CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 21st March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- BPI win CD-Wow case
- Rollers sue Arista
- Buck Jones dies
- Sunday Times sued over Hendrix covermount
- New band networking site goes live tonight
- Mark Ronson on Amy Winehouse
- CSS get fans to make video
- T people launch new boutique fest
- Prodge and Jaxx headline Creamfields Spain
- Big Chill Goa go on go on, you know you want to
- Reading and Leeds weekend passes sold out
- Groove Armada and Keane headline Freedom Rocks
- Gigwise reveal Indie Idle finalists
- NME New Music Tour line up announced
- Childish to debut new band at Medway fest
- Scarlet Soho stuff
- Miss Conduct tour
- Domino artwork exhibit next month
- Five we rated: SXSW 2007
- New York governor supports dropping touting rules
- Domino partner with Warner for US Monkeys release
- Warner US appoint new comms VP
- Wisconsin Uni not keen on becoming RIAA's police officers
- YouTube taking votes for first awards
- US copyright board may reconsider webcast royalty ruling
- GCap boss predicts more radio mergers
- OfCom to investigate digital TV sector
- Hawkins says we're all racist or stupid
- Britney set to leave rehab
- Joss Stone thanks everyone in the world

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TOP BIT>>
OK, so we have some details for you regarding the next CMU Recommended MusicTank Think Tank, which will take place at Bertorellis in Soho on 27 Mar and which will ask the question "does music need a marketing makeover" under the title 'Pimp My Tune: Making Music Compete With Free'.

Among the topics up for discussion will be the 'i' word (interoperability), the 'a' word (artists - and the increasing importance of label relations with them), the 'v' word (value, of the added kind), the 'q' word (quality - as in sound quality) and the 'c' word (consumer convenience, which is two 'c' words I suppose). The keynote will come from Domino Records GM John Dyer, with Malcolm Garrett from AIG, Michael Bayler from The Rights Marketing Company, Tammy Smulders from SCB Partners and Merlin Stone from White Consultants Ltd all adding their viewpoints.

We'll have one of our Think Tank interviews closer to the day, but meantime you can find out more info and book places at http://www.musictank.co.uk (talking of which, MusicTank are about to relaunch their website, so do look out for the new look site in the coming weeks).

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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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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF>>

CMU INTERNSHIP
Unlimited Media/CMU is looking for a summer computer science intern, preferably London based, to concentrate on the functionality of new projects. Working closely with our Product Manager, you will be taking ownership of the initial development and spec an exciting new "web 2.0" channel. Alongside real coding and some design, there'll be the opportunity to develop new editorial ideas, and demonstrate your understanding of web technologies to communicate ideas effectively. You'll have good knowledge of Python - or the ability to pick it up fast - will be extremely confident with HTML and CSS, and will be thoroughly at home with databases, including postgreSQL, and server admin. The projects you work on during your internship will both develop your project management and problem solving skills and form the basis of several live sites, giving you some great CV material. Contact web@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with a one page CV outlining your skills, and contact details, including email and mobile.

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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 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: AMON TOBIN
So what, I hear you ask, prompted me to award MSOTD today to musician, producer and DJ Amon Tobin, the maker of those wonderfully complex, invariably eclectic, often intense soundscapes that have appeared on a number of brilliant Ninja Tune releases, not to mention a number of soundtracks, most notably the video game 'Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory'? Well, other than the fact he makes wonderfully complex, invariably eclectic and often intense soundscapes, extracts from which can be experienced here on the MySpace, I hear he'll be performing a 90 minute DJ set in 7.1 Surround Sound at the Electric Ballroom in Camden on 11 Apr, comprising new and old compositions. Mr Tobin's music probably isn't for all, though the harder to absorb bits are often complimented with tuneful samples that will affect even those who are naturally resistant to the quirkier and more intense instrumentals. But if you do like this kind of thing, then Tobin is a definite master, and if you are unfamiliar with his work you owe it to yourself to check out the MySpace previews and, if impressed by that, you should get tickets for the Electric Ballroom show, because I guarantee you'll be impressed by that. (Press info on all that, by the way, from Ninja IH).

http://www.myspace.com/tobinamon

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BPI WIN CD-WOW CASE
The UK record industry yesterday scored a court victory against online retailer CD-Wow when the High Court in London ruled the etailer was in "substantial breach" of a 2004 agreement with regard to the sale of CDs sourced outside the EU.

As previously reported, oh yes, prior to 2004 CD-Wow's owners Music Trading Online frequently sourced CDs from non-EU distributors, allowing it to considerably undercut high street and rival online music sellers. However, UK copyright law does not allow the sale of CDs from non-EU sources without the permission of the content owner, and when the UK record label trade body the BPI began legal proceedings against CD-Wow to enforce that law, the online company pledged to only source music from EU sources from that point forward.

However, the BPI claims it has evidence of CD-Wow selling UK customers CDs sourced in Hong Kong. The etailer argued that incidents of CDs from such sources being sold to British customers were isolated and down to human error, but the UK courts this week did not accept that excuse. Mr Justice Evans-Lombe said he "unhesitatingly rejected" CD-Wow's defence, adding there was "strong evidence that CD-Wow was committing widespread breach of the undertakings" and that the company "had taken no effective steps to ensure compliance with the undertakings even after an application for contempt had been served".

The judge concluded that in "meeting the criminal burden of proof" the BPI's case had established "beyond reasonable doubt" that CD-Wow's actions were a "substantial breach of the court order" and that the retailer had "no tenable ground of defence to the claimant's claim for damages for primary infringement of the claimant's copyright".

Welcoming the ruling, BPI legal counsel Roz Groome told CMU: "This judgment confirms that CD-Wow have not only consistently flouted the law in their business practices, but have flagrantly ignored the undertakings that they themselves gave to the court that they would trade legally. The court has now given a clear message to CD-Wow - stop infringing copyright and pay for your past misdemeanours or face serious consequences. In addition, the Court has delivered a clear message to all companies engaged in importing music CDs and DVDs into the UK from outside Europe without consent - such conduct is clearly and unequivocally a breach of copyright. The BPI will be using this judgment to ensure that no other company unfairly undermines legitimate retailers in the UK that are trading successfully and respecting the law".

Needless to say, CD-Wow were critical of the judgment. Company founder Henrik Wesslen told reporters: "At a time when the record industry is losing vast revenue to piracy, it seems ludicrous that they can set out to destroy a section of the market that is actually making them money". He added that his company would now call for a "full review" of copyright law because the existing system "serves to line the pockets of the music industry at the expense of the consumer" - which, in a way, is true, though arguably that's the whole point of having copyright laws in the first place.

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ROLLERS SUE ARISTA
Those most Bay City of Rollers are suing SonyBMG's Arista Records claiming the major failed to pass on millions in royalties over the last 25 years. The lawsuit has been filed with the US District Court in Manhattan on behalf of six of the band's members, (the original line up, including founders Alan and Derek Longmuir, plus Duncan Faure who was the band's frontman in the late seventies/early eighties). From what I can make out, Arista don't actually deny that they owe the band some kind of royalty payment (seemingly only one royalty cheque has ever been issued, for £133,000 in 1997) but claim that the band - who have had many line up changes over the years and who fired original manager Tam Paton in 1979 - have never suitably demonstrated who the money should be paid to. But the band's lawsuit says: "Arista's claim over the last 25 years that it does not know who to pay, is and always has been a pretext intended to deprive the Rollers of the royalties to which they are entitled". SonyBMG are yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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BUCK JONES DIES
Country singer Buck Jones has died at the age of 33 after being hit by a vehicle in Texas. Country impresario Billy Block told reporters that Jones had blown a tyre on his own car, and was walking along an interstate service road in search of assistance when he was struck from behind and killed. The driver of the car that hit Jones was taken into custody and charged with intoxicated manslaughter.

Jones was a trained classical singer, but throughout his studies maintained an interest in the country style of music he loved. Moving to Nashville, he became a regular at Billy Block's Western Beat Roots Revival nights, and in 2005 released a critically acclaimed album, 'Lucky Star'. Block says of the singer: "Buck will be warmly remembered for his easy smile and positive attitude. His memory and his music will live on".

Jones is survived by his wife and a seven-month-old son.

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SUNDAY TIMES SUED OVER HENDRIX COVERMOUNT
The Sunday Times is facing a lawsuit from two Jimi Hendrix companies in relation to a covermount CD it released last September featuring recordings from the guitar legend. The CD featured live recordings made at his Royal Albert Hall concert in 1979, and including performances of tracks like 'Purple Haze', 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and 'Foxy Lady'.

Law firm Eversheds is acting for both the Hendrix estate's company Experience Hendrix, who own the performing rights to the concert, and The Last Experience, which owns legal title to the specific copyrights, claiming that neither company gave clearance for the covermount, and that the newspaper was therefore in breach of their respective copyrights. They are looking for an injunction that means the publisher hands over all remaining copies of the CD to copyright holders (not that I imagine there are any) and that they pay damages for their infringement. The paper claim they licensed the recordings featured on the CD "in good faith", although the claimants allege they made the paper aware of the copyright infringement issues before the covermount was released.

The lawsuit claims: "The infringing CDs were made and distributed for the defendant's commercial purposes without the consent of either of the claimants or anyone else authorised by the claimants to give consent on their behalf".

The Guardian quote a spokeswoman for Times Newspapers thus: "Times Newspapers Limited has received a claim in relation to a covermount CD of Hendrix recordings distributed last year. We licensed it in good faith from our regular supplier."

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NEW BAND NETWORKING SITE GOES LIVE TONIGHT
A new website called GoBusker.com will officially launch at an event in Camden tonight. The site will be a little like MySpace, in that it provides bands with a platform to promote themselves and their music (they can upload tracks, videos, pictures, and blog and stuff), except it hopes to differentiate itself from existing social networking sites with a musical bent by fostering a real artist community where signed up members exchange tips and advice, and look for new members, suppliers or collaborators through that community. Plus the site's owners will be assessing every artist who signs up with the best one being awarded a 'development contract'.

Look, here's what the project's Lorraine Lucas says: "GoBusker.com is a new digital music platform that aims to support and promote real British talent. Apart from the Wannabee section (which will provide a bit of 'light relief) all of the content on the site will be original music. Gobusker.com will provide a supportive environment for musicians of all styles and all ages to progress as artists, to create themselves a fan base and to be get noticed by music industry execs. While we're aware that the development contract will create an exciting focal point, the site is about much, much more than just that".

The site will be accessible at, obviously, http://www.GoBusker.com, with press info on all this available from job@jb-pr.com or sean@austinobrien.co.uk.

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MARK RONSON ON AMY WINEHOUSE
Mark Ronson should clearly be talking about his previously reported covers album 'Version', out 16 Apr. But instead he's talking about Amy Winehouse, and how he thinks she can become a star in the US. The producer worked with Winehouse on her recent album 'Back To Black', of course, and now he's been speaking to Gigwise about the singer, who has recently been promoting the long player in the US and appearing on high profile chat shows.

Ronson says: "I think the thing is traditionally, 'black music' like hip hop and soul music, it's always been hard because that stuff comes from America even though there's a lot of talented English artists that do it, so, they're always a bit sceptical. But the Amy stuff is just so good and just so refreshingly honest and raw and pure and obviously she's wrote some great songs and she's interesting to read about because she says honest things. Amy's contemporaries, going with the people who are popular, you're looking at like Britney and all these people... they're not bad people, but it's just cookie cutter."

He continued: "I feel like they're saying what they actually feel, no one's making music that's really going to be around to listen to and enjoy in ten years. You come to Amy, it just feels incredibly real. I think that's why the Americans are blown away by her right now".

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CSS GET FANS TO MAKE VIDEO
Brazilian buzzy buzz buzz band CSS, aka Cansei de Ser Sexy are holding a contest to get their fans to make a video for their new track, 'Alcohol'. They're basically taping green screen footage of themselves doing stuff (performing the song, presumably), which will then be available for would-be film makers to download and do fun things with. The competition is being held in conjunction with Italian networking/video site QOOB - http://it.qoob.tv.

The band will select one winning entry, the creator of which will win a prize of 2000euros - £1350 or thereabouts. The deadline is 15 Apr.

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T PEOPLE LAUNCH NEW BOUTIQUE FEST
Well, I said yesterday that V2's pending tenth anniversary was making me feel old, but not as old as this is making me feel. T In The Park people DF Concerts are launching a new festival designed to appeal to the "older audience" which is being headlined by Beastie Boys, Primal Scream and LCD Soundsystem. A line up which seemingly means I'm slap bang in the middle of a demographic called "older audience". Yikes. Surely the "older audience" are still into the Rolling Stones, McCartney, Springsteen and The Quo? No? Oh, hang on, DF chief Geoff Ellis says that the target age group for this is 22-30, rather than T In The Park's 18-25 age group. Feck, that means I'm older than the "older audience". Point me in the direction of a Sinatra tribute show, and that's me sorted, clearly.

Anyway, this is the all new Connect Festival which will take place in the grounds of Inveraray Castle in Argyll from 31 Aug to 2 Sep. The festival will be a smaller affair than its sister fest, T In The Park, with a capacity of 20,000. The programme, which is all about "musician's musicians" apparently, will also feature Idlewild, Bjork and the about to reunite for Coachella The Jesus And Mary Chain, which is interesting because that means Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie will be on site for one of their reunion gigs and could therefore rejoin his original band one more time and tap on some drums.

Anyway, here's what the aforementioned Ellis told 6Music about his new festival: "It's a festival for 20,000 people so, y'know, you're never going to see the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Muse or somebody of that size playing. But I think that's part of the beauty of it that you've got bands that have got loads of back-catalogue, loads of credibility".

Tickets go on sale on Friday.

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PRODGE AND JAXX HEADLINE CREAMFIELDS SPAIN
The Prodigy and Basement Jaxx are to top the bill at Creamfields' new Spanish edition in Andalucia on 11 Aug. Also confirmed for the event are the likes of Booka Shade and Agoria and DJs John Digweed, James Holden, Steve Bug and Miss Kittin. More acts are expected to be announced soon.

Tickets are currently available at a cost of 43euros (£29-ish) but the price will rise as of 15 Jun. See http://www.creamfields-andalucia.com for more info. If you speak Spanish.

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BIG CHILL GOA GO ON GO ON, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO
More from the folder marked 'British Festivals Abroad' now, and some news about The Big Chill Goa. The event takes place from 14-15 Apr, and boasts a great line-up across its three music performance areas, with confirmed acts including the likes of Coldcut, Norman Jay, Jose Padilla, The Bays, Tom Middleton, Nick Luscombe and Pathaan.

Tickets for the Indian event are priced at 3000rupees - just over 35 of your earth pounds - and are available from http://www.bigchillindia.in this week. A limited number of tickets will go on sale at a price of 1000rupees - 12 quid - but these are only for students living in India who have valid Indian student ID. A percentage of profits will go to the Matoshri Health trust - an NGO working with Indian children affected by AIDS and HIV.

So, you might want to consider going. Just bear in mind that it's not a camping festival and make sure you arrange accommodation - the basic type of which I understand can be pretty reasonable.

And I think we might have time for what festival founder Pete Lawrence has to say about all this. Over to you, Pete: "Goa is truly back on the traveller's agenda now, and the ongoing expansion is now being carried out much more thoughtfully. With natural, untainted beauty uppermost in my mind when selecting venues for Big Chill events - the Morjim area and Aswem beaches immediately struck a chord for their simple and unspoilt charms".

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READING AND LEEDS WEEKEND PASSES SOLD OUT
Weekend passes for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals have sold out, less than twenty four hours after the events announced their headlining acts. As previously reported, Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Smashing Pumpkins top the bill, with the likes of Bloc Party, Enter Shikari, Maximo Park, Ash, The View, Klaxons, Kings Of Leon, Interpol, Arcade Fire, Panic! At The Disco, Biffy Clyro, Fall Out Boy, CSS and LCD Soundsystem also set to appear.

Presumably there are still a fair few day tickets for the events, taking place in Reading and Leeds from 24 - 26 Aug.

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GROOVE ARMADA AND KEANE HEADLINE FREEDOM ROCKS
Groove Armada and Keane have been announced as the headliners of Freedom Rocks, the summer event commemorating the 200 year anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The two day festival, which takes place from 9-10 Jun at East Park in Hull aims to highlight the Fight for Freedom Campaign in partnership with MOBO award winning charity Anti-Slavery International, who, as previously reported, campaign for the eradication of modern day slavery. Hull is a fitting place to hold the festival, organisers say, because it was the birthplace of British abolitionist William Wilberforce.

Dave Grindle from organisers Loud Sound says this: "Loud Sound see this as more than just another gig. The Wilberforce Project as a whole attracts us as we feel that the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain deserves national and international recognition. As well as putting the event together we are keen to play a part in developing awareness of Wilberforce's achievements and today's human rights issues. This will be an important celebration and will have a positive impact on the local community as Hull becomes the focus of this bi-centenary".

See http://www.freedomrocksfestival.com for info on tickets, which are on sale now. This is another not-camping festival, by the way, but I'm sure you could find somewhere to stay in Hull.

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GIGWISE REVEAL INDIE IDLE FINALISTS
Gigwise have announced the twenty finalists for their Camden Crawl Indie Idle Competition. Which, if you didn't know, and couldn't work out from the name, is a contest for bands to win a slot at this year's Camden Crawl event, taking place from 19-20 April. In Camden.

You can see details of all the bands who've made the final twenty, and vote for your favourite by going here: http://www.gigwise.com/indieidle. The public vote will whittle the bands down to a final ten who will all perform before an audience at the Camden Crawl. The final three will be judged by a panel, and the winner will get to play a full set on the Friday evening of the event.

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NME NEW MUSIC TOUR LINE UP ANNOUNCED
The line-up for the NME New Music Tour has been announced, and it's set to be headlined by The Rumble Strips, with Pull Tiger Tail, The Little Ones and Blood Red Shoes joining them on the bill.

Here's what Rumbly Stripper Charlie Waller says about it all: "I can't wait, it's going to be brilliant. To be asked to play this tour is a real honour particularly when you look at the bands that have played in previous years."

Here are the dates:

17 May: Cardiff Coal Exchange
18 May: Northampton Roadmender
19 May: Sheffield Plug
21 May: Middlesbrough Empire
22 May: Glasgow Arches
23 May: Dundee Westport Bar
24 May: Manchester Club Academy
26 May: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
28 May: Birmingham Academy 2
29 May: London KOKO
30 May: Brighton Concorde 2
31 May: Norwich Waterfront

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CHILDISH TO DEBUT NEW BAND AT MEDWAY FEST
Billy Childish will unveil his new band The Musicians Of The British Empire at a festival in his home town of Chatham in May. The band will officially launch their debut album, 'Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall', at an event on 26 May as part of the Fuse-Medway festival. You'll find more info about the festival, which also includes burlesque theatre and roller skating dancers, plus the always good Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain, at http://www.fusefestival.org.uk

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SCARLET SOHO STUFF
Scarlet Soho are on tour at the moment, but they asked us nicely to remind you all that their new single 'Analogue Dialogue (Kill The Beat)' is out this week, and can be downloaded from iTunes. They're also entered in this year's Road To V competition and would be interested in winning, so if you like them you should go vote for them at http://www.roadtov.com.

Here are their remaining live dates:

26 Mar: Forbidden Planet @ The Portman Hotel Boscombe
27 Mar: The Old Blue Last, London
28 Mar: Korova Club Liverpool
29 Mar: Electrosexual @ Boiler Room, Guildford
30 Mar: Lonely Hearts Club @ The Railway, Winchester
31 Mar: Shockwave @ Unit 22 Southampton
2 Apr: The Loft Cambridge
5 Apr: Sussex Arts Club Brighton
11 Apr: The Joiners Southampton
13 Apr: Wired @ Ibar Bournemouth
19 May: The Tumbledown Dick Farnborough

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MISS CONDUCT TOUR
Welsh pop punk band Miss Conduct, recently signed to Visible Noise and with a debut mini-album called 'Sinner Vs Sinned' out this week, have just announced all these tour dates for next month.

12 Apr: Wrexham, Rebellion Rock Club
13 Apr: Neath, Windsor Club
14 Apr: Trowbridge, Terry's
15 Apr: Kingston, The Peel
17 Apr: Brighton, Engine Room
18 Apr: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
21 Apr: Glasgow, The Cathouse
22 Apr: Edniburgh, Studio 24
23 Apr: Castleford, Xscape
25 Apr: Bristol, The Croft
26 Apr: Cardiff, Ifwor Bach

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DOMINO ARTWORK EXHIBIT NEXT MONTH
An exhibition of Domino album art work is set to go on show next month at The Art Vinyl Gallery on East London's Broadway Market, featuring artwork from across Domino's thirteen year history. It starts with a private viewing on the evening of 5 April, which will feature DJ sets from VV and Hotel from The Kills, and Sam Windett from Archie Bronson Outfit. On the 7 Apr, Lightspeed Champion will be previewing tracks from his new album followed by Galia and Carim from Psapp on the decks.

The exhibit then continues on until 18 Apr. Contact Domino IH for info/opening guestlist.

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FIVE WE RATED: SXSW 2007
OK, as a way of a round up, here are Duncan CMU's five best bits from SXSW 2007. You can check out his other reports and showcase reviews (more of which are incoming) at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/sxsw

The Honeycut's Guitar solos
The Honeycut, playing Wednesday night at the Kids Showcase, did a lot of things right. Number one on the list was their inspired replacement of a traditional guitarist with a keyboard player playing a guitar synth though effects pedals. Fingers flying, the keyboardist shredded through a number of ridiculous solos over the course of the gig - affecting distortion and wah-wah all over the place. This had the unfortunate effect, however, of overshadowing the entire rest of the band.

Mutemath's Drummer
Also overshadowing the rest of his band was the drummer in Mutemath. From the moment he duct-taped his headphones onto his head at the start of the show, you could tell he was serious. He attacked the drumkit like a machine, hitting things so hard that bits of drumstick were flying into the audience. You simply couldn't take your eyes off him. On multiple occasions he left his drum-stool to run to another part of the stage to hit other things - the keyboard, a chair, at one point his head. You have to worry if he has a day job - you really wouldn't want him doing anything in life but hitting things very hard.

Greening The Music Industry
By far the most optimistic panel at the conference, this session discussed ways of reducing the environmental impact of the music business - particularly for festivals and touring bands, but also for CD packaging and distribution. A number of examples were given of ways in which changes can be made which are often cheaper than their less 'green' counterparts. It would appear that the environmental movement is no longer just the preserve of students and campaigners - it's now also part of the fabric of the business world. SxSW should most definitely be congratulated for helping to lead the way.

Kunek @ The Flamingo Cantina
I've ranted several times in the CMU Daily about how amazing Kunek are. They combine the emotion, soul and passion of an indie band with the widescreen vision and scope of a post-rock act. Frontman Jesse Tabish delivers his heart-melting vocals over a perfect backdrop of cello, piano and guitar, accompanied by a perfectly understated rhythm section. Kunek have an album out and a large local following - they deserve a whole heap more.

Simian Mobile Disco / MSTRKRFT @ The Karma Lounge
But number one among all the crazy stuff that happened to me at SXSW was Simian Mobile Disco and MSTRKRFT at the Karma Lounge. Despite playing relatively little that the audience knew, the boys from Simian completely tore the place up, until almost everyone - even the bar staff - was dancing. Without dropping a beat, MSTRKRFT took to the stage and launched into 'Work On You' and the audience nearly exploded. Both of these acts are at the top of their game, and show the enormous promise of the beast that is the current dance scene compared to the ailing scene five years ago. Move over, guitar bands, synthesizers are back.
DG

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NEW YORK GOVERNOR SUPPORTS DROPPING TOUTING RULES
As politicians and promoters in the UK start to talk of the need for more regulation governing the re-sale of tickets to live events by ticket touts (or scalpers as those crazy Americans say, and this is an American story), authorities in New York are considering relaxing touting rules there. Though, to be fair, they were pretty random rules to start with.

A state law that limits the mark up of resold tickets for live events at venues with fewer than 6000 seats to no more than $5 or 20% more than face value is set to expire in June and the state's law makers are proposing not to renew it. It has been the Broadway theatre owners and producers who have lobbied for such rules in the past, but they are not expected to push for a renewal of the law this time, so politicians are of a mind to let them lapse.

The New York Post quotes State Governor Eliot Spitzer as speaking against the rules: "My view has always been that the laws don't work ... The reason the laws don't work is it's the only product I know where we are regulating the secondary market but we don't set a price for the primary market. It makes no sense".

The theatre industry, however, is expected to lobby for maintaining rules that stop touts from reselling tickets within 1500 feet of a venue.

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DOMINO PARTNER WITH WARNER FOR US MONKEYS RELEASE
Domino Records have entered into a distribution agreement with Warner for the upcoming Arctic Monkeys album 'Your Favorite Worst Nightmare' which means the major will help them release the much anticipated new Monkeys long player in the North American market. The deal follows a similar partnership between the London based indie and Warner for the release of Franz Ferdinand's second album.

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WARNER US APPOINT NEW COMMS VP
Talking of Warner Music, they've announced the promotion of Susan Mazo to the role of VP Corporate Communications at the major's New York HQ, she will report to Senior VP Corporate Communications Will Tanous. And here's what he has to say about Mazo's promotion: "Susan plays an integral role in aligning our strategic communications objectives with our corporate events. In doing so, she has helped strengthen Warner Music's reputation as the world's most innovative music company and the best home for recording artists and songwriters. Since WMG became a publicly traded company, we have increasingly relied on Susan for greater and higher-profile activities. Today's announcement reflects the importance of her work to our company, as well as her creativity and ability to manage complex events and industry relationships on a global scale".

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WISCONSIN UNI NOT KEEN ON BECOMING RIAA'S POLICE OFFICERS
The University Of Wisconsin has reportedly refused to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association Of America in their previously reported stepped up bid to combat file sharing at US colleges.

The RIAA has always tried to pressure American colleges, who often act as ISPs for their students, to take a role in combating illegal file sharing by their students. The trade body sends the colleges letters for the students who it believes are guilty of illegal P2P usage (the RIAA, of course, can only identify the IP addresses of those students) - traditionally colleges were asked to initially warn accused students that their actions were illegal, but more recently the RIAA has gone straight to stage two and asked colleges to encourage guilty students to make out of court settlement with the record companies, compensating them for past file sharing and pledging to not illegally share music in the future.

Some colleges recognise that by passing on warnings, or encouraging students to settle, they are protecting those students (and themselves) from potential litigation from the labels, but other colleges have resisted being turned into the RIAA's police officers. The latest college exec to speak out against the RIAA's campaign, albeit to his own college's student newspaper, is the Communications Manager for the University Of Wisconsin's IT department, who said: "[The RIAA's] settlement letters are an attempt to short circuit the legal process [and] to rely on universities to be their legal agent". The college's Badger Herald says that while the university has warned students that it does not approve of illegal file sharing, and of the possible implications of copyright violations, it has said it will not take any more proactive moves to help the RIAA in their legal campaign against accused students.

Although that stand has not been officially confirmed by the college, a spokesman for the RIAA has already questioned the institution's stand, with RIAA rep Jonathan Lamy telling reporters: "If the University of Wisconsin has adopted this policy - and we have had no direct communication from them to indicate that they have - it would be unfortunate that students would lose the opportunity to settle any future claims against them at a substantially discounted sum and with the benefit of no public mark on their record".

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YOUTUBE TAKING VOTES FOR FIRST AWARDS
OK, if you're looking for ways to waste some time today, and you have already filled out the CMU readers' survey (if not, go do that, http://www.songpeople.co.uk/cmu) then how about voting in the YouTube Video Awards? I think this is really a US thing, but I don't see there's anything to stop us Brits voting. You go to http://www.youtube.com/YTAwards, watch the short listed videos in each category, and rate which you like. You have till Friday to vote. Fans of that rather wonderful OK Go video for 'Here It Goes Again' can vote for that in Most Creative Video.

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US COPYRIGHT BOARD MAY RECONSIDER WEBCAST ROYALTY RULING
An update on the previously reported ruling by the US Copyright Royalty Board that increased what webcasting radio stations have to pay in royalties, a move which many smaller webcasters said would put them out of business. Well, Chief Copyright Royalty Judge James Scott Sledge yesterday issued a statement saying he had agreed to rehearing evidence from those organisations who oppose the increase, after which the Board may revisit its decision. Clearly all that busy busy lobbying by the US webcasting brigade worked - I don't think anyone expected a review of the decision quite so quickly.

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GCAP BOSS PREDICTS MORE RADIO MERGERS
GCap chief Ralph Bernard is predicting further consolidation in the UK radio industry, but says that his company is not currently in a position to participate in any mergers or acquisitions. Speaking to Media Week, he says that with Chrysalis and EMAP both undertaking reviews of their radio divisions, he expected some movement in radio station ownership in the coming year. With the planned merger of the Scottish and Northern Irish ITV companied, SMG and UTV, now seemingly off for good, Bernard also suggests that both those companies, who currently own Virgin Radio and TalkSport respectively, may now look to expand by acquiring more radio assets. However, he said that GCap, itself the creation of the merger between two UK radio giants, GWR and Capital, is not looking to engage in any acquisition in the near future, with Bernard saying his personal energies were currently being used to help turn the group's flagship pop station, Capital Radio, back into London's number one.

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OFCOM TO INVESTIGATE DIGITAL TV SECTOR
Media regulator OfCom has announced it will launch an investigation into the previously reported dispute between Sky and Virgin Media, which led to Sky pulling its free to air channels off the Virgin cable network. The regulator is responding to a submission made to them by BT, Setanta, Top Up TV and Virgin Media themselves which asks for the Competition Commission to review the current ownership of the UK's digital/pay TV sector. Given who made the submission, those advocating the review presumably hope Competition authorities will rule that market leader BSkyB is too dominant and is using its dominance to unfairly compete with its rivals.

The National Consumer Council, which had already said it might itself request OfCom to launch such an investigation, welcomed the move, saying: "Aspects of this market appear to be failing consumers and a thorough investigation is warranted".

Meanwhile Sky, the unstated enemy in this whole thing, implied that those who had requested the investigation had done so ultimately with commercial motives (ie not with consumers' interests at heart), while adding that it hoped any review would also look into "the physical and legal barriers and business practices that shield Virgin Media from true competition".

Elsewhere in regulator type news, the government's Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has said she will be looking into whether OfCom or premium phone line regulator Icstis needed more powers with regards the use of premium phone lines by TV shows. She revealed those plans while talking to the Times about all those recent scandals involving fuck ups in the way premium rate viewer interactive features were managed by various TV companies - and as Vodaphone admitted it lost 11500 text votes during the voting on last weekend's edition of ITV's Dancing On Ice.

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HAWKINS SAYS WE'RE ALL RACIST OR STUPID
Justin Hawkins has complained that the British public must be prejudiced idiots not to have voted for him at the Eurovision 'Making Your Mind Up' contest on Saturday. He's not talking about me, though, obviously, because I didn't vote. Or watch, for that matter. Hawkins, who teamed up with black singer Beverlei Brown on a track for the competition, calls the event a 'stitch up' in a statement posted on his website.

He writes: "The United Kingdom must be either racist or stupid not to have voted for Big Brovaz or Beverlei Brown (she looked and sounded fantastic). It's like when multi-award winning, multi-million selling Lemar lost to David '3 stars at Burger King' Sneddon in 'Fame Academy' all those years ago. Nothing ever changes. The whole thing whiffed of a stitch-up, particularly when you consider that our supporters had their banners confiscated by security, whilst Scooch fans were filmed proudly waving theirs. When Big Brovas were eliminated, my heart sank and I thought, 'the dream is over.' I was right."

To be fair, I tend to think that British talent show voting patterns are a bit suspect with regard to the race issue. But then it occurs to me that more white people probably watch these programmes than black people. And white people have more of a tendency to like 'white music' and black people have more of a tendency to like 'black music'. Perhaps some academic somewhere should waste some money on a study.

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BRITNEY SET TO LEAVE REHAB
According to reports, Britney Spears will leave rehab this week after having what's been described as an "amazing turnaround". A source added that she is now on speaking terms with estranged hubby Kevin Federline and they are in the process of amicably sorting out a custody agreement.

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JOSS STONE THANKS EVERYONE IN THE WORLD
Joss Stone has written a 7,121 word essay thanking everyone in the whole world for helping her with her new album. Well, not everyone in the whole world. I'm what you might call exaggerating for effect there. But still. It's long, rambling, and she doesn't forget to thank God, which just shows you that she's been living in America for too long. She also thanks her dogs and the late James Brown.

Read it, if you dare. I warn you, she's not big on capital letters. Or correct usage of the English language in general, really: http://www.jossstone.com/thankyou.

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