CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 27th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jackson quits Two Seas (or possibly never signed up)
- Universal music launch agency with advertising conglomerate
- Limewire countersue RIAA
- Network Live partners leave Control Room
- Two charges dropped against Foxy Brown
- Def Jam deny Method Man rumours
- New drummer confirmed for Be Your Own Pet
- Oasis EP confirmed
- Gnarls Barkley on second album
- Single review: M. Craft - Sweets
- Art Brut tour, single
- Les Incompetents play last gig
- Fratellis tour
- More Electric Proms additions
- Tourdates showcase tonight
- Acts perform Cohen classics in Dublin
- Dirty Pretty Things add second night at Brixton
- Very important Big Strides news
- Sup stage London launch party
- EU puts IP pressure on Romania and Bulgaria
- Tower founder not bidding
- Ricall add new search functions
- Nokia launch music phones
- Cingular might have iPod phone exclusive
- Radiocentre to lobby for less regulation
- BBC 1 to launch new idents
- The Source founders launch new mag
- Single review: The Aliens - The Happy Song
- Doherty news
- U2 fans pissed off at eBay book sale

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TOP BIT: CLASSICAL RETURNS - A DIGITAL RENAISSANCE >>
We've all seen (I'm assuming) the stats that suggest that the one genre that is really benefiting in the digital domain is, perhaps surprisingly, classical music. Whereas classical's market share in the CD arena has been in decline every since 1990 - from over 10% then to under 4% now - its share of US iTunes sales is reportedly 12%. I say 'surprisingly' - but perhaps that's not actually the case. James Jolly, Editor In Chief of Gramophone, says it's not actually as surprising a phenomenon as you might first think. He says the classical sector has long suffered from two things - for classical fans access to vast parts of the catalogue has become more or less non-existent, while for potential new classical consumers that catalogue looks intimidating and unnavigable. By being able to offer the whole catalogue all the time, but at the same time with editorial recommend type features, the digital domain overcomes both those problems in one go. All of which is surely good news for those working in the sector - whether they are on the recorded or live side. But can the classical world now just sit back and watch their business grow as downloading gains momentum? James reckons not - he reckons the classical sector needs to identify specific opportunities, and capitalise on them. And that probably means more collaboration within the classical world and, just as importantly, between the classical world and the wider music industry. To this end Gramophone has teamed up with MusicTank to stage a Think Tank debate on these issues ahead of the classical industry's big awards event in London tomorrow. Ahead of that, we talk to James about the opportunities and challenges ahead. You can read that interview right now at:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/interviews/

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: MR B
It's a while since we had one of those bedroom producers here in the MySpace slot, so let's rectify that today. And not only because it gives me another chance to remind you the next Infadels single - 'Girl Who Speaks No Name' - is out on 9 Oct. Although conveniently it does. Because Mr B was the winner of the remix competition that the loveable Infadels ran earlier this year, and his really rather good remix of 'Love Like Semtex' appears on the b-side to their aforementioned single. You can also check it out here, and really you should, because it's very good. Also here are the Mr B remixes of Bent's 'Waiting For You' and Faithless' 'Bombs' - all demonstrating his definite skill for producing very danceable, very catchy, very hands-in-the-air remixes, without going all cheesy on you. Any of you A&R types reading this - do check this MySpace out. If you're looking for someone to funk up any upcoming releases, Mr B is your man. Just don't pay him in parsnips.

http://www.myspace.com/fearoftigers

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JACKSON QUITS TWO SEAS (OR POSSIBLY NEVER SIGNED UP)
Michael Jackson has parted company with the Bahraini record label which I think we were under the impression he co-owned. The label, Two Seas, launched earlier this year seemingly with the intent of [a] releasing Jacko's long long awaited charity record in aid of the victims of Hurricane Katrina (who, hopefully, weren't relying too much on the proceeds from that non-existent project) and [b] releasing a new Jackson album, his first longer player since 2001. Consensus was that the label was a joint venture between Jackson himself and his Bahraini friend Abdulla Hamad Al-Khalifa, and that as well as releasing Jacko's new music, it would also manage much of his other affairs.

But Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, yesterday told reporters that the singer is no longer affiliated with Two Seas, while a spokesman for the label's CEO, Gut Records' Guy Holmes, said yesterday that no deal had ever been formalised with Jacko.

Jackson is now expected to manage his affairs and release music via his own new company, the Michael Jackson Company. Unconfirmed reports suggest he will go into the studio with producer Teddy Riley (who previously worked on Jackson's tracks 'Remember The Time' and 'Jam') early next year, with a plan to release a new long player in mid-2007. No word whatsoever on the charity record - I suspect those hurricane victims should reckon on getting by without Jacko's help (which, of course, they already are).

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UNIVERSAL MUSIC LAUNCH AGENCY WITH ADVERTISING CONGLOMERATE
The Universal Music Group has launched a new joint venture with advertising giant the WPP Group which will see the creation of a new London based agency that will create partnerships between consumer brands and the major record company's artists and music.

The new venture, to be called BrandAmp, will essentially cut out the middle man - ie third party agencies - in the creation of such partnerships, which are an increasingly important revenue stream for the music business.

Confirming the partnership, Universal Music UK chairman Lucian Grainge told reporters: "This new venture makes sense on many levels. It brings closer together two creative communities which are driven by innovation and imagination. It will also create a direct relationship out of what was an unnecessarily arms length way of doing business".

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell added: "In a world of media fragmentation, music remains a powerful medium. We see an increasing desire for brands to partner with bands. BrandAmp will allow us to facilitate and manage those partnerships more successfully."

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LIMEWIRE COUNTERSUE RIAA
I wouldn't hold out much hope on them succeeding in this regard, though it'd big news if they did. But whatever - the people behind leading P2P application LimeWire (which is still P2P-du-jour with the kids, I think) have launched a countersuit against the Recording Industry Association Of America.

As previously reported, having enjoyed much success in their battle against US based P2P companies since the landmark MGM v Grokster ruling in the Supreme Court last year, the RIAA began legal proceedings against LimeWire, currently one of the most popular sources of illegal music, last month.

In their counterclaim, launched this week, LimeWire executives Greg Bildson and Mark Gorton accuse the RIAA of "anticompetitive practices" and "consumer fraud". They say the record industry trade body has deliberately and unfairly refused to do business with them in a bid to control the digital distribution sector. The counter suit says: "The counter-defendants have unreasonably and concertedly refused to do business with LimeWire", and is attempting to "prevent the use of decentralized peer-to-peer technology for the secure distribution of licensed, copyrighted content".

The counterclaim goes on to say the record labels unfairly favour a small group of companies with whom they have forged alliances. They say: "The counter-defendants have concertedly promoted the distribution of licensed content through companies in which many of the counter-defendants and business affiliates have or had direct equity interests, such as MusicNet, pressplay and Roxio, or through business entities that they have a relationship with, such as iMesh or Mashboxx".

Tellingly, LimeWire's counterclaim does not seem to deal directly with the RIAA's original accusations, that the P2P encourages and profits from the illegal sharing of copyrighted music via their system.

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NETWORK LIVE PARTNERS LEAVE CONTROL ROOM
Network Live, the previously covered live music streaming venture created through a partnership between AOL, XM Satellite Radio and promoters AEG, has been dissolved, with the three partners going their separate ways. The independent company at the heart of the venture, meanwhile, will relaunch with a new partnership with MSN.

Network Live aimed to bring live music to consumers through a range of digital media platforms, including those owned by its partners, and became high profile in the webcasting space after providing AOL's record breaking online coverage of the Live 8 concerts. However, subsequent projects have not been as successful, and Digital Music News quote an AOL insider as saying that all the partners in the joint venture felt it had not panned out as expected.

The Network Live company itself will continue to be run by its founder, Kevin Wall, but will rebrand as Control Room. With its launch partners no longer involved, it has secured MSN as a principle distribution partner, with National Cinemedia, MediaFLO and Wal-Mart also reportedly involved.

Microsoft is expected to offer live content streamed by Control Room via several platforms, including the MSN Video Portal and Xbox Live. On the partnership, Wall told reporters: "With MSN, we have found a global partner that sees the value and profit in providing our rich and cutting-edge live entertainment content to its consumers worldwide".

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TWO CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FOXY BROWN
Two previously reported charges being brought against Foxy Brown have been dropped, at a municipal court in New Jersey.

Rasheeda Ellis, a former consultant to Brown's management company, had accused Brown, real name Inga Marchand, of harassment, threatening behaviour and verbal abuse, and claimed that when she tried to collect back pay owed to her from Brown back in June, the rap star went to her current place of employment and made threats. But Ellis has now agreed to drop the charges, with both sides agreeing to have no further contact with each other, and with certain unspecified items to be returned to Ellis.

Brown missed an initial court hearing regarding this case on 23 Aug, and was ordered to attend the latest hearing, which took place yesterday, or face arrest. She was, of course, sentenced to three years probation and anger management classes last month after pleading guilty to those previously reported assault charges relating to a fight with nail salon workers back in 2004.

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DEF JAM DENY METHOD MAN RUMOURS
Def Jam have denied rumours that Method Man is leaving the label. Publicist Jana Fleishman said in a statement: "Method Man is still a part of the Def Jam family and he is currently on tour supporting his newest release, '4:21...The Day After'."

Rumours regarding relationships between Def Jam and the rapper, whose new album has had a slow uptake, have circulated since he told AllHipHop.com: "I've seeing a lot of weird shit going on up here since the transition. Back in the '90s the procedure was way different. It was like I could just walk up in to Lyor Cohen's office and say, 'What's good?' So it's not like that anymore."

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NEW DRUMMER CONFIRMED FOR BE YOUR OWN PET
Be Your Own Pet have revealed the identity of their new drummer. Sixteen year old John Eatherly is to replace Jamin Orrall, who, as previously reported, left the band earlier this month to concentrate on college, his other group JEFF, and family run label Infinity Cat. Eatherly is a long term friend of the band, and involved in both the respective side projects of BYOP members Jonas Stein and Nathan Vasquez.

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OASIS EP CONFIRMED
Oasis have confirmed that they will release an EP on 13 Nov previewing the band's upcoming best of compilation. The 'Stop the Clocks EP' will feature the tracks 'Acquiesce' and 'The Masterplan', a demo of 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' and a live version of 'Some Might Say' from 1995. It will be available only as a one-off collector's edition CD, and as a double gatefold seven inch. The best of itself, 'Stop The Clocks' is, as previously reported, on 20 Nov.

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GNARLS BARKLEY ON SECOND ALBUM
Gnarls Barkley have started work on a second album, which is rather good news.

One half of the duo, Danger Mouse, told MTV: "We've started to throw some ideas around, and we've started on some rough demo stuff. But it's still a little way away. But we want to make the record sooner rather than later - just go in there and continue what we're doing. We definitely don't want to make [the next album] based our reactions to what people are saying about this album."

He added that while there was a lot of anticipation for the new record, he and singer Cee-Lo would only release another LP together if they believed it was up to scratch: "There a lot of people who want another Gnarls Barkley album, and so do we. But we're going to do it the same way we did before - we're going to do it at our pace and see what happens. When we get into the groove with things, we do the songs in bunches, and so we know that all we need to do it is go back and start working. If we love what's coming out, then we'll do another record; if we don't love it the way we loved this one...then we won't do it."

He went on to say that his other commitments won't stop him from finding time to work on a new LP: "We worked on this record ['St Elsewhere'] for three years, and nothing I did - Gorillaz, nothing - stopped it. We thought it took a long time, but it ended up coming out at the right time, and hopefully that's what will happen with the second one."

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SINGLE REVIEW: M. Craft - Sweets (679 Recordings)
'Sweets' is Martin's second release from his debut 'Silver And Fire'. His style is reminiscent of the late Elliot Smith, with simple but moving guitar playing layered underneath effortlessly emotive vocals. The verses describe a woman's life on the streets, driven by the chorus, a duet with a female vocalist, emphasising the tale. Imposing electric guitars fill the bridge, creating a darker atmosphere before the story's introduction ends the song, implying her life's vicious circle of events. Craft's B-side cover of The Cult's 'She Sells Sanctuary' isn't as charming as the single, and lacks impact, but 'Sweets' is a simple, atmospheric track, which would not have much impact on the radio, but more so live. AW
Release Date: 2 Oct
Press Contact: Toast [CP, RP, NP] Cool Badge [CR, RR, NR] Hyper Launch [Online]

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ART BRUT TOUR, SINGLE
This is pretty bloody exciting. Well, it is for me, anyway, because I love this band. And I've been anxiously awaiting the news that they might appear at a venue near me at some point soon. And here it is, the news that Art Brut release a new single 'Nag Nag Nag', on 6 Nov, and they're off on tour in support of it a day or two later. Ace.

8 Nov: Reading Fez
9 Nov: Sheffield Plug
11 Nov: Leeds Cockpit
12 Nov: Liverpool Academy 2
13 Nov: Glasgow ABC2
14 Nov: Manchester Academy 3
15 Nov: London Mean Fiddler
16 Nov: Bristol Fleece
17 Nov: Brighton Concorde 2

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LES INCOMPETENTS PLAY LAST GIG
Les Incompetents have announced that their last ever gig will take place on 7 Nov at London's 100 Club, with tickets going on sale on Thursday morning. On their Myspace page the band said: "It'll be great if you can make it down; we hope to get pretty much everyone who has been in the band to appear on stage so it should be worth every penny of the £8.50 entrance fee."

Presumably that will include an appearance by singer Billy Bell/Leeson, who was, of course, relatively recently fighting for his life after being attacked back in June. The band, as previously reported, announced they were planning to split following that incident, but say that the decision had been reached before the attack on Leeson.

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FRATELLIS TOUR
Oh, it's a good day for me finding out about tour dates. Another of my favourites (and, let me tell you, they were one of my favourites a long time ago, long before all you Johnny-come-latelys leapt on the bandwagon), The Fratellis, have announced a series of tour dates to follow their appearance on the NME Rock n Roll Riot Tour during October. The band's corking debut, 'Costello Music', as you know, was released earlier this month. The dates are as follows, tickets on sale now:

28 Oct: Manchester Academy
30 Oct: Brighton Corn Exchange
4 Nov: Southampton Guildhall
5 Nov: London Astoria
6 Nov: Birmingham Academy
9 Nov: Glasgow Barrowland

I suppose if you can't make those, you might want to go to one of the NME dates, especially if you're also a fan of The Horrors, The Dykeenies or The Maccabees, as they're appearing too. Here you go:

10 Oct: Leeds Metropolitan University
11 Oct: Portsmouth Pyramids
12 Oct: Cambridge Junction
13 Oct: Cardiff University Great Hall
15 Oct: London Astoria
17 Oct: Sheffield Leadmill
18 Oct: Bournemouth University Old Fire Station
20 Oct: Nottingham Trent University
22 Oct: Oxford Brookes University
23 Oct: Norwich Waterfront
24 Oct: Liverpool Carling Academy
25 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria University

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MORE ELECTRIC PROMS ADDITIONS
Been meaning to update you on the line up for the BBC Electric Proms for a while, but the press release got completely lost in my inbox, and there are so many emails in there at the moment it takes several days to do a search. Anyway, Billy Bragg, Seth Lakeman, Will Young, Nitin Sawhney and Donovan have all been added to the ever expanding line up, as have Jonathan Harvey, Vashti Bunyan, Benjamin Zephaniah, Fink, Tina Grace, Tigerstyle, Catch 22, Deadly Hunta, Instrumental, Rodney P, Eva Abraham and The Landscapers.

As previously reported, the BBC Electric Proms will take place in various North London venues (and in particular the Camden Roundhouse) from 25-29 Oct. Kasabian, Fatboy Slim, James Brown, The Who and Damon Albarn's new band The Good The Bad And The Queen are among the previously announced headliners. Info and stuff is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/electricproms/

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TOURDATES SHOWCASE TONIGHT
Newish music website Tourdates.co.uk is hosting a special showcase event at London's Borderline tonight featuring three of the 1000s of unsigned bands that are now signed up to the service. The three bands playing are Mad Staring Eyes, Mann Friday and The Afterglow, and an A&R style team will be in attendance to give all three feedback after the event.

Unsigned bands who might be interested in playing next month's event are invited to bring along a demo to give to the event's organisers, while any industry or media people interested in checking out the bands playing can get in for free providing they bring a business card with them.

Tourdates.co.uk's Dean G Hill told CMU: "We are trying to give something back to the hardworking unsigned acts who find it impossible to get A&R reps to their own gigs. As well as the showcase event, anyone who registers on the site and uploads their music will also get heard by our A&R panel - it is all about letting real talent progress".

The showcase takes place tonight at The Borderline from 7pm.

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ACTS PERFORM COHEN CLASSICS IN DUBLIN
When we said that Jarvis Cocker was playing two dates at the Dublin Point Theatre next month we weren't lying, though they're not actually his gigs, and he won't be showcasing tracks from his new album. Rather, he's taking part in a night celebrating the music of Leonard Cohen meaning, obviously, he'll be singing Leonard Cohen songs.

Doing likewise will be Anjani, Antony, Laurie Anderson, Perla Batalla, Steven Bernstein, Rob Burger, Charlie Burnham, Nick Cave, Julie Christensen, David Coulter, Don Falzone, Gavin Friday, The Handsome Family, Robin Holcomb, Briggan Krauss, Maxim Moston, Mary Margaret
O'Hara, Beth Orton, Lou Reed, Chris Spedding, Kate St. John Teddy Thompson and Kenny Wollesen.

Put together by music producer Hal Willner (who staged a similar event in New York back in 2003), the show, called 'Came So Far For Beauty: An Evening of Leonard Cohen Songs', takes place as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival on 4 and 5 Oct and should be really rather good. More info and ticketing type things at http://www.dublintheatrefestival.com

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DIRTY PRETTY THINGS ADD SECOND NIGHT AT BRIXTON
Dirty Pretty Things have announced that they will play a second night at Brixton Academy, on 4 Dec, after their first show there on 3 Dec sold out. The band's full set of tour dates are as follows.

25 Nov: Liverpool University
26 Nov: Birmingham Academy
27 Nov: Nottingham Rock City
28 Nov: Leeds Uni Refectory
29 Nov: Manchester Apollo
1 Dec: Cambridge Corn Exchange
3 Dec: London Brixton Academy
4 Dec: London Brixton Academy
7 Dec: Newcastle Academy
8 Dec: Glasgow Academy
9 Dec: Sheffield Octagon
11 Dec: Bristol Academy
12 Dec: Lincoln Engine Shed
13 Dec: Norwich UEA
15 Dec: Folkestone Lees Cliff Hall
16 Dec: Oxford Brooks

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VERY IMPORTANT BIG STRIDES NEWS
Before we even start this item, it's completely necessary for me to explain to you that I am stupid and incompetent, not to mention afflicted by short-term memory loss (and not on account of a drug habit, I'll have you know). See, the thing is, you know how MUCH I love Big Strides. And you know how GREAT they are? They're so GREAT that I completely forgot to report on their upcoming tour dates when they were still upcoming, and forgot to mention their forthcoming album when it was still forthcoming.

So, sadly for you, you may have missed Big Strides' gigs in Leeds, at London's Barfly, in Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Bath, Brighton, and Glasgow. Here are the ones you haven't missed

28 Sep: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
29 Sep: Liverpool Zanzibar
30 Sep: Wolverhampton Civic Theatre
10 Oct: London Blow Up Metro
21 Oct: Cardiff Toucan Club
28 Oct: Northampton The Picturedome

Their really very good new album 'Cry It All Out' - which I forgot to run a review of, because I'm shit - is out now on Tall Order Records. I will run a review of it shortly. But why wait to hear me go on and on about what a great band Big Strides are, when you could go direct to the source and procure yourself a copy and listen to it? It's the best thing I've ever heard. In my life. Ever. Well, one of them.

Get press info about all this from Ruchie at Rood Media, roo@roodmedia.com.

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SUP STAGE LONDON LAUNCH PARTY
US indie magazine Sup is being officially distributed in London for the first time, and they're celebrating with a party at the Old Queens Head in Islington tomorrow night, 28 Sep, from 8pm onwards. On the bill will be Friendly Fires, The Dolly Daggers, Late Of The Pier, Findlay Brown and Radioclit. Admission is just £2. Info on the night at http://www.theoldqueenshead.com, info on the mag at http://www.supmag.com.

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EU PUTS IP PRESSURE ON ROMANIA AND BULGARIA
Among the conditions placed on Romania and Bulgaria regarding their pending full membership of the European Union are a number of goals relating to IP piracy and protection. The two Eastern European countries have been told they will achieve full membership status of the EU on the 1 Jan next year, but they have been warned they will face unprecedented sanctions if they fail to deliver in a number of areas of concern, including intellectual property.

European Commissioners are concerned about the number of CD and DVD manufacturing plants in the two countries who make pirated products, and also that the two country's Eastern borders will constitute the new borders of the EU, meaning their customs officials will be responsible for stopping the trafficking of pirated goods in and out of the Union, something said customs authorities are yet to prove they are capable of.

Overcoming those piracy related problems appears on a list of issues that the two countries must continue to tackle as members of the EU - other issues including organised crime, money laundering, and corruption in the political and judicial system.

The two countries have been warned that if they fail to reach these goals other EU member states would be at liberty to suspend their obligations to them, and that some of the EU funds that the two countries are desperate to receive could be held back.

Bulgaria is probably the greater concern regarding music piracy. The IFPI's most recent piracy report said that: "internet piracy in Bulgaria is rising sharply and physical piracy remains a serious problem with pirate CDs easily available in all the country's major cities. This widespread copyright crime is severely hampering the growth of the legitimate music industry in Bulgaria."

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TOWER FOUNDER NOT BIDDING
In a change to the advertised programme, Tower Records founder Russ Solomon is not, seemingly, buying back the US retail company. Solomon was expected to bid to retake control of the retailer - which is being sold off in its latest bid to avoid bankruptcy. But Californian newspaper the Sacramento Bee reckons Solomon has not made a bid - and the deadline was yesterday. Various investment firms are said to be interested in acquiring Tower - some to keep it going as a music retail chain, others to break up its assets for profit.

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RICALL ADD NEW SEARCH FUNCTIONS
Ricall, the music research and licensing service used primarily by broadcasters seeking music for their programming or promotional activity, has announced it has incorporated a new search engine into its system, utilising software developed by a company called Soundflavour (formerly Siren Systems).

I don't quite follow how this all works myself, but Ricall says that the Soundflavour search facility "provides unparalleled music search and recommendation facilities to music professionals and consumers, utilising the world's most advanced music search and recommendation technology to navigate vast song collections", so now you know.

Confirming the integration of Soundflavour into the Ricall system, the company's MD, Richard Corbett, told CMU: "Our service is dependent on two things, the size of our catalogue and the capabilities of our search technology. With the success of this test, our clients can now receive the best of both aspects. The new search facility will make an immediate and tangible difference to anyone using Ricall to search for and license music."

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NOKIA LAUNCH MUSIC PHONES
Nokia launched a number of new phones yesterday, some of which will be specifically sold for their music playing capabilities. Among the new products were the more high end N95 and N75 handsets, the former being more sold for its rather swish in-built camera, but both also acting as music players. Also launched was the 5300 XpressMusic handset - a more mainstream model which, the phone firm says, can hold up to 1500 tracks. Insiders say the new phones are part of Nokia's attempts to win a hold on the mobile music space - an arena where the Finnish company made a good start but where, some say, they have since been surpassed by their rivals. The new phones should launch in the coming months, certainly in the US, and most probably over here too.

Nokia is also launching a new website called Music Recommenders which will see a panel of 40 music experts, including David Bowie, erm, recommending music.

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CINGULAR MIGHT HAVE IPOD PHONE EXCLUSIVE
More mobile music news, and the ThinkSecret website (the one that is always suspiciously accurate with its Apple related predictions) says that US based Cingular Wireless will be the first mobile network to sell Apple's in-development iPod phone - and that the network would have exclusivity on the new handset for six months. Such a deal would mirror exclusivity arrangements Cingular previously had with Motorola regarding their iTunes compatible phones.

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RADIOCENTRE TO LOBBY FOR LESS REGULATION
Look, will you please all stop over regulating the UK commercial radio sector? Oh, you're not.

Ah well, the boss of the recently created trade body type organisation for commercial radio - RadioCentre - says that over regulation is preventing the industry from achieving growth. His comments follow the announcement last week by commercial radio firm UKRD that they were handing back one of their licences in protest at what they say are the excessive OfCom rules governing smaller commercial stations.

RadioCentre's Andrew Harrison has told the FT that he will be lobbying OfCom in a bid to get rules governing station format, programming and sponsorship relaxed. He said: "There is no doubt that if you look at the number of regulators working in radio and the sector's size that - compared with TV - radio has a high regulatory burden. What we need is for Ofcom to set a liberal environment so licence holders can thrive and make money. That is in the listeners' interests. The broad thrust we want is for less regulation, less format restriction and more opportunity to secure long-term revenues."

Harrison is right, in many ways, of course - though let's not forget that many commercial radio stations' real weaknesses come from the inflexibility of their own self-inflicted programming formats, and not the programming restrictions put upon them by the regulators. Stations frequently don't take the kind of risks that could enable radical growth not because they're not allowed to, but because they don't want to.

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BBC 1 TO LAUNCH NEW IDENTS
BBC One will launch new programming idents on 7 Oct, which is very exciting, especially for fans of hippos. Apparently a revolving circle will be a theme throughout the new clips, obviously a reference back to the Beeb's old logo - the mighty BBC globe - though the circles also conveniently form the 'O' of 'One' - it's all so clever.

Of course the best thing about TV networks launching new idents is that it seems to make everyone involved talk utter shite.

Tim Davie, BBC Director, Marketing, Communications And Audiences: "The strength of the idea is its simplicity. It creates an identity for BBC One that is absolutely true to its heritage but it's wonderfully modern."

Charlie Mawer, Executive Creative Director of Red Bee Media who made the new idents: "We wanted to design idents that were simple enough to act as a strong branding device but rich and complex enough to reward repeat viewing. We deliberately collaborated with a varied group of directors and post production companies to bring this vision to the screen. "

And BBC One Controller Peter Fincham: "The circle, which is at the heart of this campaign, has been familiar to BBC One viewers over the years, but what we've got here is modern, forward looking and surprising."

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THE SOURCE FOUNDERS LAUNCH NEW MAG
Dave Mays and Ray 'Benzino' Scott, ousted from their US hip hop magazine The Source earlier this year, of course, have launched a new publication. Having failed to regain some control of their own publication through the courts, Mays and Benzino have announced that they are about to launch a new title called Hip Hop Weekly, which will be edited by former VIBE magazine Editor-in-Chief Mimi Valdes, who was also ousted from her previous post. Which is great news for everyone who loved Benzino's frequent anti-Eminem rants.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Aliens - The Happy Song (EMI)
'The Happy Song' seems an odd title and The Aliens don't really clear up its ambiguity in this track. Though, after the introduction hits you with its excited "1, 2, 3, 4", you do get a chorus of "Happy", which is the word that makes up almost half of the song's lyrics. The strummed guitars and choral singing draws images of The Beatles bobbing around, and Gordon Anderson's solo vocal isn't very far off Paul McCartney, but that modern twang and slightly angry tinge steers them away from being sound-a-likes. The Aliens don't sound particularly happy, but the combination of typical band instruments and effects during the instrumental break is quite smiley. Maybe they should have called it 'The Sarcastic but Smiley Song'. AW
Release Date: 18 Sep
Press Contact: Darling Department [RP, NP] EMI IH [CP, CR, RR, NR]

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DOHERTY NEWS
Doherty and Moss update, everybody. You really want it. We know you do. Well, Moss joined Doherty on stage a couple of times during a Babyshambles gig in Dublin on Monday night to warble along to some of the tunes. Apparently the couple - Doherty, as you've probably seen in the papers, sporting a black eye, ever the fashion leader - seemed very much together; meeting fans together, singing together, sharing between-song cigarettes together. Of course the latter could see them sharing a court hearing together - given that Dublin is a strictly no smoking city. Local press reports indicate that Dublin police weren't impressed by the blatant breaking of the no smoking rules, and are apparently considering pressing charges - though they really should count their blessings it was only cigarettes they were smoking.

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U2 FANS PISSED OFF AT EBAY BOOK SALE
Thousands (apparently, I haven't counted personally) of U2 fans are threatening to boycott eBay after books signed by the band appeared on the auction site. Just 250 fans were allowed into an exclusive event at a London branch of Waterstones where the band signed copies of their book, 'U2 On U2'. Fans who didn't get in are now angry that some of those who did are choosing to profit via eBay by selling their signed copies rather than treasuring their scribbled-in tomes.

News agency Bang Showbiz quote one disgruntled fan as saying: "Any true fan would give their right arm to go to an event like this. For a real fan to lose out on the chance so someone can make a profit is outrageous and selfish. If Bono and the others knew about this they'd be sickened. I'll never buy anything off eBay again."

Perhaps those selling the books should call it a 'red' auction and donate 1% of the profits to charity.

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