CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 6th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- AIM respond to Ministry letters
- FCC close to deal with radio firms over payola
- Diddy assault case update
- Bobby Brown backs out of radio deal
- More political pressure against UK ticket touts
- Country Music Academy announce award shortlists
- Buck Brothers break gig world record
- Secret Machines drummer quits
- New Bjork album
- They Might Be Giants album news
- Album Review: RJD2- The Third Hand
- Lots of Little Man Tate news
- Aqualung live dates, album
- Faithless plan secret friends show
- Orange Lights play acoustic residency
- Leftfield stage pre-Glasto nights
- V Fest Oz announce headliner
- Police announce tour dates
- More tickets made available for Jackson party
- Mexican pop star comes out
- Hutchence's brother sells off personal items
- Kelis and Nas to feature in reality show
- EMI Classics announce restructure
- Virgin and Carphone Warehouse ally
- finetunes recruit ROTD editor
- Microsoft win latest patent dispute with Alcatel-Lucent
- Channel 4 steal BBC 3 controller
- ITV put premium rate interactive services on hold
- Virgin threaten to go legal over Sky dispute
- Album Review: Various Artists - Nocturne: Late Nights At The Whitechapel
- Chris Martin thinks he's a genius
- Kanye West is fond of curry
- Ricky Wilson can't take criticism


So, we haven't had a 'what the hell do you do?' section on the CMU Music Network website for a while, and now seems as good a time as any to get a new one together, given that it's that time of year where we get asked for careers advice on a much more regular basis. This is the thing where we speak to people working in more or less every role in this great music industry (well, speak in the sense that we email them a list of questions) to find out what exactly their job entails, how they got into the job, and what they'd recommend for anyone out there interested in working in their bit of the music world (or music media). It won't take too long to do, and you get to have your picture on the CMU website, which has been known to get people offers of cash and proposals of marriage, so surely that alone is a reason to get involved. Plus there's that "sharing your insights to help the next generation of music biz people" thing. Anyway, here's how it works. If you are interested in answering some questions about your job, can you email your name, company and details of the job you do to and we'll get in touch later this week, or next week. That would be lovely. Thanks. Now go do our readers' survey -


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 participate all you have to do it follow this link...



'Music With Meaning' is an opportunity to reach other like-minded musicians, fans and media, open the discussion further and bring intelligent music back to the forefront. Music is the most powerful medium the world has ever known. Nothing else can influence the way we feel, think, behave and live like music can. We can no longer endure the empty-headed, emotionally-stunted, soulless, meaningless music being spewed out by the production line. We have had our fill of manufactured muppets and their pointless songs cluttering up popular culture leaving little room for those with something to say to be heard. We are not alone. Real music lovers of the world: it's time to unite and make a stand.

Together we have the power to demand more inspiration from our music and fight for music with a message and the power to move hearts and minds. We have the power to ensure the pop stratosphere is populated by real artists and meaningful music, not chinless talent vacuums striving for fifteen minutes of forgettable fame. What happened to true musical role models? Why should we be forced to seek solace in the achievements of eras gone by? We need inspirational music icons for this generation and generations to come; people who can highlight injustice in the world rather than draw attention to their own mundane pseudo-celebrity antics.

The Campaign For Music With Meaning is here to support artists who have something to say; who say it because they mean it; and who mean it because they care. Join us, and together we can crush the pretenders and make music with meaning the sovereign soundtrack of our lives.

If You Stand for Nothing, You'll Fall for Anything



We are a busy, independent marketing agency in the heart of London's West End, looking for a bright spark to help organise us. The role requires an eye for detail, razor sharp organisational skills and ability to multi-task under pressure. Meeting and greeting clients, answering phones, invoicing, organising travel are some of the main tasks. The position pays up to £22k depending on ability, and this could be the first rung on the marketing ladder for the right person. Interested, then send your CV to with a short note explaining why we should meet.



The third Insomniacs Ball will take over London's seOne Club on 5 Apr, with another storming line up of bands and DJs and, this time, ballroom decor and fancy dress. Already on the bill are Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Pull TigerTail, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Bolt Action 5, Headland and Black Daniel, plus DJ sets from Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), Jack Knife Lee, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME) and the Artrocker DJs. Plus Wall Of Sound presents the Shock Rock arena featuring live sets from A Human, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend And The Makers and DJ sets from Riotous Rockers, Mekon, Alvin C and Infadels. Tickets are a mere £21.50, with a limited number of student tickets available for NUS card holders at just £15. VIP golden tickets which offer access to an exclusive VIP area are also available for sixty quid. Ticket type stuff can be found at, line up info will appear over the coming weeks at, and for press info you need to drop an email to


MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Dolores O'Riordan
Dolores O'Riordan, she of The Cranberries, will release her first solo album - 'Are You Listening' - on 15 May, with a single, 'Ordinary Day', due to drop before then, which is all very exciting. 'Ordinary Day' is not 100% dissimilar to The Cranberries sound you all knew and loved (and it sounds not altogether unlike a band much loved by me but much ignored by many, the River City People), but don't take my word for that, that's why she's here in the MSOTD slot, cos the track is up for preview on her MySpace. That's all there is to preview, though there's much more info on O'Riordan's upcoming solo material, including the background to some of the tracks that will feature on the album ('Ordinary Day' was inspired by the birth of her third baby, Dakota apparently). It looks like there'll be no UK live date until June, though that will be the finale to a European tour, so you mainland Europe types might want to check out the MySpace for other tour date info.


The Association Of Independent Music has said it has formally responded to those two open letters issued by the Ministry Of Sound record label last week but that, while it will share its response with its member labels, it will not issue an open letter to the media, which is just no fun whatsoever. I quite liked being in the middle of the squabble. But AIM says that it "chooses not to conduct its business in that manner, nor will it reciprocate Ministry's method of campaigning".

As previously reported, Ministry Of Sound issued its open letters, via its lawyers, in protest at the agreement reached between pan-European independent label trade body IMPALA, to which AIM is affiliated, and the Warner Music Group, in which IMPALA said it would not oppose a Warner takeover of EMI on the basis that Warner made certain commitments to support the indie sector and the new indie digital rights agency Merlin. Ministry said AIM should and could not support any IMPALA deal which enabled further consolidation in the major label sector, and also criticised IMPALA bosses for the secrecy that seems to have surrounded their deal with Warner.

In a statement issued yesterday, AIM said it had now "replied to the legal letters received from Ministry Of Sound's lawyers" adding that their response included "a full and complete rebuttal of every material criticism and accusation implied and insinuated by the company's open correspondence. AIM and its executives are reserving all their rights against Ministry of Sound".

Presumably in response to implications in Ministry's correspondence that AIM had failed it members in failing to oppose the IMPALA deal, or share information about it with its membership, AIM's statement added: "AIM's priority is and has always been to its members - be this during negotiations with new media businesses, in disputes with practitioners of copyright apartheid or as part of its regular member services. AIM will post a copy of its response to Ministry Of Sound on the member's section of its website, so that its members remain fully apprised of its activities. AIM will inform members of this by way of the usual weekly newsletter bulletin".


US media regulator the FCC is reportedly close to reaching an agreement with four of America's major radio firms regarding accusations that they have accepted payola - gifts, payment or commercial incentives - in return for playlisting music by artists signed to major record companies.

As much previously reported, payola, a long term practice in the US radio industry that breaches broadcasting regulations, has been back in the news in the last two years thanks to an investigation by then New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer through which several of the major record companies and radio firms admitted participating in payola practices. Despite reaching settlements with many of the radio firms himself, throughout his investigation Spitzer was calling on the FCC, who oversee broadcasting regulations, to take their own action against radio stations who had accepted payola for playlisting tracks.

Negotiations between the FCC and the radio companies on the matter have been ongoing for sometime, and according to Billboard, insiders there say that two settlement deals are now near completion, which will see four offending radio companies - Clear Channel Communications Inc, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications Corp and Citadel Broadcasting Corp - each pay multi-million dollar fines, as well as committing to giving over a certain portion of air time to independently signed artists and artists based locally to each of the stations in their respective networks. The radio firms will also adopt a new set of "rules of engagement'' governing how radio and record companies should interact in the future.

An official statement from the FCC on the settlements is expected sometime this month.


More details have emerged regarding the assault Sean 'Diddy' Combs is accused of perpetrating at the end of last month. As previously reported, one Gerard Rechnitzer claims he was attacked by the hip hop star in the early hours of 25 Feb at LA's Roosevelt Hotel, and has now filed a suit to the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

In the lawsuit, Rechnitzer says that he and his girlfriend were outside the hotel's club, Teddy's, when he ran into the rapper. He claims that Combs was talking to the girlfriend, and, when Rechnitzer approached, Combs shouted at him "in a threatening and ominous matter". Following this, the suit alleges that Combs "intentionally, wilfully, knowingly and unlawfully attacked, assaulted and battered" Rechnitzer, causing him to fall back several feet and hit a parked car. Combs is also accused of pushing the man's girlfriend and attempting to spit on another female member of Rechnitzer's group.

Combs' lawyer Benjamin Brafman says that the suit is "completely baseless", adding in a statement: "It's just another example of an opportunist seeking to fabricate a lawsuit based on a flat-out lie to try to take advantage of Mr Combs' celebrity status. Mr Combs did not hit anyone and Mr Rechnitzer suffered no injuries or damages whatsoever. There is no case. It is that simple".


Well, Bobby Brown may have settled his dispute with the family courts, but he has entered into a new dispute with Washington radio station Hot 99.5 FM. Well, sort of.

As previously reported, Brown was jailed last week over $19,150 he owed the mother of his two teenage children in back child support payments. He was told he would not be allowed out of jail until his debts were settled. With Brown not as wealthy as he once was, getting together twenty grand wasn't so easy, which is why his legal people accepted a deal with Hot 99.5FM in which they paid the debts in return for a commitment by Brown to appear on various programmes on the station this week. But Brown has now backed out of those commitments.

Things came to a head on Friday morning during a phone interview with Brown on the station's The Kane Show. Presenter Kane said that under their agreement Brown was an employee of the station for the week. Brown responded that that wasn't his understanding of the deal, and when pushed by Kane on the matter he put the phone down.

Further negotiations took place over the weekend, and both the station and Brown's people announced yesterday that the deal was off and the singer would pay the station back the money it had advanced to pay off the child support debts. Confirming that arrangement, Kane told reporters yesterday: "We thought we clearly communicated to Bobby our intentions but once we had him on the air it was clear that we were not on the same page. We feel that there are better things we can do with the money locally".

How quickly Brown plans to pay the radio station back isn't clear though they can't put him in jail if he fails to pay, so the incentive to cough up quickly may not be great.


More ticket touting talk this morning after two MPs spoke on the topic in the House Of Commons, suggesting the government should do more to stop people and companies from reselling tickets for profit via online auction sites like eBay.

As previously reported, the government has previously expressed concern over the growing number of online ticket touts, and pressured the live sector to do something to stop them, threatening to legislate against touts if nothing was done. But when the live sector responded by saying it was doing as much as it could to combat touts, and that it would welcome legislation to help them combat touting, the government kind of backed down on those threats to introduce anti-touting laws.

The latest comments on the issue from political types follows the latest in a string of high profile ticket touting cases, this time involving the completely sold out Take That UK tour for which heavily marked up tickets are now available via online agencies and eBay. John Robertson MP asked the House Of Commons yesterday: "Is it not time the government did something about this ticket touting and make sure the people that do it end up in jails?"

Meanwhile Pete Wishart MP, a former member of Scottish rock group Runrig, said the government shouldn't expect the music industry to tackle this problem alone, asking: "Why is it being left to the music industry to try and address this problem? Surely the government should be doing more to protect music fans from this touting".

Clarifying the government's viewpoint on all this, Creative Industries Minister Shaun Woodward said: "Members of the public, where it is fair, want the facility to be able to sell on tickets themselves. We condemn the practice where it's wrong but it's also important to get a grip on how proportionate this is because it is only a minority who do this - albeit a minority we condemn", which kind of says nothing at all really. Which is good news, because I've still got to get those Take That tickets I want to sell on eBay. I'll start the bidding at £200 each.


More country music awards for you. Following the announcement of the nominations for the MTV/CMT country music video awards last week, shortlists for the Academy Of Country Music Awards were released yesterday, and again it was a good day for Rascal Flatts who, having led the way in terms of noms at the CMT awards, appeared on six of the ACM's shortlists. That said, they weren't the leaders in terms of nominations - that accolade goes to Brooks & Dunn, who were shortlisted in no less than seven categories. The awards take place on 15 May in Las Vegas and you can check out the full list of nominations - I assume - at I say assume, it requires the latest version of flash to look at that site, which I really should get round to installing on my PC. It's just I'd need to login as administrator to install the update, and I'm far too busy writing stories about the latest EMI restructure to be bothering with that. Hey, there's something to look forward to, more EMI restructure news, still to come here in your CMU Daily.


Punk poppers Buck Brothers have created a new world record by playing 27 gigs in the space of ten and a half hours, beating a previous record held by German rockers Kansas City, who played 26 gigs in 12 hours in Hamburg three years ago.

Buck Brothers played the gigs in a variety of locations across London, including Leicester Square, Camden, Islington and Soho, overseen by a Guinness Book Of Records official who was present to ratify the record. The band had been intending to play 30 gigs, in fact, but some venues cancelled, and by the time they got to number 27 there were no venues on their list left to play at.

The band's Andy Duke says: "We're absolutely ecstatic. In the face of adversity, I mean everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We had to swap bits of the PA system and much more, however we had to make the best of a bad situation. It was a real challenge. But we did it. I'm delighted, it's fantastic."


Secret Machines drummer Benjamin Curtis has left the band in order to work on a new project, School Of Seven Bells. The group's frontman Brandon Curtis broke the news of his brother's decision in a post to the Secret Machines message board.

Curtis wrote: "After 7 and 1/2 years of playing music together Benjamin has decided to no longer be a part of the band. It is a sad day but also an exciting one as he prepares to focus full time on his new creative venture, School Of Seven Bells. He has told me that he expects to be finished with a new record very soon as well as there being plans in the works to play some shows here in New York debuting the band. Of course Josh and I wish him all the best."

Secret Machines are also working on a new album, and expect to begin recording in May.


Icelandic irritant Bjork has announced details of a new LP. 'Volta', the singer's sixth studio album is out on 7 May and features collaborations with Timbaland and Antony '& The Johnsons' Hegarty. Bjork is expected to play songs from the ten track long player at her scheduled performances at Coachella and Glastonbury.


They Might Be Giants are set to release two albums this year, one for adults, and one for kids. They're just starting work on their new, yet to be titled main album, with The Dust Brothers and Pat Willet on production duties. Meanwhile, they're also working on 'Here Come The 123s' for Disney, a collection of educational counting songs which follows the not dissimilarly titled 'Here Come The ABCs', released in 2005.


ALBUM REVIEW: RJD2- The Third Hand (Beggars/XL Recordings)
I really don't know what to make of this. I'm not sure if I like it or if I dislike it, so bear with me. I can't work out if my reservations are because I know and love every other bit of RJD2 material so well that I was expecting some of the same kind of cool, subtle beats like on the 'Dead Ringer' album or if it's because the sound of someone (not a sample) singing over the top of the music is so alien in an RJD2 song. After a million listens (yes I am very dedicated) to the album, I'm still balancing finely on the fence. On one side I think that songs like 'Work It Out' and the almost superhero-theme sounding 'Have Mercy' really work and use the original RJD2 beats really well with some eerie 60s type vocals. But then songs like 'Rules' would be almost entirely more enjoyable if the vocals were taken off it. To be fair, what RJD2 have done is taken a big risk with this album and made something completely different from what fans will be used to - and to be honest, that's what it's all about isn't it? Doing something different, going somewhere new, not just re-hashing your previous albums for a quick buck? So, while I am still on the fence in terms of whether or not I like the album, after this I have a lot more respect for them as - fuck it, I'm going to say it - artists. GM
Release Date: 5 Mar
Press Contact: Beggars IH [all]


Well, I say lots. There's a bit. Of Little Man Tate news. It's significant news, anyway, I promise you that. The band are set to release their new single, 'This Must Be Love' on 26 Mar, and you can view the video for the track, which features Liz Smith (who played Nana in The Royle Family) on their MySpace page right now - The single is released via Yellow Van Records and will be available on CD and two 7" variations, with three exclusive new tracks backing the release across the format - 'Self Appreciation Club', 'Too Quick To Type' and 'Hello Miss Lovely, So You Like My Jeans'.

The band are also on tour at the moment - and their 5 Apr London date has been upgraded; they were originally set to play the Mean Fiddler but will now play the 2000 capacity Astoria. Here are all the remaining tour dates:

8 Mar: Newcastle University
9 Mar: Sheffield The Plug - SOLD OUT
10 Mar: Sheffield The Plug - SOLD OUT
5 Apr: London Astoria


Aqualung, aka Matt Hales, is set to release a third album this summer. Set for release in the US on 13 Mar, 'Memory Man', will hit UK shelves on 25 Jun, preceded by a single, 'Pressure Suit' on 18 Jun. A download only single 'Something To Believe In' will be available from 9 Apr. He's also confirmed four new live dates following the success of low key dates at The Spitz in January, at which he previewed tracks from the new album. A further set of summer dates and festival appearances will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, here are the Spring dates:

8 Apr: Birmingham Academy
9 Apr: Glasgow King Tuts
10 Apr: Manchester Academy 3
12 Apr: London ULU


Faithless fans selected from the band's MySpace friends are to be invited to an intimate warehouse gig - a sneak preview of their upcoming arena tour - on 16 March.

The concert is set to take place at an undisclosed location just outside Leeds. Just 260 fans will be present at the event. In order to be in with a chance of being at the gig, MySpace users need to 'make friends' with both the Secret Shows profile at and Faithless's own page, A guestlist will then be selected from 'friends' who correctly answer a question online. Those who make the guestlist will be transported to the secret location on buses from Leeds town centre.

MySpace's Jamie Kantrowitz, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Content, Europe says: "This is going to be a truly remarkable MySpace Secret Show. Can you imagine the full Faithless arena sound in a venue for 260 people? We're recreating some of the excitement of the old rave days with a car park rendezvous and a secret venue. It's going to be astounding".


Former MySpace Of The Day-ers (a newly created accolade for you there) The Orange Lights kick off a four week residency at the 12 Bar on Denmark Street, London tonight, and will be playing acoustic sets there for the next three Tuesdays - so that's on 6, 13, 20 and 27 Mar. They will also play at Club NME at Koko in Camden on Friday, 9 Mar. For more info, may I suggest a visit to their MySpace? It's at


Time for some festival news, oh yes. First up, organisers of the Glastonbury Festival's Left Field Stage have announced they will stage two pre-Glasto nights at the Carling Academy Islington, in association with and in support of Shelter. The nights will take place on 11 and 12 Jun, ten days ahead of Glasto itself. Full line up info is tba, though the Tuesday (12 Jun) night will be headlined by CUD who are planning a number of festival sets this summer following that previously reported comeback tour last year.


And as if we don't have enough festival news of our own, some Aussie festival news for you. The final line up has been confirmed for the first ever V Festivals down under - as you'll remember, the V Festival is launching new events in various spots across the globe. The Australian dates will take place in Sydney on 31 Mar and at the Avica Resort on the Gold Coast on 1 Apr. Promoters have just confirmed Beck will headline both events, while Aussie website Undercover say New York Dolls will be playing their first ever Australian shows at the event. Also on the bill are Pixies, Pet Shop Boys, 2 Many DJs, Groove Armada, Soulwax Nite Versions, Jarvis Cocker, Gnarls Barkley, New Young Pony Club, The Rapture and NouvelleVague, all of which makes me wish I could come up with some excuse for a trip to Oz at the end of the month.


The Police have confirmed the initial dates for the European leg of their previously announced reunion tour, four of which are in the UK. Further dates are expected to be announced shortly. For now, here are the confirmed gigs:

29 Aug: Stockholm, Sweden
4 Sep: Birmingham, UK
8 Sep: London, UK
11 Sep: Hamburg, Germany
13 Sep: Amsterdam, Netherlands
16 Sep: Prague, Czech Republic
19 Sep: Vienna, Austria
22 Sep: Munich, Germany
27 Sep: Barcelona, Spain
29 Sep: Paris, France
13 Oct: Dusseldorf, Germany
15 Oct: Manchester, UK
19 Oct: Cardiff, UK


More tickets have been made available for that previously reported exclusive party Michael Jackson is holding in Japan this week. Tickets for the event cost a ludicrous 400,000 yen (around £1800) for which fans will get to spend thirty seconds or so with their idol - but won't get to hear him sing. Promoters now say they're going to sell more tickets because the first 300 sold so quickly. Asami Akiba from Positive Productions says: "We haven't decided yet on the exact number of tickets, because we want to keep it limited or else our fans who have already paid will feel bad".

Akiba continued: "We don't think the 400,000 yen ticket is too expensive. It simply responds to Michael Jackson's value as a global star, fans' acknowledgement of that and their willingness to pay for it".


Mexican pop star Christian Chavez has revealed he is gay - which is quite a big deal anywhere in the world, actually, but is especially so in Mexico where such talk is generally a bit more taboo, apparently. A member of the band RBD, Chavez, 23, said he did not "want to keep on lying" about his life, after pictures emerged of him which apparently showed him getting married to a man in Canada.

Mexican gay rights activist Sergio Villar comments: "Christian Chavez's decision symbolises this new way of seeing life, and raises hope of a more inclusive future with more respect for differences".

Chavez says: "Although I'm scared and filled with uncertainty, I know that I can rely on the support of my fans. Their love is bigger than all of this. I ask them from the bottom of my heart, not to judge me for being honest and to feel proud of who they are and never make the same mistake I did".


Michael Hutchence's brother Rhett is in process of selling off a number of his late siblings personal effects, amongst them a fax from the dead singer to then girlfriend Kylie Minogue. Their mother Patricia Glassop has criticised the move, and reportedly disowned him over the sale of the items, which Rhett is auctioning via eBay.

On eBay, Hutchence writes: "They have to earn their keep somehow, as they have been in storage, like everything else, for the past 10 - 20 years". He adds that he's not letting go of everything, saying, in reference to the Kylie missive: "I have a similar, yet raunchier fax that I will keep".


I think it was Burt Bacharach who wrote: "what the world needs now, is love, sweet love". That was a long time ago. Now what the world really needs, apparently, is an infinite number of reality shows featuring dull showbiz couples. Well, MTV seems to think so, anyway.

Kelis and Nas are to appear in a new reality show, 'Mr And Mrs Jones', which will follow the couple as they prepare to go on tour. MTV president Brian Graden says: "This is a show featuring two people whose dynamics are entirely their own. He tends to be very quiet, and she knows exactly what he needs when he needs it. While other shows have focused more on the domestic side of these couples, we are taking a much stronger point of view and catching up to them when their tour is beginning".

Kelis was arrested in Miami on Friday of course. As you'll remember. Because we reported on it.


And here it is, EMI restructure news. You lucky people. The latest restructure from the struggling major comes in the company's Classics division. The boss of the London based division, Costa Pilavachi, said that his new management team had been put into place after some "difficult but necessary restructuring", which presumably means the new team is somewhat smaller than the old one. He added that he hoped the new structure would enable the division to focus on "growth and raising our profile in the areas of A&R, marketing, digital and catalogue management".

Among those in the revamped team are Polly Miller who will head up a new International Marketing And Creative Services unit, supported by Susanne McBurney, Shereen Zarganakis, Zen Edwards, Sophie Jefferies and Linda Barrington. New recruit Graham Southern will take on the new role of Director Of Catalogue, while existing EMI Classics exec Will Benthall will become Digital Director. Catherine Fairlamb will become Finance Director following the promotion of John King, who previously coordinated the division's finances, to a EMI Group level role. Lorna Aizlewood, the existing Director of Legal & Business Affairs, will also assume responsibility for royalties and contract administration.

The new appointments follow a previous announcement that Alain Lanceron, President of Virgin Classics, will take on a VP A&R role within EMI Classics also.


Virgin Digital and the Carphone Warehouse have announced an alliance which will see the former power the latter's website - a Windows Media based system that sells music compatible with most MP3 players and many music enabled mobiles.

Here's what Virgin Retail Marketing & New Media Director Steve Kincaid has to say about the partnership: "This is a fantastic opportunity for both parties to reach music fans with an easy-to-use and quality download service".

The Carphone Warehouse's Online Director Andy Brown added, "The partnership allows us to add value to our customers' online experience and will allow The Carphone Warehouse to benefit from Virgin's rich musical heritage. We know from our experience of working with Virgin Mobile in France as Phone Store, that partnerships with Virgin companies allows us to leverage their brand values and expertise to create compelling content for our enviable customer base".


Hamburg based digital music aggregator finetunes has announced the appointment of David Balfour, formerly Editor of music industry news aggregation service Record Of The Day, as its UK Label And Retail Consultant. He will liaise with finetunes' existing UK label clients, recruit new labels to the service, and work with digital retailers to "ensure optimum exposure for finetunes' clients".

Confirming the appointment, finetunes MD Oke Göttlich told CMU: "finetunes is delighted to appoint David Balfour as its new UK representative. As an experienced music industry journalist, David has acquired a detailed knowledge of movements in the digital domain, and is equally respected as an expert on the UK music scene".

Balfour himself added: "I'm excited to be joining a company that offers really intelligent and accountable digital music services. In a world where many digital services seem to operate with a 'one size fits all' approach, I've been really impressed by the way that finetunes creates bespoke services that work for each of its individual labels. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and helping to build finetunes' already-excellent offering".


Microsoft have scored a victory in its widespread legal fight over IT patents with Alcatel-Lucent in relation to speech recognition technology. AL said Microsoft was violating patents it owned in this domain through its Windows Media Player and Messenger systems. But a judge in San Diego yesterday ruled they were not.

This is relevant to us here in music-land, because, as previously reported, Microsoft recently lost a legal fight with AL over certain patents it owns relating to MP3 technologies - a decision which leaves Microsoft facing a bill of $1.52 billion, and could set a precedent where all sorts of other companies working with MP3 technologies could face similar litigation from AL. Microsoft hope that by winning other AL patent cases it can mount a stronger appeal to the MP3 patents ruling.

As previously reported, Microsoft argue AL's MP3 patents are irrelevant in its use of MP3 technology within the Windows Media Player because it had licenced the right to make its players MP3 compliant with the Fraunhofer Society, who are generally credited with creating the original MP3 technology.


Channel 4 has appointed the Controller of BBC 3, Julian Bellamy, to be its new Head Of Programming. Bellamy has only been at the BBC digital broadcaster for two years, having worked at Channel 4 from 1998 to 2005.

Elsewhere in Channel 4 exec news, the broadcaster's Director Of Television, Kevin Lygo, will take on more control of the company's digital stations, E4, More4 and Film4, and the group's digital radio ventures.


Now, I'm not saying it's linked, but on Friday we asked whether TV stations shouldn't stop running premium rate phone line programming so that viewers couldn't be ripped off, deliberately or otherwise, and now ITV has announced it is suspending all of its premium rate phone in shows. On the off chance that there is a link between our opinion and TV industry policies though, don't you think it's about time TV execs stopped hiring Fearne Cotton to ruin shows with her non-existent presenting talents? I look forward to the news of her axing.

ITV's decision follows various reports that TV programmes across all networks have been somewhat slack in the way that they administer their interactive features, meaning that viewers were often either overcharged for participating, or were told to call in on premium phone numbers to enter competitions when entrants had already been selected. Problems were identified with the way red button voting for X-Factor was charged to viewers, while at Channel 4 there have been high profile accusations that viewers of the Richard & Judy show have long been encouraged to phone in to participate in quizzes that had already been assigned - and likewise the BBC's Saturday Kitchen show.

While not saying any of its own current programmes were affected by such problems, ITV said it was stopping the use of premium interactive features for the time being in a bid to assure viewers it had their interests at heart. The broadcaster's COO John Cresswell told reporters: "It is critical that our viewers have absolute confidence in the services that we offer. We believe that all programmes currently on air are compliant. However, in light of recent concern around this issue, something affecting every major broadcaster, we are conducting this independent review to ensure that ITV is meeting all relevant codes and regulations".

The broadcaster have hired Deloitte to do its review, and consultants will look back at interactive features on programmes from the last two years as well as current shows. The move will affect features on ITV's Dancing On Ice, This Morning, Loose Women, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the entire ITV Play channel. The broadcaster says interactive services will return on a programme by programme basis once bosses are confident everything is above board.

One of ITV's key suppliers of phone in services, Eckoh, said it took its obligations in this domain "very seriously" and said it supported the review. The government regulator of premium phone services, Icstis, also welcomed the review saying it was "evidence of a broadcaster taking its responsibility to its viewers seriously". Neither Channel 4 or the BBC are planning similar reviews, though Icstis is itself investigating the use of premium phone call systems on the Richard & Judy and Saturday Kitchen shows.


Virgin Media is now threatening to go legal over its long running and much previously reported dispute with rival broadcaster BSkyB. As previously reported, Sky has withdrawn its basic channels from Virgin's cable TV network after the cable firm refused to meet its price demands for carrying the services.

Virgin Media said in a statement yesterday: "Following Sky's withdrawal of its basic channels from Virgin Media's TV service, Virgin Media has formally advised Sky that it will pursue action in the high court if their carriage disputes are not resolved within 30 days. This comes on the heels of Sky's rejection of an offer by Virgin Media to have the matter resolved through legally binding arbitration by an independent expert".

Sky reportedly turned down the offer of independent arbitration because Virgin want to include a renegotiation of a recently signed deal regarding the inclusion of Virgin's Flextech channels on the Sky Network in any arbitrated talks. Sky pushed Virgin down considerably on the price it pays for the Flextech channels in that contract renewal, which is why Virgin were hoping they could push down the price they pay Sky for their channels.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Nocturne: Late Nights At The Whitechapel (Whitechapel / Maniac Squat)
Although always respected, it is only recently that 'sound' has begun to be accepted as an art form independent of visual stimulation. More and more groups are being invited to create 'sonic sculptures' and bands like Sunn0))) are gaining widespread acknowledgement as sonic artists rather than musicians (justifications, means and hype notwithstanding). This shift can often mean that actual musicality is lost to conceptual aesthetics, and it sometimes feels like the balance is proving slow to find. The Whitechapel Gallery in East London began a series of musical experiments in November 2005 which, on the basis of these tracks, strikes a very comfortable balance, quite removed from the po-faced pretentions of a lot of so-called 'modern music'. The key to such a compilation as this is to draw all these seemingly disparate sounds into a cohesive flow, which has been achieved expertly here. Altered bluegrass sits with spoken word, time-stretched folk welcomes grime into its stable and guitar wails shout across the run time to the delirious urban jungle sounds of 10-piece drum troupe Leopard Leg. Likewise, Agaskodo Teliverek's 'Stupid Girl' does a wonderful re-contextualising of the component ingredients of electro-punk, only heightened by its juxtaposition to Temperatures doing a similar thing to post-black metal drone jazz, as throbbing bass dodges and caresses wonderfully intricate free-rhythmic drumming. The Whitechapel has just begun another season, and could very well prove to be a vital looking glass into the future of musical movements. AM
Release Date: 9 Apr
Press Contact: Seb & Fiona [all]


Chris Martin says a new track written for Coldplay's new album is "basically genius". He says that everyone "has to hear this song before we die, otherwise we'll be terribly depressed". I have absolutely no comment to add.


Kanye West likes his curry. So do I, actually, so I can sympathise, although I'm not sure I can approve of anyone blowing £2000 to get one delivered. The hip hopper ordered the meal from the British Raj restaurant in Rogerstone, near Newport - head chef Kaysor Ahmed will be flown by helicopter to Heathrow today and then onto New York to provide Mr West with his fix.

Restaurant manager Masud Ahmed says: "We are all very nervous about the meal, especially Kaysor. We're not used to all this attention. We just hope that everything goes well on Tuesday and that we provide good food. When it is all over then I'll feel relief. But this sort of thing happens once in a blue moon so we are very pleased to be able to do it".


Chief Kaiser Ricky Wilson has responded to journalists who have negatively criticised his band's second album. The singer explained that the band were expecting some kind of backlash (to be fair, it does happen) but says he believes that Kaiser Chiefs have made "a great record."

Speaking to 6music, he added: "I don't want to sound big-headed, but anyone who says they don't like the new album is just lying. It's weird, we know it's good."

I like Ricky Wilson. But I think he really should have kept quiet on this one.

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