musical mood seems more restrained, understated even, than on previous efforts. Whilst euphoric glee and moving tenderness still permeate their music, there isn't any of the Spector-esque timpanis and suchlike we would occasionally bear glorious witness to on 'The Smell Of Our Own' or 'Mississauga Goddam'. Unfortunately, there is also a kind of diminishing returns factor. 'Awoo' doesn't map out territory not already explored on the preceding two albums, both of which are arguably superior to 'Awoo' in themselves anyway. That said, it seems churlish to blame a band for simply doing what they do, particularly when they do it very well and with their own unique identity too. Fans will be fairly sated then; whilst HC virgins probably won't be disappointed but are ultimately better served by earlier albums. MS
Release date: 4 Sep
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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CRADLE OF FILTH TOUR DATES
Cradle Of Filth have announced three UK gigs for this December, to follow the release of their seventh studio album 'Thornography', on 16 Oct, which will feature a limited number of 'first day cover' editions, available from selected indie stores - details at: http://www2.roadrunnerrecords.co.uk/ index.php?page=cradle_stores

Tickets for the gigs are on sale now, dates as follows:

17 Dec: Manchester Academy
18 Dec: Birmingham Academy
19 Dec: London Astoria

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SOL SEPPY ON TOUR WITH SPARKLEHORSE
Anglo-Australian singer Sol Seppy has announced that she will support Sparklehorse on their/his upcoming European tour. The dates coincide with the release of Seppy's new EP release. Press info from Sainted PR, tour dates as follows:

20 Oct: Royal Northern College, Manchester
21 Oct: Sugarmill Stoke
22 Oct: La Cigale, Paris
23 Oct: Melkweg, Amsterdam
24 Oct: AB, Brussels
25 Oct: Le Grand Mix Lille
26 Oct: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
27 Oct: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

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TY TOUR DATES
Ty has announced a series of tour dates in support of his upcoming album release 'Closer'. Press info from Toast, dates as follows:

8 Nov: Thekla, Bristol
9 Nov: Jazz Café, London
10 Nov: Faversham, Leeds
11 Nov: Warwick University, Coventry
12 Nov: King Tuts, Glasgow
14 Nov: Waterfront, Norwich
15 Nov: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
17 Nov: Fat City @ Mint Lounge, Manchester
18 Nov: The Picket, Liverpool

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BUGZ IN THE ATTIC TOUR
Whoop whoop. We like Bugz In The Attic, so we're ever so glad they're going on tour. Don't miss. Press info from Toast, dates as follows:

24 Sep: Southampton Orange Rooms
25 Sep: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
26 Sep: Leeds Hi Fi
28 Sep: London Scala
29 Sep: Cardiff Cardiff Uni
30 Sep: Bristol Fiddlers
1 Oct: Brighton Audio
2 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
4 Oct: Birmingham Jam House
5 Oct: Glasgow The Arches
6 Oct: Sheffield The Plug
7 Oct: Manchester Academy 2

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MCPS INVOLVED IN RAID ON EBAY BOOTLEGGER
MCPS's Anti-Piracy Unit were last week involved in a raid and search on a house in West Lothian where residents are suspected of illegally trading bootleg CDs via eBay. It is suspected that the people who live at the address have multiple eBay identities, allowing them to sell bootleg CDs via the auction service without initially arising suspicion (ie, as to why one person has so many copies of any one CD to sell). During the raid by West Lothian Trading Standards and Lothian And Borders Police a computer and duplicating tower was taken, as was a large quantity of blank CDs, masters and some finished products.

Confirming their involvement in the raid, a spokesman for MCPS's Anti-Piracy Unit told CMU: "The alleged illegal seller was using multiple IDs on eBay which were repeatedly suspended by others whose rights were infringed but this failed to stop illegal activity. Our APU investigation acted firmly and decisively to close this operation down."

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RIAA WELCOME NEW YORK RULE CHANGE ON BOOTLEGGING
Elsewhere in bootlegging news, though this time on the other side of the Atlantic, the Recording Industry Association Of America has welcomed moves by the New York State Governor, George Pataki, to reduce the number of CDs someone must bootleg before being guilty of a felony offence - the new number is 100 units. RIAA top guy Mitch Bainwol told reporters last week: "When pirated CDs are sold on street-side tables, at flea markets, or in retail outlets, the works of many talented and hard-working individuals are stolen. This law will make thieves think twice about pursuing the pirate music trade".

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LIVE NATION LAUNCHES VIDEO NETWORK SITE FOR DOWNLOAD
Recognising how many festival-goers now film their own video clips of the music events they visit - normally via their mobile phones - concert promotion conglom Live Nation has launched a new site around its rock festival Download which will provide a forum where music fans can post their own video clips from this year's event. Registered users will also be able to link to official footage of certain sets from the festival - where relevant record labels have provided permission for their artists to be included.

Launching the new service, which is hosted at www.downloadfestival.tv, Live Nation's VP Of Interactive International, Mark Yovich, told reporters: "We wanted to give the Download Festival fans the tools for sharing their experiences with everyone".

Roadrunner Records are the first label to agree to allow official footage of its acts to be included in the service, which means users can link to footage of the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Trivium, Hate Breed and Stone Sour. Guns 'n' Roses' performance of 'My Michelle' is also available.

Yovich confirmed that the model set out by Download.tv will now be used to provide similar video networking services around Live Nation's other live event interests, which include the UK's Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury festivals.

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HEAP USES MYSPACE TO RECRUIT SUPPORT
The lovely Imogen Heap is going to choose which acts she books to support her on her upcoming UK tour via her MySpace. Local bands interested in appearing on her tour are invited to make their existence known on her MySpace, and she will invite her favourites to appear.

Heap says the idea came about after her cellist, who was due to play a support set at one of Heap's US dates, got an invite to attend a festival in France at the last minute, an opportunity that clashed with the Heap gig. Imogen says: "I said to her 'You have to do it', even though she was supposed to be playing for me in Florida. I put a message on my MySpace page and the response was massive. I got over 200 emails."

Of course it's not an entirely original idea - I know of at least one other band who recruited support acts this way (though I can't quite remember which one) - but it's a great idea all the same. Well done Ms Heap.

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FX LAUNCH TWO SPEED AD
This is interesting - digital channel FX has developed an advert which still works if you watch it at twelve times its normal speed. The move, of course, is designed to combat the growing number of people who watch programmes on a time delay via systems like Sky Plus, allowing them to fast forward through the ads (not an entirely new phenonomen, of course, Sky Plus just being a sophisticated video recorder, though it is something concerning advertisers more and more). The special ad means FX deliver their advertising message, even if someone is watching it at high speed.

The Guardian quote FX's Jason Thorp thus: "This particular experiment is part of a campaign to address a question that every channel must be thinking about, which is: How do we keep the audience tuned in, in real time, during breaks and get our messages across when they don't?"

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CANWEST GET NEW LICENCE
Canadian media firm CanWest have won their second UK terrestrial radio licence. Having won one for the Solent area last year, they have just won the new Bristol licence, allowing them to supply "adult alternative radio" (whatever that means) to an audience of half a million across the city.

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SUPERNOVA HAVE FRONTMAN IF NOT A NAME
Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke last week chose Canadian wannabe rocker Lukas Rossi to front their new super-group. Rossi won the frontman position via the second series of American reality show Rock Star. He will now record and tour with the Motley Crue man, and former Metallica and Guns n Roses members, although, as previously reported, whether they will be able to use their intended name - Supernova - remains to be seen. Another US band called Supernova is taking legal action to stop the new supergroup from using the moniker.

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LLOYD WEBBER HAS A MARIA - BUT FOR HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK?
Elsewhere in music related reality TV show news, Andrew Lloyd Webber got his Maria in the final of the BBC's Sound Of Music related reality show this weekend. Former call centre worker Connie Fisher won the public vote in the telly contest, and will now play the lead in a West End revival of the musical.

Lloyd Webber himself spent much of the weekend commenting on how many performances a week Fisher will actually take part in. Early on in the series rumour had it an "understudy" had already been booked for the show, and had been told she may be performing in up to six shows a week (ie all but two). However, Lloyd Webber said this weekend that Fisher would, in fact, be performing in six shows a week, adding that it was entirely normal for young leading ladies in the West End to not appear in all eight weekly shows.

Commenting on accusations that producers of the new production of Sound Of Music never intended to properly use the winner of the TV show, Webber said this weekend: "I will consider her natural desire to sing in every performance and fully understand it. However, we have to bear her age in mind and have a duty to protect her voice. I am irritated by some of the nonsense that has been written about this. Connie is only 23 years old and in the West End musical world it is absolutely normal for a younger leading lady to sing only six out of eight possible performances a week. We have a duty to consider what is best for Connie's career in the longer run. We certainly do not want her ending up like Julie Andrews who strained her voice when young and who can no longer sing."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Sebastien Tellier - Universe (Lucky Number)
If you're not familiar with Sebastien Tellier, the first thing you need to know is that his 2005 single 'La Ritournelle' is one of those tracks that genuinely merits use of the word 'classic' without any fear of exaggeration. A kind of 'Unfinished Sympathy' for our time, it grants Tellier his place in history even if he never does anything good again. It's included here in two versions (the sumptuous seven minute original is sadly absent, but the shorter, more sprightly Mr Dan reworking present still sounds impossibly lustrous); the rest of 'Universe' is a mixed affair, not least because it's a compilation, rather than an album proper, created for the UK market, apparently. So, elsewhere, the tracks comprise stripped down versions of songs from his 'Politics' and 'L'Incroyable Vérité' albums, alongside selections from Tellier's soundtrack to the film 'Narco'. The stripped-down tracks remain deftly touching in their simplicity and intimacy - basically it's just Sebastien and a piano; luckily the songs are strong enough to hold up with such sparse instrumentation. Elsewhere, tracks move in circles popularised by countrymen Air - beautifully chilled downtempo with noir-ish strings and a touch of the 60s and 70s, with the scent of prog-rock occasionally wafting in. The pace is only upped for the moody, moog-frenzy of 'Le Démon Pupkin' (which sounds like it was used for a chase scene through Paris at night, or something similarly dramatic). Like Air, Sebastien Tellier has had his music used in a film by Sophia Coppola, and if you like the dreamy melancholy of Air's score for 'The Virgin Suicides', much of 'Universe' will also warm you. Acoustic-style compilations of an artist's work are ultimately best viewed as treats for fans only. This is no exception, but works well enough in its own right to also reward any casual fans or prospective newcomers, and suggests much to come from a very promising talent indeed. MS
Release date: 18 Sep
Press contact: Lucky Number IH [all]

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CHART UPDATE
So, no change a top the UK singles chart, and no surprise there. Scissor Sisters' 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin' is still number one. The highest new entry comes at 5 courtesy of The Killers with 'When You Were Young', then the new entries go: Daniel O'Donnell with 'Crush On You' at 21, Lostprophets with 'A Town Called Hypocrisy' at 23, Lupe Fiasco and Jill Scott with 'Daydreamin' at 25, Embrace with 'Target' at 29, Cherish and Sean Paul with 'Do It To It' at 30, Larrikin Love with 'Happy As Annie' at 32, Guillemots with 'Trains To Brazil' at 36 and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly with 'The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager' at 38.

Albums wise, and it's a busy week for new entries at the top of the chart - with the whole top three consisting of them - Justin Timberlake at the top with 'Futuresex/Lovesounds' obviously, then The Fratellis' 'Costello Music' is at 2 (hurrah, hurrah, hurrah) and Lemar's 'The Truth About Love' is at 3. The other new entries album wise are Lionel Richie 'Coming Home' at 28, Diana Krall 'From This Moment On' at 29 and The Adam & The Ants best of at 39.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
As counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - http://www.totalrock.com. New and re-entries marked with a *

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)
2. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner)
3. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros)
4. Lamb Of God - Sacrament (SonyBMG/Epic)
5. Slayer - Christ Illusion (Warner/American)
6. Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May (Roadrunner)
7. AFI - Decemberunderground (Universal/Polydor)
8. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
9. Tom Petty - Highway Companion (Warner Bros)
10. Tool - 10,000 Days (Volcano)
11. Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death (EMI)
12. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Mercury)
13. Rolling Stones - Forty Licks (EMI/Virgin)
14. Audioslave - Revelations (SonyBMG/Epic)*
15. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
16. Feeder - The Singles (Echo)
17. Blue October - Foiled (Universal)
18. Rise Against - The Sufferer & The Witness (Universal/Geffen)
19. Godsmack - IV (Republic)
20. Hatebreed - Supremacy (Roadrunner)*

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STEWART SAYS THAT BROWN SAYS HE IS GREAT
Rod Stewart says that James Brown proclaimed that he, Rod Stewart, is the world's "best white soul singer". Brown said: "That's what James Brown told me. I was very flattered. I went backstage to say hello and he was in very good spirits. Seemed to be all there still upstairs. His knees are playing him up and I told him I've got the same problem."

After bigging himself up a bit, Stewart went on to proclaim that Madonna's a bit rubbish, saying: "She's done very well with what she's got. But she's not my favourite singer."

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JAY-Z FINALLY OFFICIALLY NOT RETIRED
Thank goodness. I can stop referring to Jay-Z as 'retired'. All those inverted commas were wearing me out. The hip hop star has finally admitted that his period of retirement didn't go too well, and that he is, in fact, not retired. His forthcoming new LP and recently announced tour might have given the more perceptive amongst you a clue on that. Anyway, he told Entertainment Weekly: "It was the worst retirement, maybe, in history. I believed it for two years".

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MADONNA NOT GOING INTO SPACE
I don't understand this. Is it a joke? According to reports, moves to send Madonna into space have been blocked. Yes, that's what I thought. It's a real shame, as space probably is the best place for her. Anyway, apparently the Russian parliament voted down a proposal to put her on the international space station in 2008. Parliament member Alexei Mitrofanov proposed her involvement to guarantee the station international coverage. Mitrofanov was quoted by the RIA-Novosti news agency as saying: "Because of the television possibilities, it would be a pretty serious event in the year of elections in the United States and Russia."

A spokesman for the Russian space agency says that there are, however, vacancies for 'space tourists' from 2009. Which is great, because I'd love to go. I will, however, need twenty million dollars to finance my trip. So I might just go to Guadeloupe instead. Besides which, according to spokesman Igor Panarin, Madonna might be there once space goes public, and I've no wish to share a capsule with the Queen of Pop. Panarin: "Taking into account her good physical preparedness and financial capabilities, the dream of [Madonna] Louise Ciccone of a space flight could be realized in 2009."

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GRAHAM NORTON THINKS BONO IS RUBBISH
Popular, er, comedian, Graham Norton, has had a go at Bono, according to The Mirror, due to the U2 star's tendency to avoid paying as much tax as possible. Norton says: "People like Bono really annoy me. He goes to hell and back to avoid paying tax. He has a special accountant. He works out Irish tax loopholes. And then he's asking me to buy a well for an African village. Tarmac the road outside your house, you tight-wad! Or pay for a school in Ireland. I've never met Bono and now I probably never will. But if I do meet him I'll ask him because I think it's a hard thing to justify."

To be fair, we all try to avoid tax, don't we? I mean, I've been avoiding paying tax for years. Which is why I am going to end up in prison. Unlike Bono. Who has an accountant.

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