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

In today's CMU Daily:
- Ministry issue new statement over IMPALA/Warner Fallout
- IFPI sue Yahoo! China
- Glastonbury pre-registration closes
- Gillespie would participate in Mary Chain reunion if asked
- Hawthorne Heights score partial victory against Victory
- Wolfgang's Vault countersue
- George Michael drugs case latest
- Big Bopper definitely killed on impact in 1959 crash
- Single review: LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
- Girls Aloud and Arctic Monkeys collaborate
- All Saints dropped
- Paul Simon gets inaugural Library Of Congress honour
- Lennon docu held up by Ono legal action
- Beatles top another best albums ever list
- Classic Rock name wildest geeeetarists of all time
- New Beastie Boys upcoming
- Arctic Monkeys announce guests
- Magic Numbers headline Summer Sundae
- NIN cancellation
- Supergrass, Harcourt line up against slavery
- Donny Osmond tour
- Little Flames tour, etc
- Radio 1 confirm WMC shows
- Blair hails golden age of British culture
- Caroline to distribute Rough Trade in the US
- Rick Rubin to join Columbia
- Faxon confirmed as EMI Publishing chief
- Universal enter publishing JV with Eminem
- ASCAP announce record revenues
- Licensing group buy stake in Rocawear
- Phone regulator says TV firms have been 'sloppy'
- Album review: Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Letdown
- Mills defends herself via her website
- Carey reduces film crew to tears
- Green Day might but probably won't appear in Simpsons movie
- Cowell offers sympathy to rehabing celebs
- West hasn't ordered trans Atlantic curry

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TOP BIT>>
A quick reminder of something we mentioned here in the Top Bit yesterday. We are putting together a brand new 'what the hell do you do?' section on the CMU Music Network website, and wondered if any of you could help us (we're getting very demanding of late aren't we? Fill in this survey, volunteer for this interview, send us Easter eggs - sorry, we'll try to be less needy in the future).

This is the thing where we send over a bunch of questions to people working in more or less every role in this great music industry of ours (and the music media too) 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, as I say, music media).

As we said yesterday, 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 industrypeople@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk and we'll get in touch later this week, or next week.

That would be lovely. Thanks.

Easter eggs can be sent to the usual address. That reminds me, I owe one of our readers a bag of mini eggs for something. I can't quite remember what for. I'll have to check that out.

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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 participate all you have to do it follow this link...
http://www.songpeople.co.uk/cmu

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

MUSIC WITH MEANING
'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

http://www.musicwithmeaning.co.uk
http://www.myspace.com/jointhestruggle

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JOBS N STUFF>>

MARKETING HOUSE KEEPER EXTRORDINAIRE - OFFICE MANAGER
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 info@touchdown-marketing.com with a short note explaining why we should meet.

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

INSOMNIACS BALL
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 http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, line up info will appear over the coming weeks at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk, and for press info you need to drop an email to laura@scruffybird.com.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: BUTCHER BLUES FOUNDATION
To be honest, these boys initially endeared themselves to me by sending me a CD and addressing it to Lady Caro of CMU, or some such, and God knows, I enjoy that sort of thing. But then I discovered that they do a great line in loud rocky rock rock, so I am thinking it might be nice to make you all aware of them if you're not already. Plus, I had a conversation with a young lady at a gig the other night and we both agreed that we need a break from all that indie, and it really made me feel like spreading the rock word a bit. It's a nice busy site, lots of info and blog updates as well as four great tracks for you to have a listen of. They've also got a link to their indiestore store, so you can go and buy some. They're worth more than a few minutes of your time, and I promise, it's not just because they called me Lady Caro...

http://www.myspace.com/butcherbluesfoundation

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MINISTRY ISSUE NEW STATEMENT OVER IMPALA/WARNERS FALLOUT
This just in, literally one minute ago, but given the lack of IMPALA/Warner news in today's Daily we thought we'd stop the send button and put it in. Ministry Of Sound have just issued the following statement regarding their ongoing dispute with the Association Of Independent Music and pan-European indies body IMPALA regarding the proposed deal between IMPALA and Warner Music which would see the trade body not oppose a Warner takeover of EMI in return for commitments by Warner to help the indie sector and their new digital rights body Merlin. Here's Ministry's statement in full:

"After a long second meeting of the AIM board on Tuesday 6th March, the IMPALA/Warner deal was again not ratified. Ministry of Sound (MoS) warned AIM executives in an open letter over a week ago that it must not ratify this agreement, which MoS stated was not only unconstitutional but had not been disclosed or discussed in advance in any detail with the AIM board or members. The AIM executives persisted but the board has shown good sense in refusing to ratify it.

Furthermore urgent questions surrounding conflicts of interest as raised by Ministry of Sound remain unanswered. Ministry of Sound now demands the immediate resignation of the IMPALA executives responsible.

Since the announcement of the IMPALA/Warner Music agreement, Ministry of Sound have issued numerous requests both publicly and directly for complete transparency of negotiations and deal terms. This has been so that the independent music community would be able properly to assess the impact of such a significant deal upon its businesses.

On Monday 5th March Ministry of Sound received a six-page response from AIM, refusing to agree to any degree of openness whatsoever. As far as we have learned, the AIM board was unable to ratify the IMPALA/Warner agreement at its meeting yesterday due to the totally unreasonably restrictive gagging order placed upon it by IMPALA. Not only are the board unable to discuss the terms of this already binding agreement with their members, but also they are not allowed to seek their own legal counsel as directors with a fiduciary duty to their members. They are not even sufficiently trusted to be able to take a copy of the deal terms out of the AIM offices for their own perusal.

IMPALA has placed the AIM board and the independent community in a completely untenable position. IMPALA has reached an agreement, which AIM has had no involvement in negotiating and IMPALA refuses to allow the AIM members to see the terms that IMPALA has agreed.

In addition, it has also come to our attention that the board of Merlin, the proposed central licensing entity, which will be in receipt of funding from Warner as a result of this agreement, may contain several members of the IMPALA committee, which negotiated this deal. Once again this is a significant fact, which required disclosure to the AIM board and should be in the public domain.

Ministry of Sound believes, as it has done since the outset of this fiasco, that those responsible for negotiating this agreement must now acknowledge the impossible position in which they have placed the entire European independent music community and resign their positions".

There was no time for us to get an AIM or IMPALA response - we'll try to get you one for tomorrow.

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IFPI SUE YAHOO! CHINA
The Hong Kong based Asia branch of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has confirmed it is suing Yahoo! China for copyright infringement based on the search engine's practice of providing links to unlicensed music. IFPI's Asia Regional Director Leong May-Seey has confirmed that Beijing's Intermediate Court has accepted the case, being brought against the web firm by eleven music companies, including all of the majors.

IFPI is taking the action against Yahoo! China despite ultimately losing that similar and previously reported case against China's leading search engine Baidu last year. While the Chinese courts initially ordered Baidu to pay compensation to EMI for its MP3 search service which provided links to illegal sources of music, an appeal hearing in November overruled that decision ruling that Baidu could not be held liable for any copyright violation because it did not, itself, host any of the unlicensed content, it merely linked to it.

Yahoo! China, which is owned by a company called Alibaba (which is in turn owned 40% by Yahoo! Corp), argue that the second Baidu ruling sets a precedent that makes the IFPI's case against it unfounded. The IFPI, however, remain hopeful they will successfully win an appeal against the second Baidu judgement, so much so they are proceeding with their action against Yahoo! regardless.

IFPI chief John Kennedy said this week: "We expect to eventually win. We believe they [Baidu and Yahoo!] are involved in infringing our members' rights on a major scale".

Porter Erisman of Yahoo! China told reporters: "Yahoo! China respects intellectual property rights and supports the fight against music piracy. The courts have clearly established the precedent that search engine operators are not liable for content posted on third-party websites".

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GLASTONBURY PRE-REGISTRATION CLOSES
So, I think our predictions of meltdown when Glastonbury's ticket hotline/website go live on 1 Apr was probably correct. Some 395,000 people have registered with the festival's previously reported tickets website - and given that only 145,000 tickets will be available, that means there'll be quite some competition to get access to those tickets, unless a lot of people have a change of heart in the next month.

As previously reported, under Glastonbury's latest initiative to combat ticket touts, anyone wanting to buy tickets for this year's event had to register with the festival last month, supplying contact information and a photo of themselves. When tickets go on sale next month anyone registered will be able to buy up to four tickets via the ticket hotline or website, but each ticket must be assigned to someone who has registered. Photos will appear on the tickets themselves, ensuring buyers cannot sell them on to third parties.

Confirming how many people had registered, a spokesman for the festival speaking to the BBC yesterday said of the new pre-registration system: "All the feedback we've got is that people have found the online system really user-friendly". Re-explaining the rationale behind pre-registration, he continued, "If we didn't have this system, tickets would be up on eBay for £500 or £1,000 and it just isn't fair" adding that while they wouldn't know until the day of the festival how well the anti-touting initiative had worked, the way the pre-registration system had gone so far was "a good start".

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GILLESPIE WOULD PARTICIPATE IN MARY CHAIN REUNION IF ASKED
Well, we pondered, albeit only briefly, on the chances of Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie participating in the previously reported The Jesus & Mary Chain reunion, he having been the band's drummer during their rise to fame in 84/85, and apparently the NME's recently appointed Godlike Genius isn't completely against the idea of getting involved.

Speaking to the BBC, he said of the reunion: "Fantastic, I love them, great friends, heroes of mine and I am so pleased for them", while adding when asked about the possibility of his own involvement in the reunion: "If they asked me I would play. [Though] I haven't played with them since 1985 you know, it's a long time ago. The last time I saw them play was '98 and then they split up three days later".

As previously reported, The Jesus & Mary Chain have announced they will reform for the Coachella Festival in California in May.

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HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS SCORE PARTIAL VICTORY AGAINST VICTORY
Well, something has gone in favour of Hawthorne Heights in their long running and previously reported legal battle with US independent Victory Records. As previously reported, Hawthorne Heights are trying to get out of their recording contract with the independent claiming, among other things, that Victory used "tactics" and "scheming" that damaged the band's reputation and their fan relationships, and that the label acted fraudulently in financial reporting to the band, and that as a result the band should no longer be committed to recording for the indie. They also claimed that the copyright on their first two albums should revert to them. Victory for their part countersued, and also launched litigation against EMI who have been trying to sign the emo band - alleging EMI had interfered in Victory's contractual relationship with the band in a bid to steal them.

Last year a US court ruled that the Victory recording contract stood, despite the band's allegations against the label, meaning they are still obligated to record for the independent. However, in the latest legal twist, a Chicago judge has ruled that the band's relationship with the independent is not exclusive, because their contract does not include an exclusivity clause. That means that, while still committed to provide recordings for Victory, there is nothing to stop the band signing another contract with EMI and releasing its flagship albums via them.

However, the latest court ruling dismissed the band's allegations that Victory had acted fraudulently, and said that it could not rule on claims of copyright ownership on the band's previous albums because the contract between the two companies was not clear enough on that issue, and additional evidence would be required for a court to reach a judgment.

As far as we're aware, neither the band nor Victory have commented on the latest ruling.

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WOLFGANG'S VAULT COUNTERSUE
So, this is interesting. The man behind that Wolfgang's Vault website is countersuing the artists that sued him last year over allegations of IP violations. And, perhaps more importantly, they are suing those artists' labels who, the Vault's owner claims, were really behind the original lawsuits.

As previously reported, the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Grateful Dead and Carlos Santana put their names to litigation against Wolfgang's Vault owner William Sagan claiming that his website breached their IP rights by selling touring merchandise and streaming rare concert footage, all of which Sagan acquired when he bought the archives of late concert promoter Bill Graham. But Sagan, who has disputed the artists' claim from the word go, claims that their lawsuit was actually initiated by SonyBMG and Warner Music because he had refused to licence them content he owned.

Having confirmed his countersuit, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Sagan told reporters: "Far from being about bootlegging, consumer confusion or infringement of any sort, this case is actually a blatant attempt by two of the largest record labels in the world - using artists as a front - to secure new income streams and destroy a legitimate business". He alleges that the labels launched litigation after unsuccessfully seeking the rights to licence Sagan's concert footage, saying they "conspired with each other to concoct fictitious legal claims in an effort to appropriate for themselves the use of musical recordings through an abuse of this judicial process".

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GEORGE MICHAEL DRUGS CASE LATEST
A legal hearing is set to take place today ahead of George Michael's upcoming trial on charges of being unfit to drive. It relates to that incident in Cricklewood back in October when fellow motorists dialled 999 because the singer's Mercedes was causing an obstruction at a set of traffic lights. He was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive because of drugs, and was cautioned for being in possession of an amount of cannabis.

Michael's lawyer, Keima Payton, said at a hearing at Brent Magistrates' Court back in January that his client would plead not guilty to the charge. Judge Katherine Marshall set a date of 23 Apr for the actual trial, but said there would be a legal argument hearing today. George Michael is not expected to be in court for today's hearing.

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BIG BOPPER DEFINITELY KILLED ON IMPACT IN 1959 CRASH
A prominent forensic anthropologist has said that Jiles Perry Richardson, aka The Big Bopper, pretty much definitely died on impact during that historic plane crash back in 1959, despite persistent rumours that the fifties rock n roll star may have died while seeking help following the crash.

Richardson's son asked University Of Tennessee's Dr Bill Bass to analyse his late father's exhumed body in order to assess whether there was any truth in rumours that have circulated in relation to the crash, in which Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens also died, that a gun was fired prior to the crash, and that Richardson survived the crash itself but died trying to seek help.

Holly, Valens, Richardson and their pilot all famously died in the 1959 crash, as the rock n rollers travelled between dates on their Winter Dance Party tour. Richardson, perhaps best known for his hit 'Chantilly Lace', wasn't meant to be on the plane but took the place of one of Holly's backing band The Crickets because he was felling unwell and didn't fancy riding on the tour bus. A gun that belonged to Holly was found at the crash site which has always fuelled rumours someone was shot prior to the crash, possibly the pilot, but investigators always ruled the gun was not relevant to the incident, and that the plane crashed due to pilot error in stormy conditions.

Confirming the results of his x-rays of Richardson's body, Dr Bass told reporters: "There was no indication of foul play. There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures... [he] died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk away from the plane".

Richardson's son, Jay, said he was pleased with Bass' findings, and that they proved that investigators "knew what they were talking about 48 years ago". He added that he asked Bass to analyse the body in a bid to "put the rumours to rest". Jay was present when Bass opened his father's coffin, and commented that he was shocked how well the late singer's body was preserved. He told reporters: "Dad still amazes me 48 years after his death, that he was in remarkable shape. I surprised myself. I handled it better than I thought I would".

The body has been reburied in the same cemetery but in a different plot so to allow the installation of a graveside statue.

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SINGLE REVIEW: LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum (EMI/DFA Records)
The new single from indie/electro types LCD Soundsystem sounds like a Beck B-Side that's gone through a Dust Brothers wash by mistake. It's a chirpy club tune that's a definite hit single given the nation's love of slightly indie disco music at the moment. LCD Soundsystem know their audience very well and keep to the same simple structure that saw their 2005 self titled album storm the UK charts resulting in their single 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' being inescapable for a good few months. I'm sure that 'North American Scum' has a subtext that is commenting on the current attitudes of the world towards America, but to be honest when it sounds as crisp and as modern as this its easy for the message to get lost under the fine computer beats. GM
Release Date: 5 Mar
Press Contact: EMI IH [all]

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GIRLS ALOUD AND ARCTIC MONKEYS COLLABORATE
It's not 1 Apr, is it? No, it's not. But the word on the street is that Girls Aloud and Arctic Monkeys are collaborating on a song, and according to Arctic Monkeys, they've already recorded a backing track for the girl band.

Girls Aloud's Sarah Harding said: "The big tip is we're going to collaborate... I love these boys. They've got a strong future ahead of them."

Speaking backstage at the NME Awards, Arctic Monkey Alex Turner said: "[Drummer] Matt Helders and Sarah in Rockford Studios, that's how it's going to work. Down in Wales for two weeks." Helders added: "I've got a backing track ready for us. It won't take two weeks, two days."

As previously reported, Arctic Monkeys have recently covered Girls Aloud track 'Love Machine'.

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ALL SAINTS DROPPED
As widely expected, All Saints have been dropped by Parlophone. The band launched their comeback with new album 'Studio 1' back in November, but it failed to make an impact, only making it to number forty in the albums chart, despite the top three success of lead single 'Rock Steady'. The poor performance of recent single release 'Chick Fit' appears to have been the final straw.

Parlophone said in a statement: "Both the label and the group are proud of the album 'Studio 1'. All Saints are excited about moving forwards with their career and Parlophone wishes them the best of luck."

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PAUL SIMON GETS INAUGURAL LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HONOUR
Paul Simon is to be honoured by the US Library Of Congress in recognition of his lifetime's contribution to music. He will receive the inaugural Gershwin prize, named, of course, for legendary musicians George and Ira Gershwin. The singer songwriter will receive the prize at the Warner Theater in Washington on 23 May. He will also perform at the event, which will also feature a line-up of other high profile artists.

Simon says: "I am grateful to be the recipient of the Gershwin Prize and doubly honored to be the first. I look forward to spending an evening in the company of artists I admire at the award ceremony in May. I can think of a few who have expressed my words and music far better than I. I'm excited at the prospect of that happening again. It's a songwriter's dream come true".

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LENNON DOCU HELD UP BY ONO LEGAL ACTION
The premiere of a John Lennon documentary, 'Three Days In The Life', has been cancelled because Yoko Ono has threatened to take legal action, claiming that she has not authorised public viewing of the film, which is said to contain footage of Lennon composing, and rehearsing for a BBC programme.

The documentary was supposed to be screened yesterday at the Berwick Academy in Maine, but according to the Associated Press the school's headmaster cancelled the event when he received a warning from Ono's lawyers. It transpires that the producers of the film were unable to get a release from Ono, but thought they'd be OK doing free screenings in US schools and colleges, but Ono's latest action suggests not.

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BEATLES TOP ANOTHER BEST ALBUMS EVER LIST
More Lennon related nonsense, and the Beatles have topped another best albums ever poll. Wouldn't it be great if Aqua's greatest hits topped one of these polls one day? Or Bros' 'Push'. Or 'The Best Wombles Album So Far'. I always thought that was a pretty definitive album.

Anyway, 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' has topped the 'Definitive 200' list compiled by the US's National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the US Hall Of Fame people. Other usual suspects like U2's 'Joshua Tree', Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side of the Moon', Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' and Nirvana's 'Nevermind' all appear in the top ten, though there's some less usual suspects like Carole King's 'Tapestry' in there too.

For reasons I'm not entirely clear on loads of reports on this new top 200 focus on the fact that Bonnie Raitt's 1989 album 'Nick of Time' is at 137, which hardly seems to be the big story here, though I have a suspicion most people have sourced the story via the Press Association and she's the only artist they've got to give a quote about the list. In case you're wondering, which you might be now I've mentioned it, here's what she says: "I'm always asked about things like 'what are the most significant, you know, 10 of this or 20 of that', but what's important is that it's not a contest. You do your best work and everybody's got a subjective opinion about what albums mean the most to them".

The full list is at http://www.definitive200.com/200_list.php

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CLASSIC ROCK NAME WILDEST GEEEETARISTS OF ALL TIME
It's a good day for random poll fans - because here's another one. Classic Rock magazine has released a list of the 'wildest guitar icons' as voted for by readers and a panel of experts. And the overall winner is - no, wait for it, you'll be surprised by this one too - in fact, I'd sit down if I was you, this is going to be a shock - oh, I guess most of you are already sitting down - but if you're on the tube reading this on your Blackberry I suggest sitting down now - this is going to be quite something - because, the overall winner is, God, no, who'd have thought it... Mr Jimi Hendrix. And I had a tenner on Charlie from Busted - damn.

Still, the overall top twenty does make slightly interesting reading, if only because of the absence of some of the usual suspects in guitarist polls - notably Slash and Pete Townshend. And Danny from McFly. And Charlie from Busted. And Orinoco, who was a pretty wild guitarist if I remember rightly.

Anyway, here's the full twenty, in reverse order no less...

20. Ace Frehley
19. Peter Green
18. Ted Nugent
17. Johnny Thunders
16. Steve Jones
15. John Frusciante
14. Jeff Beck
13. Brian Jones
12. James Hetfield
11. Steve Clark
10. Kurt Cobain
9. Chuck Berry
8. Eddie Van Halen
7. Rory Gallagher
6. Tony Iommi
5. Dimebag Darrell
4. Jimmy Page
3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
2. Keith Richards
1. Jimi Hendrix

And here's what Classic Rock editor Scott Rowley says: "There's no massive surprise in our readers voting Jimi Hendrix their wildest guitar hero of all-time. Jimi hit London in 1966 and set about terrifying guys like Clapton and Pete Townshend with his devastating technique and wired showmanship. It's a combination that's never been bettered - he redefined the term 'guitar hero' - and he made it all seem so easy. Singers might think that they're the real kings of rock and roll, but our
poll shows that guitarists are far crazier, usually more talented and the real driving force behind the music. Every guitarist in our list turned it up to 11: putting on an unforgettable show and setting the stage alight - sometimes literally - with their presence (and a bottle of lighter fuel). That many of them are still alive after decades of over-indulgence is nothing short of a miracle".

There's actually a full top 100 in this poll, and that appears in the new edition of Classic Rock, out today.

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NEW BEASTIE BOYS UPCOMING
The Beastie Boys have been on the phone talking about their new album. Billboard's phone admittedly, but that's probably because they got the engaged tone when they called CMU. We were too busy chatting to Lennon and Hendrix about their recent best ever poll victories. Anyway, Adam Yauch has told the US industry mag that his band are currently putting the finishing touches to the follow up to 2004's 'To The 5 Boroughs', and that they hope to have it out in time for summer. He also promised that the band would reveal some of their new material at upcoming US festival dates. As previously reported, the Beastie Boys will make their only UK festival appearance this year at Bestival in September.

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ARCTIC MONKEYS ANNOUNCE GUESTS
Arctic Monkeys have announced their guests for those previously reported gigs at Lancashire County Cricket Ground on 28 and 29 Jul - and they are Supergrass, The Coral and Amy Winehouse. Not sure I'd want to be supported by Supergrass in case I got eclipsed by them - I saw them at Wireless a couple of years ago and they rocked like I don't believe Arctic Monkeys can.

Anyway, here's what the Monkey boys (that's the Arctic ones) say: "When we decided to do our own event, we wanted to play with people whose music we love and just make it a really fun day out for the fans. Supergrass, The Coral and Amy Winehouse are all amazing live acts and three of our favourite artists. We're really looking forward to playing together. It's going to be two days of great music".

Their new single, by the way, is out soon - 'Brianstorm' is released on 16 Apr, ahead of the release of second album 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' on 23 Apr.

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MAGIC NUMBERS HEADLINE SUMMER SUNDAE
The Magic Numbers have been announced as the first confirmed headliners for this year's Summer Sundae Festival. They'll be joined on the bill by the likes of Echo And The Bunnymen, The Pipettes, Duke Special, The Rumble Strips, Gruff Rhys and CUD. This year's event takes place from 10-12 Aug at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. Early bird tickets costing £75 are still available until Friday.

Organisers say of the festival, now in its sixth year: "We've come a long way in six years and we intend to keep developing Summer Sundae Weekender to give the bands and audience even more of what they want. Members of the public and critics alike have praised the laid back, friendly atmosphere that we have managed to create with an eclectic programme of artists."

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NIN CANCELLATION
Nine Inch Nails have announced a rescheduled date for the Birmingham show they cancelled on Monday. It will now take place on 28 Aug, and all tickets for the original date will be valid for the new one.

Trent Reznor wrote in his blog on Monday: "I apologize for postponing the show tonight in Birmingham, I simply have to not sing for a couple of days. Please know I do not make this decision lightly and I am sorry for the inconvenience. See you again soon."

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SUPERGRASS, HARCOURT LINE UP AGAINST SLAVERY
An evening in support of lobbying organisation Anti Slavery International has been announced for the end of this month. The Voice Of Slavery will feature performances from the likes of Supergrass, Ed Harcourt, Finley Quaye and Emmanuel Jal, with more guests yet to be confirmed. Hosted by Samantha Morton, Sadie Frost and Rhys Ifans, the event will take place at the Forum in Kentish Town on 25 Mar.

The date is significant because it marks the 200 year anniversary of the passing of the British parliamentary act to abolish the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It's hoped the event will raise awareness of slavery in the modern world, ranging from the use of child workers in areas such as the Philippines and the trafficking of sex workers in Europe.

More info from http://www.thevoiceofslavery.com, press from All Press.

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DONNY OSMOND TOUR
Hey, ladies, Donny Osmond's planning a UK tour, so if you didn't manage to snag a ticket for his series of 2005 gigs, here's your chance. Oh come on. He is kinda cute. In a clean, Mormon kind of way. If you like that kind of thing. Which, to be fair, I don't. He's also got a new album out at the moment, by the way - 'Love Songs of The 70s'.

Anyway, he'll be back at venues near you in the autumn. Here are the dates, tickets on sale Friday at 9am:

12 Oct: Wembley Arena
13 Oct: Brighton Centre
14 Oct: Bournemouth BIC
16 Oct: Plymouth Pavilions
18 Oct: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
20 Oct: Birmingham NEC
23 Oct: Cardiff Int Arena
24 Oct: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
26 Oct: Manchester MEN Arena
27 Oct: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
28 Oct: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

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LITTLE FLAMES TOUR, ETC
Little Flames have announced a series of tour dates ahead of the release of their debut album this summer, and to coincide with the release of their single, 'Isobella' on 26 Mar. Press from Upshot.

15 Mar: Manchester, Jabez Clegg
16 Mar: Cambridge, The Loft
17 Mar: Wolves, Little Civic
19 Mar: Coventry, Colleseum
20 Mar: Bristol, Louisiana
21 Mar: London, Barfly
23 Mar: Hertford, Marquee
24 Mar: Southampton, Lennons
25 Mar: Luton, Live Lounge
27 Mar: Huddersfield Tokyo, Club NME
28 Mar: Glasgow, Barfly
29 Mar: Sunderland, The Voodoo Room
30 Mar: Liverpool, Barfly
31 Mar: Nottingham, Social

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RADIO 1 CONFIRM WMC SHOWS
Radio 1, they're a BBC radio station in case you wondered, have announced more details of their annual jaunt to the Miami Winter Music Conference.

Pete Tong will broadcast live from the city's Surfcomber Hotel on 23 Mar with Erick Morillo, Cedric Gervais, Sharam (Deep Dish), Armand Van Helden, Fedde Le Grande, Bob Sinclar and David Guetta all guesting. Tong will host another WMC show on 29 Mar.

Meanwhile Frankie Knuckles and DJ Dan will do live mixes for the station's Essential Mix show on 25 Mar, with Nic Fanciulli, Zames Zabiela and Richie Hawtin also providing live Essential Mixes from Miami on 1 Apr.

Commenting on Radio 1's WMC output, Tong told CMU: "It will be great to be back at Miami WMC this year, it's still such an important date on the calendar for the dance and electronic music business. By the time Ibiza starts, a lot of the records are already in play, so Miami is really the place, the training ground in fact, for the tunes that are going to be big for the summer. The music-makers make their material targeted at Miami WMC more than any other place in the world, and for that reason the event is still unique".

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BLAIR HAILS GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH CULTURE
Tony Blair said yesterday that we are in a "golden age" of British arts and culture, which will be great news to all those about to lose their government funding as arts money gets diverted to the shambles that is the London Olympic project, and for all those people currently being made redundant from media, music and cultural companies facing not inconsiderable financial hardships. Though there is that argument that societies are at their most creative during times of financial hardship or political uncertainty - perhaps that's what he was referring to.

Blair commended the UK's cultural sector following news that London now rivals New York and Paris in terms of the numbers of people going to galleries, museums and theatre. With name checks for recent Oscar winner Helen Mirren, the success of Alan Bennet's The History Boys, and the fact the UK music industry contributes £6 billion to the economy and employs 130,000 people, Blair said he thought his time in the top job would be remembered as a period of "quiet revolution" in the creative industries. Which is all lovely. Well done him. And well done us, I suppose. Now let's all hold hands and try not to go bankrupt.

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CAROLINE TO DISTRIBUTE ROUGH TRADE IN THE US
EMI's US independent label distribution division Caroline has confirmed an agreement with London based indie Rough Trade which will see the major handle the online and physical distribution of Rough Trade releases in the US - which I thought they'd already announced a couple of months back, but perhaps I dreamt that. Sadly, it is the kind of thing I might dream about. Oh, hang on, the Caroline / Rough Trade partnership will be done via Rough Trade's existing alliance with US independent World's Fair Label Group, an alliance we recently reported on, and which I was probably thinking of. Phew, I haven't been dreaming about Rough Trade's licencing arrangements, that's a relief.

Anyway, among the upcoming albums which Caroline will distribute in the States are Jarvis Cocker's recent debut solo album and the new one from Brakes, who will be known as BrakesBrakesBrakes in the US, to avoid confusion with (and possibly litigation from) the existing US band The Brakes.

Confirming the new distribution deal, Caroline's VP Label Relations Michael Bull told CMU: "Rough Trade is obviously one of the legendary names in the history of independent music. Their track record of finding and developing incredible artists speaks for itself, and their future looks to be just as bright. With the World's Fair team handling their affairs in the U.S., they've got a combination of amazing repertoire and ace promotional support that can't miss. We are thrilled to be adding their roster to the Caroline family".

World's Fair Label Group's Kevin Wortis added: "The team at Caroline has tremendous credibility in the indie music world. We thought they were a great fit to handle Rough Trade and look forward to a successful relationship".

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RICK RUBIN TO JOIN COLUMBIA
Word has it uber-producer Rick Rubin will join SonyBMG's Columbia Records US sometime very soon, taking the role of co-Chairman and bringing his own imprint, American Recordings, with him, ending American's distribution relationship with Warner Music. Rubin has been head hunted by Sony Music US's Steve Barnett and Rob Stringer. It is expected Rubin will head up Columbia's A&R while Barnett will oversee other label operations. Both will report to Stringer.

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FAXON CONFIRMED AS EMI PUBLISHING CHIEF
As expected, EMI Group has confirmed that Roger Faxon is now properly installed as Chairman and CEO of its publishing company, EMI Music Publishing. The confirmation follows the departure of long time chief Marty Bandier, who is joining rival publishing firm Sony/ATV.

As previously reported, Faxon and Bandier have been co-CEO's of EMI Music Publishing for over a year now, with the intention always that Faxon would take over single handedly once Bandier retired from the company. However, in the end Bandier's departure came much sooner than originally intended, although a quicker departure had been on the cards for a few months before his new Sony/ATV role was confirmed last month.

Confirming Faxon's new appointment, EMI Group chief Eric Nicoli said yesterday: "Roger is the ideal person to lead the next stage of EMI Music Publishing's development with his strategic insight, his digital prowess, his passion for and knowledge of music publishing and his vision for the company. With his highly talented and creative management team and EMI Music Publishing's outstanding roster of songwriters and catalogue, the company is in great hands and has excellent prospects".

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UNIVERSAL ENTER PUBLISHING JV WITH EMINEM
More for fans of publishing news. Universal Music has formed a joint venture with Eminem's publishing company Shady Music which will see the major administrate Mr Mather's publishing catalogue and any new material he creates. The JV will also sign new writers and artists to publishing deals.

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ASCAP ANNOUNCE RECORD REVENUES
And even more publishing news, US royalties company ASCAP has reported it made record revenues of $785 million in 2006. It also says it managed an all-time low 'operating expense ratio' which I think means a higher percentage of revenues went to its artists than ever before. Which is all good. Well done them.

Here's what ASCAP chief John LoFrumento says: "Our overarching priority each year is to put more money in the pockets of our members - hard working songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers. That's a goal we clearly met in 2006. To continue achieving such results, we are investing in new technologies that enable us to operate more efficiently and are significantly broadening the scope of professional services we offer to enhance the career opportunities of our members".

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LICENSING GROUP BUY STAKE IN ROCAWEAR
A US licensing company called Iconix Brand Group have bought Jay-Z's Rocawear brand for $204 million in cash. Mr Z will maintain a stake in the company and will continue to oversee all product development, marketing and licensing of the hip hop fashion brand. You know, given his recent album releasing and gigging, Jay-Z is either the busiest person in the world, or overseeing the product development, marketing and licensing of multi-million dollar fashion brands and presiding over hugely successful major label divisions isn't actually all that much work. I think I know which it is.

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PHONE REGULATOR SAYS TV FIRMS HAVE BEEN 'SLOPPY'
The boss of the UK's premium phone line watchdog says broadcasters have been, and I quote, "sloppy" in the way they manage interactive programme features involving premium line phone ins. Observing that the previously reported cases where viewers were over charged or encouraged to call in for non-existent competitions were "more cock-up than conspiracy" (which is a great expression I plan to use more often), Alistair Graham of Icstis told the BBC: "I suspect there has been a great deal of sloppiness around. Perhaps junior staff have been allowed to take responsibility for these phone-ins, because it all seems to be part of the mechanics of making the programme, rather than an essential issue of trust between the programme-maker and viewer. Given the recent spate of incidents consumer trust in these programmes must be at rock bottom... Achieving a fair deal for consumers is absolutely top priority. If we can't achieve that we won't be frightened of advising people not to participate in these programmes".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Richard Swift - Dressed Up For The Letdown (Universal/Secretly Canadian)
If you can imagine Ed Harcourt at his least gruff and most tender and/or relaxed, or a less camp Rufus Wainwright, you're at least halfway there in terms of understanding Richard Swift. The tracks on 'DUFTL' aren't as charmingly lo-fi as the four-track vaudeville bluegrass ragtime shenanigans of his previous album 'The Novelist', but the same exquisite song-writing and warm melodies are thankfully very much still present. Most tracks here are full of simple arrangements where jaunty piano is key but the overall sound is of soft unhurried sunkissed 70s MOR. But, in a good way, mind. The ghosts of Harry Nilsson, Burt Bacharach and Van Dyke Parks all loom over proceedings (as does Elliot Smith, briefly, on 'Buildings In America'), but Swift manages to stamp songs with enough of his own personality to keep them interesting. Only once or twice does it veer uncomfortably close to blandness but for the most part this is an endearingly fine effort from a talent who has got many great albums left in him. MS
Release date: 5 Mar
Press contact: Polydor IH [CP, RP, NP, CR, RR, NR] Bang On [O]

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MILLS DEFENDS HERSELF VIA HER WEBSITE
Heather Mills has used her website to defend herself from what she calls the "character assassination" that she has been subject to since announcing her split from Paul McCartney, and in particular to deny reports that the judge hearing the McCartney's divorce proceedings has thrown out some of Heather's allegations against her soon to be ex-husband.

Mills quote goes thus: "Since the breakdown of the marriage there has been a significant amount of misreporting in the press, including this morning's report in The Sun of yesterday's hearing before Justice Bennett. The parties both ask the media please to respect their privacy and the confidentiality of the proceedings, as they work to settle the outstanding issues between them in their divorce."

Meanwhile the editor of her website provides the Wikipedia definition of 'character assassination', though doesn't supply a definition for 'irritating whiney gold digger', not that such a definition would have any relevance to Ms Mills. Oh dear, have I just committed character assassination? Hey, she's right, we are doing it. Ah well.

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CAREY REDUCES FILM CREW TO TEARS
Mariah Carey has reduced a film crew to tears, though in a good way. Apparently her performance of 'Right To Dream', a song she has co-written with Willie Nelson for the film 'Tennessee', in which she will also appear, was so emotional the movie's crew all started sobbing. Director Aaron Woodley told local paper The Tennessean: "People were weeping when she sang it. It was very moving, especially in the context of the film and her character".

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GREEN DAY MIGHT BUT PROBABLY WON'T APPEAR IN SIMPSONS MOVIE
Talking of appearances in movies, Green Day are rumoured to be make a guest appearance in the new Simpsons movie. The rumour seems to be based on other rumours that they appear in the trailer to the film. But I think both rumours might be rubbish, because according to the NME the band's label, Warner division Reprise, has said that while a song from the band does appear in the movie the band themselves will not cameo. And presumably they should know. The movie is released in the US on 27 Jul.

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COWELL OFFERS SYMPATHY TO REHABING CELEBS
Now, here's an idea for a new TV show, Celeb Rehab - exhausted and emotionally sensitive celebs pour out their hearts to Simon Cowell, who in return gives said celeb an unsympathetic talking to. I'd watch it.

As an insight, here's Cowell's response to Britney Spears and Robbie Williams' recent attempts at rehab: "This whole thing is a total indulgence. Britney and Robbie need to get a grip. I went to a deprived part of the world recently... It really opened my eyes. You can feel sorry for yourself over the smallest things, but then you look at the world and you think, 'I've got nothing to complain about'. So when I hear about the Robbies and the Britneys going to into rehab, I think, 'I'll tell you what rehab is. Go to where I just went, where people are really suffering and then you'll see just how good your life is'".

Actually Caro reckons a celeb rehab show is in the pipeline though, fortuitously for participating celebs, Cowell is not involved.

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WEST HASN'T ORDERED TRANS-ATLANTIC CURRY
Now, let's get this clear, Kanye West hasn't ordered a curry to be flown from Newport to New York, as certain media (possibly including our good selves) were reporting yesterday. West's management say that they know nothing about the curry, which the hip hop star had reportedly demanded be delivered to New York after tasting it while in Wales recently. His spokesman Gabe Tesoriero says: "There is no meeting in New York. There never has been. I don't know where the story is coming from. It's patently false". So, that's that sorted. Phew.

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