CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 22nd February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Apple and Cisco reach agreement over iPhone
- Second lawsuit for Brandy over car crash
- Glastonbury hopes to get four year licence
- Van Morrison to get 'Oscar'
- Slash to pen biography
- Skinner on new Streets album
- The Only Ones to play ATP
- The Darkness work on new material
- Spandau Ballet will never ever reform
- Dandys not dropped, OK?
- No Hi-fi this year
- Maximo Park headline Evolution
- Ultra line up announced
- Buzzcocks gigs
- Terror gigs
- MTV take bands to Bristol
- Mumm-ra tour
- Single Review: The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build A Home
- Warner planning cash offer for EMI
- E-UK to close down THE
- Live Nation appoint new marketing partnerships
- RIAA step up anti-P2P action on campus
- SanDisk announce job cuts
- Nihal takes over phone in show on Asian network
- Smooth recruit Magic man for breakfast
- Congressman calls for judicial investigation into XM Sirius merger
- Album review: The Black Dog - Book Of Dogma
- Arcade Fire hit out at the big boys
- Britney Spears checks out of rehab
- Breakspoll nominees

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TOP BIT >>
OK, I promised you a last minute update on Breaking Ground, so here it is. As we've definitely mentioned before, the breaks community will amass at Fabric tonight for the genre's annual awards bash - Breakspoll. In fact, you'll find a full list of nominations at the bottom of today's Daily. Tomorrow night Breaking Ground will take over the seOne club underneath London Bridge station as the official Breakspoll after party. As always, this will be another breaks feast, with all kinds of CMU favourites on the bill, including Atomic Hooligan, BLIM, Drumattic Twins, The Autobots, NAPT and Diverted DJs. In the second room you will find the likes of General Midi, Dopamine, Merka, Neztic, Andrea Lai and Symmetrik, and on top of all that, NSB Radio - the world's biggest breaks radio station - will be streaming the main room's music live over the net. Some tickets are still available, for just a tenner, at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Full info is at http://www.myspace.com/breakinggroundparty.

Meanwhile, given we're talking diary dates, don't forget Team CMU will all be heading to the Electric Ballroom in Camden next Thursday, 1 Mar, for a big big Big Strides gig, and we've got a fistful of tickets so we can bring some of our friends with us. Given we don't have any friends, we're inviting you our readers instead. You're sort of our friends, aren't you? Which means that if you want to join us to see this brilliant band play live, all you have to do is email your name, address and how many people you want to bring with you to bigstrides@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. Lots of people already have, and if I'm being honest I've already given away my first fist full of tix, but I've been reliably informed I can have a few more, so there is still a reason to email us. (Those of you who emailed in previously should have your tickets by now, unless you didn't supply a mailing address, in which case you'll get an email today asking for a mailing address!).

And that's all the plugging I have for now. Oh, except, don't forget to do our survey. Info here...

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TELL US WHAT U THINK>>
We are currently staging our first ever reader survey. We would really appreciate it if you could spare 10 minutes to answer some questions about CMU and the music world in general. Go on, it's not difficult and it will really help us improve the CMU Daily service. And we'll love you forever if you do it. Well, until the next time we do a survey, anyway. To do it all you have to do it follow this link...

http://www.songpeople.co.uk/cmu

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JOBS N STUFF>>

24PR Seeks Media Star
As part of Touchdown Communications Group, 24PR is one of the UK's fastest growing independent PR, events and brand communications agencies. We have a client list to die for and are now looking to take on a bright, young savvy executive. Part of the role will be assisting the founder and MD in all aspects of media relations, management and creativity and part of the role will involve general office management at start. I'm looking for a can-do will-do star who relishes networking and has aspirations to join me at the helm of the agency to drive it forward for the future. Based in Leicester Square, starting salary is between £16-20K, 25 days holiday, lots of perks and CIPR industry training programme. There are also work placements available. In the first instance please email serena@24pr.co.uk or call me, Serena Read on 07767 777 730. Don't waste any time, I need you now!

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: PATRIZIO BUANNE

If you want to hear the best cover in the world ever of Robbie Williams hit 'Angels', this is the MySpace page for you. Well, kind of, because there's only a sample, not the full track. You might not think I'm being serious. You might think I'm being ironic. You might think this because Patrizio Buanne is the kind of pretty, cheesy, in this case Italian, singer beloved of 'mothers' the world over. But honestly, I am not a big fan of 'Angels'. In fact, it sends me into a rage every time I hear the bloody song. I am even more enraged every time it comes top (or very nearly) of some stupid best-song-in-the-world poll. But this version, 'Un Angelo', I can bear. Maybe it's because it's sung in a different language, but I like to think it's all to do with Patrizio. Okay, maybe I'm not being that serious about this twenty eight year old singer whose aim is to "make romance cool again - the same way that Jamie Oliver has made cooking cool", because no, it's not really my style of music. But if your mother, or a local elevator, has a birthday coming up, his album 'Forever Begins Tonight', out 5 Mar, might just be the ticket.

http://www.myspace.com/patrizioofficial

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APPLE AND CISCO REACH AGREEMENT OVER IPHONE
Apple Inc and Cisco Systems have resolved their trademark dispute over the use of the iPhone name.

As previously reported, the dispute over the use of the trademark came to a head last month when Apple boss Steve Jobs announced his intention to launch that hybrid mobile phone iPod called the iPhone. Cisco, who acquired the iPhone trademark in 2000 when they acquired a company called Infogear, who registered the name in 1996, said that while talks between the two firms had been ongoing regarding the trademark, Apple had no right to announce its product launch when those talks had yet to reach a conclusion. As a result they launched legal proceedings.

But the two technology firms have now reached an out of court settlement. Cisco had previously implied it would be willing to allow Apple to use the trademark because their 'iPhone' product, a voice over IP phone system, didn't compete directly with the mobile phone iPod. However they were pushing for certain 'interoperability' commitments from Apple before formally agreeing to that. The exact specifics of the new deal are not known, but Apple's statement on the matter implies the agreement is along the lines of Cisco's original proposal.

Apple said yesterday: "Cisco and Apple today announced that they have resolved their dispute involving the 'iPhone' trademark. Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the 'iPhone' trademark on their products throughout the world. Both companies acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted, and each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark. In addition, Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications. Other terms of the agreement are confidential".

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SECOND LAWSUIT FOR BRANDY OVER CAR CRASH
A second wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against US pop star Brandy Norwood following that previously reported traffic accident that occurred in San Diego on 30 Dec.

As previously reported, Norwood is accused of causing a car crash that led to the death of one Awatef Aboudihaj. Civil proceedings were launched against the singer last month by the parents of Aboudihaj in relation to their daughter's death. But Aboudihaj's own two children were in her car at the time of the crash and both sustained injuries, and the new lawsuit has been launched on their behalf.

As for criminal proceedings in relation to the crash, prosecutors in San Diego are still assessing recommendations by the California Highway Patrol that they charge Norwood with 'misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter'. If charged Brandy would face a $1000 fine and a year in jail.

In a previous statement about the legal proceedings against her in relation to the crash, a spokesman for Brandy told reporters: "The accident was a terrible tragedy, and Brandy's heart goes out to Awatef Aboudihaj's family. But for legal reasons we cannot comment on this lawsuit".

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GLASTONBURY HOPES TO GET FOUR YEAR LICENCE
Organisers of that there Glastonbury Festival are taking advantage of new licencing rules and are applying for permission to stage a festival on Michael Eavis' Somerset farm each year until 2010. Previously any one licence could only last for one year, but new rules mean councils can now give event organisers a four year licence.

The licence application, submitted by Glastonbury's promoter partners Mean Fiddler, is also looking to increase capacity at the festival from 150,000 to 177,500, with plans for extra camping and entertainment areas to accommodate the extra festival goers.

Mendip District Council will gather opinions from local bodies, residents, business and the emergency services before reaching a decision on both the capacity increase and the four year licence proposal on 26 Mar, a week before organisers hope to start selling tickets.

There was a time when Glastonbury's annual licence application was somewhat fraught and, while it was never ultimately turned down, organisers had to tackle strong opposition from some local residents. But since the partnership with Mean Fiddler, and a crack down on people gaining illegitimate access by fence hopping or fake tickets, there has been generally less controversy around the licence application.

Organisers will hope previously reported additional anti-touting measures and plans to bus in a higher proportion of festival goers to reduce traffic congestion will all further placate the festival's neighbours.

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VAN MORRISON TO GET 'OSCAR'
Van Morrison is to receive an Oscar Wilde award for his contributions to cinema in an upcoming ceremony in LA. The Belfast-born star's music has appeared on the soundtrack of nearly fifty films, including 'Thelma & Louise', 'Bridget Jones's Diary', 'An American Werewolf In London' and 'The Departed'. Actor Al Pacino is set to present Morrison with his award.

The event, 'Oscar Wilde: Honouring Irish Writing', will take place at the city's Wiltshire Ebell Theatre and is hosted by the US-Ireland Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation geared to nurturing ties between the US and Irish film industries. Michael Moore will make a speech, and Helen Mirren is expected to also attend the ceremony, now in its second year.

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SLASH TO PEN BIOGRAPHY
According to a report in New York Business magazine, Slash has sold the rights to his autobiography to publishing house HarperCollins. The former Guns n Roses now Velvet Revolver man will work on the book with Anthony Bozza, who previously helped write Tommy Lee's autobiography 'TommyLand'. The memoir is expected to be finished by the autumn.

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SKINNER ON NEW STREETS ALBUM
Mike Skinner has been talking about his new The Streets album, and says he's taking a new approach by recording the album 'live' for the first time. In a message on his official website, Skinner writes: "I decided to write all the lyrics before I started with the music, the complete opposite of normal."

He goes on to say "I've never written an album featuring conversations with both an alien and the devil".

Hmmm. No release date as yet, we'll let you know if we hear more.

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THE ONLY ONES TO PLAY ATP
The Only Ones have been confirmed to play the Dirty Three curated ATP weekender in April. It will be the influential rock band's first show in twenty two years. It's a bit of a coup, given that band founder Peter Perret has been quoted as saying that the group would reunite "over my dead body", whilst bandmate John Perry has apparently said that the English cricket team would win an Ashes series 5-0 before the band would reform. I know fuck all about cricket, but assume he meant that chances were slim.

Anyway, it appears that the pressure has mounted, possibly partly due to the use of their hit 1977 single 'Another Girl, Another Planet' in Vodafone's recent TV ad campaign, and they've given in. There's also speculation that the band will make an appearance at this year's Glastonbury Festival, due to comments made by bassist Alan Mair in an interview with Scottish tabloid The Record at the end of last year, in which he hinted that a slot was available at the event, should the band choose to take it.

All Tomorrow's Parties' Dirty Three weekender takes place from 27 - 30 Apr at Butlins in Minehead. As previously reported, Nick Cave is headlining, whilst other acts confirmed include Cave's new project Grinderman and Cat Power.

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THE DARKNESS WORK ON NEW MATERIAL
The Darkness are to reform, though without Justin Hawkins, and without the name The Darkness, if that makes sense. Following much speculation last year that the band would continue post-Justin with bassist Richie Edwards on vocals, news this week that the band will continue with bassist Richie Edwards on vocals. Except the band won't perform under the name The Darkness anymore, though I don't think it's been confirmed what the new name will be.

But it has been confirmed that the band are back in the studio working on new material, with Edwards as frontman and new bassist and former Graham Coxon collaborator Toby MacFarlaine on, erm, bass. We know this because Edwards wrote all this on his MySpace page...

"It's finally happened, the 'big red record button' has been pressed and we've officially started our album. Dan and Nick have achieved a monstrous drum sound and, in true great producer style, are guiding parts and arrangements to make songs as good as they can be. Ed is officially on fire!!, he's playing like never before and is somehow managing to play with real groove whilst hitting his drums so hard that the whole studio is shaking. Toby and myself are throwing down riffs that are so fat they can barely fit through the speakers and we think Dan's cat is preggers!! I f*@cking love this band!!!!!!!!"

PS: We corrected a couple of spelling mistakes there, but the self-censoring of 'fucking' and somewhat excessive use of exclamation marks are all Richie's.

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SPANDAU BALLET WILL NEVER EVER REFORM
Tony Hadley has said that there's absolutely no chance of a Spandau Ballet reunion, ever. Which is a bit of a relief. Although, to be fair, 'Gold' is one of my favourite songs in the world ever, and I'm not saying that in an ironic way. I mean it.

Anyway, Hadley's unwillingness to jump on the reunion bandwagon (Take That, The Police, James, All Saints, The Only Ones, loads of other people) probably has a lot to do with his high profile legal disputes with former bandmates over royalties and the fact that they're still not really on speaking terms.

The singer says: "I'm doing great without the band I know you should never say never and bands in the past have said hell would freeze over before they got back together, but in our case I think hell is frozen and we still wouldn't do it".

Well, you know, that Peter Perrett said "over my dead body"...

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DANDYS NOT DROPPED, OK?
With the previously reported restructure of EMI's US operations still underway, attention is starting to turn away from the label execs up for the chop, and focusing instead on the major's roster, which is expected to lose some of its less successful artists, and maybe some of the quite successful ones too.

Which is why Dandy Warhols manager Lee Cohen has had to dedicate much of his week to denying rumours that his band are among those due to be kicked off the Capitol Records roster. He's told Aussie website Undercover: "All is super well in Dandyland. We definitely haven't been dropped".

He added that the band have "written a plethora of new tunes that we'll be premiering at our Los Angeles Wiltern theatre gig on March 3rd". Which is all good - because we're big Dandys fans here at CMU. In fact, as you all surely remember, they were on the cover of the very first CMU back in May 1998. You all remember that, right?

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NO HI-FI THIS YEAR
Hi-Fi, the festival I always wanted to call Hard-Fi, but which you could have called 'Homelands reinvented', will not go ahead this year.

The reinvented Homelands, a joint venture between Mean Fiddler and Angel Music Group, launched last year at the long standing Homelands site in Winchester with a second event in Newcastle. Like Homelands in its latter years, it combined a dance music programme with dance friendly alternative acts like Ian Brown and Hard-Fi (which didn't help me and my name confusion). But, in a crowded festivals market, ticket sales weren't as good as hoped, hence the decision not the repeat the event.

Confirming that Hi-Fi would not take place this year, Angel Music Group told Billboard it would be concentrating instead on Global Gathering, which retains its status as the UK's largest dance weekender.

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MAXIMO PARK HEADLINE EVOLUTION
Maximo Park have been confirmed as headliners for this year's Evolution, you know, the all day music event that takes place at Newcastle's quayside. This summer's gig is set for 28 May, and more acts are expected to be announced shortly.

Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith says of his band's appearance: "We're very pleased to be headlining this year's Evolution Festival, playing on our home turf to fans that have supported us from the offset which is always a pleasure".

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ULTRA LINE UP ANNOUNCED
Line up info is out for next month's Ultra Music Festival, the festival staged to coincide with Miami's Winter Music Conference. Headliners include The Cure, Paul Van Dyk, Sasha & Digweed, Fatboy Slim and Brazilian Girls with Kruder & Dorfmeister, Shiny Toy Guns, Ferry Corsten, Rabbit In The Moon, Tiesto, Miss Kittin and Sander Van Doorn also on the bill. The electro biased festival will again take place in Miami's Bicentennial Park on 23 and 24 Mar.

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BUZZCOCKS GIGS
Following the success of their Buzzcocks 30 tour last year, the Buzzcocks have announced some more live shows. They will play SXSW next month, and will then play a set at London's 229 venue on Great Portland Street as part of the Le Beat Bespoke 3 Weekender on 6 Apr. NME report that they'll also play a gig at the Newcastle Academy on 27 Apr.

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TERROR GIGS
LA based metallers Terror will play five headline UK dates as part of an upcoming European tour, as well as supporting Necro at the London Astoria on 7 Apr. Headline dates as follows, press info from Roadrunner.

2 May: Southampton Nexus
3 May: Swansea Sin City
4 May: Plymouth White Rabbit
5 May: Wolverhampton Canal Club
6 May: London Islington Academy

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MTV TAKE BANDS TO BRISTOL
MTV have announced an upcoming series of its Spanking New Music gigs which showcase new work from established artists and promote new musical talent. The events, which will feature the likes of Biffy Clyro, Kano, former Sugababe Mutya Buena and Natasha Bedingfield, will take place from 21 - 23 Mar at Bristol's Anson Rooms. Each event will feature a special guest host and will be filmed to air on MTV Hits, MTV Base and MTV2 from 27-29 Apr, as well as being streamed live via the channel's web video thingy MTV Overdrive. Matt Willis will host the MTV Hits night, Trevor Nelson the MTV Base night and Zane Lowe the MTV2 night.

Additionally, MTV2 and MTV Base will make one live track per artist available for free download at http://www.mtv.co.uk/spankingnew. Tickets for the intimate shows will be made available at £10 each.

Here's the line-up:

21 March:
Natasha Bedingfield
Mutya Buena
Calvin Harris
The Hoosiers

22 March:
Kano
Unklejam
N-Dubz
Jme

23 March:
Biffy Clyro
The Twang
Hadouken!
The Wombats

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MUMM-RA TOUR
Mumm-Ra have announced a great big headline tour to follow their appearances on the current NME Indie Rock tour. Dates as follows:

14 Apr: Brighton Concorde 2
16 Apr: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
17 Apr: Norwich Arts Centre
18 Apr: Exeter Cavern
20 Apr: Stoke Sugarmill
21 Apr: Newcastle Academy 2
22 Apr: Liverpool Academy 2
23 Apr: Cambridge Soul Tree
24 Apr: Colchester Arts Centre
26 Apr: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
27 Apr: Oxford Zodiac
28 Apr: Luton Live Room
30 Apr: Manchester Academy 3
1 May: Sheffield Leadmill
2 May: Glasgow King Tut's
3 May: Aberdeen Tunnels
4 May: Leeds Cockpit
6 May: Preston 53 Degrees
7 May: Birmingham Academy 2
8 May: Bristol Thelka
9 May: Reading Fez
10 May: London ULU

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build A Home (Ninja Tune)
I have a feeling TCO are soon going to get sick of the reference to Coldplay, those perennial CMU favourites, in relation to this single, but the vocals on this song do undeniably bear an uncanny resemblance to everyone's favourite filthy rich, film-star marrying, ridiculous child-naming environmentalist bore, Chris Martin. However, the music produced by Jason Swinscoe and his collective is normally deep, complex and hugely involving. It's worlds apart from the Coldplay's largely bland, insipid output, so this track must surely be part of some larger plan, mustn't it? Well, in typically ambitious style, this, the opening track from the new album 'Ma Fleur', is taken from a record that '...was written as the soundtrack to a specially commissioned screenplay for an imagined film...' as the PR puts it. As a piece of music, it is actually pretty successful in what it sets out to do, with a simple piano part underpinning Patrick Watson's voice, before being joined by a gradually swelling string arrangement. After getting over the initial shock of the first listen, it is easy to see how it would form part of a larger whole, setting up what should be a very atmospheric, dramatic and, yes, cinematic collection of songs. The good faith garnered from their earlier music has made me ignore the similarities to you know who, and makes my anticipation for the rest of the album very eager indeed. Single is download only. TH
Release Date: 26 Feb
Press Contact: Ninja Tune [CP, RP, NP, O] Cool Badge [CR, RR, NR]

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WARNER PLANNING CASH OFFER FOR EMI
More on the proposed Warner takeover of EMI? More? Well, not much more. But word has it Warner will offer EMI 260p per share if and when it makes a new takeover offer, somewhat down on the 320p it offered last year, and the 310p investment firm Permira recently offered, both offers that EMI turned down. Given the two profit warnings EMI has subsequently issued the new lower price may be fair, but many doubt that EMI's board will approve such an offer - mainly because doing so would require admitting their management of the major in the last year has resulted in a considerable fall in value. That said, insiders also reckon Warner will make a cash offer to EMI's shareholders (rather than offering them shares in a merged venture) which, given the continued instability in the record business, would probably be quite an attractive deal - attractive enough for key shareholders to enable a hostile takeover. EMI's actual share price was 244.25p yesterday, having risen from 240p following the confirmation of Warner's interest in buying the firm.

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E-UK TO CLOSE DOWN THE
When Woolies owned entertainment distribution firm E-UK acquired its rival THE back in September it said it would keep both companies' autonomous infrastructures going throughout the "critical Christmas period". With that period now over, E-UK bosses have set about properly integrating the two companies - though 'integrating' in the sense of completely shutting down THE and transferring its clients over to the existing E-UK set up, or so reports suggest. Which isn't great news for THE's workforce up there in Newcastle Under Lyme, all 800 odd of them, who are now reportedly on a ninety day 'consultancy period', whatever that means. More when we get it.

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LIVE NATION APPOINT NEW MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS
Live Nation have announced the appointment of one Tony Robinson (no, not that Tony Robinson, the Tony Robinson who was VP of brand solutions at MTV, you know, him) to the role of Senior VP Of International Marketing Partnerships. He'll report to Simon Lewis, Executive VP Of Music Marketing Partnerships, which is interesting, because I'd say 'Senior VP' sounds more important than 'Executive VP'. Live Nation could really do with some help on job titles. Perhaps they could hire CMU Job Title Consulting Inc - we're very good at that kind of thing. Anyway, Tony takes up the role of Head Of Getting Cash Out Of Gullible Brand Directors on 9 Apr.

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RIAA STEP UP ANTI-P2P ACTION ON CAMPUS
The Recording Industry Association Of America has stepped up its anti-P2P campaign against college students in the last year, according to a report from Associated Press. But before all our student readers panic, this is just in America. US based student readers, yeah, I should start panicking.

The news agency reports that the RIAA has sent out thousands of complaints regarding file sharing activity on campuses around the US. Those complaints go to the colleges themselves, who essentially act as an ISP to the students who access the internet on campus.

Unlike the RIAA's other action in this area, however, the trade body initially relies on the college to take action against the suspected file sharer on their behalf, rather than demanding to know the sharer's identity so they can launch legal proceedings against them. Which is nice of them, I suppose. Though it does mean they can sidestep the legal costs and PR risks of actually suing the students. Certainly there has been a mixed response by the colleges to acting against file sharers among their student body. Some recognise that by taking internal action they are protecting both themselves and their students from possible legal action. Others resist becoming the RIAA's police officers.

The trade body told the AP that Ohio State and Purdue University have been sent the most complaints - over a 1000 each - while University Of Nebraska-Lincoln, University Of Tennessee, University Of South Carolina, Michigan State and the University Of Massachusetts at Amherst have also received high numbers of file sharer complaints.

Confirming that his college acts when contacted by the RIAA, Randall Hall of Michigan State University told CNN: "They're [the RIAA] trying to make a statement". He said that if one of his students was caught file sharing twice he'd meet with them and show them an RIAA produced anti-piracy DVD. God, can you imagine how awful that must be? I think I'd rather have the fine. But should the trauma of watching the RIAA propaganda tape not work, the student risks suspension if caught file sharing for a third time. On the students he had had to speak to so far, Randall continued: "I get the whole spectrum of excuses. The most common answer I get is, 'All my friends are doing this. Why did I get caught?'"

But Steve Talley of Purdue University said his college was less keen to get involved with the RIAA's anti-P2P action. He told reporters: "In a sense, the [RIAA's complaint] letter is asking us to pursue an investigation and as the service provider we don't see that as our role. We are a leading technology school with thousands and thousands of curious and talented technology students".

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SANDISK ANNOUNCE JOB CUTS
Portable digital storage company SanDisk is preparing significant job cuts, or so reports Digital Music News. The job cuts will mainly effect the company's flash memory division, and there is no word on what impact, if any, there will be on the company's MP3 player division. The cuts come after a period when the price of storage devices has slumped in an increasingly competitive market place.

The company's CEO, Eli Harari, told reporters: "Industry wide NAND [a kind of flash memory] component pricing has deteriorated by approximately 50 percent in the past two months due to excess supply of NAND components coupled with first quarter seasonally weak demand. Although we believe there will be strong pickup in demand for our products in the second half of the year, we do not have visibility as to when the current aggressive pricing cycle will run its full course, and gross margins are likely to remain under significant pressure for several quarters".

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NIHAL TAKES OVER PHONE IN SHOW ON ASIAN NETWORK
Nihal, as in Bobby Friction &, will take over the mid-morning phone-in show on BBC's Asian Network, replacing Anita Rani. Nihal, who co-presents a weekly Asian music show on Radio 1 of course, already presents the Asian Network's weekly football show.

Confirming his new job, Nihal told reporters: "People know me primarily as a music person but I take great interest in issues that affect the Asian community in the 21st century. The phone-in really gets under the skin of what British Asians are thinking and how that affects what it's like to live in Britain for everybody".

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SMOOTH RECRUIT MAGIC MAN FOR BREAKFAST
More presenter changes, and the London branch of Guardian owned Smooooooooth Radio, formerly Smooooooooth FM, formerly Jazz FM, have recruited Graham Dene to take over its breakfast show. Dene currently presents the drive time show on Smooth rival Magic. He will replace current Smooth breakfast host David Prever, whose breakfast show lost a third of its listeners in the most recent RAJARs. The new breakfast show will appear as part of GMG's nationwide revamp of its Smooth network (recently expanded through its purchase of Saga Radio, of course).

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CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR JUDICIAL INVESTIGATION INTO XM SIRIUS MERGER
Congressman Bob Goodlatte is urging the House Judiciary Committee to examine the previously reported proposed merger of the US's two satellite radio companies, XM and Sirius. Goodlatte thinks the country's politicians need guidance on the merger, which in theory violates the two companies' existing broadcast licences.

In a letter to House Judiciary chairman John Conyers, Goodlatte wrote: "A hearing on this matter would help Members ascertain important information about the potential positive and negative commercial consequences resulting from a merger between these two companies. One particular area that the Judiciary Committee should explore is whether other music delivery methods, such as terrestrial radio services, internet radio services, and portable downloading services, should be considered part of the 'relevant market' for purposes of the antitrust analysis or whether those services are distinct".

That latter point is key because XM and Sirius will be keen to show that, while they may become the sole business trading in US satellite radio, they will still face competition from other music and audio based media.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Black Dog - Book Of Dogma (Soma)
The Black Dog were one of the key acts in the early 90s electronica/techno boom, rightly feted as being as innovative and influential as The Aphex Twin, Global Communication, FSOL and Orbital. Before splintering acrimoniously into two camps (Ken Downie retained the BD moniker, whilst Andy Turner and Ed Handley have gone on to make equally wonderful material as Plaid), they released two albums ('Spanners' and 'Bytes') for Warp Records which are landmarks in the genre and still hold up exceptionally well when listened to today. This two CD rarities compendium, however, takes in material from their pre-Warp days, when they released a series of singles on their own label and GPR, which now fetch silly money on eBay. Some of the tracks on 'Book Of Dogma' amble around a bit without going anywhere particularly exciting or evocative (not too surprising, given that many tracks here were effectively b-sides), but the ones that work (and there are plenty) take you on a thrilling cinematic journey with cool beats to boot. With spiritual nods to the machine music cities of Detroit and Dusseldorf, as well as a sound that subtly takes in dub and reggae among the glistening house, techno and ambient soundscapes, this is timeless futuristic electro-soul, with plenty for the feet, head and heart to all appreciate. The trio have all gone on to release far superior material to that contained here, but if you maintain any interest whatsoever in modern electronic listening music, this is worth investigating. MS
Release date: 26 Feb
Press contact: Soma IH [all]

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ARCADE FIRE HIT OUT AT THE BIG BOYS
Arcade Fire have criticised the likes of The Rolling Stones and Oasis for being overly obsessed with being the "biggest".

The band's Win Butler told NME: "It's not like we shun success, but at the same time we don't want to shove it down people's throats. In the UK there's this kind of rock star competition. I don't know if U2 started it, or The Stones or Oasis but a lot of bands think in terms of: 'I'm going to be the biggest band in the world. Fuck all those bands who've got no ambition'. I think that's a total crock of shit."

He continued: "There's nothing less interesting to me than the idea of marketing the fuck out of something so people are forced to like it. Some bands are just manipulating people to buy music. That's how 90 per cent of the record industry works! It's basically the same as selling a fucking toaster or a cruise package".

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BRITNEY SPEARS CHECKS OUT OF REHAB
According to reports Britney Spears has checked out of rehab, just one day after checking in. Again. The clinic in Malibu where she was rumoured to be rehabbing had no comment and would not confirm either that she had been there or that she had left.

There's also no news yet on what kind of crazy high jinks she might subsequently have got up to, but there's been a whole lot of chat amongst the gossipers about her hair, or lack of it. There's a whole website now devoted to selling off her locks - http://www.buybritneyshair.com. It's been set up by the salon where the singer got her head shaved, and they claim that a portion of the money they raise from the sale (they're expecting $1million or thereabouts) will go to charity. A spokeswoman told the BBC: "We have received many offers and we are currently in the process of separating the real ones from the bogus ones".

There's also been more speculation as to why Britney decided on the drastic change of image, with sources claiming that estranged husband Kevin Federline has threatened to get strands of her hair tested for drugs in order to mount a custody battle for their two children. The other suggestion, reported in the Mirror, is that Spears thought that "lice were eating her hair extensions, so decided to get rid of them as soon as possible."

Which sounds like the crazy paranoia of a person on drugs. Oh.

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BREAKSPOLL NOMINEES
The breaks genre's annual awards bash takes place at Fabric tonight. Here are the nominees...

Best Album (sponsored by Trackitdown.Net): Aquasky - Teamplayers, Atomic Hooligan - You Are Here The Remixes, Elite Force - Modern Primitive, Freestylers- Adventures In Freestyle, Krafty Kuts - Freakshow.

Best Magazine (sponsored by Spectrum): DJ Mag, Futuremusic Magazine, I-DJ, Mix Mag, Mofo.

Best Remix (sponsored by Know How): Future Funk Squad - Towards The Sun (Evil 9 Remix), Jay Stewart - Im Crazy Youre Crazy (Dopamine Remix), Krafty Kuts - Tell Me How You Feel (Rogue Element Remix), Noisa - Gutterpump (Rogue Element Vs Tom Real Remix), Rob Reng - Plug Me In (Madox Mix).

Best Club / Event (sponsored by DJ Mag): C64, Chew The Fat, Eargasm, Platform 12, Spectrum.

Best Compilation (sponsored by ibreaks): Aquasky - Breakbeat Bass 2, Ctrl Z & Screwface - Hardwired Hardcore Beats, Evil 9 - Fabric Live, Freq Nasty - Breakspoll Volume 2, Stanton Warriors - Fabric Live.

Best Producer (sponsored by Plump DJs): Aquasky, Dopamine, Madox, Rogue Element, Stanton Warriors.

Breakthrough DJ (sponsored by Radio 1): Def Inc, Groove Diggerz, Hexadecimal, Janette Slack, Kid Blue.

Breakthrough Label (sponsored by Sinister): Breakin Even Records, Diverted Traffic, Mofo, Sound Of Spectrum, Trans:Verse Records.

Best Radio Show (sponsored by Born Idle): Annie Nightingale, Highheels Session Hosted By Mjoogoo On NSB, Jay Cunning - Kiss FM, Jbass and Journeyman, Strongarms Session Elite Force.

Best Retailer (sponsored by Menu): Chemical Records, djdownload.com, Juno, Know How,
Streetwise Music.

Best Breakbeat Website (sponsored by Streetwise): Bijoubreaks.com, Breaks FM, ibreaks, nuskoolbreaks.co.uk, Streetwise Music.

Best Label (sponsored by Fingerlickin): Botchit And Scarper, Broke Record, Hardcore Beats, Mantra Breaks, Passenger.

Breakthrough Producer (sponsored by Base:Ad): Def Inc, Far Too Loud, Groove Diggerz, Hexadecimal, Noisia.

Best Radio Station (sponsored by Functional): BBC Radio One, Brap FM, Breaks FM, ibreaks,
NSB Radio.

Best Single (sponsored by Supercharged): Far Too Loud - Get High / Midnight, Krafty Kuts And Tim Deluxe - Bass Phenomenon, Noisia - Gutterpump, Plump DJs - Mad Cow, Soto - Ghetto Blast Ya.

Outstanding Contribution To Breaks (sponsored by Z Audio): Annie Nightingale, Aquasky, Krafty Kuts, Plump DJs, Stanton Warriors.

Best DJ (sponsored by Re:Connect Recordings): Atomic Hooligan, Krafty Kuts, Madox, Pete Jordan, Stanton Warriors.

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