CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 15th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It was the Brit Awards last night
- Research suggest majority of music people anti-DRM
- New research questions P2P impact on record sales
- The kids want easier access to digital music
- Tony Wilson starts cancer treatment
- Mills McCartney "not arrested"
- Robbie's mum on rehab
- CSS remix The Mules
- New Elliott Smith album
- V2 launch podcasts
- ATP latest line up news
- Benicassim festival news
- Wolfmother, Manson added to Download line up
- Great Escape additions
- Spitz Blues Festival news
- The Who and Keane for new music festival
- Diana Ross dates
- Klaxons play gigs for the kids
- The Levellers tour
- Pop Levi live date
- New Young Pony Club cancel NME appearance
- Single review: New Young Pony Club - The Bomb
- London firm buys Koch
- EMI shares down
- RIAA offers new deal to ISPs in anti-P2P lawsuit domain
- Ofcom say Sky not wrong in Rapture rates
- Fox get identities of 24 and Simpson uploaders
- Noel, on politics, and himself
- Robbie 'snubbed' claims tabloid

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TOP BIT: COME SEE BIG STRIDES FOR FREE>>
I mentioned the other day that we're planning the first of what we hope will become regular informal nights out for CMU's bestest friends. Basically, the core CMU team are all going to see one of our favourite up coming bands play, and we've got a pocket full of tickets which means we can bring along some friends too. The band in question this time is those wonderful Big Strides.

The band behind one of our CMU albums of 2006, we've been official Big Strides fans ever since Caro was first exposed to them at a Camden Barfly gig, having never heard a single track from them before. The band's catalogue to that point started to get regular play in the CMU office, and on the CMU Radio show, and even more so once their brilliant second album, 'Cry It All Out' fell into our hands.

On that album Caro says this: "What I love about it (apart from the fact that it's sixteen tracks long - which must surely represent some serious value for money) is what I always loved, and still love, about Big Strides - the fact that this is not a band you can particularly characterise by genre. I hate ascribing genres in any case (and not because I'm crap at it) so I love it when I come across a music act that appear to genuinely defy categorisation".

If you're a fan of the band, or you're completely oblivious to them but want to see what we're waffling on about for yourself, well the band are playing the Electric Ballroom in Camden on 1 Mar, and we have a handful of tickets to distribute as we see fit. We'll all be there, if you want to come too email bigstrides@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk with you name, address and how many of you want to come and we'll mail you some tickets - first come first served and all that.

And if you want to know even more before you commit to coming, check out our interview with the band here:

http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/ccinterviews/bigstrides.html

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JOBS N STUFF>>

JOB OPPORTUNITY AT VIRTUAL FESTIVALS
A rare chance to get paid to schmooze backstage at Glastonbury and other major festivals, gigs and industry shindigs, the Virtual Festivals.com guys are seeking a new online sales person to sell promotions, ad campaigns, ad space, advertorial, pitch for sponsorship and develop new business opportunities for the website. As well as being a great ligger, the role requires a proven ability to canvass, conduct meetings and manage campaigns. You will need to keep an eye on both the festival and online marketplaces and "work" anti-social hours meeting brand managers, agencies, PR and event/gig organiser types. You will be a key member of a small team in a great location, working for a very exciting, fast growing company. Salary negotiable, depending on experience. Email CV and covering letter to steve@virtualfestivals.com

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

REMIX NIGHT FEBRUARY
It's another great Remix Night this Friday. First up Transmission, the band that features former Verve bassist and ongoing Damon Albarn collaborator Simon Tong, former Killing Joke members Youth and Paul Ferguson, and Dreadzone's Tim Bran, will be playing live. Given the all round busy-ness of these guys, this is likely to be you're only chance to catch them live before the summer - so get in there. Next you'll get Manchester boys Keith, who have been doing the live circuit for a while now, and who are getting even better with time. And as if that wasn't enough, DJing will be Mr Go Home Productions who is celebrating the long awaited release this week of his debut album 'Mashed'. All this plus, of course, Remix host Eddy TM, making for one hell of an evening. It all takes place on 16 Feb at Cargo in East London.

BASICS: Friday 16 Feb, Cargo, London, 9pm - 3am, tix £10. Press info from Leyline.

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

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Chris Thile

Having not long arrived in London from the US, what better way to segue into British culture than to mark my first MySpace Of The Day recommendation with some good ole American honkin' bluegrass music? In his latest album 'How To Grow A Woman From The Ground', Chris Thile and his band put a spin on this generally traditional genre with covers of modern bands such as The White Stripes and The Strokes. The result is quite rockin' for something recorded with all acoustic instruments. This group of young musicians is surely changing the face of Bluegrass, so don't be afraid to try something new today. While you're at it be sure to read through the blogs (particularly blog the fifth) which I found quite amusing. Though that might just be my off beat sense of humor. RL

http://www.myspace.com/christhile

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IT WAS THE BRIT AWARDS LAST NIGHT
So, it was the Brits last night. Did you go? Did you see it? If I'm being honest, I didn't do either. But in my defence, I was very very busy last night. Though strangely I did manage to find half an hour to watch Never Mind The Buzzcocks - the Preston Walk Off Edition. Genius. Anyway, let's pretend I was there, amongst the press pack, diligently preparing this in-depth report, just for you. I bet our report's better than those written by people actually there anyway.

Certainly we were able to better empathise with the biggest winners of the night. They not being there either. Because yes, it was those Arctic Monkeys who picked up (in the metaphorical sense) two of the biggest awards of the night, Best Group and Best British Album for 'Whatever People Say I Am...' They'd already said they wouldn't be in attendance at the West London awards show, being far too busy doing, erm, busy things. Actually, I happen to know Arctic Monkeys are big Simon Amstell fans, so I suspect they stayed at home to watch that Buzzcocks. Anyway, they sent in a couple of those 'they can't be with us tonight' type video messages, dressed as characters from The Wizard Of Oz and The Village People, and frontman Alex Turner did say of the Best Album prize, "this is a very special award and is much appreciated by us all", which was nice.

The only other band to win two awards did show up. That was The Killers, who took the international equivalents of the Monkey's gongs, winning Best International Group and Best International Album for 'Sam's Town'. Frontman Brandon Flowers said on winning the award: "This is something else. Thank you for making this dream possible."

Other non-British winners this year included Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado and Orson who took the International Best Male, Female and Newcomer awards respectively. The other Brit Brit winners included Muse, who won Best Live Act, The Fratellis who won Best Newcomer (and hurrah to that), and James Morrison and Amy Winehouse, who won Best Male and Best Female respectively. As expected, Take That won the Best Single prize for their comeback single 'Patience', one of four awards voted for by the public this year and, for the first time, voted as the show aired live. As pre-announced, Oasis were presented with an Outstanding Contribution prize.

For those who'd prefer that paragraph in list form, here's the full list of winners.

British Male Solo Artist: James Morrison
British Female Solo Artist: Amy Winehouse
British Album: Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
British Group: Arctic Monkeys
British Breakthrough Act: The Fratellis
International Breakthrough Act: Orson
British Live Act: Muse
British Single: Take That - Patience
International Male Solo Artist: Justin Timberlake
International Female Solo Artist: Nelly Furtado
International Group: The Killers
International Album: The Killers - Sam's Town
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Oasis

Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Take That, Scissor Sisters and, of course, Outstanding Contribution winners Oasis all performed at the show that, despite being televised live for the first time in eons, seemed to pass without any especially embarrassing incident (or so I'm told, Preston definitely walked off Buzzcocks last night, that much I can confirm).

So much so, the main surprises of the evening came in those artists who went home empty handed. Despite dominating the shortlists, Lily Allen, up for four prizes, won none. Other hot contenders and multiple nominees Corinne Bailey Rae, Snow Patrol and Gnarls Barkley also went home empty handed.

And here ends our 'from the red carpet' Brits report. Except did I say 'hurrah' for the fact The Fratellis won Best Newcomer? I did, I know, but having just read this report back I don't think I stressed how happy we all are with that one. I almost wish I'd tuned in to see them win. Well, not really, but well done them anyway.

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RESEARCH SUGGEST MAJORITY OF MUSIC PEOPLE ANTI-DRM
A new survey from those Jupiter Research people reckons that almost two thirds of executives working in the music industry in Europe reckon that removing DRM from legitimately sold digital music tracks would increase digital music sales. Nevertheless, the majority of those surveyed said they didn't think DRM would be axed anytime in the near future.

The survey follows the previously reported and recently increasingly high profile debate regarding the policy adopted by all four major record companies regarding the sale of their digital catalogues. As much previously reported, the majors will not sell music without an approved DRM embedded, meaning they cannot sell their music in the most popular and user-friendly file format MP3. The majors fear that, because MP3s can be duplicated and shared an infinite number of times, if they formally issue their catalogues in the format it will enable even more widespread online piracy.

However, those against DRM argue that because pretty much every track ever released ends up on P2P networks in the MP3 format anyway (either having been ripped off CD or having had its DRM removed by hackers), the use of DRM on legitimate digital music sales does little to cut piracy. In fact DRM arguably adds to the piracy problem because music fans, who dislike DRMed music, are put off legitimate download platforms because of the DRM, and will illegally download MP3s from P2P sources instead.

The Jupiter survey of execs at major and indie record labels, rights bodies, digital stores and technology providers, which took place before Apple boss Steve Jobs' recent high profile comments on DRM, found that 54% of those interviewed felt that current DRM systems were too restrictive, while 62% said they thought legit digital music sales would go up if DRM was dropped.

Meanwhile, 70% said they believed the future of downloadable music lay in making tracks play on as many different players as possible (one of the side effects of DRM, of course, is interoperability issues), though 40% said they felt government or consumer action would be required to force the technology sectors to address the interoperability problems of DRM.

Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan said he was "surprised" how much opposition there was to DRM within the music industry, but added that he didn't think that would mean any quick change of policy in this regard from the majors. He told reporters: "Despite everything that has been happening the record labels are not about to drop DRM. Even though all they are doing is making themselves look even less compelling by using it".

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NEW RESEARCH QUESTIONS P2P IMPACT ON RECORD SALES
More research, and possibly more proof that the major labels should stop stressing over P2P and DRM and invest more time in honing their business models for the digital age. A new report in the Journal Of Political Economy, based on research done by Harvard University and the University of Kansas, claims that the real effect of P2P file sharing on record sales is "indistinguishable from zero".

Now, whether you buy the analysis behind that conclusion is up to you. It was reached by comparing record sale and illegal file sharing stats for the final four months of 2002. Researchers say that about 803 million CDs were sold in the US in 2002, which was about 80 million down on the previous year. But, they argue, based on stats of music being downloaded via P2P at that time, you can only attribute at the most 6 million of that shortfall to online piracy, meaning there were other much bigger factors at play regarding the slide in record sales at that time.

Now, you could argue that research based on 2002 stats isn't so relevant right now, given how fast things change in this digital age. But interestingly the academics reckon that illegal downloads impacted physical CD sales at that time by only 0.7%, while a Recording Industry Association Of America report from the time claimed the impact was 10%. Which means that if you trust the academics' research methods more than those employed by the US record industry (personally I'm a bit dubious about both, but don't let that put you off), then the major record labels have been investing a lot of energy into a business threat which never really existed.

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THE KIDS WANT EASIER ACCESS TO DIGITAL MUSIC
And even more dry digital music research for you. And you thought it would all be backstage Brits gossip today. This one, by a company called Q Research, reckons that while 85% of young people own digital music players, almost half of them have never bought any music downloads. Before you all say that clearly contradicts the aforementioned Harvard/Kansas research, that doesn't mean all those kids have necessarily got their music for free off P2P instead of buying it, it means they haven't bought it from a legit download platform (they may well have bought the CD and ripped the tracks).

The Q Research seems to conclude not that P2P is the problem, but that the digital music services currently on offer aren't engaging the kids of today (I say kids, the survey included music fans aged from 11 to 25). The 'kids', the survey suggests, are looking for cost-effective services with social networking potential that are mobile compatible. Now, I should say, the cynic inside me says that this research may well have been commissioned by the recently reported new mobile music service MusicStation, which is offering a cost-effective service with social networking potential that is mobile compatible, so the research may not have been without an agenda. But I might be wrong, and it's worth checking out the results anyway.

The survey, of 1500 young music fans, found that nearly half of young MP3 owners did not pay for downloads, while a further third spend less than £5 a month on digital music. Only 3% said they spent over £25 a month. The survey also revealed that 81% of those questioned said they'd like to listen to music on their mobile, with one in four saying they had already downloaded music straight to their phones. Mobile downloading seemed to be higher among pay-as-you-go customers, possibly because data charges on pay-as-you-go platforms have come down in price in the last year. Many of those downloading also said they were more likely to use mobile services if they offered social networking functionality - such as being able to share song recommendations.

Commenting on the findings, Q Research's Rikjan Scott said that young people wanted easy access to content, and didn't really care how they got it: "There's a huge desire among young people to get the music they want, and they will get it whether that's through legal downloads, file sharing or swapping music with friends".

Dr Liz Nelson, who led the research, added that the major music companies are failing to do enough to understand the attitudes and opinions of young people, telling reporters: "They are not really aware of what's going on. The importance of understanding the way kids communicate can't be underestimated; and community elements, such as recommendation, are becoming tremendously important".

According to the Guardian, Nelson "also pointed to the recent launch of MusicStation as a more flexible, convenient service that would be well-received by the audience" which is where I get all cynical about this research again - seems a bit too convenient this research is being released the same week as the new mobile platform. Still, given CMU's own informal research with music fans among our student opinion former readership, I'd say many of their findings are probably pretty much right.

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TONY WILSON STARTS CANCER TREATMENT
Music industry legend Tony Wilson has been diagnosed with cancer. The man behind New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays and, of course, Manchester's iconic Hacienda club and the In The City convention, underwent emergency surgery last month to remove a kidney, and is now due to start a chemotherapy course at Manchester's Christie Hospital. Wilson's cancer was reportedly found during a routine visit to his doctor.

Commenting on the illness, Wilson told reporters yesterday: "It was a bit of a surprise to find out I had cancer because there is no family history. All my family tend to have heart attacks in the middle of the night aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s. I wasn't too upset when I was told the news. I just think you have to go with it and I see it as another step in life's adventure. The sheer quality of the care provided to me by the nursing staff and doctors has been fantastic. It's funny that everyone has a moan about the NHS except for people who actually use it".

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MILLS MCCARTNEY "NOT ARRESTED"
Heather Mills has attended a police station in Hove to speak to officers there. A spokeswoman said of Paul McCartney's ex-wife to be: "It was a pre-planned meeting did not relate to anything specific and she was not arrested". Why one might have thought she had be arrested isn't clear to me; as far as I know there's no actual law against being irritating.

A spokesman for the former model, Phil Hall, said he had not spoken to her, but confirmed that she had been in "ongoing communication" with police about those previously reported death threats.

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ROBBIE'S MUM ON REHAB
Robbie Williams' mum Jan has called his birthday decision to check into rehab "the best present he could give himself". As previously reported, the singer admitted himself for treatment to the Meadows clinic in Arizona yesterday, his 33rd birthday. Jan Williams told The Sun: "He's a very public figure and all the media attention at the moment is added pressure on him. I am not going out to visit Robbie yet. Rehab is all about being on your own. But once he gets better I will be over there like a shot".

The interview says that it's not just painkillers that the singer is hooked on (when is it ever?) and that he's also taking a lot of anti-depressants and sleeping pills. The Sun also claims that he is troubled by the success of the recently reunited Take That. Which means the boot's on the other foot, now, or some sort of cliche like that.

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CSS REMIX THE MULES
I have to report on this, or Mary here is going to beat me up, because apparently I've been promised to run this story for weeks now but keep forgetting. So, here goes. Those very buzzy Brazilians CSS have done a remix of the next single from those quite buzzy Brits The Mules. The CSS rework of 'We're The Good People' will appear on the b-side of the single release, which is out on 26 Mar. The single will follow the release of The Mules debut album 'Save Your Face', which is out on 12 Mar. There, now I can walk past Mary's desk without the risk of being tripped up.

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NEW ELLIOTT SMITH ALBUM
Domino are set to release a new Elliott Smith collection. 'New Moon', a double CD album of 24 tracks recorded by the late singer-songwriter between 1995 and 1997, will be released on 7 May. A proportion of sales will go to Outside In, a Portland social service project dedicated to providing services and help for homeless young people and low-income adults.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

Disc 1:
Angel In The Snow
Talking To Mary
High Times
New Monkey
Looking Over My Shoulder
Going Nowhere
Riot Coming
All Cleaned Out
First Timer
Go By
Miss Misery (early version)
Thirteen

Disc 2:
Georgia Georgia
Whatever (Folk Song in C)
Big Decision
Placeholder
New Disaster
Seen How Things Are Hard
Fear City
Either/Or
Pretty Mary K (other version)
Almost Over
See You Later
Half Right

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V2 LAUNCH PODCASTS
Ah podcasts. I was talking to someone about the CMU podcasts the other day - you know, we did them for about a fortnight back in 2005 to test out the UnLimited Media podcast network. That person seemed to remember them with something nearing an air of nostalgia. Perhaps we'll bring them back. Or perhaps we won't.

Anyway, this isn't about our podcasts. This is about the all new V2 monthly podcast, or the V2cast if you want to be on brand. Yep, V2 are launching a monthly podcast thingimy to be hosted by Xfm's Sarah Darling, and to feature music, chatter and live performances from various V2 artists. The first one will feature Cold War Kids, Duke Special, Rakes, Little Man Tate and Kelly Jones.

To access it you need to follow this iTunes URL and all will become clear. Or at least that's what I'm assured.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/
wa/viewPodcast?id=215215577

Press info on the podcasts is available from V2 IH.

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ATP LATEST LINE UP NEWS
All Tomorrow's Parties have revealed the line-up for their next weekender curated by The Dirty Three and taking place at Butlins in Minehead from 27-29 Apr. They've already announced that Nick Cave will headline the event with a solo performance, but here's the full confirmed line-up:

Nick Cave, Felix Lajko, Bill Callahan (Formerly Smog), Grinderman, The Dirty Three, Low, Papa M, The Drones, Faun Fables, Brokeback, Tara Jane O'Neil, Magnolia Electric Company, A Silver Mt Zion, Devastations, Josh Pearson, Mick Harvey, Shannon Wright, Conway Savage, Cat Power, Spiritualized: Acoustic Mainline Performing Spaceman 3 & Spiritualized songs, Mum Smokes, Small Knives, Joanna Newsom, Yann Tiersen, White Magic, Psarandonis, Ian Wadley, Art Of Fighting, Youpi Youpi Yeah, Alan Vega - solo(Suicide), Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Einsturzende Neubauten, Sally Timms (Mekons), Mantana Roberts, Secretary, Ed Kuepper with Jeffery Wegener, The Scientists, Tren Brothers.

More acts for their Vs The Fans weekend (the one we recently reported on where ticket-holders get to vote on who forms half the line-up) have also been confirmed. That takes place at Minehead from 18 -20 May. Line up confirmed so far as follows:

Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, Built To Spill, Sparklehorse, Akron Family, Notwist, Echo & The Bunnymen, Do You Make Say Think, Death Vessel, Brightblack Morninglight, Shellac of North America, Micah P. Hinson, The Books, Band Of Horses, Grizzly Bear, Edan + MC Dagha, Patti Smith
Ghost, Alexander Tucker, Capricorns, Tall Firs, Current 92, Isis, Explosions In The Sky, Apples In Stereo, Modest Mouse, Battles, Mogwai, Yo La Tengo, Les Savy Fav.

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BENICASSIM FESTIVAL NEWS
The Benicassim Festival has announced that Arctic Monkeys will play at this year's event - taking place from 19-22 Jul - as will the likes of Iggy And The Stooges, Human League, The Magic Numbers, The Hives, !!!, and Brazilian buzzy buzzy buzz band CSS (they just got buzzier). Tickets are on sale now. More acts to be announced soon.

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WOLFMOTHER, MANSON ADDED TO DOWNLOAD LINE UP
Wolfmother, Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage and Bring Me The Horizon are the latest acts to be confirmed for Download 2007. They join previously announced headliners My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and Iron Maiden on the bill for the event, which, as you all surely know by now, takes place at Donington Park from 8 -10 Jun.

Slayer's Tim Araya says: "This is our fourth time playing Download Festival, no wonder it's the greatest in the world. Be prepared to enter the abyss and expect no mercy." Typical.

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GREAT ESCAPE ADDITIONS
Art Brut, The Dash, The Enemy, Goose, The Heights, Hot Club De Paris, I Say Marvin, Kate Nash, Navel, Neils Children and Trailing Laces have all been added to the line up for the Great Escape convention that takes place in Brighton from 17 to 19 May. There, I've told you.

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SPITZ BLUES FESTIVAL NEWS
Yes, more festival news, this time we speak of the line-up of blues events The Spitz in East London are running in association with Not The Same Old Blues Crap this April.

Ten shows will take place at the venue, and organisers have just confirmed the final names to be added to the bill - Jon Spencer of Blues Explosion fame and Matt Vera-Ray's Heavy Trash.

They join the likes of T-Model Ford, Kenny Brown, Robert Belford, Seasick Steve, The Black Diamond Heavies, The Scientists and Wilko Johnson on the line-up for the series of events, which take place from 5 Apr through to 28 Apr.

See http://www.spitz.co.uk for more info.

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THE WHO AND KEANE FOR NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL
It must be that time of year. Yes, yet more festival announcements. This time for a brand new festival at Knowsley Hall in Liverpool, brought to you by the chaps from Creamfields and Rockness and the production team behind Bestival and Freedom Rocks. Organisers have announced that The Who and Keane will headline the new event, which will take place on 23 and 24 Jun, supported by the likes of The Coral, The View, and The Zutons.

Cream's James Barton says: "This city has an amazing musical heritage and I know how important it is to the people of Liverpool that tradition is preserved especially as we move ever closer to The Capital Of Culture year. As a company we are totally committed to playing our part by providing events that continue that proud tradition, but by also providing events that people will be excited by. Building on the success that Cream & Creamfields has achieved I am proud to announce this new show and hope that the people of Liverpool will show their support and enjoy what we know will be a great weekend of music."

Tickets are on sale now. Bear in mind if you plan to travel to it that it's a no-camping event. See http://www.visitliverpool.com for info on accommodation, and http://www.knowsleyhallmusicfestival.co.uk for info on the event itself.

Press info from Get Involved.

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DIANA ROSS DATES
Diana Ross has announced a series of UK tour dates in support of her new album 'I Love You'. The singer will perform tracks from the new long player as well of some of her old classic solo and Supremes hits. "For me, every song is a positive affirmation of love and this is the message I want to bring with the concerts too," she says. So there you go.

6 May: Birmingham Arena
8 May: Nottingham Arena
9 May: London, Wembley Arena
11 May: Dublin, The Point
16 May: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
17 May: Glasgow SECC

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KLAXONS PLAY GIGS FOR THE KIDS
Klaxons are going to include some matinee shows on their upcoming tour which will be open to "all ages". Though for the Manchester matinee you still have to be over 14 to get in which isn't, in fact "all ages". In fact it's "usual ages" plus four. But still, the Glasgow and London matinees are open to anyone, which should be fun. The matinees precede the evening shows already announced in those three cities. To help, I'm re-running the band's upcoming tour dates and putting a star next to those which will also have a matinee. Especially for CMU's rapidly growing toddler readership. It's because of CMU's growing popularity with primary age children we're not using words like 'cunt' and 'fuck' so much in the Daily these days. Even though that makes talking about Johnny Borrell really difficult.

6 May: Glasgow Academy*
7 May: Birmingham Academy
8 May: Nottingham Rock City
9 May: Leeds Met University
10 May: Northumbria University
12 May: Liverpool Academy
13 May: Manchester Ritz*
14 May: Bristol Academy
16 May: Norwich UEA
17 May: Portsmouth Pyramid
18 May: London Shepherds Bush Empire
19 May: London Shepherds Bush Empire*

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THE LEVELLERS TOUR
And hurrah again (we hurrah-ed The Fratellis victory at the Brits you'll remember). The Levellers have announced a pretty extensive UK tour to support the Spring release of their new 'Chaos Theory' DVD. The band will also play a live session on the Richard Bacon Show on Xfm this Friday. Here are the dates...

24 Apr: Preston 53 Degrees
25 Apr: Salisbury City Hall
26 Apr: Aylesbury Civic Hall
27 Apr: Warwick Arts Centre
28 Apr: Middlesbrough Town Hall
29 Apr: Chesterfield Winding Wheel
10 May: The Savoy Cork
11 May: The Music Factory Carlow
12 May: The Village Dublin
13 May: Spring & Airbreak Belfast
15 May: Cardiff Coal Exchange
16 May: Brecon Market Hall
17 May: Inverness The Ironworks
18 May: Edinburgh Liquid Room
19 May: Aberdeen Moshulu
20 May: Lincoln The Engine Shed

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POP LEVI LIVE DATE
That Pop Levi is to celebrate the release of his album 'The Return To Form Black Magick Party', which came out on Monday with a performance at the New Cross Inn on 17 Feb. The Music Tourist Board presents Pop Levi + White Man Kamikaze, 323 New Cross Road SE14 6AS. Doors open 8pm, tickets £5 (£3conc).

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NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB CANCEL NME APPEARANCE
New Young Pony Club pulled out of their appearance on the NME Awards Indie Rave Tour last night due to illness. They were due to appear with The Sunshine Underground, Brazilian buzzy buzzy buzzy buzz buzz buzz band CSS (buzzier still you'll see), and Klaxons at Bristol's Anson Rooms. The band told NME: "Due to Tahita's voice being strained due to an on going cold, New Young Pony Club have decided to cancel tonight's show to ensure the rest of the tour goes ahead with a fit as fiddles Tahita. The two day rest from singing will hopefully ensure that the band resume the tour in Liverpool on the 16th".

Talking of NYPC, over to Marc now for a review...

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SINGLE REVIEW: New Young Pony Club - The Bomb (Modular)
Calling a track 'The Bomb' is a risky proposition these days, since any new terrorist atrocity a la 9/11 or 7/7 will mean an instant airplay ban for your single. Still, NYPC evidently aren't bothered by this idea; indeed their previous single was called 'Ice Cream', which would have been a rather unfortunate title had there been a deranged serial killer on the loose who drove an ice cream van (perhaps in homage to The KLF) and whose method of murder involved, I dunno, choking people with a flake or something.
Anyway, I believe NYPC are being tagged as a new-rave band, which is a bit silly given that their sound is neither new nor rave (whilst rave wasn't even a genre anyway, merely a meaningless (see also: 'club music') tabloid appropriation for music that was basically techno). This sprightly gazelle of a single is just intelligent disco-pop music really, and all the better for its early 80s New Order synths (never a bad thing in general, obviously). Not quite the, er, bomb, then, but pretty good nonetheless. MS
Release date: 5 Mar
Press contact: Bang On [all]

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LONDON FIRM BUYS KOCH
A UK private equity firm called Marwyn Investments has bought Entertainment One, the company that owns independent music company Koch Entertainment. The deal, which still needs regulatory and shareholder approval to go ahead, follows much speculation about the future ownership of the company - earlier reports had suggested one of its existing minority shareholders, a company called Clarke, was seeking total ownership. The Marwyn purchase will mean the company, currently headquartered in Toronto, will be registered in London. Confirming the deal, Koch Entertainment's top man Michael Koch said the Marwyn acquisition was "a welcome and positive development for us, because it will not change our day-to-day business nor management, but afford us the opportunity to grow". As he just said, the deal shouldn't mean any immediate management changes within Koch or Entertainment One.

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EMI SHARES DOWN
Shares in EMI plunged 12% yesterday after it issued its second profits warning in just over a month, blaming primarily weak market conditions in the US. Last month EMI warned their year end profits would be 6-10% lower than for the last financial year, but yesterday they announced the final figure was more likely to be 15% down on 2005/2006.

As previously reported, EMI Group chief Eric Nicoli has begun a radical overhaul of the Group's recorded music businesses in response to the disappointing financials, which started with the axing of the company's two recorded music chiefs Alain Levy and David Munns, and has led to a big cost-cutting restructure of EMI's US operations plus, we hear on the grapevine, several redundancies here in the UK too.

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RIAA OFFERS NEW DEAL TO ISPS IN ANTI-P2P LAWSUIT DOMAIN
More, yes more, on P2P type stuff. That Recording Industry Association Of America is proposing a new system to US internet service providers regarding its ongoing legal assault on individuals who share copyright music via P2P networks.

As previously reported, a lot, the RIAA need the ISPs because their own tracking of file sharing online can only reveal the IP address of users who are illegally uploading or downloading copyright content - they need the ISP to then tell them the actual identity of the file sharer so they can launch legal proceedings against them. The ISPs have not been especially supportive of the RIAA in this regard, meaning that, for every file sharer they target, the trade association has to launch a 'John Doe' lawsuit first that forces the ISP to reveal the sharer's identity (assuming the RIAA can demonstrate to the court their concerns regarding activity on that user's IP address are legitimate). Initial claims by the RIAA that US copyright law forces ISPs to hand over that information without a 'John Doe' lawsuit were ultimately rejected by the courts.

The ISPs say they are cautious about handing over the identities of suspected file sharers because they have a duty to protect their customer's privacy. Past suggestions that ISPs could confidentially forward on legal letters to customers who are suspected of file sharing have also generally been knocked back, with the internet companies wary of getting involved in out of court legal negotiations between record labels and their customers.

But the latest proposal from the RIAA suggests the ISP should act as middle men in that way, because if they did so they could save their customers money in any legal settlement. That is to say the trade body would be willing to settle with individuals who admit to file sharing before court action at a lower compensation rate, because the RIAA would avoid the cost and hassle of a 'John Doe' lawsuit. A letter from the RIAA to an ISP published by Digital Music News explains: "An early notification will give your customer the opportunity to settle any claims before a suit is filed against them at a reduced rate (discounts of $1000 or more)".

However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the most proactive opponents to the RIAA's litigation campaign, have hit out at the new proposals, with EFF attorney Cindy Cohn telling reporters: "Before the RIAA has even verified that the user is correctly identified, it wants ISPs to send along a note saying the user might be sued and can already settle potential claims. At the same time, the RIAA scolds ISPs for giving information to their customers that could help provide sound legal counsel".

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OFCOM SAY SKY NOT WRONG IN RAPTURE RATES
Media regulator OfCom has cleared BSkyB of any wrongdoing after independent youth channel Rapture TV claimed the satellite network was breaching its regulatory obligations in the fees it demanded to be listed on the Sky electronic programme guide. Rapture's owners said that the £76,800 Sky charged them to be listed on the EPG was "unduly high" given the company's annual turnover is under £150,000. But in a draft decision, OfCom have said that they believe that Sky were "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" in reaching the price they charged the independent broadcaster. The regulator is now inviting responses to the draft ruling before reaching a final decision.

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FOX GET IDENTITIES OF 24 AND SIMPSON UPLOADERS
Following that previously reported subpoena from Fox TV in the US against YouTube, demanding to know the identity of the users who uploaded episodes of 24 and The Simpsons to the video sharing site before they had even aired on TV, internetnews.com reports that YouTube bosses have indeed handed over the contact details of the uploaders. So there you go. As far as I can see, Fox are tolerating the uploading of their shows to YouTube much more than their competitors, which is great news for me, given I am working my way through all the episodes of Malcolm In The Middle that have been uploaded. Which, if I'm being honest, is probably the real reason why I've got that backlog of emails to respond to. Everytime I come in at the weekend intending to deal with the backlog I seem to end up watching eight episodes of Malcolm instead. So, if you're awaiting a reply to an email off me, I suggest lobbying Murdoch to get hardline on YouTube.

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NOEL, ON POLITICS, AND HIMSELF
I'm not sure if it was Newsnight or Noel Gallagher who brought up politics while he was being interviewed by the BBC news show about his Outstanding Contribution Brit Award, but here's what he said: "David Cameron is no different from Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown is no different from David Cameron. They're all cut from the same cloth and it annoys me that the biggest political icon from the last 30 years has been Margaret Thatcher, someone who tried to destroy the working class... it freaks me out you know. So I don't really think there's anything left to vote for. That's why people don't vote... why people would rather vote for celebrity talent shows than vote for politics." He has a point you know. As I've said before, sometimes Noel really does come across as a rational, intelligent, reasonable guy.

Then sometimes he comes across as an arrogant tosser. Asked whether he'd ever go solo, he said no, but added that if he did he'd easily be the biggest singer in the country within a year. Noel: "I could do it easily ... if I was a solo artist I would be the biggest solo artist in the country easy, no messing, within a year... seriously... but I prefer being in a band. But don't ever think that I couldn't do it. I could. I'd be bigger than Elvis. I would". Yes Noel, of course you would.

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ROBBIE 'SNUBBED' CLAIMS TABLOID
The biggest news from last night's Brits, according to The Mirror's 3am Girls, is that Robbie Williams was roundly snubbed at the awards event. Because not only did he fail to win in the one category he was nominated in (Best Live Act), but Take That failed to mention him when they got up to accept their award for Best Single.

"...His former band Take That won Best Single - and amazingly didn't mention him once," write the girls. "In both their acceptance speech and a later interview backstage, the lads pointedly turned down the offer of sending out a message to Robbie. Instead Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange chose to thank a series of record execs and their families instead."

How rude of them. We'd never do something like that. Which reminds me, I mustn't forget to thank Robbie Williams enormously for giving us no help at all in putting together today's CMU daily. Ahem.

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