CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 20th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Spector jury selection begins
- Kid Rock to sue assault claimant
- New UK music awards take lead from independent promoters
- Virtual Festivals website expands
- V2 announce indie label support initiative
- Luther Ingram dies
- Strummer soundtrack out in May
- Jeff Buckley album in May
- Joni Mitchell on industry, album
- Rolling Stones headline IOW
- RCHP, Pumpkins, Razorlight for Reading and Leeds
- Chiefs and Fighters for T On The Fringe
- Gabriel added to Hyde Park bill
- London Latin Music Festival news
- Electric Cabaret comes to Scotland
- Metallica to play Wembley
- Maximo Park play roof
- Deftones postpone show
- White Stripes deny tour rumours
- Cinematic Orchestra, album, tour
- eMusic sponsor The Rakes tour
- SXSW: Saturday roundup
- OCC considering counting USB stick sales
- Fields to release digital vinyl single
- EMI restructure in Iberia and Latin America
- TVT ordered to pay SNS nine million in Pitbull dispute
- Ticketmaster acquire fan relationships company
- LMF sub-group not impressed with results of Licensing Act
- Channel 4 win support from other radio firms in multiplex bid
- Dannii for X-Factor?
- Emma Bunton quits music
- McCartney fans boycott dancing Mills
- S Clubber says bandmate cheated on him

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TOP BIT>>
OK, last chance everybody. Well, possibly not absolute last chance, but let's pretend it is. We really want to know what you guys think about this music biz of ours, and more importantly we want to know what you think about CMU. So, if you are one of those naughty types yet to fill out the CMU survey, then now is the time to do it. Right now. I mean, look at the weather. It's not like you're going to be having any of those suspiciously long cigarette breaks today. Use that time to fill out our survey instead. Because hell, filling out our survey won't kill you. Well, I'm not aware of it killing anyone as yet.

As we've mentioned on many an occasion, this is our first ever reader survey, and it is designed partly to find out a little bit about what you guys think about some of the issues in the music world at the moment, but also to find out what you think about the CMU Daily. We are doing this in association with Entertainment Media Research's website Songpeople.com, who specialise in these kinds of things, and we will report back to you on the results in a couple of months. And we really will hone the Daily on the back of what you tell us.

And your opinions could potentially influence more than just us here at CMU. Songpeople also provide a whole range of other music media with guidance on their music policies, and will invite you to offer your opinions in other occasional surveys that give you the chance to share your musical opinions. You don't have to take part in those other surveys of course, but part of the CMU ethos is letting other media know what great new music is out there, and what great new music is getting people excited at the grass roots, and the Songpeople surveys are another way that you can all help us achieve that ethos.

So, if you haven't already, why not tell us what you think right now? Just go to http://www.songpeople.co.uk/cmu to get started.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring catalogue and merging with Record labels. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested in a merger with a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - http://www.musicgain.com

DESKSPACE IN SUNNY CENTRAL SOHO OFFICES
We are a young, fun creative agency based slap bang in the middle of Soho with 4 spare desks in a spacious, dedicated office. Fabulous location, £75 per week per desk all in, including insurance, rates, 24/7 access, superfast internet, and the added bonus of working alongside other lovely and stimulating people. Email Giles on sohodeskspace@gmail.com for more info.

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HOT OFF THE PRESS>>

ROCK SOUND APRIL ISSUE OUT NOW
Is the pressure of fame finally getting to Fall Out Boy? This month's cover stars open up to Rock Sound and reveal their innermost demons in their most candid interview to date. Also, this month we bring you exclusive features on Gallows, Enter Shikari, Trivium, Explosions In The Sky, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Yourcodenameis:milo, Machine Head, Incubus and much, much more. Check out the latest and greatest new bands in our Exposure sections and tune in to the FREE Sound Check CD for 15 new and exclusive tracks from this month's featured artists. Also, FREE with this month's issue - two giant posters - Within Temptation and 30 Seconds to Mars. All this and more in Rock Sound - on sale now in the UK from all good stockists priced £3.60.

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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 décor and fancy dress. Already on the bill are The Twang, Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Dandy Wind, Bolt Action Five, Headland, Black Daniel, AHuman, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend And The Makers all live, plus on the old decks the Artrocker DJs, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME), Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), No Pain In Pop, Gavin Nugent, Mekon, Riotous Rockers, Alvin C and the wonderful wonderful 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: THE PALAIS RALLY
So, is the Hammersmith Palais really heading for the big street in the sky? Probably yes, but those who aren't willing to give up on the legendary London haunt until the JCBs have actually knocked it out of the way are planning one last attempt to save the venue, and good on them. I'm not entirely sure who these guys are, but they are urging everyone to sign a petition, lobby their MPs and spread the word about the West London venue's imminent demise. And perhaps most importantly, they are planning a Save The Palais rally for early April, full details of which will be posted on the MySpace once it is all confirmed. So, if you want to know why the Palais should be saved, or do your bit in this last effort to stop the demolition, then go see this MySpace.
http://www.myspace.com/thepalaisrally

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SPECTOR JURY SELECTION BEGINS
As expected, jury selection began for the long awaited Phil Spector murder trial yesterday. As previously reported, some 300 candidates will be considered to sit on the jury. Quite a few of those potential jurors are expected to request to be excused on the grounds they cannot commit to a court case that could run for months for economical reasons (26 did just that yesterday). Others may be rejected by lawyers for the prosecution or defence for one reason or another.

Spector himself was smiling as he worked his way through the press pack as he arrived at the LA court house yesterday. He was present as the first 75 prospective jurors filed into the court.

As previously reported, Spector has denied shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverley Hills home back in 2003. The prosecution will accuse him of threatening women with guns before, and are expected to present one of the first police officers who arrived at Spector's house after the shooting who will testify that the legendary producer's first comment on his arrival was "I didn't mean to shoot her - it was an accident". Spector's legal people, however, continue to deny the allegations against their client, with his main lawyer, Bruce Cutler, telling the Associated Press: "Everything in this case is consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There was no malice, no motive, no intent, no homicide, no crime".

More potential jurors will be assessed today before the case is adjourned so that both sides can consider further whether they have any objections to any possible jury members. A jury is expected to be appointed in mid-April, with the trial opening properly on 30 Apr.

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KID ROCK TO SUE ASSAULT CLAIMANT
Kid Rock is to sue the woman who claimed that he assaulted her at his home after a night of drinking. As previously reported, an unnamed twenty-eight year old woman filed a police report saying that Rock - aka Robert Ritchie - had invited her and a male companion back to his home to listen to music, and that when she had tried to leave, the musician had reacted angrily, and ejected her from his house in a physically violent manner.

However, due to the fact that the woman had no injuries, and given that reports from the witnesses differ wildly, prosecutors decided that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a case. Ritchie is therefore suing the woman for filing a false police report. His lawyer, Michael Novak says: "These allegations were taken very seriously by Kid Rock and he's not going to walk away".

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NEW UK MUSIC AWARDS TAKE LEAD FROM INDEPENDENT PROMOTERS
Another new awards event for you, though this one is a bit different. The INDY Music Awards are aiming to celebrate the best artists who have played at independent venues or club nights across London in the last twelve months. Sixty independent venues and promoters have nominated the live bands they most rated in the last year, and from those votes around 200 bands have been selected to go forward to a public vote. Music fans are now being invited to vote for their favourites from that list. From that public vote final shortlists in various genre categories will be announced in April, before a panel of industry types select over all winners to be announced at an awards event at the Clapham Grand in South London on 15 May.

Organisers of the awards explain: "In an increasingly digital age which allows bands to communicate directly with their audience and fans to hear music for free, experts are predicting the demise of the mainstream music industry while real value will still exist through the experience of live performances. For these reasons the live independent sector is more vital than ever to enable bands to thrive and evolve. While there are countless unsigned schemes and initiatives in the UK, few of them actually empower, reward or make a difference to the key people that keep the independent sector healthy and vibrant. The INDY Music Awards will readdress this".

Jeremy Glover, one of the founders of the awards, told CMU: "If ever an industry needed an awards scheme surely it is at the grassroots level where you can forget about any significant financial rewards. There are a lot of people involved at the early stages of an artist's development, many of whom, like the artists themselves, do it for the love of music. The INDY Music Awards is about empowering these passionate stakeholders".

Fans can vote until 2 Apr at http://www.indyawards.co.uk. Press info on the whole thing can be got from Burt Greener - aarti@burtgreener.co.uk.

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VIRTUAL FESTIVALS WEBSITE EXPANDS
The Virtual Festivals people - you know, the people behind the UK's premiere music festivals website, yes, you see, you do know - yesterday announced two new developments to their web platform, developments which will add social networking and user generated content functionality to their site.

Key to the developments is an alliance with social networking platform Faceparty (not to be confused with Facebook, of course, which is very similar but totally different). Through that alliance Virtual Festivals hope to create the "largest online festival community on Earth". The partnership will enable Virtual Festivals' users to make their own personal profiles on the festivals website, to share festival photos and to network with fellow festival goers around the world.

The second enhancement is aimed at promoters of festivals, and will enable promoters of events large and small to build their own micro-sites within the Virtual Festivals network, using the site as a free and simple way to promote their events, make announcements and post official news stories.

The two new services are the first of a number of new initiatives planned by Virtual Festivals, with details of a new mobile ticketing platform within the website expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

Commenting on the site enhancements, Virtual Festivals founder Steve Jenner told CMU: "Our partnership with Faceparty heralds not only a massive stride forward for our own business but also a significant advance in the online marketplace. I see assimilation and co-operation between established online communities - particularly independently-owned ones such as Virtual Festivals and Faceparty - as the key to longevity in this fast paced environment. When it comes to organisational culture and user-loyalty, we could not have hoped to find a more applicable partner for our aims than Faceparty and we look forward to a long, productive and enjoyable union with them".

Those curious about the new developments can check out a beta version of the revamped Virtual Festivals site at the URL below. For press type curiosity I'd speak to dan@incubator-music.com

http://beta.virtualfestivals.com/latest/news/3277

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V2 ANNOUNCE INDIE LABEL SUPPORT INITIATIVE
V2 is celebrating its tenth birthday, which makes me feel very old. I remember the happy days when if you wanted to amuse yourself you could phone up the always helpful V2 regional promotions team and say "hello, is that V2, Richard Branson's new record company?" For some reason always being qualified as such really started to piss them off a bit after a while. Happy days. I bet no one ever says "hello, is that V2, Morgan Stanley's record company?" Strange that. By the way, V2's new website is now live, and I notice that the label's new logo which, if I'm being 100% honest, I think looks pretty ugly in isolation, actually looks quite nice in the context of the site.

Anyway, I'm digressing ever so slightly. This is meant to be about the rather interesting project V2 is running with the Times which is offering one individual who is either already running an independent label of their own, or who has a solid business plan to establish one, the opportunity to gain a music business development grant worth £35K and the support of V2's Cooperative Music division - the bit of V2 which works in partnership with and supports smaller indie labels like Wichita Recordings, City Slang, Bella Union, Dance To The Radio and Memphis Industries.

Which is all kinda cool. Perhaps I'll enter. We could set up a CMU record label - that would be good. We could call it Conflict Of Interest Records. Hey I like that, do you know what, I'm going to the URL below to find out more info and download an entry form. Oh, hang on, I've still got some EMI restructure news to do. Ah well, after that, I'll be there.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/stateofindependence

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LUTHER INGRAM DIES
R&B singer and songwriter Luther Ingram has died at the age of 69 in St Louis, Missouri. He had suffered from ill health for some time, struggling with kidney failure for the best part of a decade and undergoing a kidney transplant in recent years.

Ingram is best known for his 1973 hit 'If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right)', written by Homer Banks, Carl Hampton and Raymond Jackson, but he also co-wrote Staples Singers hit 'Respect Yourself'. His other hits included 'Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)' and 'I'll Be Your Shelter'.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, a sister and five brothers.

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STRUMMER SOUNDTRACK OUT IN MAY
The soundtrack to Julien Temple's previously reported Joe Strummer biopic 'The Future Is Unwritten' will be out on 7 May. The LP will feature tracks chosen by or performed by the late great The Clash frontman, tracks that he played on air during the three years from 1999-2002 that he had his own radio show on the World Service, a programme with a listenership of around 120 million.

As previously reported, the documentary film contains never before seen footage of Strummer and interviews with his friends and fans. Press info on the soundtrack from James Grant.

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JEFF BUCKLEY ALBUM IN MAY
I think we reported before that this was due to happen, and now it is so. A compilation album of Jeff Buckley tracks - 'So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley' - released by Columbia and Buckley's mother Mary Guibert, will be out on 28 May, marking the tenth anniversary of the singer songwriter's death at the age of 30. The collection includes a cover of Smiths track 'I Know It's Over', and a live rendition title track 'So Real', previously only available as a single. Here's your tracklisting, press info also from James Grant.

Last Goodbye
Lover You Should Have Come Over
Forget Her
Eternal Life
Dream Brother
The Sky Is A Landfill
Everybody Here Wants You
So Real
Mojo Pin
Vancouver
Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin
Grace
Hallelujah
(Hidden Track) I Know It's Over

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JONI MITCHELL ON INDUSTRY, ALBUM
Joni Mitchell has spoken to The Guardian about her upcoming new album, and has also - possibly not surprisingly - had a pop at the music industry at the same time. Mitchell announced her retirement in 2002, citing disillusionment with the industry, and she's still not happy - the interview quotes her as speaking of the "pornographic pigs" running the show, who care only for "golf and rappers".

She's clearly not too happy with the creative world altogether. Speaking about how she compiled an artist's choice CD for Starbucks, she said this: "I listened to everything I ever loved, to see if it held up, and much did. So I put together one that starts with Debussy, then takes a journey up through Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday and Miles Davis, and then Louis Jordan. That joyous music was conceived in such terrible times - and it was such a great relief to the culture at the time. That's the trouble with now. Now we've got a horrible culture, horrible times and horrible music".

Speaking about her eclectic new album, 'Shine', expected to see a release in the autumn, Mitchell says: "A real artist is going to like a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and it's going to take an entire life to assimilate them into something new. It's not going to happen when you're young, and this is a youth-driven market. It's like painting: everybody knows, or they used to, that it takes a long time to distil all this. You don't become a master until you're in your 50s and 60s".

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ROLLING STONES HEADLINE IOW
According to reports, The Rolling Stones are to headline this year's Isle Of Wight festival, alongside Snow Patrol and Muse. Other acts confirmed for the event include Ash, Kasabian, Amy Winehouse, Keane and The Fratellis. It's a significant appearance for The Stones, as the last time they played a UK festival, apparently, it was 1976, when they appeared at Knebworth Fair.

This year's Isle Of Wight Festival takes place from 8-10 Jun.

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RCHP, PUMPKINS, RAZORLIGHT FOR READING AND LEEDS
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins and Razorlight are set to headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals. Other acts slated to appear include Gossip, Nine Inch Nails, The Arcade Fire, Ash, Maximo Park and Bloc Party. The two festivals take place this year from 24-26 Aug.

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CHIEFS AND FIGHTERS FOR T ON THE FRINGE
Gosh, lots of festival news. This time it relates to T On The Fringe, T's music strand at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I bet they have loads of great acts that I really want to see lined up. You know why I bet that? Because this'll be the first year in over a decade that I won't be at the Edinburgh Festival, that's why.

Anyway, Kaiser Chiefs and Foo Fighters are both on the bill for this year, both acts playing the Scottish city's Meadowbank Stadium, Foo Fighters on 21 Aug, Kaiser Chiefs on 24 Aug. Tickets for the events will be available to buy from 9am tomorrow.

More details on the full line-up are expected over the next few weeks.

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GABRIEL ADDED TO HYDE PARK BILL
Peter Gabriel is to join Aerosmith as one of the headliners of this year's Hyde Park Calling event. He'll play the first night, 23 Jun, with support from Crowded House, The Feeling and Ghosts. Aerosmith headline day two, 24 Jun, supported by The Answer. Tickets are on sale now.

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LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL NEWS
When will this flow of festival news cease? Well, not that soon, probably, it's the time of year. Here's the line up for the coming-soon London Latin Music Festival, taking place from 13-30 Apr.

13 Apr: Ozomatli + Cultura Londres (+ Eric Bobo), Shepherds Bush Empire
14 Apr: Bajofondo Tango Club + Capitan Melao, Barbican
17 Apr: The Pinker Tones DJ Crew + DJ Rob Da Bank, Cargo.
20 Apr: Eliades Ochoa + Widescreen, Barbican
24 Apr: Chango Spasiuk, South Bank Purcell Room
26 Apr: Machaca, South Bank Purcell Room
27 Apr: Bebel Gilberto + Kassin-Moreno-Domenico, Roundhouse
29 Apr: Israel Lopez 'Cachao' + Omar Puente & Robert Mitchell, Barbican
30 Apr: Patriarcas de la Rumba + LaXula, Sadler's Wells

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ELECTRIC CABARET COMES TO SCOTLAND
The Smirnoff Electric Cabaret thingimy - which staged an event at London's Koko not so long ago if I'm not mistaken - is staging two more events, this time in Scotland.

The first one will take place in Edinburgh on 20 Apr at the Mansfield Traquair - the old church on the edge of the city's New Town which people like me insist on still calling Café Graffiti. The truly wonderful The Go! Team will be headlining with Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin controlling the decks plus all kinds of quirky cabaret stuff and burlesque nonsense. Then it's Glasgow, on 4 May, at the Old Fruitmarket, with Guillemots headlining, DJs JD Twitch and Tim Sweeney on the decks and all that quirky stuff again.

Talking of the quirky stuff, Smirnoff are also staging a talent competition to find new cabaret talent - which makes a change from all those unsigned band competitions. Details will be posted on the Electric Cabaret website, which will go live at the URL below on 27 Mar, and all you quirky cabaret types will then have until 20 Apr to enter. Winners will get a slot at the Glasgow show and at future Electric Cabaret events in Ibiza.

http://www.smirnoffelectriccabaret.co.uk

Press info on all this from Splendid - stella@splendidcomms.com

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METALLICA TO PLAY WEMBLEY
Metallica are to play at the new Wembley Stadium on 8 Jul. The band, who are currently at work recording a new album, say it's something they've always wanted to do.

Drummer Lars Ulrich says: "This gives us a chance to stretch out a bit and jam in front of real fans".

Singer James Hetfield adds: "We always dreamed of some day headlining the marquee venues around the world, including Wembley".

Tickets on sale tomorrow.

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MAXIMO PARK PLAY ROOF
Maximo Park have announced that they're to play a special one-off gig on the roof of The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts in Newcastle on 28 Mar to celebrate the release of the their new album 'Our Earthly Pleasures'. Yikes, does that mean out in the open? I can't imagine that it'll be anything but a bit breezy up there. Let's hope for their sake that the weather improves.

It's a bit exclusive, of course, this gig, with a limited number of tickets being made available at Newcastle's RPM Records from 10am the day before the event.

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DEFTONES POSTPONE SHOW
Deftones have cancelled a gig due to take place at Brixton Academy this evening, due to illness. A replacement concert has been scheduled for 14 Apr, and all tickets for tonight's show will be valid for the new date. Those who would rather get a refund are advised to return their tickets to the original point of purchase.

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WHITE STRIPES DENY TOUR RUMOURS
The White Stripes have denied reports appearing on a range of US websites announcing that the band were set to tour, and including a list of dates. The group's management have released a statement saying that a tour is in the planning stage but that the dates are not yet confirmed.

Here, in fact, is what that statement says: "The White Stripes have yet to confirm their north American routing as of yet. But we are happy to say that it will include all 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, as well as the remaining 16 states of the United States the band have yet to play. A few major markets that have been journeyed to in the past, will be also be included."

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CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA, ALBUM, TOUR
CMU favourites The Cinematic Orchestra will release their third studio album 'Ma Fleur' on 7 May, with single 'Breathe' out on 9 Apr. All of which will kind of coincide with the following live dates:

24 Apr: Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
25 Apr: Aberdeen, Lemon Tree (Triptych Festival)
26 Apr: Edinburgh, Liquid Room (Triptych Festival)
27 Apr: Glasgow, Renfrew Ferry (Triptych Festival)
28 Apr: Bracknell, South Hill Park Arts Centre
29 Apr: Brighton, Komedia
1 May: Cardiff, The Point
2 May: Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University Students' Union
3 May: Manchester, Academy 2
4 May: Gateshead, The Sage
5 May: Cheltenham, Town Hall (Cheltenham Jazz Festival)
6 May: London, Barbican

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EMUSIC SPONSOR THE RAKES TOUR
Independent download types eMusic are sponsoring the latest tour from V2's The Rakes which kicked off in Nottingham last night. As part of that co-branded music download cards will be distributed at the gigs offering a 25 free track trial of eMusic and promoting The Rakes' new album 'Ten New Messages', out this week, as well as the acoustic version of their track 'We Danced Together' which is available exclusively via eMusic.

Here's what eMusic Europe GM Madeline Milne says about the partnership: "Our partnership with V2 Music reaffirms the strong relationships we share with the independent labels and how we work together to bring exciting new music to our audience It's extremely beneficial to The Rakes as well, who will win new fans and increase their sales through high profile promotion on the eMusic website".

V2's Beth Appleton added: "We find eMusic to be an excellent service. With their absolute commitment to independent music, eMusic offers our independent artists a terrific opportunity to establish a deep connection with an audience that's passionately interested in the kind of groundbreaking new music that's emblematic of V2".

On the off chance we haven't already reported these, or you lost them, here are The Rakes dates to come. And I hope you appreciate them, we received them in the exact opposite formatting to what we use here at CMU - so a lot of toil and effort went into reformatting these.

20 Mar: Vicar Street, Dublin
21 Mar: Barrowlands, Glasgow
22 Mar: Octagon, Sheffield
23 Mar: UEA, Norwich
25 Mar: Ritz, Manchester
26 Mar: Newcastle Academy
28 Mar: Birmingham Academy
29 Mar: Bristol Academy
30 Mar: Guildhall, Southampton
31 Mar: Brixton Academy

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SXSW: SATURDAY ROUNDUP
By Saturday, fatigue begins to kick in among the delegates gathered in Austin. They've been partying for three straight nights already, and faced with the prospect of a fourth, many stay in bed those extra few hours on the Saturday morning. Kunek, however, aren't having attendance issues - they've filled up the Flamingo Cantina with no trouble and are treating the audience to some of the most delightful music to come out of Oklahoma since the Flaming Lips. A Stillwater-based 6-piece, Kunek are hypnotic and mesmerizing - blending piano, guitar and cello into a wide-open expanse of sound. Their 2006 album 'Flight Of The Flynns' comes across as a little bit on the Coldplay-indie side, but when playing live their post-rock aspects really come to the fore and frontman Jesse Tabish's vocals shine, sounding a thousand times better than the disinterested vocals on the album.

After Kunek finished I wasn't able to stick about as I wanted to rush over to the conference centre to try and catch the panel on 'Selling Music Digitally'. I was looking forward to it - the panelists consisted of representatives from the digital music giant RealNetworks, new kids on the block Broadband Instruments Ltd/Slacker, digital aggregator The Orchard, digital music research company BigChampagne, CD traders Lala.com and eMusic - the only US online store currently selling MP3s in large quantities - all people with a considerable amount of knowledge on all things digital music. I was looking forward to hear them debate. But frankly I wished I hadn't bothered rushing. Most of the discussion involved the various companies plugging their products - as opposed to genuinely discussing the best way forward for selling digital music. The representative from RealNetworks, particularly vocal on the plugging front, spoke of the glories of his company's personalised playlist system. The representative from Slacker waxed lyrical about his company's forthcoming product, similar to internet radio services Last.fm or Pandora, but on a portable device. The representative from eMusic predictably didn't like DRM much. Nothing earth-shattering was said, nor were there any interesting questions asked. Sorry. I feel a little bit guilty now for wasting a minute of your life reading that paragraph. I promise the next one will be better.

Back to the bands then. Playing in the Red Fez, Colourmusic (spelt the British way!) fly the flag for eccentricity. Decked out in matching white tracksuits, the band mix indie-rock and stoned hip-hop beats much like Beck or the Beta Band. The blend sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't, but the crowd (perhaps comprised of friends of the band) love it. The band are definitely mixing musical colours - but sometimes it just comes out that funny mushy grey colour that I always ended up with on my palette after a hardcore painting session in primary school.

Lastly, to cap off my week I visited the Nylon magazine party, which promised free booze, a lineup including the superb hip-hoppers Spank Rock, and DJs from Dance, Robots, Dance! It was a great night - Spank Rock played an excellent show, the free drinks flowed happily among the attendees and everyone went away happy. A delightful end to a crazy week.

South By Southwest is an exhilarating experience. The combination of well over 700 official shows, at least the same number of unofficial ones, the trade exhibition, the panel discussions, the networking, the industry professions, the music fans - everything - blows you away. It's not an experience for the faint-hearted, or those who need more than 4 hours of sleep a night. If you can deal with the exhaustion and the fatigue, however, and keep your wits about you and your mobile phone charged, then you'll have an absolute blast. This was my first SXSW. It will certainly not be my last. DG

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OCC CONSIDERING COUNTING USB STICK SALES
OK, this is for all you label types out there busy transferring audio files to USB sticks after we reported yesterday that music sold on the memory devices would now count towards singles chart ratings, following the news Universal were planning their second USB stick release, with The Fratellis. Erm, how I can I put this? We were wrong on that. The Official Charts Company are talking to Universal about their USB stick releases, and are assessing the pros and cons of allowing the format to be chart eligible, but have not as yet reached a decision one way or another. So, put those USB releases you started planning yesterday on hold.

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FIELDS TO RELEASE DIGITAL VINYL SINGLE
Also don't go planning on using this 'digital vinyl format' we're about to tell you about either if a chart rating is what you're after, because the OCC hasn't approved this one either. Though one would hope that it is slightly less controversial than the USB stick format (which could, arguably, be seen as more gimmick than music) and therefore we might be able to persuade chart chiefs to comply.

Anyway, the 'digital vinyl format' is being used on the up coming single by Fields - 'Charming The Flames' - coming out on Atlantic on 26 Mar. One side will be a normal vinyl single, the other side will have a unique number etched into the vinyl, which when typed into a special store on TubeTribe can be used to download a choice of non-album track b-sides, either 'Cold Hearted Machinery' or 'When You Sleep'.

Which is all kinda cool - info on the digital vinyl thingimy from ronnie.traynor@tunetribe.com

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EMI RESTRUCTURE IN IBERIA AND LATIN AMERICA
More EMI restructuring for you. Is it just me, or is this all getting a bit tedious? Simone Bose, GM of EMI Music Spain, is being promoted to MD of EMI Music Iberia, overseeing the major's operations in both Spain and Portugal and reporting directly to Jean-Francois Cecillon, the boss of EMI's recently launched international division.

Manolo Diaz, current CEO of EMI Music Iberia, will take on a new role in that international division working as a 'special advisor' and, in the first instance, overseeing EMI's Latin American regional office and EMI Music Brazil, where the existing CEO, Marco Bissi, is leaving the company - possibly because of that previously reported accounting scandal at the major's Brazilian division that had not inconsiderable impact on the majors group level finances.

Diaz's appointment to coordinate Latin American operations will not effect EMI Televisa, the JV between EMI and Mexican media giant Televisa, whose US and Mexican operations will continue to be run by Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete who will continue to report directly to Cecillon.

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TVT ORDERED TO PAY SNS NINE MILLION IN PITBULL DISPUTE
A federal court in Miami has ordered TVT Records to pay $9.1 million in damages to rival indie Slip-N-Slide over a dispute related to Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

Pitbull was signed to Slip-N-Slide before signing to TVT. Although SNS agreed to let the rapper out of his commitments to them, they kept the rights to the album he had recorded for them. They planned to release their Pitbull album, 'Pitbull Welcome To The 305', in the wake of his TVT released 2004 debut 'MIAMI', obviously to capitalize on the buzz TVT's marketing had gained for the rap star.

However, as SNS planned that release TVT claimed that the rival indie had reworked many of Pitbull's recordings without the rapper's permission, and that while they owned the copyright to the original recordings, they didn't have the rights to make those changes. They also claimed SNS were using a Pitbull logo that they owned on the release. TVT bosses contacted SNS's distributor ADA to communicate their concerns about the release, which led to ADA halting distribution of the long player, fearing they to might be liable if TVT's claims against SNS were true.

Needless to say, that kind of buggered up SNS's plans for the Pitbull release, and as a result they sued TVT for "tortious interference" with its contract with ADA. This being America, TVT immediately counter-sued - for trademark infringements.

The whole thing finally reached court this month, and the jury hearing the dispute sided with SNS, believing their claims that TVT had no right to interfere with its contract with ADA, and that they used "improper methods" to prevent them from releasing the Pitbull recordings they legitimately owned. The court ordered TVT to pay SNS $2,279,200 to compensate them for their direct losses in relation to the cancelled album release plus $6,837,600 in punitive damages.

Needless to say, TVT intend to appeal, with a spokeswoman for the label telling reporters: "TVT believes that the verdict is contrary to, and unsupported by, the evidence in the case, as well as being excessive. Accordingly, TVT will be pursuing all available remedies before the district court and on appeal".

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TICKETMASTER ACQUIRE FAN RELATIONSHIPS COMPANY
Following Live Nation's previously reported acquisition last year of fan relationships company MusicToday, Ticketmaster has announced it has bought a majority stake in a similar company, Echomusic, which manages fan relationships for numerous artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban. Ticketmaster will use its alliance with Echomusic to enhance its ongoing relationships with music fans, utilising those contacts to drive new ticket sales.

Confirming its acquisition of a majority stake in the Nashville based fan management firm, Ticketmaster US CEO Sean Moriarty told reporters: "We are excited to join forces with Echomusic, which is the most comprehensive platform we have found to enable relevant and deep relationships between fans and their favorite artists, athletes, teams, and venues".

Echomusic chief Mark Montgomery added: "Leveraging the ticketing system and strong industry network of Ticketmaster with the innovative platform and consumer insights of Echo will help us define the next marketing and branding model for the entertainment industry".

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LMF SUB-GROUP NOT IMPRESSED WITH RESULTS OF LICENSING ACT
The Live Music Forum, the Feargal Sharkey headed body set up to advise the government on the impact of that previously reported Licensing Act, which changed the ways pubs and smaller venues had to apply for licences to stage live music, may eventually conclude that the new legislation has failed to deliver the "explosion" in live music ministers said it would and that, as some in the grass roots live sector had predicted, in fact live music provision in some places has gone down since it was made law.

A submission by the LMF's Impact Of The Act Sub-Group, based on MORI research I think, is expected to say that the old system, where one or two musicians could provide incidental music in pub venues without the need for a licence, was actually better in supporting grass roots musicians. Licensing changes elsewhere, the sub-group will say, have not had any noticeable effect in improving grass roots live music, while those who continue to stage small gigs have to tolerate increased bureaucracy.

Commenting on their findings, Musicians' Union general secretary John Smith, who chairs the LMF sub-group, told The Stage newspaper: "[The act] is a disappointment. [Ministers] Kim Howells, Richard Caborn and James Purnell all promised me, face to face, that it would be good for live music. If we're going through all this pain, it should be good. But the more we have researched it, the more we think it's neutral".

The Stage also quote a 'live music campaigner' called Hamish Birchall who says: "The sub-group's report makes a mockery of government promises that the act would help live music, and of recent DCMS claims that the initial evidence of the act's impact has been positive. It calls for the very things that campaigners wanted, but that this government ignored when it drew up the act in the first place - a better incidental music exemption and a small-scale venue exemption".

The submission has not, as yet, been issued as an official conclusion by the LMF itself, and the government's Department Of Culture, Media & Sport have played down the significance of the sub-group's comments and the subsequent reportings of them. Though, given that reporting, the LMF will lose quite a bit of credibility if it publishes any report that doesn't at least address those concerns within.

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CHANNEL 4 WIN SUPPORT FROM OTHER RADIO FIRMS IN MULTIPLEX BID
The Guardian has reported that Channel 4 has won the support of Virgin Radio owners SMG and Talk Sport owners UTV in its bid to win the second national digital radio multiplex, which OfCom is currently advertising. A deal with EMAP's radio division is already reportedly close to completion, which would give the TV company's radio plans considerable weight.

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DANNII FOR X-FACTOR?
There's been some talk that Dannii Minogue might be one of the two new judges set to replace the departed (though not dead) Louis Walsh on The X-Factor. The People claim that the singer is keen to join Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne on the show, and is currently negotiating a deal with producers. Minogue is already currently hosting a similar reality show, Australia's Got Talent, in, er, Australia.

One of those mighty tabloid 'sources' says: "Simon thinks she is exactly the kind of person that X Factor needs. Not only is Dannii young and sexy but she also has first-hand knowledge of the music industry. Simon thinks she is just the breath of fresh air they need."

Minogue is a big fan of the show, apparently, and has recently been quoted as saying: "The auditions are my favourite - the more they can't sing, the funnier it is. I know that sounds terrible but we all love a bit of car-crash reality TV".

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EMMA BUNTON QUITS MUSIC
According to reports, Emma Bunton has decided to quit the music industry after sales of her recent album 'Life In Mono' were disappointing. The long player only made it to 65 in the album chart, and recent single release 'All I Need To Know' didn't even make the top forty. She and her label, Universal, are said to have come to a joint decision in terminating their relationship.

In any case, Bunton has got other things on her mind at the moment, being five or so months pregnant. A source is quoted as saying: "She is looking on the bright side and happy to concentrate on motherhood."

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MCCARTNEY FANS BOYCOTT DANCING MILLS
Paul McCartney fans are boycotting US reality show Dancing With The Stars (I think it's the US version of Strictly Come Dancing, or whatever) because his estranged wife Heather Mills is in it. A message posted by a Macca fan on a site dedicated to the show reads: "The best thing fans could do is not to watch the show at all, and her offers will immediately dry up. Why reward ABC for hiring her? Bad ratings are the best revenge."

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S CLUBBER SAYS BANDMATE CHEATED ON HIM
Former S Club 7 man Paul Cattermole has told the News Of The World how former bandmate and former girlfriend Hannah Spearritt ended their relationship by starting an affair with Andrew Lee-Potts, her co-star on ITV series Primeval.

Cattermole told the tabloid: "Hannah and I lived together happily until she started working on Primeval. Within days she became secretive and spent all her time in hotels, only coming home every few weeks. Within a couple of months our five-year relationship was over. I knew in my heart she was seeing Andrew. After being with somebody that length of time you have an amazing gut instinct."

He continued: "I don't hate Hannah, I wish her happiness. I just feel sad that she couldn't tell me about her and Andrew before publicly announcing it."

Oh dear.

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