CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 29th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Black Eyed Pea arrested over DUI and drugs
- Foxy Brown enters not guilty plea over Florida incident
- Country star Judd announces divorce plans
- Britney security guard pulls gun on pap
- Mary Weiland on weekend's activities
- Art Brut album
- Capitol to release new Beach Boys compo
- Nevermind the dance production premieres this weekend
- Wu Tang dates announced
- Gallagher would like acoustic slot at Glasto
- Arcade Fire, TGTBATQ, Rice for Latitude
- GoodBooks single, tour
- The Jam tour
- Mumm-Ra tour, single, album
- Robyn returns with Cargo gig
- T Mo announce next street gig
- Simian Mobile Disco pick tunes on TuneTribe
- The OC soundtrack compiler to launch label
- EMI chief calls on mobile music products to be more consumer friendly
- iPhone causes stir at CTIA
- BMI predict fall in US ringtone revenues
- Universal propose another catalogue sale to secure merger approval
- Music Brigade announce partnership with Swedish newspaper
- Woolies hope multi-channel strategy will help overcome profits slide
- Radio 2 man to broadcast from NXNE
- OfCom say C4 concerns over NGW proposal not valid
- Winehouse on self harm
- James Blunt split quotes
- Kele Bloc Party hits back at Liam
- Radiohead Starbucks rumours

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TOP BIT>>
I've been suffering from a rather irritating cold all week, which as of this morning is doing its best to make my brain shut down, or at the very least, log off. All of which means the chances of me forming anything nearing an intelligent opinion on something to do with the music business are almost zero. So, how about I slip another Insomniacs Ball plug here in the Top Bit instead? That sounds like a plan. It is all getting very close now you know.

As you all hopefully have in your heads by now, the buzzy buzzy The Twang have been announced as headliners, joining a line up that also includes 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.

This all takes place in the vaults beneath London Bridge station - ie the seOne Club - on 5 Apr. And the vaults will be dressed to impress for the proceedings this time round, with velvet curtains, candle sticks and dodgy portraits, and Ball attendees are encouraged to dress accordingly - cravats, tweeds and bowlers for the boys and sequins and tiaras for the girls (or vice versa if you prefer, I doubt anyone will complain).

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 type nonsense you need to drop an email to laura@scruffybird.com.

Now, I'm off to max out on Lemsips, in the vague hope I'll have shifted this cold sufficiently to allow me to stay up all night a week on Thursday.

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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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INDIE STORE OF THE DAY: DJ ADA

This American DJ's sample heavy, beats filled tracks are definitely something worth checking out if you like hip hop of the slightly chilled out kind. None of the tracks streaming here really have any of those infectious hooks that the pop star hip hoppers specialise in, yet they are strangely addictive nonetheless, and certainly more original for the lack of cheap hook. 'Moonlanding' is my personal favourite, though most other people seem to be honing in on 'Droppin Gems', possibly because not only can you stream it for free here on DJ ADA's Indiestore, but you can download it for free also. But personally I'd give all three tracks available for preview a quick once over and if you like what you hear, hey, why not splash out and buy the non-free tracks? And then delve into his blogs - though I must admit, I couldn't really make head nor tail of them!

http://www.indiestore.com/djada

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BLACK EYED PEA ARRESTED OVER DUI AND DRUGS
Black Eyed Pea Taboo, aka Jaime Luis Gomez, has been arrested on suspicion of drug possession and of driving under the influence. Police confirmed yesterday that the hip hopper was apprehended on Tuesday near Los Angeles after his vehicle was involved in a collision - not sure with what, but we do know that it wasn't with another car - and arresting officers discovered that Gomez had been drinking, was in possession of marijuana, and also had prescription drugs, but no prescription.

Gomez was released on $5,000 bail. A court date has not been set.

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FOXY BROWN ENTERS NOT GUILTY PLEA OVER FLORIDA INCIDENT
Foxy Brown appeared in court in Florida yesterday and pleaded not guilty to charges relating to that previously reported incident at a beauty store in the state's Broward County. Brown, aka Inga Marchand, was, of course, charged with battery in relation to her dispute with Queens Beauty Shop owner Sam Hayssam, as well as with resisting an officer without violence.

As you will no doubt remember, it's alleged that Marchand arrived at the shop close to closing time and purchased some hair glue, retiring to the store's bathroom to use the product to fix her hair. Hayssam claims that when he told her that the shop was closing and asked her to vacate the bathroom, she became violent, spraying him with the hair glue, spitting at him and causing damage to the store's displays.

The rap star was late for the hearing, due to the late running of her flight from New York. She had already missed one court date in relation to the incident, an arrest warrant being issued on 22 March when she failed to show at a previously scheduled hearing. Lawyers explained yesterday that she had not intended to miss the date, but that the notice of arraignment was sent to her old address and she did not receive it. A full trial has been scheduled to take place in June.

Marchand didn't speak in the courtroom, but outside told reporters that she was planning to "stand up and fight and take care of this". The hip hopper previously held a press conference in Brooklyn, protesting her innocence, and claiming to be "the victim of an overzealous police department who engaged in police brutality and a money hungry store owner whose motives are for me to pay his mortgage on his house and his children's tuition".

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COUNTRY STAR JUDD ANNOUNCES DIVORCE PLANS
Country star Wynonna Judd has made an announcement on her website that she is planning to file for divorce from her husband of three years, DR Roach, after he was arrested for aggravated sexual battery against a thirteen year old. Which sounds pretty nasty, so I don't think I blame her. Roach is apparently still in custody, held on $750,000 bail.

Judd writes: "I am obviously devastated. Our family will pull together, begin the healing process and hopefully - by the Grace of God - become stronger".

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BRITNEY SECURITY GUARD PULLS GUN ON PAP
According to reports, a security guard at a church service Britney Spears attended recently pulled a gun on a photographer who was trying to take a photo of the pop star as she left the church. The guard allegedly ran out of the LA church pointing the firearm and shouting "Get out of your car, get down!" at the apparently terrified pap. The security guard then handcuffed the photographer, claiming that he had tried to run over a traffic policeman.

The Daily Mail quotes a source as saying: "When her 4x4 came out, officers stopped the traffic, let her go ahead and held paparazzi back. One photographer tried to get past and suddenly two undercover security guards ran out into the street. The photographer looked terrified. It's not what you expect to see outside a church service."

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MARY WEILAND ON WEEKEND'S ACTIVITIES
Scott Weiland's wife Mary has released a statement explaining her behaviour at the weekend that left a hotel room trashed and led to her arrest on suspicion of arson for allegedly setting fire to a sizable amount of her husband's clothing. The statement insists that it was she that was at fault, but that her bizarre actions were brought about due to an imbalance in her medications.

Weiland says: "The weekend's difficulties were brought on by a reaction to an imbalance in medications used to treat my bipolar disorder. Reports that we were fighting at the Graciela Hotel are untrue. Scott was simply trying to help me calm down. I want to make it very clear that he did not hurt me in any way. For lack of a better expression, I was unstable and just lost it".

Praising her husband, she continued: "After nearly seven years of marriage I am truly grateful to have a loving husband, drug-free for 3 1/2 years now, who is able to care for me during this challenging time".

She added that the pair have made their peace with the Burbank hotel where the trashing incident took place, saying: "payment for the damages to the Graciela Hotel has already been made. The gracious staff and management have accepted our apologies and welcome us back in the future".

No arson charges have been filed against Weiland, and police say it's up to the Graciela Hotel to press charges if they want to - and if the statement is to be believed, it sounds as though they're happy not to. All's well that ends well, possibly.

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ART BRUT ALBUM
Hurray. I like Art Brut, and they're getting ready to release their second album. They've announced a US release date - 26 Jun - but it's not clear as yet when it's due out in the UK (Pitchfork are guessing 25 Jun, so we'll go with that too). The long player is called 'It's A Bit Complicated', and in the US it will be preceded by a single release of 'Nag Nag Nag'. More news when we get it.

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CAPITOL TO RELEASE NEW BEACH BOYS COMPO
EMI's US division Capitol have announced they will release a new career spanning Beach Boys compilation in May - 'The Warmth Of The Sun' - a double album which has apparently been "compiled and sequenced" by the band themselves. Which band members I'm not sure, given Mike Love still isn't on best terms with the other surviving founder members. Also not sure if this will get a UK release - we'll let you know if we hear anything. In the meantime, here is the full tracklisting...

All Summer Long (new stereo mix)
Catch A Wave
Hawaii
Little Honda
409
It's OK
You're So Good To Me (new stereo mix)
Then I Kissed Her (new stereo mix)
Kiss Me, Baby
Please Let Me Wonder (new stereo mix)
Let Him Run Wild (new stereo mix)
The Little Girl I Once Knew
Wendy (new stereo mix)
Disney Girls (1957)
Forever
Friends
Break Away
Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Surf's Up
Feel Flows
All This Is That
Til I Die
Sail On, Sailor
Cool, Cool Water
Don't Go Near The Water
California Saga (On My Way To Sunny Californ-i-a)
California Dreamin
The Warmth Of The Sun

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NEVERMIND THE DANCE PRODUCTION PREMIERES THIS WEEKEND
A Seattle based dance company will this weekend launch a stage version of 'Nevermind', with the classic Nirvana album reinterpreted through the wonder of dance. Sounds great, book me a flight to the home of grunge immediately. You might guess, I'm not the biggest fan of modern dance theatre, which is probably very short sighted of me. I mean, not all dance theatre is a bunch of pretentious nonsense. Just all the dance theatre I've ever seen. This, I'm sure, is not pretentious in the slightest, though it does take the relationship between Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love as its "inspiration", and choreographer Donald Byrd says: "The tragedy of his drug addiction that didn't allow [Kurt Cobain] to see with the kind of clarity that would have made for different choices, I was just kind of drawn to that. It's like sometimes when you're watching 'Romeo and Juliet', you think, if they had just waited...even if it seems unbearable, it's going to change", which sounds a bit pretentious. The show opens at the city's Moore Theatre this weekend.

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WU TANG DATES ANNOUNCED
Following the news earlier this year that a new Wu Tang album was upcoming, the legendary hip hop combo have announced two live UK dates - 5 Jul at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and 6 Jul at the Manchester Apollo in, erm, Manchester. New album '8 Diagram' is due for release this summer.

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GALLAGHER WOULD LIKE ACOUSTIC SLOT AT GLASTO
Noel Gallagher has admitted that he'd like the opportunity to do an acoustic set at Glastonbury this year, following the series of acoustic solo shows he's done recently, which culminated this week, of course, with two big shows at the Albert Hall as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts. Speaking to NME about his acoustic shows, he said: "Playing the acoustic stuff at the festivals, that would be good. Actually, Glastonbury acoustic tent sounds nice! That would be good. Yeah, do us a favour, stick that in and Mr Eavis will give me a call!" Whether Michael Eavis has got onto NME.com, read the quote and made that call yet, we don't know. But hey, now we've reported on it, I'm sure it's in the bag. That's how things work, you know.

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ARCADE FIRE, TGTBATQ, RICE FOR LATITUDE
Arcade Fire, The Good The Bad And The Queen (or whatever they're actually not called) and Damien Rice are set to headline this year's Latitude Festival, which, to my considerable anguish, I missed last year. The reason I like the idea of Latitude is because there's so very much going on aside from the music. And as passionate as I am about music, I also like other things too, and am most appreciative of this event's attention to other genres, including comedy, theatre, film, literature and poetry.

Anyway, you're all music types, so you'll be interested to hear that other bands thus far joining those three on the bill include Wilco, CSS, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Magic Numbers, The National, The Rapture and The Gotan Project. The event, now in its second year, takes place at Henham Park in Suffolk from 12 - 15 Jul.

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GOODBOOKS SINGLE, TOUR
GoodBooks have announced a headline tour which coincides with the launch of their new single 'The Illness', out 30 Apr, and taken from their forthcoming, yet to be titled debut LP. You can hear the single at their MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/goodbooks.

Tour dates as follows:

10 Apr: Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
11 Apr: Tunbridge Wells Forum
12 Apr: Brighton The Hope
14 Apr: Winchester Railway
15 Apr: Guildford Boiler Room
16 Apr: Exeter Cavern
18 Apr: Nottingham Social
19 Apr: Mansfield Town Hall
21 Apr: Wolverhampton Little Civic
22 Apr: Stoke Sugarmill
23 Apr: Manchester Jabez Clegg
25 Apr: Cambridge Soul Tree
26 Apr: Oxford Zodiac
27 Apr: Northampton Soundhaus
28 Apr: Norwich Arts Centre
30 Apr: London ICA
2 May: Newcastle Cluny
3 May: Carlisle Brick Yard
5 May: Dundee West Point Bar
6 May: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
7 May: Aberdeen TBC
9 May: Glasgow The Arches
10 May: Birmingham Custard Factory
11 May: Liverpool Academy
12 May: Bristol Anson Rooms

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THE JAM TOUR
'The Jam' have announced a 21 date winter tour, possibly due to the great response to their summer dates, which have been selling out pretty quickly. I say 'The Jam', as opposed to The Jam, because as previously reported, only Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler are involved, because Paul Weller, of course, sees no point in a reunion. In fact, he said that he'd have to be "destitute" before he'd be moved do it. I expect Foxton and Buckler are slightly closer to destitution than Weller, so perhaps that's why they do see the point. Not that I'm saying that they're actually broke or anything - I suspect they're nothing of the sort. And even less so now, what with all these sell out gigs and all.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, tickets on sale tomorrow at 9am, press info from Noble PR. And here are the new dates:

24 Nov: Plymouth Pavilions
25 Nov: Cardiff St Davids Hall
26 Nov: Grimsby Auditorium
27 Nov: Liverpool Carling Academy
29 Nov: Glenrothes Rothes Halls
30 Nov: Preston 53 Degrees
1 Dec: Leicester De Montfort Hall
3 Dec: Leeds Met Students Union
4 Dec: Nottingham Rock City
5 Dec: Manchester Academy
8 Dec: Sheffield Octagon
9 Dec: Bristol Carling Academy
11 Dec: Southampton Guildhall
12 Dec: Norwich UEA
14 Dec: Newcastle Carling Academy
15 Dec: Glasgow Carling Academy
16 Dec: Cambridge Corn Exchange
18 Dec: Birmingham Carling Academy
19 Dec: London Kentish Town Forum
21 Dec: Brighton Centre

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MUMM-RA TOUR, SINGLE, ALBUM
Mumm-Ra are set to release their debut LP 'These Things Move In Threes' on 28 May, preceded by a single 'She's Got You High', out 14 May. Ahead of those releases, they're off on a long headline tour. Dates are as follows:

13 Apr: Tunbridge Wells Forum
14 Apr: Brighton Concorde 2
16 Apr: Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
17 Apr: Norwich Arts Centre
18 Apr: Exeter Cavern
20 Apr: Stoke Sugarmill
21 Apr: Newcastle Academy 2
22 Apr: Liverpool Academy 2
23 Apr: Cambridge Soul Tree
24 Apr: Colchester Arts Centre
26 Apr: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
27 Apr: Oxford Zodiac
28 Apr: Luton Live Room
30 Apr: Manchester Academy 3
1 May: Sheffield Leadmill
2 May: Glasgow King Tut's
3 May: Aberdeen Tunnels
4 May: Leeds Cockpit
6 May: Preston 53 Degrees
7 May: Birmingham Academy 2
8 May: Bristol Thelka
9 May: Reading Fez
10 May: London ULU

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ROBYN RETURNS WITH CARGO GIG
Swedish pop star Robyn, who had some success over here in the mid-nineties with her album 'Robyn Is Here', is hoping for new success in the UK with the release this week of new single 'Konichiwa Bitches', and to promote that she will play at London's Cargo tonight at 7.30pm - with support from Theoretical Girl and the Modular DJs. Press info is available from Nile On, previews and all that kind of stuff are on her MySpace - www.myspace.com/robynmyspace

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T MO ANNOUNCE NEXT STREET GIG
T Mobile have announced details of its next 'gig in an unusual location' thingimy. This time Lady Sovereign will be doing a gig for the mobile firm at the Pole Position Go Kart Track in Leeds. The gig will take place on 12 Apr, and tickets will be given away via this URL - http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/music

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SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO PICK TUNES ON TUNETRIBE
Everyone round here seems to be into Simian Mobile Disco big time at the moment - though I like to point out that I was a big fan of Simian when they were a band, so everyone else is just jumping on my bandwagon. Anyway, with SMD very much the DJ/remix duo of the moment, it is opportune that TuneTribe have got them to recommend their favourite ten tracks - which you can check out and buy at the URL below.

http://www.tunetribe.com/Article?article_id=1567

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THE OC SOUNDTRACK COMPILER TO LAUNCH LABEL
Alexandra Patsavas, the woman who selected music for US TV shows The OC and Grey's Anatomy (the music featured on the former was definitely good, I've never seen the latter so can't comment on that) is to launch her own imprint within Warner label Atlantic. Called Chop Shop Records, the new label will be very much about indie rock, though will be looking to sign "music a bit outside of the mainstream".

Patsavas told NME: "The idea was something that Atlantic and I had talked about at length together. We first really started talking about it at Coachella last year, which was hard to do in the 140 degree heat". Patsavas plans to continue working as a music advisor in the TV industry, though whether she'll be signing bands to Chop Shop with their TV soundtrack potential in mind, I don't know.

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EMI CHIEF CALLS ON MOBILE MUSIC PRODUCTS TO BE MORE CONSUMER FRIENDLY
EMI chief Eric Nicoli yesterday gave a keynote speech at CTIA Wireless, a major mobile industry convention staged in Florida, and told his audience that while the mobile music sector had the potential to be "one of the most exciting growth stories of the century", that would only be achieved if more mobile firms followed Apple's lead in focusing entirely on consumer friendliness.

Commenting on mobile music offers already in the market, he said: "In my opinion, we will not meet our goals if we continue to carry on as we have been. Just as there are important opportunities, there are important challenges we need to address". Commenting on how Apple had become a market leader in the digital music space by focusing on what consumers want rather than what technology can deliver, he continued: "Being consumer focused shouldn't be Apple's privilege. If we just present what we want, when we want to, that won't do it".

Nicoli also used his keynote to reveal details about a new partnership between EMI and Nokia which will see the major exclusively supply music to be played in the mobile manufacturer's retail spaces and to be pre-loaded on their phones though, I have to say, I'm never convinced such exclusivity deals are especially consumer friendly, and can't help thinking such partnerships are part of the problem with current mobile music offers that Nicoli was talking about.

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IPHONE CAUSES STIR AT CTIA
Talking of Apple, which we kind of were, the IT firm pulled off another one of those publicity coups at the CTIA conference by allowing delegates a glimpse - but only a tiny glimpse - of their much hyped iPhone. The COO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson, unveiled the new device during his keynote speech on Tuesday, but the phone was quickly escorted off the premises before anyone there could get their hands on it. Stephenson, whose company will exclusively carry the iPhone when it launches in June, admitted that even he wasn't actually allowed to keep one of the devices - he'd had to borrow it especially to flash at the keynote. Allowing him to do so was another great marketing trick by Apple - ensuring lots of CTIA chatter was about the new hybrid iPod and mobile phone, even though the Apple device wasn't really the topic of any of the keynotes or panels at the conference.

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BMI PREDICT FALL IN US RINGTONE REVENUES
More mobile stuff. US royalty society BMI has predicted a downturn in the sale of ringtones in the US this year, although that is most likely due to the growing popularity of newer but similar products such as ringback tones.

BMI say US ringtone sales for this year will be approximately $550 million, down $50 million from the peak in 2006 when sales brought it approximately $600 million. However, ringback tones, the service where mobile owners can set it so people calling their phone hear music instead of (or as well as) the traditional 'ring ring' tone (a service which has been around for a while but has only really taken off big time in those crazy Asian markets so far, but which is now gaining pace in the US), should bring in about $65 million this year. It is the first time BMI have estimated ringback tone sales, so it is unclear how much of that income accounts for the $50 million decline in traditional ringtone sales.

Commenting on their estimates, BMI VP Of New Media And Strategic Development, Richard Conlon, told reporters: "As we forecasted last year, the ringtone market matured in 2006. The slowdown in ringtone growth, however, was partially offset by the first wave of promising US growth in ringback tones".

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UNIVERSAL PROPOSE ANOTHER CATALOGUE SALE TO SECURE MERGER APPROVAL
Universal Music has added another asset to the list of publishing catalogues it is willing to sell in order to win regulator approval for its proposed acquisition of Bertelsmann's BMG Music Publishing.

As previously reported, despite initial indications from both major music firms that they were confident of getting approval from the European Commission for the merger of BMG Publishing with Universal Music Publishing, as EC officials continued to investigate the proposals Universal chiefs indicated that they would be willing to sell off certain BMG catalogues in order to secure approval - among those that may be sold were Zomba Music and 19 Songs. Yesterday, in another gesture designed to alleviate regulator concerns, Universal indicated it might be willing to sell one of its own publishing assets - Rondor Music - a considerable catalogue originally founded in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss and which includes hit songs like Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', Aretha Franklin's 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T', Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On' and The Beach Boys' 'California Girls'. Universal acquired the company for $211 million in 2000.

It remains to be seen if such proposals do convince EU officials to give the merger the go ahead despite ongoing concerns in Europe over further consolidation of the major music firms. The EU are expected to rule one way or the other on 1 Jun.

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MUSIC BRIGADE ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH SWEDISH NEWSPAPER
Digital music aggregators Musicbrigade have announced a new partnership with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet which will see the paper make streams of some 20,000 music videos available to its readers for free, via its online edition. The newspaper's new music service will also sell downloads of featured tracks and offer various user-recommend community type functions.

Confirming the partnership, Musicbrigade CEO Johan Englund told CMU: "Aftonbladet is the ideal partner for us in Sweden. As the leading news portal in Sweden, Aftonbladet has a wide base of music related content that we have been able to augment and integrate with. This new venture will substantially enhance Musicbrigade's own service offering while at the same time providing Aftonbladet with a sophisticated and desirable music offering".

Cecilia Mortimer, Marketing Manager of Aftonbladet New Media added: "It feels really great that Aftonbladet.se and Musicbrigade are getting into this huge venture together. Our goal is to become the number one music site in Sweden within a very short timeframe. The name Aftonbladet Puls, the designated section of our site for the service, is an already established, branded section of our site with a clear connection to music".

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WOOLIES HOPE MULTI-CHANNEL STRATEGY WILL HELP OVERCOME PROFITS SLIDE
Woolworths yesterday said it hoped its growing online and catalogue shop businesses would help the company overcome the slump it has experienced in its traditional retail business. The comments came as the high street retailer, one of the UK's biggest music and entertainment retailers of course, admitted its profits had fallen by 74% and that its high street retail operation had gone into the red for the first time since the company was spun out of the Kingfisher group. Reporting that things had actually been looking up in more recent months, Woolies CEO Trevor Bish-Jones said the growth of his company's catalogue shopping division was not only creating a new income stream in itself, but boosting traffic into its high street stores. He observed: "If we get the growth we're anticipating in multi-channel, that will be a good fillip". Commenting more specifically on this year's disappointing figures, he stressed that many of the costs of setting up that 'multi-channel' strategy occurred in the last financial year, and were one off, so investors should be more optimistic of the coming year.

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RADIO 2 MAN TO BROADCAST FROM NXNE
Organisers of the previously reported Canadian version of SXSW, NXNE, have announced that Radio 2's Bob Harris will be broadcasting two shows live from the music convention, as well as giving a keynote speech and staging a Bob Harris Presents showcase event, featuring some of his favourite Canadian artists. Confirming his involvement in the convention, Harris told CMU: "Having championed Canadian music in the UK via two major radio documentaries, I am really looking forward to bringing BBC Radio 2 to Toronto to broadcast live from NXNE. I feel excited by this further opportunity to introduce the diversity of Canadian talent to the British audience. I am deeply impressed by the ethos of a music community which I feel is as creative and vibrant as any in the world". NXNE takes place in Toronto from 7-10 Jun, info from http://www.nxne.com

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OFCOM SAY C4 CONCERNS OVER NGW PROPOSAL NOT VALID
OfCom has dismissed concerns expressed by Channel 4 about a rival's bid for the previously reported second national digital radio multiplex.

C4 told OfCom it was concerned when a bid from a rival for the network, National Grid Wireless, said that if it won the multiplex it would give two of its 12 channels to Channel 4 Radio. Channel 4 said that it had not agreed to provide any channels, and therefore OfCom should be suspicious of NGW's ability to deliver what it is proposing.

However, OfCom said it was concerned about the formats of the channels bidders were proposing, rather than who would operate each service - ie if NGW was successful, and C4 turned down the offer to take two channels on their competitor's network, then NGW would be within OfCom regulations providing the non-C4 services they launched on those channels were of the same format. So, that's all alright then.

Here's what OfCom said: "There is no requirement upon applicants for a national radio multiplex licence to identify providers of proposed services within their applications. All radio multiplex licensees are bound by the formats, which set out the type of programming services will provide, which they propose in their applications".

Whether C4 would consider taking two channels on NGW's network if they were to be unsuccessful in their bid to win the whole digital multiplex remains to be seen - NGW have admitted it isn't something it has discussed with its rival as yet.

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WINEHOUSE ON SELF HARM
Amy Winehouse has admitted to cutting herself - out of curiosity, when she was nine years old. As you may know, recent pictures of the singer have been published which showed her arms looking suspiciously cut up, but she's denied that those scars were the result of self-harm, saying: "I probably walked around the block trying to get to the hotel and fell. I have no idea. I hate that. The blackouts. Happens too often".

Now she's told Q Magazine about the childhood incident, saying: "It's a funny thing, morbid curiosity. I'm talking about when I was nine. What does it feel like? 'Ow, that fucking hurts'. It's probably the worst thing I've done".

She does, however, admit to some present-day self harm, though this is generally caused by drink rather than curiosity: "Not punching myself in the face, but slapping. I drank a whole bottle of champagne and then just got depressed. I didn't feel like I looked good. And I'm quite self-destructive when I'm drunk"

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JAMES BLUNT SPLIT QUOTES
I mentioned yesterday that James Blunt has split from supermodel girlfriend Petra Nemkova. Now The Sun has some quotes on the matter, and not just from a 'source', from Blunt's spokeswoman, who says "They split up last month but remain really good friends".

Oh, hang on, here's the 'source'. A 'friend' told the tabloid: "James and Petra aren't going out any more. He told her it wasn't working out and that it was best to make a clean break. He and Petra didn't get to spend enough time together because their careers have kept them on different sides of the globe for much of the time. James is now enjoying being a single man - he's having the time of his life thanks to his huge success."

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KELE BLOC PARTY HITS BACK AT LIAM
As you all know, Liam Gallagher is no fan of Bloc Party, recently dismissing them as "a band off University Challenge". Because anyone with an education is naturally bereft of musical talent, obviously, and only people who don't read books, like Liam Gallagher, are capable of making nice tunes.

Anyway, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke has hit back with some frankly intelligent comments about why Oasis suck. The singer, a London King's College graduate, told Uncut: "I think Oasis are the most over-rated and pernicious band of all time. They had a totally negative and dangerous impact upon the state of British music. They have made stupidity hip. They claim to be inspired by the Beatles but, and this so saddens me, they have failed to grasp that the Beatles were about constant change and evolution. Oasis are repetitive Luddites."

Prompted to remark on Liam's University Challenge comment, Okereke said: "Well, it's quite funny. It probably would have been a lot more funny had he not used exactly the same words to describe Travis a couple of years ago."

He continued: "Having said that, it's probably a very sad indication of the state of his mind. Why is it bad to better yourself? It's all about the weird way in which this country chooses to view the working classes. It is really daft to reinforce the idea that there is something cool about being dumb. The idea that your ambitions shouldn't extend beyond getting drunk and watching the football really irks me. It's this idea that to be authentically working class you need to be untainted by the airy-fairy ephemera of education. And it seems to be pretty unique to this country".

Yeah, Gallagher. What he said.

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RADIOHEAD STARBUCKS RUMOURS
Possibly the wildest of the music rumours circulating on the net at the moment is that Radiohead are in talks with Starbucks' new record company Hear Music about them releasing their next album. Radiohead are, of course, currently sans-record deal since fulfilling their obligations to EMI, though the band's fans, chattering about the rumours on message boards, seem confident that the chances of Thom Yorke et al even considering working with a multi-national conglom like Starbucks are very slim. And they're probably right. Radical anti-establishment music types normally only sell out to multi-national congloms in old age. As previously reported, Paul McCartney has confirmed he will release his next pop album via Hear Music, an expanded version of Starbucks' existing music platform, which has in the past worked with artists like Bob Dylan.

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