CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 31st October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Q Award winners
- Wolfmother dominate at ARIAs
- MySpace pledge to monitor and block unlicensed content
- YouTube removing copyright content
- Think Tank pro-fair use, anti-copyright extension
- Kylie speaks about cancer
- Single review: The Mighty Dub Katz - Guaguanco
- You Say Party refused US entry
- My Chemical Romance spring tour dates
- My Luminaries single, tour
- Fatboy Slim plans New Year's Day beach party
- !K7 celebrate 21st three times over
- Matchbox man launches label
- EMI expands its Dean Martin remit
- Universal drop price on 1500 digital albums
- Bandier confirms EMI Publishing resignation
- Hanson release label wranglings documentary
- Tiscali sponsor energy saving Scissor Sisters webcast
- Single review: The Good, The Bad And The Queen - Herculean
- Townshend on Stern walk out
- Bill Oddie's daughter wins music contest
- Sugababe on solo hopes
- Tweedy calls for truce with Church

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TOP BIT>>
Universal Music have announced they are dropping the price on 1500 back catalogue digital albums which, assuming those pesky download platforms don't pocket the difference, will mean music fans will be able to buy those albums online for about £2.50 less than before (about £5.50 I think).

The move is probably in part a bid to persuade those just discovering the world of digital music to pay to download their favourite older albums, rather than just ripping them off the CD. You'll remember that a recent report showed that that's how most people fill their iPods, which doesn't help record labels keen to sell people the same albums all over again (like when cassette and CD technology first came along). Of course technically it is illegal to rip CDs in that way, but the labels know using copyright law in this domain is just unworkable (it's so unworkable that the Institute For Public Policy Research have just called for the law to be changed), so pricing full albums at a level where lazier or less tech savvy record buyers will pay rather than go to the hassle of ripping CDs is probably the best policy.

The other possible reason for the price cut is to persuade people to buy full albums rather than individual tracks (the price for individual downloads will be unaffected). This is another interesting area. Many artists are known to be a little concerned at the growing trend for fans who buy music via download services to pick and choose tracks off their new albums, rather than buying and experiencing the album as a whole. There are various creative reasons why this is frustrating - the album was possibly created to be experienced in its entirety, while certain album tracks are possibly classics that are just not suitable for single release, but which in the digital age will get less exposure. One way to encourage consumers to download and experience whole albums is to price it in such a way that it is as cheap to download a whole album as it is to download some select tracks.

Though it is debatable whether the labels will ultimately care if punters opt to buy track by track rather than album by album because, to a certain extent, it's swings and roundabouts regarding the commercial benefits of selling primarily albums or primarily single tracks in the digital arena. Both labels and artists currently structure their lives around album releases, but it will interesting to see if either community is willing to drop the album model as its logistical benefits become less relevant as digital becomes the norm.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

AIM MUSIC CONNECTED - THIS WEDNESDAY!
The Association Of Independent Music this week stages the UK's biggest one day digital music event, AIM Music Connected, bringing together some 500 attendees from over 100 digital companies and 200 labels. A development of AIM's existing Digital & Distribution Day, this year's expanded event will take place at the Novotel in Hammersmith, and will give independent labels the know-how and contacts they need to best manage and grow their digital businesses. Over 350 people have already confirmed they will intend including, on the digital side, Napster, Virgin Digital, eMusic, HMV Digital, Vital:PIAS Digital, Pinnacle, OD2, Last.fm, 7 Digital, and The Orchard and, on the labels side, AIM members Rough Trade, Beggars Group, Sanctuary, Ninja Tune, Cooking Vinyl, ZTT, Hospital Records, and Cherry Red. There will be a deal zone, pitching zone, masterclass filled learning zone and networking zone. This is going to be really big, and if you are involved in the digital or independent sectors, you really should be there. It takes place on 1 Nov from 10am to 6pm - admission is free for AIM members and £60 for others.

Full info>> http://www.musicindie.com/eventbookingform.asp

BREAKING GROUND
Another storming night for your diaries - the second edition of breaks fest Breaking Ground. All the big names are going to be on the bill - Planet Pendulum (Live), Stanton Warriors, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, Splitloop (Live), Precision Cuts, Janette Slack, Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory, Cltr-Z, Freshold, Si Begg, General Midi, Soto, Merka, Symmetrik, Dirtpop, Mr Sushi and Fyoog. Phew. It will all take place at London's seOne Club on Saturday 2 Dec, from 9.30pm to 6am. Tickets are £18.50 in advance - from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk - press info from Leyline.

Full info>> http://www.leylinepromotions.com/breakingground

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: WINTERKIDS
I was absolutely sure that I had already nominated Winterkids for MySpace of The Day. But according to my own records, and the CMU Beats Bar website, I haven't. So now is the time to rectify that. It's a good time to rectify it, actually, because they've got lots of tour dates upcoming and their second single out soon. That's not really the reason that they are MySpace Of The Day today. It's mainly because I suddenly noticed they were from Peaslake in Surrey, according to their MS page at least, and that made me think of the band wallowing around in a lake of peas, vainly trying to play their instruments. I know. I really am that childish. But I don't care that I am childish, because it made me laugh, and, like most people, I enjoy laughing. Anyway, it also reminded me that I'm rather fond of that aforementioned upcoming single, 'Tape It', which you can hear on the MySpace, as well as two other tracks. Get along then, people.

http://www.myspace.com/winterkids

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Q AWARD WINNERS
It was the good old Q Awards in London yesterday. These people won prizes. And well done them.

Best New Act: Corinne Bailey Rae
Best Track: Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Best Video: The Killers - When You Were Young
Q Inspiration Award: A-ha
Q Outstanding Contribution to Music: Smokey Robinson
Q Groundbreaker Award: Primal Scream
Q Icon Award: Jeff Lynne
Q Idol Award: Take That
Q Outstanding Performance: Faithless
Q Innovation in Sound: U2's The Edge
Q Classic Songwriter: Noel Gallagher
Q Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Gabriel -
Q Merit Award: Manic Street Preachers
Q Classic Song - Karma Chameleon
Best Live Act - Muse
Best Album - Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not
The People's Choice Award: Arctic Monkeys
Best Act In The World Today: Oasis
Q Legend award: The Who
Q Award of Awards: U2

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WOLFMOTHER DOMINATE AT ARIAS
Australian rockers Wolfmother stole the show at the Australian Recording Industry Association Awards in Sydney on Sunday night, winning three awards, for Best Group, Best Breakthrough Album and Best Rock Album, while wowing the awards show's audience with a live performance of 'Joker And The Thief'. Commenting on his band's wins, Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale said: "It's kind of blown out the roof. It feels really good. We've done a lot of shows and it's nice to know that it's connecting to people on a bigger scale."

Other multiple winners on the night included Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning who took two prizes for his recent solo project 'Tea + Sympathy' - he won Album Of The Year and Best Male Artist. Eskimo Joe, up against Wolfmother in several categories, still managed to take two prizes, Single Of The Year for 'Black Fingernails, Red Wine' and Best Music DVD. The surprise win of the evening went to Melbourne based Clare Bowditch, who beat favourite Kasey Chambers to the Best Female Artist gong. Meanwhile, Aussie rockers Midnight Oil were inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame, with U2's Bono delivering a recorded message honouring the band, and Silverchair performing a musical tribute.

For fans of full lists of winners, here's the full list of winners.

2006 Aria Hall Of Fame Recipient: Midnight Oil
Album Of The Year: Bernard Fanning: Tea + Sympathy
Best Group: Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Best Male Artist: Bernard Fanning - Tea + Sympathy
Best Female Artist: Clare Bowditch - What Was Left
Single Of The Year: Eskimo Joe - Black Fingernails - Red Wine
Best Pop Release: The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of...
Best Independent Release: Hilltop Hoods - The Hard Road
Best Urban Release: Hilltop Hoods - The Hard Road
Best Comedy Release: Lano And Woodley - Sing Songs
Best Country Album: Troy Cassar-Daley - Brighter Day
Best Children's Album: The Wiggles - Racing To The Rainbow
Best Music Dvd: Eskimo Joe - Eskimo Joe - The Dvd
Breakthrough Artist: Single: Youth Group - Forever Young
Breakthrough Artist: Album: Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Best Blues And Roots Album: The Audreys - Between Last Night And Us
Best Dance Release: TV Rock Featuring Seany B - Flaunt It
Highest Selling Single: TV Rock Featuring Seany B - Flaunt It
Highest Selling Album: Human Nature - Reach Out: The Motown Album
Best Adult Contemporary Artist: Bob Evans - Suburban Songbook
Best Rock Album: Wolfmother - Wolfmother.

I say Wolfmother stole the show, actually a lot of the media coverage from the awards centred not on a winner, but on one of the people presenting an award. Aussie TV presenter Axle Whitehead, presenting the awards for highest selling single and album, somehow, possibly deliberately, managed to expose himself on stage, and on the large screens at the awards event. The awards show doesn't air live on Australian TV, so viewers at home were spared the sight of Whitehead's genitals, but he still seems to be in a bit of trouble over the whole thing.

A spokesman for the Ten Network TV station, which broadcasts the awards, as well as the music TV show Whitehead presents, told reporters: "In an incident that was not telecast, last night Axle momentarily exposed himself to the ARIAs. His behaviour was inappropriate and Ten and ARIA producers, Roving Enterprises, do not condone it. We are addressing this issue with Axle and will make no further comments at this stage".

Meanwhile Radio DJ Jabba, who was presenting the awards with Whitehead, provided this eye witness account: "My understanding is that he wasn't wearing any undies, his fly was open and some of his lunch meat fell out of the sandwich".

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MYSPACE PLEDGE TO MONITOR AND BLOCK UNLICENSED CONTENT
MySpace.com has announced a deal with music software company Gracenote (you know, the people behind the software that tells your iTunes what album you're listening to) which will enable the social networking site to better monitor the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted content via its platform.

The move comes as concerns grow among the content industries about the amount of copyright material being illegally distributed by users of websites like MySpace and YouTube. As a result of the new deal MySpace will use Gracenote software to review music recordings uploaded by community members. Those recordings will then be cross referenced with a database of copyright material, which will indicate whether MySpace has been licenced to use the recording. Unlicensed content will be blocked, and users who repeatedly try to upload it will be banned.

Quite what licensing arrangements MySpace has, or hopes to get, with the record companies to back up this new system is currently unclear and therefore it is also not clear how much content currently distributed by the website will be blocked once the Gracenote system is in place.

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YOUTUBE REMOVING COPYRIGHT CONTENT
Viacom are the latest media company to ask YouTube to remove copyrighted content off its system, or at least that's what online reports suggest. Word has it the video sharing platform has been through and removed all segments from shows made by Viacom owned Comedy Central, including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park. However, neither Viacom or YouTube have officially commented, and many other shows owned by the media conglom are still up there on the video sharing site, so who knows? Given that half the music videos on the system are clearly nabbed off Viacom owned MTV or VH1, it will be interesting to see what would happen if the media company ordered them to be removed, even though the owners of many of the videos themselves have granted permission for them to be featured.

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THINK TANK PRO-FAIR USE, ANTI-COPYRIGHT EXTENSION
The Institute For Public Policy Research (everyone's favourite centre-left think tank) has called for changes to UK copyright laws to allow for an equivalent of what US laws call the 'fair use' system, which permits individual record buyers to make digital copies of CDs for their own personal use. The think tank has expressed the viewpoint as part of a report issued in advance on the government's own review on all things copyright, the previously reported Gower Review.

As previously reported, every time you rip a CD to your PC in the UK you are, technically speaking, breaking the law, even if you don't make copies of those tracks available to anyone else. It's a stupid law, of course, because millions of people rip tracks in that way, and the record companies have said that they would never take action against anyone who does so, even though technically speaking they could (though quite how the courts would rule on such a case I don't know).

With all that in mind, IPPR Deputy Director Dr Ian Kearns has called for the law to formally catch up with reality: "British copyright law is out of date with consumer practices and technological progress. Giving people a legal 'private right to copy' would allow them to copy their own CDs and DVDs onto their home computers, laptops or phones without breaking the law".

It's a pretty uncontroversial viewpoint really - unless, of course, you advocate a levy system like that which operates elsewhere in Europe, where a levy is charged on blank tapes and CDRs, and on MP3 players, to compensate content owners for the private copying of their work. Given that the electronics industry are busy lobbying the EU in a bid to have that levy removed in those European countries where it operates, the whole 'fair use' thing can be contentious at times.

Also contentious is the length of the recorded copyright in Europe which, as previously reported, the record industry wants to see expanded to, well, considerably more than the current 50 years. The Institute has taken a slightly more controversial viewpoint in this domain, calling on the government to reject calls for an extension in recorded copyrights. I suspect the combined power of recorded copyright owners will, in the end, have more sway than the think tank, though it is interesting to see someone other than the usual consumer rights groups opposing the record labels' line on this one.

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KYLIE SPEAKS ABOUT CANCER
Kylie Minogue has told Australian Vogue magazine how her cancer diagnosis back in May 2005 completely changed her life. The singer, who has guest-edited the December issue of the publication, said: "My whole world changed. I have learned and experienced so much about myself and others. It is great to be able to make those first steps back into the life I knew before - the one I now know better."

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Mighty Dub Katz - Guaguanco (Southern Fried Records)
Rather than sullying his good name, superstar DJ Norman Cook employs pseudonyms other than Fatbly Slim when he wishes to embark on musical voyages into uncharted waters. The Mighty Dub Katz is one such pseudonym. In 'Guaguanco', Cook abandons the edgy, complex and dance-orientated sound that he is best known for in mainstream circles, and chooses instead to delve into a melange of Afro-Cuban rhythms and song snippets that he recorded recently while working in Cuba. The result is a piece of music whose basis is organic, un-electrified vocal and drum music, but which, in its clever and quirky production, bears the stamp of Cook's touch. As such, it feints to make a bid for a step-aerobics class before breaking down - indeed, dissolving - into a tangle of interlacing voices and drums wherein the rhythm is rediscovered and nurtured back to its thumping self. An interesting, if slightly patchy effort. BH
Release Date: 31 Oct
Press Contact: Darling [all]

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YOU SAY PARTY REFUSED US ENTRY
You Say Party! We Say Die! have been forced to cancel their upcoming US tour dates because they have been refused entry intoto the country. According to a statement, the Canadian band explained that they had attempted to cross the border at Peach Arch, despite the fact that unforeseen delays had led to the late filing of the relevant paperwork. I still don't fully understand what the problem was but it seems to be down to that old chestnut - 'miscommunication' - this time between the American Federation of Musicians and US Customs and Immigration Service, or something.

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MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE SPRING TOUR DATES
My Chemical Romance have confirmed a series of arena tour dates for next Spring. The band are, of course, also playing a handful of dates in November, so I'll stick them in here too.

Here are the upcoming dates:

11 Nov: Bournemouth International Centre
12 Nov: London Brixton Academy
13 Nov: Liverpool University
14 Nov: Glasgow Barrowland
15 Nov: Nottingham Rock City

And here are the new dates:

10 Mar: Plymouth Pavilions
21 Mar: Brighton Centre
22 Mar: Birmingham NIA
24 Mar: Manchester MEN Arena
25 Mar: Cardiff Arena
26 Mar: Nottingham Arena
27 Mar: Glasgow SECC
29 Mar: London Wembley Arena

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MY LUMINARIES SINGLE, TOUR
My Luminaries release their debut single, 'Jumping The Great White', on 27 Nov via Gronland on 7" only. As you may remember from, er, yesterday, these guys have already been given a highly prestigious MySpace Of The Day nomination in the much revered CMU Daily, so you know it's going to be good. Anyway, they're on tour with Radio 4 as of this week, and start a headline tour later in the month (of November, obviously) to coincide with the single release. Here are all the dates.

With Radio 4:
2 Nov: Manchester Roadhouse
3 Nov: Sheffield Leadmill
4 Nov: Northampton Roadmenders
6 Nov: Newcastle The Other Rooms
7 Nov: London Dingwalls
8 Nov: Birmingham Barfly
9 Nov: Bristol Academy
10 Nov: Glasgow ABC2

Headline tour:
18 Nov: Manchester Dry Bar
20 Nov: Glasgow Barfly
21 Nov: Aberdeen Moshulu (club NME)
23 Nov: Cambridge Anglia Ruskin
26 Nov: Liverpool Barfly/The Loft
27 Nov: Cardiff Barfly
28 Nov: London 100 Club
29 Nov: Wigan Club Nirvana
30 Nov: Newcastle Digital

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FATBOY SLIM PLANS NEW YEAR'S DAY BEACH PARTY
According to reports, Fatboy Slim is planning to hold a huge beach party on New Year's Day in Brighton. Mr Norman Cook, who is, of course, based in nearby Hove, was previously barred from holding another event after a similar party back in Jul 2002 attracted 250,000 people instead of an expected 60,000. During the proceedings, a woman fell to her death from railings, Brighton's public transport was overwhelmed and emergency services were stalled as they attempted to make their way through the crowded streets. There was additional anger over the fact that the local council spent days clearing up rubbish in the aftermath of the event.

Now, though, apparently, Fatboy's allowed back on the beach, but he's only allowed to bring 20,000 people with him for the event, entitled Big Beach Boutique 3. It will be ticketed, and open only to locals with a BN postal code.

The DJ told the Brighton Argus: "I can't believe it is finally happening but it is. I can promise the people of Brighton this is going to be one hell of a show. Every time I have been shopping in Brighton for the past four years at least, one person has come up to me and asked when I'll be doing it again. Every time I have had to say I can't because I've been banned. It's such a relief not to have to say that any more."

Brighton and Hove councillor Simon Burgess says: "We have really tried our damnedest to make this happen. It's the type of fun event that people want to associate Brighton and Hove with. There was a lot of concern about what happened last time, but that being said, it went incredibly well. The council and the police have come to this fairly cautiously without losing sight of the fact that we want it to be fun."

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!K7 CELEBRATE 21ST THREE TIMES OVER
I've been meaning to mention independent music company !K7's twenty-first anniversary for ages, but keep forgetting. Well, Berlin based !K7 is 21 years old this year, consider yourself told. While we're at it, get these birthday style nights in your diaries - there are three in total, one based around each of the group's three record labels, !K7, Rapster and Ever Records. Details as follows:

14 Nov: Rapster Records: 'Kings Of' photo exhibition launch at Phonica, London
Mr Thing (Kings of Hip Hop), Norman Jay (Kings of Soul) tbc and Peter Adarkwah (BBE)

15 Nov: Ever Records Night at Luminaire, Kilburn, hosted by Xfm's Nick Luscombe
Cortney Tidwell, Cyann & Ben

16 Nov: !K7 Records Night a Koko, Camden
Matthew Herbert, Henrik Schwarz live, Nick Luscombe DJ set
After-party hosted by Clash Magazine.

More info at http://ecards.k7-de.com/21stBirthday/, press info from Motion.

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MATCHBOX MAN LAUNCHES LABEL
Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty is launching a record label in partnership with an unnamed business partner, who Thomas calls "one of my best friends and publishers". The label, to be called R Tel Records, has already signed up three acts, including US singer Hodges Taylor.

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EMI EXPANDS ITS DEAN MARTIN REMIT
EMI announced another non-recording-centric arrangement with one of its artists yesterday, another sign of a major record company tapping into new revenue streams other than recording sales. The arrangement is with the estate of Dean Martin, the famed crooner whose recording catalogue is already distributed by EMI. Under the new deal, EMI will licence Martin's 'name, image and likeness', presumably with the intent of generating new revenues streams with them (Dean Martin pencil cases, that kind of thing).

Likening the new deal to existing relationships with Robbie Williams and Korn, which extend beyond traditional recording contracts, EMI said the new deal was another in its "growing portfolio of groundbreaking relationships".

EMI Music boss David Munns told reporters: "We're delighted to deepen our relationship with Dean Martin. It's part of EMI's objective to offer a more full-service approach. As the label, we are an integral part of creating artists brands, so it's a natural progression to extend our involvement beyond the traditional recording deal. Ultimately, it helps to ensure all our interests are aligned."

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UNIVERSAL DROP PRICE ON 1500 DIGITAL ALBUMS
Universal Music has said it is cutting the price of digital versions of 1500 back catalogue albums. The major will make the selected albums available to European download platforms at a lower price, and it hopes that those platforms will pass on the savings directly to consumers, who could pay in the region of £2.50 less to download albums included in the price cut.

The move is being seen as a way to encourage the growing number of digital music buyers to [a] buy digital versions of back catalogue and [b] buy whole albums rather than individual tracks. The move follows noticeable trends in the digital music space - ie that many MP3 player owners are ripping tracks off their CD collections rather than re-purchasing them via download platforms, and that in the download age people are more likely to pick and choose a couple of tracks rather than buy a whole album. Universal are presumably hoping that the price cut will make it more cost effective to buy a whole album rather than a few tracks, and cheap enough that people will pay to download old albums, rather than go to the (actually, not all that great) hassle of ripping the tracks off CD.

The move will not affect the price of single track purchases which, of course, remain a bit contentious - given that Apple continue to resist attempts by the record labels to introduce more flexibility in single track pricing (where the one price fits all model prevails).

Commenting on the price cut move, Universal Music International's marketing chief Max Hole told CMU: "As the leading online record company, we are totally committed to expanding and developing the digital music market. The promise of the internet has always been about making it easier for people to access music in new ways and at affordable prices, and that's what we are aiming to achieve."

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BANDIER CONFIRMS EMI PUBLISHING RESIGNATION
As expected, EMI Music Publishing co-CEO Marty Bandier has announced he is leaving the major publishing house. According to Billboard, he confirmed his departure to a meeting of 40 of EMI Publishing execs from around the world in New York yesterday morning, apparently telling them that the time had come to "pursue other opportunities with the usual and unusual suspects".

As previously reported, Bandier was originally expected to stay in his current role for another eighteen months, before stepping back into a consultants' role for a further three years. However, rumours began circulating last month that he'd be out of the company within six months, and yesterday's announcement seems to confirm that is so.

Although the specifics of Bandier's contract with EMI regarding notice periods and gardening leave are not known, Billboard reckons that now his resignation is formal Bandier will be able to start to properly pursuing future projects. As previously reported, gossipers have been gossiping for a while about the possibility of Bandier going into business with the Warner Music Group in relation to their Warner/Chappell publishing enterprise.

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HANSON RELEASE LABEL WRANGLINGS DOCUMENTARY
Hanson hope to expose the less lovely side of the music industry by releasing on DVD their recent documentary 'Strong Enough To Break', which follows the trio during their tedious falling out with Universal's Island/Def Jam, and their final decision to release their third album themselves (a release which was subsequently one of the highest charting independent releases in US chart history). Viewers see the major label reject over 80 songs as the band try to provide them with an album they are willing to release. The film has been shown at a number of screenings around the US for over a year now, but the DVD release should get it to a much wider audience.

Speaking to Billboard, Zac Hanson says the film shows the kind of traumas a number of artists and bands have gone through when dealing with unhelpful record companies. He reckons it's an important film: "not because it's about Hanson - because who cares, we're just one more band - but because there are so many similar stories, like what happened to Fiona Apple and Wilco. It's sort of the norm".

Elsewhere in Hanson news, the band are planning on releasing a special digital track for World AIDS Day, profits from which will go to an HIV unit at a hospital in Soweto. The release follows a trip the band took to Africa to see the extent of the AIDS crisis there. Taylor Hanson explains: "Our trip to Africa was a personal awakening. Our experience there made clear that the fight against AIDS is an urgent cause that requires action whether you're in the ghettos of Soweto or suburbs of America. That is the message we want to help deliver through whatever means we can amass and encourage others to do so as well."

Press info on the track is available from Cooking Vinyl.

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TISCALI SPONSOR ENERGY SAVING SCISSOR SISTERS WEBCAST
Tiscali have announced it is sponsoring a webcast of Scissor Sisters' special Hallowe'en gig at the Brixton Academy tonight (oh, Happy Hallowe'en by the way). The webcast is being organised by Global Cool, an organisation that aims to combat global warming by encouraging individuals to participate in energy saving tasks.

Anyone can watch the webcast of the completely sold out gig for free as long as they pledge to turn off their PCs at the end of the day because, the Global Cool people say: "according to the recent PC Energy Report, one in five office workers leaves a PC on standby at least three times a week, which amounts to more than £100 million of electricity wasted yearly". If you want to watch the gig and are willing to make the 'turning off your PC' pledge, you need to register before 10pm today at http://www.global-cool.com.

The event is, of course, just the latest gig webcast by the Tiscali people. Commenting on it, the MD of Tiscali's Media Services division, Neal McCleave, told CMU: "We are pleased to be involved with this event not only because it will allow us to offer our audience a chance to see the special one off Scissor Sister's performance but also to help promote this worthy cause."

Press info from Motion Group.

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Good, The Bad and The Queen - Herculean (EMI Records)
The first offering from Damon Albarn's new project, teaming up with Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (Gorillaz) and master drummer Tony Allen, TGTB&TQ takes a whole new direction, mixing a modern Gorillaz type sound with working class style vocals that have that Blur-esque tint. Long instrumentals and a choir backing give this a dark feeling of contemplation, not really going anywhere, but leaving you to decide for yourself what is happening in this industrial journey through nothingness. A well crafted, original and sharp offering, keeping us intrigued as to where Mr Albarn and Co will take things next. KN
Release Date: 30 Oct
Press contact: EMI IH [all]

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TOWNSHEND ON STERN WALK OUT
Pete Townshend has clarified his reasons for walking off Howard Stern's satellite radio show last week, after Stern (well, his co-host Robin Quivers really) brought up the Who guitarist's 2003 arrest on child pornography charges. Townshend rejects the claim that he had left the studio in anger, but says that he did not feel comfortable with the issue and made the decision to remove himself from the discussion.

Writing in his blog, Townshend said: "I am not angry with Howard or his team and they have a perfect right to discuss my sexual past whenever they choose, I am a public person. I decided not to join what was developing into a light-hearted inquisition of sexual subjects that cause widely felt discomfort when not seriously addressed. The story of my life is as yet untold. Until I complete my memoirs I rely on my family, friends, fans and colleagues to believe in me almost unconditionally. Anyone unwilling to wait for my story must address the facts at hand and make their own decision. I was cleared of all charges brought against me. The caution I received was mandatory because I admitted using a credit card as part of a wider research exercise intended to gather evidence to present to various finance and internet companies to persuade them to try harder to prevent the use of children in the pornography industry. These are the facts."

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BILL ODDIE'S DAUGHTER WINS MUSIC CONTEST
Bill Oddie's daughter Rosie has won first prize in an international contest for female singer song writers. The 21 year old's winning track, 'Genni's Song', will be released next year as part of a compilation CD by Angelic Music, a new record label set up to promote lady-musos. Oddie Jr said: "I'm really excited." I bet she is.

Angelic Music founder Janis Haves said: "There wasn't another song entered like hers. It was totally unique."

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SUGABABE ON SOLO HOPES
Sugababe Keisha Buchanan has spoken to The People about how she, and her bandmates, would all like to have solo careers. The singer said: "We all want to do solo careers. It is something we talk about a lot. We love what the girls in Destiny's Child did by going off and doing their own thing before reuniting again. I think we will be following suit - going off and then getting together again later. I am sure things will happen naturally."

Yeah, but who'll be the very successful one, a la Beyonce? And will that lead to jealousy, tension, and ultimately, the end? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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TWEEDY CALLS FOR TRUCE WITH CHURCH
Girl Aloud Cheryl Tweedy has called for a truce with Charlotte Church, despite that fact that, as far as I can see, she's the one who started it. And continued it. Anyway, she and her bandmates were guest-editing the Mirror's 3am gossip section yesterday, and Tweedy used the opportunity to try and put the bitching behind them.

The singer says: "I want to call a truce with Char because she's just like me really. I had a long chat with Eva and Caroline about this, during our fantastic day taking over 3am. And I'm using this opportunity to say 'Come on Char, let's call it a day'. We've got a lot in common - we both speak our minds. Things just spiralled out of control. We were supposed to have accused her of pinching the Girls Aloud sound, and she slated our singing. She said when I can "fucking sing 'Ave Maria'" then I can have a go. But it's all water under the bridge. Good on her, she's got her own programme. I think it's amazing. We all watch it when we have time off."

Spooky. No, you're right, it's not. But it's Hallowe'en, for gosh's sakes, and not one scary story. What's that all about?

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