CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 10th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple formally announce iPhone
- Former Runrig man to support copyright extension in parliament
- Morrissey to do Eurovision?
- Pete Kleinow dies
- George Michael case comes to court
- Mario ends legal dispute with Knowles
- Geldof gets honorary doctorate
- Fall Out Boy on Jay-Z collaboration
- Depeche Mode release digital box set
- Greenwood collection out in March
- New Air single on MySpace
- Ian Brown wants McCartney's help
- Sony to re-release Cohen albums
- New Dub Pistols
- Animal Collective sign to Domino
- Plan B tour announced
- Maximo Park dates
- Acoustic festival returns to Nantwich
- Noise Of Art events
- Music Zone founder responds to company going into administration
- Rough Trade ally with World's Fair
- US indies body appoints new president
- Jupiter predict continued digital boom
- MobiTV announce Warner music partnership
- Real announce various Rhapsody partnerships
- PRS publish musical advice for restaurants
- Hudson make new appointment to aid expansion into film
- New Scottish rock station goes on air
- Kylie top of the Wembley pops
- Spears is worst dressed
- Donny on Doherty and the Monkeys

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TOP BIT>>
OK, a logistical Top Bit for you.

Tradition dictates that we update our label and publicist directories in January (well, I'm pretty sure it does) so if you are a label or PR/plugger type then it would be great if you could visit http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/directory and let us know if there are any changes due to your listing or if, horror of horrors, you're not actually listed at all, email us all the relevant info for your company so we can get you in there.

For labels this is label name, mailing address, phone number, web address and press and promotions contact names and emails (with details of what kinds of press/promotions each person does). For PR firms this is company name, mailing address, phone number, web address, contact names and email address and details of what kinds of PR you do (press, radio, television, online, clubs, college, regional, national). Email tweaks, changes and additions to listings@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk and we'll get your entry updated just as soon as we can.

While we are talking about webby things, you can now find out all about the CMU team - editorial, reviewers and college correspondents - in the http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/about section. I think you'll find that we are all lovely.

And, of course, if you are looking to promote your artists or events in the next couple of months then you really should check this page here - http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/about/advertising.html.

And that's enough logistics. For now.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Jakokoyak

One of the most important people in the Welsh music scene at the moment, Rhys Jakokoyak is a one man cool machine who produces some of the most inventive beats that I've heard in a long time. There is a load of interesting info about him to be found on his page, including an extensive discography and quite a bit of history. Disappointingly there are only three tracks to be heard, but the ones that are on there are more than definitely worth a listen as there's a scope to his music that is sadly being overlooked. One of the tracks, 'Eira', sounds like a slightly more accessible Gruff Rhys whilst another, 'Panic Remix', has a blast of intensity at every break. The stand out track here though is clearly 'Paid a Gadael Nhw Dynnu Fi' which is simply amazing. Nothing I write could sum up the beauty of the song; you have to hear it for yourself. GM

http://www.myspace.com/jakokoyak

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APPLE FORMALLY ANNOUNCE IPHONE
So, everyone else in the techie world makes their big announcements and they get filed with all the digital stories two thirds down, Apple makes their announcement and it's the lead story - it's just not fair is it? Especially when Apple's big announcement was a surprise to around about no one.

Still, it's quite exciting. As expected, Apple supremo Steve Jobs used his key note at the Mac Expo convention in San Francisco yesterday to officially unveil the long awaited iPod mobile phone. To be initially available in the US only via the Cingular Wireless mobile network, and retailing from a rather pricey $499, the new device will do what most iPods do, but with additional phone, email and web functionality, and that compulsory phone accessory, the digital camera, also inbuilt. About the size of a pack of cards, the iPhone will include a touch screen through which users can make calls, access the net, watch videos and access their digital music collection. In terms of memory, 4GB and 8GB models will be available, while Jobs says the battery will allow five hours of calls or web browsing, and fifteen hours of music playback.

Despite aiming for the higher end of the mobile device market, many see the iPhone as an important development in the digital music space bringing together, as it does, the dominant digital music device of today with what most reckon will be the dominant digital music device of the future, the mobile phone. All the main phone manufacturers already make their own MP3 player mobiles, of course, utilising download platforms operated in the main by the main tel cos (and Motorola, of course, have already released an iTunes compatible phone). But there is a general consensus that the mobile music devices and platforms released so far are not especially user friendly. Given that Apple were first to launch a truly consumer friendly digital music offer in the web domain, industry commentators will be eager to get their own hands on Job's latest device to see whether he has managed to do the same in the mobile space.

Needless to say, Jobs was upbeat about his new device, predicting Apple could sell up to 10 million of them in 2008. Analysts, while noting that the launch price point of the iPhone ruled out much of the mainstream market, still seem excited about the potential of the new product, and Jobs' announcement helped boost Apple's share price by 8%.

Elsewhere in the Jobs keynote came confirmation that the previously reported iTV set top box (seemingly now being called AppleTV, which will certainly help avoid confusion in the UK) will be available from February. The new 40GB machine will retail for $299, and will enable viewers to stream movies, music, podcasts and TV shows off the net via their televisions. Jobs also announced that Viacom owned Paramount Pictures will soon be making some films available via iTunes (currently the only big studio doing that is Disney, where Jobs himself is a board member).

Also of note was the announcement that from this point onwards Apple would drop the 'Computers' bit of their company name, to become just Apple Inc, a change presumably designed to represent the company's move into the more general consumer electronics space (telecommunications, television etc) in addition to their operations in the more traditional computing sector. What Beatles company Apple Corps will make of that I don't know, but given their recent misfortune in legal battles over the Apple name, and rumours of an Apple/Apple deal over the launch of the Beatles digital catalogue, I'm sure they'll manage to suppress any bad feeling.

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FORMER RUNRIG MAN TO SUPPORT COPYRIGHT EXTENSION IN PARLIAMENT
So, could Scottish MP Pete Wishart be the British music industry's Sonny Bono? Well, probably not, but the former Runrig keyboardist and now SNP member of parliament for Perth and North Perthshire has announced that he will today speak in favour of an extension of the recorded copyright in the UK when the House Of Commons gets to debate the much previously reported Gowers review on intellectual property laws which, as also previously reported, concludes that the case for extending said copyright from its current fifty years isn't strong.

Confirming his support for extending the copyright term, Wishart told CMU yesterday: "The unprecedented petition from over 5000 UK musicians and artists, expressing their concern at the Gowers Review, demonstrates what an important and crucial report this is. Musicians and creators feel let down by this report and it has left them feeling undervalued, unsupported and misunderstood. The Gowers Review was a rare opportunity to look at whether our Intellectual Property laws currently strike the right balance between rewarding creativity and giving business the opportunity to develop the knowledge economy. It is my view that Gowers fell short of this key objective and it could in fact seriously compromise the competitiveness of the UK creative sector".

He continued: "The failure to understand the importance to artists of copyright protection is the biggest singular failure in this review. Gowers also shunned the opportunity to right the historic wrong that sees UK artists and musicians discriminated against on the extension of term. The Government must now reconsider its whole approach to the Gowers process and consult further on this report's recommendations. The Gowers Review has infuriated UK artists and creators and it is now time to put a brake on this and reconsider our whole approach".

As previously reported, the British (and European) music industry has been lobbying to increase the term of recorded copyright in the UK (and Europe) from the current 50 years up to 95 years, a move which would bring European copyrights in line with US copyrights where copyright recordings have been protected for 95 years ever since their 1998 Copyright Extension Act, initiated by singer and then congressman Sonny Bono.

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MORRISSEY TO DO EUROVISION?
According to the BBC, Morrissey is interested in representing the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. The former Smiths frontman first expressed his interest after poor old Daz Sampson came fifth from last in last year's competition, saying: "I was horrified but not surprised to see the UK fail. Why didn't they ask me?"

Now the BBC say they're in talks with the singer over the possibility of his writing and performing a track for this year's contest, but insist that nothing is confirmed. The Beeb have also approached a number of other high profile acts with a view to raising the standard of artists who take part. Whether the fact that they have a high profile will be enough to overcome the politics of Eurovision remains to be seen. Although, to be fair, Finnish metal band Lordi seemed to overcome those politics pretty well last year.

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PETE KLEINOW DIES
Country rock guitarist 'Sneaky' Pete Kleinow, one of the original members of the Flying Burrito Brothers, has died at the age of 72. The musician passed away on Saturday at a convalescent home in California, having been admitted to full time care last year due to Alzheimer's.

Kleinow began his career as an animator and special effects artist, before joining former The Byrds members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman in forming Flying Burrito Brothers in 1968, whereupon he spent the next thirteen years exclusively working as a musician. He is credited with helping define the country rock genre during the 60s and 70s and influencing the likes of The Eagles, the Steve Miller Band and Poco. His performance style, employing the use of electronic innovations like the fuzzbox, is said to have informed the work of later artists such as Jerry Garcia and Buddy Cage. In addition to his work with Parsons and Hillman, he appeared as a session musician on the albums of a number of other high profile artists, including the likes of John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees, Robert Palmer and Carly Simon.

In 1981 Kleinow returned to creating film special effects, working on films such as 'The Empire Strikes Back', 'Gremlins', and 'The Terminator', although he did continue to work sporadically in music during this period, in which he won an Emmy for his work on miniseries 'The Winds Of War'. In 2000, he founded alt-country outfit Burrito Deluxe and recorded two albums. According to band manager Brenda Cline, his last recording with the group will be released next month.

Kleinow is survived by his wife of 54 years, and five children. A memorial service is expected to be held in Joshua Tree, California, later this month.

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GEORGE MICHAEL CASE COMES TO COURT
As previously reported, George Michael is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow after being charged with being unfit to drive following that incident back in October last year when the singer was arrested in Cricklewood, north London, after motorists reported that his car was causing an obstruction at traffic lights. Well, we say that, Michael is not actually expected to attend the hearing at Brent Magistrates' Court - lawyers are expected to enter a plea on his behalf.

It wasn't the first cannabis and car related incident for the former Wham star, of course - he was, if you remember, cautioned for cannabis possession back in February 2006 after being found slumped at the wheel of his car near Hyde Park Corner.

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MARIO ENDS LEGAL DISPUTE WITH KNOWLES
A lawsuit against Beyonce's dad and manager Matthew Knowles in relation to a dispute between American R&B star Mario and artist manager Troy Patterson has been dropped. Mario Barrett began legal proceedings against Patterson, owner of Third Street Entertainment and the singer's former manager, just under a year ago over allegations the manager "took advantage" of Mario's mother when she was unable to make decisions because of her drug addiction and, in doing so, cheated him out of monies he should have earned in relation to his first album release (or something like that, I'm not 100% clear on this). Knowles was involved because Barrett accused him of advising Patterson to act in the way he did in relation to the singer's affairs. However, with Patterson and Barrett having reached an out of court settlement in late 2006, all legal action against Knowles has now also been resolved.

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GELDOF GETS HONORARY DOCTORATE
Bob Geldof has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Newcastle. It's a doctorate in civil law. In recognition of his campaigning. That's it, really.

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FALL OUT BOY ON JAY-Z COLLABORATION
Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman has spoken to MTV about the band's collaboration with Jay Z on their new album. As previously reported, the rap star appears on the track 'Car Crash', but apparently it wasn't easy for the hip hopper to find the time to make his contribution. Trohman said: "He's a hard man to lock down. No matter how good friends you are with someone, if they're really busy you let them go do their thing and if they have the time to come and make a cameo, that's awesome. We know the guy is real busy, especially with his new record being out and stuff."

The band's Frontman Patrick Stump added: "We're awesome with Jay - there's just a lot of mutual respect there".

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DEPECHE MODE RELEASE DIGITAL BOX SET
Depeche Mode have released a new digital 'box set' comprising their entire back catalogue, plus a download booklet featuring work by the band's long term photographer Anton Corbijn. The collection is available from iTunes at a cost of £139.99.

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GREENWOOD COLLECTION OUT IN MARCH
'Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller', that previously reported collection of reggae tracks selected by the Radiohead star from the Trojan Records back catalogue, is to be released on 5 Mar. Here's his tracklisting:

Linval Thompson - Dread Are The Controller
Derrick Harriott - Let Me Down Easy
Marcia Aitken - I'm Still In Love
Gregory Isaacs - Never Be Ungrateful
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Bionic Rats
The Heptones - Cool Rasta
Scientist & Jammy & The Roots Radics - Flash Gordon Meets Luke Skywalker
Lee 'Scratch' Perry & The Upsetters - Black Panta
Junior Byles - Fever
Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Beautiful And Dangerous
Lloyd's All Stars - Dread Dub (It Dread Out Deh Version)
Marcia Griffiths - Gypsy Man
Johnny Clarke & The Aggrovators - A Ruffer Version
The Jahlights - Right Road To Dubland (Right Road To Zion Dub)
Junior Byles & Lee Perry - Dreader Locks
Delroy Wilson - This Life Makes Me Wonder
Scotty - Clean Race

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NEW AIR SINGLE ON MYSPACE
Air are streaming 'Once Upon A Time', the first single from their forthcoming new album 'Pocket Symphony', out 5 Mar, on their MySpace page. Which is here: http://www.myspace.com/intairnet.

The band have confirmed that they'll be going on tour to promote the release of the album, which is understood to feature vocal contributions from Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon.

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IAN BROWN WANTS MCCARTNEY'S HELP
According to NME, Ian Brown wants Paul McCartney to play on his fifth solo album. The former Stone Rose says: "I spoke to his assistant, I was like, 'Me name's Ian Brown and I'm a singer', and she was like, 'Yeah I've heard of you'. RAK studios where we're recording the album is only round the corner from where he lives. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I don't mind waiting for him! I'd put it back for him. I just think in the last 40 years, no one's touched McCartney on the bass. It's a bit of a pipe dream, but if you don't ask, you don't get, so I'm going for it".

Brown has already enlisted the help of a couple of other significant contributors - ex Smiths man Andy Rourke, and Paul Ryder from The Happy Mondays.

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SONY TO RE-RELEASE COHEN ALBUMS
SonyBMG US catalogue label Legacy has announced that in late March it will re-release Leonard Cohen's first three albums - 1968's 'The Songs Of Leonard Cohen', 1969's 'Songs From A Room' and 1971's 'Songs Of Love And Hate'. The albums will feature 'restored' recordings plus bonus tracks and new liner notes. Not sure if they'll get a formal UK release as yet.

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NEW DUB PISTOLS
I haven't managed to listen to it yet because Mary ran off with our copy (well, I think it's on her desk, so I could go and nab it back, in fact, I will) but promo copies of the brand new Dub Pistols album are doing the rounds, and a release date has been confirmed as 19 Mar. The third long player from Barry Ashworth et al, this one is coming out on Sunday Best, and is sure to be another stormer. We'll get round to reviewing it soon, promise, meantime here's a tracklisting with collaborator name checks...

Speed Of Light (feat Blade)
Peaches (feat Rodney P and Terry Hall)
Speakers and Tweeters
Running from the Thoughts (feat Terry Hall)
Rapture (feat Terry Hall)
Cruise Control
Open
You'll Never Find (feat Rodney P)
Gangsters (feat Terry Hall)
Something To Trust (feat Rodney P)
Mach 10
Stronger
Gave You Time

Press info from Get Involved.

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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE SIGN TO DOMINO
According to Billboard, experimental US band Animal Collective have signed to Domino Records, and are expected to head into the studio this month to record the follow-up to 2005's 'Feels'. Previously the group were signed to another UK based label, Brighton's Fat Cat Records, who will issue a four track EP, 'People', on 23 Jan in the US.

Animal Collective also run their own label, Paw Tracks - which has issued albums from the likes of singer songwriter Aerial Pink, and Panda Bear, the solo work of Collective member Noah Lennox. This will apparently continue to be distributed by Fat Cat.

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PLAN B TOUR ANNOUNCED
Plan B has announced a series of tour dates, ahead of the release of his new single, 'No Good', on 19 Feb. As follows:

30 Jan: Preston 53 Degrees
31 Jan: Birmingham Academy 2
1 Feb: Leeds Cockpit
2 Feb: Glasgow Arches
3 Feb: Sheffield Leadmill
7 Feb: Manchester Academy 2
8 Feb: Cardiff Student Union
9 Feb: London Shepherds Bush Empire
10 Feb: Bristol Anson Rooms
12 Feb: Cambridge Junction
13 Feb: Liverpool Academy 2
14 Feb: Norwich Waterfront
15 Feb: Southampton University

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MAXIMO PARK DATES
Maximo Park have announced that they'll play three intimate dates in their hometown of Newcastle this month, to preview material from their upcoming, but not yet titled, second album. The venues are all locations where the band played earlier in their career. Tickets for the shows, on sale from 10am this Saturday, will only be available from specific independent record shops, as follows:

18 Jan: Newcastle Head of Steam (tickets from Beatdown Records, Vine Lane, Newcastle)
19 Jan: Newcastle Cumberland Arms (tickets from Alt. Vinyl, Thornton Street, Newcastle)
20 Jan: Newcastle Cluny (tickets from RPM, High Bridge Street, Newcastle)

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ACOUSTIC FESTIVAL RETURNS TO NANTWICH
The second Acoustic Festival is to be held again at the Nantwich Showground in Cheshire this summer, taking place from 28-29 Jul. The event, set to take place across three main stages with a capacity of 12,000, will feature performances from the likes of Jethro Tull, Midge Ure, Jah Wobble, the Chris Difford Band, Hazel O'Connor, Dead Men Walking and The Animals.

The new third stage, The Woody Guthrie Stage, is set to feature a line-up of blues and roots artists, whilst the Octagon stage, as last year, will feature appearances from a variety of unsigned artists. Additionally, event organisers are promising better camping facilities and improved security. Early bird weekend tickets are now available, see http://www.acousticfestival.co.uk for info.

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NOISE OF ART EVENTS
Audio-visual mini-fest Noise Of Art has announced details of two upcoming events, one the launch of its 2007 programme, and the other the first event in that programme.

The launch takes place at the Bar Music Hall on Curtain Road in London on 31 Jan from 7pm to 2am and is free to attend. The first event of the year proper is the Noise Of Art Winter Sessions 1. It takes place at the Institut Français on Queensberry Place in London from 6.30pm on 2 Feb and will include three rooms of music, film, visuals and performance artists, plus Parisian house masters Chateau Flight performing their new score to silent movie Les Vampiers, a set from UK guitar wielding electro act Les Hommes Du Train and DJ sets from I:Cube, Gilb'r and Ben Osborne.

More at http://www.myspace.com/noiseofart, press info from ben.osborne2@btopenworld.com

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MUSIC ZONE FOUNDER RESPONDS TO COMPANY GOING INTO ADMINISTRATION
The founder of music retail chain Music Zone, who sold the firm two years ago, has said it was a "huge shock" to hear last week that the company had now called in the administrators. As those administrators placed an ad in the Financial Times yesterday confirming the music chain was up for sale, the Manchester Evening News reported that founder Russ Grainger is blaming the company's financial backers, private equity house Lloyds TSB Development Capital and the Bank Of Ireland, for the sudden financial strife, claiming they have backed out of their commitments to MusicZone because of problems being experienced by other players in the music retail space.

The MEN quotes Grainger thus: "In business you have to take a risk, but in this case I think we saw risk-free banking. I think Music Zone has gone to the wall, in a perverse kind of way, because of the troubles of its competitors, HMV and Woolworth's. Bank of Ireland lost its nerve and called in a loan, and I think Lloyds TSB could have done more to refinance the business: they are a bank, after all. OK, the market was tough, everyone knows that, but there was nothing terrible about the trading pattern."

While no longer involved in the retail chain, which he grew from a Manchester market stall, Grainger says that if the company goes to the wall he will lose out financially because when he sold the company there was a clause that would ensure him a cut of any future sale of the chain. Moreover, he says he is concerned for the company's 1100 staff, many of whom he still knows: "I have a lot of friends there - people like [Managing Director] Steve Oliver, who is a family friend - and I am very upset for them".

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ROUGH TRADE ALLY WITH WORLD'S FAIR
Rough Trade have entered into a partnership with US based World's Fair Label Group which it will use to enable the North American release of certain albums, including Jarvis Cocker's debut solo offering 'Jarvis' and Brakes' 2006 album 'Beatific Visions' (Billboard seem to be calling them BrakesBrakesBrakes, which could be a name they're using in the US to avoid confusion with American band The Brakes - I should check really). The new arrangement should enable Rough Trade to boost its presence in the US market - problems reaching that market have been in part blamed for the indie's recent disappointing financial results. Billboard say World's Fair hope to have the first Rough Trade releases out in the US by April or May.

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US INDIES BODY APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT
Talking of independent music in America, which we kind of were, The American Association Of Independent Music has named Richard Bengloff as its new president. He will take over from acting president Peter Gordon. Confirming his appointment, Bengloff told reporters: "I want to ensure the priorities of our members are the priorities of our organisation so that we are representing our members to the best of our ability. As the independent labels emerge as the leaders of the 'new music business,' we will work to utilise and capitalise on the wealth of ingenuity, creativity, and collective accomplishments that exists in the indie sector".

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JUPITER PREDICT CONTINUED DIGITAL BOOM
Consumer spending on digital music in the US alone will reach $2.5 billion by 2011, or at least that's what Jupiter Research reckon. They are predicted a 16% compounded annual growth in the digital sector over the next five years - and 32% growth in the subscription based download market. Which is all good and groovy, though Jupiter add that they don't expect digital sales to fully compensate for the continuing decline in CD sales expected in the next five years, which is less groovy I guess.

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MOBITV ANNOUNCE WARNER MUSIC PARTNERSHIP
Mobile content types MobiTV, who provide programming via Orange and 3 here in the UK, have entered into a deal with Warner Music which will enable them to offer a range of exclusive programming through artist-specific mobile channels. Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance and Red Hot Chili Peppers are among the artists expected to be involved. This is what MobiTV's Executive Producer Of Music TV Nancy Levin had to say: "We want to stimulate the music industry with the best videos, TV shows and artist programming, while ensuring all parties get paid in the process". Don't we all, Nancy.

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REAL ANNOUNCE VARIOUS RHAPSODY PARTNERSHIPS
More CES announcements. And Real Networks have announced a string of new partnerships to promote its Rhapsody subscription based music service. The deals are with TiVo, iRiver, Logitech and Nokia, all of whom will incorporate the Rhapsody system into some or all of their respective consumer electronic devices.

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PRS PUBLISH MUSICAL ADVICE FOR RESTAURANTS
Publishing royalties body PRS has published a leaflet advising restaurant owners on how to use music to "enhance their environment" (actually, restaurants are the one place where I'd rather there be no music, but what do I know?). PRS Sales MD Keith Gilbert explains: "Many restaurants recognise that playing the right kind of music can enhance the environment they provide for customers and staff and often increase profits. The cost of playing music to create this better atmosphere is less than most people think; from as little as 27p a day. This money is paid back to the people who have created the music". Of course PRS don't really care what music restaurant owners play, just that they play some music and that they have the appropriate PRS licence to do so, thus earning extra revenues for the songwriters and publishers they represent.

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HUDSON MAKE NEW APPOINTMENT TO AID EXPANSION INTO FILM
Music PR firm Hudson PR have announced the appointment of David Cox to the role of Senior Account Manager. With a background in DVD PR, Cox will help Hudson expand into the home entertainment and film publicity domain. Hudson MD Clare Hudson told CMU: "We are very excited about the year ahead. Having David on board will see Hudson PR go from strength to strength and help us to open up many new opportunities in 2007"

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NEW SCOTTISH ROCK STATION GOES ON AIR
96.3 Rock Radio has gone on air in West Scotland (Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire), billing itself as Scotland's first Classic Rock station (though if I remember rightly the original Scot FM was a bit of a classic rock station also). The Guardian Media Group owned station launched with a guest appearance from Scottish rockers Nazareth and a best wishes message from Rod Stewart.

Commenting on the launch, the station's MD told reporters: "This is a very exciting day for GMG as a radio group, not only to be launching a new brand but to be bringing to Scotland its very own classic rock station. We will endeavour to provide an alternative listen whilst encompassing the key local news and information services for our listeners".

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KYLIE TOP OF THE WEMBLEY POPS
Kylie has overtaken Madonna in the 'most popular female artists to ever play Wembley Arena' list which is based on ticket sales achieved by artists during the venue's 72 year history. She has also been presented with an award by the Wembley Arena team for selling out her previously reported seven new year shows at the venue. General manager Peter Tudor said: "We wanted to recognise Kylie's spectacular return to Wembley. Kylie, her team and 79,000 fans have given us a phenomenal start to the New Year".

The singer has also unveiled a plaque of her handprints to be displayed at Wembley's Square Of Fame on which she said: "It was an honour to be asked to leave my handprints on Wembley's Square of Fame and it was a thrill to see the final result in bronze!"

Elsewhere in Kylie news, the singer is the biggest gay icon ever, according to a new poll. She beat the likes of Dolly Parton, Abba, Judy Garland, and, er, Jordan & Peter Andre to take first place in the survey conducted by Onepoll. Madonna only made it to number 7.

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SPEARS IS WORST DRESSED
Veteran US Fashion critic Mr Blackwell has given joint first place to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in his annual worst dressed women list.

Given the number of times Spears has been photographed in recent months sans-panties one is inclined to think that 'not-dressed' is a more apt description than 'worst-dressed'. Crikey, that sounded pompous. Am I getting old or something?

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DONNY ON DOHERTY AND THE MONKEYS
That Donny Tourette bloke has been using his time in the post Big Brother escape limelight to slag off Arctic Monkeys, which seems a bit silly. Surely "buy my records, buy my records" would be a better thing to be saying just now. Then again, there's nothing like an pop feud to keep press interest going, I suppose. Here's what he told the Daily Mirror: "It's about time someone put those Arctic Monkeys fucking wankers in their place. There's no one I despise more. The Arctic Monkeys have no sense of humour, they take themselves so seriously. They're not exactly rock and roll. Not like the Towers". Which all seems slightly hyperbolic - is there really no one he "despises more"? You might find the Monkeys tedious, but I can't see they're really doing anyone any harm.

More favourable words from Donny for Mr Pete Doherty though: "We toured together a little bit and it was totally fucked-up. He's a fucking legend and is totally for real - so don't diss him". Like we would. Ever.

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