CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 21st November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Madonna adoption ruling postponed
- McCulloch gets involved in talent search
- BBC worldwide talent search names final 20
- Sanctuary announce label restructure
- Plug nominations out
- Ono exhibits at Mayfair Gallery
- Weller backs giant guitars for charity
- Beatles guitar goes under the hammer
- Smashing Pumpkin says new material is great
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds DVD
- Billy Idol Christmas songs
- Brandon Borrell plan duet
- LCD Soundsystem LP
- Brian Ferry album, tour
- Keane tour stuff
- The Futureheads leave 679
- Coachella expands
- Bloc Weekender
- Sunday Best instore at FOPP
- More artists chat in Habbo Hotel
- eMusic close to 100 millionth download
- Warner partner with elHood
- People like the video functionality, but don't use it much
- Virgin launch new Manchester store
- Xfm announce new appointments to London line up
- Crazy Frog returns
- Black Crowes man files for divorce
- Britney parties with people shocker
- Baby Spice either clueless, or disingenuous

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF THE YEAR
Email in song title, artist and a sentence on why it's your favourite to 2006@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

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TOP BIT: INSOMNIACS BALL THIS WEEKEND >>
OK, so it's mentioned in the CMU Recommended section below, but it's all getting very close now, so I think we should mention it twice. The Insomniacs Ball is this weekend, so this really is your last chance to get tickets.

You know the line up by now - The Rumple Strips, The Young Knives, Art Brut, Pink Grease, Friendly Fires, Blood Red Shoes, The Sunshine Underground, Digitalism, Foals, Goose and Lo Fi Fink, plus, doing the DJ thing Silverlink, Matthew WoWoW, Jagz Kooner, The Cooper Temple Clause, Gavin Nugent, Eddy Temple-Morris, The Freelance Hellraiser and Jeff Automatic. And don't forget that the Fish Seeks Bicycle people will be hosting a brilliant chill out area.

If you surf on over to http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk right now you'll find a full running order for the night, plus, to get you in the mood, info on and tracks from many of the artists appearing.

It all takes place this Saturday night, 25 Nov, from 7.30pm all the way through to 6am the next day. As we've mentioned before, you can get your tickets now from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

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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

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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>>

INSOMNIACS BALL - IT'S NEXT WEEKEND, OK?
The second Insomniacs Ball is this coming weekend - 25 Nov. And just look at the line up - The Young Knives, Art Brut, The Rumble Strips Pink Grease, Friendly Fires, Blood Red Shoes, The Sunshine Underground, Digitalism, Foals, Goose and Lo Fi Fink. They'll all be taking to one of the stages underneath London Bridge station in the seOne complex. Between the bands, on the decks you'll find Silverlink, Matthew WoWoW, Jagz Kooner, The Cooper Temple Clause, Gavin Nugent, Eddy Temple-Morris, The Freelance Hellraiser and Jeff Automatic. Plus the Fish Seeks Bicycle people will be hosting a brilliant chill out area. It all takes place on 25 Nov from 7.30pm all the way through to 6am the next day. This is going to be the big pre-Christmas event, so if you want to go you really ought to be booking your tickets now. You'll find info at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk and you can buy your tickets at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Press info from Scruffy Bird.

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 - 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: GOODBOOKS
I first heard of GoodBooks because of a confusion over names. Not that their name is interchangeable with the name of this other band, Good Shoes (a previous MSOTD nominee), but because someone I was talking to couldn't remember which of those two bands' names was two separate words, and which was not. It turned out that indie/electro poppers GoodBooks was the one whose name is actually two words stuck together. In checking that this was the case, I stumbled on their MySpace, and I was rather glad I did because I liked what I heard there. Anyway, it seems it's a good time to mention it, because their new single, 'Leni' is out on 4 Dec, and you can preview it here. Also because there are lots of upcoming tour dates in their schedule, so if you do like the songs you hear on the page, you can pencil one of those dates in your diary. I intend to. Because I think they're rather good.

http://www.myspace.com/goodbooks

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MADONNA ADOPTION RULING POSTPONED
The Malawian High Court in Lilongwe has postponed a ruling on whether human rights groups may challenge Madonna's adoption of little David Banda because the judge, apparently, is too busy. Lawyers for both parties say they hope a ruling will be given next week. Justin Dzonzi, lawyer for the human rights coalition bringing the case to court told reporters: "The judge has not communicated to me or my colleague but we hear that he is very busy and he might rule next week".

The judge, Andrew Chipeta, will decide whether the rights groups can bring action against the interim adoption order granted to the singer last month. He will also rule on whether a further plaintiff, independent government watchdog Malawi Human Rights Commission, may add their weight to the suit.

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MCCULLOCH GETS INVOLVED IN TALENT SEARCH
Echo & The Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch has become involved in a competition to find and expose up and coming musical talent. The singer is working with the likes of Island MD Marc Marot, Radio 2's Paul Sexton and producers Bacon & Quarmby on the new project aimed at UK and Ireland residents.

To enter the competition, Pringles Unsung (as in the potato snack, yes), aspiring songwriters simply need to post their songs at the scheme's website, and they will be then judged by their peers, and ultimately by the aforementioned judging panel led by McCulloch. Six finalists will be chosen, who will perform at a private gig for a specially invited audience. The overall winner will get the opportunity to record a demo with Bacon & Quarmby.

McCulloch says: "I'm really excited about being involved in this. I know myself how difficult the music industry can be to break into, especially if you sound or look a bit different to everyone else. But we need to encourage diversity in music, and campaigns like this are exactly the sort of thing that could uncover the next big thing in the music world".

See the competition site at http://www.pringlesunsung.com.

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BBC WORLDWIDE TALENT SEARCH NAMES FINAL 20
Talking of searches for new music talent, the BBC World Service's Next Big Thing venture, which is mounting a global search for young talent (under 18), has reached shortlist stage.

Thousands of musicians from 35 countries - from Azerbaijan to Armenia to Ukraine to Uruguay, apparently - entered the competition, and now a final shortlist of twenty has been announced. Pundits and punters are now both invited to vote to help get that down to a final six, who will take part in a recording on 9 Dec where judges William Orbit, Angelique Kidjo, Geoff Travis and Peter Gabriel will pick an overall winner. You can vote at http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/thenextbigthing

Commenting on the competition, judge and Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis told CMU: "There are too few routes for a young musician to get their music heard - the gatekeepers who are interested are too few in number. The project is great as it throws the challenge open to the whole world and it encourages the very young to step up to the plate".

Press info on all this is available from patsy.lima@bbc.co.uk

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SANCTUARY ANNOUNCE LABEL RESTRUCTURE
Hey everybody, a story about Sanctuary Music that doesn't involve disappointing financial reports or departing board members - hurrah! And they've signed two CMU favourites - double hurrah! Yep, Sanctuary has announced a restructure of its record label division, which will see the reactivation of two old labels, Sequel and Slogan.

The former will act as "a home for contemporary artists, particularly those who have already established a fan base and who are looking for an alternative to the major labels". CMU favourites The Cooper Temple Clause, formerly signed to BMG/RCA, and Idlewild, formerly signed to EMI/Parlophone, are the first two signings to Sequel.

The Slogan label has been reestablished as a singles label, though Sanctuary also plans to use it for digital only deals. The most recent signing to the imprint is Bobby Cook, whose new single 'Gone So Far' will be released on limited edition white vinyl in January.

The main Sanctuary label, meanwhile, will continue to sign "long established acts". The restructure within the recorded music division has been coordinated by former V2 man Malcolm Dunbar, who was appointed as Sanctuary's Head Of A&R earlier this year, and Giles Green, who has recently been promoted to the role of Executive Vice President Of Sales, Marketing And Digital.

Commenting on the changes, Dunbar told CMU: "Sanctuary Records is now entering an exhilarating time. Being able to sign acts of the calibre of The Cooper Temple Clause and Idlewild is testimony to this record label's inherent vitality and I am happy that we are now creating a positive pipeline of new product for 2007".

Joe Cokell, who coordinates Sanctuary Records on a global level, added: "The Record Company is getting back to what it does best, working proactively with established artists, and having The Cooper Temple Clause and Idlewild as the first signings is a positive statement. We also expect to announce another very significant addition to the label's roster as early as next week, and we look forward to having major success with these albums through 2007".

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PLUG NOMINATIONS OUT
Meant to mention this last week, but forgot, sorry. The nominations for the 2007 PLUG awards are out. These, as you all surely know, are the US based awards for independent music and music media. Anyone can vote this year (I'm pretty sure it used to be voted for by a committee of indie industry types) and the list of nominees is quite long so rather than publishing it here, why don't you go and check out the lists and vote yourself? See http://plugawards.com/general_vote.php

Among the artists up for the flagship Best Album award are Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear and The Knife, while Arctic Monkeys, Cold War Kids, CSS, Spank Rock and Tapes N Tapes are all up for Best New Artist. In the Best Website Category UK based NME.com and Drowned In Sound compete with the big US indie music sites and the likes of MySpace and YouTube for the top prize. Voting will continue up until 26 Jan, with the awards presented at a ceremony in New York on 10 Feb.

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ONO EXHIBITS AT MAYFAIR GALLERY
Indica, the 60's conceptual art space open from 1965 to 1967 at the Mayfair Gallery, where Yoko Ono and John Lennon met for the first time in 1966, has been temporarily recreated at the Riflemaker Gallery in Soho. The exhibition will feature work by Ono herself, work from other artists who showed at the gallery in the sixties, such as Julio Le Parc and Mark Boyle, plus work from contemporary artists such as Conrad Shawcross and Jaime Gili.

Paul McCartney backed, and was heavily involved with the original gallery, which was run by John Dunbar, then married to Marianne Faithful. Lennon was a regular visitor to the gallery, which was also patronised by the likes of Roman Polanski, William S Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

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WELLER BACKS GIANT GUITARS FOR CHARITY
More art, of sorts. Paul Weller is backing a new charity exhibition of thirty giant guitars. The Gibson GuitarTown London event will see the free standing fibreglass models appear across the capital from 1 Jun next year. The ten foot sculptures will be designed and endorsed by a variety of musicians, including the likes of Brian May. The guitars will be on show for twelve weeks before being auctioned off for The Prince's Trust, Nordoff-Robbins and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Modfather says: "I am proud to be associated with the Gibson GuitarTown London campaign as it combines my passion and appreciation for the guitar, whilst raising money and awareness for three very worthy and deserving charities."

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BEATLES GUITAR GOES UNDER THE HAMMER
Not literally of course, that might break it. The guitar. The guitar which once belonged to my personal favourite Beatle George Harrison. It's a Maton MS-500 Mastersound dating back to 1963, and it's going to be auctioned at Cooper Owen's Music Legends sale on 30 Nov. It's expected to raise £100,000. The event coincides with the fifth anniversary of Harrison's death in November 2001.

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SMASHING PUMPKIN SAYS NEW MATERIAL IS GREAT
Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has been writing in the band's MySpace blog about how well work is going on new material for their comeback album. He reckons it's going to be great, which it may not be, of course, given that Chamberlin could be considered a little biased. I suppose they've had five years off, though, so perhaps they are chockfull of ideas.

Chamberlin wrote: "Yes, things are sounding great my friends. Today we will be working on vocals and solos, tomorrow, who knows. We are channelers. Sonic students. BC [Billy Corgan] pulled off a magnificent guitar symphony last night and it is still ringing in my ears this morning. Eight guitars resonating in one big harmonic handshake!"

The album is expected to be released in 2007.

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NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS DVD
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are to release a double live DVD on 29 Jan. The two disc collection will feature live renditions of songs from 2004's 'Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus', plus a variety of older material. Two live gigs are featured, disc 1 featuring one of three sold out Brixton Academy 'Abbatoir Blues' dates in November 2004, disc 2 containing excerpts from their 'Nocturama' Hammersmith Apollo show in June 2003. The DVDs also include all promotional videos from the band's last two album releases, plus the obligatory bonus footage. Here's exactly what's on 'em:

Disc 1
Hiding All Away
Messiah Ward
Easy Money
Supernaturally
The Lyre of Orpheus
Babe, You Turn Me On
Nature Boy
Get Ready for Love
Carry Me
There She Goes, My Beautiful World
God is in The House
Red Right Hand
The Ship Song
Stagger Lee

Disc 2
Wonderful Life
Nobody's Baby Now
Bring It On
Sad Waters
Watching Alice
Christina the Astonishing
Wild World
Short Film:
The 'Bring it On' Video shoot
Promotional Videos:
Bring It On
Babe, I'm on Fire
Nature Boy
Breathless
Get Ready for Love

Press info from Fifth Avenue PR

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BILLY IDOL CHRISTMAS SONGS
Oh, you know what, this is going to make my Christmas complete. And that was not sarcasm. Perhaps you'll believe me if I tell you that a couple of weekends ago I bought a CD of reggae versions of Christmas songs.

Anyway, go Billy Idol. He's recorded an album of Christmas songs. 'Happy Holidays' is set to feature the rocker's covers of classic yuletide tracks such as 'White Christmas', 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Silent Night'. If someone doesn't send me a copy of this guaranteed seasonal wonder, I will cry. So get on it.

Billy says: "I wanted a selection that would please all, while still exploring the awe and mystery that is Christmas. These songs are a challenge to sing as so many other singers have interpreted them in their own style. It was fun to come up against all that and find that these songs sing themselves."

Incidentally, I don't appear to have received a copy of the Sufjan Stevens Christmas album yet. Ahem.

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BRANDON BORRELL PLAN DUET
Brandon Flowers and Razorlight's Johnny Borrell are planning to do a duet, if a report in the Daily Star is to be believed. The Killers frontman is quoted as saying: "We're going to do a cover of Dire Strait's 'Romeo And Juliet' for the Live At Abbey Road TV show". That event is set to take place on 30 Nov.

Speaking about Razorlight's new single, and the band's chances of making it in the US, Brandon added: "'America' is my favourite Razorlight song. It's not negative so I can't see why people in the US wouldn't like it. It's just a great song."

On the subject of breaking America generally, Flowers continued: "Kasabian are great live and when I hear them and Razorlight I think hopefully it'll happen for them in the States. A lot of people get intimidated when they go somewhere so big. We're lucky we're from there and have English influences so we had the best of both worlds because we understand America and deliver songs big."

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LCD SOUNDSYSTEM LP
LCD Soundsystem have announced that their new album is to be called 'Sound Of Silver' and will be released in March, supported by a UK tour, dates for that as follows:

7 Mar: Birmingham Academy
8 Mar: Leeds Met Uni
9 Mar: Glasgow Barrowlands
10 Mar: Manchester Academy
11 Mar: Norwich UEA
13 Mar: Bristol Academy
14 Mar: London Astoria
15 Mar: London Astoria

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BRIAN FERRY ALBUM, TOUR
Talking of March releases, Bryan Ferry has announced that he's also to release a new album then, to coincide with a series of UK tour dates, as follows:

1 Mar: Carlisle Sands Centre
3 Mar: Dundee Caird Hall
4 Mar: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
5 Mar: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre
7 Mar: Gateshead Sage Theatre
8 Mar: Birmingham Symphony Hall
10 Mar: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
11 Mar: Sheffield City Hall
13 Mar: Nottingham Royal Centre
14 Mar: London Royal Albert Hall
16 Mar: Bristol Colston Hall
17 Mar: Cardiff St Davids Hall
19 Mar: Ipswich Regent Theatre
20 Mar: Brighton Dome
22 Mar: Harrogate International Centre
23 Mar: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

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KEANE TOUR STUFF
Keane have announced a new series of tour dates for next year. Tickets on sale this Friday, dates as follows:

22 Feb: Bournemouth BIC
23 Feb: Birmingham NEC
25 Feb: Nottingham Arena
26 Feb: Cardiff CIA
28 Feb: London Wembley Arena
3 Mar: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
4 Mar: Manchester MEN Arena
6 Mar: Newcastle Radio Metro Arena
7 Mar: Glasgow SECC

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THE FUTUREHEADS LEAVE 679
The Futureheads have "parted company" with their label, 679, which is possibly code for "being dropped", though the band don't seem too bothered. Frontman Barry Hyde told BBC 6Music: "I'm over the moon about it to be honest with you, 'cos I feel like we're free now. We weren't happy as a band on that label. It's good to get out of the shackles of being tied down to something. I think it's put us in a very strong position 'cos we're still a band that people like". Super.

If they're a band you like, perhaps one of the following gigs should be in your itinerary?

25 Nov: Preston 53 Degrees
26 Nov: Glasgow ABC
27 Nov: Sheffield Leadmill
29 Nov: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
30 Nov: Warwick University
1 Dec: Falmouth Princess Pavilion
3 Dec: Portsmouth Pyramids
4 Dec: Cambridge Junction
5 Dec: London Astoria

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COACHELLA EXPANDS
Promoters of the US Coachella music festival have announced that next year's event will run to three days for the first time, and also that they will stage a country music festival the following weekend featuring George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Sugarland and Willie Nelson. The main festival will take place from 27-29 Apr and the country fest from 5-6 May, both at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.

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BLOC WEEKENDER
More festivals, this one in the UK. Brighton's BLOC club night will stage a three day festival at the Pontins holiday park in Great Yarmouth next March (from 23-25 Mar to be precise). It's going to be a celebration of "the advancement of electronic music and the culture it creates", which is to say "an almighty rave".

On the bill will be a load of great dance/electronic acts, including Kool Keith, TwoLoneSwordsmen, Luke Slater, CJ Bolland, Alex Smoke, Disco D, Jerome Hill, Edit, Kansas City Prophets, Kid Blue, Paul
Blackford, Bola, Silicon Scally aka Random Factor, Vector Lovers, Andrea Parker, Abstrakt Knights, Kelpe and Rebel Intelligence. Tickets for the weekend, including accommodation, are £105.

More info at http://www.blocweekend.com, press info in particular from http://www.blocweekend.com/press

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SUNDAY BEST INSTORE AT FOPP
Sunday Best will stage its first ever instore this coming Thursday at FOPP on Tottenham Court Road in London. Entry is free, and you'll get to see the wonderful Misty's Big Adventure doing their thing plus Rob da Bank and the Sombrero Sound System DJing and all sorts of other gubbins. If I wasn't going to be in Brighton at that very time, I'd be there. Kicks off at 6pm.

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MORE ARTISTS CHAT IN HABBO HOTEL
You remember how that new boy band 365 were doing some virtual promo on the Habbo Hotel 3D chat community website thingy? Well, chatting with the Habbo residents seems to be in fashion, with a stack of artists chatting over the net to the chat room's teenage fan base.

Apparently Lily Allen, Akon, Chamillionaire, Shayne Ward and McFly have all been in Habbo Hotel recently, and upcoming are Faithless (sometime this week), Jamelia (4 Dec), Matt Willis (15 Dec) and Little Chris (18 Dec). And U2 are apparently hosting an international pub quiz in mid December. Oh, and PopWorld will be doing something related to their PopWorld Promotes thingy in there too.

Habbo say that an increasing number of labels are showing an interest in their chat platform because their 5.4 million users and 750,000 daily users outstrips the audience of any of the mainstream music magazines or radio shows. A spokesman for the chat room told CMU: "[Artists'] visits are so much more than a general web chat. Habbo creates a bespoke promotional package that allows artists to interact with users in a creative fashion, actually integrating them into the heart of the community. Chamillionaire has just judged a rap competition, Jamelia will be launching a brand new beauty salon where Habbos can swap style tips and McFly will take lucky Habbos on dates. Habbos can queue for up to eight hours to meet artists on such occasions".

Habbo say they will launch an official music player within their network next year to further expand the music potential of the service. Press info on all of this can be obtained from Spring PR.

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EMUSIC CLOSE TO 100 MILLIONTH DOWNLOAD
Independent music download platform eMusic has confirmed they are close to selling their 100 millionth download. The landmark should be passed in the next few weeks.

Like iTunes, the digital music store is planning a special prize for whichever customer happens to buy the 100 millionth track, though no shoddy front row tickets at Coldplay gigs for this winner. Nope, the Barenaked Ladies will write and record a personalised song all about them. Now, that's a prize. The winner will also receive a free premium subscription to the service for life and will be invited to take part in an upcoming eMusic print advertising campaign.

eMusic makes music available in the non-restricted MP3 format, of course, and as such only currently sells music from independent record companies. That said, despite the lack of major label content from its catalogue it has secured a dedicated consumer base of music fans, especially in the US but, following its European launch earlier this year, increasingly over here as well.

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WARNER PARTNER WITH ELHOOD
Warner Music International has announced an alliance with elHood.com, a music-centric social networking site which launched last June and which focuses on the Latin community. Each user on the site has up to 1GB of storage, and can create personal playlists from music available to stream via the platform.

The partnership between the site and Warner will see the major launch official artist communities under the elHood banner. Those communities will offer registered users access to on-demand audio and video streams of artists on Warner Music Latin America's catalogue, including Laura Pausini, Alejandro Sanz and Mana. Content will include interviews, pop promo videos and live performances.

Warner is the first major label to partner with elHood and will receive a share of ad revenues from the site as part of the deal.

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PEOPLE LIKE THE VIDEO FUNCTIONALITY, BUT DON'T USE IT MUCH
A year on from the launch of the iPod Video the digital media player is still primarily used for consuming audio content, or so says research from Neilsen.

They interviewed 400 US iPod owners, two thirds of whom owned video iPods, and found that only 1% of content consumed by all those users was video, and even if you only counted the iPod Video owners, still only 2.2% of content consumed was video. Those stats are based on 'content items', if you assess 'playback time' then video accounted for 2.2% of content consumed overall, and 11% among iPod video owners - because video content is often longer than audio content.

Those findings are perhaps unsurprising, given that the iPod is often used 'on the move' where it is impractical to watch video content, though nevertheless video-enabled iPods continue to sell well - Digital Music News reports that the 30GB video-enabled iPod is currently the best selling electronics device on Amazon.

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VIRGIN LAUNCH NEW MANCHESTER STORE
As you read this, Richard Branson, New Order, The Mighty Boosh and former Corrie stars Nikki Sanderson and Richard Fleeshman will be loitering around Manchester's Arndale Centre where the Virgin Group has just relaunched its Manchester Virgin Megastore. The new shop aims to combine the digital and real world music experience, allowing customers to stock up their MP3 players in store. There's also a 250 capacity gig venue plus plans to stage regular open mic nights to showcase new talent. The new store is, Virgin claim, the future of music retail.

Commenting on the new store, Branson told CMU: "It's important for all specialist music retailers to do something new. There's no point standing still and watching competitors like the supermarkets throw their weight around. The most successful artists in the world continue to innovate and reinvent themselves, to not only stay ahead of trends, but define them year after year to stay in the game - the launch of this new flagship store shows that high street music retailers have the ability to do the same. With the opening of this fantastic new store in Manchester we have a store that's more in the spirit of the old days - a fun and exciting place for people and local bands to hang out"

Various celebrations are planned throughout the day to celebrate the opening of the new shop, so if you're in the vicinity you might want to drop by.

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XFM ANNOUNCE NEW APPOINTMENTS TO LONDON LINE UP
Xfm have announced the appointment of two new presenters to its London line up, both of whom will join the station in January. First up, Paul Tonkinson, currently host of the breakfast show on Xfm's Manchester service, will be moving to the capital to take over the afternoon slot from Shaun Keaveny, who is, in turn, jumping over to digital rival BBC 6Music. Second up, Steve Harris is moving to Xfm from Virgin Radio. A new presenter for Xfm Manchester's breakfast slot is tba.

Confirming the changes, Xfm Network Programme Director Ande Macpherson told CMU: "This is the strongest line-up Xfm has ever had. Adding Tonks to afternoons and Steve to Music Response really moves the station forward. Tonks will add humour to our afternoons with a really exciting replacement lined up for him on breakfast in Manchester. Steve lives and breathes new music and will blow the speakers off the radio with exciting new bands every night. We start our 10th anniversary year with the future for Xfm having never looked better".

You know, I was thinking about Xfm's tenth birthday just the other week. The alternative station first went on air back in 1997 the day after Princess Diana died, which kind of put a dampener on the launch celebrations, what with all that public grief and all. It will be interesting to see how the tenth anniversary of her demise will be marked, and whether that will again have an impact on Xfm's celebrations.

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CRAZY FROG RETURNS
Talking of national grief, Crazy Frog's back. The ringtone icon is recording a version of Wham's 'Last Christmas' for the festive singles market - which means George Michael might just enjoy a top ten hit to help further promote his new greatest hits album, albeit courtesy of the irritating amphibian. The single will be released on 11 Dec, press info from Noble.

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BLACK CROWES MAN FILES FOR DIVORCE
Black Crowes man Chris Robinson has filed for divorce from his estranged wife, actress (and daughter of Goldie Hawn) Kate Hudson, after she forced a separation back in August. Robinson has now filed suit, citing "irreconcilable differences" and requesting joint custody of the couple's two-year-old son Ryder.

No other reasons were given for the split. The gossip mill said Hudson fell for actor Owen Wilson on the set of 'You, Me And Dupree' in the summer, but the pair deny this, of course.

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BRITNEY PARTIES WITH PEOPLE SHOCKER
She should be at home looking after the kids, or something, not donning candy-floss hair extensions and hanging about with dumb idiots like Paris Hilton. But that's what Britney's been doing. And now reports suggest that she's been seen canoodling with a boy, virtually days after filing for divorce from Fed-Ex.

Anyway, Britney apparently 'disguised' herself in a pink wig and some oversized sunglasses this weekend for a tryst with renowned ladies man Mario Somebody-who-used-to-be-in-some-TV-programme. A source said: "Mario and Britney were definitely together. They were even holding hands. They were staring into each other's eyes and laughing all night."

Why do celebrities move on so quickly? Do they have special powers of emotional recuperation?

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BABY SPICE EITHER CLUELESS, OR DISINGENUOUS
Baby Spice says that it never actually occurred to her to think that dressing in girlish clothes and putting her hair in bunches back in the Spice Girls' heyday might have been a bit interesting to paedophiles.

The singer, who is currently appearing on that Strictly Come Dancing show says: "I never thought of the whole paedophilia thing. I wasn't aware of my image. Not at all. But now... I just think, oh my God, because I was obviously dressed up in tiny skirts. There was a real innocence. It's a shame I don't know if a band would have a Baby Spice today"

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