CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 1st November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- UK government backs live sector skills academy
- Welsh music industry training programme announced
- Phil Lesh diagnosed with cancer
- NME writer Tyler dies
- REM, Smith, Van Halen nominated for Hall Of Fame
- Drowned In Sound name favourite sixty six albums
- Queen to record new album
- Jacko on new material
- Ash on new album
- Hed Kandi classics album & tour
- Sonic Youth album tracklisting news
- Buzzcocks single, tour, exhibition
- The Killers announce tour dates
- TGTB&TQ announce tour
- Watson postpones UK tour
- Rolling Stones dates postponed
- Eavis denies Springsteen booking for Glastonbury 2007
- U2 to release 3D thingy
- Live Nation's House Of Blues takeover approved
- Elton's management rejigs
- More Bandier options
- Latest iPod shuffle out this week
- Napster giving away free downloads
- Snocap enter licensing deals with indie aggregators
- Recall partner with Ryko in the US
- Taxi drivers cancel MTV protest
- Flowers ends feud with the Bravery

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TOP BIT>>
OK, time for a final call for any students interested in joining the team of CMU college correspondents. As previously mentioned, this is a chance for students all over the UK to hone their skills, showcase their work and expand their contacts in the music and media world.

CMU College Correspondents are part of the CMU review team, getting access to upcoming releases from all key music genres, and sharing their opinions with thousands of music fans and key music business people via CMU's media. Correspondents also have the chance to interview their favourite artists for CMU Beats and give their opinions to the music business through a regular survey on recent signings, releases, events and innovations in the music world. These positions are voluntary, but all correspondents receive free training and coaching from CMU's team of professional journalists and editors, plus have special access to key album releases and gigs in their town.

We are currently looking to expand our correspondent teams in Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Durham, Leeds, Sheffield, York, Leicester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Brighton, Southampton, Norwich, Oxford and Cambridge. But if you're not in one of those cities you can apply anyway - we might consider branching into new college towns.

If you want to be considered for a correspondent role simply download the below application form and follow the instructions. http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/cmuappform.doc

To all the people who have already applied - we'll be in touch shortly!

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested
in a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - http://www.musicgain.com

--

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

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

AIM MUSIC CONNECTED - TODAY!
The Association Of Independent Music today 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 today 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: GOHOMEPRODUCTIONS
Anyone who knows anything (even the slightest little thing) about the world of mash-ups is aware of Mark Vidler or, at the very least, his production moniker Go Home Productions. One of the kings of the unofficial mash up mix, he's been behind so many great bootleg tracks in the last few years I couldn't begin to list them here - though his 'Robbie (Over) Jacko (Under) Pressure' track is one of my very favourite mash ups of all time. His Blondie / Doors remix 'Rapture Riders' is possibly best known, mainly because it got a totally official release on EMI's Blondie hits album last year. In fact EMI are such big fans of GHP's work (despite any major label's love hate relationship with the bootleg mix community) that they are planning on releasing a whole album of his work in the New Year, which is sure to be one of the must have albums of 2007. To get you in the mood for that, Vidler has made three great mixes available via his website this week under the banner 'MPFree EP'. You can check out and download two of them right now here on the MySpace, plus you can download a brilliant Radiohead/Marvin Gaye cut up, preview the aforementioned 'Rapture Riders' and find out a whole load more about Mr GHP. Go see, you won't be disappointed.

http://www.myspace.com/markvidlerGHP

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UK GOVERNMENT BACKS LIVE SECTOR SKILLS ACADEMY
The government has earmarked £7 million to establish the country's first ever National Skills Academy for the live sector. The Academy, run by the government sponsored body Creative & Cultural Skills, will work with key players in the live entertainments industry, including Live Nation, Academy Music Group, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, to offer a range of training to those who aspire to work in the live entertainments sector. Some of those companies supporting the initiative will be expected to also provide some funding - the total cost of the scheme is expected to exceed £10 million. CCSkills will now submit a detailed business plan to the government in order to release the pledged funds.

Confirming the government's commitment to the scheme, Tony Hall, chairman of CCSkills and CEO of London's Royal Opera House, told reporters: "The Academy's vision is to attract and train the best performance technicians in the country, ready for careers on the best stages in the world. The announcement today by the Secretary Of State For Education And Skills allows us to press on with drawing up detailed plans for this exciting project. We need to secure up to £4 million from industry sources to help support the development. Government will provide over £7 million for the capital build, with some revenue funding supporting learners. Given the pressing skills shortages now resulting from the very healthy growth of live entertainment in recent years, I'm confident the industry will see that supporting the Academy financially is directly in their interests."

EMI Group boss Eric Nicoli, who is also Chairman of the UK Music Skills Advisory Panel, added: "We all recognise the important economic and cultural contribution that live music and the performing arts make. The Academy will help to plug the skills gaps that currently exist and build a platform to ensure a bright future for these vibrant sectors."

UK Culture Minister David Lammy also welcomed the news, telling reporters: "This is terrific news for Britain's performing arts and music industries. It shows what can be done when committed employers get together to harness the skills of the next generation. The success of this project will help match the world class talent on stage with the very best technical and business skills backstage."

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WELSH MUSIC INDUSTRY TRAINING PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
Staying with CCSkills, they are one of the organisations behind a new initiative in Wales designed to help the country's music business practitioners to hone their skills and expand their businesses. The new Music Industry Training Programme, which will consist of ten stand alone sessions, is being organised by the Welsh Music Foundation, in association with CCSkills and the North East Wales Institute in Wrexham. The Music Managers Forum will also be involved in providing the training.

Organisers say the programme "will provide those attending with an opportunity to take time out to analyse and explore the reality of developing independent music businesses in today's industry, with a view to making clear-cut decisions about their business and practice to achieve practical, personal and business objectives".

The Programme will be formally launched at an event at Cardiff's City Canteen at 6pm on 8 Nov. For press info on that contact paul@plugtwo.com

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PHIL LESH DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER
Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The 66 year old musician is scheduled to have surgery in December, and says he believes he will have "a rapid and complete recovery". In a statement on his website, Lesh urged all men to be tested regularly for the disease, which can be successfully treated if detected early enough, saying "you may save your own life."

The bassist, who underwent a liver transplant eight years ago and has been under regular medical surveillance since, added: "I am feeling energetic as always and all my scheduled appearances will occur as planned".

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NME WRITER TYLER DIES
Former NME writer Tony Tyler has died at the age of 63. The journalist was features editor and deputy editor for the music weekly from 1972 - 1977. Beginning his career as a trainee reporter in Merseyside, Tyler joined trade magazine Beat Instrumental in 1969 as editor, leaving to become a publicist for EG Management before beginning his stint at NME.

NME quote Tyler's former colleague Charles Shaar Murray paying tribute thus: "A lot of the absurdist humour and the piss taking was what Tony brought to the paper. He was very energetic, he was very funny. He pioneered the smoking of a lot of dope at editorial meetings. The NME would not be what it is today if it wasn't for Tyler. He was the heart and soul of the magazine in the 70s. He was a lovely man and will be much missed."

Tyler also published two books during his career, 'The Beatles: An Illustrated Record' and 'The Tolkien Companion'.

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REM, SMITH, VAN HALEN NOMINATED FOR HALL OF FAME
REM, Patti Smith and Van Halen are amongst the artists nominated for 2007 induction into the US Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Also in the running are Iggy & The Stooges, Grandmaster Flash, The Ronettes, Chic, The Dave Clark Five and Joe Tex. As I am sure you already know, artists are voted for by 700 industry types, who will select five of the finalists for induction. The ceremony will take place on 12 Mar next year.

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DROWNED IN SOUND NAME FAVOURITE SIXTY SIX ALBUMS
Music website Drowned In Sound is celebrating its sixth birthday by naming the best 66 albums to be released in the last six years, according to the core DiS team. And the top six? Well, these...

1. Björk - Vespertine
2. At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command
3. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
4. Q and not U - No Kill, No Beep Beep
5. Isis - Oceanic
6. Elliott Smith - Figure 8

The full list is here: http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/1254995

Commenting on the list, DiS founder Sean Adams told CMU: "This entire list represents music which means the world to us and is what makes up the soundtrack of our world. Every album which has made it into this list is something to glean inspiration and experience from, which we have been obsessed with over the past six years. It's fascinating how many of these records have barely touched a wider consciousness and how many of them were released by independent labels. We're proud to have got off our High Fidelity pub stools and collated a list which doesn't tell people what every other list tells them. We hope people discover a record which changes their life from this list."

Press info from Dog Day Press or debbie@disrecords.com

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QUEEN TO RECORD NEW ALBUM
According to reports, Queen are recording a new album. Bassist John Deacon retired in the late nineties, of course, but the remaining two original members, Brian May and Roger Taylor have since joined forces with former Free singer Paul Rodgers for touring purposes, and are now set to head into the studio.

Speaking about the new material, May told Yahoo!: "We have about three weeks booked in the studio at the moment. It was going to be just exploratory to see what happened when Paul and Roger and I were in the same room with a recording machine. But we're already deep into it and we already have some very good material, so I'm pretty excited about that. It's very new, very different. There may be enough there to create an album, though it's early days yet. At the moment it's just a few tracks. We don't really have anything to prove, but we have a lot of passion still in our bodies and it seems to be finding a good place at the moment."

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JACKO ON NEW MATERIAL
Michael Jackson has been talking about the work he's been doing with Black Eyed Pea will.i.am on that previously reported new material, his first since 2001 album 'Invincible'. Speaking about his collaborator, Jackson told Access Hollywood: "I like what he is doing and thought it would be interesting to collaborate or just see how the chemistry worked. I think he's doing wonderful, innovative, positive, great music."

Jackson added that he has continued to write music since his last LP was released. "I am always writing a pot pourri of music. I want to give the world escapism through the wonder of great music and to reach the masses."

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ASH ON NEW ALBUM
Ash bassist Mark Hamilton has spoken to NME.com about the band's new album, which is set for release next year. Hamilton explained that the group have recorded 14 tracks at their Manhattan studio, and plan to record more before they whittle it all down to a final tracklisting for the new long player.

The bassist explained that the new material harks back more to their earlier stuff, adding that there are a variety of influences on the album's sound. "There's quite a mash of styles, instruments and samples on 'End of the World' which gives it a Flaming Lips or Beck feel", he said of one of the tracks set for possible inclusion.

He added that another of the tracks, 'Polaris', was written in an interesting location - "Tim [Wheeler] wrote the main hook line on a piano at U2's villa in the south of France. The original dictaphone recording is also used in the intro of the track. There's an underlining U2 vibe to the overall song".

He continued: "The tracks are still developing in the studio and all of these songs will not make the album."

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HED KANDI CLASSICS ALBUM & TOUR
Hed Kandi have announced details of their next 'Classics' compilation, which is released on 20 Nov (just in time for Christmas, obviously). The tracklisting kind of speaks for itself (sometimes, you see, a tracklisting is worth publishing)...

CD 1
Roger Sanchez - Another Chance
Hardsoul Ft Ron Carroll - Back Together (Copyright Re-Edit)
Moloko - Sing It Back (Boris Dlugosch Mix)
MAW Presents India - To Be In Love (MAW 99 Mix)
Peyton - A Higher Place (Eric Kuppers Gospel Degree Vocal Mix)
Sandy B - Make The World Go Round (Deep Dish Radio Edit)
Robin S - Show MeLove (StoneBridge Remix)
The Goodfellas - Soul Heaven (Bini & Martini Ocean Mix)
Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme (Main Mix)
StoneBridge Ft Therese - Put Em High (JJs Club Mix)
Danny Howells & Dick Trevor Ft Erire - Dusk Till Dawn (Shapeshifters Remix)
MAW - Backfired (Joey Negro Club Mix)
Milk & Sugar Ft Lizzy Pattinson - Let The Sun Shine (Terrace Club Mix)
Junior Jack - E Samba
Jason Hates Jazz - Pray For Love (DJ Chus & David Penn Vocal Mix)
Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (Soul Central Loves Detroit Remix)
Layo & Bushwacka! - Love Story Vs Finally (Bushwacka! Bootleg Version)

CD 2
Bob Sinclar & Cutee B Ft Dollarman & Big Ali & Makedah - Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)
Tom Novy Ft Michael Marshall - Your Body (Andy Van Remix)
Martin Solveig - Everybody (Original Mix)
Ministers De-La-Funk Ft Jocelyn Brown - Believe (Ministers Club Mix)
Stardust - MusicSounds Better With You
Joey Negro Ft Taka Boom - Must Be The Music (Club Mix)
Aaron Smith Ft Luvli Dancin (JJ Flores & Steve Smooth Remix)
The Lovemakers -This Feeling
Freemasons - Love On My Mind (Back to Philly Mix)
Dirty Old Ann - Turn Me On
Soulsearcher - Feelin Love (Ian Carey Main Mix)
DJ Disciple Ft Suzy - Yes (Ian Carey Remix)
Blaze Ft Barbara Tucker - Most Precious Love (Ian Carey Remix)
Joey Negro - Make A Move On Me
Freemasons Ft Amanda Wilson - Watchin
Steve Mac VsMosquito Ft Steve Smith - Lovin You More (That Big Track)

CD 3
Mason - Exceeder
Eric Prydz & Steve Angello - Woz Not Woz (Club Mix)
David Guetta Vs The Egg - Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)
Spektrum - Kinda New (Tiefschwarz Vocal Mix)
Dennis Christopher Vs Tony Cha Cha - (Do I Look Like A) Slut
Shiny Grey - Why (Rob Wilder & Wes Clarke Twisted Disco Remix)
Philippe B Vs ToddTerry - Can You Feel It? (Can You Party)
Soul Central Ft Kathy Brown - Strings of Life (Stronger On My Own) (Mark Knight & MTV Remix)
Gat Décor - Passion (Naked Mix)
Duke - So In Love With You (Full Intention Mix)
Booty Luv - Boogie 2Nite (Seamus Haji Big Love Remix)
Axwell - Feel The Vibe (Til The Morning Comes)
Eric Prydz - Call On Me (Eric Prydz Vs Retarded Funk Mix)
Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat (Axwell Mix)
Basement Jaxx - Do Your Thing (Robbie Rivera Juicy Summer Mix)
Bob Sinclar Ft Gary Nesta Pine - Love Generation (Club Mix)
Joe Smooth -Promised Land

The Hed Kandi people will mark the release of the new album with a 'Classics' tour calling in at the following venues...

25 Nov: Pacha, London
25 Nov: Wish, Cardiff
25 Nov: Nation, Liverpool
25 Nov: Brunel Rooms, Swindon
26 Nov: Bar Beyond, Newcastle
1 Dec: Digital, Newcastle
1 Dec: Bambu, Birmingham
2 Dec: Gatecrasher, Sheffield
3 Dec: Bar Beyond, Newcastle
9 Dec: Discotheque, Leeds
10 Dec: Bar Beyond, Newcastle
13 Dec: Gatecrasher, Sheffield
15 Dec: Tantrum, Portsmouth
16 Dec: Area, Watford
16 Dec: Storm, Southend
16 Dec: Media, Nottingham
17 Dec: Bar Beyond, Newcastle
23 Dec: Pacha, London
23 Dec: Brunel Rooms, Swindon
23 Dec: Emporium, Coalville

Press info from Get Involved.

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SONIC YOUTH ALBUM TRACKLISTING NEWS
Sonic Youth have released a tracklisting for their previously reported upcoming album, 'The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities', out 11 Dec. So, here it is, for your reading pleasure:

Fire Engine Dream (2003, previously unreleased 'Sonic Nurse' outtake)
Fauxhemians (2001, from the 'Noho Furniture Sessions' and the 'All Tomorrow's Parties 1.1' compilation)
Is It My Body? (1991, from the 2 x 7" Alice Cooper Tribute)
Razor Blade (1994, B-side from the 'Bull In The Heather' single)
Blink (1999, from the 'Pola X' soundtrack)
Campfire (2000, from the 'At Home With The Groovebox' compilation)
Loop Cat (2003, Japanese bonus track from 'Sonic Nurse')
Kim's Chords (2003, Japanese bonus track from 'Sonic Nurse')
Beautiful Plateau (2003, Japanese bonus track from 'Sonic Nurse')
Three Part Sectional Love Seat (2001, previously unreleased track from the 'Noho Furniture Sessions')
Queen Anne Chair (2001, previously unreleased track from 'Noho Furniture Sessions')
The Diamond Sea (1995, LP version with alternative ending, B-side from 'The Diamond Sea' single)

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BUZZCOCKS SINGLE, TOUR, EXHIBITION
Buzzcocks will release new single 'Reconciliation', the latest release off recent album 'Flat-pack Philosophy', on 4 Dec. They are also going on tour in late November/early December, accompanied by a special Buzzcocks 30 retrospective exhibition, described in the press release as "a multimedia display featuring original artwork by Malcolm Garrett, plus photos by Chris Gabrin and Kevin Cummins". Press info on it all from Cooking Vinyl IH, dates as follows...

27 Nov: Brighton, The Concert Hall
28 Nov: St Albans, Alban Arena
29 Nov: Bristol, Anson Rooms
1 Dec: Manchester, Academy
2 Dec: London, The Forum
4 Dec: Northampton, The Deco
5 Dec: Leicester, University
7 Dec: Gateshead, Sage61
8 Dec: Glasgow, Abc
9 Dec: Warwick, Arts Centre

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THE KILLERS ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
The Killers have announced a series of UK tour dates for next year, dates as follows, tickets on sale Friday:

16 Feb: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
17 Feb: Manchester MEN Arena
18 Feb: Birmingham NEC
20 Feb: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
21 Feb: Aberdeen P&J Arena
22 Feb: Glasgow SECC
24 Feb: London Wembley Arena
25 Feb: London Wembley Arena
3 Mar: Brighton Centre
4 Mar: Nottingham Arena
6 Mar: Cardiff CIA

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TGTB&TQ ANNOUNCE TOUR
Damon Albarn's new band The Good The Bad And The Queen have announced a 2007 tour, to follow the release of their eponymous debut on 22 Jan. Dates are as follows, tickets on sale Friday:

27 Jan: Bristol Trinity
28 Jan: Southsea South Parade Pier
29 Jan: Leeds Irish Centre
30 Jan: Motherwell Civic Centre
1 Feb: Dudley JBS
2 Feb: London York Hall
3 Feb: Warrington Parr Hall
4 Feb: Aylesbury Civic Centre

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WATSON POSTPONES UK TOUR
Opera star Russell Watson has postponed an upcoming UK tour, as he is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumour. As previously reported, the benign growth was removed during a five hour operation at St Georges Hospital in Tooting last month after the singer complained of headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision. He was expected to get back on the road in November, but has now cancelled the tour on the advice of doctors.

A spokesman said: "Forthcoming dates for his UK tour have unfortunately had to be postponed until early 2007. The singer has been advised by specialists not to undertake the heavy schedule and to continue to rest until he has completely recovered from the surgery. Russell continues to have weekly check-ups and is recovering slowly, and he is looking forward to performing for his fans again very soon."

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ROLLING STONES DATES POSTPONED
The Rolling Stones have been forced to postpone two North American tour dates to allow Mick Jagger to rest his voice. A club date scheduled to take place on Tuesday at New York's Beacon Theatre has been delayed for a day, whilst a gig set to take place in New Jersey on Friday was cancelled hours before it was due to begin, and has been rescheduled for 17 Nov. This may in turn affect a subsequent show in Los Angeles on 18 Nov.

It's not the first time on this tour that the dates have been disrupted due to Jagger's vocal problems - postponements were also made in Spain back in August. The tour is scheduled to finish in Hawaii on 22 Nov.

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EAVIS DENIES SPRINGSTEEN BOOKING FOR GLASTONBURY 2007
Glastonbury Festival co-promoter Emily Eavis has denied reports in The Sun that Bruce Springsteen will headline Glastonbury 2007. The tabloid reported that Eavis had said Springsteen would top the bill on the second day of the British music festival next year, but yesterday she told festivals website Virtual Festivals that the American rocker was not booked for the 2007 event.

Eavis told VF: "I never told them or anyone Bruce Springsteen would be playing. It's totally made up. We've got our three headliners now and Bruce Springsteen is definitely not one of them. He wasn't even in the picture at any point really, despite what some people have written. I'm really happy with the three headliners we've got and so is my Dad [Michael Eavis]. They are our top three choices. We couldn't have asked for better."

Eavis also revealed that two of the 2007 headliners had never played Glastonbury before, which makes it even more likely that one of the top bill acts will be Kylie Minogue who, of course, was due to headline in 2005, but had to pull out after being diagnosed with breast cancer. VF also speculates that the third act, who has played Glasto before, may well be The Killers, who turned down the offer to fill in for Kylie last year because they didn't feel they were then ready to take on such a prestigious slot.

Eavis also added that interest in the 2007 festival among the artist community was as high as ever: "I can't remember there ever being as much interest from artists as there is at the moment. I suppose it's partly down to the fact we had this year off, but there's real excitement coming from all the bands we're talking to".

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U2 TO RELEASE 3D THINGY
U2 are to release a 3D film about their Vertigo world tour, apparently. Which is interesting, as I'm not sure that watching U2 in 3D wouldn't actually give me vertigo. In fact, I'm feeling quite dizzy just thinking about it.

The yet to be titled documentary has been put together from around 700 hours of footage shot with nine pairs of cameras during the course of the band's South American dates earlier this year - a representative for the band calls it "the first-ever 3-D multicamera live shoot". The film is currently being edited in New York, and the band are apparently considering staging a 3D performance, or something, to be shown in cinemas, to coincide with the release.

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LIVE NATION'S HOUSE OF BLUES TAKEOVER APPROVED
According to Billboard, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has confirmed in an internal email that the US Department Of Justice has given the go ahead to the live event major's acquisition of House Of Blues Entertainment. Rapino now expects the deal, originally announced back in July, to be completed within two weeks.

From the start Rapino had been confident his takeover of the HOB group would gain approval from competition authorities, despite some concerns that the addition of the ten HOB club venues and eight HOB arenas to the Live Nation empire would make them too dominant in the US live music sector. He told Billboard recently: "Every day there are more and more venues in the marketplace. We think there are still lots of opportunities for bands and the consumers to see bands in venues everywhere."

It is still unclear whether any HOB assets will now be rebranded, though it seems likely the brand will remain at the famous House Of Blues clubs. In another recent interview with Billboard, Rapino said as much, while adding that he hoped to expand the HOB brand: "We will absolutely be able to provide the resources to help them achieve their vision of taking House of Blues clubs around the world".

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ELTON'S MANAGEMENT REJIGS
Twenty-First Artists, Elton John's management company and part of the Sanctuary Music Group, has announced some personnel changes. Clive Banks and Johnny Barbis, both of whom recently joined Twenty-First, will now provide 'creative management services' to Elton, the former in the UK, the latter for the rest of the world.

Merck Mercuriadis, who previously provided John's creative management via Twenty-First, is stepping down from the role. A spokesman confirmed that while Mercuriadis will no longer work with Elton, he will continue to operate as an artist manager within the Sanctuary Group, managing the affairs of Axl Rose and Morrissey among others. However, HitsDailyDouble reports that Mercuriadis is expected to actually part company with struggling Sanctuary, most likely taking Rose and Morrissey with him, possibly to a rival management agency.

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MORE BANDIER OPTIONS
Talking of HitsDailyDouble, they report that one of the options being considered by EMI Music Publishing chairman Marty Bandier, who announced his resignation this week, is the establishment of a brand new publishing venture within the EMI Group, but separate from EMI's existing publishing operation, which Bandier himself would take a stake in. As previously reported, Bandier is also apparently in talks with Warner Music boss Edgar Bronfman Jnr about a role at the Warner/Chappell publishing company.

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LATEST IPOD SHUFFLE OUT THIS WEEK
The second generation iPod shuffle will hit stores this Friday (in the UK as well as the US I think - definitely in the US). The new shuffle contains 1GB of flash memory, can hold 240 songs, is even smaller in size than the original, and will retail for a mere £55 ($79 in the States, so as usual, cheaper to buy it there).

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NAPSTER GIVING AWAY FREE DOWNLOADS
Naspter's previously reported US 'destination site' (you know, the one where you get free music previews) is giving away free download at the moment in a promotion sponsored by those Intel people. The promotion is called, wait for it, you'll like this ... Free Download Of The Day. Genius.

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SNOCAP ENTER LICENSING DEALS WITH INDIE AGGREGATORS
Talking of Napster, but not that Napster, the other Napster, or, more to the point, the founder of it. Keeping up, yeah? Snocap, the second company of original Napster founder Shawn Fanning, has announced licensing deals with a stack of key independent players. The deals suggest Snocap, which will provide the backend to MySpace's planned download sales platform, is getting more heavily involved in the more traditional digital music sales sector, a move away from its original core business of providing song tracking technology for legit P2P networks. The new deals are with The Orchard, CD Baby, Baby New Year, Big Fish Media, Panartist, Redeye Distribution and Virtual Label, and give Snocap and its partners access to large quantities of independent music.

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RECALL PARTNER WITH RYKO IN THE US
French label Recall Records yesterday announced a new three year US licensing agreement with Rykodisk (who are now part of the Warner Music Group, of course). The deal follows the opening of a Recall office in the US just under a year ago - a spin off operation which has coordinated the US releases of DJ Cam's 'Revisited By', Jehro's eponymous album and the brilliant Grand National's debut long player 'Kicking The National Habit'.

Confirming the new deal with Ryko, Recall CEO Alexandre Sap told CMU: "We're proud to join the Ryko family along with Warner Music Group ecosystem of labelsl. We feel privileged to work along with industry leaders such as Jim Cuomo, who first showed interested to our label, and John Esposito who helped making this partnership possible. I am convinced that our strong A&R resources and creative marketing combined with the experience of Rykodisc's team will lead to much success".

Recall releases planned for 2007, which will be distributed by Rykodisc in the US, include new albums from Lodger, Thomas Dybdahl, The Film Club and, very excitingly, Grand National.

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TAXI DRIVERS CANCEL MTV PROTEST
Danish Taxi Drivers who threatened to blockade the MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen have cancelled their planned demonstration. The drivers were protesting against a decision to hire non-professionals to drive artists to the event, which is to be hosted by Justin Timberlake, and will feature performances from the likes of Nelly Furtado, Keane and Muse.

The taxi drivers' union withdrew their threat after meeting with transport officials on Tuesday, and agreeing to a proposal to allow 150 limousine drivers chauffeur some of the evening's guests.

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FLOWERS ENDS FEUD WITH THE BRAVERY
Honestly, what's going on in the world of rock and pop feuds these days? Everyone's kissing and making up. Which is far less interesting, really, than out and out bitching. Anyway, it seems that The Killers' Brandon Flowers has offered an olive branch to The Bravery. You'll remember that for a time, dissing the band in interviews seemed to be one of the singer's favourite pastimes.

Bravery frontman Sam Endicott told NME: "[Brandon Flowers] called me out of the blue and apologised. I was in an airport and I didn't believe that it was him for like, ten minutes. He said 'I'm really sorry, I'm a jealous person, and I was jerk. I'm sorry'. And I respect him for it you know, it's a hard thing to do, to apologise like that."

The Bravery are to release a second LP, 'The Sun And The Moon', next year, and will be touring in South America as of next month. Speaking of their upcoming gigs, Endicott added: "On our next tour, we're going to be doing smaller shows, multiple nights in smaller venues because that's what it's about, playing a rock & roll show and having a good time, and the crowd and all that. It's not about all the other extraneous bullshit. Now I'm just a much happier person and I enjoy the whole thing a lot more."

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