CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 7th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple boss calls on majors to drop DRM
- Ozzfest 2007 to be free
- Juno nominations out
- Spector reaches settlement in assistant lawsuit
- Single Review: Clinic - If You Could Read Your Mind
- Kylie exhibition opens
- New site aims to right past chart wrongs
- Frankie Laine dies
- Ne-Yo writing for new Britney album
- Shitdisco tour
- Manics tour
- More Great Escape additions
- Single Review: Lavender Diamond - The Cavalry Of Light Ep
- So, who gets what from digital?
- Ticketmaster launch eticket system at London venue
- US label appointments
- Warner sign deal with last.fm
- 23 people apply for BBC chair job
- Single Review: Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry
- So people were offended by prince's Superbowl show
- Ghost disses Allen
- Eminem and Kim engaged again?

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TOP BIT>>
Well, everyone is talking about DRM today - mainly because of Steve Jobs' sudden announcement yesterday that DRM is evil (well, I'm paraphrasing slightly). Some people are also chattering about mobile, because MySpace have just announced a deal with Vodaphone (more on that tomorrow). But I'm going to ignore all that (we're going into DRM and digital in rather a lot of detail in a bit) and return to new music talent competitions.

We've been commenting of late on just how many of these brand organised new music competitions there are around these days, and suggesting that such competitions are sometimes rather lazy marketing initiatives that benefit the brands more than the bands. Though we've then gone on to find good things to say about most of them, so I'm not sure quite where we stand on all this.

And I'm using the Top Bit today to big up yet another one, mainly because its organisers point out that they are concentrating on championing new urban talent, whereas most of these battle of the bands tend to focus on white boy indie (well, they didn't say "white boy indie", but that's what they meant). And you know, they are right about that, which is why the Hugo Urban Rules initiative is worth a mention. And also because the masterclass bit of the programme seems to be central to the initiative, rather than a last minute add on.

The way this works is that aspiring urban talent (and they're using quite a wide definition of what that covers) upload their music to a website, and fifteen are selected by judges to participate in a two day event in a specific regional city. On day one they receive masterclasses on stage craft, the music business and vocal coaching, and then each audition in front of the judges. Three bands then go forward to a second stage of auditions on day two, while all bands get to meet and question established artists. An overall winner is then selected who will perform at a finale gig open to the public and headlined those established artists. They also get to professional record a track, and some other stuff too. If that all makes sense.

The next Hugo Urban Rules bash takes place in Birmingham on 21 and 22 Feb, with Amy Winehouse, Jay Sean and 1Xtra's Twin B all taking part, alongside the fifteen new bands. The deadline for new bands to enter to take part has now passed, but submissions are being taken for the next Urban Rules bash, which will be in Manchester in May.

Anyway, if any of this is interesting to any of your urban fans out there in CMU land, may I suggest a visit to http://www.hugofragrances.com/urbanrules or, if you're a journalist, a phone call to Spring PR. And that's enough new artist competitions for now. Let's get onto tedious DRM chatter shall we?

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

PACHA MAGAZINE
Pacha magazine returns to the Miami Winter Music conference for a second year. Pacha will again distribute 25,000 free copies of the magazine in the build up and duration of the various dance music conferences taking place during March (WMC, Miami Music Week), targeting the most influential and savvy electronic music consumers in the World. Pacha will be the most visible publication in south Beach's hippest hotels, bars and shops. The magazine, produced by Graphite Media, also features an exclusive free CD from CR2 Records. The advertising deadline is Friday 9th February ...Advertising rates start from £396...call Gary at Programmedia now to discuss your requirements

Programmedia.co.uk : Advertising in the best independent music magazines including Pacha, Disorder, Fact, Fusion, Stool Pigeon, Base:ad, Blowback, Beat, Swell and many music festival programmes. Check http://www.programmedia.co.uk for latest.

Programmedia Landline: +44 (0)1494 866337
Email: Gary@programmedia.co.uk

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES FEBRUARY
This month features live sets from five great new bands - Xerox Teens, Rat:Att:Agg, Das Wanderlust, Ox Eagle Lion Man and The More Assured plus, on the decks, will be KAH resident Gavin Nugent plus guests Teens Of Thailand. It'll be a storming night, running from 8.30pm through to 4am the next morning. And Carling will be £1.80 a pint all night! Tix are £6 if you buy or guest list in advance, info at http://www.leylinepromotions.com.

BASICS: Friday 9 Feb, Carling Islington Academy, London, 8.30pm - 4am, tix £6 in advance.

More recommends: http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/cmurecommends

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READER NOMINATED MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Modernaire & Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip

Dear All, Sorry for not remembering the special MSOTD email address that you no doubt spent minutes setting up especially for emails like this one, only for lazy people like me to forget, thus bringing the whole system crashing down. Sorry once again.

Can I put forward Modernaire. I like their tracks 'Faites Tes Jeux' and 'Bloodshed In The Womb' so much that I listened to them both about 20 times in a row the day I first heard them, dancing around the reception area, where I have very little to do all day long. My friend sings for them, and we once worked together at a playscheme for mentally-handicapped children, but I like to think that doesn't breach the rules.

What presumably does break the rules, however would be my imminent attempt to recommend a second act IN THE SAME EMAIL!?! Sorry once again, but Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip are AWESOME. Especially 'Thou Shalt Always Kill', which I first heard Scroobius Pip do at a poetry slam (that's the technical term). I like it so much that I went to another poetry night he was performing at the following week. They're the only two poetry nights I've ever been to. I'm not the only one though, they've been on Xfm and Radio 1. Get on the bus.

One last thing that I would like to bring up is how the LED display on the MySpace player is not linked to the music at all, it's going all over the shop even during silence. And it really bothers me for no apparent reason.

That was longer than I intended, but I really do have the easiest job in the world. Sorry once again. Matt.

http://www.myspace.com/modernairetheband
http://www.myspace.com/lesacvspip

Nominated by Matt Metherell. You too can nominate your MSOTD - providing you don't work with the band your nominating. Send 100-150 words on why we should check out a band's MySpace to myspace@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

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APPLE BOSS CALLS ON MAJORS TO DROP DRM
Well, this is interesting, as they say, or we say, sometimes, when things are interesting, mainly. Erm, where was I? Oh yes, Apple boss Steve Jobs yesterday called on the major record companies to start selling digital music without copy-protection DRM.

This is interesting, of course, because arguably Jobs and Apple are benefiting more than most from the major record companies' ongoing love affair with digital rights management (or, I should say, to be precise, restrictive digital rights management). After all, for as long as the iPod is by far the market leading digital music player, and while the only DRMed music that will play on an iPod is that sold by iTunes, and while the majors won't sell their music in non-DRMed MP3 format, then iPod owners will continue to be locked to iTunes, and iTunes users will continue to be locked to the iPod (except for music from indie labels, of course, who do sell MP3s), which is all surely good news for Apple.

So why is Jobs now speaking out against the record industry's love affair with DRM? Well, if I was being cynical, I might suggest it's a PR move to throw the growing consumer resentment towards the interoperability that exists in the digital music sector (caused by proprietary DRMs like that owned by Apple) onto the record labels rather than technology firms. As previously reported, consumer rights bodies in Europe, and especially Scandinavia, are getting increasingly tetchy about interoperability in the digital content space (or, rather, the lack of it), and Apple, as the most successful company in the sector, are getting more criticism than most. What Jobs is probably doing with his anti-DRM polemic is trying to convince people that the problem isn't that restrictive DRM technologies created by companies like Apple won't work on rivals' players, rather the problem is the major labels' insistence on using DRM in the first place. On one level he's right of course, though Apple's business model is hardly that consumer friendly either.

Indicating his motivation for his new stand on DRM, Jobs wrote on Apple's website yesterday: "Perhaps those unhappy with the current situation should redirect their energies towards persuading the music companies to sell their music DRM-free. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies".

Going over familiar arguments for why major record companies should drop their insistence regarding the use of controlling DRM, Jobs continued: "Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven't worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy".

Responding to Jobs' DRM comments, David Packman, the boss of the US's number two download platform eMusic, echoed the calls for major labels to dump DRM - though that's not so surprising, eMusic being the leading supplier of non-DRMed MP3 downloads. Packman told CMU: "Consumers prefer a world where the media they purchase is playable on any device, regardless of its manufacturer, and not burdened by arbitrary usage restrictions. DRM only serves to restrict consumer choice, prevents a larger digital music market from emerging and often makes consumers unwitting accomplices to the ambitions of technology companies. eMusic has always sold music in the way consumers want, and by focusing on the needs of the customer, we have sold more than 100 million downloads in the past three years. More than 13,000 independent labels share this view. We are hopeful the remaining four will one day join them by licensing their complete catalogues and reap the benefits of consumer demand for music's 'long tail'".

DRM, of the restrictive kind, is very much out of favour at the moment of course, being generally dissed at Midem last month, and at the MusicTank Think Tank on digital music in London last night. Yet the consensus is that, while the majority of those working in the record industry now see that the use of restrictive DRM is flawed on more or less every level, the majors will not change their policies on the matter for some time. Even if (and probably especially if) Steve Jobs tells them they should do.

Elsewhere in Apple iTunes news, there's much speculation as to if and when (mainly when) there will be a big announcement from iTunes regarding the Beatles catalogue. As reported yesterday, Apple Inc have now formally ended their long long running trademark dispute with Beatles company Apple Corps, which many see as a stepping stone to an announcement that the Beatles catalogue is about to be made legitimately available digitally for the first time.

Some reckon that an announcement is imminent, while others say that, despite the settlement of the trademark dispute, it will be a while before anything happens with the Beatles. Others are speculating what the deal will be once it is announced - will the Beatles company, long protective of the value of the fab four's music, sell off their catalogue at 99 cents / 79 pence a track like everyone else. Or can we expect a premium digital box set offer? Or a 'higher unit price for better audio quality' offer?

Who knows and, some are asking, who cares? Yes, some reckon the arrival of the Beatles to digital isn't actually as big a story as others say. Those people point out that anyone who wants Beatles MP3s has already ripped them off CD or downloaded them via P2P. As Digital Music News Editor Paul Resnikoff writes: "Maybe in 2000, when consumers were unfamiliar with their options, and forming new habits, this [Beatles going digital] would have had a serious and lasting impact. But that window has quickly passed".

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OZZFEST 2007 TO BE FREE
Now, obviously, those of you who pay attention to your CMU Daily have been wondering all night what the "surprise, groundbreaking, historic announcement" made in LA yesterday regard Ozzfest was (we told you it was coming, remember?). Well, the announcement was that tickets to this year's flagship US metal touring festival will be free. Which is quite ground breaking actually. And quite surprising. Not sure if it's really historic, but, as that great philosopher Meat Loaf once said, two out of three ain't bad. But yes, Ozzfest is going to be a free event this year, funded by sponsorship deals.

Announcing that plan, Mrs Sharon Osbourne told reporters yesterday: "For the last few years, ticket prices have steadily climbed as artists demand more and more money for summer tours. We certainly want everybody to make money; however, we also want the kids to be able to afford to come out and have an incredible experience. If we continued with the traditional touring festival model, we would have no choice but to raise ticket prices again this year".

Exact details of how the free tickets will be distributed are to be confirmed, as is the line up to the tour, although obviously Ozzy Osbourne will be one of the headliners (well I say obviously, he wasn't last year, but he will be this year). However some of the cities to be visited by Ozzfest this year have been confirmed, and they include San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Albuquerque, Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Boston and Nashville.

I'm not sure whether there's any plans for a UK edition of Ozzfest this year. I had it in my head that it was last year that one of the days of Download was branded Ozzfest, but having checked that was 2005, with the legendary metal fest not making it to these shores in 2006.

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JUNO NOMINATIONS OUT
With the Grammys this weekend, and the Brits just around the corner, how about some more music awards, this time from Canada? The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences yesterday announced the nominations for their big annual awards bash, the Juno Awards, and it was good news for Nelly Furtado, Billy Talent and k-os, who all got five nominations each (and Furtado is hosting the event, so she could really dominate on 1 Apr).

Ms Furtado is up for Single Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Artist Of The Year, Pop Album Of The Year and 2007 Juno Fan Choice Award, Billy Talent are shortlisted for Single Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Group Of The Year, Rock Album Of The Year and Video Of The Year, while rapper k-os is up for Single Of The Year, Songwriter Of The Year, Pop Album Of The Year, Jack Richardson Producer Of The Year and Video Of The Year.

Getting themselves three nominations each were Sarah Harmer, Gregory Charles, Malajube and Hedley, while there are two nominations apiece for all of the following: Alexisonfire, Three Days Grace, Diana Krall, Sam Roberts, Chantal Kreviazuk, David Braid, Garnet Armstrong, Harry Somers, Jim Cuddy, Loreena McKennitt, Mobile, Nickelback, Pierre Lapointe, Ron Sexsmith, Sarah McLachlan, Tomi Swick and the Tragically Hip. Well done one and all.

Amusing nomination of the year went to Vancouver rockers Stabilo who are up for New Group Of The Year, despite being active since 1999, and working together for even longer than that. The band's Jesse Dry told JAM: "It's a bit ironic that we're in this category, but we'll take it", while their bassist Karl Williaume added: "Finally, after 12 years we're nominated for Best New Group".

There's a full list of nominees at http://www.junoawards.ca.

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SPECTOR REACHES SETTLEMENT IN ASSISTANT LAWSUIT
Legendary producer Phil Spector, who is awaiting his trial for murder, of course (as is CMU's Murder Trial Correspondent, who's been waiting for her LA trip for months now), has reached a settlement with a former assistant, one Michelle Blaine, who Spector alleged had taken $425,000 from his pension fund while failing to repay a $635,000 loan. Blaine, for her part, claimed the loan was a gift, and that the pension fund money had been used to fund a film project that aimed to improve the producer's image (that has suffered since the murder allegations). As part of their settlement, Blaine will reportedly pay Spector $900,000, as well as dropping her counter-claim of sexual harassment. Spector's long awaited murder trail is expected to kick off next month - in fact our Correspondent is already checking out cheap flights. Are we triviliasing an actually serious story here? I'm not sure. Either way, Spector, of course, continues to plead not guilty of the murder of Lana Clarkson, who died at his LA home in February 2003.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Clinic - If You Could Read Your Mind (Domino)
A good short story has a concentrated feel where the economy of its words will belie depths of characterisation, actions and themes. Writing one is deceptively difficult. Clinic's latest single, 'If You Could Read Your Mind' is the aural equivalent of a good short story. The sweeping and slightly discordant introduction of a swelling harp and upper-register bass hammer on grabs you. Then the angular, bright, surf-guitar arpeggios kick in, the bass drops down to a low, driving range, links up with the drums and starts hammering out the eighth notes. You're in its thrall. Over the top of this Ade begins to sing in his characteristic, throaty, clenched howl. The words-let alone their meaning-aren't easy to decipher, but there's a pitched and infectious urgency to his singing and it bolsters the track. Like a good short story, it leaves you wanting to start again from the top.
Release Date: 5 Feb
Press Contact: Hermana PR [CP, RP, NP] Rocket [CR, RR, NR]

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KYLIE EXHIBITION OPENS
That previously reported exhibition of Kylie Minogue's stage costumes, awards and accessories has formally opened at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition, as previously mentioned, was originally staged in Melbourne, and tracks much of Kylie's career, starting with Charlene from Neighbours' dungarees through to 'those hot pants'. Kylie had a private viewing of the show yesterday, telling reporters: "I was actually speechless. It was a very strange feeling. I was so honoured and overwhelmed". Speaking inside the museum she added: "I can't believe there are disco balls and glitter at the V&A - but I, for one, think it looks fabulous". The museum reports that already 3500 people have booked to see the free show - the advance booking system having been set up to control the crowds expected to view the exhibition. The exhibition opens to the public on Thursday and runs until 10 Jun.

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NEW SITE AIMS TO RIGHT PAST CHART WRONGS
Well, I've always sat on the Blur side of the big Britpop feud of old, as I'm sure you all remember (we didn't play 'Parklife' 21 times back to back on my college radio show for nothing) so I've never had a problem with the fact Oasis' 'Roll With It' failed to top the charts back in 1995, even if it was, if I remember rightly, EMI's Food Records (ie Blur's label) who moved the release of 'Country House' in order to create the big chart battle of the nineties (the Bextor/Beckham chart battle being in 2000, of course). But some people have always secretly resented the fact the Oasis track never topped the chart, and a new charitable venture is attempting to put that fact right.

And, despite my Blur leanings, I do like the idea of this new 7Digital powered website - http://www.itshouldhavebeennumber1.co.uk - which will encourage people to buy digital versions of classic tracks of old that never actually topped the chart, all in the same week, in a bid to get them back into the top ten, and maybe even to number one (utilising, of course, the new chart rules that allow digital only releases to appear in the main singles chart). It's a little like the previously Chris Moyles scam that got Billie Piper back in the music charts, except they'll be selected classic songs, and will be raising money for Nordoff Robbins rather than just boosting the ego of an overpaid BBC employee.

The first track they will be aiming to take back into the top ten is the aforementioned 'Roll With It' - which they will be selling via their site from next Monday, 12 Feb.

Press info on this project is available from Fuse PR.

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FRANKIE LAINE DIES
Legendary American singer Frankie Laine has died in a California hospital, aged 93, after suffering a heart attack after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Laine was one of the US's most popular singers throughout the late forties and the fifties, and although he became somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of rock n roll, he continued to enjoy success throughout much of his life, achieving 21 gold records and selling about 250 million albums. He also worked in the film and TV industries for a time, and will probably be most remembered for songs he recorded for films and TV shows, and in particular the distinctive theme tune to the Rawhide TV show.

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NE-YO WRITING OF NEW BRITNEY ALBUM
US R&B star Ne-Yo has announced he is currently writing material for comeback albums from both Britney Spears and Whitney Houston.

On the Britney project, he told MTV that Ms Spears' people have told him to stay away from writing songs about failed relationships and the singer's recent public split from husband Kevin Federline. Ne-Yo: "I've been working close with her A&R people. They talk to her every day and are basically coming to me with information as far as songs she's looking for. One thing they told me was, 'No more songs about Kevin. She's got a 12-CD disc changer full of songs about Kevin. She don't need no more of those'"

Asked whether Britney could genuinely regain her pop crown, he continued: "[The new album's] coming along nicely, I did about five or six for her so far. I don't know what she's going to keep, but it's coming along nicely. If I had to make a prediction, judging not just the stuff I've done, but the stuff I've heard she's done with other people, I think she's got a shot to come back. I really do".

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SHITDISCO TOUR
Those Shitdisco boys have announced a long tour to precede the release of their first album 'Kingdom Of Fear' which is due on 16 Apr and produced by former Clor member Luke Smith. Tour dates are as follows...

28 Feb: London, Astoria
2 Mar: Manchester, Academy
3 Mar: Dublin, Tripod
4 Mar: Glasgow, ABC
5 Mar: Leeds, Metropolitan University
7 Mar: Bristol, Academy
8 Mar: Portsmouth, Pyramid
9 Mar: Coventry, Coliseum
10 Mar: Middlesbrough, Empire
9 Apr: Brighton, Audio
11 Apr: Southampton, Joiners
12 Apr: Bristol, Fleece
13 Apr: Birmingham, Bar Academy
14 Apr: Sheffield, Plug
15 Apr: Nottingham, Social
16 Apr: Leeds, Cockpit
18 Apr: Liverpool, Korova
19 Apr: Newcastle, Cluny
20 Apr: Edinburgh, Liquid Room
21 Apr: Glasgow, Arches
22 Apr: Dundee, Westport
23 Apr: Aberdeen, Tunnels
24 Apr: Hall, Lamp
25 Apr: London, Kings College
26 Apr: Manchester, Night & Day

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MANICS TOUR
More tour dates, this time from the Manic Street Preachers, and as follows...

8 May: Cambridge Corn Exchange
9 May: Leeds University
11 + 12 May: Cardiff University Great Hall
14 May: Glasgow Barrowlands
15 May: Newcastle Academy
17 May: Sheffield Octagon
18 May: Carlisle Sands Centre
20 May: Preston Guildhall
21 May: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
23 May: Norwich UEA
24 May: Nottingham Rock City
26 May: Llandudno Venue Cymru
27 May: Manchester Apollo
29 May: London Forum
30 May: London Astoria
31 May: London Shepherds Bush Empire
2 Jun: Bristol Colston Hall
3 Jun: Truro Hall
5 Jun: Southampton Guildhall
6 Jun: Brighton Dome
8 Jun: Leicester De Montfort Hall
9 Jun: Reading Hexagon

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MORE GREAT ESCAPE ADDITIONS
More acts have been added to the line up for that there Great Escape thingimy which takes place in Brighton from 17 to 19 May. Hadouken!, Yes Boss, Willy Mason, The Besnard Lakes, iLiKETRAiNS and Blood Red Shoes are all now added to a bill which, if I remember rightly, already includes CSS, Foals, Kubichek!, Help! She Can't Swim, Mumm-Ra and Mr Hudson & The Library. On the convention side of the proceedings, Norman Cook and Rob da Bank have both been booked to speak.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Lavender Diamond - The Cavalry Of Light EP (Rough Trade)
I was going to enthuse about this EP with gregarious use of the term Brit-folk, but given that Lavender Diamond hail from the USA, I'll have to settle instead for 'amiable rustic folk-country, that could well find a place in your heart if you've any fondness for female mavericks such as Joanna Newsom, Bat For Lashes, Regina Spektor etc'. Anyway. 'You Broke My Heart', which opens proceedings, is full of chiming pianos and woozy backing vocals. Defiantly impassioned (thanks to Becky Stark's soaring vocals), accompanied by the faint scent of euphoria that one might get after running to the top of a hill, it's far more anthemic that its title might suggest. After this sprightly burst of excitement, things have a nice sit down with 'Please', a beautifully unhurried string-drenched piece of pastoral Carpenters-esque fragility. 'In Heaven There Is No Heat' is somewhere in between the aforementioned two tracks, with jovial fireside sing-along verses set against a quieter, contemplative chorus, whilst 'Rise In The Springtime' wraps things up nicely with yet more organic arrangements and heartfelt songwriting. A fine EP indeed. MS
Release date: 12 Feb
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [CP, RP, NP] Cool Badge [CR, RR, NR] Bang On PR [O]

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SO, WHO GETS WHAT FROM DIGITAL?
Discussions were wide ranging regarding the future of digital music, and the models the music business needs to employ for success, at the MusicTank Think Tank event in London last night. With Steve Jobs' pronouncement on DRM not breaking here until after the ThinkTank, debate centered less on DRM (although restrictive digital rights management was duly criticised, and Apple's role in creating interoperability problems in the digital sector noted) and more on how the record industry could and should make money from digital, and how they should share that with the wider music industry.

That could have led to bickering all round as to how the 79 pence generated by iTunes sales is divvied up between respective parties (label, artist, publisher, retailer etc etc). But, with a general consensus that those 79 pennies per track are never going to be enough to sustain the music industry long term, however they are split up, most debate centered on other ways to make money in the digital age. "The value of selling recordings, digitally or physically, has fallen", key note speaker Gary McClarnan said, "but the value of music hasn't fallen, it has just moved. As I see it, the value now sits in three sectors. The brand/artist relationship sector. The live sector. And the premium product sector".

The latter probably has the most relevance to the digital space (although some present felt at least some of the ad funded download services in development had potential - and those, I suppose, could fall in the first one). That said, Gary illustrated his point with an example in the physical space. "I recently bought five copies of a limited edition 7" from the new Nick Cave project Ginderman" Gary said. "I bought them for £3.49. They are now selling on eBay for £18. A limited edition Lemonjelly release that came out a few years ago, in a denim sleeve, is now worth hundreds. Fans will pay a premium for products like that, and that provides a great opportunity. I don't know if we will ever get Apple to adopt flexible pricing, or what the customer response to flexible pricing would be, but if we can develop premium products in the digital space, then it doesn't really matter. That's where the value will be, and where many of the current opportunities lie".

You can check out more on McClarnan's viewpoint on the future of the digital music sector in our interview with him at http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/interviews

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TICKETMASTER LAUNCH ETICKET SYSTEM AT LONDON VENUE
Ticketing news anybody? Well, Ticketmaster's Ticketweb division has announced details of new "state of the art" ticketing technology which it is installing at London's KOKO venue.

Music fans who buy tickets to gigs or clubs taking place at KOKO will be encouraged to print off their own tickets at home using the so called TicketFast system. Those tickets will include bar codes which will be checked at the venue using Ticketweb's eEntry system, ensuring only one person enters a show per eticket. Aside from removing the need to mail out tickets for online orders, the new system also offers extra promotional space for the venue, because logistical or promotional information can be given around the bar code on the A4 sheet a user prints out.

Announcing the new system, KOKO Operations Director Larry Seymour told CMU: "The new technology that TicketWeb can provide means we can vastly improve our customers experience by speeding up entry, deterring touts and giving them the convenience to print their tickets at home. When we opened KOKO in 2004 our aim was to create London's premier live entertainment venue and TicketWeb has helped us fulfil that goal".

Sam Arnold, General Manager of TicketWeb UK added: "TicketWeb is proud to work with KOKO in providing its customers with some of the most advanced ticketing solutions available today. We aim to offer our clients an affordable and effective self service ticketing function, and eEntry and TicketFast means that our clients can retain control of their box office systems whilst still benefiting from the latest technology".

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US LABEL APPOINTMENTS
Label exec appointments from the US now, and Billboard says that Jermaine Dupri, previously urban chief at EMI's Virgin US, and then reportedly in talks to launch a new EMI imprint until the previously reported EMI cut backs, will now definitely take over the role of President Of Urban for Universal's Island Records US. Back over at EMI, where Jason Flom is busy overseeing the restructure of the major's main labels into one Capitol Music Group, Ronnie Johnson has been appointed to run a new urban department. Johnson worked with Flom when he was at Atlantic Records, and is still with the Warner division, but has resigned there to take the EMI job.

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WARNER SIGN DEAL WITH LAST.FM
Warner Music has signed a deal with last.fm which will allow the major's entire catalogue to be played via the music networking service. It is the first deal between the London based music recommender service and a major label, though last.fm boss Martin Stiksel says he is in talks with the other three.

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23 PEOPLE APPLY FOR BBC CHAIR JOB
23 people have applied for the job of BBC Chairman which became vacant, of course, when Michael Grade jumped ship to ITV last year. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport confirmed they already have 23 applications, though the deadline is today so more may as yet be submitted (I'm just finishing off mine now - that's why the Daily's a bit late today). Reported applicants include current acting chair Dermot Gleeson, current Vice-Chair Chirtra Bharucha, former House Of Lords leader Lady Jay, Millwall football club chair Heather Rabbatts and even John Beyer, currently director of Mediawatch, the TV lobbying group originally founded by Mary Whitehouse (whose appointment would be amusing). Question Time host David Dimbleby has not applied this time, or at least so says the Times.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry
Tapping into the mainstream's not as easy as it used to be. The recent re-evaluation of the singles chart means new bands can't just wade through a mire of contemporaries to get to the top; they now have the, surely imminent, highly promoted re-release of a Beatles or Rolling Stones back catalogue to contend with. So having more than a good haircut as your artillery is essential - you need a killer tune. And, with the release of new single 'Hang Me Up To Dry', Cold War Kids have created a voluptuous golden nugget. The brooding blues riff crackling over sparse lucid drumming doesn't instantly fan the fires of desire, but when Nathan Willet forces his remonstrating vocal into the fore this track ripens as a torrid slab of skewed, disaffected rock. Emotively alluring, 'Hang Me Up To Dry' will have the Californian quartet skipping to the peak of the musical mainstream. BHa
Release Date: 29 Jan
Press Contact: V2 Music IH [all]

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SO PEOPLE WERE OFFENDED BY PRINCE'S SUPERBOWL SHOW
Thank God for that, for a moment it looked like Prince's previously reported half time show at the Super Bowl last weekend hadn't offended anyone. But NME's LA desk are reporting that some bloggers in the US are now claiming that the singer intentionally "used his guitar as an inappropriate phallic symbol". It seems that it was when a shadow of Prince and his guitar was projected onto a beige sheet during 'Purple Rain' that some viewers inferred phallic connotations. It was what might be considered a 'silhouette malfunction' I suppose. The NME quote Daily News TV critic David Bianculli as saying the performance was "embarrassingly rude, crude and unfortunately placed".

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GHOST DISSES ALLEN
Singer songwriter Amanda Ghost has been dissing Lily Allen, which makes a change, given it's normally Allen doing the dissing. Asked about her favourite female artists of the moment, Ghost said she respected KT Tunstall and Amy Winehouse, and even Katie Melua, but described Allen as "just a novelty act", adding: "She's like a cross between Pam Ayres and Tracey Ullman. She should tell jokes in between songs to keep her act going".

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EMINEM AND KIM ENGAGED AGAIN?
Well, following reports yesterday that the former Mrs Slim Shady had said her twice ex's infidelities brought their second marriage to a speedy end, rumour has it the couple are now engaged again. For a third time. Well, that's what Eminem collaborator Akon is quoted as saying: "Eminem still loves Kim. They have one of those relationships where they are off one minute and back together the next. He can't live with her and he can't live without her. But they are meant for each other. They are engaged again."

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