CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 9th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Supreme Wilson continues fight against tribute bands
- Shortlist longlist announced
- Leon Hendrix responds to his sister's lawsuit over Jimi branded products
- Brown says radio station didn't bail him out
- GnR fansite closes in protest over Chinese Democracy
- Barat says he would still work with Pete
- Eddie Van Halen goes into rehab
- Red insiders defend performance of Bono charitable initiative
- Gossip sign to Music With A Twist
- Pod sign to INO
- Stones, Velvet Underground recordings make Library Of Congress
- Albarn plays new song, on boat
- Jackson quotes Dickens
- Parliamentary jazz award nominations announced
- Crowded House recruit new drummer
- George Michael adds second Wembley date
- Cold War Kids tour
- Wychwood festival news
- O2 announce finalists to unsigned comp
- Warner announce dividend pay out
- EMI publishing vice-chair stands down
- Parlophone employ new mobile ad model for Lily
- New website will provide 7" news
- 7digital enhance download platform
- Limewire increases in popularity.
- AIM welcome A2IM's radio deal
- MTV appoint new UK chief
- Carphone Warehouse end Big Brother sponsorship
- X-Factor to get new presenter and judge
- Beyonce embarrassed by wealth
- Keith Urban would like to be known for his music shocker
- Joss Stone will not go knickerless


So many logistical things going on here in the Top Bit this week, so I thought I might use this end of week edition to remind you of them all.

First things first, we are currently compiling a new careers section on teh CMU Music Network website, and are looking for music industry types willing to answer some email questions about their jobs, what they do, how they got into doing it, that kind of thing. If you are up for answering such questions, can you email your name, company and details of the job you do to and we'll get in touch next week.

Second things second, we are putting together a 'UK events at SXSW' thing for Monday. Anyone with a showcase taking place can feature in it if they just send us a 50 word summary of what they are doing, including what bands are playing, plus the basic listings info. Email your fifty word SXSW blurbs to

And finally, there's still time to do the CMU readers survey. All the gubbins on that is featured just below this, but I might add that a lovely sunny Friday lunchtime is by far the best time to be dedicating a little time to sharing your opinions with us. Oh, and someone told me yesterday it took them no where near ten minutes to fill out. Go here to do it:

And that's it. See you next week. We'll have some exciting Insomniacs Ball news for you, by the way.


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 require someone experienced to start a new !K7 booking agency in our central office representing a mixed roster of artists ranging from DJs to indie / rock bands, all requiring full international touring
schedules. Some artists would be signed to !K7, some not. We are an english-speaking company therefore a full grasp of the English language is required. Salary: negotiable. Closing date for applications: End March. Reply in writing to: Marie Clausen, !K7 Records GmbH, Heidestrasse 52, 10557 Berlin, Germany or via email to



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



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Valve Sound System at Ministry
The original superclub is still gettin on with it. This time drum and bass gurus Dillinja and Lemon D bring out their gargantuan sound system and go for it. As it's drum and bass week on 1Extra, the Beeb will be down there also... In the Box will be the aforementioned dynamic duo, plus Pendulum, Hype, Friction, Randall, Cyantific, Craggz and Parallel, with L Double, Flight and Crissy Criss in the bar, and dubstep in the baby box from Headhunter, D1, Benga, and Youngsta. If you've not seen their sound rig in action be prepared. Get too close and your thoracic cage seems like it wants to rupture with the
bass pressure. You have been warned.

Friday 9 Mar, Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, London SE1 6DP, 11pm-7am, a hefty £17 (£15 adv / concs), press info from

CARO'S LIVE TIP: Tunng at Southbank Centre, Purcell Room
I think this might be nearly sold out, so possibly best to hurry if you want to go. Tunng play the second of two nights at London's South Bank Centre tonight, and they're one folky poppy electronica outfit that I'd surely recommend. We like them a lot here at CMU, not least for their contribution to 'Folk Off', the very fine folk collection compiled by Mr Rob Da Bank that was released last summer and which has been on and off my CD player in recent months. Support tonight from Metronomy, who I understand is an electronica-type.

Friday 9 Mar, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, 7.45pm, £13.

By the way, if you want to nominate a live event for a live tip, let me know. Email but make sure you put 'livetip' in the subject line or I'll ignore it.


Mary Wilson of The Supremes this week continued her legal bid to ensure Supremes tribute acts clearly state they are not the originals. Wilson has lobbied the State Senate of Missouri requesting they introduce laws that prevent tribute acts from implying they are somehow connected to the bands they pay tribute to. Campaigners want Missouri and other US states to adopt rules like those passed by Illinois last June which say tribute acts could be fined up to $50,000 and be banned from performing if they do not clearly state their tribute band status.

Wilson has led a number of costly and often unsuccessful lawsuits over the years against Supremes tribute acts who use vague marketing techniques to imply they are the original group. Speaking to the Missouri Senate this week she said that the public were often deceived when they attended concerts by groups claiming to be The Supremes, or other legendary pop groups, because they were not aware how easy it was for said groups to masquerade as the originals. "They're taking our history", she said "they're taking our legacies. We have given America and the world many hours of happiness. We are American national treasures. We want to get the impostor groups out of the way. I want the Supremes to go down in history, just like the Beatles".

If Missouri pass the proposed rules tribute acts would not be allowed to perform under other groups' names, unless they have authorisation from the original group, own the trademark to the name, have at least one member of the original group among their number, or if they clearly state they are a tribute act in all their publicity. Ten other states are known to be considering similar laws.


The US's Shortlist Music Prize is back. As you may remember, this was established back in 2001 as a kind of US version of the Mercury Music Prize. A split between the two founders of the prize meant that there was no award last year, but one of the founders, Tom Sarig, set up a short lived rival called the New Pantheon Prize. But the other founder, Greg Spotts, has reportedly now bought the rights to both the Shortlist and New Pantheon Prize and merged them back into one. So that's all good then.

As before, the first stage of the Shortlist is a Longlist, from which a Mercury style top ten will be selected by a panel of artists and music types. Only albums which have sold less than half a million copies in the US are eligible for this award, and among the 61 artists on the Longlist are The Roots, Wolfmother, Regina Spektor, Beck and former winners TV On The Radio.

The shortlist of ten will be announced in April.


As expected, I suppose, Jimi Hendrix's brother Leon has laid into his sister Janie over her decision to sue his friend and associate Craig Dieffenbach over his Electric Hendrix products, the packaging for which use Hendrix's signature and image.

As previously reported, Janie Hendrix, Jimi's adopted sister and the boss of the official Experience Hendrix company, says Dieffenbach is violating the Hendrix estate's trademarks with his Hendrix branded products, while adding that the manufacture of a Jimi branded vodka is "sick" given that her brother's death was linked to alcohol consumption. Dieffenbach argues that past court rulings have demonstrated that the Experience Hendrix company does not own the legendary's guitarist generic image, and that as he has trademarked the Hendrix imagery used on his products so the law is on his side.

Leon Hendrix, who has long had a rocky relationship with his adopted sister Janie, most recently fighting her for an increased share of his late father's estate, spoke out against the Experience Hendrix company anew in light of the Dieffenbach litigation. He said: "The truly sick joke is Janie Hendrix misleading the public by representing her companies as the Hendrix family. Janie only met Jimi once when she was nine years old and she has no blood relation to Jimi or me. The fact is, there is only one person related to Jimi and me in her company while a large number of our blood relatives live in reduced circumstances and near squalor in the low income sections of Seattle".

Commenting on Janie's criticism of the kinds of products being manufactured in Jimi's name by the Electric Hendrix company, Leon claims his adopted sister is being a hypocrite, claiming her organisation has "merchandised our dead brother to death" by licensing his name to makers of red wine, boxer shorts, diapers and air fresheners. He concluded: "The hypocrisy amazes me".


So, now Bobby Brown claims that Washingtion radio station Hot 99.5 never did provide the cash to bail him out of jail last week.

As previously reported, when Brown was jailed at the end of last month over unpaid child maintenance and told he wouldn't be let out until he settled his debts, Hot 99.5 said it had stumped up the outstanding $19,150 in return for a commitment by the singer to appear on its programmes for a week. Brown did then do one interview with the station, during which he said there'd been a misunderstanding in their deal, that he'd never agreed to 'work' for the station, and that he was backing out of the arrangement. Hot 99.5 then announced it had reached a deal with Brown's people which would see the singer pay back the money it had advanced.

But now Brown claims the radio station never settled his debts in the first place, and that they lied when they said they had. He says a group of friends got together the money required to get him released. Speaking to another radio show, ABC's Tom Joyner Morning Show, Brown said of claims by Hot 99.5 that they bailed him out: "That didn't happen. They didn't pay it. A bunch of my friends got together and got me out".

Responding Hot 99.5 have published emails between their Programme Director Jeff Kapugi and Brown's attorney Phaedra Parks which sets out the deal as proposed - they pay Brown's debts in return for him 'working' for the station for a week. But Parks has told reporters that, while there were negotiations with Kapugi, no agreement was reached and no money changed hands. In the end, she claims, Brown's brother Tommy actually got together the bail money.


An Italian Guns n Roses fansite has closed down as a protest over the continued delays in releasing the band's long long long long long awaited album 'Chinese Democracy'.

Announcing the closure, the site's webmaster wrote: "The never-ending saga of 'Chinese Democracy', the lack of respect, clearness and mutual loyalty are just some of the reasons that has brought us down to this painful conclusion. Until now our detractors have always accused us of being 'Axl fanatics' (and to a certain degree, it is probably true) but today we aren't able to sustain Axl's project anymore, neither financially nor economically. We just can't afford to waste our heads on a project that has never even taken us into consideration. We gladly leave that to other "fan" sites and forums that have the will and passion to be fooled around one more time."

The statement concludes: "We still want to believe in Axl Rose and his record and we greatly wish that 'Chinese Democracy' would see the light of day before February 2008. If that will be the case we will make our best effort to re-open the site otherwise our domains will be lost and that will be the end of it".


Carl Barat says that he hasn't ruled out the idea of working again with his former bandmate Pete Doherty. The former Libertine told Xfm: "We're both doing very different things but at some point I'd be happy to work with Pete. Our relationship hasn't really faded away".

Barat also revealed that he's planning to leak some new Dirty Pretty Things material onto the internet to give fans a preview of how his band's second album is shaping up. The singer said: "It's not official, I haven't told the record company actually. I should've thought about that. Everyone downloads anyway, so it doesn't really make a difference".

He also claims he'd like to play some festival dates this year, but he's not been invited: "I'll play any of them," he said. "But no one's offered any yet. No one's asked me".


Well, given that there was already quite a lot of doubt over whether the Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth would ever happen, the news that Eddie Van Halen is heading into rehab can't help with plans to get a tour off the grounds. Eddie Van Halen confirmed he was going into rehab - to "work on myself" - in a statement issued yesterday.

He said: "I would like Van Halen fans to know how much I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Without you there is no Van Halen. I have always and will always feel a responsibility to give you my best. At the moment I do not feel that I can give you my best. That's why I have decided to enter a rehabilitation facility to work on myself, so that in the future I can deliver the 110% that I feel I owe you and want to give you. Some of the issues surrounding the 2007 Van Halen tour are within my ability to change and some are not. As far as my rehab is concerned, it is within my ability to change and change for the better. I want you to know that is exactly what I'm doing, so that I may continue to give you the very best I am capable of I look forward to seeing you in the future better than ever and I thank you with all my heart".


Sources close to Bono are hitting back at a backlash that seems to be mounting over the U2 frontman's RED venture - the thing where huge corporates sell more products by putting Bono's RED brand on them, and pledging to give 1% of the profits made on the product to RED's albeit admirable charitable fund that aims to fight AIDS in Africa. Criticism has grown after US trade mag Advertising Age claimed that companies making RED branded products had spent $100 million marketing them, but between them had only raised $18 million for charity.

A source close to the charity has slammed that report, and told the New York Daily News: "First of all, Red didn't launch products until mid-October [06]. And they raised $25 million. Before that, the fund had taken in about $5 million over a four-year period. Before that, they had one T-shirt out and a pair of sunglasses. And on marketing, Bono's RED campaign didn't spend anything. The companies they work with spent a few million each. The $100 million is a phantom number Ad Age pulled out of thin air. It's off by tens of millions of dollars".

The Bono backlash has also focused on the fact that while the U2 singer does invest large amounts of his time in charitable initiatives, his own commercial enterprises don't generally contribute to the RED campaign and, of course, U2's people have been busy reorganising the band's finances of late to make them more, erm, tax efficient. Leading to criticisms that while Bono wants countries to dedicate more tax to helping the developing world, he doesn't personally want to contribute too much to his home country's tax coffers.


The Gossip have signed a deal with that newish Columbia Records US imprint Music With A Twist which was established to "identify and develop lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered artists". The label will include the band's 'Standing In The Way Of Control' on a label compilation next month, before working their next album, which is expected to be released later this year. The band have also signed to SonyBMG here in the UK, though I can't quite figure out if that will be through a JV with their current label Backyard, or whether it is a standard deal.


Also signing to a Columbia imprint are POD though, as good Christian boys, they won't be threatening their souls by getting involved with any kind of gay label (which is possibly a slur on the entire Christian faith, but hey it's Friday, and if you can't falsely accuse all Christians of being homophobic on a Friday when can you?). Having parted company with Warner's Atlantic Records, the band will release their next record, due third quarter, via Columbia's INO. The new album will involve the recently reunited original line up of Marcos Curiel, Wuv Bernardo, Traa Daniels and Sonny Sandoval.


The Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground are amongst the latest artists to have recordings submitted for preservation by the US Library of Congress, with 'Velvet Underground & Nico' and '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' being selected. Other music acts whose tracks have made it into the collection this time include Carl Perkins with 'Blue Suede Shoes', Paul Simon with 'Graceland' and The Ronettes with 'Be My Baby'. No news on how Phil Spector feels about that last one.

Recordings selected for submission aren't just of music, of course - former US president Franklin D Roosevelt's 1941 speech declaring war on Japan is also being submitted this time.


Damon Albarn played a new song last night on board a Greenpeace boat moored on the Thames in a protest against the government's plans for Trident renewal. The anti-nuke show took place on the Arctic Sunrise, with Albarn performing '5 Minutes To Midnight', apparently accompanied by a 50 voice choir.

Speaking ahead of the gig, Albarn said of the protest: "I think people shouldn't care what other people say when they're talking about these issues. Peer pressure is the worst kind of censorship: you can't talk about issues because it's not cool. Rubbish, we all have to engage".


Michael Jackson says he wouldn't change anything about his career despite the fact that things haven't always gone smoothly and despite what he calls "deliberate attempts to hurt me". The singer, making a speech at that previously reported exclusive party in Japan, told his fans: "As Charles Dickens says, 'It's been the best of times, the worst of times.' But I would not change my career".

Fans paid 400,000 yen (£1800) to attend the party, of course, except for around one hundred orphans and handicapped children who were admitted for free. The cost of the ticket included a buffet, a show featuring Michael Jackson impersonators and the all-important chance of a meet and greet with the pop star. As expected, Jackson did not perform at the event, but did appear on stage at the end of the night to make his aforementioned speech.


The All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, for there is such a thing, have announced details of their annual awards event which, originally launched in 2005, has now become something of an important event in the jazz world. That Paul Gambaccini bloke will host the awards at the House Of Commons on 24 Apr. Nominations for the awards, which will be sponsored by PPL, are as follows:

Best Musician: John Etheridge, Soweto Kinch, Gwilym Simcock.
Best Ensemble: Jim Mullen Organ Trio, Killer Shrimp, Polar Bear.
Best CD: Alycona - Around The Sun, Finn Peters - Su-ling, Killer Shrimp - Sincerely Whatever, John Taylor - Angel Of The Presences.
Best Venue: Pizza Express (Soho, London), The Spin (Oxford), The Vortex (Dalston, London).
Best Journalist: Dave Gelly, Jack Massarik, Stuart Nicholson.
Best Broadcaster: Humphrey Lyttleton, Claire Martin, Jez Nelson.
Best Publication: Jazz In London, Jazz UK, Jazzwise.
Education Prize: Peter Churchill, Nikki Iles, Dennie Rollins.
Services To Jazz: Digby Fairweather, Michael Garrick, Paul Pace, Kenny Wheeler.


Crowded House have recruited a new drummer to replace the late Paul Hester, who, as previously reported, committed suicide back in 2005. The new band member is Matt Sherrod, who formerly drummed for Beck.

Elsewhere in Crowded House related news, according to reports band leader Neil Finn has been working with the lovely Johnny Marr (to be honest, I don't know exactly how lovely Johnny Marr is because I've never met him, but he's probably my favourite ever guitarist) on a number of tracks for the new Crowded House album 'Time On Earth', set for release later this year.

The recently reunited band are, of course, set to play Coachella next month.


George Michael has added another Wembley Stadium date to his upcoming tour. The singer, who previously announced that he would be the first to play the new stadium on 9 June, will now also play there on the following night, 10 Jun. Tickets for the original date went on sale yesterday morning and are already being flogged on eBay at a large markup.


Cold War Kids have announced a series of tour dates to coincide with the release of their next single, 'Hospital Kids', on 18 Apr. Dates are as follows:

18 Apr: Bristol, Bierkeller
19 Apr: Porstmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
20 Apr: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
22 Apr: Manchester, Academy 2
24 Apr: Dublin, Ambassador
25 Apr: Belfast, Empire
26 Apr: Glasgow, QMU
27 Apr: Newcastle, Academy 2
28 Apr: Leeds, Faversham
30 Apr: Birmingham, Academy
1 May: London, ULU
21 May: London, KOKO


The organisers of the Wychwood Festival have announced the latest additions for this year's event, which will take place at the usual venue, Cheltenham Racecourse, from 1 - 3 Jun.

The likes of Rodrigo y Gabriela, Camera Obscura, Rory McLeod and Ben Taylor (son of James Taylor and Carly Simon) join previously confirmed acts such as Levellers, Fun Lovin Criminals and Ba Cissoko. More info from


Phone firm O2 have announced the final thirty artists in its search for new music talent, the previously reported O2 Undiscovered thingimy. A judging panel will now decide which of the thirty go through to the overall final, though tracks from each will also go online where punters can vote for their favourites, with one slot in the final reserved for the public's favourite. As previously reported, the overall winners on this one get a slot at the O2 Wireless festival in June, plus an official digital release and other stuff. The finalists are as follows (and look, we tell you where they are from in brackets) - tracks from all thirty will go online today at

Acusis (from Eastbourne)
Alexis Blue (from Wirral)
Angelina (from London)
Capelle Sound (from London)
Clap Disco (from Devon)
Doug Walker (from Manchester)
Eoghan Colgan (from Glasgow)
Jess Morgan (from Norwich)
Jo Harrop (from London)
Lost Origin (from Guildford)
Montana (from Birmingham)
Mr Smith & the B Flat Band (from Beckenham)
Numb (from Exeter)
Once a Thief (from Essex)
Russell Joslin (from London)
Ry Byron & The Gentleman (from Dorset)
Sam Carder (from London)
Sol Devious (from London)
Speedcircus (from London)
The 48 (from Edinburgh)
The Bongo Fury (from London)
The Carnival Ghosts (from Gravesend)
The Ryes (from Surbiton)
The Storm Of Eighty-Three (from London)
The Troubador (from Wigan)
The Vibrants (from Twickenham)
The Ya Ya's (from Leeds)
Trail (from Sutton)
V-2 Schneider (from Edinburgh)
Zena (from London)


Warner Music Group has announced it will pay out a quarterly cash dividend of 13 cents per share of common stock, a shareholder payment which will amount to approximately $19.4 million. The payment will be made on 27 Apr, and the major says it expects to make similar dividend payments to its shareholders in all forthcoming quarters.


EMI have announced Robert Flax will step down as Vice Chairman of its publishing company, following the previously reported departure of co-CEO Marty Bandier and the appointment of the other co-CEO Roger Faxon as sole CEO.

Flax, who has been with EMI Music Publishing since 1992, and who became Vice Chairman just last year, says that the changes at the top of the publishing firm did not influence his decision to leave the company, telling reporters: "Our mutual respect for each other enabled Roger Faxon and I to openly discuss my desire to pursue new directions. I'm quite proud of all I've been able to accomplish at EMI and I am sure that our paths will cross in the future".

Faxon added: "Bob has been instrumental over the years in helping to make EMI Music Publishing the great company it is today. He has been an innovative leader and we are saddened to see him go. We know he will be successful in his future endeavors".

It is unclear what plans Flax now has, although he is an accomplished musician, producer and songwriter in his own right, having written five chart hits in the seventies, so he may well look to pursue more creative projects.


EMI label Parlophone has confirmed it has bought into a new kind of mobile advertising which employs the pay-per-click model rather than the pay-per-campaign system. The major label has booked mobile ads through a company called New Visions for their latest Lily Allen promotion. Fans can download a Lily Allen animated screensaver to their mobile, and the label will pay for the campaign based on fan uptake.

Here's what Parlophone's Digital Media Manager Dan Duncombe has to say about the campaign: "Off portal mobile advertising is obviously a highly targeted and effective means of communication and marketing; direct to consumers via the devices in their pockets. By pushing people to Lily's interactive, loyalty based WAP site, we can capture data for future marketing as well as offering commercial content. As with the rest of the Lily Allen campaign this is a UK artist media first and in keeping with Lily's digital roots".


With current indications showing that the vinyl format may very well outlive the CD, a company called Index7 has just launched a new website dedicated to new 7" vinyl releases. With many 7" releases these days being of the limited edition variety, Index7 hopes to keep collectors up to date with releases so that users can get their hands on them before they all sell out.

Founder Nick Levine told CMU: "I started Index7 out of frustration more than anything. I've always collected 7" singles but was getting very irritated at the lack of information available to people like me who wanted to buy them. I spoke to a lot of record companies and received very positive feedback about starting a dedicated 7" single resource, so Index7 was born. It is a very easy platform to navigate and use and we already have over 30 labels signed up including the likes of Moshi Moshi, White Heat, City Rockers, Loog and Transgressive among others, with more joining every day."

For the time being the site will provide news and leads rather than selling 7" releases itself - links will be provided to independent retailers where users can order their copies.


7Digital has announced another upgrade to its main platform, used by numerous labels and artists for their official download sites. The two key new features are the facility to sell music by SMS or other micro-payment services like PayPal and Click&Buy, plus a 7Digital 'widget' which allows artists to offer previews of their music via their websites or blogs - the preview player links straight through to the artist's 7Digital enabled download site.

Confirming the upgrade, 7Digital MD Ben Drury told CMU: "Over the last three years we have worked on many diverse campaigns from Live8 to X Factor. Because we understand what content owners want and need to effectively promote and sell their music and videos, we have been able to develop a market leading service that will make it easier thanever before for consumers to buy and content owners to sell. To date, over 750,000 consumers have downloaded from a 7digital service. Our new features offer the easiest user experience possible, and let consumers access andbuy great content from more places than ever before".


Despite all the anti-P2P litigation, including an ongoing legal fight with the software firm itself, the use of Limewire's file sharing software continues to grow. New figures from the Digital Music News Research Group suggests 18.71 percent of all computers now have Limewire software installed, a rise of 3.23 percent on comparable figures from last year. Certainly Limewire is now by far the most dominant P2P system, with other surviving non-legit P2P services from the likes of BearShare, Sharaeza and Morpheus appearing on less than 2 percent of PCs each. As previously reported, the Recording Industry Association Of America is pursuing legal action against the Limewire company, and is confident it will win, though unlike many of their competitors, who have accepted legal defeat in light of the landmark 2005 MGM v Grokster ruling on P2P, Limewire are fighting the action.


The Association Of Independent Music has issued a statement congratulating its US counterpart regarding the previously reported agreement it has reached with the major American radio networks regarding the ways they deal with music companies.

As previously reported, the American Association Of Independent Music has agreed eight 'rules of engagement' with the US's four biggest radio firms - Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications and Citadel Broadcasting - as part of their settlement with media regulator the FCC regarding the past use of payola practices where major record companies got priority airplay in return for providing incentives to station managers. Assuming the broadcasters follow them, the rules should give smaller independent record labels better access to programmers at the big radio networks, and ensure they aren't blocked from airplay because they cannot afford to offer big promotions or competition prizes to the stations. A separate deal between the FCC and the radio firms will also see air time set aside specifically for independent and local artists.

Welcoming the deals, AIM boss Alison Wenham, who is also president of the World Independent Network, told CMU: "It is great news for A2IM and the US independent community. They have shown their ability to positively influence US market conditions. Having said that, it must be also be said that radio is in a parlous state in the US, and listeners want more colour, range and diversity. Hopefully this agreement will go some way towards delivering better playlists".


MTV has announced a replacement for Michiel Bakker, who announced he was standing down as MD of MTV Networks UK & Ireland earlier this week. David Lynn, currently MD for MTV UK's sister station Nickelodeon UK, will take over the top job at the music network's UK business. Existing MTV UK exec Heather Jones has also been promoted to the role of Exec VP Content & Creative, and will oversee the network's music and comedy brands.

Announcing the appointments, MTV International President Bob Bakish told reporters: "Having orchestrated two of the UK's hottest media brand successes in Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy, David and Heather will be a dynamic, talented, management duo to lead our biggest international business. In driving Nickelodeon UK's #1 position, David demonstrated his unique ability to combine creative brand leadership with business success in the most competitive and vibrant international kids' media marketplace. With Heather's expanded role, David and his team will aggressively ramp up our efforts to deliver breakthrough creativity and maximise our multi-platform brand positions across our UK portfolio".


Carphone Warehouse has confirmed it has cut all links with Big Brother, following the mid-series pulling of its sponsorship of the last series of Celeb Big Brother amid the Goody-gate debacle. Channel 4 had hoped the phone seller would resume its sponsorship when the public version of the reality show returned later in the year, but Carphone Warehouse bosses confirmed yesterday that would not happen, though they said they would still advertise during the show, and would work with Channel 4 on other sponsorship projects.

The company said in a statement: "We constantly review our sponsorship relationships and feel that, having suspended the sponsorship during this year's Celebrity Big Brother, now is a good time to look at the partnership again. We have concluded that the huge publicity around the show and our involvement within that means that now is the time for us to look for an alternative".


As expected, bosses of ITV's X Factor have announced that Kate Thornton will not present the next series. Perhaps more surprisingly (though he did keep threatening to quit last series, so perhaps not) Louis Walsh will no longer sit on the judging panel either, though he will still be involved in the management of winning artists. Two new judges will join Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell on the judging panel, making a panel of four. Each judge will again take on a different category of artists, with the under 25s being split between boys and girls meaning there will be enough categories for the increased number of judges (and more contestants from the more bankable under 25s solo artists category). The minimum age for contestants will also be dropped, to 14.

Confirming the changes, ITV's Paul Jackson said: "To keep the show in its number one spot, we are always looking at ways of making the format as fresh and exciting as ever and having an extra judge and an additional category will give it a whole new dimension. We have to keep evolving and I'm really excited about series four".

Elsewhere in pop reality show news, gossipers are saying that Simon Fuller is in talks with Channel Five regarding a relaunch of Pop Idol. As I remember it, Fuller was prevented from taking the show to another network for a time because ITV had the exclusive rights to it, even though they'd dropped it in favour of X-Factor. But reports suggest Fuller will soon be free to take the show elsewhere, and plans to compete with Simon Cowell's Pop Idol rip off are now afoot.


Beyonce claims that she's embarrassed by her wealth and claims not to flaunt it, despite her insistence on wearing clearly expensive items of clothing involving fur. Ah well. Here's what the singer, who made around $16 million in the last year, told Pride magazine: "I never imagined I would be so blessed. I just wanted to be financially stable and it embarrasses me. I don't feel comfortable talking or thinking about it. I'm not a flashy girl, and I don't flaunt it."

You know, if she feels that way, she should just keep enough to remain stable and give the rest away to charity. That's what I'd do. She'd be fine. And what's more, if she wasn't, I'm sure that rich boyfriend of hers would take care of her. As previously reported, Jay-Z's just sold his clothing line to the Iconix group for a cool $204million.


Award winning country star Keith Urban has said that he's not too happy, all things considered, that media only focus on his marriage to actress Nicole Kidman and his recent stint in rehab and ignore his highly successful music career.

The New Zealand-born singer says: "It's extremely painful, no doubt about it. But at the same time I can only say that it'd drive me crazy if I kept confronting myself with those kinds of things. You can't influence how your private life is covered by whom in the media, and you shouldn't dwell on it. It's important that we get along with each other, not with the tabloids. That's what we fought for, and we succeeded."


Great news, everyone. Joss Stone says she would never do what Britney, Lohan and Hilton did and let herself be snapped by the paps with no knickers on, because she has self-respect.

The singer told Q magazine: "I would never wear a short skirt with no knickers, because that would be silly. If you do that it's basically like saying you're a slut. And I'm not."

She adds, however, that she doesn't think Britney did it because she is a slut: "Maybe she got drunk and gave her knickers away? Maybe she didn't wear any because she didn't want a visible panty line? Or maybe she had a quick one in the bathroom before she left home? We'll never know. But I don't think Britney is a slut. She's just going through some issues at the moment, that's all."

Shall I bother to point out that Britney flashed her mini on at least three separate occasions? Nah, I'll let it go.

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