CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 8th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Blige dominates Grammy nominations
- New York DJ shot
- Former Busted boys issue yet another statement
- Darren 'Wiz' Brown dies
- Bonnie Prince Billy to do stand up
- Rolf Harris apologises for racism
- New Wilco album
- Patrick Wolf album news
- Roadrunner sign CKY
- Arcade Fire back in the UK
- Razorlight tour
- Playmusic party tonight
- Red Stripe launch unsigned competition
- Kasabian turn live footage around quickly
- Doherty cartoon sold to TV
- Alan McGee responds to Gowers report
- Government make more noise about Channel Islands VAT loophole
- Research suggests small venues have grasped new UK live music laws
- Sony urban chief gets promoted
- Verve records chief steps down
- Microsoft reveal Zune sales projections
- iTunes arrives in New Zealand
- Preston licence goes to UTV
- Telegraph expands multi-media operations
- Radio 1 rejigs
- Britney attracting the attention of social services?
- Alex James on that Blur reunion, again

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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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IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR AS WE KNOW IT>>
Ladies and gentlemen, there are now just ten editions of the CMU Daily to go in 2006, unless you count our no doubt novel length review of the year, which will come your way on 22 Dec, but even then there are only eleven editions. Which means two things. Firstly, you have to get your votes in for the CMU Track Of The Year poll today - so get emailing. Secondly, it is time to reveal the first of CMU's ten Albums Of The Year, the long players that got us most excited during 2006, and the artists behind them. So, here goes.

FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2006 #1: Infadels - We Are Not The Infadels (Wall Of Sound)
Now, for anyone who pays any attention whatsoever when reading the CMU Daily, the fact that Infadels are responsible for our first album of the year should come as no surprise whatsoever. We've been excited about these guys ever since they played the Xfm Remix Night aeons ago, and so the arrival of their debut album back in January got the CMU year off to a very good start. All that said, it was only when 'Love Like Semtex' was released as a single back in June that I actually realised just how much I loved this album. Prior to that I must admit much of my attention went to early single release 'Can't Get Enough' and 3 ad sampling 'Give Yourself To Me'. But then when the promo single of 'Love Like Semtex' arrived I was like "how did I manage to listen to the whole Infadels album without noticing that this is simply one of the best pop songs ever made?". It was a revelation that sent me back to the album, and it was then that I realised just how much I really loved every one of the eleven tracks that make up 'We Are Not The Infadels' - each offering the band's electro-rock crossover style in a different yet equally fulfilling fashion. It was also around about this time that I discovered that, despite my aforementioned love for 'Can't Get', 'Give Yourself' and 'Semtex', the track 'Girl That Speaks No Word' was in fact my overall favourite, which made for extra excitement when this got its own single release and the brilliant Braxe/Faulk remix landed on my desk. As you can see, I really really love Infadels. And I've managed to get 297 words into this mini-eulogy without mentioning the band's brilliant gigs - which is praise indeed given just how much good stuff is said elsewhere about the Infadels live show. Unfortunately, in my most humble opinion, not enough good stuff has been said about the Infadels album, however, mainly methinks because their music has been misrepresented by some in the music media, while it was hard for anyone to release a debut album in early 2007 when much of the popular press wouldn't talk to you about any new bands that didn't have the words 'arctic' and 'monkey' in their name. But with the live shows still building an ever growing loyal fanbase, and with an Autumn re-release of the album including a really fine live DVD, I'm hoping the more mainstream music fan will discover just how good, yet accessible, Infadels and 'We Are Not The Infadels' really are. Meantime, read our interview with the band's Richie Vermin and get yourself more familiar with the band behind CMU's first album of the year.

Read our interview with Richie from Infadels here: http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/albumsoftheyear

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES DECEMBER
The next edition of Kill All Hippies, the last one of the year, is this week, and it is all set to be a real stormer, not least because of its huge and really rather good live line up. On the bill are Robots In Disguise who, I am told, "pack a full-on left-field funk punk electro shock that's set to spark something of a revolution", which sounds mighty good to me. Next you'll get the anthemic and defining sounds of Roland Shanks and then the indie electro madness of Deaf Stereo. Then there's South East London's Bolt Action Five, perhaps best known for their own No Pain In Pop club night, but also a really rather good band themselves. And finally there'll be Mr Hudson & The Library, a recent CMU My Space Of The Day artist who have just finished what is sure to be one of the best albums of early 2007. Add to all that DJ sets from The Cooper Temple Clause, Gavin Nugent, The Young Knives, Lois & Pearl and the Scruffy Bird DJs and wow what a night. It all takes place this Friday, 8 Dec, at the Carling Academy Islington, from 9pm to 3am. It's £6 before 11pm then £8 after. Tickets in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, press info from Leyline.

More info>> http://www.leylinepromotions.com/killallhippies

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: The Syndicate Club's 4th Birthday
The North West's clubbing giant, The Syndicate Club, celebrates its fourth birthday with a special one-off appearance from the much hyped DJ Paul Oakenfold. Oakey will be Blackpool's main attraction this Saturday, hopefully lighting up the dance floor with a cracking set, along with tech and trance from resident DJ Fubar, plus other moves and grooves in three other areas. So if you live North of the Watford Gap get yourself further up Norf (or South, I guess, depending on how far North you are) for this storming night, but do it quick as I've heard there are only 100 tickets left, and for a 4500 capacity club - this really is the UK's most gargantuan venue.

Saturday 9 Dec, 9pm - 4am, The Syndicate, 130-140 Church Street, Blackpool, £15 plus booking fee, info from 01253 753 222 or http://blackpool.thesyndicate.com, press info from jo@phuturetrax.co.uk

CARO'S LIVE TIP 1: Cansei De Ser Sexy (CSS)
You know, I'm actually very fond of the phrase 'buzz band'. I use it quite a lot. Part of the reason I like it is because it is alliterative, and I'm a big fan of a bit of alliteration. Observant readers may have noticed that sometimes I even use the phrase 'buzzy buzz band', or even 'buzzy buzz buzz band'. Yes, I like alliteration that much. Imagine what a gift, then, it is for me for a band to actually be from a place that begins with B - it doesn't happen so very often, because buzz bands don't often come out of Bahrain, Belarus, The Bahamas, or even Belgium. It is therefore, with great pleasure that I announce that Brazilian buzzy buzz buzz band CSS, aka Cansei De Ser Sexy (that means 'Tired Of Being Sexy', by the way) are performing at The Forum in Kentish town this very eve. I'd go if it wasn't for other elements of my life getting in the way.

Friday 8 Dec, 7.30pm, The Forum, 9 - 11 Highgate Road, Kentish Town NW5, £11 advance. See http://tinyurl.com/yykbpu for the gen.

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Kill All Hippies
OK, so all the info you need is in the CMU Recommended bit just above this so I won't repeat anything, except to say, how flippin good is this month's line up?

Friday 8 Dec, 9pm - 3am, Carling Academy Islington, London, £6 before 11pm, £8 after, press info from Leyline

CARO'S LIVE TIP 2: The Furies
I tipped this band's MySpace recently, so they must be good. And this is a gig that I am actually planning to go to, even though it's a school night. See you there.

Tuesday 12 Dec, 8pm, The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, EC2A 3ES, £5 on the door, see http://www.myspace.com/oldbluelast

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BLIGE DOMINATES GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
Following her successes at the sales based Billboard Music Awards earlier this week, Mary J Blige yesterday dominated as the nominations for next year's peer voted Grammy Awards were announced, appearing on eight shortlists, including the one for Record Of The Year though, somewhat surprisingly, not Album Of The Year.

Other multiple nominees include Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are up for six awards, and James Blunt, Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Danger Mouse, Prince, Rick Rubin, will.i.am and John Williams who all got five nominations. Both Blunt and Dixie Chicks are up for all three of the big awards - Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year - leading some to suggest that while Blige and RHCP lead in terms of nominations, it might be one of them that dominate the awards themselves, when they take place in LA on 11 Feb.

Blunt is also up for Newcomer Of The Year alongside fellow UK artist Corinne Bailey Rae and former American Idol Carrie Underwood.

Media commentators were split in their opinion regarding Justin Timberlake's performance in the shortlists. Some think it is surprising that he is only up for four awards, while others expressed surprise his second album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds', which got a mixed critical reception, is up for Album Of The Year, especially when other hot contenders, including Blige's 'The Breakthrough' and Bob Dylan's 'Modern Times', are not.

Launching the lengthy nominations list, Neil Portnow of the US Recording Academy, who stage the awards, told reporters: "These nominations truly reflect a diverse and vibrant community of music makers and creators who represent some of the most remarkable music of the year".

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NEW YORK DJ SHOT
A popular DJ on New York's Power 105, one of the city's biggest hip hop and R&B stations, has been shot "multiple times". AllHipHop.com report that DJ Carl Blaze was shot 16 times and he is now fighting for his life at a New York hospital. Police reckon the shooting was part of an attempted street robbery, mainly because the chain Blaze was known to be wearing before the shooting is now missing.

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FORMER BUSTED BOYS ISSUE YET ANOTHER STATEMENT
Another statement has been issued by former Busted members Ki Fitzgerald and Owen Doyle, the two guys kicked out of the band before they hit the big time who are now suing for a cut of royalties on some of the band's early songs and the Busted trademark. As previously reported, Fitzgerald and Doyle's legal action is against the Busted management as well as their once bandmates James Bourne and recently crowned king of the jungle Matt Willis.

Although the litigation was launched last year the defendants delayed submitting their defence statements until last week. It is in relation to those statements that the plaintiffs have issued a new press release. Fitzgerald and Doyle claim that they can prove the defendants have essentially lied in their 'statements of truth' which, they say, could possibly amount to perjury. With that in mind they have lodged a formal complaint with the police.

Here's what their statement says: "We can confirm that formal complaints and allegations have now been lodged with the police in connection with possible perjury in the current High Court Case bought
against Matt Willis, James Bourne and Richard Rashman. Ki and Owen allege that Matt Willis, in particular, would appear to have attempted to pervert the course of justice in his defence and we have irrefutable evidence of fact to prove that specifics in their Statement of Truth are incorrect and wholly misleading. It will now be up to the police to determine, first as a matter of law and then as a matter of fact, whether or not there has been an attempt to pervert the course of justice in the forthcoming High Court trial".

They seemingly pick on Willis in particular because they claim he says he did not know Ki Fitzgerald before being auditioned to join Busted - but Fitzgerald claims they did know each other already because they both attended Sylvia Young School Of Drama & Acting. I'm not sure quite how relevant that is to the overall case, though the plaintiffs are keen to stress that they aren't just picking on Matt in particular because of his current newsworthiness, adding: "For anyone who might think that this has been timed to coincide with 'I'm A Celebrity', we would remind you that High Court writs were served in December 2005 and that Busted's defence was only received 11 months later, after Matt Willis had already gone into the jungle".

They also claim that all three defendants say misleading things with regard to how and when the Busted name was chosen. The defendants say the name was selected after Fitzgerald and Doyle's departure, where as Fitzgerald claims the name was his idea.

I'm not sure what to make of all this, except that this whole case should prove rather interesting once it goes to court.

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DARREN 'WIZ' BROWN DIES
Former Mega City Four frontman Darren 'Wiz' Brown has died suddenly from a blood clot on the brain. The forty four year old singer was taken ill during a rehearsal earlier this week, and passed away at St Georges Hospital in Tooting on Wednesday.

At the time of his death, Brown was living back in his hometown of Farnborough, and working on material for an album from his new band Ipanema. He had recently completed a successful tour. Mega City Four, consisting of Brown, his guitarist brother Danny, bassist Gerry Bryant and drummer Chris Jones, first gained notoriety in the late eighties, releasing six studio albums between 1989 and 1996.

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BONNIE PRINCE BILLY TO DO STAND UP
Will Oldham - the man you may know as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - is to perform a stand up gig at Chicagoan comedy club Weeds on 19 Dec. The musician is appearing as part of a series of shows sponsored and curated by record label Drag City. Drag City's Rian Murphy says Oldham "has a very expansive vision and there's no telling what he might consider funny".

He's on tour in the UK next year, dates as follows:

23 Jan: Nottingham Rock City
24 Jan: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
25 Jan: Bristol Colston Hall
26 Jan: London Queen Elizabeth Hall
27 Jan: London Queen Elizabeth Hall

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ROLF HARRIS APOLOGISES FOR RACISM
Rolf Harris has apologised for the racist language used in his 1960 hit song 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport'. Speaking in an interview to be aired on Radio Scotland on 10 Dec, Harris talked of his regret at having used the term "abo" to refer to Australian Aborigines in the track.

The words of the song, as you may not be aware, if you've never really examined the lyrics in great detail, depict the demise of an Australian stockman, who, on his deathbed, is telling friends to take care of his affairs - exhorting them to "keep me cockatoo cool", "take me koala back", and "mind me platypus duck". The offending line is "let me abos go loose".

The song was written in 1957 when aboriginal rights in Australia were virtually non existent. At that point they weren't even guaranteed a vote. After the song became popular, a re-recorded version replaced the references to "abos" with "emus". Harris said in the interview: "At the time, I was 27 or something when I wrote that. But since 1960, I have never sung that verse."

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NEW WILCO ALBUM
Wilco are working on new material in preparation for the 2007 release of a sixth studio album. The new long player, which is expected out in May next year, will be mixed by Jim O'Rourke, who also worked on their previous two albums.

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PATRICK WOLF ALBUM NEWS
Patrick Wolf's new album, 'The Magic Position' has a release date, and it's 26 Feb 2007. It's his first release via Loog, and features guest performances from Marianne Faithfull and Larrikin Love's Edward Larrikin. Here's the tracklisting, because I knows you love em.

Overture
The Magic Position
Accident & Emergency
The Bluebell
Bluebells
Magpie
The Kiss
Augustine
Secret Garden
Get Lost
Enchanted
The Stars
Finale

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ROADRUNNER SIGN CKY
Roadrunner has announced the worldwide signing of Pennsylvania rockers CKY. Previously the band released albums through indie label Volcom and subsequently Island Def Jam.

Roadrunner A&R man Monte Conner told CMU: "CKY is a massively underrated band. Everything about them screams unique, from Deron Miller's dark, melodic vocals and iconoclastic songwriting, to Chad I Ginsburg's cutting-edge production and mix techniques, to their one-of-a-kind guitar sound and rampant use of the Moog synthesizer. They simply sound like no other band I have ever heard. I've known Deron since he was a teenager and have been dying to work with CKY ever since I heard the stunning Infiltrate-Destroy-Rebuild album. I am honoured to finally have the opportunity to do so, with such a forward-thinking band."

Frontman Deron Miller says: "Roadrunner is one of my all-time favorite labels, so for me this partnership is very inspiring on a personal level and the fans will hear that on our next record."

Drummer Jess Margera adds: "It's seriously an honour to be working with such a legendary rock & metal label like Roadrunner. CKY has had a great relationship with Roadrunner over the years and our signing with them seems long overdue."

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ARCADE FIRE BACK IN THE UK
Arcade Fire have announced a new series of London live dates early next year. The band, whose new album is slated for a spring release, will play a three night residency at St John's Church in Westminster (the last night is my birthday, of course), and a further two nights at the city's Porchester Hall. Tickets went on sale today - but Mary says they're all sold out. And there are tickets up on eBay already. Crikey. Here are the dates, anyway.

29 Jan: London St John's Church
30 Jan: London St John's Church
31 Jan: London St John's Church
1 Feb: London Porchester Hall
2 Feb: London Porchester Hall

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RAZORLIGHT TOUR
Razorlight have announced a new set of tour dates for next year. The tickets go on sale on 14 Dec. Here are the dates.

30 Mar: Exeter West Point
1 Apr: Bournemouth BIC
2 Apr: Newcastle Arena
3 Apr: Manchester MEN
5 Apr: Glasgow SECC
6 Apr: Birmingham NEC
8 Apr: London Earl's Court

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PLAYMUSIC PARTY TONIGHT
The Playmusic people are staging a party tonight at the 333 Club in London from 10pm to 3am, and they're promising "loads of cool bands, great DJ sets and a special one off festive appearance by Badly Mixed Boy". Blaggers who want to go need to email rob.hunt@just-play.com

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RED STRIPE LAUNCH UNSIGNED COMPETITION
Hurrah! Yet another unsigned band competition, just what we needed. Though the winner of this one does get to tour in support of a "high profile act" and play at two festivals, so it does sound rather good. Staged by Red Stripe in association with Barfly, Music Week and The Great Escape, there will be 17 regional events as part of the search for a winner, with a final in London next April. More details on how to enter as soon as we get it.

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KASABIAN TURN LIVE FOOTAGE AROUND QUICKLY
Kasabian are making photos and video footage of their current tour dates available immediately after the shows have been played. Fans can stream the videos of the gigs on their website or MySpace by signing up to http://www.kasabian.co.uk. Three photos will be sent direct to fans' mobile phones if they text 'Kasabian' to 87070.

And here are the band's remaining tour dates:

9 Dec: London Brixton Academy
11 Dec: Manchester MEN
14 Dec: Birmingham NEC
15 Dec: Nottingham Arena
16 Dec: Brighton Centre
18 Dec: Bournemouth BIC
19 Dec: London Earls Court
21 Dec: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
22 Dec: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena

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DOHERTY CARTOON SOLD TO TV
A cartoon book depicting the life of Pete Doherty is to become a TV animation. The book, one of Popjustice founder Peter Robinson's series of Mr Men-esque books about various pop types - including Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elton John - is entitled 'A Boy Called Pete', and depicts a character who "sings songs and wears hats", takes drugs and has a girlfriend called Kate. No details yet as to when the animation will air.

Elsewhere in Doherty news, Babyshambles performed their previously reported lunchtime gig in Selfridges car park yesterday to mark the launch of the new Gio-Goi range of clothing inspired by the singer. The gathered crowd waited well over an hour for the band to appear and play a four song set. Taking to the stage, Doherty asked the fans: "Where have you been? I've been in the stationary department on my own for the last hour-and-a half." Bless.

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ALAN MCGEE RESPONDS TO GOWERS REPORT
In case any of you are having withdrawal symptoms from Gowers Report coverage, or perhaps you want proof that it's not only consumer rights crackpots that don't think the recorded copyright should be extended beyond 50 years, here's how former Creation Records boss Alan McGee has responded to yesterday's news that the government commissioned review of intellectual property laws will not propose a recorded copyright extension.

"In recent years, we have frequently been presented with the picture of total collapse for the music industry. Alarmist announcements of this kind are in fact as old as advent of home recording. Yet however overblown the case for downloaded music killing profits in one fell swoop often becomes, it still seems more credible and less insidious than the current furore over copyright . In their bid to extend the copyright on recordings from 50 to 95 years, industry executives have raised several unhappy scenarios, but these have now rightly been rejected by Andrew Gowers in his Treasury-commissioned report."

You can read his full response on his Guardian blog at this here URL:
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/music/2006/12/
keeping_the_pop_in_music.html

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GOVERNMENT MAKE MORE NOISE ABOUT CHANNEL ISLANDS VAT LOOPHOLE
If I had a pound for every time we'd reported on the UK government saying they were going to tackle that previously reported Channel Islands VAT loophole I'd have, well, seven pounds. But still, you'd think after seven attempts of tackling it they might have closed it by now. This is the loophole that enables mail order operations run by the likes of Play.Com and some of the big supermarkets to sell CDs and DVDs from bases in Jersey without paying any VAT, meaning they can always undercut independent music retailers, who can't afford flash setups in the Channel Islands. It also means, of course, that the government loses out on a not inconsiderable sum of tax revenue.

Anyway, in a document released alongside this week's pre-budget report from the Treasury the government made yet another commitment to get to grips with the loophole. The document said: "'Despite the attempts of the Channel Island authorities to limit the exploitation of these rules, the cost of this relief has increased in the last six months to around £90 million per annum. The government will assess the case for reform to protect tax revenues and will take into account the wider public interest, by balancing the compliance costs on carriers and importers with the impact on UK based retailers".

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RESEARCH SUGGESTS SMALL VENUES HAVE GRASPED NEW UK LIVE MUSIC LAWS
Research commissioned by the government seems to show that those previously reported new live music licensing rules that were introduced following the Licensing Act 2003 have not, as some feared, dramatically reduced the number of pubs and smaller venues staging live music and, in fact, some establishments have been encouraged by the new system to stage music events for the first time.

The survey showed that 63% of the venues surveyed were now licenced to stage music events, compared to 60% prior to the rules change, and 25% of those premises had acquired a licence to put on music for the first time. Of the venues that had previously staged live music under the so called and now defunct 'two in the bar rule' (which meant no licence was required), 70% now had live music licences.

Commenting on the survey, Creative Industries Minister Shaun Woodward told reporters: "It's early days. But this survey is encouraging. And shows smaller venues getting to grips with the new laws on licensing. Small venues provide the lifeblood of the music industry. It's good to see that so many smaller venues have applied to stage live acts. And a quarter chose to do so for the first time. Of course it's not just about making the big time. There's a huge range of musicians performing for pleasure or simply to earn a living. They rely on small venues. So it is good news that so many that used the two in a bar rule can now stage anything from solo jazz guitarists to the London Philharmonic Orchestra".

Feargal Sharkey, chairman of the UK's Live Music Forum, added: "This picture is encouraging and confirms much of the evidence that the forum has uncovered. We know that the majority of venues - large and small - can now put on live music and that's fantastic news. But there's always room for improvement. The forum will publish its final assessment of the legislation with recommendations on how the Government can make our live music industry even more successful early next year."

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SONY URBAN CHIEF GETS PROMOTED
The Sony Music Label Group bit of SonyBMG US, now run by former SonyBMG UK chief Rob Stringer, of course, has announced it is promoting Lisa Ellis, the head of Sony Urban, to the new role of Executive Vice President. The promotion means that Ellis will stay with SonyBMG even though Sony Urban is being rolled into the major's Columbia division (rumour had it other majors were head hunting her after it became clear her division would be restructured in that way).

In an internal memo published by HitsDailyDouble, Stringer confirmed the promotion, saying: "It is a pleasure to announce that Lisa Ellis has been named Executive Vice President, Sony Music Label Group, reporting directly to me. Lisa will work closely with me and be involved in all aspects of the Sony Music Label Group's activities, with particular emphasis on broadening our growth as an entertainment company in the digital era. She will be a key executive in helping map out our future".

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VERVE RECORDS CHIEF STEPS DOWN
Elsewhere in the shifting around of senior US major label execs, Unviersal has announced that Ron Goldstein, president of Verve Records, has stood down, and that the imprint will now operate as part of Universal Music Enterprises.

Here's what a spokesperson said: "This will further enhance the label's ability to reach its consumers by taking advantage of UME's successful non-traditional approach to marketing, publicizing and distributing music. As a result, Verve will now be uniquely positioned to maximize the many new opportunities evolving in this challenging marketplace. Verve has been at the core of the Jazz world and music history for over four decades, and remains committed to being a leader in Jazz and adult contemporary music."

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MICROSOFT REVEAL ZUNE SALES PROJECTIONS
Microsoft's marketing director Jason Reindorp has issued a statement on the company's projected sales for its new Zune digital music player, three weeks after the new device was launched into the US market. As previously reported, reports regarding uptake of the player have been mixed but the general consensus now is that sales were healthy over Thanksgiving weekend but that they have subsequently declined.

Nevertheless Reindorp remained cautiously optimistic of the player's long term chances in the iPod dominated market, again stressing that Microsoft are taking a realistic approach and do not expect to beat Apple's player overnight. Announcing that he expects to have sold over a million Zune players by the end of June next year, he told reporters: "Microsoft has a very realistic view of the landscape. There wasn't any foolish thought of coming in and turning the whole market around".

While Microsoft do seem to have been realistic about the digital music market since announcing their intention of launching Zune, and while they do seem to now be in it for the longhaul, some still question just how long Microsoft will tolerate operating in a market so dominated by their main competitor. By comparison to the 1 million Zunes Microsoft expect to sell between now and next July, analysts reckon Apple will sell 20 million iPods in just the current quarter.

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ITUNES ARRIVES IN NEW ZEALAND
Talking of iTunes and all that, Apple's download platform finally arrived in New Zealand this week, which is good news for the kiwis, and for the New Zealand music industry who have struggled to win the argument against illegal file sharing when the options for buying digital music legitimately have been limited.

Campbell Smith, boss of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, told reporters recently: "It's wrong for people to steal music. We don't need to say much more than that. But it makes it easier for [the record industry] when we can say, 'Please don't do that, here's a viable, legal, and safe alternative to stealing.' Until recently, it's been hard for us to do that."

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PRESTON LICENCE GOES TO UTV
The new FM licence for central Lancashire has gone to UTV Radio, who will launch "a local speech and music station for Preston and the surrounding area, featuring local news, information and community orientated programming and a broad, varied and engaging mix of music from the 1960s to today".

The chairman of the new station, to be called Proud FM, is Preston businessman John Barnett, who said of the licence award: "This is fantastic news and I am delighted for the people of Preston, Leyland and Chorley that they are now getting a radio station that they can truly call their own. A number of existing commercial stations claim to cover the city of Preston and towns of Chorley and Leyland, but in reality they serve the majority of Lancashire - and in some cases the whole of the north-west. Our research showed that listeners feel that existing commercial stations offer a narrow, repetitive music mix with very limited local news and little or no community involvement. Proud FM will change all of that."

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TELEGRAPH EXPANDS MULTI-MEDIA OPERATIONS
Talking of radio, The Telegraph Group is reportedly looking to make a move into the radio space, as well as setting up two new umbrella brands for its digital audio and video content - Telegraph Talk and Telegraph TV (proving once again, you can't beat a bit of alliteration).

Telegraph Talk will cover the paper's podcast and mobile services, though the division might also get involved in the media company's rumoured plans to bid for the previously reported second national digital radio multi-plex. Telegraph TV will be the consumer facing brand for its online video coverage, most of which comes through a partnership with ITN.

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RADIO 1 REJIGS
Radio 1 have announced a new line up for its 'In New DJs We Trust' dance music slot. Crissy Criss and Tayo will step down from the slot, making way for new signings Professor Green and Mistress de Funk (Kutski and Plastician will also continue to appear). Professor Green will play hip hop, while Mistress de Funk will play minimal techno and tech.

Crissy Criss, meanwhile, will take on a show at Radio 1's sister station 1Xtra, hosting an early week over night drum and bass show. Tayo will continue to guest on Radio 1, as a deputy for Annie Mac and others, and via the Essential Mix programme. The new line ups will go live from the first week of January.

Commenting on the rejig, Ben Cooper, Radio 1's Head of Programmes, told CMU: "I'm delighted to welcome Professor Green and Mistress de Funk to 'In New DJs We Trust'. It is an ever-evolving show whose mission is to ensure Radio 1 stays at the forefront of new music. Both have exceptional talent and cover genres that appeal to an important cross-section of our audience. The show has also proved itself as a key training ground/springboard for new talent. The fact that Eddie Halliwell and Trophy Twins have now graduated to their own weekly shows is testament to that. I'd like to thank both Crissy Criss who makes a great move to 1Xtra, and Tayo who listeners can expect to hear more of in the near future on Radio 1."

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BRITNEY ATTRACTING THE ATTENTION OF SOCIAL SERVICES?
According to various reports, Britney Spears has managed to attract the attention of Californian social services, due at least in part, it's suggested, to all that partying and pantilessness that's being going on lately. The singer's lifestyle since she filed for divorce has alarmed welfare types as well as Britney's family, apparently, and everyone is saying that the authorities want to speak to Britney about one year old Sean Preston and three month old Jayden James.

The New York Post quote 'a source' as saying: "The department has been calling Britney trying to set up a meeting with her, so they can check on Sean Preston and Jayden James."

The source continues: "[Britney's mother Lynne] is very disturbed and has been trying to get a hold of Britney, but she can't. Her dad is not happy. He told her that she's a grown woman and needs to act like one, and she's been making bad decisions".

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ALEX JAMES ON THAT BLUR REUNION, AGAIN
Blur bassist Alex James has been yapping about the fact that he thinks he will get Graham Coxon back into the Blur fold at some point. As previously reported, I had to retract my feeling that there was a snowball's chance of that (based, incidentally, on the fact that Coxon's reported horror of the idea) due to the fact that Coxon (previously horrified by the idea, let's not forget) started implying that it's not something that he would completely rule out.

Anyway, Alex James' most recent comment on the matter is relatively inconclusive, but never mind. Here's what he told Simon Mayo on 5Live on Wednesday: "I saw Graham last week. There may be some news there but I don't want to rush anything."

Softly, softly.

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