CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 19th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner enter into deal with YouTube
- More Napster takeover talk
- MusicTank launch new assessment on all things music business
- INXS part company with Epic
- ZZ Top part company with label and management
- McCulloch cleared of assault charges
- Get Cape instruments Fly. Off
- Willie Nelson charged with drugs possession
- Franz Ferdinand doc to air this weekend
- New Elliot Smith demos posted online
- Album review: Bent - Intercept!
- Wilson and Jardine to play Pet Sounds in full
- The Who get lifetime achievement gong at Live Awards
- Raconteurs to headline John Peel evening
- Phrased And Confused dates
- Deicide tour
- Husky Rescue tour
- The Long Blondes tour
- Tiscali showcase moves to ULU
- Real launch player with SanDisk
- Gracenote concerned about your Active X
- Sony/ATV enter into merchandising deal
- eMusic respond to royalty things
- Live review: Love Is All at Kings College
- Britney son named
- Gallagher on Gallagher, again

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TOP BIT >>
We are currently putting together the really rather exciting CMU Beats newspaper, which will be unleashed around the world of student-dom at the end of the month, just as the student population get down to all those important tasks of the new academic year - like blowing their entire student loan on new sound system, a stack of vinyl, three months worth of gig tickets and four kegs of beer (and possibly a stash of dope of Willie Nelson proportions, but I couldn't possibly comment on that). To that end, three things...

This is your last chance to advertise in this esteemed publication. We'd tell you why this is a great opportunity to tell a huge readership of students and young record buyers / gig goers all about your releases, tours and products, but then you'd accuse us of just repeating what it already tells you in the Blatant Plugging section below. Needless to say, it's a great opportunity - email Chris at ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk to book your spot.

Second, we will be running a big competition in the newspaper giving away Chris & Caro's Mighty Big Truck Of Stuff, a fantastic concept we've had in development for years, but which I hear some bloke called Reggie might have nabbed from us. If you have CDs, videos, t-shirts, tickets, mugs, stickers or other assorted things you'd like to contribute to this prize (in return for some healthy plugging obviously), email competitions@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

Third, we want to tap you for tips, thoughts and nominations - yes - it's another bloody list feature. Except ours will be good - because we have the best possible group of pundits to consult on these things - yes, that's you. Given that this is going out at the start of the college year - we're compiling a list with a college theme (with apologies to those who didn't go to college). We want to know what one album you would call the 'soundtrack to your student days' - ie what was the one album that you most associate with your time at college? Send your suggestions with your name and the company you work for to lists@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

And that's it for now. Though more on our wonderful CMU Beats newspaper right here very soon - no doubt.

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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: JULY RISING

July Rising are a Leeds/Newcastle based rock band who are kind of young, possibly even still at college or something, but don't quote me on that. I was alerted to their existence very recently by a friend of mine who likes them, and having checked out their MySpace page, I quite like them too, so I thought I should mention them here today. There's not a great deal more to say than this, because I don't know a huge amount about them, but I listened to the three songs on their MySpace and was pretty taken with their indie rocky guitary sound. Clearly, there's a lot of it about at the moment (indie rocky guitary sounds), but don't be put off and think "Oh no, not more indie rocky guitary sounds", because these guys are purveying indie rocky guitary sounds of the rather good variety, and I don't think you'll regret checking them out. They appear to have a sense of humour, too, which is nice, and lots of photos for you to look at, if you're into that kind of thing. Here's the URL:

http://www.myspace.com/julyrising

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WARNER ENTER INTO DEAL WITH YOUTUBE
Following implications last week from Universal Music chief Doug Morris that he was considering legal action against YouTube in relation to the large amounts of the major label's music currently available via the site without their permission, rival record company Warner Music yesterday confirmed it had entered into a deal with the video streaming website allowing its music to be hosted there.

The deal between Warner and YouTube means that the video site will be able to legitimately host pop promos and interviews with its artists, many uploaded by fans, in return for a slice of advertising revenues. The deal will also allow YouTube to host those user-made videos that feature music from Warner signed artists (normally punters miming to pop songs in a comedy stylee, with hilarious consequences, obviously) - albeit with the major reserving the right to veto some of that content.

YouTube will track the music based content being streamed via its servers, paying Warner a cut of ad revenues based on the quantity of its content viewed. The system will also identify user-made content using Warner owned music, and will provide a copy of the home made video to the major for approval (quite how that will work in terms of timescales isn't clear - nor what criteria Warner will use in approving or rejecting content).

Confirming the deal, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley told reporters yesterday: "We are very excited. This is a real landmark for our company".

Warner chief Edgar Bronfman Jnr added: "Consumer-empowering destinations like YouTube have created a two-way dialogue that will transform entertainment and media forever."

Other news from our 'digital music deals involving Warner Music' reporting team - and Warner have announced they have entered into a deal with Qtrax, the company behind one of those ad-supported P2P networks. Qtrax already have EMI, The Orchard and TVT Records on board - and are no doubt now looking to get SonyBMG and Universal signed up before launching their service. Despite no one really knowing how these legit P2Ps will work or, more importantly, whether there's any demand for them, Warner Senior VP Of Strategy & Product Development told reporters: "The Qtrax service represents an innovative business model, one that offers our artists another way to reach fans using the potential of peer-to-peer technology while ensuring they are fairly compensated for the use of their work".

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MORE NAPSTER TAKEOVER TALK
More Napster for sale chatter, this time from Napster boss Chris Gorog, who, one might assume, is quite 'in the know' on these matters. Then again, he's chatted about such things before, and his recent comments are not all that less vague than previous remarks suggesting that a sale may be on the agenda in the Napster board room.

In a recent interview, Gorog admitted that "there's been interest by third parties to acquire the company", while adding that other companies had proposed strategic partnerships or joint ventures with the download firm. He also confirmed that he had hired the services of investment bank UBS to look into the proposals currently on the table - which possibly shows more interest to collaborate or sell out than before.

Of course Napster's two main business models - the subscription model download platform and ad funded music destination site - are both as yet ultimately unproven. Gorog is always keen to stress that the company is developing as planned, but some in investment circles question the long term viability of the current Napster business in an Apple dominated market. Which is why those investment types like talks of takeover (which, in turn, is probably why Gorog dabbles in takeover talk every few months). They think that a safer future for Napster could be secured if it were bought by one or another of the major mobile firms or traditional media players (Viacom is often mentioned) who could up sell the download service, or a version of it, to their existing customer base.

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MUSIC TANK LAUNCH NEW ASSESSMENT ON ALL THINGS MUSIC BUSINESS
MusicTank have published a new assessment on the state of the music business, penned by legendary artist manager Peter Jenner, who has managed the likes of Pink Floyd, The Clash, Ian Drury and Billy Bragg over the years, and who is Secretary General of the International Music Managers Forum and Chairman of the European Live Music Forum.

The report, called 'Beyond The SoundBytes', takes a string of recent MusicTank Think Tank debates as its starting point, and goes on to assess how the music business should be responding to the radical changes in technology and consumer attitudes which have occurred in the last ten years, and which will continue to occur in the coming years. It is hoped the report will kick off wider debate, which will then come together at a planned MusicTank conference next month.

We'll run through some of the key points in tomorrow's Daily, meantime you can order copies of the report for yourself from http://www.musictank.co.uk.

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INXS PART COMPANY WITH EPIC
INXS are parting company with SonyBMG's Epic Records in the US, though it's not entirely clear who is getting rid of who, or why. Their comeback album with new frontman JD Fortune shifted 375,000 units in the US, which would seem pretty reasonable, though relatively speaking it was a much bigger hit in Australia, and there they will continue to be signed to SonyBMG, so perhaps there was some disappointment regarding American sales following the success of CBS TV show Rock Star (the one that recruited Fortune as a new frontman). As previously reported, INXS are currently midway through a world tour, though some European dates have been postponed so that guitarist Tim Farriss can undergo surgery.

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ZZ TOP PART COMPANY WITH LABEL AND MANAGEMENT
Also parting company from SonyBMG are ZZ Top, who have ended their relationship with the major's RCA division. They have also parted company with long time manager Bill Ham, of Lone Wolf Management, which is quite big news because Ham has represented the band from the word go in 1970, and has worked with the band's Billy F Gibbons since the late sixties.

Quite why the band have decided to part company with label and management at this time isn't entirely clear. Ham said in a statement: "For nearly four decades we have made music history together. Lone Wolf will always be grateful for the overwhelming loyalty and support from fans around the world, the labels, the promoters, the agencies, the vendors, the media, and so many others who helped make this possible. We wish the band all the best for continued success."

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MCCULLOCH CLEARED OF ASSAULT CHARGES
Echo And The Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch has successfully defeated assault charges made against him, though he has been convicted with the lesser crime of breach of the peace relating to that previously reported incident backstage at the Glasgow Barrowlands last October.

The dispute was between McCulloch and two (former, presumably) fans, Gary Duncan and Juliet Sebley. For reasons I still haven't completely fathomed, they found themselves backstage after the Echo And The Bunnymen gig, and made use of McCulloch's back stage toilet facilities. McCulloch confronted them as to why they were in his dressing room - and that's where the two sides' versions of events differ.

McCulloch says that he politely asked the couple to leave but, when they didn't, he pushed the toilet door, which was unlocked, and which swung round and knocked Sebley in the face. Duncan and Sebley claim McCulloch became loud and unruly when he came across them, that he made threatening comments, that he pushed Duncan forcefully, and that he kicked the toilet door in, injuring Sebley.

Hearing the case, magistrate Robert Hamilton ruled that McCulloch could not be found guilty of the assault charges, but did rule the singer had been guilty of a breach of the peace. On that, he added: "I'm going to take a very lenient view. This took place in an area where there were very few members of the public".

Leaving court, McCulloch reassured reporters that the incident would not stop him playing Glasgow in the future. He said: "I love Glasgow. It is brilliant and the Barrowlands is the best venue in the world. I'm just glad it is all over. I look forward to playing Glasgow again."

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GET CAPE INSTRUMENTS FLY. OFF
Sam Duckworth - aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - has posted a message on his MySpace page appealing for the return of instruments stolen from him at the weekend.

The post reads: "Life wouldn't be life without coming around to bite us on the arse from time to time. In Wales on Saturday I had 2 guitars - a Lowden f10 and an Avalon a210ce stolen. as well as Mikey's Yamaha cornet. If anyone finds anything matching these descriptions, cropping about on eBay/shops in the welsh area, please email sam@getcapewearcapefly.co.uk as these instruments are various precious to us. Not only because of the financial implications, although all were insured, but one was my first guitar and they are also the instruments used on the album and thus hold a lot of sentiment. Any help will be well received. Thanks."

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WILLIE NELSON CHARGED WITH DRUGS POSSESSION
Country legend Willie Nelson has been charged with possessing pot and magic mushrooms. Louisiana state police confirmed that they found the narcotics while inspecting the singer's tour bus. A statement reads "when the door was opened and the trooper began to speak to the driver, he smelled the strong odour of marijuana" and goes on to confirm that a search of the bus turned up 1.5lb of marijuana and 0.2lb of narcotic mushrooms. Nelson and four other men were charged with possession and later released.

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FRANZ FERDINAND DOC TO AIR THIS WEEKEND
A thirty minute documentary about Franz Ferdinand (the band, not the archduke) is to air on Channel 4 this weekend. The film, shot by legendary director Don Letts, follows the group for a period of three weeks whilst they were on tour earlier in the year.

Letts, who also oversaw 2000 Clash documentary 'Westway To The World', says of the project: "When I got the call to see if I wanted to 'cover' Franz in South America I jumped at the chance. My last few films have been very controlled stylistically so it was a great opportunity to return to my punk roots. It's been a while since I've seen any 'frontline' action and their mix of style and intellect combined with classic pop songs and a dynamic live show was just what I needed to deliver a film with the kind of energy that got me started in the first place."

It goes out on Sunday at 11.50pm.

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NEW ELLIOT SMITH DEMOS POSTED ONLINE
Four previously unheard Elliot Smith demos have been posted online. The tracks, named 'Let's Turn The Record Over', 'True Love', 'Talking To Mary' and 'From A Poisoned Wall' are, it's said, just some of around fifty such demos which have yet to surface. The songs are online at http://www.elliottsmithbsides.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bent - Intercept! (Goldlike And Electric)
After two albums of wonky sample-driven downtempo, Bent really came into their own with 2004's lush 'Ariels' (Proper songs! Real instruments!), a labour of love with far more depth and maturity than most albums that have anything to do with the dance scene. 'Intercept!' goes back to being a mainly electronic affair, but maintains the level of emotion and wide-eyed love of music that made 'Ariels' such a triumph. Bent's ability to conjure all sorts of magic with different styles is something to behold and cherish, and remains undiminished here. So, opener 'Exercise 7' kicks things off with some glorious shimmering technicolour Balearic disco (and features a companion piece with 'Leavin' Me', a similarly sunshine-soaked piece of euphoric Disneyland electro disco pop). The disco and post punk of the late 70s and early 80s is in fact a recurrent theme here, but it's all imbued with Bent's unique personality. 'To Be Loved' starts off a quirky, post-punk track with vaguely demented vocals, but metamorphoses into something beautifully uplifting when the harmonic, blissful chorus appears, lifting the song from black and white into colour with a huge smile on its face. 'Tired Of The Show' is a minimal slab of discordant punk-funk New Young Pony Club style pop, whilst 'Waiting For You' is like the DFA gone...stadium rock-techno-disco or something. The unrelenting eclecticism doesn't let up - we get country/trip-hop ('After All The Love'), simple piano minimalism ('As Seen From Space'), anthemic indie/synth-pop hybrids ('The Handbrake') and on 'Stay Out All Night' the dreamy ethereal downtempo that the group do so well. Are they a pop group who dabble in electronica, or vice versa? Do they know themselves? It's perhaps more apt to simply view the duo as brilliant mad scientists/inventors with the knack of turning anything they touch into gold. Another triumph then. Heavenly stuff. MS
Release date: 2 Oct
Press Contact: Darling [all]

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WILSON AND JARDINE TO PLAY PET SOUNDS IN FULL
Brian Wilson has announced he will be joined by fellow former Beach Boy Al Jardine for four more live performances of seminal album 'Pet Sounds' later this year. The gigs will take place in the US in November, with the pair appearing in Boston on 17 Nov, Washington on 18 Nov, Glenside on 19 Nov and New York on 21 Nov. As previously reported, Wilson has already announced Pet Sounds performances for Los Angeles on 1 Nov and in London on 12 Nov, though there is no indication that Jardine will join Wilson at those events.

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THE WHO GET LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT GONG AT LIVE AWARDS
The Who will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the all new Live Music Awards, which, as previously reported, are being launched by those Vodaphone people. The awards will be presented at a bash next month at the all new Roundhouse venue up there in Camden and the nomination lists were announced yesterday.

As well as receiving the lifetime achievement honour, The Who are also up for one of the main awards - Best Live Return - for which they will compete with Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode and Take That. Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs, Muse and Razorlight are all up for the overall Live Act gong, while Foo Fighters, Scissor Sisters, The Killers and U2 are nominated in the Best International Live Act category. Arctic Monkeys, Bob Geldof, Gorillaz and Muse, meanwhile, will compete for a Live Impact Award - which is very exciting, even though I've no idea what exactly that means.

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RACONTEURS TO HEADLINE JOHN PEEL EVENING
The Raconteurs are to top the bill at Radio 1's 'Peel Night' - which will be part of the BBC's previously reported Electric Proms series. The band will be joined by The Horrors and Squarepusher at the event, which will also take place at Camden's Roundhouse, this time on 26 Oct.

The Radio 1 supported John Peel Day takes place two weeks earlier, of course, on 12 Oct, with events to mark the anniversary of the legendary DJs death taking place all over the UK.

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PHRASED AND CONFUSED DATES
Phrased? Confused? I'm not.

I know (because I checked the website - http://www.phrasedandconfused.com) that Phrased And Confused is an event that comprises music and spoken word performances from the likes of ex-Delgado Emma Pollock and poet Brendan Cleary, and it's coming to a venue near you. This sort of stuff is really on the rise, if you ask me, so if you want to be cool and down with the kids and stuff like that, you should try and make one of the following dates:

5 Oct (National Poetry Day, by the way): London Luminaire
8 Oct: Colchester Arts Centre
9 Oct: Norwich Arts Centre
18 Oct: Leicester The Y
19 Oct: Komedia Brighton
21 Oct: Kendal The Brewery

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DEICIDE TOUR
Deicide have announced a series of European tour dates, four of which take place in the UK and Ireland. Yes, that's right. The UK and Ireland. Great news for UK and Ireland based death-metallers. Here you go:

9 Jan: Manchester Jilly's Rockworld
10 Jan: Dublin Temple Bar Music Centre
11 Jan: Glasgow venue tbc
12 Jan: London ULU

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HUSKY RESCUE TOUR
The wonderful Husky Rescue have announced a UK and Ireland tour. Yes, that's right. The dates coincide with the release of their new single 'Diamonds In The Sky', out 16 Oct. It's lifted from forthcoming second album 'Ghost Is Not Real', by the way. Press info on all that from Catskills. Here are the live dates:

3 Oct: Brighton Komedia
5 Oct: University of Belfast
6 Oct: Dublin Green Synergy / Whelans
7 Oct: Galway Cuba
8 Oct: Bristol The Thekla
11 Oct: London Luminaire
12 Oct: Sheffield The Plug
14 Oct: Glasgow The Classic Grand
15 Oct: Liverpool Korova

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THE LONG BLONDES TOUR
The Long Blondes have confirmed details of a UK tour. The dates precede the release of a new single 'Once And Never Again' and their debut album 'Someone To Drive You Home', which will be out in November. Here are the tour dates:

1 Oct: Norwich Arts Centre
2 Oct: Stoke Sugarmill
4 Oct: Manchester Academy
5 Oct: Leeds Cockpit
7 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria Uni
9 Oct: Aberdeen Lemon Tree
10 Oct: Glasgow Oran Mor
13 Oct: Liverpool Uni
15 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
16 Oct: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
17 Oct: London Mean Fiddler
18 Oct: Cambridge Junction
21 Oct: York Barfly (Fibbers)
22 Oct: Cardiff CF10 Uni
23 Oct: Bristol Thekla
26 Oct: Brighton Concorde 2
27 Oct: Southampton Joiners
28 Oct: Birmingham Academy 2
29 Oct: Sheffield The Foundry

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TISCALI SHOWCASE MOVES TO ULU
Tough Cookie have announced details of their next Tiscali Showcase - the event where they film all kinds of generally rather good bands, footage from which appears on the Tiscali website. The next edition will be the first at their new venue - ULU in London - and will feature no less than Grace, Keisha White and those Breaks Co-op chaps. It all takes place on 21 Sep, ie this Thursday, and tickets are available from the Ticketweb link below, or can be won via the respective artist's websites. If you're after press info, you'll need suzy@tough-cookie.co.uk.

Here's the ticket link:
http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_ london&query=detail&event=180184

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REAL LAUNCH PLAYER WITH SANDISK
While launching download platforms was last month's fashion, launching new digital music players tied to your existing download platforms seems to be in vogue at the moment. Following on from Microsoft's announcement that it is moving into the iPod/iTunes domain with the launch of its Zune player and music store, now Real are planning a similar platform/player venture, albeit in partnership with SanDisk.

The SanDisk Rhapsody player, due for launch, in the US at least, ahead of Christmas, will be tied to Real's Rhapsody subscription service. The players will come with inbuilt software that will power the Rhapsody service which, insiders say, will be more reliable than rival subscription services which rely on Microsoft technology because it will be a Real proprietary platform using a Real proprietary codec on a Real endorsed player.

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GRACENOTE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR ACTIVE X
Online music database people Gracenote have issued a warning regarding digital music players that use Microsoft's Active X technology in order to access third party services, like Gracenote's own album tracklisting information service. The warning is that a flaw in Active X might allow hackers to access your PC - and therefore users should make sure they are running the most recent version of any affected digital music player, because the makers of those players have generally introduced systems to overcome the flaw.

To be honest I don't really follow any of this, nor do I really understand why it is news, because I'm pretty sure Gracenote first raised their Active X concerns back in June. I suspect it is in the news this week because Sony have just updated their Connect and SonicStage player software, and the new version overcomes the Active X problem, so they are keen to get their users to upgrade (not that I've ever met anyone that uses Sony's music player software, but presumably someone does somewhere, probably in Sony Corp HQ).

Gracenote stress that they are not aware of any users who have been affected by hackers utilising the Active X flaw - but it is, in theory, a risk, which means anyone using media players on a Windows machine should possibly make sure they are running the most recent version (though don't quote us on that, I'd check with a more knowledge IT person before doing anything drastic). No players on the Mac Operating System are affected because, as you all know, Macs, and more importantly, Mac users, are superior in every way.

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SONY/ATV ENTER INTO MERCHANDISING DEAL
This is interesting. Music publishing firm Sony/ATV has announced it has entered into a partnership with London based Corporate Creative Licensing which will see iconic lyrics from songs in its catalogue appear on merchandise, including t-shirts and greetings cards. The first product range to come from the deal will be a collection of t-shirts featuring Beatles lyrics which will be sold by HMV.

The deal was conceived by CCL's Head Of Licensing Michael Gottlieb, who told CMU: "I think this is a really exciting concept. Everyone has their favourite song lyric that means so much to them. Now people will have the opportunity to wear those emotions on their sleeve! From fashion items and accessories to cards, stationery and gifts, song lyrics will resonate with the public."

Sony/ATV MD Rakesh Sanghvi added: "This is a simple idea that nobody has implemented with any real effect before. Other publishers have mooted similar themes in the past but to my knowledge only very few products have actually made it into the marketplace. We are taking this very seriously, our first deal with HMV is already in place and we are planning to roll out a number of innovative products throughout the rest of this year and beyond".

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EMUSIC RESPOND TO ROYALTY THINGS
eMusic has responded to that statement from UK royalty body MCPS-PRS who say they did not recognise the pan-European publishing licence that the independent download platform is using for its new Europe-wide service. As previously reported, eMusic has a pan-European licensing arrangement with Dutch royalty body Buma/Stemra, but MCPS-PRS says the Dutch collecting society is in no position to offer such a licence, certainly not with regards the catalogue of music the UK body represents.

MCPS-PRS say they are keen to talk to eMusic about the situation, but eMusic suggest MCPS-PRS talk to Buma/Stemra. eMusic CEO David Pakman told Billboard: "We have a license with Buma/Stemra, and we believe that license to be valid. This is really a conversation between them [MCPS-PRS] and Buma/Stemra".

A formal statement form the download company issued yesterday confirmed that viewpoint: "While no further talks are currently contemplated between eMusic and MCPS/PRS, we look forward to scheduled talks between our licensing partner Buma/Stemra and MCPS/PRS to resolve any issues that MCPS has regarding our current license."

PS: In other MCPS-PRS news - the collecting society's CEO, Adam Singer, has just announced he will step down after the upcoming copyright tribunal regarding digital royalties. He's issued a statement, which we might publish tomorrow. I'll try and remember to.

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LIVE REVIEW: Love Is All at Kings College Student Union on 12 Sep
The venue isn't as rammed to the gills as I'd expected, which is surprising because there should be more of a buzz around this band. The Swedish group have an original sound which is difficult to define. Love Is All are clearly much influenced by the ska/2-tone records of the early 80's and also share the Go! Team's delight in pillaging from various genres and styles. Much of their distinctive nature is generated from their perky singer, Josephine Olausson, whose kooky dress sense is matched by her girly, yelped vocals, while sax player Frederik Eriksson gives their music a vigorous jollity. They kick off tonight's show with the skanky 'Talk Talk Talk Talk', the opening track from their album 'Nine Times That Same Song'. Needless to say, their songs don't all sound the same. Another strong track, 'Ageing Had Never Been His Friend' has the rhythmic playfulness of bands like The Beat. Yet despite the infectious danceability of their music, the fairly typical London crowd don't bother to shake their hips a great deal, although to be fair, a long staircase climb necessitated by an out of action lift has probably exhausted most of us here. Judging from this show and with glowing reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, interest is building around the band and should continue to do so. JW

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BRITNEY SON NAMED
Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline have reportedly decided on a name for baby number two, who was born last week, of course. He's been named Sutton Pierce - which, while a bit unusual, is actually really quite normal given the names celebs often subject their offspring to. He and brother Sean have got off quite lightly, methinks. Federline, while not commenting on the new arrival's name, has told reporters: "Mom and baby are doing well, thanks, but we're all really tired."

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GALLAGHER ON GALLAGHER, AGAIN
Noel Gallagher is really looking forward to doing all the promotional work sure to be required with the upcoming release of Oasis' hits album 'Stop The Clocks', and isn't at all bitter that he is always relied on to do more than his fair share of promotional gubbins.

Noel to MTV: "Because I'm so eloquent and Liam is the opposite of it - whatever that is - I always get nominated to do all the press interviews. I'm working from 11 in the morning 'til 4 in the morning and it's a pain in the arse for me. He gets to walk around in stupid clothes, swearing and getting pissed. I'll be frank, if we didn't get paid as much as we do I probably wouldn't fucking bother. I love performing and getting up on stage for an hour and a half, but being on tour with our kid is not a walk in the park. It's difficult 'cos he's always getting on my case for something or other. We are always not talking to each other."

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