CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 23rd April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- New MP3 service hits back at Warners cease and desist
- Universal brought into Busted bust up
- R&b singer sues Universal over two hip hop samples
- Morrissey won't appear with Smiths
- Andrew Hill dies
- Lobby Loyde dies
- Fightstar to release free download
- Gorillaz to make an end
- Hanson to re-record album.
- Bon Jovi sell out O2 gig super quick
- Glasto tickets gone again
- Groove Armada to play final Palais gig
- Aussie unions protest via the medium of rock
- U2 guitar raises $240k
- QOTSA for Roskilde
- Avril added to T In The Park line up
- Uxfest inviting demos
- Slayer and Korn headline Hellfest
- Twang do latest T-Mobile street gig
- Single Review: Foals - Hummer
- Bloggers posting Beyonce DVD clips ahead of release
- Strictly Confidential opens UK office
- Rubin for Columbia US job rumours continue
- PPL digital and international exec exits
- Cutting Edge recruit Gallacher
- Circuit City partner with Napster
- SoundExchange willing to talk to US webcasters
- ITV reprimanded over X Factor red button vote cock up
- Chart update
- Total Rock world album chart
- Subshot playlist
- Winehouse engaged, apparently
- Crazy baby namers get the go ahead
- Robbie advised against haunted house show
- Snoop demands fees and first class travel to attend charity bash
- Minogue for Dr Who
- Peaches spoofs Alanis' spoof

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TOP BIT>>
Is it just me, or has every single person working in music PR moved jobs in the last few weeks? Every day I seem to be getting emails telling me that this person has moved from this agency to that agency, from this label to that label, leaving a gap which is being filled by that person, who is moving from this agency, who is taking on this person. Or something like that.

All of which leads me to post a logistical Top Bit today. If you've recruited new press officers or pluggers to your agency or label recently, make sure you let us know via this here email address - listings@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk, that way we can update the CMU PR contacts directory on our website and make sure it's fully damn up to date. If you can let us know in the next 48 hours we might run a story later this week rounding up all the new appointments. Get it in here quick before you all jump over to another new company next week.

And that is all. A very short Top Bit to a very long Daily.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Dinosaur Jr

As you know, because you read it fairly recently in the CMU Daily, following their recent live reunions Dinosaur Junior are all set to release their first studio album in eighteen years featuring the original line up of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. It's called 'Beyond', I've listened to a copy, and, I have to say, I'm enjoying it. So, the reason I am telling you about the MySpace page just now (which hardly needs advertising by me, it's got loads of friends) is because two tracks from that new album are previewing on the page and if you don't have a copy then this might be of interest to you. The MySpace page is full of tour dates which will be of no use to the majority of you, probably, as they are all in North America, but you never know, you might be planning a trip. The page says the album's out on 1 May. Which it is, in the US. Here it's out on 30 Apr. Very important, that. A whole 24 hours.

http://www.myspace.com/dinosaurjr

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NEW MP3 SERVICE HITS BACK AT WARNERS CEASE AND DESIST
That new online music service from MP3.com founder Michael Robertson has filed a complaint against Warner Music Group asking for a court judgment that confirms the new venture did not breach its agreement with the major.

As previously reported, AnywhereCD launched earlier this month and specialises in selling "MP3 albums". Basically it sells physical CD albums in much the same way as other mail order sites except that once a customer has ordered the CD they then have the option to download the tracks off it as MP3 files. The logic is that, because once someone has a CD they can easily rip the tracks off it as MP3, there is no harm in supplying the MP3s after a physical purchase.

At launch, AnywhereCD also offered a function whereby users could avoid paying postage and packaging charges by just buying the MP3 files, meaning they would not receive any physical CD as part of the deal. It turns out it was that extension in particular that angered Warner Music, the only major label making music available to the service. They said that because that option was offered, Robertson was essentially running an MP3 download platform, and therefore it wasn't something they'd ever agreed to - Warner, of course, is still very much resisting the sale of digital music in non-DRM protected MP3 formats. As such, the major issued a cease and desist in relation to the no-physical CD service, claiming it "flagrantly violated" their agreement with AnywhereCD.

AnywhereCD subsequently removed the MP3 only service to satisfy Warner, but has since disputed that that service violated its agreement with the major, and is seeking a court ruling to say as much. The company is also seeking damages over allegations Warner is guilty of business defamation, trade libel and breach of contract.

In a statement Robertson told reporters this weekend: "AnywhereCD has the utmost respect for [the] Warner Music Group family of artists and we want to distribute their albums through our service. Unfortunately, we ran into a contractual disagreement that necessitates the help of the courts and ultimately the oversight of a judge. We hope to settle this matter quickly, and move forward with our stated business of selling ... MP3 albums."

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UNIVERSAL BROUGHT INTO BUSTED BUST UP
The Universal Music Group has been brought into that much previously reported legal action involving former chart topping boy band Busted, following new allegations that axed members' vocals appeared in some of the early records from the band that were released by the major.

This is part of that long running litigation being pursued by two of the founding members of Busted - Ki Fitzgerald and Owen Doyle - who were axed before the boy band enjoyed any chart success. They claim that they were integral in the creation of the Busted franchise, coming up with the name and co-writing some of the band's early hits. But, they claim, they were unfairly cut out of the equation by manager Richard Rashman before the chart success came a knocking. They also allege that Rashman failed to fulfill his contractual commitments as a manager to protect their interests by making them sign agreements on their departure that greatly favoured Rashman and remaining band members, James Bourne and Matt Willis. Fitzgerald and Doyle's legal action, launched in 2005 and seeking a cut of the royalties from the band's early songs and trademark, names Rashman, Bourne and Willis as defendants.

Lawyers involved in the case were in the High Court in London last week where a judge set dates for the trial, with evidence due to be submitted by July for a trial start date of 1 Feb 2008. It was at that hearing that lawyers representing Fitzgerald and Doyle introduced a further claim in the action - that some vocals recorded by the plaintiffs were actually used on the recordings that appeared on the band's debut album 'Busted', which was released by Universal Records in 2002. The new allegations mean that Universal Music will now be added as defendants in the long running legal dispute.

A spokesman for Fitzgerald and Doyle's lawyers, Entertainment Law Associates, also told reporters that his office were looking into whether Rashman also failed to protect his band's interests by personally registering the Busted trademark in the US, rather than registering it in the band members' names. On those allegations, a spokesman said: "Our counterpart lawyers in the US, in conjunction with the US Trademark Bureau and the District Attorney's office, are also making further enquiries
into why Richard Rashman applied to register the trademark "Busted" as his own personal property whilst Ki and Owen were still in the band and without ever informing them. As the Busted name was originated by Ki and then became the property of the four partners in the band, Rashman's actions in the States are a cause of grave concern".

On the setting of a trial date for the case, meanwhile, said spokesman told CMU: "We are disappointed that the trial itself won't start until early next year, but nonetheless we have a firm date for the trial. Ki and Owen just want to come face to face with Willis, Bourne and Rashman in Court so that the truth can finally come out".

Which is all very exciting. As I'm pretty sure we've also previously reported, the two plaintiffs are also suing Matt Willis in a separate lawsuit regarding comments he made against them in a Sunday newspaper interview. Ah, poor Matt Willis. Still, as I say, all very exciting.

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R&B SINGER SUES UNIVERSAL OVER TWO HIP HOP SAMPLES
More litigation, and more litigation involving the Universal Music Group, though in the US this time. R&B singer Esther Williams has sued Amaru Entertainment, the company run by the mother of the late Tupac Shakur, and Universal Music Group, claiming one of her songs was sampled without permission on two separate tracks, firstly on a Tupac track released by Amaru and Universal label Interscope, and secondly on a Ghostface Killah track released by Universal label Def Jam.

The sampled track is Williams' 1976 song 'Last Night Changed It All', which the singer claims was used without permission on Tupac's 'Late Night', which appeared on his fourth posthumous album 'Better Dayz' in 2002, and on the Ghostface Killah track 'Last Night Skit', which appeared on the 2004 album 'The Pretty Toney Album'. According to Allhiphop.com Williams' lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages for the uncleared samples.

Universal are yet to comment on the litigation.

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MORRISSEY WON'T APPEAR WITH SMITHS
According to reports, Morrissey is unlikely to attend the 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony that is expected to include The Smiths amongst its honoured music acts. The nominees for next year haven't yet been announced, but that doesn't stop people from speculating.

The reason for Morrissey's apparent reluctance to attend, of course, is that he hates his band's former drummer Mike Joyce because of that royalties lawsuit that Joyce pursued back in the mid nineties. Some 'friend' or other has explained the singer's feelings on the matter: "Morrissey has never forgiven Joyce and if organisers think he's going to bury the hatchet by joining him to accept this award, they've got another thing coming. The only way he could be persuaded to turn up would be if Joyce decides not to attend".

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ANDREW HILL DIES
Jazz pianist Andrew Hill has died from lung cancer at the age of 75. His record label, Blue Note, announced the news, saying "our hearts go out to his wife Joanne, and the countless musicians, friends and fans that his music and spirit touched".

Hill was born in Chicago in 1931 and during the fifties worked with the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis before starting to record his own albums. From 1970-1972 he was composer in residence to the Colgate University of Hamilton in New York, and in 1997 was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jazz Foundation of America. In 2003 he was awarded Denmark's Jazzpar Prize, which recognised the musician as being a "genuine original".

His final album, 'Time Lines' was released in February 2006, and his final performance took place just weeks ago, on 29 Mar at the Trinity Church in New York city. After being diagnosed with cancer back in 2004, Hill was reported as saying: "Even though I am living with a terminal illness I am able to look forward to my work and the future with enthusiasm".

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LOBBY LOYDE DIES
Veteran Australian rock guitarist and songwriter Lobby Loyde has died at the age of 64. He had suffered with lung cancer for some time, but succumbed to brain tumours at the weekend.

Starting his career with the band Purple Hearts, he later became a leading figure in the Aussie pub rock scene of the 1970s as a member of both The Aztecs and Coloured Balls. A mentor to many musicians, he is cited as an influence by the likes of Kurt Cobain and Henry Rollins.

Rose Tattoo's Angry Anderson said of Loyde in 2006: "More than anyone else, Lobby helped create the Australian guitar sound. Long before Angus Young or Billy Thorpe or the Angels or Rose Tattoo. Lobby inspired Australian bands to step forward and play as loud and aggressively as they could. People are still trying to copy it today."

Former bandmate Gavin Carroll says: "He never said a bad word about anyone and always made you feel like you were the greatest".

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FIGHTSTAR TO RELEASE FREE DOWNLOAD
Safely excluded from all that messy Busted litigation, he being a late arrival in the boy band, Charlie Simpson is free to concentrate on the next stage of the career of his new band, Fightstar, and that is due to kick off on 11 May with the release of a free download single. Yes, a free download single. They're just too good to us. The free track will be called '99' and will be available from http://www.fightstar99.com.

Here's what Charlie has to say about the free track: "The inspiration behind '99' was based on the fact that you should cherish the seconds you have with the people you love when they are there, and not take them for granted. Because when they are gone, you won't have the chance to, and you will be left with the haunting thought that you could have".

Deep stuff. Fightstar are currently recording their second album in LA, but will be back in the UK next weekend for the Give It A Name festival which is set to make an appearance in London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

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GORILLAZ TO MAKE AN END
Following rumours that the animated band were heading for a 'split', reports suggest that Damon Albarn has confirmed that Gorillaz will end with a full length movie, which might be directed by former Monty Python star Terry Gilliam. The Blur man told the BBC last week: "We're trying to make a film next, starting in September hopefully", but added that the next Gorillaz record would be "a film score. There won't be another pop record". Which certainly does imply that Gorillaz will indeed be put to bed.

Also asked whether Blur will reunite complete with Graham Coxon any time soon, Albarn responded: "I really don't know. I think it's possible that we might be. But I'm not entirely sure we are". So that's that one not cleared up again.

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HANSON TO RE-RECORD ALBUM.
Hanson have announced that they are planning to record an acoustic version of their breakthrough album 'Middle Of Nowhere', for the tenth anniversary of its release. The recording will take place at a special event for fan club members in the band's home town of Tulsa.

The band say: "To anyone who is a fan-club member we hope you will be joining us in Tulsa OK on May 5th. We are really looking forward to the recording of 'Middle Of Nowhere Acoustic'. For a few years now we have had the idea to record acoustic albums to go along with each studio record. Since this is the 10th anniversary of releasing 'Middle Of Nowhere', we felt recording an acoustic album was the right way to recognize what awesome fans all of you have been. We look forward to seeing you there".

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BON JOVI SELL OUT O2 GIG SUPER QUICK
Organisers say that the Bon Jovi gig set to take place on 24 Jun at The O2 arena (formerly the Millenium Dome, those who haven't been listening at the back) sold out in under half an hour when tickets went on sale on Friday morning. As previously reported, Bon Jovi will be the first band to play the 23,000 capacity venue, ahead of concerts by Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones and Scissor Sisters also set to take place this summer.

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GLASTO TICKETS GONE AGAIN
Elsewhere in tickets-selling-fast news, the remaining Glastonbury tickets - those returned because credit cards failed and suchlike - went on sale on Sunday morning, and sold out in about two and a half hours. It's not clear just how many tickets went on sale yesterday but according to comments by festival honcho Michael Eavis, it could have been anything up to about 20,000. As previously reported, 400,000 people pre-registered for the chance to buy tickets for the June festival, which this year has a capacity of 177,000. Organisers are apparently just glad all that ticket selling is over and done with. Yes, look what this spokesman said: "We're quite relieved about it and it seems to have been successful. We can now look forward to June 1 when the line-up will be announced".

The aforementioned Eavis believes that the new ticketing system - which requires buyers to provide passport photos to get their hands on their passes - has achieved its aim of stopping the touts. He says that ticket sales on sites such as eBay have been conspicuously absent due to the measures, including that of scanning the passes with an infra-red system at the gates to ensure that the picture hasn't been tampered with.

Acts already confirmed for this year's festival, which takes place from 22-24 Jun, include Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, The Who and Shirley Bassey.

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GROOVE ARMADA TO PLAY FINAL PALAIS GIG
How many last nights can a venue have? First it was The Good The Bad And The Queen playing the last ever gig at the Hammersmith Palais. Then The Fall scheduled in a gig the next day, making them the last band to ever play the Hammersmith Palais. Now we hear Groove Armada will launch their new album 'Soundboy Rock' at a party on 3 May at, erm, the Hammersmith Palais. We're promised this will be the last ever gig at the legendary venue, though personally I'll only believe it if you have to queue up next to a JCB to get in. This will be an invite only affair, though 25 pairs of tickets will be given away via http://www.groovearmada.com. Press types should start bugging Nile On for guest list.

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AUSSIE UNIONS PROTEST VIA THE MEDIUM OF ROCK
Australia's union movement is to hold a rock concert in Sydney to protest against the government's controversial industrial relations legislation, currently a highly contentious issue in Aussie politics due to the federal election, set to take place later this year, and the fact that opinions on the laws are one of the biggest issues disagreed on upon by the incumbent government led by John Howard and its Labour opposition.

During ten years in power, the Liberal party has reduced workers' rights and made it easier for companies to sack their employees, measures which some argue were necessary as previously, workplace legislation stifled growth and job creation. The event, Rockin For Rights, will seek to highlight the issue with a high profile gig featuring some of Australia's biggest rock acts entertaining around 40,000 people at the city's cricket ground. Well, I guess they're high profile if you're from Australia, because I'm not, to be honest, terribly aware of these confirmed acts: Hoodoo Gurus, the Screaming Jets and the Whitlams.

Someone I have heard of will be there, however - Labour MP Peter Garrett - who, I'm sure you'll remember, is the former lead singer of notoriously lefty Aussie band Midnight Oil.

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U2 GUITAR RAISES $240K
The Edge's favourite guitar has sold for $240,000 at that previously reported music memorabilia auction to raise money for the Music Rising charity he co-founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The auction in total raised $2.4million - about £1.2million - in a sale which also included items belonging to Jimi Hendrix and The Edge's fellow U2-ers Bono, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.

The Edge had donated a number of items, including a second guitar, and one of his signature knitted hats. The guitarist told reporters: "I have to say that it is a strange feeling to see some of your stuff up here".

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QOTSA FOR ROSKILDE
Queens Of The Stone Age have been added to the bill for this year's Roskilde Festival, taking place in Denmark, of course, from 5-7 Jul. The band join a line up which includes Bjork, The Beastie Boys and The Killers. English version of website here, for your further information: http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/index.php?code=1

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AVRIL ADDED TO T IN THE PARK LINE UP
Now, if you are yet to read CMU's Chart Update, you should look away now. We wouldn't want to ruin the suspense. Current album chart topper Avril Lavigne has been added to the bill of T In The Park. No, really. It says so here. She is among the latest line up additions, a well formed little sub-group that also includes Badly Drawn Boy, Bright Eyes, The Maccabees and Ocean Colour Scene.

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UXFEST INVITING DEMOS
Uxfest, the previously reported fund raising metal fest, most notable for the fact it is run by teenage volunteers, will this year take place in September. Like last year the event will take place in London (originally it was staged in Uxbridge, hence the name), again at the Carling Academy Islington. The charities set to benefit are Uxbridge's Fountains Mill Young People's Centre and the Borneo Orangutan Survival UK fund. Organisers are currently inviting bands interested in playing to send in demos. There are no fees for playing - it's a fundraiser remember - but there's plenty of opportunity for exposure among the young metal demographic for bands who participate, as well as the promise of that rosy feeling that comes from playing for charidee. Demo CDs should be sent, marked with band name, phone number, email and contact name, to Talita Uxfest c/o Totalrock 1-6 Denmark Place London WC2H 8NL (there's no need to include any photos or bumpf). But be quick - CDs need to be there by the end of the month.

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SLAYER AND KORN HEADLINE HELLFEST
The Uxfest press release also carries information on the French metal festival Hellfest, and as I've already unknowingly cut and paste it in I guess I might as well run a story on it. Very clever PR tactics that you know. Hellfest takes place in Clisson, near Nantes, from 22-24 June (thus providing a suitably loud and in your face alternative to Glastonbury) and among the bands due to play are Slayer, Korn, Dream Theater, Megadeth and Lamb Of God and loads and loads of bands which I'm pretty sure are huge in the world of metal, but which mean nothing to me. Go to http://www.hellfest.fr for more details. For press info email presse@hellfest.fr.

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TWANG DO LATEST T-MOBILE STREET GIG
The latest T-Mobile street gig is set to feature buzzy buzzers The Twang. The band will play a gig in London's east end on 2 May, at the club where they filmed the promo for their debut single 'Wide Awake'. The band's Martin Saunders says: "We wanted to do something for our first music video that reflects what we are about. This gritty East End club reminds us of where we used to rehearse in Birmingham, and shooting there let us have our mates be part of our video. We have had some great times in London so far but filming our first video in a room full of pissed up and partying friends was proper ace!"

As usual, to be in with a chance of being on the guest list, fans need to register online at http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/music. Registration is open from today until Friday. Meanwhile, the scheme is getting bigger all the time - fifteen street gigs in 2006, twenty set for 2007. Press info from Amazing Media.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Foals - Hummer (Transgressive)
Are we still allowed to use the word punk funk? I mean, I don't want to sound like a total square and that, but if groups are going to continue releasing energetic stuff that harks back to the golden age of, well, the late 70s and early 80s, then I see no reason to stop describing it thus. Foals get photographed wearing tennis clobber and have clearly heard and loved at least one proper experimental record in their lives, but this is still effectively good old run of the mill punk funk, which is nothing to be ashamed of when it's done as endearingly as this. The group clearly own a drum machine and synthesizer (when they're less scared to use them, their music will get much better) but the perfectly formed three minutes on offer here basically revolve around a sturdy disco beat, precision tooled guitars and some de rigueur Talking Heads style vocal yelps and vaguely ethnic percussion. Meanwhile, the b-side 'Astronauts And All' is all about spaceships and the future, which is no bad thing, I suppose. MS
Release date: 16 Apr
Press contact: Scruffy Bird [CP, CR, RP, RR, NP, NR] Bang On [O]

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BLOGGERS POSTING BEYONCE DVD CLIPS AHEAD OF RELEASE
This is interesting. The US press are reporting that Beyonce's 'B'Day Anthology Video Album' has become the first music DVD to be seriously illegally distributed online ahead of release. Pretty much every album appears in the ether before even its official digital release these days, of course, via both P2P and fan blogs, and normally in user friendly MP3, rather than the DRMed formats that come with any official major label release. But the unofficial distribution of video clips off music DVDs online has been less common, but apparently lots of footage from the Beyonce DVD was circulating online ahead of its 3 Apr release - via file-sharing networks and emerging video blogs, again often in a non-DRMed format, generally the iPod friendly MPEG4.

It's another interesting challenge for the record companies - especially with the bloggers who are posting this kind of content ahead of release - because on the one side many labels recognise the increasing importance opinion forming bloggers have in promoting new music, and as a result are starting to service them with promo CDs, but on the other hand the same labels are increasingly wary of the unlicensed music that appears on these blogs, and are likely to get even more concerned if the bloggers start to post increasing amounts of DVD content ahead of release. Quite what strategy they take to deal with that challenge remains to be seen.

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STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL OPENS UK OFFICE
European independent music publishing firm Strictly Confidential, a sister company of European record label and distribution company Pias, has announced it is opening a London office, alongside Pias' UK operations.

The new office will be run by Jo Hillier, who previously worked with Wall Of Sound, now Pias' main UK record company, where he established the We Love You imprint and worked with the likes of The Bees and I Am Kloot. He subsequently moved to the UK offices of Source and then into its parent label Virgin, before leaving last year to concentrate on his management work - of bands like Fryars, Shakes and The Bees. He will continue to work in his own right as an artist manager as well as heading up the UK division of Strictly Confidential, which represents the international publishing interests of bands like Soulwax, Jon Spencer, Junior Jack, Little Barrie, Laurent Garnier, Goose and Nada Surf.

Confirming the new office, Strictly Confidential MD Piet Bekaert told CMU: "We are looking to become the leading pan-European music publisher, a real alternative to major publishers; and moving into the UK with a London office is the next logical step for us. We look forward to Jo bringing his substantial experience to bear in placing Strictly Confidential firmly on the UK map".

Hiller himself added: "It's a challenging role which I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into. Key priorities include expanding the domestic roster and increasing the UK exploitation of the ever-growing international Strictly Confidential catalogue".

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RUBIN FOR COLUMBIA US JOB RUMOURS CONTINUE
Following previously reported rumours that legendary producer Rick Rubin was joining SonyBMG's Columbia US division in a top job, HitsDailyDouble is reporting that the producer attended a SonyBMG group wide meeting in Las Vegas last week, which adds some credibility to said rumours. As previously reported, some reckon Rubin will head up Columbia's A&R, while bringing his own label, American Recordings, to the major, ending its distribution relationship with Warner.

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PPL DIGITAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXEC EXITS
The head of IT and international development for UK recordings royalty collection society, PPL, is leaving the organisation. Clive Bishop, who also launched UK record industry's sound recording database CatCo in 2003, will leave with immediate effect. Billboard reports that the organisation's international department will now report directly to Director Of Legal And Business Affairs Peter Leathem, while Frank Jaschinski has been appointed as interim Director Of IT.

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CUTTING EDGE RECRUIT GALLACHER
Music supervision and publishing company Cutting Edge, which provides music services to independent film and TV producers in both the UK and US, has announced the recruitment of Liz Gallacher to the role of Director Of Music Supervision. Gallacher is an experienced music supervisor in the film and TV sector, having worked on over 45 feature film soundtracks, including 'The Full Monty', 'Notting Hill', '24 Hour Party People' and 'Bend It Like Beckham'.

Confirming the appointment, Cutting Edge MD Phil Hope told reporters: "I am delighted that Liz has chosen to join our team. Her fantastic creative skills and unrivalled position in the business will be a great asset to Cutting Edge as it moves towards becoming the pre-eminent provider of music to the UK film business. We are expanding in both the UK and USA and can provide film and TV producers with a unique range of first class services from music supervision, music search, clearance and music publishing to development finance and music budget gap finance".

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CIRCUIT CITY PARTNER WITH NAPSTER
Circuit City, the US's third biggest consumer electronics retailer, has announced it is launching a digital music service via a partnership with Napster. The new service will basically be a Circuit City branded version of the existing Napster system, offering both a subscription and a la carte download service, and going by the surely award winning name of Circuit City + Napster. Circuit City used to own the MusicNow digital music service, which it sold to AOL in 2005. AOL have since closed MusicNow down, instead offering its customers its own branded version of Napster.

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SOUNDEXCHANGE WILLING TO TALK TO US WEBCASTERS
SoundExchange, the body which represents the US record industry in the internet broadcasting space, has indicated it is willing to enter into new discussions regarding the commercial relationship between the record labels and web radio companies, though it stays committed to the hiked royalty rates recently set by the US Copyright Royalty Board.

As previously reported, the Royalty Board recently hiked the royalties web radio stations have to pay to play music on their stations, and then subsequently refused to review that decision, or consider new evidence from the webcasters. Needless to say, SoundExchange backed that decision, arguing that all parties had had plenty of opportunity to present their case to the Board before it reached its original decision, and that web radio firms should expect to pay a fair royalty to the labels and artists they represent given that much of their businesses are built on the music they play.

However, with the web radio sector claiming that many smaller webcasting companies will go out of business when the new rates kick in next month, and with the big companies claiming they will have to cut back their services, SoundExchange has indicated that they are willing to enter into direct discussions with the webcasters, though not over basic royalty rates.

SoundExchange Exec Director Jon Simson told reporters: "The music created by artists is the main reason why people listen to internet radio, and those artists should be fairly compensated for the value they bring to each webcaster's business. Yet, the webcasters refuse to acknowledge this common sense fact. [However], we recognize that there may be certain needs and expectations, as expressed by webcasters in recent days, that might possibly be addressed through direct discussions".

The webcasters claim that if legit web radio services are driven out of business by the rate hikes, then non-legit or overseas services will take their place, and then the record industry will lose out completely. Though that argument has been used before in other digital music service disputes, and not always successfully. What specific "needs and expectations" SoundExchange are willing to negotiate on, and whether they will help keep smaller US webcasters in business, remains to be seen.

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ITV REPRIMANDED OVER X FACTOR RED BUTTON VOTE COCK UP
ITV has been formally reprimanded for the previously reported cock up in which viewers who voted via their red button on one edition of the X Factor last year were overcharged by 15p. Because of the high number of votes, that meant viewers were overcharged around £200,000 in total. However, the broadcaster will not be fined over the incident, seemingly caused by human error, because premium phone service regulator Icstis is happy that ITV has taken enough internal action regarding the incident (to be fair, of all the broadcasters they have done the most to review premium rate interactive services).

The Icstis investigation into the X-Factor cock up began after a number of slack practices regarding premium rate interactive services in the TV sector came to light earlier this year, revelations that led to ITV cancelling all of its premium rate services while a third party auditor conducted a review of its operations. Icstis' investigations into cock ups on Channel 4's 'Richard & Judy' and BBC's 'Saturday Kitchen', in which viewers were invited to phone a premium rate number to enter competitions for which viewers had already been selected, will report back next month. Investigations into dodgy phone ins on BBC shows 'Blue Peter' and 'Smile', and Five's 'Brainteaser', are being undertaken by OfCom, while investigations into phone ins on ITV shows 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!', 'Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' and 'Soapstar Superstar' were either concluded informally, or dropped because of insufficient evidence.

All of which might make you think the whole premium rate interactive service debacle is more or less over, except that the BBC's Panorama has been looking into the whole thing and will apparently reveal that GMTV allegedly defrauded its viewers out of millions of pounds by also inviting viewers to phone in on premium rate numbers for competitions for which entrants had already been selected.

GMTV says that, while it accepts Panorama has uncovered "certain irregularities" in the way their phone-operator had managed past interactive services, they are confident neither they nor their supplier actually breached any regulations with regard to its premium rate phone ins. Though given that these irregularities have seemingly been happening for four years, and could have meant tens of thousands of pounds was taken from viewers phoning in to enter closed competitions every day, even if GMTV hasn't technically breached OfCom or Icstis rules, there may well be further outrage from viewers and consumer rights groups regarding the whole premium rate interactive services TV companies operate.

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CHART UPDATE
Now, before we tell you the big news from the album chart this week, you need to get your head around which label Avril Lavigne is signed to, otherwise it doesn't make sense. Although Ms Lavigne is signed to the legendary Arista label in the states, Arista now operates very much as a division of SonyBMG's RCA Records Group, so you'll often see her credited as being signed to RCA these days. SonyBMG in the UK operates two main record label divisions (well, three now they've relaunched Epic, but ignore that) - the RCA Label Group and the Columbia Label Group. Given what we've just said about Lavigne's American record deal it stands to reason that her music is handled in the UK by, erm, the Columbia Label Group.

This is important, otherwise Columbia's brag that all of the top three albums this week come from their roster doesn't make sense. But yes, with Avril Lavigne with 'The Best Damn Thing' at one, Mark Ronson with 'Version' at two and last week's chart toppers Kings Of Leon 'Because Of The Times' at three (they being on Columbia imprint Hand Me Down), the whole top three does come from the one SonyBMG division this week, and they tell us that's the first time in ten years that all three of the top three have come from one record company, and who are we to argue with that claim?

Here's what Columbia chief Mike Smith told CMU: "I am thrilled with the album charts this week which puts Columbia firmly at the forefront of the UK music industry. It is a testament to the great artists we are working with and to the talent and hard work of everyone at Columbia and SonyBMG UK. Mark Ronson was one of the first signings to the relaunched Columbia and we are determined to break him as a global artist this year. Coming hot on the heels of a platinum album from The View and great set up on Calvin Harris it shows the commitment we are making to new music at the label".

Which is all fab and groovy. Other new entries on the album chart this week came from Nine Inch Nails with 'Year Zero' at 6, Tiesto with 'Elements Of Life' at 14, Gardar Thor Cortes with 'Cortes' at 27 and Porcupine Tree with 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' at 31.

In the singles chart, the Beyonce/Shakira duet 'Beautiful Liar' moves up to take the top slot, while last week's number one, Timbaland's 'Give It To Me', falls to three, with the Arctic Monkeys moving up to second place now that 'Brianstorm' is on physical release.

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TOTAL ROCK WORLD ALBUM CHART
It's the Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - http://www.totalrock.com. New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)
2. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
3. Good Charlotte - Good Morning Revival (SonyBMG/Epic)
4. Machine Head - The Blackening (Warner/Roadrunner)
5. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
6. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
7. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
8. Black Sabbath - The Dio Years (Warner/Rhino)*
9. Evanescence - The Open Door (Sony BMG)
10. Korn - MTV Unplugged (EMI/Virgin)
11. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
12. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
13. 30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Life (EMI/Virgin)
14. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
15. Clutch - From Beale Street To Oblivion (DRT)
16. Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies (Ambush Reality)
17. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Vertigo)
18. The Academiy Is... - Santi (Fueled By Raman)*
19. Buckcherry - 15 (Atlantic/Eleven Seven Music)
20. Shadows Fall - Threads Of Life (Warner/Roadrunner)*

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SUBSHOT PLAYLIST
It's the Subshot playlist, the videos appearing on the SUBtv network of screens in students' union bars this week. New entries marked with a *.

A-List
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (Universal/Island)
Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm (Domino)
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Thou Shalt Always Kill (EMI/Lex)
The Enemy - Away From Here (Warner)
Groove Armada - Get Down (SonyBMG/Columbia)
The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations (Vagrant)
Jamie T - Sheila (EMI/Virgin)
Kaiser Chiefs - Everything Is Average Nowadays (B-Unique)*
Linkin Park - What I've Done (Warner)
Lostprophets - 4am (Forever) (Visible Noise)
Manic Street Preachers - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (SonyBMG/Columbia)
Mark Ronson - Stop Me (SonyBMG/Columbia)
My Chemical Romance - I Don't Love You (Warner/Reprise)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Hump De Bump (Warner)
Travis - Closer (Independiente)

B-List
Booty Luv - Shine (Data/Hedkandi)*
The Cribs - Men's Needs (Wichita)
Dada feat. Sandy - Lollipop (Data)
Feist - My Moon, My Man (Universal/Polydor)*
The Fray - Over My Head (Cable Car) (SonyBMG/RCA)*
Funeral For A Friend - Into Oblivion (Reunion) (Warner/Atlantic)*
Josh Pyke - Middle Of The Hill (Universal/Island)
lights.action! - Satellites (Four)*
Low vs Diamond - Heart Attack (Marrakesh)
Mutya Buena - Real Girl (Universal/Island)
Newton Faulkner - I Need Something (SonyBMG)*
Saosin - Voices (EMI)*
Sparta - Taking Back Control (Anti)*
Therese - Feelin' Me (EMI/Positiva)
Willy Mason feat. KT Tunstall - We Can Be Strong (EMI)*

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WINEHOUSE ENGAGED, APPARENTLY
According to the tabloids, Amy Winehouse has got engaged to her on-off boyfriend Blake Fielder Civil. She apparently admitted as much after a ring was spotted on her engagement finger, and has been quoted as saying: "I'm a very lucky girl to have found someone I love so much. I hope to be with him for the rest of my life. We haven't set a date yet or anything like that".

Meanwhile, The Mirror says that Winehouse's ex, Alex Claire, has been claiming via his MySpace that Amy's driven him to drink and drugs. It seems that he looked like a sure thing until Fielder Civil arrived back on the scene, and he's a bit bitter that Winehouse moved on. He apparently (I can't find the MySpace) wrote "I had a nice day with my ex Amy, everything was sweet, then she went to some party and I found out she's with her ex. Life can have a way of kickin you in the teeth. Trying to filter through all the bullshit and can't write anymore songs about the bitch, because I've covered all my emotions, so I'm gonna find myself a new muse".

He adds: "Although the future was looking bright, turns out, I was gravely mistaken. Skint, heartbroken and homeless - bad luck comes in threes as the old saying goes, but shit, what's a man to do".

Oh dear.

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CRAZY BABY NAMERS GET THE GO AHEAD
That Swedish couple who were told they couldn't call their daughter Metallica have managed to get that decision reversed. Poor child. As previously reported, the name was rejected as inappropriate by tax officials in the city of Gothenburg, despite a local court approving it, which meant the family had to take the case back to court for a second time. But they won. Again.

The baby girl's mother Karolina Tomaro told local paper Göteborgs-Posten that the decision was a relief. "It feels good", she said. "Several people suggested I should move to where they live, because then our daughter wouldn't have any problem in being named Metallica".

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ROBBIE ADVISED AGAINST HAUNTED HOUSE SHOW
Robbie Williams has reportedly been advised against presenting a Most Haunted type TV show for ITV. According to the Daily Star, Williams had been approached by TV producers to make a show along the lines of the cult Living TV show Most Haunted, and had expressed an interest, but has been advised by the powers that be that he should dedicate his time to resurrecting his music career, which is, according to the tabloids at least, on the slide after the disappointing performance of last album 'Rudebox'.

The Daily Star quotes a source thus: "Robbie loves the unexplained and got hooked on Yvette Fielding's show Most Haunted. When producers asked him if he'd appear on the programme, he went one better and decided to do his own show. It was all good to go and the format and co-host had been sorted but it got the red light from his music people who said it wasn't right for his image".

Williams is reportedly planning another swing album to reconnect with his traditional Adsa shopper fan base, who were seemingly turned off by 'Rudebox', though those reports might stem from comments made by the singer himself prior to the launch of that album, along the lines of "my traditional fan base probably won't like this, I'll have to do another swing album for them".

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SNOOP DEMANDS FEES AND FIRST CLASS TRAVEL TO ATTEND CHARITY BASH
This comes from the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, so if it's not true, blame them. Apparently Snoop Dogg demanded a $150,000 fee to appear at a Pussycat Dolls benefit concert held in aid of UNICEF last week. He also asked for a ten man posse to be flown with him first class to NYC, and for an X-box to be installed in his dressing room. Despite, or possibly because of, the luxuries, Snoop took to the stage an hour late, which, the Post says forced "the Pussycat Dolls to actually talk - which wasn't a good thing. While introducing themselves, one of the blonde dolls thanked 'Unicel' instead of UNICEF".

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MINOGUE FOR DR WHO
Kylie Minogue is to guest as a Cyberwoman in the next series of Dr Who, according to the News Of The World. A BBC insider is quoted as saying: "Kylie jumped at the chance to be in the show and is really looking forward to acting again".

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PEACHES SPOOFS ALANIS' SPOOF
Peaches has done a spoof of Alanis Morrissette doing a spoof of Black Eyed Peas' 'My Humps'. As previously reported, Alanis released her spoof video of the track on YouTube on April Fools Day. Peaches' version has also been posted on the video site. Given that this is Peaches, and her version of the track is called 'My Dumps', I think you can guess what route Ms Nisker has taken the song. I wouldn't watch it over lunch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFXzJbMsows

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